Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Yearling Restaurant

Pam Schwartz and I went to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park (18700 S. Cr 325 Cross Creek, Hawthorne, FL 32640) which is the former homestead of Pulitzer Prize-winning Florida author. Marjorie, a native of Washington, DC, and her husband Charles purchased a 75-acre (30 ha) orange grove in 1929, including the old dogtrot house. They set about enlarging and adapting the house to their use, and both developed their careers as writers. Marjorie first achieved significant notice with stories published in Scribner's Magazine, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 for The Yearling. Her writing was infused with details from the central Florida region where she made her home. Upon her death in 1953, the property was bequeathed to a foundation of the University of Florida. It has been managed by the state ever since, the house opening to the public in 1970.

After a tour of the home, we went to the Yearling Restaurant down the road 14531 East County Road 325 Hawthorne, Florida 32640)for some local dishes, and live music. Willie Green who Hails from Alabama, delivers authentic down home blues at The Yearling daily. He has been called "The Real Deal" by slide guitar legend John Hammond, and has played with many of the greats.

Willie told me that another artist had done a painting of him that was sold for plenty of cash. Willie didn't see a dime from that sale. Should anyone like to purchase this sketch, I would be glad to send a percentage down Willies way so that he can feel good about sharing his music with people down near the Rawlings home. Otherwise it will get filed away along with thousands of others like it in my library of sketchbooks documenting Central Florida arts and culture. Should you stop in to the Yearling Restaurant, be sure to let Willie know I sent you.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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