Give Dad a special treat on June 17 and bring him to the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow to hear about Ron Tanner's adventures as he rescued a Victorian row house in Baltimore after a fraternity did its best to destroy it.
Against his better judgment, and in large part to appease his girlfriend, he bought the house even though neither of them knew anything about renovating or restoring. Both realized it would take years of hard work and a fair amount of money to make the 4,500-square-foot, condemned three-story house livable again.
The year was 2000 and the couple had only been dating for six months. They not only survived the renovation, they got married in the house in 2003, and Tanner wrote a book about their experiences, From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story which was released in February 2012.
Tanner is a writing teacher at Loyola University in Baltimore and the director of the Marshall Islands Story Project. He has two other books published, Kiss Me, Stranger and Bed of Nails, which won both the G.S. Sharat Chandra Award and the Towson Prize for Literature. He has also won a Faulkner Society gold medal, a Jack Dyer Fiction Prize and a Pushcart Prize.
Tanner hit the road in February on a 66-city book tour, and he's agreed to make a detour from Fayetteville to visit the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow on Sunday, June 17, at 2 p.m. to share some of his experiences.
The couple's website, Houselove.org, is dedicated to the love and care of old houses.
The Tanners have also received great support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Charlotte, Historic Seattle, Historic Santa Fe Foundation, Victorian Alliance of San Francisco, Historic Preservation League of Oregon, Historic Denver, Foundation for Historic Louisiana, Preservation Advocates of Spokane, California Preservation Foundation, Preservation Pittsburgh.