Sweet Southern Spring Break - Savannah Day 2 (March 13, 2013)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We started the day with doing all of the various Roadside America finds Kris had located.

Introducing some of the oddities of Savannah...

The Giant Great Dane (all decked out for St. Patrick's Day)...

The Atom Smasher sculpture outside of Johnson High School...

The utility storage tank painted like a globe which looks completely different from the side than the front of the business. (Check out the mailbox...it is the moon.)

the the giant 30 foot mailbox painted like cow and the giant cow.

Inside of the historic district of Savannah you can find...

the Giant Cracked Earth (a WW2 memorial)

the Waving Girl Statue that greets ships that enter the port

the Torch statue

and the "Sears Roebuck House"...a house with upside down windows. Back in the day, the owner installed these himself using a Sears Do-it-Yourself kit. You can see the heavy, thick ledges that should be the bottom of the frame at the top and the decorative framing that should be on the top at the bottom.

Mixed in with all of this wandering, we stopped to have lunch at Huey's on the River. We ordered a dozen beignets and each got an entree (Kris - jambalaya, Adam - red beans and rice, Kristy - french toast). Holy cow was this filling and tasty! We would up taking five of the beignets to go.

I ran back to the car to put away the leftovers, and, whenever I got back, I found Adam dancing in the square to live music. Almost as soon as I arrived, so did two young women who asked if they could dance with Adam. One was clearly embarrassed, but Adam has no shame. The stud started dancing with the two ladies in the square.

While I was gone, Kris took photos of the local surroundings.

We continued on our journey and stopped by the Savannah Candy Kitchen. We got samples of the pralines and took in the sights and smells. We didn't buy anything yet...we knew we'd be back.

We kept walking the historic waterfront enjoying the people watching and old buildings. In keeping with my finding strange items abandoned on park benches, I found a paddle and bucket?

Shortly after, I found an abandoned mustache on the ground?

We enjoyed a lion fountain found in a park.

Adam wanted to walk across all of the foot bridges. He's had a fascination with bridges this trip.

After hearing from Brad and Lisa about their projected arrival time, we headed back to the car to drive to the Flannery O'Connor House.

Flannery O'Connor is my favorite short story fiction writer. She was a creative and dark writer and started writing very young. You can tour her childhood home in Savannah.

The tour guide actually occupies the third floor of the home and is a wealth of information. He truly cares about the works of Mary Flannery O'Connor and seems to enjoy telling the tale - though I'm sure he's said it many times.

Many of the items in the home are actually original items. They were in storage and able to be found and brought back to the home. The stained glass front door was original as was the nice nightgown on the bed which belonged to Flannery's mother. They have been able to restore the house by employing SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) students and bringing in playmates of Flannery's from years ago. Anything that isn't original is something similar from the 1930s.

This Kiddie-Koop Crib is an original. It was used to help keep Flannery safe from mosquitos and acted as a crib and playpen. She personally may have also used it as a chicken coop to bring her pets inside. There were several bouts of the plague and yellow fever back in the 1930s, and people were rightfully afraid.

This deluxe, monogrammed pram is also an original. The O'Connors could have never afforded to buy it, so it is to have been purchased by the wealthy cousin Katie who owned the Flannery O'Connor home.

Interesting facts I learned on the tour...

Mary Flannery O'Connor was never photographed playing with dolls after the age of 3-4.

Mary Flannery O'Connor was forced to have playdates by her mother who would invite neighborhood children to the house to play. Flannery would set up the third floor bathtub (which did not have functioning plumbing) with two pillows and rose petals. She would also put flower petals under the toilet rim. She would use the bathtub for storytelling to her guests and would read to them books that she found worthy. Fairytales were not worthy...unless they were Grimm Fairytales.

As a child, Mary Flannery was a far bigger fan of animals than other children. Her family kept chickens in the backyard, and she thought of them as her pets. She even taught them tricks. In fact, you can view a video of Flannery O'Connor as a child and the chicken she trained to walk backward here:

Mary Flannery O'Connor was a book critic at an early age. Her parents allowed her to write on/in her books with her thoughts on the story after she'd read it. They had a photocopy of one of her "reviews" on display.

Mary Flannery thought she was an adult at an early age. She refused to go to children's mass at church and insisted on calling her parents by their first names by the age of 6.

Flannery O'Connor would have "friends" read her stories aloud. She thought a story was just important to hear as to read. If they messed up, she didn't hesitate to stop them and make them say it over again. Because she believed so much in this philosophy, she spoke at Vanderbilt and read "A Good Man is Hard to Find". 
You can listen to the 30 minute recording here:
Pay attention to how she voices The Misfit at the end.

At some point, Flannery decided that words should be spelled like she heard them. She would not get good grades due to this spelling impertinence.

The house has a bunch of first editions of her works as well as a neat reproduction kitchen.

The backyard largely looks how it looked back in the 1930s.

Cousin Katie knew how much this home meant to Flannery, so she willed it to her at her death. Unfortunately, Flannery O'Connor's hips had deteriorated so much due to the cortisone she was given the first year she was diagnosed with lupus, she never could live there again. The stairs were too much of a challenge. Flannery O'Connor never sold the home. It really meant a great deal to her.

When we were done with our tour, we walked around the area. We passed the park where the bench scene from Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square.

Kris and Adam ventured into a church, and we passed the first location of the Girl Scouts.

I quite liked the picket-work on a lot of porches and loved this drainpipe.

We went back to the cottage for a rest and to figure out where we wanted to have dinner. A few hands of double solitaire later and a bit of research and we journeyed out to Betty Bomber's. This restaurant is found in the American Legion close to Sanctuary Place.

The food was excellent. There isn't a large menu, but what they have they do well. No preprocessed chicken here. My chicken sub was marinated and grilled and the boys enjoyed their burgers. Super cool decor!

We walked Forsyth Park before calling it a night.

We wandered back a different way passing impressive homes. In the middle of a really nice section of homes, we meandered past a rather unimpressive white building with a strange sign out front advertising it as a grocery store. Hmmm...

We made it back to Sanctuary Place in time to see the lights from the old church illuminating the windows.

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