. It is no longer exclusively an African American practice and as our time in Savannah wore on, we found many examples of this practice.
After the tour, our children recounted the ghost stories from the night before to Ray. We thought it only appropriate to move the conversation to the historic district's largest cemetery which was in use from 1733-1850. When the Union Soldiers held Savannah (and other cities) under siege they set up camp in cemeteries, parks and squares. When they occupied Colonial Park Cemetery, they simply moved the headstones out of their way, lining many of them against the exterior brick wall where they remain today. When bored, they altered the information on them, finding humor in having people live for 325 years etc. Audry and Rusty were horrified at this disrespect and have officially become confederates. In fact, Ethan has since purchased a confederate soldier's cap which he wears proudly.
Escaping the heat, we slipped into 17 Hundred 90, a haunted inn where a young maiden faithfully awaited for her sailor man to return. We sipped our bevies and spoke of the poor heartbroken lass who eventually threw herself out of the window of room 204 and fell to her death. Meanwhile, undetected, Ray slipped a rubber cockroach into Ellen's drink, COMPLETELY changing the demeanor of the conversation
! Ethan ended up on the floor of the five star restuarant in an attempt to get away from the fake bug. After composure was regained by all members of the party (which took some time) we proceeded to see room 204 where our ghost resident still puts tears on the bed and the rocking chair rocks on its own power. Mysteriously, at the last minute, they were unable to show us THAT room and we had to settle for 210! We continued walking through the historic areas of Savannah which include the colonial, antebellum & civil war and Victorian eras and areas. It was so interesting noting the changes in architecture and fashion from one area to the next. At one point we passed Paula Dean's restaurant again. Still a line of folks down the street. We stopped into the Paula Dean's gift shop where there were the same cook books and autographed pictures as in every other gift shop in town. More importantly, there was quite a ruckus. We saw a couple of middle aged, overweight gals with big hair, too much make-up and fake jeans clamoring to get their picture taken with an average looking guy in his 30s. We inquired as to who he was and a clerk incredulously replied; "That's Paula Dean's nephew!" Oh my God, can someone help me with this? First of all, HE doesn't even get a name, and second, we're talkin' collard greens and fried chicken here! You'd think she were General Robert E. Lee!
We finished the day back at Monica the RV with Ray as our guest. We threw together some grub as Ray secretly played with his Flarp (noise putty). As you might guess, the "noise putty" sounded like Ray wasn't feeling too well. (Clark thought this was a perfect opportunity to busy himself outside!) After Ray's secret was revealed, the kids were in hog heaven-a rubber roach and Flarp! They had a friend for life! Clark found himself shaking his head at Ray.......just like he did 27 years ago.
Waking mid-morning in our forested campground, we had a relaxed pace as we returned to the Savannah riverfront to meet Clark's friend, Ray whom he knew from his time in Yellowstone. Ray also is husband to Beth and father to Lee (see Panama City entries). Ray was unable to join us when we met his family at the Beach Box but, he was kind enough to meet us in Savannah as we wandered through the eastern side of his state. We parked the car and were walking to the designated meeting place when Ray pulled his motorcycle up alongside us. We had a great lunch and lively conversation and decided to move on to more sightseeing. Our first stop was the Owens - Thomas house circa 1832. We all enjoyed touring the house and the slaves' quarters where we learned about the African tradition of protecting their home from evil spirits. Haint Blue Paint. Haint Blue is now called baby blue and the ceilings of rooms and porches were painted light blue to somehow keep the spirits away. It is said that, that is where the tradition of wrapping baby boys in blue blankets is derived from