April 1, 2022, Americus, GA- That would be this southwest Georgia city’s Windsor Hotel, built in 1892, as part of the then-inchoate “snowbird” travel industry that was unfolding in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The Windsor is now a Best Western property, but no less regal than in the day. She certainly rules downtown Americus.
The town itself was founded in 1830 and named for Amerigo Vespucci, as were, of course, our very continents. Jokesters among the town’s first settlers called themselves the “merry cusses”, but that’s another story. Some prominent folks have visited here: Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he was Governor of New York (his favoured winter haunt, Warm Springs, is not far to the north) and George W. Bush, as President, after the town was shattered by a tornado, in 2007. Then, there was “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, of Black Sox Scandal infamy, who coached Americus’ baseball team, after his being disgraced. Perhaps most closely associated with Americus is former President Jimmy Carter, of nearby Plains.
Sweet Georgia Bakery and Cafe is across the street from the Windsor. It’s one of those spots that give any city a homey feel, so breakfast at Sweet Georgia, it was, this morning. I later took a walk past Muckalee Creek, wider in some spots than in others.
It is certainly “mucky”, but so are a good many bodies of fresh water in the Southeast. Local fish and reptiles seem to prefer it that way. Americus, anyway, is a nice place to catch one’s breath and regroup, after a busy and rewarding journey around the periphery of peninsular Florida. Tomorrow will bring Koinonia Farm, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and the memorial to the Tuskegee Airmen.