Returning to the famous Bonaventure Cemetery one gets a sense that this is not altogether an unhappy place. Sure, everyone has passed, but there are little touches here and there of life continuing. Yes, there are the children, and the sadness that permeates any place where the dead rest. However, and this is just a personal sense: you also get another kind of feeling, a vibrant history of lives and community. This is Savannah - nothing is too urgent that a small respite under an old live-oak can't help but soothe frazzled nerves. It is welcoming, almost alive with personalities that made Savannah proud with their city, citizens, and way of life.
Benches welcome visitors. Indeed, Thursday's resting bench for Conrad Aiken was designed purposely for visitors to rest a spell with a martini, as was his wish. Perhaps it is the several groups, some led by volunteer historians, or the scattered milling folks, young and old, that seem to give this place a pulse.
The overwhelming beauty of the old stones with the old Oaks and Spanish Moss make this almost surreal; like you are walking through a movie set.
Mary Catherine Roberts, died just 2 days shy of her 3rd birthday. Notice the fallen dove at the feet of the stone.
Four Schwarz daughters, none living past the age of 6.
This is the resting place of perhaps Savannah's most famous son, Johnny Mercer. Writer and lyricist of an enormous catalog of songs and music. Nominated 16 times for an Academy Award, he won 4 times. Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses, and Hooray for Hollywood are among his accomplishments. Notice the Memorial rocks placed on the sarcophagi as a sign of respect.
(Picture not mine)
A bench fashioned with his musical work is also a duplicate of open that is in one of the squares in downtown Savannah, along with a life-size statue of him resting on a fire hydrant reading a newspaper.
"Little Gracie Watson was born in 1883, the only child of her parents. her father was manager of the Pulaski House, one of Savannah's leading hotels where the beautiful and charming little girl was a favorite with the guests. Two days before Easter, in 1889, Gracie dies of pneumonia at the age of six. In 1890 when the rising sculptor, John Walz, moved to Savannah, he carved from a photograph this life-sized, delicately detailed marble statue, which for a almost a century has procured the interest of all passersby."
Gracie's stone and burial place has been gated because too many people were touching the stone, and degrading its structural originality.
We will make one more stop at this lovely place, on Wednesday, and then, I promise, on to other adventures.