SO I WAS GOING TO SAVANNAH, and I took pink clothes. Black, too, of course, but I thought with a smattering of pastels I might be less conspicuously alien. Although the humidity made my hair larger than usual, it wasn’t what I would call Big. I could almost pass for a Georgia peach.
I didn’t much notice what others were wearing, partly because there is a giant St. Patrick’s Day celebration there, too (the second-largest parade in the U.S.). Many people had on screaming green beads and t-shirts and were inebriated on more than mint juleps.
I did notice that this is one of the most beautiful and gracious cities on earth: founded in 1733, organized around 24 lovely squares (22 of which remain, the others, victims of urban “renewal”), full of fine old houses and even older trees hung with Spanish moss. It was all redolent of the early days of the American experiment. The historian friend who guided me and my husband knew every stone and leaf.
As an unreconstructed Unionist, I was glad that our tour of the architecturally fascinating Owens-Thomas house (where the Marquis de Lafayette once stayed with his entourage, including dog) began in the slave quarters—lest anyone forget that the labor of human cargo from Africa was the basis for the cotton trade that made Savannah prosperous.
As for my wardrobe, it turned out that I sort of matched the cherry blossoms, dogwood, and other flowering plants wreathing Savannah that weekend. I also ate a lot of rosy shrimp.