The past two days and evenings have been an experience I wouldn't want to have missed. I worked mornings and then had a several-hour break before returning in costume. That made for two very long days. I am resting up today, a day off.
The tours were all reserved and sold in advance, about 40 people to a tour, and they ran about 1/2 hour each, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. They started with an introduction in the Visitors Center, a short interlude of Christmas carols, and then they were brought to the Fort. Everything was lit by lanterns and candles, so the effect must have been a little spooky. When the tour group reached the sally port and were inside the Fort, they were taken up to the side where the cannons were set up in the field, and the cannons were fired. Talk about a deafening noise! (The visitors had all been given earplugs). Then all along the casemates came the firing of muskets, ending with the rebel yell. The folks could then come into the Sutler store and visit Santa, look at the merchandise, and even get books signed by a local author. After they were all out of the store we had a few minutes to recoup until the next group came in.
The first night was really cold and we left the door open so that people would realize we were open. Each time I heard them get ready to fire the cannon I ran outside to try to get a photo of it, but the spirits of the place wouldn't allow that. As you can see from the photos, all I got was a picture containing lots of orbs. Every other time I tried to photograph it I ended up with a picture of a brick column, but I didn't have my camera pointed anywhere near it.
When I was working at the store Saturday morning it was so strange to see men and boys walking back and forth dressed in Confederate uniforms. Many of them came into the store just as they would have come into the original Sutler store and it was nice talking to them.
We were fortunate to have local author, Robert T.S. Mickles, Sr. at our celebration both nights, signing his books and talking to folks about them. It is written on the cover of "Blood Kin, A Savannah Story, Part I", "Savannah native Robert T.S. Mickles, Sr., is the great-grandson of former slaves on one side of his family and Portuguese slave traders on the other. This double heritage makes him uniquely qualified to tell the amazing story of family division and family love that he shares in
I heard several people say that they have enjoyed this book as they have no other, and reading the first chapter so far, I can see that I am going to find it true for myself. Mickles also wrote "Isaiah's Tears", which is part II of the Savannah stories. They can be ordered online at Amazon.com.
For some reason my first photo has been trying to upload for the past half hour and I just ran out of patience! I will post the pictures later in a separate entry.