Friday, July 26, 2013

This Moment: Monroe County Courthouse, Monroeville, Alabama

Last week I attended a teachers' workshop in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee's hometown, on how to teach her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. That book has found its way deep into my heart. Lee based her fictional town, Maycomb, on Monroeville, the town where she grew up next door to writer Truman Capote, after whom she modeled the character Dill Harris.

Much of Monroeville has changed since Lee and Capote were children. Both their homes are gone; her family's lot now houses Mel's Dairy Dream; the site of his summer home now is just the stone foundation. The jail on the courthouse square has been remodeled beyond recognition and now houses the Monroe County Human Resources department.

But the courthouse is unchanged. Universal Studios came to Monroeville when it was filming the Academy-Award winning movie based on Lee's book. They recreated every last detail on a Hollywood set. I've watched the movie nearly as often as I have read the book - perhaps a dozen times. As readers of the book know, the dramatic height of the novel is the trial of a black man falsely accused - and convicted - of raping a white woman.

So you understand why, when I walked into the courtroom, I nearly burst into tears. Tears of joy that a writer could create such a world from the confines of her imagination. Tears of joy that the world she invented a half century ago  still makes its readers laugh, and cry, and rail for justice that still eludes us.

Linking with Amanda.


  1. Seeing it in this picture is just incredible but I imagine seeing it in person is even more amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us!

    Our moment this week comes from Grace's well-child check up. After each well visit every child in the family is given a new book. On our way out the girls found a perfect spot to read before we headed back to our car!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. Wow, what an incredible story! I think I'd probably get a little teary-eyed too walking into the courtroom. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of my favorite books. Thank you for sharing, and have a lovely weekend!

  3. What an amazing picture! The viewpoint from which you took the picture is so powerful. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of my favorite books and I hope that one day I get a chance to see this in person!

  4. Wow - this is so cool. Very much what I envisioned while reading the book.

    Wishing you a lovely weekend full of amazing moments.

  5. What a powerful moment! I got teary-eyed reading this, it definitely would have been a lot to actually walk into that courthouse.

  6. I nicknamed my daughter Scout after the character in To Kill A Mockingbird. She reminded me so much of that brave, smart, scrappy girl! You are cordially invited to check out my place...I'm blogging to a big ol' empty room right now!