Historic Savannah!

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Savannah, Georgia. Established in 1733 to become a bustling port for exporting cotton and a city of culture whose architecture blended a variety of styles...Federal, English Regency, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne. During the Civil War, Savannah was the prize at the end of the Union Army's devastating "March to the Sea" in December 1864 - but was spared by General William Tecumseh Sherman, who made her a "Christmas gift" to President Abraham Lincoln."

I walked for 7 hours through Savannah's cobblestoned streets, lush city squares and quaint waterfront. I meandered aimlessly...north....west...south....and east...going round in circles...up and down the streets, and back again. Savannah is a walking city set up in a grid fashion. Very easy to get around and not get lost. There are no streets that take off in crazy angles where you end up not knowing which direction you are heading.  When I started getting tired I would tell myself that that was it...no more pictures and time to head back. Then I would see something  else. This happened over and over again. I had decided early on to stick around until it got dark, though I was tired and almost left. If I had had any energy left I would have walked the Historic section one more time in the dark. It is the Christmas season and everyone is in the Holiday spirit. Decorations are everywhere.
Rush hour? There is no rush hour...that I could tell. From what I could see, those who work downtown live close by and walk home. I met numerous people walking "away" from the waterfront and main business district into the residential area. Smiles and Hi's from most people that I ran across.
At the start of my meandering, in one of the 22 Squares, I was reading a memorial to the Haitian volunteers who came and fought the English during the Civil War when somebody asked if I wanted to take a picture of a hawk. In the tree behind me a hawk was playing cat and mouse with a squirrel. Nature in the city. This squirrel had guts. He would tease the hawk by getting quite close. The hawk would pretend it's attention was elsewhere. We watched for about 5 minutes. Then the hawk swooped down and snatched the squirrel. Lunch!  Actually, what really happened is the squirrel got really close to the hawk and the hawk either grabbed for the squirrel and pushed the squirrel to the ground or the squirrel lost its footing and fell. It was a 25 to 30 foot drop onto concrete. That squirrel hit the ground hard a few feet from us and took off into the bushes.
I was walking down one of the streets taking pictures when this car drove by and the driver honks and the passenger waves. Yes, they were females. After about 3 hours of walking I was getting hungry. I come across a place called "Leopold's Ice Cream". I check the menu on the window and they serve more than just Ice Cream. The place is empty with the exception of the 2 guys working. I order my food and sit down. The whole place is filled with movie memorabilia. On the table is a card with a history of the establishment. In 1919 three immigrant brothers from Greece, the Leopold brothers, opened up the Ice Cream Shop. One of the brothers had a son, Stratton, who took over the family business when his father passed away. After a while he closed the Ice Cream shop and left Savannah to become a Hollywood Producer. He produced such movies as "Mission Impossible 3", The Sum of All Fears" and "The General's Daughter". He also worked on numerous other movies. The walls are filled with pictures of Leopold and numerous high profile Actors and Actresses. I walk around and examine all the props and posters. They even have a Panavision Movie Camera on display. In 2004, Stratton returned to Savannah to re-open the Ice Cream Shop. When I was having my lunch Leopold came in with, I'm assuming, his daughter. They talked to the employees and left. When I talked to Nick about this last night he asked if I had talked to Leopold. Try and get my "in" to Hollywood. Was this an opportunity that I let pass? I don't know. Maybe there is another reason I went in there and that reason will be revealed to me at a later date.
I was walking along the river walk when this "homeless" guy asked me for 42 cents. I asked him about that and he says it gets people's attention. If he asked for a dollar that would be a lot. I saw him again later in the park with his bottle. Yes, I am an enabler. In some ways we are all enablers to someone's weaknesses...vices...problems...ego...vanities.............. ..
Savannah is a beautiful city and I recommend that at some point in your life you stop in to experience it. When I was in Charlotte I was told that spring time in the south is the best time to come. I can see that. With all the flowers in bloom this place must seem like Paradise. I would skip coming in the heat of the summer.
A few random things. This past week I found out that Alexis received her report card. She made the honour roll with an 86 average. She also has the lead role in the school's Christmas play, Beauty IS the Beast, a take on Beauty and the Beast, I guess. She told me that at the end of the play she is no longer the beast. My step-daughter Rhéline leaves next week for 6 months in South America. Cartagena I believe. She'll probably have an amazing trip like last year. She fits in with the locals for some reason. Something I have a hard time doing. She really doesn't like the snow and cold, nor Christmas for some reason. She didn't want the house decorated for Christmas before she left. Louise called her Scrooge.  Katrine decorated our house last weekend. I have this scrawny fake tree which I want to throw out each year but still haven't. We all hate it. Katrine was going to go out and buy a real tree. Then she figured out that she would be in Florida for 10 days and wouldn't be able to enjoy it and that it would also be a fire hazard if left unattended. Last Saturday was my mother's birthday. Nick and Katrine called her without any prodding. Could someone tell me how I ended up with 4 such amazing kids?
I also have to mention the following. The day after I arrived in Charleston I get a phone call from Ernie, the barfly in Charlotte. He wanted to make sure that I got to my next destination safely. The last night I was there he gave me the best compliment a guy can ever receive. I don't remember his exact words but it was very flattering considering it came in an area that prides itself on hospitality.
I am off again to see a few other places. We'll see how long my legs last.
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