Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I remember wishing, the closer I got to Savannah, that I had gone further south instead, perhaps to the gulf coast, or west, across the border to Alabama, or even back north, through Atlanta and thence to Chattanooga and southern Tennessee (which, happily, I ended up doing later on anyway). Not that there was anything wrong with Savannah. I wouldn't know, for I had never been there. It merely brought me closer to subsequent meetings in Atlanta, back to old realities that I ha...rdly knew how to face. It would be the end of this pleasant interlude, the end of many things, and the true beginning of another life. But as for Savannah, it became almost instantly my favorite city in the world, as far as I had known it thus far. I learned in Savannah for the first time the true meaning of humidity. I learned to 'amble' rather than walk as we do in Oregon. I learned a pace that was leisurely, contemplative, and about simple social interactions that made themselves a natural part of this pace, like hats are in the rain or sandals in the summer. My hotel was on the historic waterfront, which I visited in my new ambling way, and during the evenings I made a hobby of seeking out the best Bloody Marys at the many nearby bars - some very spicy, some coming with a veritable vegetable garden inside the glass. I stayed (in Savannah, not the bars) for three days and, on Sunday, visited one of the oldest churches on the east coast, where someone very famous, I have forgotten who, used to preach. As a Christmas present, in 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman gave Savannah to Abraham Lincoln, but there seemed no surviving memory of that in these environs. One heard more about the novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and you could find the book in both stores and hotels. I was practically forced to buy it, but, I must admit, I never read it. I reckon now that I subsequently lived my own version instead. I hated leaving Savannah, and I seriously thought about staying. And staying. And staying. But, as I mentioned, unavoidable, inalterable necessities hung heavy on the Atlanta horizon, and so to Atlanta I reluctantly went.

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