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Savannah, GA
Miles Today: 0
Total Miles: 3062.3
Days on the Road: 93
Anthony: "I swear I wasn't making fun of homeless people. I was just really tired."
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Dorky
N 32°02.168 W 81°07.383
Saturday, May 3, 2003 - Day 93

We'd gotten a tip from a Charlestonian that, after Charleston, we could pretty much blow by Savannah since it was mostly the same, except with a little less charm and beauty. After a few days here, we kindly beg to differ. We're hereby anointing this little Georgian city with the coveted title of "Southernmost City of Eye-Pleasing Appeal We've Visited Thus Far On Our Little Tour". Eye Candy: Huge oak trees ornamented with Spanish moss hanging like tinsel from a Christmas tree, giving shady cover to the antebellum mansions genteely separated by cobbled walkways and grassy parks bejeweled with lazy fountains and commanding monuments. It's all so nice. Surely there's a less refined part of this city where cars live on blocks and the parks are filled with trailers, but this old money part of the city sure is lovely.

As for that other side of Savannah, we signed up for a ghost tour to see if we could find the truth behind its claim to be "the most haunted city in the U.S.". You may think if you've heard one ghost story then you've heard 'em all, but you probably never heard the one our fast-talkin' guide Tristan told us about some gruesome murders in the town's cemetery. Maybe we were a bit too distracted by the affected Southern accent Tristan would turn up to emphasizes phrases like "bah the boyah's thu-teenth yeah of buth" and "payer-nahmal act-ivtees" and the way he'd stare absently off into the trees, hardly ever making eye contact with anyone, but none of his ghost tales gave us even the slightest shiver. The one that came closest was the legend about an oversized and disfigured boy named Rene who, after being shunned by all the townsfolk and even his own mother, befriended the cats and dogs who congregated in the local cemetery after dark. As the ghost story goes, Rene began mortally disfiguring the animals by breaking their spines. He'd then fold the body up upon itself and place it on the family plot of the animal's master -- always a townsperson who'd previously done wrong to the young giant. When questioned about the activity, Rene claimed that he was "liberating the animals from their cruel masters". They locked him up for a few years, made a small fortune by letting doctors probe him, then finally pinned him with a couple of murders he was accused of mysteriously committing while behind bars.

Well, in keeping with the Southern tradition of that time, they lynched him and left him for dead. Later that night, Rene's hangman turned up at the cemetary -- dead, and neatly folded. The authorities figured they'd better check, just to be sure, that old Rene was in fact dead. Upon returning to the lyching site, the mob discovered that Rene's body had inexplicably vanished from the area. Our guide did his best to convince us Rene still haunts the town's cemetery and suggested we hop the gates later to get our own glimpse of the 6'4" apparition. Again, we kindly begged to differ. Not that there might be a ghost in there, but that we'd go and check. Differ.

Staying in a hostel, which was really like a nice little apartment attached to a big post-bellum house, our bathroom adjoined to one other room shared by two post-teen/pre-financially independent girls from Atlanta. The experience of hearing squeals of laughter and full volume conversations at 1 a.m. made us ponder this question: As you get older, do you become more considerate of those around you, or do you become less tolerant of other people being inconsiderate? Or both? Neither?

Oh, and it's still hot. Antebellum hot.

Penny-Farthings Only

The Real Dorky

Typical Savannah Loveliness
more photos in the archives »

(Again, don't forget to check back a few days. There's more.)

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yesterday tomorrow