Posts Tagged With: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

What would you like to drink?

In Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt recounted what Miss Mary Harty shared with him about Savannahians.

“We have a saying: If you go to Atlanta, the first question people ask you is, ‘What’s your business?’ In Macon they ask, ‘Where do you go to church?’ In Augusta they ask your grandmother’s maiden name. But in Savannah the first question people ask you is ‘What would you like to drink?”

Now, I’m a fan of cocktails…and (mostly red) wine…(some) beers…so YBW and I decided to embrace this particular Savannahism as we rolled in last Sunday afternoon.

We spent Saturday afternoon and evening in Charleston with my friend and mentor. The first thing we did was go for drinks at The Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island.
I had what’s called ‘The Yellow Jessamine’
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And let me tell you it was absolutely delicious!
My friend and mentor was quick to share with the staff we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, and it was only a moment before the bar manager came over with a little treat for us.
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How precious was that?

Monday we celebrated our anniversary with dinner at a.lure. Were the food was to die for!
YBW had what he called the “Warner Brothers Dinner” starting with the braised rabbit “open ravioli” then duck a la rootbeer float. (Yes, we actually sat at the table and said, “Duck season. Rabbit season.”) I started with deviled eggs and house made pickled vegitables. The rosemary pickled purple carrots were some of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. I had the pork shank for dinner, served with some of the best grits of all time.
Cocktails before dinner looked a bit like this.
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YBW had “Apples & Oranges” and I had “The Black Cat” martini.

We went to Crystal Beer Parlor where I had a blackened salmon BLT with house cut onion rings and Abita Amber. YBW had a cup of chicken and sausage gumbo and half a BLT with Treehorn Dry Cider.

The city of Savannah has an open container law. This means you can waltz around the streets of Savannah with (only plastic) cups of alcohol. We took full advantage of this when we were visiting the city. In the afternoon we carried boozy slurpees as we walked and shopped down on River Street. In the evening we poured left over margarita from the Cuban joint into styrofoam ‘to go’ cups and went down to the Savannah Film Festival hosted by SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design)

I don’t remember what else we drank…but I can assure you that I was all about taking the advice Joe Odom gave John Berendt:

“Rule number one: Always stick around for one more drink. That’s when things happen. That’s when you find out everything you want to know.”

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To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.

On my way home from the doctor’s office this morning, I went to the cemetery where my beloved Grandaddy is buried. I wrote about the cemetery in a post called memories. But today it wasn’t about the cemetery itself. It was about talking to Grandaddy.
It’s been a while since I was there to spend time. The last time I was there was to reattach the broken angel statue quickly before it began to rain.
Today I went for advice. To talk about how I feel and see what it might mean.
I’m fully aware that no “real” or tangible answers come as I’m sitting in the grass while the sun warms my body and the granite of the headstones.
But somehow I get what I’m searching for for.
Today was no different. I felt what I needed move through my body like a wave, and I had my answers.
Does that mean what I’m searching for is already inside of me?
Why do I have to go to the cemetery to talk with my Grandaddy to access it?

You know what Minerva said, “To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.”

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the magical gift of words

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February 11. 2011 6:11 pm EST
~The fire went on leaping and taunting and sucking up great turbulent currents of air that set the flames snapping like brilliant red sails in a violent wind~
John Berendt – the city of falling angels pg 11 & 12
WOW! To write like this!!

I was at the airport waiting for a flight to board. I always travel with a journal and a book. This particular trip, I was traveling with a Tiffany blue journal (natch) and a book I’d read once before. I have a very vivid memory of writing this…where I was sitting at the gate, what I was wearing, the diet Dr Pepper sweating as it sat on the arm of my seat, and the small dark-skinned woman speaking hushed profanities into her phone.
Inspiration comes from all manner of places. This night as I waited for a plane to bring me here to YBW I was inspired by this compilation of words.

Whether or not you like his writing is of no consequence to me. I adored Midnight in the Garden but I absolutely loved The City of Falling Angels. I like the way he novelizes the factual events. I liked the story of Venice from the master glass blower, Archimede Seguso, to “The Rat Man of Treviso”, Massimo Donadon. The political corruption is fascinating, of course we have our own American brand of that here at home.
Anyway, I dig the book.

I was getting a book for Thing C to borrow and passed this book on my shelf. Just seeing the spine reminded me of this moment.
It’s so random how and when something moves you. I do still love this sentence. But would it have made me write it down if I read it tonight? I don’t honestly know.
What I do know is inspiration is all around us every single moment. The more we read, the more music lyrics we hear and sing, the more we talk with people, the more chances we have to be inspired.
Words are a constant inspiration to me…to be a better writer, or at least to write more.
That’s a promise I’ve made to myself while I’m not working: healing my brain, finishing up wedding plans and writing more.

After all, as Albus Dumbledore said: Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

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