Month: September 2009

Since no one has cried or thrown a tantrum, we’ve decided to continue posting select Twitter updates here.  Follow @thewrensnest for the complete experience.  There’s a whole chunk of fun that simply wouldn’t make any sense here, and I know how you hate to miss out.

  • The Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta are meeting in my backyard to — as I understand it — haze their incoming class. Bring on the paddles!
  • I won’t name names (ahem @scadivyhall) but there used to be only 1 Queen Anne Victorian open to the public near a Krispy Kreme in this town.

Front Porch with guests

  • Businessfolks on the porch. I prefer to mix business, pleasure, and periwinkle ceilings.

Dining Room Hillyer

  • Wanna see what my dining room looks like?  Seriously, y’all: grown and sexy.

More to come soon!  Seriously, this house won’t shut up.

I’m relieved to report that the Wren’s Nest did not suffer any damage from the torrential downpours of last week.

Thank you to the wonderful foundations that allowed us to patch up our roof earlier this year.  Thanks also to Arborguard, for recently taking out the huge tree limb that hung over us worse than Jägermeister on New Year’s.

The recent flooding here reminds me of one of my favorite moments in the Uncle Remus tales — when Uncle Remus tells the little boy about the Great Deluge.  You know, the story where angry crawfish bore holes in the ground and flood the earth.

“Where was the ark, Uncle Remus?” the little boy inquired, presently.

Uncle Remus tells the story of the Great Deluge

“W’ich ark’s dat?” asked the old man, in the tone of well-feigned curiosity.

“Noah’s ark,” replied the child.

“Don’t you pester wid ole man Noah, honey. I boun’ he tuck keer er dat ark. Dat’s w’at he wuz dar fer, en dat’s w’at he done. Leas’ways, dat’s w’at dey tells me. But don’t you bodder longer dat ar, ceppin’ your mammy fetches it up. Dey mought er bin two deloojes, en den agin dey moughtent. Ef dey wuz enny ark in [my story], I ain’t heern tell un it, en w’en dey ain’t no arks ‘roun’, I ain’t got no time fer ter make en put em in dar.”

Instead of telling the Sunday School version of the story, Remus sticks with the story from his own tradition.

The choice that Harris made here — to let Remus tell his own story and introduce the little white boy to a vastly different perspective — is one reason why it’s so easy for me to get excited about our mission.  Harris lent the African-American tradition a legitimacy that was practically nonexistent in American literature at the time.

Thank you to the crawfish for not boring (too many) holes around the Wren’s Nest this past week.  Not everyone was so lucky.

A while back, I mentioned  Van Dyke Parks’ adaptations of the Brer Rabbit stories. Parks published three books (with beautiful illustrations by Barry Moser), plus one album — Jump! — based on the stories.

I finally got around to embedding the (quite impressive and catchy as all get out) album below.

If you’re pressed for time, the Wren’s Nest Staff recommends “Opportunity for Two,” “Come Along,” “Home,” and “Hominey Grove.”

In the words of one astute Amazon reviewer

“Jump! must be the best score in the history of Broadway rejects. A gifted melodist and arranger, Parks digs deep into his Southern roots and pulls out this Brer Rabbit of a bouncy, melancholy masterpiece. Not for those who like their pop predictable, ironic or cynical, I predict that Jump! will be Van Dyke Parks greatest legacy, the truest reflection of his extraordinary grasp of the heart of American music.”

Indeed.  Parks has toured for this album before, and he told me that he’d be into playing at the Wren’s Nest.

Previously: Illustrations and Music from Jump!, That Time Van Dyke Parks Left an Amazing Comment on This Blog


Hey look at this!  I mean, for real, this.  Our blog.  Look at it.  Looking better, right?

Thanks for your patience with our blog; there was many a kink to be ironed out, but now everyone can be happy again.  Especially since we have Decatur Book Festival pictures for you!

Lain and Amelia at the DBF

This is what Lain and I look like when we’re not in front of our computers.  You know, uneasy.

As a reminder, though the pictures are posted on Facebook, you do NOT need a facebook account to view them.  Just click on this link, sit back, and enjoy.

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