If you’re wandering amongst the Spanish moss and live oaks of Savannah’s historic Bonaventure Cemetery at dusk, a grinning green woman with sunken eyes might jump out at you from behind a corner. Don’t worry–you’re not the first to be spooked by the bronze jogger.
The unusual monument is dedicated to the memory of Julia Denise Backus Smith, a prominent member of Savannah society, who died by suicide in 2003. As her epitaph indicates, she worked with compassion for the less fortunate of Savannah as a Chatham County commissioner. She was also the first woman from her city to compete in the Boston Marathon and went on to win races in Georgia.
While it’s a touching memorial to a woman doing what she loved, the statue’s bronze skin has now oxidized to an eerie shade of green and her eyes have gained a blackened shadow, so it can give quite the start to those unaware.