(Click to Hear Shannon Read This Poem In Character)
I don’t care about anything out there! I don’t care about the pitch fever traffic or the unkindly stares! I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care, Don’t care, Don’t care, Don’t care! I’m happy right here where the dead people sleep!
Rose Hill is my pasture and I’m its happy sheep! There are slopes to run & stone bridges to leap! Wildflowers growing and grass beneath my feet feet feet! Grave markers to read and new dead people I need to meet!
I don’t have time for you old world of the living! You might be driven but you sure ain’t livin! There’s no peace out there or rest for the wicked! Stress is your game and your spirits are constricted! You won’t be my misery and I won’t be your convicted! Here in this place I’m one with me and stay uplifted!
What’s that you say? You say you laughing at me? That’s okay because in here you’ll soon be. Away from all of that out there where you ain’t free. You just can’t see, can’t see, can’t see.
So you go about your business, hustle and dread. I’ma roam round here awhile, where you think its dead. Might even move in, I’m so partial to this stead. Lie down awhile, take in the cool earth ‘neath my head. Listen to the river roll by and the train on the tracks too. I’m home in here with the breeze and the quiet. Not out there with you in that life laugh riot.
One of my prouder moments in my story telling career was having the acclaimed George Noory of the legendary Coast To Coast AM radio show, do the narration over a segment on Savannah featuring my take on the hanging tree of Savannah, Georgia in Colonial Park Cemetery. Subjects like “Hanging Trees” on ghost tours or “whipping trees” on history ones, have become the stuff of cliche and are often entirely fake. More the reason why I am remiss that I can no longer show a true hanging tree that stood smack dab in the middle of Colonial Park Cemetery and pre-dated the cemetery of 1750 by another 50 years or more at 300 plus years of age. True to form, the failed Park & Tree Commission of Savannah, did nothing to save this tree and permitted its murder in my opinion when it was cut down. Granted some would say such a tree is made evil, but lets face it, it had more purpose as beautiful tree and less say in the matter when they threw a rope over one of its grand branches. In fact, I often sat on the bench beneath this tree and we kept each other company during many daytime and evening visits. This tree was one of the capital live oaks of downtown Savannah and will never forgive the loss or forget that tree. Incidentally you can see me talking about it in my film America’s Most Haunted City and I feel blessed that I could capture it in a forever spotlight with my documentary. The last known hanging from the tree was in 1911. A black man had been falsely accused of raping a white woman, was being kept in the neighboring Old City Jail (currently Habersham Hall of the Savannah College of Art & Design), but the man never made it to trial. The mob beat the courtroom to the process. They dragged the accused to the tree, hung him and burned his body on the tree. The photo of the man charred on the rope, has never been published, but a friend of mine owns the photo, in 2001 loaned it to a lynching exhibit at the Martin Luther King, Jr Center in Atlanta, GA. Seeing it was something else. One wonders if the tree didn’t bear the scars of flames for a very long time. All the same, that tree saw the founding of Georgia, is where many famed and acclaimed strolled, picnicked beneath its branches, dueled nearby on the duelling grounds and it survived every fire, hurricane and act of war that Savannah ever experienced! And aren’t you a little sad you never got to see it? Or if you did, maybe a bit mad that they just took it down without much ceremony? Me too. That tree was kind of one of the first familiars for me in Savannah. In this video I discuss the hanging & spiritual tale of legendary figure and phantom, Rene Asch Rondolier, Savannah’s ghost king. We’ll talk about him in a future post! For now, enjoy the video!
I wouldn’t say that I have the best camera in the world, but I do have a natural eye for moments. In fact, if I had a great camera, I’d be dangerous. Even with limits, I’ve garnered some impressive feeling … Continue reading →