This place was a playground for me, and my imagination ran wild.
Fast forward to the day before lock down. I was sitting in my car in my driveway, checked in and baggage paid for for my flight to Savannah, and I was about to leave to make the drive to the Toronto airport to catch my flight. As I was pulling out of the driveway, my phone dinged – an email notification. I backed up and checked my email.
It was Cat and Tony from the mansion, saying that another pair of guests, out of our 12 in total on the public event, had just come down with Covid and could not attend. We had gone from 12 confirmed to 8 in less than 10 hours. We had to make a decision.
While I waited for them to call the higher ups at the Georgia DNR to get an official ruling, I sat in the car, so many thoughts running through my mind… if we went ahead, would we lose more guests? Could I adjust everything in a pinch to accommodate? What if I went to the US and got stuck down there? As a single mom with two kids – it seemed like such a risk…
About 15 minutes passed and the phone rang. Postpone. They had ruled to postpone. I said goodbye to Cat and Tony, hung up, and turned the car off.
That sound – the sound of silence – coupled with the heaviness in my chest – was disorienting. I took my suitcases out of the trunk and rolled them back into my house, dazed. What just happened?! 18 months of work, many trips to Georgia, props, promotion, my heart and soul into this and it was just – not happening.
I tried to be reasonable and rational – worse things have happened – our guests who actually had covid were far worse off, but I couldn’t help it. I was sad.
I moped around unapologetically. The next day I went for lunch with a friend and for some retail therapy. That was the last outing I would have, as the next day, the world went into complete lock down.
I still have never unpacked the suitcases. The things I was bringing with me still sit in suitcases in the SHOT storage unit, full of music boxes and locks and keys and notebooks and other things that were to be in the guests’ welcome baskets. I hope one day to bring this event to light again. The things I shipped down there before I left are somewhere between Georgia and Colorado, as my dear friend Kari made some pretty amazing life changes herself since 2020. In the meantime, the two of us have been planning an event – but not for the public. The last time I saw Kari was in January 2020, when she dropped me at the Savannah airport and we said “See you in 6 weeks!” I had no idea, at that time, that I wouldn’t see her again until 2022 in Cairo, Egypt, but life is full of surprises. The gramophone is still at the mansion, waiting for people to dance the Charleston to the records it plays.