Jim Williams had a warm honeyed Georgia accent that was as charming as he was.
Savannah, Georgia is that graceful, elegant belle of the south where the past is always alive.
She is filled with the ghosts of her past and they are welcoming to visitors who step into the past as they enter. She is a city made for dreaming of bygone days.
Williams was also the only Georgian ever tried for the same crime four times! A travesty really.
Mercer house was never lived in by any of the Mercer family at all, including composer Johnny Mercer and today, after Mr. Williams death the glorious mansion which occupies one full block on the square in Savannah is a museum.
I suppose after the shooting death of Danny Hansford inside the house no one offered to buy it after Jim himself passed away.
The house was built by General Hugh Mercer, of Civil war fame, but he never got to live in the house because of circumstances of the war.
The Mercer family also included General Mercer of the Revolutionary war, General Patton of WWII and the famous song writer Johnny Mercer.
The drama of those days and the charm and quirky atmosphere are memorialized in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
If you want to hear the book I recommend the vocal rendition done by actor Anthony Heald. What an excellant job he does in interpreting every line, every accent and voice.
Jim Williams passed on from walking pneumonia in 1990 having finally been acquitted of murder.
His life, however, was far more than just the book or the movie.
Mr. Williams personally restored 50 historic homes in Georgia saving them from certain loss something we should all appreciate. There just is no building being done today that comes within a universe of the grace and glory of bygone days.
It is sad that a person's life can be distilled down to one part of it while the rest may pass by unknown.
I was inspired to share this with you as I am on my 'umpteenth' listening to the book on tape.
Here are some photos of Mercer House....
|Mercer House seen from Monterey Square|