Kongo flew to Florida from Boston yesterday and found himself with a holiday on his hands so he headed up the road a few hours north to visit Savannah, Georgia. It seemed as if the whole city turned out to greet the monkey and they even threw a parade for him complete with these dancing, foot stomping, troop of girls from a local high school. Turns out that it was actually a Veterans Day parade and since, after all, Kongo is a veteran he felt pretty good about showing up for the big event!
Of course there is a lot more to Savannah than parades and poor Kongo barely scratched the surface of things to do and see here but he got a good start and fell in love with the friendly ambience (Savannah is known as the ‘Hostess City of the South’) and Southern Charm. Everybody said “hi there” and didn’t even blink when they realized that a Yankee Simian was in their midst.
The statue above commemorates the Siege of Savannah during the Revolutionary War in which a regiment of volunteers from Haiti fought alongside American and French forces against the British in 1779. Who knew?
The architecture and many parks (Kongo thinks he read that there are 22 of them in downtown Savannah alone) make you want to sit under a big old oak tree with a mint julep and contemplate the Spanish moss that seems to grow from everything down here.
As Kongo was taking a picture of one old building facade he was approached by an energetic local senior who asked the monkey if he was taking pictures of the architecture.
“Well, yes. Yes I am,” Kongo replied.
“Well, in that case you need to go over to the Masonic Temple and take some pictures of that. It’s fantastic!”
“Absolutely. Now, I’m a DeMolay myself but you just have to see that Masonic temple.”
And he promptly broke out his iPhone, spoke to Siri, and got the address and pointed Kongo off in “that direction” which was opposite of where the monkey was headed. So, being the polite little monkey that he was and not wanting to hurt the man’s feelings, Kongo headed out in “that direction” and was soon lost within a few blocks because he never bothered to pick up a map anywhere. Hmmm….I know there are some spouses out there that are thinking this sounds familiar.
Anyway, Kongo never found the Masonic temple on this trip and saved it for next time. He did find a bunch of other neat stuff and he now has a good excuse to return to Savannah.
Besides parks, Savannah has an abundance of churches like these two above.
The parade was a classic small town Veterans Day parade. Mayors, ex-mayors, fire departments, the police chief, lots of veteran groups, boy scouts, girl scouts, veterans, active duty, and even a corvette club all got in on the act. There weren’t any tanks but there was a reserve bulldozer that had evidently seen service in Iraq and was a big fan of the crowd. Men wearing “Vietnam Veteran” hats were continually approached by people who thanked them for their service.
The monkey supposes that it is a good thing and better late than never but he remembers coming back from that war and the reception you got at home wasn’t so friendly. No matter. Read one of Kongo’s favorite poems by Carl Sandburg at the end of this post to sum up his attitude today.
High school marching bands are always a Kongo favorite and his good friend Brent will appreciate the tuba players!
But first and foremost there were the vets and there were quite a few of them.
Travel safe. Have fun. And to all the veterans — Thank you for your service!