SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Polly Powers Stramm has found a niche for writing about Savannians and Southerners. One of her recent works includes “Bless Your Heart and Mind Your Mama.”
“All kinds of expression that are funny, you know how we say ‘shopping buggy, not the shopping cart, and we don’t drink pop, we don’t drink soda, we drink Coke, or Coca-Cola,” said Author Polly Powers Stramm.
Next is her book of quotes from famous Southerners on food, culture and civil rights. But, the Savannah High grad grew up here and has also put out nearly a dozen books on the neighborhoods and people around Washington Avenue.
Stramm knows every town has stories to tell, but she is especially fond of the Hostess City.
“I love Savannah and there are so many stories about Savannah that don’t get into the serious history books because I don’t consider myself a historian. I’m a reporter, maybe a storyteller, and I like to share people’s memories and that’s why it’s important to me, like the panthers, but that’s just a part of it. The residents who grew up in parkside have so many neat memories, some of the original families still live there and a lot of the boys just went over to Daffin Park and played with the Panthers,” Stramm said. “Of course you have the beauty and history of Savannah, of course, I look for the characters, and the stories of the extraordinary people that might not be covered in the history books and those people that want to share stories."
Now, Stramm is going through dozens of pictures for her latest work, documenting the neighborhoods near Daffin Park and the boys and girls who went on to play sports for the Panthers and the Tigers. That spans from the nineteen-thirties to the late sixties.
Now, just the shadows of the oaks dot the landscape where Ambuc Park once stood, and the football field where they played is a parking lot, beach volleyball court, and football field, and the natural grass has been replaced by astroturf.
When asked if she feels like she has some kind of responsibility to tell these stories, Stramm said she believes she does.
“I think so, it’s hard to believe that I’m the person that people would come to now and I don’t know it all, but there are still older people around who need to share their stories and I’m proud to do it. I love hearing stories about old Savannah and it’s something that we need to preserve, those memories of old Savannah,” Stramm replied.
Tom Moore and Luke Sims started the Panthers. The basketball team played at various places, including the old YWCA on the corner of Liberty and Whitaker streets.