Friday, April 30, 2010

Book Bonanza

In anticipation of the throng of visitors we normally get once school is out, we restocked the gift shop today with two of our most popular books - Brad Gooch's critically acclaimed biography, Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor (now in paperback) and the venerable Library of America's collection of O'Connor's works. Both of these tomes are must haves for any serious O'Connor fan. Check out these and the many other titles we have in our gift shop, your one stop shop for all things O'Connor. Seriously, we have more books by and about O'Connor here than you're likely to find any other place. And, of course, we have the farm that inspired Flannery O'Connor. So why not come out to Andalusia and browse our gift shop. It couldn't be a better time to visit. April is so pretty in Georgia. As I write, the sky is bright blue, the birds are singing, and the day is warm and pleasant. If you can't come here in person, remember that all gift shop merchandise is available for purchase by calling 478-454-4029. We accept all major credit cards.

- Mark

Friday, April 23, 2010

When in Rome...

Yesterday we received an e-mail from a gentleman in Japan who is planning a trip to the United States for the sole purpose of visiting Andalusia. It always amazes us how far people come from to see the place where Flannery O'Connor penned virtually all of her fiction. She has a big following in Japan. In fact, the largest number of foreign subscribers to the Flannery O'Connor Review are Japanese. Though O'Connor never made it to Japan, her close friend, Maryat Lee, lived there for a short while in the 1950s. With her feigned country bumpkin voice when corresponding with Lee, O'Connor wrote on May 19, 1957: "Greetings from historic Milledgeville where the ladies and gents wash in separate tubs." Confessing a certain unwillingness to bathe in what she perceived to be communal tubs, O'Connor continued, "If I were in Japan, I would be pretty high by the time I left out of there as I wouldn't have washed durng the trip. My standard is: when in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville." If you enjoyed this gem, check out the memorable selection of O'Connor letters in The Habit of Being, available for purchase in the Andalusia gift shop for $24.00.
- Mark

Friday, April 16, 2010

Young Visitors to Andalusia

On this beautiful spring morning we are expecting the arrival of a group of 113 first graders from Blandy Hills Elementary School. Children love visiting Andalusia. There is so much for them to see and experience here. When school groups come we tell the children a little bit about the place and why it is important. Many of the youngters, however, are more interested in hearing about the wildlife and exploring the barnyard than learning about the famous author who lived here. Nevertheless, we hope to create a memory for the children so that one day they might be inspired to read O'Connor's fiction. Welcoming children to Andalusia goes back a long way. Even when Flannery O'Connor was alive, teachers would sometimes bring their classes out here. Flannery and her mother would greet these young visitors and welcome them to the farm. Before the children left, "Miss Flannery" made sure each child received a peacock feather as a souvenir of his or her visit. Some of these folks have returned to Andalusia as adults and have shared with us their memories of Flannery O'Connor and what a gracious host she was. While we can't hand out feathers to each of our young visitors (we give them coloring sheets instead), we hope that everyone who visits the farm - young and old alike - will receive the same warm welcome.

- Mark

Friday, April 9, 2010

Puddles of Pollen

Until yesterday's rain, Andalusia was blanketed in a haze of pine pollen. Even the bright red roof of the main house was covered with the yellow powder. For those of us who have lived in middle Georgia for a while, the arrival of the pine pollen signals the beginning of long, mild spring days and, for some, sniffles and sneezes. Maybe it has something to do with the wet, cold winter we had, but most locals can't remember the pollen being this heavy. Fortunately, yesterday's rain cleaned the air, slaked parched gardens, and created puddles of yellow pollen on the ground. Today the lines at the local car washes will be pretty long as midstaters rinse the pollen off their vehicles that the rain didn't. After you get your car washed, why not consider decorating it with one of our brand new bumper stickers? These one of a kind items are only $4 each and are available for purchase in the Andalusia gift shop or by phone order.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Last Chance to Name the Peafowl

Just a reminder that there are only a few more days left in our contest to name the peafowl at Andalusia. We have three birds - two females and one male - whose names will be decided by vote. Please send us your ideas. Remember...the names must be characters out of O'Connor's stories. The names garnering the most votes win. The contest ends on Sunday. We will announce the winning entries next week.

It is a gorgeous day here in middle Georgia - sunny and warm - and the Easter week-end promises more of the same. Craig joins me in wishing you and those you love a happy Easter.