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Little James Dean & Mr. Hop Hop

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Last night in Catholic Cemetery in Savannah, while my dog walked me under a luminous golden crescent moon and a breeze that prompted a desire to sleep in the cemetery, I suddenly stumbled upon a stuffed animal bunny that was face down on the ground. Looking slightly discarded, I gathered that one of the groundskeepers, while mowing, must’ve bumped him from his station. As I held him and scanned around, I knew right away where he belonged. This is what I do on my night patrols. I rescue and reunite grave site objects with their proper owners at no charge. As you can see, he’s seen better days, but before he was ejected from his post, he’d been looking out after his pal and being near for a very long time. He said as much! “Shannon Scott, Stuffed Animal Whisperer.” He reminded me of my own favorite stuffed animal, Justin, who was a polar bear puppet that I received for opening up a saving’s account when I was barely older than James. Justin had the same shiny black bead eyes, that to me, looked like licorice candy. I loved that stuffed animal. He wasn’t a cheap Chinese make either. Old school Taiwan synthetics! He was like my first real pet even if purely imaginary. We slept together and I loved being able to express myself with him through his puppet aspect. Some of my childhood was very lonely and internalized and Justin did seem a friend and gave me comfort. He was probably also the original source of me doing character voices. Many a depressed child has been saved by such creature companions. So yes, there was no way, haggard as this bunny was, that I was about to leave him in such a discarded state! Justice prevails!

I am used to seeing children’s graves and know that Pre-Penicillin, 1928, they were the rule of cemeteries and the majority of them went unmarked. Even so, I am never used to seeing them. The feeling is always a wide pan of gut filled emotions. You always hear the ever truthful cliche, “There’s nothing worse for a parent than losing a child.”  My response would be, “no there is nothing worse for a parent.” Made more grueling by the understanding that part of the future has died at the same time. All the same, I picked up the bunny and put him back where he belonged and I took this photo in the darkness and when I saw it later, it was as if he was looking up at me in his tatters with a grateful smile and I saw Justin all over again. And because I cannot truly speak to James or bring him back from the dead or talk to this bunny, I just felt I had to make something more of it than the picture and this little biddy came out. I am not a parent, but its deaths like these that make me hope for a God most of all and that these children like James, who died so young, are in his bosom and that they all have stuffed animals to keep them company. For you James, a much-beloved son…


Little James Dean Wise!
Who’s your friend with the beady eyes?
A funny looking bunny!
Who does he now spy?
Tis’ I, Tis’ I!
But I’m only passing by!
Tonight’s not my time to die
No, but how sad your burial belies
That sweet boyish face
Primed for life’s great race
I had to pause in my mortal haste
And ponder what made you stop?
When I found Mr Hop Hop
Guarding your grave like his den
Faithful toy friend to the end
I thought I heard him say,
“Better here than the world of men.”
— Shannon Scott

Photo By Shannon Scott (C) 2019

 

Shannon Scott Back On The Storytelling Deck!

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Hi everyone & Happy St Patrick’s! Some have wondered about my whereabouts in recent months and I wanted to fill everyone in! I’ve been sparse on my own tours for very good reason but will be back on deck regularly St Patrick’s Day! I will also be available for private tours 7 Days & 7 Nights A Week in addition to the regular weekly schedule!

Namely, the big news is that as of last November 1st, I’m no longer affiliated with 6th Sense World, Bonaventure Cemetery Tours (I’m Bonaventure Cemetery Journeys) or the welcome center store on Bonaventure Rd that many of you have supported and enjoyed. I had an amicable parting of ways just because we all outgrow situations and I found that my vision is a particular path that requires me at the helm of everything. Since? I have been deeeeeep down in the laboratory preparing to launch daily tours of Colonial Park Cemetery & Laurel Grove Cemetery North along with other special group event tours like, GOOD & EVIL X and rebooting Dinner & A Cemetery. I will also have some very specialized Low Country private tours that include parts of South Carolina & Georgia. Essentially I am taking EVERYTHING that is inside of my knowledge warehouses and offering it to the public as a touring opportunity and this is going to be a BIG year for Shannon Scott Tours! Oh, and our new motto? “The Dead People Story People!”

Not least of all, starting next week of March 17th, I will be launching a personal concierge service called The Savannah Expert. Having run a publishing company for 7 years, working as a chef for as many and having just given solid advice in Savannah for 30 years? Well, I’m turning that into a business where for travelers, both in advance and already here, I tailor make their trip so that it is as fail-safe as it can possibly be! So if you yourself are a tour operator, hotelier, restaurant owner/manager or whatever it is in Savannah that people need? And you’re exceptional at doing that in my eyes? You will be 100% hearing from my clients and seeing them seeking out your establishments! Even if it means I don’t recommend my own tour, I will be recommending whatever best suits the needs of that visitor! PERIOD! 

Last and perhaps most importantly? A big part of my success in this transition has hinged upon the fact that fellow storytellers, Lisa Marie, Rich Lane, Jessica Hodges are an active part of the new team as are marketing and design greats, Tami Sabo, Stacy Hill and Matt Duplessie! Some of them have been with me as friends and cohorts for over a decade so really this all feels like a family moving forward together! I’m grateful and when you see these fine people out there, please share your appreciation as well!

Come Roam With US Soon! The Storyist, Shannon Scott

Photo Courtesy of LONELY PLANET

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