“Well, I grew up in Upstate New York. Both of my…in Hudson Valley…both of my parents are from Georgia. My father was born and raised in Bainbridge, Georgia on our family farm. My mother grew up in Buckhead.
They moved to New York for their careers, and that’s where I was basically born and raised. And my parents have always been very fascinated by antiques, architecture, history, old buildings.
And, I got my first taste of historic preservation when they decided to restore an 1863 Revival house in Hudson, New York.
And so that was basically my childhood, was watching this house being fixed up, living in some rooms while other rooms were being completed. So that’s where I really got a taste for, uh, historic preservation. I always have been fascinated by the history and had an affinity for it as a child.
I was born in Boston, and when I was about two I moved to Upstate New York in Hudson. And that’s where I grew up. And I was about two hours north of the city. Uh, but it was kind of interesting because both of my parents were very Southern. So, I kinda lived in two places. I grew up, went to school in New York. But, in the summertime we would go to the Carolinas and Georgia to see family and vacation.
So when it was time to go to school, go to university, I decided I was going to leave the cold, dark North and go south. And I decided to go to Mercer University.
I remember my first, when I came to visit, I kinda just fell in love with the city, just how pleasing and pretty it was. It just felt pretty. And it was kinda like an energy. It just felt very welcoming.
Mercer gave me an academic scholarship, which made it affordable for me to go there.
Honestly, when I went to Mercer, I was, you know, very involved with the university culture. So all I really knew was Mercer, where to buy groceries, and the local watering holes.
But, once I graduated, I decided to stay in Macon. I, uh, secured a job here at Hay House which was very important to me, with my appreciation for history.
But, once I really started to live here is when I really got to really appreciate, love, and adore this city. When I became involved in the community, what I found fascinating was how kinda strong the community is. Everyone is really very community oriented. And there’s so much rich history.
One of my highlights of having – I like to call myself a half-Yankee – Southern parents, but being born in New York is,…the cultural differences and learning the culture.
My favorite part about working at Hay House is I love this house.
I love this house. I fell in love. I really enjoy sharing it with the public. I now consider myself a Maconite,…sharing this house with people from all over the world.
Well, Hay House has been here since 1859, and I guess it’s always been referred to as the big red mansion on the hill. So people…generations and generations…have grown up looking at this beautiful place, appreciating it, knowing its history. And I think that really adds to the lure of the city.
People really appreciate this, the grandeur of the city, its former self, its past. People seem to embrace it here, which I find very comforting and very…very lovely.
Right now, I’m loving what’s happening in the downtown area. I mean, I live downtown, and I came here seven years ago. And a lot has changed for the better.
There’s more things to do, that’s for sure…and a few new brewpubs. I like those places!
I do get tripped up sometimes. I feel like there might be a, a disconnect between the interests of the local government and those of the community, especially in some of the projects that they’re doing. I feel like maybe the community could be a little bit more involved in some of these decisions. For instance, they shut down the Spring Street entrance. I wasn’t too keen on that because that brings a lot of guests to Hay House.
Our family farm in Bainbridge, Ten Horse Farm, is my lifeblood, like my heartbeat. It’s where my dad grew up. It’s been in my family for over 100 years. And, I hope to be there one day.
The country kind of grounds me.”