Savannah Book Festival
This past Saturday, I took an excursion to Savannah, which is located about 200 miles from my winter retreat. Savannah just happens to have one of the largest historic districts in the country and though I was headed straight for this part of town, the old architecture was not my reason for visiting the city. Instead it was a weekend event called the Savannah Book Festival that had enticed me into the city.
Actually, book festivals are kind of a recent phenomena. My hometown of Portland (Maine) had started theirs about same time as the Georgia port city, but Boston, a much larger city than either Savannah or Portland was two years behind. Nonetheless all places have succeeded in putting on fun and challenging festivals including Savannah.
What impressed me most about this event was the setting. After parking my vehicle on Oglethorpe Street I had to walk ten blocks underneath moss-laden live oak trees to reach the festival site. The temperatures were warm, the sun was out, as were thousands of tourists and casual strollers. In fact, the day was so nice I just wanted to keep walking around the city. After stopping for a cup of coffee in one of the festival buildings and browsing the book tents, that’s just what I did.
Finally about 3:30 in the afternoon, I showed up at my first event, a talk by Marc Smirinoff, the creator and editor of the Oxford American, which happens to be one of my favorite magazine. (Their annual music issue with complimentary recorded music samples is always high on my list of purchases.) This one hour event was not a disappointment, as the editor explained how someone from the San Francisco Bay Area ended up in Oxford, Missisippi working in a bookstore. The rest in history.
For the last hour, I listened to a young novelist (Adam Davies), unknown to me, give an hour long talk on the NY publishing world and Hollywood. With three novels under his belt along with a couple of screenplays, this talk proved to quite informative as well. At six pm I was cruising down MLK Boulevard. I made the turn onto Interstate 16 and I was headed back to SC.