That's what a kindly old man in Milledgeville, Georgia told a tiny band of writers about Flannery O'Connor after they'd explained to him why they were visiting his charming little town.
These three women* were on a pilgrimage, you see -- to walk the same paths trod by O'Connor, to take in the air of Andalusia Farm, where Flannery wrote -- with stops along the way to experience the place Thomas Merton prayed and wrote, too.
To read more about this journey, you can visit the pages of the pilgrims:
Christina Novak, who first imagine and then organized the trip -- check her blog under the labels Flannery O'Connor, Andalusia Farm, pilgrimage.
Roxane Salonen: See Finding Flannery and Andalusia Farm.
Karen Mahoney: Pilgrimage, Flannery O'Connor.
* I know them through an online Catholic writers' group that we all belong to, and know Roxane Salonen best. Roxane contributed a story to my book, After Miscarriage, and we have chatted on the radio several times.