If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


July Interviews

7/07 Leslie Budewitz, Carried To The Grave, And Other Stories
7/14 Sujata Massey, The Bombay Prince
7/21 Ginger Bolton, Beyond a Reasonable Donut
7/28 Meri Allen/Shari Randall, The Rocky Road to Ruin


Saturday WWK Bloggers

7/10 Jennifer J. Chow

7/17 What We're Reading Now! WWK Bloggers

7/24 Kait Carson

7/31 Write Your Way Out of This! WWK Bloggers



Guest Blogs

7/3 M K Morgan













*************************************************************************************************

Warren Bull's short story, "Just Another Day at the Office" appears in the anthology, Red, White, and Blue available this month by Whortleberry Press. Congratulations, Warren!


E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.


Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).


Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!


Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.


Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.


Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!


Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.


KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!


Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, June 14, 2021

Savannah’s Other Cemetery

By Shari Randall

 


Ever since John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was published in 1986, many have fallen under the spell of hauntingly beautiful Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. Readers embraced Berendt’s exploration of Savannah’s mysterious dark side and the book was made into a film directed by Clint Eastwood. The iconic cover image from the book and film was The Bird Girl statue by Sylvia Shaw Judson, which had graced the cemetery but was moved to the Telfair Museum when fans trampled the graves at Bonaventure to get a closer look and selfie. 

 

On a recent trip, I discovered that Savannah has other intriguing cemeteries and one can be found just steps from Chippewa Square. 

 


Colonial Park Cemetery lies in the heart of Savannah’s historic district. Those interested in history will enjoy a stroll among the luminaries of Savannah’s colonial past. Those who enjoy a good spooky story will revel in a ghost tour of what’s been called Savannah’s most haunted cemetery.


The cemetery was established in 1750 and was known by several other names over the years, including the Old Brick Cemetery, South Broad Street Cemetery, Christ Church Cemetery, and simply, the Old Cemetery. Luminaries abound in Colonial Park, including military heroes, US Continental Congressmen, and the marvelously named Button Gwinnett, Georgia’s signer of the Declaration of Independence, who was killed in a duel just outside the gates of the cemetery.

 

I’ve found that writers have an affinity for graveyards. Cemeteries are a supermarket of names, especially for writers of historical fiction. From inscriptions, one can learn so much about a time period, including which names were popular. If I ever need to name a character with Southern charm and a Savannah pedigree, these names gleaned from the stones at Colonial Park Cemetery might turn up on the page: Patridge Adams, Preserved Alger, Oliver Anguheart,  Mary Ann Victoire Armaignac, Valeria Josephine Burroughs, Philura Paine Spalding Claghorn, Missouri Douglas.

 

Besides being a trove of interesting names, cemeteries are full of stories. 

 

In Colonial Park, historic plaques and markers stand by headstones and cenotaphs, offering silent history lessons, inspiration, and more mysteries. Especially evocative is the Duellist’s Grave, a memorial to Lieutenant James Wilde, who died on January 16, 1815 in a duel with Captain Roswell P. Johnson. The cause of the dispute in this “affair of honor” is undisclosed, but the disdain of Lt. Wilde’s brother for Captain Johnson is clear. What caused these officers of the same regiment to meet and exchange four rounds of gunfire? Only the ghosts know.




 

Do you enjoy a good stroll in a cemetery? Or is it just me?


Shari Randall is the author of the Agatha Award-winning Lobster Shack mystery series from St. Martin's Press. You can see her travel photos and learn more about her books on her Facebook page, Shari Randall Author.

 

 

16 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

Shari,

I've spent a fair piece of time in many of Savannah's cemeteries, including Colonial (where I looked for the graffiti left by Union soldiers who camped there and changed dates on headstones so people died before they were born. We enjoy reading the headstones and coming up with stories behind them.

I've birded in Bonaventure Cemetery many times, including on a couple of Audubon Christmas counts. My personal library contains a book on the symbolism of headstones.

So, yeah, I'm with you on the allure of cemeteries.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I love Savannah. When we lived in Atlanta, we drove down at least once a year, though with a pack of kids, didn't visit the cemeteries. I've driven by an early nineteeth-century cemetery near our house for 13 years. It's time to pay a visit. I like learning the local family names, which are used for many of the roads.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Jim, thanks so much for that correction! Gak! Yes, I could have written even more about Colonial - the history Savannah has packed into just a few square miles is impressive.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Margaret, I shopped for family names for the Lobster Shack books in Mystic's Elm Grove Cemetery. What a lovely spot on the river. Let me know what you find in your local cemetery.

Kait said...

I do enjoy cemeteries. Oh, that didn't sound right. When I visited Charleston, I spent hours in the old cemeteries. My favorites are attached to churches. Now that I'm in Maine, there are a number of small burial plots along the side of the road. No houses or buildings around. They are mostly family plots. Oddly enough, most are maintained and decorated at appropriate times. I always wonder why they were never moved.

KM Rockwood said...

My favorite cemetery visit was to the church cemetery in a small West Virginia town where my brother-in-law was serving as the minister. It was well-maintained and the stones were in surprisingly good shape. There were many more people buried there than were living in the immediate vicinity.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Welcome home. Not as big a fan of visiting cemeteries, but when I do, I'm always intrigued by the designs and inscriptions on the markers.... and of course, like you, my mind wanders to the story of the people buried there and those who chose the words or markers for them.

Shari Randall said...

Kait, LOL! We have many of those roadside plots here, too. I'm glad the ones near you are still tended.

KM, your comment made me pause - what a melancholy thought.

Thanks, Debra! I've found several story ideas in cemeteries. And yes, I do wonder about myself sometimes.

Grace Topping said...

Interesting post, Shari. Savannah is a lovely place. Your mention of all the duels makes me glad men no longer shoot out a duel on main street. Now instead, they just buy out each other's companies.

Grace Topping said...

I might mention that it is comforting that the cemeteries there are well maintained. Some of the cemeteries in my hometown have run out of money to keep them maintained, and they have to call on volunteers from the community to help cut the grass. It is also disheartening to see vandals have knocked over tombstones there.

Tonette Joyce said...

I tend to tread lightly and with respect, (and prayers), through cemetaries. Even if you have no spiritual beliefs, those before us deserve respect. I see far too many people tromping around and making fun of names on gravestones.
Indeed, names from the past and types of memorials are fascinating. So many young children! So many untold stories.

Annette said...

I love walking through cemeteries! I always come away with a new story idea or a great character name.

Shari Randall said...

I'm with you, Tonette, respectful and aware of where I'm walking. I wish more people were the same way!

Shari Randall said...

Annette, I'm the same way - so much inspiration there!

Jennifer J. Chow said...

I do like visiting cemeteries, Shari, but only once in a while. And that cover image from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil still gives me chills whenever I see it.

Daniel Paul said...

Get help in Psychology dissertation writing, we have developed an instinctive form to gather all the information of your dissertation that you need.