Category Archives: History

Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg

Written Word Wednesday – April 22 (Yes, I know it's Thursday, but just pretend it's Wednesday okay?

Rick Bragg recounts the life of his grandfather in Ava's Man, his second book.

He was just a man, I guess, whose wings never quite fit him right, who built dozens of pretty houses for Depression-era wages and never managed to build one for the people he loved the most, who could not read but always asked Ava to read him the newspaper so he would not be ignorant, who held iron bars and babies in his massive hands and called my momma "Pooh Boy," which makes me smile.

He died in the spring of 1958, one year before I was born.

I have never forgiven him for that. (From the prologue.)

Bragg masterfully pieces together the story and life of a grandfather he never met in Ava's Man. A grandfather who others held in such high esteem that it was years after his death before his children could even talk about without tears. Many hours spent listening to stories from family and friends gave him a glimpse of the amazing story of the man revered by so many.

Bragg's grandfather, Charlie Bundrum, raised his family in the midst of the depression and worked with his hands almost until he died. His is a story of a sort of man you find very few of these days. An adored, hard working father and husband who had a soft spot for good moonshine and  those in need even though he and his family were what we would now consider "those in need". 

Bragg brings together the stories of his grandfather's life that paints a picture of a type of man who here in the south becomes a sort of legend for those who knew him. A roofer by trade and mooshiner on the side, nothing was more important to him than his family. Never ashamed of his status in life, he lived life to the fullest.

Bragg writes, "What kind of man was this, I wondered, who is so beloved, so missed, that the mere mention of his death would make them cry forty-two years after he was preached into the sky? "

Again Bragg's magical way with the written word permeates the book and takes you back in time to a lost era.  Not only is it the story of his grandfather, it is also the story of many in the south during the depression and following years. It's not only a biography, but a history of life for many men in the south during those years.

I loved reading Ava's Man again to share here with you. Check your library or pick it up at your bookstore. You won't be dissappointed.


Photos of the Day

Playing catch up a little bit with my Photos of the Day.

March 19 – I went home for a visit and went by an old, old home that belonged to my great-great uncle who passed away several years ago. Last week arsonists burned it down. So sad. I'll be posting more about it soon with some older photos of it.

March 20 – Visiting my uncle's farm and met my cousin's puppy Annie.  Not sure what's up with me and all these dogs I keep meeting lately.

March 21 -  Visited the farm of my parents' next door neighbors. They own riding stables so there are lots of horses.

March 22 – Made muffins for our Sunday School class.


Just a few (okay, more than a few) photos from our trip to the Biltmore House. I’ll be back later this week with my thoughts on The Biltmore and the surrounding area as well as thoughts on traveling with a GPS for the first time and how DS did on the tour. Oh and probably more photos. Views of the mountains from the back balcony of the house. I’m planning on going back during the Fall. Can you imagine what the color will be like? My heart may not be able to take it. DS and my sis in a tree near the gardens. Not sure if tree climbing is allowed, but oh well. A view of the back of the house that we caught on the way to the winery. I’m sure it’s more obscured when the trees are in bloom. And now my favorites of the day. I couldn’t leave before the end of the day and seeing it with the Christmas tree aglow.


Frontier Days

So a few weeks ago we headed to Fort Toulouse/Ft. Jackson for Frontier Days. I went last year on a field trip while subbing in 1st grade and wanted to take DS back to see it. We had to go on Sunday, the last day and even though things were starting to wind down it was still a great experience. Next year I want to go earlier so DS can see more things. The reenactors stay in character and make it such an educational experience. So get ready for photo overload. I also want to go visit this place.