Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nothing in Common Goes South, Part 2, Day 9 or 10, or both

Day by day our relationship deepens. We are in sync. Often we don’t even need to communicate with words, so visceral is the connection.
William Shatner and I have gone from mere acquaintances to bosom buddies, BFFs, bonded at the hip and the fingertip. I honestly don’t know how it is for the rest of you, because I know William Shatner is pointing at me personally and that he is doing his best negotiating on my behalf. I know that when Captain Kirk is putting up his dukes, he is doing it to assure me alone (& CSB by association) the best possible price at the No-tell Motel in Savannah, Georgia. In fact, Captain Kirk directs us to the Cotton Sail Hotel, in an old cotton warehouse and with a river view. One morning we will watch a container ship slide by, and I will be thinking of William Shatner.

There are many wonderful things to see and do in Savannah, most of which involve old houses, lovely squares, and cemeteries, but it goes without saying that the one thing above all I long to visit in Savannah is the childhood home of Flannery O’Connor, at 207 East Charlton Street, off Lafayette Square, and a stone’s throw from the ginormous Cathedral of St John the Baptist.
I am particularly eager to see the “kiddie koop” Flannery slept in as a babe, because my mother had the identical model of "kiddie koop"* for us, including the screened top, and I used it a generation later for my number one daughter when we lived in a house on the salt marsh with a vast and various population of biting spiders.
According to the guidebook and the website, the house is open from 1 to 4 pm, on Wednesday through Sunday. Or we could say: it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I have timed our travels to ensure that we are in Savannah on the proper days.
I am also eager to see the backyard where Flannery raised the chicken that learned to walk backward – a news sensation in the late 1920’s.
So after lunch on Wednesday we walk over to East Charlton Street. And here I am, sad, bereft and downtrodden, because for reasons unknown and clearly spurious, Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home is CLOSED when it is meant to be open. I call the number listed on the sign and leave a rather long message to the effect that I am bereft, sad and downtrodden that the house is closed and that I have made a special trip from the land of Yankees to visit it, and someone should call me immediately to explain and rectify the situation.
No one calls.
The house never opens while we are in Savannah.

This is me, sad, bereft and downtrodden outside Flannery O'Connor's closed Childhood Home.
Just now I revisited the website and found this message, which was not on their website back when we were in Savannah, and perhaps was put on the website in response to my pathetic and tragic phone message.
We apologize that we will have several exceptions to our regular hours over the next few months, and appreciate your patience with our changing schedule. If you are devastated that your trip to Savannah will not be complete without a tour of the Childhood Home, please get in touch via email with a week or so notice, and we will make a heroic, if not always successful, attempt to accommodate.

Or maybe I just should have put William Shatner onto the case of Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home?

*Through the miracle of Google, I have learned many poultry farmers are using kiddie koops for their chickens. Or they are on the Internet.

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