Personalism. Passion. Performance. The “lost art of storytelling” hasn’t gone lost on a man named Shannon Spencer Scott.
Born in Terra Haute, Indiana and raised in Rantoul, Illinois, Shannon Scott was raised by school teacher parents and grew up surrounded by farmland and the Chanute Air Force Base. As a child, Shannon excelled in art & history, becoming a natural storyteller with a strong ability to paint pictures in the minds of others with words. His boyhood was filled with typical things like detasseling corn, painting barns, racing dirt bikes, and traveling the country with his parents to great natural, event & personality historical sites. The exposure to the likes of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Philadelphia, Yosemite, Mammoth Caves, The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Tombstone, The Painted Desert, Redwood Forest and others, instilled a great love for history and paved the way for Shannon as storyteller. As he’s often mused, “As kids, my friends all wanted to go to Disney-world, and I wanted to go to Williams-burg.” In his high school years, he discovered a natural love for art, winning many Scholastic Awards and eventually a Fine Arts Scholarship to the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). As they say, the rest is history. Be sure to read the main blog to learn more about the fascinating life, times and career of your future host and storyteller, Shannon Scott!
Jessica is a native of Southwest Florida and moved to Savannah in 2002 to study photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been visiting Bonaventure Cemetery for nearly 20 years and has been doing tours for 4 years. Jessica has a Bachelor of Art and Art History, as well as a Master of Science and Library and Information Studies. She has special interests in the history of photography, Victorian culture and studies related to death and dying. When she’s not in our local cemeteries conducting tours or doing research, she is usually there, anyway, walking her trusty companion — a dog named Dobby.
Susannah is one of our other highest rated guides and might be best described as “born in the wrong age.” Which is to the benefit of our guests, as the age to which she belongs is The Victorian Era, as often her wardrobe defines. A California native, Susannah grew up with a fascination for the Victorian era that has manifested awkwardly for decades; being pulled over by TSA for wearing a historically accurate over-bust corset was only the beginning. A Savannah tour guide for 10 years, Susannah has participated in numerous historical reenactment events and programs for museums and private organizations. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she studied illustration in Paris and New York City, which further helped her develop an understanding of Victorian art and the visual language used. When she is not leading tours or cinching her corset, Susannah enjoys printmaking, cooking, and reading incredibly boring books with a dog on her lap.
If she could write a book about the eccentric, wild, enlightening life of a storyteller, the most off-the-beaten-path adventures and everything happening behind the scenes, Kelsey McGee would be the greatest storyteller of them all. For she has truly lived a remarkable life that took an unexpected, miraculous turn the day Shannon Scott adopted her when she needed someone most. They saved each other.
Her most favorite word (although she has many and an impressive vocabulary), is “cemetery,” and you can find her and Shannon inseparable, any chance they can explore one, together. She’s known for swinging on vines on old, oak trees and making sure none of them escape alive. She can spot any “critter” in her vicinity and fully understands her duty to keep them in line. Finally, absolutely no cemetery shift is complete without picking out a good stick. Not just any stick — only the most worthy — and then she will complete her daily, civic duty by carrying this prized possession home, through her secret path, down the sidewalk, past the gate in her white picket fence, up the steps and into her story museum where she collects a pile of them. Her next favorite word is “ride,” as she loves to navigate from the front, captain seat while listening to music and looking out for “big dogs.” Big Dog is code for horse, and she excels at reaching a whole new level of communication when she spots one. If she’s going for a ride, she’s likely hoping for a “beach” day, and if you say the word, she’s already dreaming of swimming in the ocean waves, attacking fallen trees and napping between her humans on the sand. Her dream day wouldn’t be complete without a “bone,” and she will sit in front of her kitchen cabinet where they are hidden, snort and stomp her feet, and make her intentions known. Next, absolutely “pizza” and ice cream are required, and if she makes the most polite request, she gets snuggles in “bed,” too. This would conclude another successful day and job well done in the life of Kelsey McGee Scott, and she certainly wins the award for being most loyal, dedicated and true.
Lately, it’s been hard for her — though she hasn’t lost her spirit and spunk and has taken leaps and bounds forward — and she’s required the help of many friends and family to get back on her feet again. You can read more about her story here. She sends all the love and gratitude in the world to you, if you can make a donation or simply keep her in your thoughts and prayers. She is such a light to so many but especially to her beloved, Shannon.