Living in the south, there are lots of comfort foods. But sometimes on a cold and rainy day, you want something that soothes your soul. Mom’s choice for that is grits with cheddar cheese and crumbled up turkey sausage. It’s hot, gooey and delicious. I hear your naysayers turning your nose up at grits. But let me tell you something. When done right like this, grits can be delicious! 😋
Tag Archives: Georgia
Today mom and dad helped me by reminding me of a story at their true love – Savannah, Georgia. One of the must things to do in Savannah if you have never done it is to take a stroll through downtown at night on a haunted ghost tour. There are walking tours, horse and buggy tours or even a hearse tour if you dare.
Many moons ago, mom/dad went with my mom’s sister and her daughter, my little niece Savannah. Nice name huh? Savannah must have been about two and they decided to do a night time horse and buggy haunted ghost tour. It must have been scary too because little Savannah stayed camped out inside of mom’s hoodie the entire horse and buggy tour.
One of the last places on the tour was a little house called the 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Tavern. It’s a quaint little place, not so scary during the day but a night – chills. The 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Tavern is located at 306 East President Street, Savannah. The bottom floors have a restaurant and bar area while the upper floors have 14 suites in the inn. It has a long history of untimely death and ghosts. It was originally built in 1820 and is one of the oldest buildings in the Savannah area.
The most paranormal activity revolves around poor sweet Anna who fell from the window of room 204. There are many stories about poor Anna – we really don’t know which one is the truth.
One story states that she was married to the designer of the home, Steel White, who died in 1790 in a tragic riding accident. Anna fell in love with a German sailor who went off to sea and promised to return but never did. Anna found out that she was pregnant and realized that the German sailor never meant to return. In despair, she jumped to her death from room 204.
Another story similar to the one above with Anna has Anna being a servant at the inn instead of being married to the designer of the home. The end is the same result though, her untimely death.
People have reported the ghost of poor Anna leaning over them while they sleep in room 204. Other stories are of Anna caressing men’s cheeks and as they wake they see Anna crying and then jumping to her death out the window. Items are also often reported missing – wallets, jewelry, keys – all of which are later found mysteriously in a planter or behind a shelf.
Stories were so rampant at one point in room 204 that the 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Tavern required any patron staying in the room to sign a waiver stating they would not request their money back should they not stay the entire night. Nowadays, it is no longer required because most people wanting room 204 are hoping for a little ghost sighting of poor sweet Anna.
So this story was told on horse and buggy ride late at night through the streets of Savannah. Mom, Dad, my Aunt Tina and two year old niece Savannah who was taking up shop under mom’s hoodie. The mood was set. It was dark, a little misty. All you could hear was the clickey-clack of the horses feet, an occasional snarl from the horse and the soft tale of Anna coming for the tour guide. That’s when my niece Savannah decided to poke her head out to the world and say in her little child like voice, “Poor Anna”.
So do you believe in ghosts, spooks and things that go bump in the night? Do you have a little adventure still left in you? Want a weekend trip at a haunted inn – I’ve heard that the 17 Hundred 90 has open reservations…. if you dare my friends.
Some friends of ours in the deep south here took a picture of their home a couple of weeks ago. When they were looking at the pictures, they saw something that kind of stood out for them. They didn’t see it while they were taking pictures of their house. Do you see it? Would you go back into your home if this was your crib?
When I think of places that a lot people died during a lot of fighting, one of the places that come to mind is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Cemetery Hill had so many people that died during the Battle of Gettsyburg that it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it. There were so many bodies that it was hard to bury everyone in a timely manner. You can imagine the smell that overcame the land. There are still reports today of people smelling death. And you know what they say about unrested bodies, they become ghosts forever looking for redemption.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
A famous cemetery that mom would like to visit is in Los Angeles, California. (I know – she’s weird like that. She finds walking through the cemeteries as calming as walking on a beach. Go figure – she’s my mom.) Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place of many celebrities over the years. I’ll need to break down a listing of more important graves here later on in the month. For now though, let’s concentrate on some hauntings of the cemetery. A famous person known to haunt here is Clifton Webb. People at the cemetery claim to hear voices and lights near the Abbey of the Psalms Mausoleum. A story that intrigues me that I’ve seen on television numerous times is the crypt of Rudolph Valentino. For years on the anniversary of his death, a lady dressed in black would be seen wearing a veil to cover her face at his crypt leaving a single red rose. No one really knew for sure who this person was and still today the tradition of leaving a single red rose continues on his anniversary.
And I must end this stroll through the cemeteries at one of mom/dad’s most famous places in Savannah, Georgia at Bonaventure Cemetery. Did you know that this cemetery had the “Bird Girl” statue that is the photograph of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? I say had now because it has since been moved to a museum nearby but there are still some amazing tombs and headstones left. Mom/dad have spent multiple days and hours strolling through and visiting with the folks still there. One of the famous haunts is of little Gracie Watson who died of pneumonia when she was only six years old. Currently they have her grave fenced off… is that to keep people from touching her little statue or from keeping little Gracie from touching you? There’s also the hell hounds that local legend have talked about. People claim to hear them snarling but no one ever sees them. Perhaps they feel the hot breath of a dog on their ankles letting them know they need to step back. You think?
Today, I’m going to focus on one close to home – the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. Oakland Cemetery was bought in 1850 and was originally named Atlanta Graveyard or City Burial Place. It was renamed to Oakland Cemetery in 1972.
Oakland Cemetery offers twilight tours of the cemetery – how scary huh? And around this time of the year, the cemetery even offers what they call “Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours”. What a way to catch some things that go bump in the night. There are over 70,000 residents in over 40 acres that are just dying to meet you whether you have a guided tour or walk the cemetery by yourself… if you’re brave enough.
A lot of the history of this wonderful cemetery centers around the Civil War. There have been stories in the Confederate portion of the cemetery of hearing names being called as if in a roll call. But to look around, there is no one living there, just the statue of a lion guarding the unknown Confederate dead and he’s not talking.
Often the guides at the cemetery will tell you that people actually die three times. Once on their last breath, once when they are laid to rest and once when they are no longer remembered. Sounds just like a situation for a few people to come out and be remembered, doesn’t it? So the next time you’re in the area, drop by for a visit. I’ve heard they’re alway looking for a good soul to fright.
Oh shivers! This week it has been Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. We have watched a lot of the shows. Shows that highlighted when sharks attack. Shows that highlight guys/gals going down in the ocean in shark cages feeding sharks by hand. Shows that highlighted HUGE sharks. Shows that highlight sharks that bit people and showed the bites – shivers.
Then if that wasn’t bad enough, mom got a wild hair over the long weekend and decided to watch ALL of the Jaws movies. Really mom? Not just the original Jaws with “We’re going to need a bigger boat”, but all of them – Jaws 2, Jaws 3 and then Jaws Revenge. Shakes piggy head. Snorts – but us anipals stood by her side and watched with her. Double evil snorts – I even called Houdini Shark Bait. Now *that* was funny.
After this week of watching all of these shows, I had a dream about surfing. It was a nightmare! There is no way this little oinker is going anywhere near the beach. Heck, I may even rethink getting in my piggy pool or the bathtub for that matter!
Have you watched any of these shows on television? Any favorites? Any experiences of seeing sharks in real life? Have you seen them at the beach?
That’s right friends. This past weekend was the 40th Anniversary of the Smokey and the Bandit movie that came out in 1977. Do you remember the basis of the movie? This is what it says on the IMDB webpage:
Big Enos (Pat McCormick) wants to drink Coors at a truck show, but in 1977 it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit. Truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) agrees to pick up the beer in Texas and drive it to Georgia within 28 hours. Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) drives the rig while the Bandit helps make his path. When Bo picks up hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), he attracts the attention of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Angry that Carrie will not marry his son, Justice embarks on a high-speed chase after Bandit.
Knowing the story line, you now know that some of the movie is based in Georgia, home sweet home to this oinker. And downtown Jonesboro (less than five minutes away from the Hotel Thompson) held its 40th Anniversary over the weekend. The big rig came rolling in on Main Street followed by the famous Pontiac Trans-Am. And not only was the rig and Trans-Am present, so was the sheriff’s car that was driven by Sheriff Buford T. Justice (played by Jackie Gleason).
And of course they had a re-enactor that was playing Burt Reynolds character… who just happened to get arrested by our finest here in Clayton County, Georgia.
Nah, not really. It was all for show but doesn’t that guy look just like Burt Reynolds years ago in the movie?
He was a great guy for getting arrested and hanging out with everyone… and mom said not bad on the eyes whatever that means.
Burt Reynolds did show up to the festivities. This is him in the picture next to the Trans-Am. What an awesome time it was for everyone in attendance.
Did you know some of this trivia that we read on IMBD?
• A senior executive at Pontiac promised Burt Reynolds a free Trans-Am if the movie became a hit. It did and the 1977 T-Top Trans-Am became one of the hottest selling cars of the year. When the movie became a hit, Reynolds expected the executive to come through with his promise. But the Trans-Am never came. After a few months, Reynolds, (who was afraid of looking like one of those pretentious stars looking for freebies), finally called Pontiac. As it turned out, the executive that made the promise had retired and the new executive refused to keep the promise that was made, by the previous Pontiac Trans Am executive.
• Jackie Gleason would often ask his assistant Mal for a “hamburger,” which was code for a glass of bourbon.
• In Jonesboro, GA (YAY close to us here at the Hotel Thompson) where a lot of the film was shot, Snowman’s house and the warehouse where the Coors beer is picked up (in Texarkana, TX) are actually only about a half a mile away from each other.
• The line of Jackie Gleason’s dialogue printed on the movie’s poster is incorrect. The quote on the poster reads “What we have here is a total lack of respect for the law.” In the movie Gleason actually says “What we’re dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law.”
Credit to IMBD web page for information on movie. Credit to Scott Stubbs for pictures.