Hunter Relative Byrom Herbert Reece's Farm and Heritage
Yesterday we went to the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center in Union County, just next to Vogle State Park, about ten miles south of Blairsville.
Byron was a farmer, poet, and teacher with the priorities in that same order. He had to be a farmer to keep his parents fed and warm; in his mind he was a constant prose creator, which is where his heart was, and well, being a teacher paid the bills.
Then to make it interesting, or worse, Byron had a TB. If a hardship or pain feeds on creativity - then Byron had an unfair advantage over other suffering artists. He was very creative, but sad and depressed a lot of the time. Yes, that is a cigarette he is holding in his hand. He smoked more than a chain-smoker.
He took his own life at age 40, after grading his students papers at Young Harris College.
He was Georgia's Official Poet.
All this was on a video we watched at his heritage center and a book we own that Anna read aloud while I drove.
We got to walk around the same farm Byron worked and everything was neatly labeled.
I am a 4th cousin to Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1948), - we share the same g-g-g-grandfahter (John Hunter (1776-1848)), otherwise we may have never went there.
Distant relative or not, I'm glad we did. The docent is very informed and quoted him exactly a few times. There is no charge, but it would help pay for the upkeep if you bought something.
The Heritage Center Museum
The above and below picture is Byron Herbert Reece's "Man Cave"so to speak. It was his refuge for privacy to write, read, correspond and think.
A friend and distant relative told me his good and bad experience in this barn. The good was that he kissed a girl the first time. The bad was that it was his cousin.
What I should have said, "What did you expect, you are related to everybody in a ten mile radius!"
There are four groups like this with some parts of Byron' poetry etched in stones and sitting rocks around it.