Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An Encouraging Sign & A Job Opportunity

A new book list.

In yesterday’s edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there appeared an article by Phil Kloer pertaining to a book list recently published in Entertainment Weekly magazine. To see the article, ‘Ooh, another list! EW’s Top 100 books of the last 25 years.’ go to www.ajc.com and click the books link. It’s always good to see book news in the dailies, and lists are always fun. Book people seem particularly prone to making them.

No comment on the selections that made the list, or the order in which they appear. What I found encouraging was that the article appeared in the June 30th edition of the AJC. Of course, the article was also on the paper’s website, and allowed readers an opportunity to post their opinions about the list. By the end of the day yesterday, thirty had done so. That’s encouraging.

Barbara Kingsolver’s book, The Poisonwood Bible, came in at number 48. It should have been much, much higher in the list.

A Job Announcement.

I can’t help but think that the following career opportunity has relevance to Georgia books. Think of the jacket cover to John Berendt’s 1994 work of creative non-fiction, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, perhaps the most well-known and successful book written about Georgia in the past twenty years. Specifically, I am referring to the haunting photograph of Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery that was taken by the late Jack Leigh.

In any event, the City of Savannah is currently seeking someone to fill the position of Cemetery Events Coordinator, in the Department of Cemetaries, located at 330 Bonaventure Road, in Savannah, Georgia. For more information about the position, call 912-651-6484, or visit the website www.savannahga.gov.

According to the job description, one of the duties of the position will be “Schedules and prioritizes after-hours activities and events.” Well, that’s just plain creepy.

The position requires, among other skills and knowledge, “Experience working with a variety of clients preferred.” Yes, well, I would suppose so.

I lived in Savannah from 1988-1990. I used to take the occasional stroll in Colonial Park Cemetery, located in the heart of the historical district. It was a peaceful place, filled—so to speak—with much history. From time to time, and for the same reasons, I would also drive over to Bonaventure Cemetery, located adjacent to a marsh on the outskirts of the City. It is a beautiful and peaceful place. And rather isolated. It’s filled with old tombstones and monuments, many of them hundreds of years old. It is also filled with Live Oaks draped with Spanish moss, the result being that the Cemetery appears somewhat dark, even in the middle of the day.

I would occasionally visit Bonaventure, just to find a quiet spot. I would find a bench on which to sit and stew, or I would simply walk the grounds. Occasionally, my imagination would get the best of me and I would development a real case of the heebie-jeebies. It would start out slowly—a creepy sensation of, say, not being alone, or perhaps being watched by unseen eyes. This feeling would build to a point where my walk back to the car would quickly progress from stroll, to quickstep, to outright run. I kept going back, though.


Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies Among the Georgia Coastal Negroes. This interesting book was first published in 1940 in cooperation with the Savannah Unit of the Georgia Writer’s Project, part of the Work Projects Administration. It was re-released in 1986 by the University of Georgia Press.

Savannah Duels & Duellists, 1733-1877 by former Savannah Mayor, Thomas Gamble. First published in 1923 by the Review Publishing and Printing Company. Reprinted in 1997 by The Oglethorpe Press, Savannah.

Savannah Spectres and Other Strange Tales by Margaret Wayt DeBolt, 1984, Donning Company. Savannah has often been referred to as the most Haunted City in the United States.


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