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October 31, 2013

Remember Handy Writer’s Colony Nov. 9 at Marshall Library

Take a trip back into Marshall’s rich history on Nov. 9 at the Marshall (Ill.) Public Library. A free program, “Remembering Handy Writer’s Colony,” will be presented at 1 p.m. in the library’s Dale McConchie meeting room.

James Turner, nephew of Lowney Handy, will moderate a conversation about the writers and what was happening at the unique writers’ colony during the 1940s and 1950s.

A panel of former colony members will speak about their experiences at the Handy Colony and since: Don Sackrider, now from Freeland, Wash., and Key Biscayne, Fla.; John Bowers of New York, N.Y.; Kenny Snedeker, who resides in Marshall; and Jon Shirota of Hacienda Heights, Calif.

A collection of items from the colony and about James Jones will be on display in the library. This display is on loan from Turner for the month of November. Books written about the colony and Jones, and also books by other colony writers are available at the library.

After the library program, take a short drive to see the remaining colony cottage plus the “Ramada” grounds. Handy Writers’ Colony no longer exists; however, the “Ramada,” where the writers and Handy prepared and ate their meals, and one of the sleeping cabins still stand and are privately owned. The owner of the cabin will welcome the public for a tour that day only.

Snedeker will be on hand to answer questions about the colony.

The former colony grounds can be found by driving west on Archer Avenue from the library to Holly Lane on the right. Holly Lane leads to private residences. You will be instructed where to park and shown the residence that can be toured. The former Jones home is not available for tours.

This program is in conjunction with the 2013 James Jones Literary Society Symposium. This international literary society is convening in Charleston, Ill., at Eastern Illinois University on Nov. 7, and then in Robinson on Nov. 8, where college and high school students will learn about the literature and legacy of Jones. The program and tour in Marshall will conclude the three-day event.

The James Jones WWII Chair Lecture Series program, “From the Sands of Iwo Jima: Two Veterans Recall Their Battle Experiences,” will be open to the public at Eastern Illinois University’s Lumpkin Hall Auditorium. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 and will feature a veteran from the 5th Marine Tank Battalion on Iwo Jima and a Navy Boatswain’s Mate who served on Saipan, Tinian, Guam and Iwo Jima.  Ray Elliott will serve as moderator for the panel.

For more information or to register for the Handy Colony program, contact the library at 217-826-2535 or marshallpubliclibrary@gmail.com. The library is at 612 Archer Ave.

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