Ben Goggins, SavannahNow

Ben Goggins

SavannahNow

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Recent:
  • SavannahNow
Past:
  • Bluffton Today

Recent articles by Ben:

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Tybee honors George Floyd, Black lives, Juneteenth

Sometimes a community shows its heart. In doing so it doesn’t claim to have all the answers, just the desire to seek them.Folks on Tybee Island came together in anguish and grief in the weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd had no physical connection to Tybee, but his death was a gut-punch. Maybe "I can’t breathe" resonates especially hard in a seaside town that does… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Fight Dirty Tybee cleans the beach

The Facebook profile photo for Fight Dirty Tybee gets your attention. It’s one word written on the beach. It’s not what you usually see in script drawn in the sand with a finger or stick. It’s not somebody’s name or “Peace” or “Love” or curvy lines that will wash away with the next tide.The word is “Quit,” and it’s formed in block letters with piles of cigarette butts. Butts that were litter… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Marie Rodriguez has a heart for cats

On Tybee, if the conversation turns to cats, there is a probability that the name Marie Rodriguez will come up. If the conversation turns to feral cats, → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Carl Looper is model of happiness, gratitude

When I visited Carl Looper on Tybee last week, his parrot Indy greeted me with a friendly, “Welcome, please have a seat.” Carl told me that she spoke about 50 words.About an hour later she chirped again. It sounded like, “Two minutes.” I was just processing that phrase when she gave me a cheery, “Your time is up.”I guess I should’ve seen that coming since Carl is famously the official timekeeper… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Randy’s Bar B Cue is a savory oasis

You don’t usually think of smoke rising from an oasis. You don’t expect a pool of barbecue sauce being the balm for the weary traveler. But like a thirsty desert caravan, people work their way to just such a place in downtown Savannah Tuesdays through Saturdays. On foot and by car they come to line up under the midday sun at Randy’s Bar-B-Q on Wheaton Street.I’ve driven past Randy’s for years… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Randy’s Bar B Cue is a savory oasis

You don’t usually think of smoke rising from an oasis. You don’t expect a pool of barbecue sauce being the balm for the weary traveler. But like a thirsty desert caravan, people work their way to just such a place in downtown Savannah Tuesdays through Saturdays. On foot and by car they come to line up under the midday sun at Randy’s Bar-B-Q on Wheaton Street.I’ve driven past Randy’s for years… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Under the golden dome, find 'Law's Murphy'

No, at City Hall on Feb. 26 it wasn’t a case of Murphy’s Law. There were no missteps, no misfires. Rather it was “Law’s Murphys,” a case of everything going according to plan, a clear talk about art and history woven from two men’s lives.Savannah’s Municipal Archives hosts a monthly “Hungry for History” program. February’s program tied in with the exhibition in the City Hall Rotunda. The… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Marianne Heimes honors Islands history

Marianne Heimes is a Mr. Rogers-type of person. She loves her neighborhood. It’s a vast one that locals call simply “the Islands.” Though connected by roads and bridges now, Oatland, Talahi, Whitemarsh, and Wilmington islands still retain a character and a history inseparable from the marsh, the oaks, the tidal breezes that surround them.Marianne and her husband moved to Wilmington Park from… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Gray’s Reef coming to River Street

On Jan. 31, my GPS led me to a place I didn’t know existed. I guess that it’s always been hard to find, because the old Daniel Lumber sign that still hangs there says, “You found it.”It’s now the home of Re:Purpose Savannah, perched above the marsh on a wildlife preserve at the end of Gwinnett Street. Their lumberyard has an array of heritage materials salvaged from old buildings. But today the… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: New spirit comes to Tybee beach in new year

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to meet more seagulls. You know, to reach out and reach up, to widen my circle of friends, feathered and not. To step out of my comfort zone and hold pieces of stale bread and soft tortillas in the air and not flinch as the gulls nip my fingers every other time they take them.It’s worth the thrill, and it’s one of the simple treats on Tybee in the wake of the… → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Documentary follows right whales

Two Sundays ago there was a big right whale basking on the grass in front of Tybee Post Theater. Fortunately there was no cause for alarm. She had not → Read More

LOOKING FOR PEARLS: Fruits of freedom among Beach Institute treasurers

Last month I heard two stories that my great-aunt Dot would have loved. She lived her whole life in Pooler, and all the men in her family worked for the → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Chasing living fossils in a beautiful river

Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping, it helps to count sturgeon jumping. You know, about one every two minutes. Just kidding, but I have been dreaming → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Piano men hold the keys to the Kingdom

Sometimes you just stand in awe. One day recently I witnessed poetry in motion; two guys with strong backs and shoulders, but with a jeweler’s touch. It was the day that Greg Cooper and Freddie Bryant delivered our piano. A while back my wife found a piano on Craigslist that looked like just the thing for our foyer. It was a 1902 Charles Stieff upright. When we visited the lady in Baldwin Park… → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Scarecrows are an art in Maine

I was in Boothbay Harbor last week. When you go to Maine in the fall, you don’t just travel. You are transported! You fly from Savannah, and four → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Peanut Festival and Jimmy Carter a trip worth traveling

On Sept. 28, it was a photo finish between me and Mr. Peanut in the mile run in Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains. I think it was unintentional, but he snagged me with his cane in the home stretch.The Peanut Festival is an annual event in Plains, and we were delighted to spend Saturday there, ahead of attending the Maranatha Baptist Church on Sunday. It was stirring to hear all the runners sing… → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Twins are hikers for a lifetime

Bernie Goode’s voice is deep and resonant and built for story-telling. Mark Twain loved to proclaim that he came into life on the tail of Halley’s Comet. And as Bernie strode up the steps to my house recently, comet dust seemed to float in his wake.Bernie and his twin brother Joe had just hiked 95 miles across northern Alabama and Georgia. From Anniston to Smyrna they had walked the Chief Ladiga… → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Of rivers and aquifers, water is life

As a boy, Tybee Public Works Director Danny Carpenter swam all summer in fresh water just off the beach. “Right where the big anchor is now, at the → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Christmas in July with Patterson’s people

On July 27, I felt like I was back in high school and was getting baptized again, too. All courtesy of the fine folks of Patterson at their Christmas in → Read More

Looking for Pearls: Melanie Brown’s Noah’s Ark refreshes your spirit

I sat on a throne for the first time last week, and I could really get used to that. Resting in Melanie Brown’s living room out near the Bamboo Farm, I felt like a respected chief in faraway Timbuktu. There was something about being elevated in the carved ironwood chair, sitting comfortably on the red satin cushions and back, having my hands fall over the carved lion’s faces that formed the… → Read More