Tag Archives: rabbit hutch

Place + Memory on the Road: On to Ohio!

"This is a big freakin’ car!"

"This is a big freakin’ car!"

Project Producer Shea Shackelford in West Virginia, heading to Dayton, Ohio.

Dayton is the site of the third Place + Memory radio story—one on the National Cash Register Company.

Of the rental Chevy Malibu he’s driving, Shea has this to say: It’s fancy and new and I can plug the iphone into the stereo.  I hate to admit how much I like driving this car; it’s huge and powerful and smooth.

You can hear Shea live on the radio tonight (8-11pm EST)  on WYSO,  our partner for “Miami Valley Memories.”

Our First Radio Piece — The Rabbit Hutch — Airs Saturday on NPR!


Our radio story on the Rabbit Hutch restaurant in Logan, AL — the first in the Place + Memory series of pieces for National Public Radio — airs this Saturday (July 18, 2009) on Weekend Edition.

Visit NPR’s Station Finder to locate an NPR radio station in your area. You can also listen online at Weekend Edition Saturday.

Call the Project memory hotline with your story of a loved-location-lost today! 888-910-2555

UPDATE– We Need Your Help!!

The radio story on the Rabbit Hutch is now slated to air in late June on NPR’s Weekend Edition (we’ll announce the actual date here as soon as we have it). We’re honing in on ideas for our second radio story, and the web designers are working to have the online map ready for folks to start adding their own lost place/memories in just a couple of weeks.

A Treasure from the past: old menu from The Rabbit Hutch Family Restaurant in Logan, AL

A Treasure from the past: old menu from The Rabbit Hutch Family Restaurant in Logan, AL

NOW– we need your stories!
We’re looking for more stories for the radio series, and for the online map. Stories of places gone but dearly remembered—that have left their mark on you so clearly—just their mention brings them instantly back to life and you feel compelled to share them. Places that have ceased to be, except in our memories. It might be the factory that was once the heart-beat of your hometown; the dive bar where you saw your first punk band, had your first drink; the quirky country restaurant specializing in everything rabbit; your grandparents farm that is now a shopping mall …

Below are some questions and ideas to get the ideas and memories flowing.  Leave your comments here, or better, send us an email: placeandmemory@bigshed.org

About Your Memory:

specifically, where was it?
what was it called?
how would you categorize it? (using the list below or by adding a new one)
Give us a brief description
What’s the strongest memory you have of the place?

Businesses (restaurants, stores, shops, bowling alleys, barber shops, etc.)
Cites and towns
(razed by nature, land re-purposed for water/power, etc.)
Schools and churches
(closed, consolidated, etc.)
Neighborhoods that have disappeared
(re-developed, gentrified, aged, etc.)
Natural environments
(mountains, lakes, rivers, parks, views, beaches, islands)
Roads and bridges
(country roads, state highways, ferries)
Public/private gathering places
(street corners, people’s homes, etc.)
Other countries
(changes in government, war, natural disaster)
Buildings and monuments (or other large public edifices like statues, stadiums, public facilities)

The whole rabbit (more audio excerpts)

Tony and his wife were good friends of the Venz family when they were operating the farm and restaurant in Logan, AL. He found this card for us … quite a prize. Talking to strangers with microphones is not something he would normally do, Tony told us, but in support of the Venz’s he made an exception and invited us onto his porch swing (squeak, squeak ;-)). This is an unedited audio clip from that interview.

Rabbit Hutch Road Trip Day #2 … we found it!

278 out of Cullman, county route ???? somewhere near Smith Lake–can’t really say how we got there, but we found the building that housed the Venz family restaurant, The Rabbit Hutch, which closed in the mid-ninties. It’s the subject of the first in our radio series, PLACE + MEMORY.

It’s Fun to Be the Link

We’re experimenting with something new for us–uploading raw audio clips from the day’s interviews.  Getting to talk with everyone is the best part of the road work (that and sampling tasty pies), and we want to share a taste with you.

This is an unedited clip from our first interview with Joe Sides.  Joe’s a long-time customer of the Rabbit Hutch and friend of the Venz’s.  Joe is talking about taking his friends out to Logan, AL.

Place #1 … The Venz Rabbit Hutch Restaurant

shea's prized menu

shea's prized menu

We’ve started work on the Place + Memory project for the Maker’s Quest 2.0 grant (woohoo!!).

Our first target is the Venz Rabbit Hutch Restaurant in Logan, Alabama.  This was a family-owned/operated gem, which sadly closed in mid 1990s.  Shea’s been talking about this place for years, and we’re finally doing a story about it.  Yesterday we drove from NC to Alabama, ate some fine meals, stopped  in South Pittsburg, TN to say hello, met Shea’s folks for dinner in Huntsville, and set up interviews for the weekend with members of the Venz family and several former customers.

At the end of a long day, a La Quinta hotel room had never looked so good.

We’re running around the state now, but as soon as we get to sit down again, we’ll upload more goodies.

More to come…