Mary B. Purcell came to Milledgeville after living and working from Florida to Montana. However, the area of greatest influence, she admits, was the low-country between Savannah, Georgia and Beaufort, South Carolina - an area her family called Black Ankle Swamp.
This swamp culture was responsible for shaping Purcell's early memories. Memories of hog killings and alligator hunts; of living off the land and the fruits of that labor; memories of the fire talkers, who could not only "talk the fire out" of burns, but could prevent infections and loss of vital skin tissue; memories of herbal medicine and "healers", who could treat and cure all kinds of ailments from pneumonia to snakebite; there were love potions and magic spells, and all the people believed in the existence of good and evil - with no organized religion to put stops on those beliefs. They had traditions practiced for generations and invented new ones as needed. And like other cultures, these traditions, appearing first as superstitions to the outside world, were part of everyday life.
One such tradition is the bottle tree.
Words to encourage writers - A must read every day!
"Arriving at one goal is the starting point of another."
"In order to succeed, we must first believe we can. "
" Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. "
" You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
" Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got."
" I have the simplest tastes, I am always satisfied with the best."
Received the FEEA Scholarship (Academic Excellence), 1993
Received the Flannery O'Connor Scholarship (Writing), 1995
Received the Richard Russell Green Alumni Scholarship (History), 1995 and 1996
Honors Program at Georgia College & State University, 1997 and 1998
Chosen to represent Georgia College & State University at GACE, 1997
Presented a paper at "Writing in the Rural" Conference, 1997
Bachelor of Science, Georgia College & State University, 1998
Bachelor of Arts, Georgia College & State University, 2003