My friend Albert Roberts (no relation—that we know of!) is a re-enactor at Historic Mansker’s Station, an authentic reconstruction of a 1779 frontier settlement in Goodlettsville, Tenn. He received word late last week that the city is closing Mansker’s Station on June 30 due to budget cuts.

Several years ago, American Spirit, the magazine we publish for the DAR, covered the fort’s annual Yule Fest, a celebration of an early American Christmas. The fort’s dedicated re-enactors and authentic living history demonstrations have made the 18th century come alive for thousands of visitors. We believe it’s a site worth preserving, and we’re happy to hear that the volunteers at Mansker’s Station are rallying to keep it open. Learn more at Albert’s, excuse me, the Doctor’s blog.

While I’m plugging friends’ good causes, I wanted to send a shout-out to Gin Phillips, Hammock freelance writer extraordinaire. On Wednesday, June 25, she’ll be reading from and signing her first novel, The Well and the Mine, at local independent bookstore Davis-Kidd. Set in 1931, her book follows one family in an Alabama coal-mining town after a nine-year-old girl sees a woman throw a baby down the family well. The novel touches on death, race, hard work and family in the Depression-era South.

Gin is already enjoying positive buzz: Award-winning Southern novelist Fannie Flagg wrote the introduction, the book got a great review in O magazine and Gin was named one of Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers.” Check her out if you’re in the neighborhood!