Chippewa Square, one of 24 squares planned by Gen. James Oglethorpe when he founded Savannah in 1733, is now at the heart of the city’s entertainment district, principally because of the Historic Savannah Theatre. But its claim to fame in entertainment gained an even bigger boost from a film scene 20 years ago. A leaf floated from the nearby Presbyterian Church onto a bench in this park, where a holy innocent of the postwar era, Forrest Gump, would relate his astonishing adventures to passersby.
Tourists still come repeatedly to that site. I was lucky enough to see the bench in 1999, when I first visited the coastal city. But when I returned for an afternoon visit this month, the bench had been moved to the Savannah History Museum.
Still, the memories of that emblematic scene linger, as does the wonder that sweeps over a visitor in beholding this park.