Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, Michael and I had the chance to take a deep breath, sit by a fire and yes, actually watch a movie that didn't have Miley Cyrus as the main star.  We were looking for something easy and entertaining.



(Mercer-Williams House)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was originally a best-selling true-crime novel, written by John Berendt in the early 1990's.  Jim Williams, the central character, was a wealthy antiques dealer.  He famously restored Mercer House, his residence, among many other homes in Savannah, Georgia.  Details were sketchy but after  Jim Williams' famous annual Christmas party,  Williams' part-time employee, part-time lover, Danny Lewis Hansford was shot by him at Mercer House.  Williams claimed self-defense and after four trials, he was acquitted.

Along a team of high powered attorneys, Jim hired Minerva, the voodoo priestess, to work her magic for Jim while sprinkling graveyard dirt on the steps of Jim's enemies among other things.  Jim ran his antiques business and made calls to Architectural Digest from jail while awaiting his trial.  Williams is the only person in Georgia history to be tried for the same murder four times.




(Images of Jude Law, Kevin Spacey and John Cusack in MIdnight in the Garden of Good and Evil)

The movie followed, directed by Clint Eastwood, released in 1997.  John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law and Eastwood's daughter, Alison, all had starring roles.  The book was fabulous, the movie was a one notch better than good.  But, the movie, had an unknown star that stole the hearts of many, Savannah.

(Entry Hall in Mercer-Williams House)

I've had a love affair with the Low Country that started while living in Hilton Head right after college.  It's a part of our country that is unique in every way.  It's people, food, culture, climate and architecture are all its own.  Savannah was a sleepy southern town until Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It's now a first-rate tourist destination that many visit for home tours, music festivals, art exhibits and much more.  I haven't been since it was a sleepy little town but after rewatching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I'm reading the book again and I'm ready to go back.




I've put together some inspiring images of Savannah, some of its most spectacular houses, gardens and yes, graveyards.  They are beautiful too.




What about that wisteria?  I know it's deadly if it gets out of control (its happened to to me), but there is nothing more beautiful.





Very interesting architecture which is common in this area of the country.





I love the iron work on this house and the paint color combinations on exteriors are eclectic, just like Savannah's people.




Some of Savannah's finest.  Stunning.





Classic and beautiful.  Limestone, wrought iron and magnolias, you don't get much more Southern than that.




Bed and breakfasts abound in Savannah.  There are many to choose from for your next trip.




Wisteria again.  This is the front porch of the Mercer-Williams House where Jim Williams greeted guests for years.



More iron and interesting paint schemes.



Gardens and squares with water features are a special part of Savannah.



Classic architecture is also typical of this area.





Lush, green vegetation.  Savannah drips with Spanish moss and has dense green landscaping everywhere.






Savannah's original city plan, envisioned by James Edward Oglethorpe, stands today with a grid of more than 20 city squares throughout the Historic District.









Bonaventure Cemetery, too, was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  It sits atop a scenic bluff on Wilmington River east of Savannah.  It's like a historic neighborhood covering 160 acres with oak-lined avenues, alleys and a variety of gardens.





This sculpture, now known as "The Bird Girl" sat in Bonaventure virtually unnoticed until this photograph was used for the cover of the book and movie.  It stood on the family plot of Lucy Boyd Trosdal.  After publication of the book, the sculpture was donated to Savannah's Telfair Musuem of Art to avoid disturbances by visitors to the cemetery.









This Savannah home was featured in Architectural Digest.  As beautiful as this home is, it's funny to me that with all the beautiful historic homes in Savannah, AD chose this house built in 1987 to feature.  It was an infill in the historic district.

If these images have peaked your interest in Savannah, go pull your copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or rent the movie.  The movie is worth watching to  see Savannah and my guess is, you too, will be booking your trip to the Low Country.

We'll talk soon.

Gwen

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