Sunday, January 29, 2012

Savannah - My Savannah...My Youth

As I reflect on my teen years I have concluded that I spent most of my time reading.  I literally read my way through high school.  I know that before that age my father thought it was ridiculous that I would bring a book to the dinner table, which he didn't permit, but I somehow managed to read even more in high school.  I became a history junkie and would read any novel that offered some trivia of the time period in which it was set.  Gone With the Wind consumed the winter of my 9th grade year.  And since it was the 80's my prom dress matched Scarlet's style to perfection.

When "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "The Good Earth" were assigned in class I was ecstatic as only a book loving girl could be.  Why didn't geometry offer such?  No wonder I struggled in that class!  Someone needed to write a good historic novel that would make it more entertaining.

And then in my 11th grade year I stumbled upon the writings of Eugenia Price in the public library.  Her stories of the south spanned the years from the mid 1770s to the late 1800s.  Price was a native to Chicago, when on a book tour she took a side trip to St. Simon's Island, Georgia and fell in love with the area.  She relocated from the hustle and bustle of the big city to the quiet island town and began writing her many historic novels, based in the south.  My reading began with the Savannah Quartet and from there I went on to enjoy the Florida trilogy.

On a recent trip to Savannah I could almost hear Price's characters talking as I walked the cobblestone streets, even with the modern cars.

As if time has rewound...a large sailboat docked on the river...similar to those that would have been used during the colonial period as new Georgia residents arrived in this port city in the late 1700s.

Even though these old building have been converted to shops and restaurants that attract tourists, they were once used for commerce of grain, feed and cotton.

As we dined in one of these centuries old buildings I was again struck by the clash of old and new.  Against the walls of stone, brick and heart pine, cords for internet and electricity snake along the ceiling.

This is why I love this city...such a mix of American history and culture.  And most importantly, while visiting I can almost feel 17 years old again reading Eugenia Price novels from the library.

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