Unlike the beautiful, shining city of Montgomery, a veil of the past hangs over the streets of Selma. The National Historic Trail marks the 54-mile voting rights march between Selma and Montgomery, beginning at the Edmund Pettis Bridge. As we walked across the bridge, we could only imagine what it was like that ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1965 when peaceful marchers were attacked by law enforcement officers, and the subsequent marches that eventually led to the steps of the state capitol.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute tells the whole civil rights story – the bus boycott, the sit-ins, the freedom rides, the marches – all in factual, gruesome detail. It’s located across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church, where a Ku Klux Klan bomb killed four little girls one Sunday morning in 1963. Two of the three perpetrators were finally convicted on four counts of murder in 2001 and 2002. The third died in in 1994, and was never charged.
We had hoped to round out our civil rights tour with a visit to the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, but time ran out. We squeezed in a nice dinner with Russ’ cousin, Skip, and his husband, Rob, before setting our sights on home.
We took the Old Savannah Trolly Tour (great suggestion, Tommy), then spent some time walking around this historic beautiful city in bloom. Had a fabulous lunch at Belford’s (best turnip greens ever!), paid our respects to Juliette Gordon Lowe (founder of the Girl Scouts), then headed back for a quiet evening at the campground.
Life in the slow lane, taken on the road to the campground. Our campsite is in the distant woods on the left. Heading to South Carolina tomorrow.
Surrounded by wetlands and far from any roads, we woke this morning to nothing but birdsong and woodpeckers tapping away. A Great Blue Heron made a close fly by, then perched like a sentinel in a tree at the edge of our campsite. We were enthralled by its mournful sounds, wondering what messages it was sending. At the opposite corner, a Wood Stork landed. and was soon joined by two others. These birds are huge, measuring 44 inches with long, slightly curved beaks, and apparently making a comeback from the endangered species list. I’m afraid my phone camera was woefully inadequate in capturing the magnificence of this bird, so take a closer look here.
We set up Ollie at beautiful McAllister State Historical Parkjust south of Savannah, and made a beeline to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum where the 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation has a display. We had some work to do for the Foundation, and spent a delightful afternoon with one of the museum staff members. If you have the slightest interest in World War II – and even if you don’t – this museum tells the story like none other.
We had a oysters and grouper at a cute little dive just outside the park, followed by a lingering walk around the campground before settling in for a quiet night.