Friday, December 28, 2012


Before toasting the new year, I would like to take this opportunity to review some of the highlights of 2012.  In addition to our usual bill of fare - February lectures, Bluegrass concert, etc. - much else happened out here for which we are justifiably proud.  At the top of the list is the completion of the restoration of the Hill House.  Though we still need to put the furnishings back, the project is finished and the house should be open for visitors some time in the new year.  Stabilization of the cow barn has also been completed.  The next stage of that project will be putting on a much-needed roof.  Before we can commence that work, however, we need your $upport.  The barn is certainly one of the most recognizable buildings on the Andalusia complex, and it is vital that we do everything we can to save it.  In addition to these two projects, we built a display kiosk down by the pond  in March through the generosity of Georgia College and Georgia Power Company.  On the literary side of things we hosted a wonderful lecture by William Walsh on May 15th to celebrate the 60th anniversary of O'Connor's novel Wise Blood.  For his talk, Mr. Walsh discussed the making of John Huston's film adaptation of the novel.  Also last spring we welcomed two fiction writers who gave readings from their work: Elizabeth Stuckey-French and Dwight Holing.  One of the most memorable events of the year occurred October 6th when we hosted our first wedding ever at Andalusia.  At sunset on a beautiful fall afternoon, Stephanie Smith and Vince Vaughn tied the knot on the front lawn.  No discussion of the year's highlights would be complete without mentioning the publication of At Home with Flannery O'Connor: An Oral History.  The book, edited by our own Craig Amason and Bruce Gentry, was released in April and we had a book signing here on May 7.  Among those in attendance that day was Joe McTyre, the former photographer for the Atlanta Constitution, who took some of the most memorable photos of Flannery ever snapped.  During the past year we also had some pretty noteworthy visitors including Francis Michael Stiteler, OCSO, Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, and famed dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp.  On a personal note, the biggest surprise of the year occurred just a few weeks ago when my former college English professor, Alexis Levitin, showed up at the farm.  I hadn't seen Dr. Levitin in nearly 36 years and was absolutely stunned to see this man who had such a great influence on me.  Yes, 2012 was a memorable year indeed.  Thank you to those of you who continue to read this blog and are supportive of our work at Andalusia.  Craig joins me in wishing all of you a Happy New Year.
- Mark

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