JULY 11, 2010
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Wow! What an amazing weekend! The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird was a HUGE success! In the months preceeding the event, our little town received global news coverage, and millions of television viewers got to know Monroeville over a weekend of intensive broadcast coverage. While we love being in the media spotlight, we are even prouder of the feedback we got from guests who found their way to south Alabama to celebrate at the courthouse with us.
A very dedicated and hard-working group of staff members and volunteers made the weekend happen. So we say thank you, thank you, thank you! Our staff is pictured with the Mockingbird birthday cake: Gail Deas, Stephanie Rogers, Nathan Carter, Suzanne Nicholas, Maconica Sawyer, Jane Ellen Clark and Wanda Green. Great job, everyone!
JULY 11, 2010
'OUR MOCKINGBIRD' DRAWS RAVES!
Sandy Jaffe’s documentary, Our Mockingbird, was screened in the courtroom of the Old Courthouse Museum on Saturday evening, July 10. The documentary, which follows high school students from completely different sides of Birmingham who collaborate on a play production of To Kill a Mockingbird, received an enthusiastic standing ovation. Scholars, writers and other voices help bring the powerful message of Mockingbird into focus in the documentary. Many of these documentary interview subjects attended the screening. Still a work in progress, Jaffe’s documentary looks headed for major success.
JULY 11, 2010
VISITORS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE DISCOVER MONROEVILLE
The 50th Anniversary celebration of To Kill a Mockingbird drew a very diverse crowd to Monroeville for the weekend. Southern hospitality went into overdrive as locals welcomed visitors from all across the U.S. and beyond. Here are just a few highlights:
Our Canadian visitors fell in love with turnip greens. After years of eating only the roots, they suddenly realized they may have been eating the wrong end of the vegetable. We are so very happy to have played a part in this epiphany, and we hope word spreads across the chilly north that leafy turnip greens are not only delicious, but also good for you!
One Connecticut couple captured the hearts of all romantic Mockingbird fans. Christopher Narowski (pictured with his wife) knew To Kill a Mockingbird was his wife’s favorite novel, so when her 40th birthday approached this summer, he searched the Internet for a Mockingbird event that would make the perfect birthday surprise. He struck gold when he landed at www.tokillamockingbird.com and saw that Monroeville was hosting THE celebration of the novel’s 50th anniversary. When he surprised his wife, Kirsten, with a July trip to hot and humid Alabama, she had her doubts. But they both said the weekend “exceeded all expectations.” They had to retreat a few times to the cool of their air-conditioned motel, but Christopher and Kirsten had a terrific time. In fact, they’re already planning a trip back to see the play next spring. Plus, Kirsten, a schoolteacher, will have lots to share with her students when they read To Kill a Mockingbird next year. Harper Lee was right when she said Mockingbird is at its heart a “love story”!
We thought our guest from Poland had traveled the fartherest to celebrate in Monroeville, until a family from Copenhagen, Denmark, showed up for cake and ice cream on Sunday. It was way too hot to go check an atlas for verification, so we just declared them all winners and welcomed them to Monroeville with a double serving of birthday cake!
JULY 10, 2010
THE BIRTHDAY CAKE ARRIVES
Lauren & Wiley of the Pastry Shop in Mobile, Alabama have created an absolutely AMAZING birthday cake for To Kill a Mockingbird. The cake is a recreation of the knot-hole tree from the novel. A true work of art, the cake is made of white, milk and dark chocolate over several different types of cake. The cake weighs in at 100 pounds and even the treasures left by Boo in the knot hole (soap dolls, chewing gum and Indian-head pennies) are edible! Be sure to join us on the courthouse lawn at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 11 for cake and ice cream to celebrate the 50th birthday of To Kill a Mockingbird. Lauren is pictured above delivering the cake to Stephanie Rogers at the museum.
JULY 10, 2010
CELEBRATION OF MOCKINGBIRD FOOD DRAWS RAVES
Chefs Clifton and Maureen Holt of Little Savannah restaurant in Birmingham dazzled the crowd at the Hybart House Museum and Cultural Center on Friday evening with an amazing spread of Southern food direct from the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird. The menu included fried chicken, baked ham, turnip greens, potato salad, sliced tomatoes, cornbread and a special tribute to the classic Lane Cake -- Lane Cupcakes. "The turnip greens were the best I've ever eaten," was heard throughout the house. But it was the tomatoes that caused a sensation. The Holts, who have built their reputation serving delicious Southern food fresh from local farmers, arrived from Birmingham with flats of heirloom tomatoes. Of course in the 1930s, when Mockingbird is set, these heirloom tomatoes were just tomatoes. Uniformly round and blemish-free hybrid tomatoes were never on Calpurnia's table. And thanks to the Holts, the taste and beauty of real tomatoes were back on the table in Monroe County!