Four and a half of my eleven years in Savannah, GA were spent manning the front desk of the Eliza Thompson House between 3-11 p.m. on weekdays. That red front door was a doorway onto the world that I remember fondly. I never knew who was going to walk in or what adventures could be lived vicariously while sitting in the house’s front parlor.
It helped make talking much easier. Having to answer the phone and have conversations with folks from across the country and the world that made it easier to speak without fear of stuttering. There are folks that say they’re waiting to leave a message when they realize that it’s actually me talking to them live. I could easily write posts about the people I got to meet over the years and what I learned in the process.
There were a lot of famous people though I only sought one autograph from a person during that entire period; that water-damaged copy of The President’s Daughter is one that I enjoyed reading tremendously.
There were politicians, humanitarians, university department chairs, law enforcement officers and planners. There was the doctor who came in once a month to do surgery and the pharaceutical representative from the West Coast who always talked about driving her convertible with the top down. There was the couple who came to town every year to sail overseas on a container ship when I could here about the previous year’s journey and the numerous couples who came to town to see if they could live there. There were the high school seniors who visited Savannah to see if SCAD was the place for them and the parents who timidly hoped that life would be OK afterwards.
I remember watching horse-drawn carriages along Jones Street on Christmas Eve and trying to get over to City Market to eat dinner before the kitchens closed for the holiday and some memories that will never fade away.
This time of year brings one particular memory to mind.