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9/30 10/13 10/6 September 2012 “Creating a Vibrant Community” Volume 2 Issue 11 8 Our West End Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 11 Our West End Newsletter Executive Director Preserves Writing and Storytelling Legacy By Charmayne B. Richardson What would you do if you opened your mailbox and saw what looked like material for a nest? What would you do if the next day there was no question; a bird had built a nest in your mailbox? If you were Joel Chandler Harris you would let the nest stay and get another mailbox. When the wrens built a nest in the second mailbox, Harris’s friends and family began calling the house “The Wren’s Nest.” This is how this 142 year old house, located in Atlanta’s West End, got its name. The legacy of Joel Chandler Harris and the antics of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear are alive and well at The Wren’s Nest. The Executive Director dedicated to making sure this historic structure in West End continues to be the gift that keeps on giving is Sue Gilman. Sue is no stranger to Historic West End. One can say without exaggeration that she was destined for this position. She was born on Lucille Avenue, two blocks north of The Wren’s Nest. For the majority of her youth she resided in the southwest and northwest quadrants of Atlanta. Further evidence that she was destined to be the Executive Director, Ms. Gilman attended Joel Chandler Harris Elementary School. Sue’s career in nonprofit organizations in development, marketing and executive director positions supplied the practical training. When the time was right after 15 years in the northeast, Sue’s destiny beckoned her from her work in New York and Vermont. The position she was groomed for brought her back home. Over time, West End has experienced several population shifts. It went from integrated to predominately white in the 50’s to predominately black in the 70’s, and its current population is more diverse. The Wren’s Nest was not immune to these changes. In 1913, Mrs. Harris sold the house to the Uncle Remus Society. At the time, they did not allow black people in the house. In 1984, the Uncle Remus Society was dissolved and The Joel Chandler Harris Association was established, thus ending many years of discrimination. As a result, some people never forget bad memories and pain. Just like good deeds become part of history, bad deeds have the same effect. When Sue Gilman proclaims, “Everyone is encouraged and welcome to visit The Wren’s Nest,” you believe it. “I want to do everything I can to (continued on page 7) The newsletter is published monthly. 1000 copies were printed in Sept. 2012. Copies are hand-delivered, free- of-charge, to all residents in the Historic West End neighborhood. Copies are also available at West End Library and West End Print Shop. Our volunteers: Denise Blake, Kari and Leslie Bray, Brent Brewer, Beth McBee, Charmayne B. Richardson, Mshairi, Kay Wallace, and our many neighborhood distributors. To advertise, submit stories or distribute, contact Brent Brewer at 404.447.0282 or firstname.lastname@example.org. About The Newsletter On The Cover 1,4,6: Who needs Living Walls art when we have diverse works from Art on Beltline. Can you locate these works? 2: September 30th. 6:30 PM. Kebbi Williams is back in Gordon-White Park with more original music. 3: October 13th. Save the Date! Tams perform at Old School Rock and Roll Benefit concert at Wren’s Nest Amphitheater. 4: October 6th. Morning. Tree Planting. 5: Publisher’s Note: OWEN will publish monthly for the remainder of the year. Saturday, September 27th, 10 AM Distributor’s Party. Distributors RSVP at 404.447.0282. 1 3 4 5 New Building 2 6 HISTORIC STREET TOPPERS Only $45 “Show Your Historic Pride” Make purchasing inquiries to WENDChat@yahoogroup.com They are Selling Fast so Pick Yours Up Now. 2 Our West End Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 11 Our West End Newsletter 7 President’s Corner Greetings Neighbors, Fall is in the air, football season is here, and cooler nights are around the corner. Don’t you love the distant sounds of the AU marching bands practicing and performing? Fall is a great time everywhere, but in West End, it seems even more special. So with fall on the way, get ready for a few Porch Parties, a Community Garage Sale on Sept. 22, Tree Planting on Oct. 6, followed by a Brew Club brewing class, a Pumpkin Carving Contest, and our annual December Holiday Party. This season West End seems like it is beginning to emerge from the housing slump. All the volunteering, image making and branding has helped. There are more new homeowners than ever before. This message is for you. Suburban neighborhoods often lack togetherness, cohesiveness and volunteerism. You probably moved here because you know that. I want to challenge you to take up the call of volunteerism. Get involved. Join WEND. Become an officer or join committees, but the greatest action is individual activism. Commit to your home and your block as your first priority. Got an abandoned lot? Mow it. Trash in front of your neighbor’s house? Pick it up. Suspicious behavior? Call 911. Plant flowers, be visible, spend time on your porch, get to know your neighbors. West End is known for Activism. Isn’t that why you moved here? Carl Nes, 2012 WEND President Sue Gilman (cont. from cover) strengthen our writing and storytelling on programs and our relationship to the neighborhood and, of course, maintain the historic integrity of the oldest House Museum in Atlanta.” She feels part of her stewardship is “holding the legacy of folklore.” Sue understands there was a time when feelings towards The Wren’s Nest were hostile but sees evidence everyday that we’ve moved into the 21st century. When you come, prepare to experience the beauty of the house of Joel Chandler Harris, the storytelling and the camaraderie of people from different backgrounds. The hours are 10:00am-2:30pm, Tuesday-Saturday with storytelling every Saturday at 1pm. The Wren’s Nest has created two creative writing programs in recent years. One is in the KIPP Strive Academy (formerly the Joel Chandler Harris School) where middle school students are paired with volunteer mentors to write their own story. In the second program, high school students create a literary journal consisting of the works of their peers. Both books are published and launched at the Decatur Book Festival every year. The programs, with their focus on writing, are in step with the goals of The Wren’s Nest that are championed by Executive Director, Sue Gilman, “preserving the legacy of writing and storytelling.” The Wren’s Nest is also the venue for the West End Farmers and Artisan Market every Sunday from noon to 4:00. Patchwork City Farms, a produce farm at Brown Middle School, and other vendors offer a variety of food and wares, much of it from the neighborhood. Being in the company of Sue Gilman the person destined to be the Executive Director of The Wren’s Nest you are confident that legacy will prevail. Home Grown Brewmaster Brews Final Batch Influence on West End Felt for a Generation West End Brew Club Saturday, October 6th 2012 Come share a toast and good wishes to Darek and Ewelina Space Limited. Call 404.755.200 for reservations. By Mshairi Sad to say Not everyone knows what it is to know love. Thou I know Love … is … you. Kissing boo boos and bandaging knees. Nurturing me and finding a source of energy after long shifts and short pay. Graceful yet aggressive Like Gazelles in African jungles You’re comfort, Like moonlight on foggy nights Made me stand up straight and use eye contact. Be respectful and never slack. Don’t isolate, but never give too much away. Love, smile, meditate, pray. You … are … Love The backbone that allows courage to travel through my veins. Patient and anxious for me to grow into my destiny … My laughter rejuvenates your spirit, Your spirit makes me have grand smiles. As real as daily sun rises, Your love takes me high … high… high … Loneliness is unfamiliar Support is our only creed Considering when there are wants Supplying when there are needs. Fortunate I am, to have family, so true, that You are love and Love … is… you. Familiar Love WE 6 Our West End Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 11 Our West End Newsletter 3 Child’s Perspective on Local Food Production What is Local Food? by Kari Bray We get some of our food from our garden and from other gardens in our neighborhood. First it's a seed, then it grows, then people put it in the stores (or on their plates). This is the garden where the market food is grown. It's a big garden. This is Mrs. Haylene (Kay) Hightower, the lady who mommy gets the Hibiscus Sorrel Tea from at the West End Farmers' Market. These are tropical pumpkins that Mrs. Kay grows in her garden. They are very large (and you could never get this vegetable at Kroger’s). This is Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Jamila. They are at the market on Sundays when we come to get food. We like to get kale, salad greens, peppers, sometimes tomatoes and one time we got garlic. This is me, Kari. We have plants in the garden at Rose Circle. I like to water with this can. We're growing lots of tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and squash. Our plants have really grown because they were really little when we started. West End Historic District City Hall Information 404-330-6000 Sanitary Services 404-330-6333 Code Enforcement 404-330-6190 Housing Programs 404-330-6390 Sewer Operations 404-624-0750 Traffic & Transportation 404-330-6501 Police Zone 1 404-799-4287 Police Zone 4 404-756-1903 Important City Hall Numbers Rose Circle Community Garden Patchwork City Farms at Brown Middle School Mrs. Hightower’s Personal Garden on RDA West End Farmer’s Market at Wren’s Nest 4 Our West End Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 11 Our West End Newsletter 5 Merchants Embrace Clean and Green Initiative The West End Clean and Green Campaign is more than just the words printed on this page or thoughts of a committee dreaming up a hollow promise. West End Clean and Green is a bonafide action item, conceived one day and implemented the next. The reason for this action was motivated by the West End Merchants Coalition (WEMC) Marketing Committee’s desire to make WEMC visible, viable, and accountable to the community. Visible because we want merchants to know that our existence is more than just talk, viable because the organization is supporting continued positive change, and accountable because the organization is embarking on projects that have measurable results. The first phase of the West End Clean and Green Campaign is removingtrash from pedestrian areas in the business district. This area includes York, RDA, Lee, Oak, Lowery Boulevard and sections of Lawton and Peeples streets. We have a lot of feet on the street with no trash receptacles; we counted a total of two. Look for crew members in neon green shirts with rolling trashcans marked with the same neon colored signs. On their first day out it took the crew all day and they filled a small dumpster. When you see them please convey your appreciation. The next phase will be placing permanent trash cans along high-traffic corridors that will be serviced regularly. The campaign will also include incentives and mechanisms to encourage our patrons and residents to help us keep our streets clutter- free. Marketing Committee Chairman Jason Clifton says “I am excited about this project and encourage WE merchants, residents, and patrons to embrace this initiative by offering ideas and suggestions as we move forward.” ye contact. Be respectful and never slack. Don’t isolate, but never give too much away. Love, smile, meditate, pray. You … are … Love The backbone that allows courage to travel through my veins. Patient and anxious for me to grow into my destiny … My laughter rejuvenates your spirit, Your spirit makes me have grand smiles. As real as daily sun rises, Your love takes me high … high… high … Loneliness is unfamiliar Support is our only creed Considering when there are wants Supplying when there are