So much for looking fear in the eye...all I wanted to do at that point was run as far and as fast as I could from "historic" Savannah and into the safety of my peaceful condo in Boca Raton. Alas, we were still a long 6-hour drive away from my well-manicured town on Florida's Gold Coast, and besides, we were technically still on vacation.
Not wanting to ruin the fun for Tre, I urged her to take the tour without me; after all, it was a Saturday night, and the place was bustling. I would blend in with the crowds, stick to the main streets and explore some "safe" places, like gift shops and ice cream parlors. After a "spirited" debate (which, thankfully left our friendship intact), we decided to leave the ghost tour for another day, and take in some Savannah nightlife.
Despite my emphasis on the spooks, Savannah has much to offer in this regard; whatever your musical preference, you can surely find an enjoyable venue in this city -- from jazz clubs to country western bars to dueling pianos. Tre and I eventually camped out at Savannah Smiles, a high-energy, fun-lovin' place with hot pianos, cold brews and --- lest we forget -- playful ghosts. Three times during the evening, the musical mayhem was interrupted by unexplained power failures, which didn't seem to bother the (mostly drunk) huge crowd. In fact, no explanation or apology ensued for each blackout; instead, such events appeared to be a matter of course, with the underlying assumption that when the "spirit moved them" the power would turn on again.
Surrounded by so many revelers, the blackouts didn't bother me, though I tried not to drink too much club soda with lime, since I wasn't sure if the haunts were also frequenting the Ladies Room. I am glad I hung in there, too, or I would have missed a thoroughly enjoyable "duel" between the North and South, in which one piano player represented the "Yankees" side and the other the "Rebels." Each would sing a few verses of either Yankee Doodle Dandy or The Land of Cotton (not sure if that's the exact title, but since it begins "Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton," that seems a pretty good guess). Anyway, that song always brings Elvis -- one of my all-time favorites -- to mind. I could just hear his deep, masculine voice warbling this tribute to his beloved Dixie.
For that reason perhaps, along with others, I have always had an affinity for the South, despite my Northeastern upbringing. For as long as I can remember I have been attracted to Southern accents, friendliness, love of country and tradition. The South possesses a shared identity and culture that no other region of the country can claim. As I cheered for the Southern side in this musical duel, my friend (a Floridian by way of New York)passionately threw her support behind the Yanks and wondered why I was fervently rooting for "the other side." Not surprisingly -- we were in the heart of the deep South after all -- the Rebels won the duel, but not before supplying the deliriously happy piano players with lots of US currency.
Later, as we strolled along the streets of Savannah, every once in a while a streetlight would inexplicably turn off, and Tre would remind me that she is indeed clairvoyant, and thus well-accustomed to this kind of eerie occurance.
As the hour drew closer to return to our haunted Inn, fear and dread began to overwhelm me again. Would we be confronted by a revenge-seeking ghost in the wee hours of the morning???? I guess I was about to find out.