Savannah, you have my heart

Elle and I made it to Orangeburg, South Carolina early Saturday afternoon.  My brother’s new place is in the middle of nowhere, by the way, and surrounded by land owned by a nearby sod raising company and a soy or corn field across the street, depending on the season.  The neighborhood dogs seem to belong to everyone who lives there.  I met a dalmation, a black lab, and a cute little chocolate lab with a pitbull face who was more interested in my brother’s bagged garbage than me. 

My sniffles over the last few days bulldozed me down after blowing up into a full-on head cold.  Sleeping was nearly impossible last night as my brother’s 110-pound German Shepherd, Tiko, kept fighting me for the couch.  At one point, I woke up when I realized something huge and smothering had just jumped on top of me and, since we’d just spent a good hour or so before bedtime watching a documentary on serial murderers, I automatically assumed the worst and grabbed the beast and threw him off the couch. 

Sorry, Tiko. Who’s a good boy?? YOU’RE  a good boy!!! Especially because you parked your huge ass on the floor after the second attempt to hijack the couch. Good boy!

My father, two brothers, Elle, and I tried to drag ourselves out of bed after our ridiculously failed attempts to sleep.  After Dad started cooking eggs and potatoes, I was grateful for the distraction this gave Tiko.  We all seemed to rush out of the house in completely different directions: my older brother headed off to work; my dad and younger brother started their drive north to Goldsboro, N.C.; and Elle and I took I-95 South toward Savannah…the only place (besides my bed) that could have possibly made my spirit better.  Even the thought of being back in Savannah finally made Elle smile since she had spent the previous day getting snapped at and having nobody to play with. 

I had thought about passing up the chance to drive down to River Street every time I woke up in the middle of the night with a bellyache and chills, but since our original purpose for going to Orangeburg had been stripped to nothing, I couldn’t bear the thought of wasting the weekend.  So Elle and I packed our tissues, dosed up with Sudafed and Advil, and headed east on I-16. 

Savannah, thank you for saving us this weekend:

This is Johnson Square, one block east of Wright Square and also bare of Spanish moss.  If you’ve ever visited the Southeastern United States, you’ll recognize the infamous moss that grows and hangs from the giant oak trees.  The old haunting tale of Alice Riley, or her ghost really, places her in Wright Square, another famous Savannah square that is void of moss.  According to Savannah legend, Spanish moss will not grow in a space that is haunted.  In another square directly adjacent to the former courthouse and jail, an oak tree’s single limb is totally exposed and grows no Spanish moss.  It is the limb on which the convicted were hanged to pay for their crimes.  I cannot find the reason behind Johnson Square’s oak trees having been untouched by the moss although Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene is now buried here.  His remains were disturbed more than once in other burial spaces so maybe he now likes to make it known to the living that his spirit roams the square…

Aaaah, River Street!  It was chilly and the Savannah River just beside us had quite a breeze.  Considering this was the first weekend in a very long time with such beautiful weather, the crowds weren’t too bad.  My favorite parts of River Street are the Olympia Cafe (since Elle and I were both sick as dogs, I opted to not sit down for a meal – delicious veggie gyro, anyone? – and went to the express counter instead to share a plate of chicken fingers and steak fries.  I know…not Greek at all, but we couldn’t taste anything anyway. No loss.), the dog-friendliness of the whole town (seriously, if you hate dogs, then don’t visit Savannah. We wouldn’t want your anti-dog grumpiness, anyway), and River Street Sweets. 



About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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