Friday, May 23, 2008

Library Travelers to visit Atlanta Cyclorama and Zoo

The Chambers County Library Travelers will visit the Atlanta Cyclorama and Zoo on June 24. Cost for the trip, which is non-refundable and for adults only, is $35. The fee covers transportation and tickets to the Zoo and Cyclorama. Food services are available at the Zoo and individual or group picnic lunches are permissable. Registration is now underway and must be done in person. Telephone registration will not be permitted. A 49 passenger bus will be used and seats will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Among the Zoo's most notable holdings are three giant pandas, Lun Lun, Yang Yang, and Mei Lan, on loan from China's Chengdu Zoo until 2009. Lun Lun gave birth to Mei Lan on September 6, 2006 after being the focus of a captive-breeding program for seven years.

The $4.5 million Ford African Rain Forest habitat is home to 24 western lowland gorillas, one of the two largest collections of the species in North America. Recently, one of the gorillas gave birth to twins, a very rare occurence among gorillas in general and extremely rare in captive ones.

Nowhere can the true drama of the Civil War battle of Atlanta be more appreciated than at the Cyclorama. Visitors step back to July 22, 1864 and experience the Battle of Atlanta. The heroism of soldiers fighting bravely for causes they believed in is brilliantly portrayed as the painting, foreground figures, music and narratives are combined.

The Cyclorama has been on display in Atlanta since 1893 and is the longest running show in the United States.

This is your opportunity to visit two of the South's most well-known attractions. Register today! The bus will leave the Bradshaw Library parking lot on the 24th at 8:00 a.m. and return about 6:00 p.m. Additional information may be obtained by calling the library at 334-768-2161.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rheta Grimsley Johnson to Appear at Next Lunch N Learn

Rheta Grimsley Johnson, nationally known reporter and columnist, will be the featured speaker at the H. Grady Bradshaw Library's June 12 Lunch and Learn program. She will review her latest book, Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana.

Having covered the South for over three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist, Johnson's reporting has won numerous awards including the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award for human interest reporting, 1983; the Headliner Award for commentary, 1985; and the American Society of Newspaper Editors' Distinguished Writing Award for commentary, 1982.

In 1986 Johnson was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame and in 1991 she was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Syndicated today by King Features, her column appears in about 50 papers nationwide. She is the author of several books, including America's Faces and Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz.

For more than a decade, the nationally syndicated columnist spent several months a year in southwest Louisiana, deep in the heart of Cajun country. Unlike many writers who have spent only a few days there, Rheta fell in love with the place, bought a second home and set in planting azaleas and deep roots. She wrote her latest novel based on her exciting experiences in the area. It's a book that is both a personal odyssey and good reporting, travelogue and memoir, funny and frank. Its setting is as exotic as it gets without a passport!

These days, much is labeled Cajun that is not, and the popularity of the unque culture's food, songs and dance has been a mixed blessing. The revival of French Louisiana's traditional music and cuisine often has been cheapend by counterfeits. Confused pilgrims sometimes look to New Orleans for a sampler planner of all things Cajun. Close, but no cigar. Poor Man's Provence defines what's what through lively characters and stories. Rheta shares what keeps her coming home to French Louisiana in anecdotes that are as crisply-written as they are tellingly true.

Mary Hamilton, Director of Chambers County Libraries, in announcing Johnson's impending visit, stated "We are indeed fortunate to have Rheta Grimsley Johnson to make this presentation. All of us are looking forward to hearing her review her latest book and we've been told it's her best . "

Call the Bradshaw Library at 768-2161 to regsiter for a free lunch which will be served at 11:30 a.m. Johnson's presentation will begin at noon. At the conclusion of her presentation she will be available to sell and autograph copies of her book.