Georgia on my mind

key lime pie

midnight in the garden of good and evilI’ve been to Georgia twice. The first time was to Atlanta in 1995. The city was/is a sprawling entity. On one particular 10-line highway, we repeatedly saw cars exiting to the right, crossing three or four lanes quickly, usually directly in front of us.

What made it worse was that it was the year before the Summer Olympics, so there was plenty of construction everywhere.

I was there with my girlfriend, now my wife, visiting friends of hers. We also got to see part of the Martin Luther King Museum. Our visit to CNN involved sitting in on some program we have on a VHS tape, and nothing to play it on!

My second Georgia was to the coastal city of Savannah, in 1998, for a work conference. It’s the oldest city in the state and had some interesting historic structures. It was particularly proud of its connection to the book and then-recent film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

But the best part is that my father drove down from Charlotte, NC to hang out with me. We both arrived on Saturday night, and the conference didn’t formally start until Monday morning, so we walked around the city with some of my friends, eating key lime pie or recalling tales of my growing up.

He LOVED the city by the Atlantic Ocean and said he’d like to move there someday. Unfortunately, he died less than two years later.

Songs about Georgia:

Oh, Atlanta – Alison Krauss
Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight and the Pips
Georgia on My Mind – Ray Charles
The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia – Vicki Lawrence
Jug Band Music – the Lovin’ Spoonful

GA Georgia. Historic abbreviation: Geo. Capital and largest city: Atlanta.

GU Guam, an unincorporated organized territory of the US, Capital: Hagatna (Agana); largest city: Dededo. How the United States Ended Up With Guam

For ABC Wednesday

Random Memory of My Father: Savannah, GA

I’m sure it didn’t hurt my father’s perception that we hung out with three of my female colleagues.

For my job, I used to go to the national conference of our association every year (far less so this century.) In the fall of 1998, the event was in Savannah, Georgia, this Atlantic coastal city that had a certain old-world charm. Among other things, it was a walkable locale with a sense of its history.

My father, who was living in Charlotte, NC at the time, decided to drive down and visit me. It was about 260 miles and 4.5 hours away, but when he suggested it, I was all for it. I had come down on a Saturday, and while there was a mixer on Sunday, the conference did not start in earnest until Monday; it was just cheaper at that time to fly down a day earlier, even considering the hotel costs.

Well, my father LOVED this place. He had never been there before but talked about wanting to relocate to the city. I’ll admit that I too was taken by the locale, whereas I found Atlanta, which I had visited three years earlier, sprawling and oppressive. I’m sure it didn’t hurt my father’s perception that we hung out with three of my female colleagues, one from my immediate office, plus Donna from Long Island, and Kellie from upstate, with whom he could playfully flirt.

The BIG THING in Savannah at that time was that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the 1994 book by John Berendt, and the 1997 film, directed by Clint Eastwood, were set in the city. I had seen neither, though, oddly, I owned the movie soundtrack.

The five of us went to a bunch of historic houses, ate at a couple nice restaurants – it was probably the first time I had key lime pie – and generally had a great time. Then my dad and I just talked for an hour or more at the end of each of the two days he was there.

He left Monday morning. That period may have been the single best time I ever had with my father; within two years, he was dead. So I treasure that trip, and those people who hung out with him, even though I’ve totally lost track of Kellie.

Two songs about Savannah – Hard-Hearted Hannah – Ella Fitzgerald – for a time, I dubbed one of my friends as Hannah. Don’t know why; she wasn’t hard-hearted at all.
Jug Band Music – Lovin’ Spoonful

My father would have turned 87 tomorrow.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial