Tuesday, April 07, 2015

James Habersham, the Pink House and the Detached Hand

*Heh heh. Boys and Ghouls, actually it is not tales from this crypt, it is a tale about the resident of that crypt – in a manner of speaking, heh heh, heh, ha ha Ha Ha HAW HAW.

The above is the eternal home of the body remains of James Habersham (c1712-1775), in the Colonel Cemetery in Savannah. He was a person wanting independence and did much for the independence movement , but died before the actual Declaration of Independence was, well, declared.

The other day while indexing pictures I came across some pictures I had taken in Savannah. The Ole’ Pink House and the Habersham’s crypt brought back some memories. But I did not take the picture of Habersham’s portrait, I found it on Google.

In February of 2005 Anna went to a business meeting in Savannah and I tagged along. The five day meeting was to convene on something like the 15th. We arrived a day before and toured Savannah. We ate at Paula Dean’s “The Lady and Sons” that morning and took a tour of the city.

On the tour The Ole Pink House Restaurant was pointed out as being the home of James Habersham in Colonial Days. The tour guide added that the house was rumored to be haunted by old James himself. We made a mental note to maybe eat there while we were in Savannah.

Somehow, either that night or the next night almost all the people at the meeting decided to have dinner at The Ole’ Pink House.

When we arrived a the restaurant we were taken up to the second level and about 8 of us were seated at a big round table with a portrait of James Habersham looking down on us.

I told this part a couple years ago, so stop me if you already heard it:

We were all sitting around, waiting for our food and making small talk and the seasoned ones were bringing past funny moments that happened at their meetings. One guy, T, brought up a handicapped person that worked for him one and he imitated the poor guy.

M said, “Lets give T a hand!”

Then, without warning: WHAM! The noise came from T’s plate. A rubber hand was lying in his plate. We were all shocked.

M, one of the quieter members at the table reached over and retrieved his artificial hand and reattached it. First there were silence, then everybody laughed, nervously of course.

I didn’t realize M had a prosthetic hand, and I doubt if many more did either.

I looked up at the portrait of James Habersham and his features seemed a little strainer and his eyes looked a little wider than they were a few minutes ago.

It appeared James was shocked too.

Then after people got over the shock and started talking again, people were making one-liners about M giving T “the back of his hand” or “M shot T the finger – five of them!” …. And wait! Everybody had more!

I looked up at James' portrait again. The look of shock had left his eyes and again they were glinting and his smile looked as if he had a few hand jokes he wanted to throw in too.


Savannah, a Ghost, and the Unattached hand

I went with Anna this past February to Savannah. She had four days of business meetings to attend.

The first or second evening we met the others of the working staff along and had dinner at The Olde Pink House in the historic district.

The Olde Pink House was first owned by James Habersham. James Habersham was a Georgia representative and was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Now, it is said The Olde Pink House is haunted by Habersham’s ghost. The travel channel did a bit about Hancock’s ghost there and so did PBS. The waiters claim that he would walk around in his clothing of the period and socialize with the guests and sometimes evening playing a trick on them like hiding one’s fork before he or she reached for it, and the list is endless.

We had reservations. Two big tables held ten of us. Our table was round and was in a corner of the a room. Anna-s co-staffers table were within arm’s reach. One of the men sitting across from me I will call Tony. Behind Tony, high up on the wall, was a portrait of James Habersham, the original owner and maybe part-timeghost.

As we made polite conversation Tony, who struck me as a loud mouth braggart, with lack of anything else to say, brought up the subject of somebody that worked in his office, a handicapped person, a person that was challenged in controlling his body movements and his face movements. Tony said if he got excited talking he would lose control of his facial muscles and spit all over all you as he talked. Tony said he learned long ago to keep his distance or step aside when this guy was about to tell something.


One quiet person, lets call him John, between 55 and 60 years of age said, “Tony I think you deserve a hand for that”

WHAM!!! A big unattached hand landed onto Tony’s empty plate.

Everything got deathly quiet. John reached over and picked up his rubber artificial hand and re-attached it. Everybody at the table broke into laughter and some even were having hysterical laughter. I looked up at the portrait of James Habersham and he seemed to be frowning and not amused at all.

The rest of the evening Tony was mostly quiet. The hand was an inspiration to many to use some one-ones… like, “John can’t keep his hand to himself-“ and more.


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