Here's Sonny



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WTOC’s lead anchor for 18 years; Emmy award-winner; five-term congressman in the Georgia House of Representatives; board member of the United Way, Rape Crisis Center,  Boy Scouts, and more. He’s got more kudos than you can shake a stick at. 

Talk to the local media sensation awhile and certain themes repeat: the altruism of others, his daughter Emily and his wife Margaret. In a world of high divorce rates increasingly among seniors, Sonny’s 35-year-long marriage is no small feat. "We’re kindred spirits,” he says, sharing his secret to marital longevity. “She completes me. She’s my best buddy. Nobody I’d rather be with. The greatest part of it all is the friendship.”

A household name to Savannahians, Sonny is most content at home with Margaret and his pooch, curtains drawn, doors locked. The private Sonny buys American, rides a Harley, and likes to “romp and stomp and have a ball.” He wears Allen Edmonds shoes and traveled to the cheese state just to meet the folks who make them. 

“I’m fascinated by people,” he says. “I probably should have studied anthropology.” Which makes it hard to change the topic from his Scotch-Irish roots and genealogy hobby. “I’ll be embarrassed now if I find out I’m German,” he grants, awaiting delivery of his DNA kit from Ancestry.com.  

His primary preoccupation since retiring in mid-2015? “Goofing off,” he admits. Except for giving up his day job, however, Sonny’s retirement resembles business as usual. “I never turn down a school,” he says, recounting one example of the volunteer work he continues, which includes reading to kids and attending spelling bees. 

 

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Greatest Kids 2019

Nominate your kid this year and tell us why he or she has to be the winner of our South's Greatest Kids contest. Don't be shy — this could be your year!

Greatest Chefs 2019

Behind every good meal is a great chef; they are the invisible artists, working behind the scenes. Nominate your favorite chef for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!
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Events Calendar

  • Oak Island Farmers and Artisans' Market

    Jul 15, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Middleton Park, Oak Island

    At the Oak Island Farmers and Artisans’ Market,  discover fresh local produce, homemade jams, cakes and diverse homemade goods ranging...

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Aug 03, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition brings together several photographic portraits of recognizable creative individuals from Telfair’s permanent collection....

  • MAGNUM OPUS - 2019 ARTS ON THE COAST ANNUAL EXHIBIT

    Jun 27, 2019
    5:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Deep South Photopoint

    The Arts on the Coast (AOC) is proud to present its 2019 Annual Exhibit hosted by the Photopoint Gallery and Elmgren's Garden Center in...

  • French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950

    Jun 15, 2019
    All Day @ Consumer Museum of Art and Garden

    The biggest names in French art such as, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir will be showcased...

  • ENCORE: Santiago Ballerini in Concert

    Aug 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM @ Charles H. Morris Center

    Beloved VOICE alum and celebrated international tenor, Santiago Ballerini, is returning to the Festival to sing a special benefit concert...

  • Yappy Hour Event

    Aug 22, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Peacock Subaru

    WHO: Peacock Subaru and Renegade Paws Rescue WHAT: Yappy Hour Event WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 22, from 5-7 p.m. WHERE: Peacock Subaru at...

  • Brews for a Cause

    Aug 22, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM @ Husk Savannah

    Don't miss this month's Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22nd! South magazine and Southern Eagle team up to raise money for the Royce...

  • Forgotten Victims Support Group

    Aug 22, 2019
    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Demere Center for the Living

    A joint project of The ELLA Foundation and Hospice Savannah's Full Circle Grief and Loss Center, the Forgotten Victims Support Group is a new...

  • Girls' Night Out: "Poms"

    Aug 22, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Ok, ladies, this is the feel-good movie of the summer! You’ll walk out of the Theater exhilarated and ready to take on the world. And it is...

  • Savannah VOICE Festival's Come Together Master Class

    Aug 23, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:30 PM @ Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus

    Great music is made when great musicians come together. This unique master class, featuring Georgia Southern Voice Students, explores the...

  • Chuck Courtenay at Coach's Corner

    Aug 23, 2019
    6:30 PM - 9:30 PM @ Coach's Corner

    A regional star with a top-notch Nashville backing band, singer and guitarist Chuck Courtenay finds inspriation in the work of iconic honky-tonk...

  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
    7:00 PM - 12:00 AM @ Historic Courthouse, Downtown Blairsville on the S

    Come enjoy live music every Friday Night from the first Friday of May through the end of October. The Historic Union County Court House will host...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • Eastman Gun Show

    Aug 24, 2019
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Savann Civic Center

    A large selection and competitive prices on all the firearms and accessories with the best dealers from all over Georgia gathered in one location...

  • Southern Roots Fest

    Aug 24, 2019
    2:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Garden City Town Center

    A festival that celebrates Southern foods, music and traditions, located in the heart of beautiful Garden City, Georgia. The festival takes place...

  • "Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable"

    Aug 25, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 AM @ Tybee Post Theater

    For Surf Movie Day, we bring you the untold story of the heart of a champion and her resilience against all odds to become one of the leading...

  • Encourage Health Series

    Aug 27, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:30 PM @ Charles H. Morris Center

    Enmarket Encourage Health Lecture Focuses on Facts and Fictions of CBD Oil The facts and fictions of CBD oil will be the topic when Savannah...

  • Author Visit: R.J. Lee

    Aug 28, 2019
    11:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Islands Library

    R.J. Lee tells the tale of an exclusive Mississippi bridge club whose members are being killed off one by one. With its southern setting, plot...

  • Refinery29’s 29Rooms: Expand Your Reality Experience

    Aug 29, 2019
    10:30 AM - 10:00 PM @ The Works

    Refinery29 is bringing the iconic, immersive art installation 29Rooms: Expand Your Reality to Atlanta for an 11-day pop-up event from Thursday,...


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Scenes of the South

Savannah Downtown Business Association Luncheon

The Savannah Downtown Business Association held its monthly luncheon on Aug. 14

Brews for a Cause in July at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was packed as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause ! We joined Southern Eagle and The Ronald McDonald House of The Coastal Empire. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction benefited The Ronald McDonald House of The Coastal Empire.

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

The Bohemian Hotel celebrated their 10th year in business with an incredible night of cocktails and appetizers. Guests ventured up to the stunning rooftop deck overlooking the Savannah River to celebrate the hotel's decennial anniversary — reveling in the scenery with a glass of champagne.

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening was this past Thursday, June 28th! This fun night included ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this festive evening 10% of sales benefitted the good work of Coastal Pet Rescue. Stop by the store at 112 E Broughton St, Savannah, Ga to see the many products they offer!

Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Exhibit

The Sonja Griffin Evans Gullah Art Event in Hilton Head displayed several paintings featuring the culture and heritage of the African-American Lowcountry. Sonja Griffin Evans paints with bright vibrant colors — while also incorporating materials such as tin and wood — to emphasize the traditional Gullah style, evoking an emotional response by bringing to life historical and cultural events.

JCB MudRun 2019

Participants hit the ground running at this year's JCB Mud Fest, climbing through tough obstacles in either the 5k or the 5 mile run. At the end of the race was a long slide where, upon finishing, contestants found themselves in the Party Pit. Winners from various age groups were presented with trophies, and all the proceeds from the JCB Mud Fest benefited the Lady Bamford Center for Early Childhood Development.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum's 200th Anniversary!

This past Wednesday, May 22, we celebrated with Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum for for the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's historic trans-Atlantic crossing — the WORLD'S FIRST oceanic voyage under steam! On this year's Maritime Day, Ships of the Sea celebrated the Savannah's 200th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony provided by the PROPELLER CLUB, where Robert Morris unveiled two eight-foot paintings. The evening also included an amazing performance by the Parris Island MARINE BAND, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and celebratory beverages!

Brews For A Cause at Top Deck

This past Tuesday, May 21 we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Top Deck Bar! We joined up with Southern Eagle and a great group of like minded people to benefit Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire in their efforts to provide financial assistance to the surviving families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty. It was another memorable night in the South filled with great people and even greater crafted beer! This month's Featured Craft Beer: Island Coastal Lager Sponsors: Island Coastal Lager, Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire, Southern Eagle, South Magazine

Brews for a Cause at Churchill's

This Thursday, Churchill's was pack as we celebrated another successful Brews for a Cause at Churchill's! We joined Southern Eagle and The Coastal Heritage Society. Southern Eagle provided great craft beer, Sista Rae Rae performed live, and the silent auction was a huge success. All the proceeds from the silent auction — including a diamond necklace from International Diamond — benefitted the Coastal Heritage Society.