The Gull Reef Club

3/12/2005

The Scene Turns Green

Filed under: — Jaime @ 3:50 pm

It’s that time of year again in Georgia’s oldest city. Yesterday marked the official start of the St. Patrick’s Season. Yes, I realize the official date is 5 days away. Here in Savannah, however, a day is simply not enough. The canned response on why we celebrate this holiday so hardily in Savannah is due to our large population of Irish descendants. But that’s not the real reason – at least it isn’t anymore. St. Patrick’s day happens to occur during the full-on emergence of spring. It starts mid-to-late February with the dogwoods and daffodils showing their stuff, then onto the redbud trees, and by St. Pat’s the city is glowing with miles and miles of azalea bushes. We have all spent the last few months with our windows closed and the heat on. St. Patrick’s day occurs during the seasonal height of spring and we all are eager to get outside and celebrate any reason to be outside.

At about 11:00 yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk at work, like usual, when I heard a group of men ‘whooing.’ After a brief flashback to college, I look out my window and there I spot a group of young men, clad in festive, green costumes tailgating in the parking lot a few floors below. Good start.

Shortly after work, I was waiting in front of the office building for Mike to pick me up. There were a lot of people milling about in the square and on the street. Many of whom were carrying their legally allowed, 16 oz. or less, single, plastic cup of beer or liquor. Within just a minute or two, I hear the abrupt and intermittent wail of police sirens. It seems they have found a way to make sirens more annoying by not allowing them to scream their long noises. These cops were just turning their sirens on and off really quickly. Damn obnoxious.

Turns out they were being obnoxious for a good reason. Apparently someone organized a fun run and forgot to tell the local media about it. Or maybe the media just didn’t want to report it. Either way, these cops were a rolling road closure so about a 1,000 runners and a few straggling walkers could make their way through the historic district. I enjoyed a few minutes of watching the runners. Runners look silly as it is. They looked even funnier dressed up in green hats, clothes, and beaded necklaces.

When the stream of runners looked like it would never end, I started to get a little annoyed. Was Mike going to be able to get through this in his car? Why am I not seeing any cars driving on the other side of the square? Did the cops close the road down without warning anyone during rush-hour?

The answer was yes, they did close down the square during Friday rush-hour traffic without warning anyone. Typical Savannah. However, Mike was his usual resourceful self and knew to cut down an alley, er ‘lane’ as they call them down here, to come around to get me. Such traffic annoyances are a trade-off for the leisurely lifestyle we lead here, I guess.

During my wait for Mike, I noticed the fountains had been turned green. I honestly thought the officials would wait until Monday. Nice to see they don’t mind getting the party started early. Here’s more on the greening of the fountains: St. Pat’s Leaders Turn City’s Fountains Green, Savannah Morning News, 03.11.05.

Next week is going to be a blast. I have a three-day workweek. Thursday, the official date of St. Patrick, all the offices in the building in which I work are forced to close by building management due to the parade that goes around our block. Oh darn, a forced day off. Seeing an opportunity here, I opted to take Friday and the following Monday off. Instant 5 day weekend at the height of spring. Yeah me!

I must give the city of Savannah a lot of credit for the planning of St. Pat’s festivities this year. They were wise enough to blend them in with the ever growing Savannah Music Festival. Before the St. Pat’s celebrations can wear down, we kick the city party back up by inviting a large variety of musical acts to keep people around and in hopes of attracting a few more.

This year, the music fest organizers were smart enough to invite the legendary Buddy Guy, who graciously accepted. While we have no way to prove it, Mike and I like to think that the invitation was extended due to Mike’s emailing the organizers last year advising them to invite Buddy. We will be enjoying his concert from the 7th row, aisle seats. If you’ve not had the fortune to see Buddy Guy play, your life is lacking and unfulfilled. I mean it. This man is a living legend. If you have seen him, then you fully understand the beauty of snagging an upfront, aisle seat for a Buddy Guy concert. While sitting in a concert hall to see him may not be as much fun as seeing him at his own club in Chicago, Buddy Guy is a king of showmanship and any concert he gives will demonstrate this. Buddy does a number of amusing acts on stage to enhance your blues experience with him. One of these is that he hooks up to a 150 foot long cord and walks among the audience playing. I once saw him at Legends do this but there he walked outside with his guitar in the middle of a freezing, flurrying, January night to play for the people on the street who couldn’t squeeze into the club. Quintessential Chicago blues. Pure genius.

If you need a holiday, please consider visiting this dreamy land where the river meets the sea. I would not want to be anywhere else this time of year.

The Gull Reef Club