Public records have come in handy for me many times, but let me tell you about one of my favorite geeky moments.
My husband and I were in Savannah, Ga., to celebrate our anniversary. It’s one of our favorite places in the world, mostly because we love to eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant, The Lady & Sons. My mouth is watering just typing the words!
As if eating at her restaurant wasn’t enough, we decided to take The Paula Deen tour. And yes, we were the youngest people on the bus. We, and all the other people on board, were really hoping to see Paula’s house. We just wanted to drive by and ooh-and-ahh at the house, which is featured heavily on her cooking show. That’s where she films, so it’s an obvious place for Paula-loving-tourists to want to see.
Well, the tour guide told us the bad news: We were NOT going to see her house. Apparently, back in the early days of the Paula Deen tour, they used to drive the tour bus by her home. But that all came to a screeching halt after a man decided that he wanted to get closer than the bus would take him. So, after the tour was over, he got in his car, drove to her house, walked up the front steps and INTO her house carrying some books that he wanted her to autograph. Understandably, that scared Paula so much that she asked the tour guides not to take the bus by her house anymore. (This is the story told to us by our tour guide.)
Well, my husband and I were bummed. We were just innocent fans who wanted to drive by her famous abode. We were definitely not going to walk up to her house, which now features a huge gate by the way. So, I did what any public-records-loving geek would do, and I looked up the address.
No, she’s not listed in the phone book. But she is listed in the Chatham County, Ga., property records database, which is online. Aha! A few clicks later, we had her address and were on our way to her Wilmington Island home.
Paula lives at the end of a dead-end street. Her huge gate stops anyone from coming too close to her front porch, and she also has security cameras. We drove down the street a little ways, saw the tippy top of her house (the only portion the gate didn’t conceal) and oohed-and ahhed. In a matter of seconds, we were on our way. We left feeling proud that our public records skills helped us take the rest of the Paula Deen tour.