Alabama Rural Heritage Center, Thomaston ALFriday, March 17, 2006
We bought a few small things - nothing huge, but I was just wide-eyed at how great everything is, and want to go back really soon.
The whole thing is just amazing. Not only their facility, but their purpose.
Outside this building is this sign:
Other items that are sold in the shop include everything from pine needle baskets to pottery, music boxes to quilts - made by people who aren't well known, to people who are - like Charlie Lucas, Gee's Bend quilters, and Jerry Brown. And more.
The Center's brochure lists their six basic goals:
* To preserve and celebrate our rural heritage
* To protect and demonstrate diverse cultural contributions to our rural heritage
* To provide opportunitites for cultural enrichment
* To encourage economic development which enhances the lifestyle of rural citizens and small-town America
* To conserve, develop, and promote the unique handicrafts of rural life, exhibit and market handicrafts, and assist groups and individuals who wish to produce crafts
* To improve and enhance the quality of life for citizens of small towns and rural areas.
How could you not love a place like that!? Their director, Gayle - well, she is the exact right person for that job. Just wonderful. I told her that I've thought a zillion times about how much fun it would be to have a shop of Alabama-made things, and she and her foundation have really done it. I'm going to send off for us to become members, and I'm going to try to help them however I can.
They have a website here, but really it's something to be seen *in person*!