September 27, 2007
Originally published April 23, 2004
My friend dax montana has a few good new posts up. I wanted to link to one in particular, but he's been fucking with his page again and his permalinks are gone. You'll just have to go there and scroll down.
He mentions a street-corner "evangalist" that he's known for a while. That post triggered a memory from the compost of my mind, and I am certain that any native of Savannah during the 1970s remembers our very own street-corner preacher. He was a character and a fixture on the street for a long time.
I never knew his name, but he stood (literally) on a wooden soapbox at the corner of Bull and Broughton Streets and ranted about the evils of the "Almighty Dollar." He was an old Black man with skin the texture of a peanut hull and he was fired-up with righteous wrath.
He wore on old, tattered suit and tie, and he always waved a crumpled dollar bill high over his head while he preached. "The Almighty Dollar will be the death of us all! This isn't a greenback dollar! It's a tool of SATAN! Satan will make YOU ALL slaves if you strive for that Almighty Dollar! You should bless THE LORD ALMIGHTY and forget about the dollar!" On and on he went.
Of course, he had a tip-box on the sidewalk and he never bitched at anyone who threw an "Almighty Dollar" in THERE.
I don't know what happened to that old man (I suppose that he's dead now-- he appeared to be about 100 years old when he was preaching in the 1970s) but I kinda miss him. Maybe the city government ran him off the streets when they passed an ordinance a few years ago banning all the rarees we had performing on street corners and on River Street for tips unless they purchased a $25 dollar business license and worked just one certain place.
Downtown businesses regarded the street performers as a "public nuisance" and acted to get rid of them. I believe that they made a big mistake. I always enjoyed watching the musicians, jugglers, balloon-animal-makers, magicians and sidewalk preachers do their thing. So did the tourists. That was the problem. The tourists liked the street performers and spent their money on the street instead of in the bars and restaurants. The tip-hustlers were draining money away from "legitimate" businesses.
That preacher was right. The Almighty Dollar makes slaves of us all.
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