Nestled among the salt marshes and rivers of the Lowcountry of the South Atlantic coast, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, have a distinct spirit of place. The two beautiful cities embody a sense of pride and graciousness that time will never diminish.
Georgia Public Broadcasting's Georgia Legacy special – Sophisticated Ladies: Charleston & Savannah With Blythe Danner – explores the South of our past and of our present through two of the region's most intriguing cities.
Award-winning stage and screen actress Blythe Danner hosts, adding her own
personal touch to the project. While filming The Prince of Tides and The
Great Santini - based on Georgia author Pat Conroy's best-sellers - Danner lived
in the Lowcountry. She and her family visit again and again. While living in Beaufort,
S.C., Ms. Danner says, she became "enchanted" with both Savannah and Charleston.
"This is the area where the South began, these cities have triumphed over the
past to thrive today," Danner adds. "To understand the South of our past and our
present, we look to these two sophisticated ladies: Charleston and Savannah."
From Charleston's grand houses with their piazzas (never porches) to the cultural
influence of Charleston's African American community, from stories of Savannah's role
in the Civil War battles to contemporary Savannah's new Ralph Mark Gilbert civil rights
museum, GPB delivers a comprehensive portrait of two enduring cities.
A lovely video tour, Sophisticated Ladies: Charleston and Savannah with Blythe
Danner profiles these two cities, and the cultures that make them unique.
In Savannah, descendants of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, tell
the story of a young "Aunt Daisey," as she is called by family members, sassing
members of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's army.
"The story went that Daisey saw one of the staff who had a missing arm in an
empty sleeve," Low descendent Arthur Gordon explains, "and this fascinated
Daisey... and sitting on Sherman's lap she said to this gentleman, What happened
to your arm? And he said, One of your Confederate soldiers shot it off. She said,
(It was) probably my Papa... He shoots lots of Yankees." Mary Stuart Gordon Platt
recalls the story with a laugh. "Everybody was so astounded they were
As it was in Juliette Gordon Low's era, so it is today: Savannahians have a
reputation for speaking their minds... just pick up a copy of John Berendt's
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and witness the frankness of the
Savannahians interviewed today.
Today's Savannah, Craig Carter says, embraces all kinds of people. "Savannah
is caviar and collard greens. Savannah is voodoo and video," Carter says with a
smile. "We have people who still continue the old ways, and we have a new
crop of students that you think came off another planet."