Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

October 23, 2011


Savannah a great place for a short October vacation


     If you need a break for a few days I recommend spending a few October nights in Savannah, Georgia. The weather is nice. The food is great.  It is only six hours away. And the only long lines of tourists are those waiting to eat some of Paula Deen’s food.

     To insure a great time, take along your brother Seth and his wife Pearl, your two sisters Neva and Margie, and your sweet wife Dean, and four tons of luggage. Be sure to pray for your car. No vehicle was prayed for more last week than our 2001 Chrysler van. We rolled back into Elmore County praising the Lord for traveling mercies.

     Be prepared to fight your way through spider webs – the artificial kind. In anticipation of Halloween ghosts and goblins are everywhere. One popular tour takes you to visit the secret haunts of “America’s Most Haunted City.” We skipped that one. I have visited enough cemeteries.

     We did enjoy the trolley tour and heard again (we had been there before) the stories of Savannah’s unique architecture and its 24 charming city squares. There are impressive statues of important people on each of the squares. Methodists are proud that one of the statues is of John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Wesley did missionary work there for a short time but returned to England “a failure,” he said.

     Prominent in the city’s history is British General James Oglethorpe who in 1732 founded the colony of Georgia as a refuge for Britain’s poor, mainly people in debtors’ prisons. Current residents told us they proudly continue the tradition of being imprisoned by debt.

     Savannah tour guides point out the birthplace on the corner of Oglethorpe Avenue and Bull Street the home of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts.

     There is no statue of Paula Deen on a city square but she is a treasured icon in Savannah. We had enjoyed the Paula Deen tour and good food on a previous visit so we skipped it this time. Paula’s picture and her cookbooks are everywhere. Perhaps after she has been dead awhile they will erect a statue of her beside General Oglethorpe or John Wesley.

     We enjoyed more than one visit to the City Market. There we found many interesting cafes, shops, artists, and vendors selling the trinkets that tourists like to take home to prove they were there. Seth and I were blessed to find now and then an inviting bench under a shade tree.

     Once we ate at a sprawling old building called the Pirates’ House that brags of having 13 dining rooms. I have seen old barns that were in better shape but the food was delicious, especially the seafood.

     Our favorite place to eat was the Crystal Beer Parlor near our hotel. They had a rowdy crowd of “happy” customers but their peach cobbler was out of this world. The sweet tea was excellent too just in case you are wondering.  

     The highlight of our trip was going to the Savannah Theatre on Tuesday night to see the musical variety production “Southern Nights.” It was a delightful combination of comedy, singing and dancing by a remarkably talented group of young musicians.

     Early in the show the master of ceremonies, “Maynard,” (who was dressed as a custodian) came off stage and greeted several people down front. We were seated on the third row, my brother Seth on the aisle seat. Maynard walked over to Seth and introduced himself, joking about not being able to pronounce “Wetumpka.”

A few minutes later Maynard escorted Seth on stage, inviting him to sing with a men’s quartet who were dressed like the Oak Ridge Boys, long beard and all. They quickly put a western vest, Cowboy hat and a beard on Seth and stuck a microphone to his mouth.

     Though Seth was stunned and excited (the only person in the audience invited on stage that night!), he must have surprised the quartet with his singing. They had no idea that Seth sings tenor in our church choir! We will never forget Seth’s debut on stage in the Savannah Theatre singing “Elvira” with the Oak Ridge Boys! He brought the house down!

     Well, if you take me up on the invitation to visit Savannah, be sure to make reservations to see a show at the Savannah Theatre. Seth will be glad to go along with you – especially if the “Oak Ridge Boys” are performing that night! + + +