Thursday, March 17, 2005

The second biggest St. Patrick's Day celebration in this country is in Savannah. Maybe you knew that. The other week I ran into a friend of mine in the grocery store here who's a native of Charleston. I hadn't seen him for a while, and when I told him I'd been to Savannah, the gossip floodgate opened wide. In the seventies, his mother and Jim Williams (the guy in Midnight in the Garden, etc.) moved in some of the same social circles, and my friend met him. He said he told his mother afterwards, "He didn't fool me for a minute."
But he also told me another story. Some people from Sao Paolo were staying with his mother, about this time of year. Somehow they heard about St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, and said they wanted to go. My friend's mother said, "Noooo," 'cause it's not the sort of thing decent people go to. But the South Americans insisted.
My friend's mother ended up renting a 45-foot yacht and docking off River Street, so they could see the festivities without actually being in them. My friend said, "She did a really good job. She had a jazz combo and a - I won't say a chef - a cook."
Rob said when I repeated that story to him, "Those Charleston folks really have an axe to grind."
I didn't think there was anything wrong with doing something with a little style.