The Byron Herbert Reece Society is sponsoring a Southern Literary Trail “Trailfest” event on Saturday, May 18, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Reece Farm and Heritage Center, located one mile north of Vogel State Park on U.S. Highway 129.
Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to participate and help us celebrate Georgia’s Appalachian Poet/Novelist through the arts. Included in the day’s activities are musical and dramatic presentations, storytelling, culinary art, poetry readings, and visual art. Most of these presentations will take place in or near the group pavilion.
Rev. Keith Jones will emcee the program and will contribute to the storytelling segment. Reece’s nephew, Terry Reece, will share recollections of his Uncle Hub. David Brose, a folklorist associated with the John C. Campbell Folk School and an accomplished musician specializing in the banjo, will provide music. Jackie Elsner, a vocalist who has set many of Reece’s poems to old ballad tunes, will also contribute to the program. The poetry reading segment will feature five of the winners in previous poetry contests sponsored by the Society.
A dramatic presentation of Reece’s works is planned, including a special visit by an actor portraying the poet. Al Garnto, a Union County artist who has specialized in outdoor and folk art, and Dick Aunspaugh, retired chair of the Young Harris College Art Department, will be displaying and discussing some of their works. Also, a culinary artist will be on hand to demonstrate and explain the art of cooking with an Appalachian flavor.
Refreshments will be available for purchase, provided by the Union County High School Swim Team Booster Club.
The Welcome Center’s gift shop and museum will be open for visitation, as will the Farm’s exhibits area. The admission fee for touring the exhibits will be waived in lieu of a donation by visitors.
Our season starts April 4, and we’re excited. There are new exhibits, some improved landscaping and other great reasons to visit the Farm. Our regular operating hours are 10 am to 5 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sunday. Any day is a great day to come to the Farm!
Have some time? Looking for a fun and worthwhile outlet for your energy? Want to spend some time along beautiful Wolf Creek?
The Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center is looking for persons in the local community to assist in the operation of the Center from April through October. You can give a little time or a lot, as best suits your schedule and talents.
What would you be doing? The variety is endless.
· We need people willing to keep the site looking good – dusters, sweepers, grounds care, and light maintenance.
· We need folks to greet our visitors, make them feel welcome, and answer questions about the Farm site and the local area.
· We need docents – persons trained to teach programs about rural life and Reece to groups who make a special trip to the Farm.
· We need Special Events Staff. The site is turning into a popular venue for weddings and other events, and we need people to help with parking, setup and take down of tables and chairs, and managing these events.
We’re developing our volunteer lists now, and orientation and training will begin soon. Please call the Union County Commissioner’s Office at 706-439-6000 or Young Harris College at 706-379-5196 to place your name on the list. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to working with you at the Farm!
Sound file<a href="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16768406/15%20Winter%20Solstice.mp3
“Winter Solstice” sung to the tune of the ballad: “His Bright Smile Haunts Me Still.”
Traditional singer, Jeff Warner, learned this ballad from his parents, who collected it in the 1930s from a woman of Scottish descent living on the Outer Banks, NC.
Arranged and sung by Jacqueline Elsner, a Reece Society member, who is preparing a CD of Reece poems set to the tunes of the Scots-Irish-English ballads, such as those heard by Reece in Choestoe. At the 2013 annual meeting of the Reece Society, Jacqueline will share some of these poems/songs. The CD will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the Reece Society.
Jacqueline learned this tune, and many others, from Sheila Kay Adams, seventh generation ballad singer from Marshall, NC.”
The inclusion of the Reece Farm and Heritage Center in The Southern Literary Trail was celebrated on Friday, September 14 with members of the Board of Directors, Board of Advisors and members of the press present. Dr. John Kay, chair of the Byron Herbert Reece Society made remarks about the high honor, and then Mr. William Gantt of Birmingham, Director of the Southern Literary Trail was present and formally welcomed the Center into Literary Trail membership.
In his remarks Mr. Gantt said “When it comes to Byron Herbert Reece, both as a poet and an artist, he is unique among the writers of the Southern Literary Trail in a very significant way. We celebrate others…William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Erskin Caldwell and Borden Deal…who were born on farms and even lived on them for a part of their lives. But only Byron Herbert Reece dedicated his life to working the land that he wrote so passionately and poetically about… I have no doubt that the Southern writers whom we honor in our Literary Trail welcome him to their table.”
Click on the Southern Literary Trail logo to learn more about this prestigious organization.
The Reece Farm and Heritage Center is open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sunday from 1 pm until 5 pm. The site features a gift shop and museum at no charge, and a minimal admission fee for farming exhibits and access to the beautiful grounds along Wolf Creek.
An attentive audience
Dr. John Kay, Mr. Bill Starr of the Georgia Center for the Book, and Mr. William Gantt
Click The Pavilion above, or go here to find information about the beautiful pavilion by Wolf Creek!