BenTha'er-Horizons

Anne of Green Gables

Anne Shirley's Play

Last night Bob and I did something a bit out of the ordinary. We went over to South Albany High School and watched a play put on by the students of “Anne of Green Gables”. The student playing “Anne with an E” was a great fit. She seemed to match the personality of Anne quite well. Bubbly and talkative. She had the red hair and pigtails necessary. She also looked and acted very much like Jasmine, Melissa’s daughter. She certainly seemed like she could be a big sister to Jasmine. One can get caught up in the illusion of bosom buddies, kindred spirits, Lake of Shining Waters, Diana Barry, Gilbert Blythe, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert all over again. It was a pleasant evening…….one filled with memories of books holding girlish memories and adult joy of visiting Green Gables. Another view of Green Gables house with Bob near by.

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A view of “Anne with an E” ’s room……….
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Memorable First Sentences

There are those questions that make you think and engender others to share their thoughts too in answer. I read a blog post today on the blog, Richochet, that was written by Peter Robinson. He is a very interesting fellow who interviews many leading figures of our times. The interviews are fascinating discussions and certainly, he has to craft questions that enhance dialogue and therefore, learning. His question on this blog was about which books have individuals read, in this case, autobiographies, with memorable first sentences. One of his examples is the superb autobiography of Ulysses S. Grant. The comment section went on to include thoughts from members on their favorite first sentences. I jump into books so fast that I am past a first sentence in light year speed. So, I went back to see what LMM wrote for “Anne of Green Gables”. It is long, yet pulls you right in to the heart of the story about a girl and Avonlea.

“Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies’ ear drops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde’s Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.”

IMG_3805Haunted Wood Hollow at Green Gables House
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Anne and Lucy

Why is “Anne of Green Gables” so fascinating and intriguing for people that there is such a cottage industry built up around the author’s childhood home? I have visited Margaret Mitchell’s home in Atlanta and while it gets a lot of attention, there is not nearly the people visiting nor the infrastructure surrounding it. Does Anne have a deeper grip on our inner person, do we relate more to her than Scarlett of Gone WithThe Wind? Or does Atlanta have so many other draws that drain away a lot of the interest in Scarlett, therefore Margaret Mitchell?I loved both books in different ways. Anne reached out to me as an only child with her forays into her new world and trying to fit in at home and at school. LMM’s relatives who maintain her legacy said she wrote in her diaries every day. The diaries are now being published over time slowly by her relatives. One could purchase the prior volumes at the homesite bookstore. I bought a small Anne figure for my desk and an interesting book of photos and writings of and about LMM there. The family autographed the book for me though I assume they do that for many people there. It is comforting to sneak a little bit of your childhood into your life. (VT)IMG_3872
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