10:00 In the Garden of Good and Evil

Greetings from Savannah, GA, y’all!

Amanda, Caroline Ruth, and myself made the trek down here for a little weekend getaway, something we haven’t done in quite a while. With all the craziness with the past few months, we all needed it! It’s been really nice to get to spend some quality time with the girls. Caroline has been absolutely adorable! She was wired for sound last night, after spending 5 hours in a carseat. She was in the best mood, which helped her dad, because I was flat worn out.

I wasn’t in the best mood when we got here. It was late afternoon, and Savannah was much busier than I had anticipated. We had planned to come and eat dinner at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady and Sons. Truth be known, that was the main reason we came to Savannah! Anyway, it took us an hour to find a parking spot, and by the time we got to Paula’s, they were booked for dinner. Word of advice: if you ever plan to eat there, you have to line up at 3:30 in the afternoon to get put on the list for dinner. I recommend getting there at 2:30. Yes, you read that right. Line up at 2:30 to put your name on a list to eat dinner sometime after 5:00. But I will tell you this: it’s absolutely worth it! That woman can COOK! I’ll probably need angioplasty after eating there, but it was amazing.

Savannah as a whole is pretty cool. Lots of history (it was first settled in 1733), and really pretty overall. I personally like Charleston, SC better, but it’s worth coming just to eat at the Lady and Sons. No joke.

Well, I’m not just writing this to tell you about our trip. We took a tour today, and got the Cliff’s notes version of Savannah history. Evidently, though it was settled nearly 300 years ago, the greatest thing ever to happen to Savannah was the Kevin Spacey movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, because that’s all the tour guide talked about. Evidently, 3 centuries of history is not as exciting as a 2 hour movie. But I digress. One particular little tidbit on our excursion really got my juices flowing. Deep end time for those of you who’d like to swim to the other end of the pool…

The statue you see at the top of the post is called “The Waving Girl.” It’s in memory a young girl who fell in love with a sailor, but he had to ship out, so he told her to wait for him. And wait she did. For 44 years, according to Sue our tour guide (another digression: our guide had a disctict Northern accent. Shouldn’t tourguides in the South be FROM the South?). Everytime a ship came up the river to the port, this chick would run out and wave, hoping her sweetheart had come home. Alas, she died of a broken heart, because sailor-boy never returned.

Sad, isn’t it? Well, that’s not the saddest part. The historic society of Savannah decided to raise money to build a statue to commemorate this love-sick girl. They raised $700,000 to build it. Yes, you read that right. Take a good look at that picture, because that’s what $700 large will get you. What struck me most about this was the fact that Savannah has a fairly large homeless population. The city has squares dispersed throughout the historic area, and most of them had groups of homeless people hanging out in them. There were quite a few who had developed cottage industries making touristy items out of palmetto fronds who hung out down by the waterfront, not far from our waving girl. So, the city can raise $700 grand to commemorate the waving girl (who is dead, remember), but the living sleep in the street? It just struck me as truly sad.

But before I get too high on my soapbox, I realized that I do the equivelant everyday. I spend money on all kind of “waving girl” type things, when I could use that money to help the poor here or abroad. I could save the $2 I spend on soft drinks and give it to charity. I could buy groceries for a needy family instead of eating out every day for lunch.
And here’s the real issue: in realizing this, I can sit here and write a blog about it. Or I can go and do it.

10 thoughts on “10:00 In the Garden of Good and Evil

  1. Mattie as you and I have discussed thats way I am such a Bono fan, He is a doer not a talker. Its to easy to put the homeless in the” if they wanted help they would just enroll in college and get a good job” catagory. I think it is really a sickness and once you slide to that situation you just give up!

    Excuse me Mattie I have to go get a Starbucks Coffee.

    Have a good trip talk to you latter.


  2. Bub, I couldn’t agree more. Easy to pontificate…harder to go out and make a difference. And I feel the hypocisy in myself bigtime, because I’ve dropped large change at “Fourbucks” myself.

    I think we often give up trying to help before we ever get started. But you know what? Some of the best “sweet spots” in my life came when I helped someone else. So why don’t I do it more? Apathy, I guess. I pray that would be wiped away from us all.


  3. Great post Corn Meal: I always feel bad when I don’t give the people standing at the Interstate exits a handout because in the back of my mind I doubt they will use it for food, though I do give sometimes.

    Have a great trip little brother.


  4. Kaylee and carol, my starbucks statement was made in jest to make a point to Matt’s story. But I am sure you got that!


  5. Scottie…you should have said

    “talk to you latte” 🙂

    Great post Matt. I was so involved in volunteering back home but since moving here and traveling business and all…I just haven’t made time for it. I work my 2nd job…to pay for my baseball addiction…but you’re right. Either you’re a doer or a talker.

    there is quite a debate about the homeless around here. I have no problem giving someone standing at street corners FOOD..but I refuse to give money. It has been studied and there are alot of panhandlers out there making good bit of money doing that. You would be surprised. BUT that’s not to say that those who are truly in need we should help. I agree once a person gets down in that position and finds it hard to get back up…they do give up. There should be more programs in the Homeless Shelters to address this…like requiring them to attend classes IF they want a bed to sleep in..or eat meals there…or have to see counselors…I know it all cost money…maybe we could call the city of Savannah and see if they could raise the money.


  6. Glad you guys got to eat at Paula’s. And I agree; a southern accent should be a requirement for a tour guide for Savannah! 🙂

    I think we all agree we could do less talking and more doing. There are so many hurting and desperate people out there, not just the homeless. From the top levels of government to each individual, we could all do a little more to help those who need us. And we’d all have more “sweet spots” in our lives.


  7. Great thoughts everybody. I guess my point was that we all need to do SOMETHING. And we all CAN do something. Tex is proof of that.

    One of the things that amazed me in Savannah: no one asked us for money. They must have a panhandling law, because there were homeless people all around. It was like, “Ok, we have a homeless problem, but nobody talk about it.” Sad.


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