The second statue that piqued my interest was that of Waving Girl, a chiseled monument carved in the likeness of Florence Martus, a local woman who stood on the banks of Savannah for 44 years waving at passing ships. The statue, erected by the sculptor Felix de Weldon and commissioned by the Propeller Club of Savannah, sits in Morrell Park in the historic district of downtown Savannah. The massive sculpture dwarfs passerbys as they meander along the waterfront. Florence’s statue is waving a white flag and she is accompanied by her pet collie. I’m not sure if it was her close proximity to the hotel I was staying at or the mere fact that everywhere I turned something else about Florence would turn up – a ferry named in her honor; a huge official marker memorializing her located in the parking lot of Fort Pulaski; or the numerous ghost stories that portrayed her as the real deal—but the statue wore at me
Truth is, the statue did much more than wear me down, it followed me home and nipped at my heels. Florence’s story about how she was waiting for the return of her boyfriend had so many holes in it, I found myself wanting to plug them. They were as annoying as the deep crevice’s the mole left on my front lawn. Surely the whole world can see the empty spaces. Who was Florence waiting for and why didn’t they ever return? I did some research, thinking I could find a plausible explanation that would satisfy my wild imagination. But instead, I inhabited the story. Florence’s story became my obsession and I couldn’t rest until I had fleshed her out and unpacked her story. Feel free to read a short story that I wrote which was published in the Broadkill Review in their Nov. Dec. 2018 issue (see link). “The Waving Girl” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. But I didn’t stop there, I turned the short story into a novel. “Waving Girl’s Last Stand’ is an unpublished braided novel; part ghost story, part historical fiction and part romance. All it needs now is an agent or editor to take it to publication.
As soon as “Waving Girl” is press-ready, I will use this blog to launch her into the literary world.