Category Archives: Farm

Byron Herbert Reece Centennial Festival of Remembrance – September 23, 2017

Join us as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Byron Herbert Reece with special speakers, events, and music on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Reece Farm and Heritage Center

Highlights will include:

  • Barbeque and fixings from Evie’s Trolley
  • The North Georgia Chamber Symphony Quartet performing Reece favorites …
  • Readers Theatre dramatic reading from a 1979 project at Young Harris College …
  • Remarks by Pastor Jan Devereaux, who knew Reece’s brother …
  • Remarks by John Kay, founding Chairman of the Reece Society …
  • Information on the dedication of the Reece commemorative granite marker at the Reece Park on Blood Mountain

More coming soon!  Mark your calendars and plan to spend the day enjoying the mountains and honoring the life and talent of this native son.

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Join the Reece Society at the AJC Decatur Book Festival

The Reece Society will be represented at the AJC Decatur Book Festival for the first time.  Members of the Society will be available to sell Reece books and other items and to provide information on becoming a Society member and participating in their activities.

The AJC Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the country and this year will be held September 1-3.  The event is held in downtown Decatur and the festival and its many events are free and open to the public. For more information on the Festival, please visit their website at https://www.decaturbookfestival.com/.

We appreciate the assistance of Ken Boyd from Cherokee Publishing Company in making our participation in the festival possible.

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Reece Memorial Restored

A granite plaque has been installed at the Reece Park on Blood Mountain, on the boulder where the original bronze plaque was placed and later stolen in 1959.  Reece Society Chairman, Sanford Freeman, is shown with the newly installed memorial.

sanford and placque

The plaque contains the text of Reece’s poem, I Go By Ways of Rust and Flame, and will be dedicated at a future date, since weekend access during the hiking season is extremely limited. Thanks to the US Forest Service for their permission to replace this long-neglected memorial to Reece.

I Go by Ways of Rust and Flame
By Byron Herbert Reece

I go by ways of rust and flame
Beneath the bent and lonely sky;
Behind me on the ways I came
I see the hedges lying bare,
But neither question nor reply.

A solitary thing am I
Upon the roads of rust and flame
That thin at sunset to the air.
I call upon no word nor name,
And neither question nor reply
But walk alone as all men must
Upon the roads of flame and rust.

 

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Save the Date!

celebrate

The Byron Herbert Reece Centennial Festival of Remembrance

Saturday, September 23, 2017
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At the Reece Farm and Heritage Center

 

Join us as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Byron Herbert Reece with special speakers, events, and music.

Highlights will include:

  • The North Georgia Chamber Symphony Quartet performing Reece favorites …
  • Readers Theatre dramatic reading from a 1979 project at Young Harris College …
  • Remarks by Pastor Jan Devereaux, who knew Reece’s brother …
  • Remarks by John Kay, founding Chairman of the Reece Society …
  • Announcement of Reece commemorative granite marker at the Reece Park on Blood Mountain (to replace the bronze marker stolen from 1959 memorial) that will contain Reece’s poem, I Go By Ways of Rust and Flame, and a photo …

More information coming soon!  Mark your calendars and plan to spend the day enjoying the mountains and honoring the life and talent of this native son.

 

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4th Annual Maters & Music

11896438_533903573431313_239593042154306261_oSave the date!  Join us on Saturday, August 19, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the 4th Annual ‘Maters and Music at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center.  Enjoy FREE tomato sandwiches!  Eat your sandwich beside the creek while enjoying music from the Shady Grove UMC Bluegrass Band and the Appalachian St. Andrews Pipes & Drums.  While you’re there walk through the exhibits to learn more about the farm life in the Appalachian region in the early 20th century and the life and work of Byron Herbert Reece. Be sure to visit the gift shop for local crafts, foods, books, cards, and unique gift items.  Admission is free. It’s a great time to spend a day in the mountains!

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Fourteenth Annual Meeting Held on June 3rd

On the 59th anniversary of Reece’s death, 53 members and friends of the BHR Society gathered in the Union County Community Center in Blairsville for the 14th annual meeting.  The mood was upbeat, and the attendees enjoyed the renewal of friendships and the opportunity to become informed about Society activities.

Society chair Keith Jones presided over the meeting, which included approval of minutes, a financial report, an update from Reid Dyer (chair of the Farm Management Committee), an advance notice of Reece Centennial Activities that are in the works, and the report of the Nominations Committee and the election of directors for the coming year.  (Check the list of directors for 2017-2018 in the Society section of the website.) Special music was provided by Jackie Elsner and Jerry Taylor, who have produced a new CD of Christmas poems set to ballad tunes and selected organ music.  Jackie sang, a cappella, several of those poems, to the delight of all present.

Janice Moore, chair of the Literary Activities and Program Committee, introduced John Kay as the keynote speaker.  Chair of the founding committee and then chair of the Society for 12 years, Kay spoke on the topic of “Reece’s Legacy: Songs within Our Reach.”  The speech traced highlights of Reece’s literary legacy and challenged members of the Society to become faithful stewards of the songs that are now beyond the poet’s reach but remain within our own.  (Go to the Features page of our website if you wish to read this message.)

Following the address, the newly elected directors convened to elect officers for the coming year, while others in attendance began to enjoy the delicious buffet meal prepared by the Community Center food service staff.  The directors elected Sanford Freeman as the new chair, with Reid Dyer as vice chair, Debra March as treasurer, Carol Knight as recording secretary, and Bill Jernigan as membership secretary.

Please reserve the date of Saturday, June 2, 2018 for the 15th annual meeting of the Society, this time to be held at the Reece Farm and Heritage Center.

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A REECE REVERIE IN WINTER

During these winter months the Reece Farm awaits the coming spring when nature revives and the gates to this hallowed venue reopen to the public.  One can picture the Reece family hunkering down to withstand the bitter cold, enjoying close proximity to the welcomed warmth of the fireplace.   We may fancy that it was during a typical January evening that our poet was led to pen the words of the following poem, entitled “A Fire of Boughs” (from The Season of Flesh, 1955).

At onset of December
When the cold comes to stay
I bring boughs, leafed in May,
To feed the cheerful ember
And warm the wintry night.
Folded into his fur,
The cat disdains to stir
But dreams by firelight.
And I should follow suit
Except that boughs in turning
Shapeless in the burning
Alarms the more than brute
Caged within my being
That often plays at blind
But stirs and shakes my mind
With grave misgiving, seeing
Wood fall from coal to ash,
Its substance burned to nothing,
Its luminescent clothing,
Its shine, its flash,
Expended, one with night—
And is not comforted
That such translation shed
Both warmth and light.

What are your musings these winter days?  However pleasant or perplexing they may be, we hope you will plan to come our way again in April, where a visit to the Reece Farm and Heritage Center may bring you both warmth and light.

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