Columbus loves to tour. In the spring, we have a world-class Pilgrimage. That, of course, is not enough. We have the Fall Tour of Homes, and a tour of Victorian homes connected with the Tennessee Williams Tribute.
Sometimes, we tour churches or kitchens. At Christmas, there are lights to see, and crèches, and inflatable Santas. (My favorite is Memorial Funeral Home”s display of live animals in a manger.) Around Easter, the gardens are in bloom. People adorn their doors with stuffed bunnies and pastel bows.
It”s not unusual to look at places where something used to be, like the Queen City Hotel, or some of the graves in Sandfield Cemetery. How engaged must someone be to visit what is now an empty lot, or stare at a clump of dried grass.
We never seem to tire of looking at stuff. Inspired by this, I have decided to create my own tour of Columbus.
For some strange reason, we are under the impression that houses should be white. Have you seen the fab new paint job at the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center? It will soon wear dusty colors of green and gold, topped with a roof of bright terra cotta. No complaints allowed. These were approved by Dr. Roger Moss, author and “the” authority on Victorian colors. That building is the first stop on my tour.
Second, is the charming cottage that Annis Cox has drenched in a bright watermelon hue. It echoes the brilliant colors of crepe myrtles all around town. I love white crepe myrtles and the pale lavenders, but (wow!) those laden with flowers saturated in hot pink make me stop in my tracks. The rest of us may be suffering in the horrid July heat, but those trees are thriving.
Yellow is one of my favorite colors. On the Southside, there are several houses wearing the color of sunshine. No one does this color quite as well as Jennifer Miller, at the Painted Lady. Her house is a very regal Queen Anne, with a buttery base color that is detailed with about ten accents of purple, white, green and real 14 caret gold. The turret rises above the roof like a jaunty chapeau.
Harvey Myrick may have one of the only pink houses in town. But, I love to peek into his back yard. (It is visible from the street.) A once-ordinary metal storage shed is covered in a mural of sky, and sun and trees, with big white flowers in the grass. Katherine Feeney Munson painted that one. I wish there were more outdoor art around town.
No tour would be complete without checking out the frog at Camellia Place. This month, he wears a straw sun hat and holds a fishing pole; the line dangles over a patch of lawn that probably contains no fish. He seems confused at other times, as well. During Pilgrimage, he detours into the area of “cross dressing,” donning his antebellum dress. His owner, Mrs. Kaye, swears the frog is a “he.” I suppose he is metrosexual.
The tour business gets a bit rough this time of year, considering the brutal heat. Still, it is amazing that we can find so many interesting and colorful things to view in tourism”s off-season.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.
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