Friday, August 14, 2009

Flannery O'Connor's Savannah

I just returned from Savannah, its historic squares and boulevards, canopied with centuries old live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, excuse enough for a trip only slightly over four hours drive away. Even so, I wanted to focus on Flannery O'Connor, who was born there and lived her childhood at Lafayette Square.

This is the living room of the O'Connor house, family photos on display.

The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home at 207 E. Charlton St., on Lafayette Square.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, also on Lafayette Square, a short walk from home for an impressionable little girl.

The backyard of Flannery O'Connor's childhood home, immortalized by Pathe Newsreel of Mary Flannery's pet chicken, which she had taught to walk backwards. The old newsreel pokes a little fun at this oddity, but Flannery O'Connor cited it as the beginning of her lifelong love of birds, including her famed collection of peacocks at Andalusia, her farm home outside Milledgeville.

Guido Gardens, Metter, Ga., "Home of the Sower," a lovely place to stop for a picnic lunch between Atlanta and Savannah. Guido Gardens is maintained by the Guido Evangelistic Association. Flannery O'Connor would not have missed it.

I am writing an article for the print world about Flannery O'Connor. Please share with me your favorite uniquely Georgia quote, paragraph, scene, etc. from her writings. Click comments or send e-mail.

(Copyright 2009 by William C. Cotter)


Yvonne said...

I don't have favorite quote about Georgia, but my favorite O'Connor quote of all time is:

Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Certainly the Flannery O'Connor we all know and love.

Tina said...

I love Savannah and I love Guido Gardens. No Flannery quotations to contribute...but one question--
wonder why she went for fowls -- never a kitten or puppy or a horse or anything that one could pet or hug or otherwise have contact with.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Great question. I have read that Mary Flannery's mother Regina would not allow dogs or cats due to her belief that they were not clean. Have you hugged your chicken today?

Tina said...

If I never go in another henhouse again, that will suit me fine! Chickens are messy.


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