Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I love the ambiance of the historical south. Growing up in rural Louisiana, I was surrounded by live oaks accented with spanish moss and steeped in history.
My home was in the curve of Bayou Cocodrie, and we used to fish on the banks allowing me to dream about the days of my grandparent’s grandparents. We definitely didn’t come from money so I had no O’Hara-esque illusions of grandeur for my forbears, but I dreamt them anyway. I pondered on the decisions made and the lives lived and wondered about old plantations in the area. I questioned the more elderly of my relatives, trying to discern whether I had any dashing calvarymen or swashbuckling pirates I could claim as ancestors, but to no avail. I was disappointed to learn that my family was one of hard scrabble workers breaking their backs to scratch a living from ground rural enough that they might not have been aware of a civil war going on, and if they had they would have been simple enough to willingly agree to a position of cannon fodder.
So I embraced my southern heritage as a whole, and celebrated the romanticism of the culture. Placing their southern ladies on a pedestal, refusing to bend their stiff necks in order to go along to get along, and living their lives according to their definitions of honor seemed to be the order of the day, and I loved that idealism. I would say that those dreams and ideals formed the man I am today, so it has been very easy for me to find interest in the history of the old south.
I find myself living in Savannah, GA now and it has never been easier to look into the history of centuries past. From it’s founding in 1733, the happenings and goings on in Savannah have been very well documented. Pirate houses, cobblestone streets, monuments and memorials, ghosts, and buildings constructed more than two centuries ago abound in this old city. Walking around in the wee hours of the morning, it’s easy to imagine a life of 150 or 200 years ago, though much more pleasant in the 60 degree temperatures of the late winter/early spring.
I love the old south, and I love Savannah.