hostess city of the south.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Mercer Williams Home (House of Jim Williams) 

It has been two weeks since I have been back from Savannah, Georgia and not a day goes by without daydreaming about my Hostess City of the South. This mysterious and quaint city never gets old to me, and I am continually amazed by its beauty.  It is the perfect city for adventure, exploring and getting into ghostly trouble. As you know, from a previous post, I had been reading the book "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil" which is about the people of Savannah, real people with real stories and hold a real impact of the history of Savannah.

The main man in the book is an antique collector and dealer, the hostess man of the city known for his Christmas parties with a keen love for the historic homes of Savannah. He finds himself on trial for the murder of a kid whom he had given work to and then shot and killed. Though I cannot tell you how the trial of 8 years ended because you have to read the book,  I can say that it's quite the story filled with voodoo and frequent visits to Savannah's famous graveyard, Bonaventure Cemetery and it gives me the thrill of a lifetime! Jim Williams is a good man who was caught up in a situation at the wrong place and at the wrong time. His home in Savannah which was previously owned by the song writer Johnny Mercer of "Moon River," is a historic place to visit till this day. Once upon a time, Jackie Kennedy dropped by offering to buy the home off of Jim whose response was, "In your dreams, Jackie."

Today his home is still filled with all of Jims famous antiques and paintings which have all been delicately described within the book. Well, my dreams had come true when we spent a second day in Savannah and toured the Mercer Williams Home. It was exquisite with its Neo-Classical style and his American Revival furniture and decor. The home was the definition of the South in every way possible it screamed America. The paint colors were so lush and delicious as you can see from above with beautiful hues of blues and lilacs. All of the paint colors were mixed and created by Jim himself so as to what the colors are called, we'll never know which makes it that much more unique. Each room had a purpose and a meaning, one particularly special to Williams. Every item of decor had history and a story, it was spectacular. It is how I envision my dream home in the future; filled with antiques, trinkets, unique objects that has meaning and reflects the passions and hobbies and the life of the owner of the home. I still think of his home till this day and I dream big.

Luckily, the Zoo fell in love with the blue room which was Williams study. I never thought I'd hear those words come from the mouth of the Zoo but he said those magical words and we instantly thought we'd use this paint color for our living room in our new home. I've searched high and low for a color to match it. When I became desperate, I called the Mercer Williams Home and asked for the specific paint colors. That was when I had learned that Jim had created and mixed the paint colors himself so they could not help me with the much needed information. Though bummed, I just instantly thought that Jim was even cooler than I had thought of him before. I know you probably think I am crazy for loving this man who had committed murder, but honestly, the book is a must read and is a famous story of the history of Savannah and I promise you he is more innocent than what you're thinking right now. He's just one cool cat. You have to read the book to figure it out for yourself.

In 1997, Clint Eastwood directed a movie based off of the book starring Kevin Spacey, John Cusack and Judd Law and I'm dying to see it. The greatest part of the film is that the location was filmed in the actual Mercer Williams home. The parties, the famous parties of Savannah that took place and portrayed in the film were in the home as they were back then and some of the party guests in the movie were actual Savannahian guest that attended Jim's parties back in the day. It's so surreal to think about. Jim's sister and his nieces are also in the film. I love how much reality Eastwood brings into the film. I'm sure Jim would be proud.

You see, that's what I love about Savannah. I love that the stories are history and are passed down from generation to generation and they become legends. I love that people are not forgotten in the town, but remembered and honored. I love that everyone in the town keeps secrets and guilty pleasures and embrace the ghosts of the town that bring to life the historic history and stories of Savannah, Georgia. There is no place on earth quite like this Hostess City of the South and my heart aches when I am not near it.

I can't wait to see you soon Savannah.

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