Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird... A Glimpse of Maycomb

Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning; ladies bathed before noon, after their 3 o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go and nothing to buy... and no money to buy it with. Although Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself... That summer, I was six years old. (paraphrased from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

One of my favorite lines from my favorite book.... Today I lived a dream I have had for a very long time.  I finally visited the Monroe County Heritage Museum in Monroeville, Alabama.  For those who don't know, let me briefly educate you on this bit of Southern history.  Monroeville is home to the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Mrs. Nell Harper Lee.  Mrs. Lee grew up in Monroeville and still lives there today.  Her next door neighbor was, of all people, Truman Capote!  Imagine that....two famous authors growing up as children next door to each other in a sleepy Southern town.  Goes to show you that if you dream it, you truly can achieve it!

So, here's how it all came to pass...I really felt strongly about our 9th grade students reading TKAM this year, so I went to my 9th grade English teacher, a dear friend, and asked her to read the book with her students.  She adores this book, too, so she didn't need much arm twisting convincing!  I went in as a guest reader from time to time (after all, it IS my favorite book!!), and we discussed the possibilities of taking this trip to help bring literature to life for our students.  We magically worked it all out somehow, (she has THE BEST principal EVER.....hahahaha!  ---- that's me for those that don't know that!!)  Of course, the principal HAS to accompany the kids on the field trip...we were crossing state lines!!  LOL!!

I have to tell you, I had the BEST time ever.  I LOVED seeing those kids' faces, seeing the light in their eyes with a book coming to life right there where it all started.  Seeing them being transported back into the past, watching their faces as they made the connections to the book...AMAZING!  If you ever get the chance to visit Monroeville, Alabama, do yourself a favor and stop by the Monroe County Heritage Museum.  If you've never read To Kill a Mockingbird, I encourage you to do so.  You won't be disappointed.

Here are a few photos I took today.  (I took WAY more than this, but I don't want to run everyone off right away!!)  Hope you enjoy this little glimpse of "Maycomb".


Can't you just see the courtroom filled with townspeople awaiting the trial..
No detail has been spared to restore the courtroom to its 1930s appearance...
The balcony...look at the tin ceiling!
A view of the outdoor set for the upcoming production of the play. It's held each April and May and draws visitors from around the United States and even international guests...
It was a great day, and we finished it off by serving the kids a picnic lunch on the courthouse grounds. Fried chicken and potato salad, of course! It's a day I won't ever forget, and I know they won't forget either.
If you ever head down this way, stop and pay them a visit. Get some fresh squeezed lemonade from Dawn Brewton of Front Porch Lemonade. She'll be happy to point you in the right direction and make you feel right at home.
It will be worth the trip, I promise.

Until tomorrow, dear friends!


17 comments:

  1. How pretty, Farica!! That is so cool! What a big job of being a principal :)

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  2. Allyson, I just adore my job and everything about it. Even the bad days are good days!! I am blessed beyond belief!!

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  3. Nice to meet you Farica..what a pretty name! Hope to see you next Monday for my weekly Newbie party. You will be sure to make new friends on that day as well. Thanks so much for your sweet comment. I look forward to seeing you again.

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  4. Debbie, I'm sooo honored to have you comment on my site!!! I will definitely see you next Monday for your weekly Newbie party. I'll have to try to come up with something that won't run everyone off. :) Thank you again for your comment. I'm just tickled for you about your magazine spread!! I can't wait!!!!

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  5. Farica, I remember when I read TKAM for the first time. I just about broke my neck running to the school library to check out ALL the books written by Mrs. Lee. I was so disappointed when the librarian told me she hadn't written any others. :(
    What a dream field trip...would love to go there some day. Maybe I'll do it this spring or summer...it's not that far from GA. :) Congrats on blogging...you'll have sooo much fun!

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  6. Hi, Susan! WOW!! Another AMAZING person posting on my humble blog!! I am soooo honored!! Oh, I remember that same disappointment when I learned that was the only book she wrote. I guess if you do it right the first time, how could you top that? I would definitely encourage you to take a visit to Monroeville. I only live about an hour and a half away, and my son went to college there and played baseball. It's a lovely town, and you won't be dispappointed in the museum. Thanks for the congrats...I know nothing, but I will learn eventually!! Again, I'm sooo honored to have a comment from you ladies I hold in such high regard. :)

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  7. Hi Farica, I stumbed into your blog and find the good post of Southern US. Glad to know the history of the other part of the world.

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  8. Hi, Terrie! I just became a follower of your blog after viewing your site. I think your ceramics are great! So glad you stumbled across my blog. So very nice to meet you!!

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  9. Thanks for coming by...I have been reading your blog and I can say...you are off to a GOOD start...WELCOME to BLOGLAND...you will love it here!!!

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  10. Hi Farica, thank you for your nice comments on my blog! You can stalk anytime you want!LOL!! I'm a stalker myself...Your blog looks wonderful! I looked at some of your photos and your home is just beautiful! Looking forward to seeing more...Kristen

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  11. Hi Farica! Nice to "meet" you ... thanks so much for your visit and sweet note about my home! Yes, I'm a PB addict, too ... look forward to seeing what both of us snatch up from there down the road. What a fabulous field trip ... how wonderful you are a principal! My mother is a retired college professor and my older sisters and aunt are teachers, too. I know your students had a blast while learning, too! I'm now following you, too. *Becca*

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  12. Farica, thanks for that wonderful post. I will definitely have to visit there someday. As Linda said, you are off to a wonderful start. You have inspired me to get busy with my blog. I have so much to learn but I'm excited. Have a great day.

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  13. Hi Farica, Congratulations on being a great principal. My husband is a devoted teacher. In fact so dedicated he has been away all week with class at camp out in woods. He only gets 2 or 3 or 4 hours sleep a nite doing work.....I think his medical school plans early on would have been easier!Your trip looks great and our youngest just read this book and really liked it.Our oldest is now in grad school starting in August. My mom was a teacher and College of Charleston grad... I think I will never finish school!Thank you for your wonderful blog, Emelia.

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  14. Farica what a wonderful job you have. Beautiful post!

    Thank you for coming by and leaving me a sweet comment. It's good to hear from again. You will enjoy blogging very much. Welcome!

    Warmly, ~Melissa

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  15. hi, Farica, thanks so much for the sweet note & introducing yourself! I have been a bad blogger lately & have not taken time to comment much at all with the things I have going on in my life. But so nice to meet you. Your blog looks beautiful & I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I love TKAM, it's one of my all time fave books & I found a yardsale copy last year & treasure it. Had to read it all over again.

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  16. Farica, thanks for bringing this town to life for me and everyone else reading! I'm putting this on my list of places that I must see! You know how I love finding the unexpected things in small towns!

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  17. Farica, I loved your post. I've had the good fortune to be friends with someone who grew up in Monroeville...I live about 2 hours up the road from Monroeville. A visit to Monroeville and a tour around town is definitely on my bucket list and I love your photographs. I do need to tell you that Nell Harper Lee never married and people around Monroeville who've known her all her life still call her Nell.
    Thank you for bringing TKAM to lfe for all the students!!
    Susan

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