Sonny Seiler On Raising UGA Mascots And His Courtroom Claim To Fame
Attorney Sonny Seiler is that rare local celebrity with two entirely different claims to fame. He was the real-life attorney featured in the book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” and he and his family have been raising the University of Georgia mascots for decades. He unraveled both tales for “On Second Thought” host Virginia Prescott during her visit to his long-time family home in Savannah.
Seiler opened with the origin of Uga, the beloved English Bulldog who serves as the mascot for UGA. In the 1950s, Seiler and his late wife, Cecilia, stumbled into creating a tradition that has continued through the lifetimes of ten different dogs. “A friend of Cecilia’s in Columbus, where she’s from, wanted to give us a white English Bulldog as a wedding present. Well, we could hardly feed ourselves, but we couldn’t turn that down, so we accepted.”
As for the case at the heart of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” it saw Seiler in both a real-life and acting role. When Clint Eastwood made the story into a movie, he asked Seiler to play the character of the judge. “I wanted to be on the jury to say, after eight years, ‘We find the defendant not guilty.’ I figured I could get the jury to let me do that, but Mr. Eastwood had other plans.”