I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward.
-- David Livingstone
This is the week when many of us will take on a rare job -- tour guide.
People come to town for the Masters Tournament and expect to see the sights -- you know -- the things not about golf.
So what do you show them?
Where do you take them?
What do you reveal that explains why you live here and why you like it?
I have a routine. It goes like this.
I'll take them around the neighborhoods near the Augusta National Golf Club to see the dogwoods and azaleas. I won't say anything about the brilliant white and red and pink blossoms. I'll act like it looks like this all the time.
When I get near the Augusta State campus, I'll cut over to Williams Street and show them Ty Cobb's old house.
"First one he ever built," I'll say. "They found an old bat nearby a few years ago," I'll add. "Probably the one he hit .400 with."
I'll cruise down the Walton Way curve and offer what I call a Great Gatsby glimpse from the old Bon Air Hotel's curving front drive.
"This is where President Harding stayed when he came to town to play golf," I'll point out. "The golfers used to stay here, too."
Sometimes I'll come into town via Wrightsboro Road, where I'll cut over to Milledge Road, then turn down Battle Row. ("It's named after a family named Battle," I'll explain, "not a war victory.")
When we get to the bottom of the hill and head over to Broad, I will congratulate my passenger. "You have just spent the past 15 minutes on the old Creek Indian trail," I'll say. "About now, they'd be looking for a trading post."
If there is any way, I'll take them to the Riverwalk and a view of the Savannah.
I will take some creative license and tell them that's the same river that flows down to Savannah, where Johnny Mercer wrote the evocative Moon River .
I always take people to show them Woodrow Wilson's old house on Seventh Street and the other house next door. I never get tired of telling them that his next-door childhood friend, Joseph Lamar, grew up to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
"Only place in America," I say, "that two little boys who once played baseball between these two brick houses would grow up to become the president of the United States and a Supreme Court justice."
And if any of that doesn't seem to connect, I like to show them any church parking lot this morning.
I'll act like they're always this full, too.