Chamblee54

The Buckhead Boys

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on October 7, 2010






The facebook friend said “Today is Dead Poets Remembrance Day, Oct. 7th, the day Edgar Allan Poe died. Be sure to visit a graveyard and read some poetry today”. PG didn’t have anything better to do. Pictures for are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”

The first obstacle was finding a book of poetry. PG is not a poetry person. A look at the shelf turned up a paperback, “125 years of Atlantic “. Poetry was to be found between those covers.

The book had two stickers, both saying 69 cents. At the old Book Nook, this meant that the book was half the price on the sticker. With tax, that would be 38 cents.

125YOA had stayed in PG’s car for a few years. Whenever he was stuck somewhere with time to kill, this book was waiting. One afternoon in 1998, there was a slow day at work. PG read a remembrance by Gertrude Stein, about life in France at the start of World War II.

The cemetery of choice was connected to the Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist Church. PG has driven by this facility thousands of times. He walked past the graves until he found a fallen tree to sit down on.

The first poem was “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” by James Dickey. PG began to read out loud, and soon could smell the drug store air of Wender and Roberts. The author bought fifty cents worth of gas at a Gulf station. Today, fifty cents might buy a tablespoon of gas, and Gulf was long ago bought out by BP. Wender and Roberts became a bar, which was torn down, to make way for a  shopping destination.

Buckhead is not what it used to be. When Mr. Dickey was the bravest man in Buckhead ( he took a shit in the toilet at Tyree’s pool hall), PG was not even thought of. The traffic jams on Peachtree Street are still there, as the blue haired ladies follow poets into the ground.

When PG finished reading Mr. Dickey, he put a teal postit in the book, where the poem stood. PG looked up, and the graveyard seemed different. Maybe the sun had sank a bit in the sky, and maybe the poem had changed PG in a way he could not put into words. Maybe another poem was the answer. Take the glasses off, open the book at random, and turn the pages until a poem shows up.

On page 404…the historic Atlanta area code…was “The Wartime Journey” by Jan Struther. The 1944 work was unknown territory. A group of people are traveling on a train. The wounded vet, the untried recruit, the salesmen shared the space with a lady, taking a baby for her soldier husband to meet. The theme of the rhymes was that America was totally at war, and that war is different from peacetime. Today’s war in Babylon is not like that.

Halfway through the reading, a freight train pulled by. Today, passenger trains are a novelty, and freight rules the rails. The shipment today was double decked containers, ready to pull off and slap on an eighteen wheeler.

Deaths are said to come in threes, and reading poetry in a graveyard should be the same. PG went on a random search for a Moe, to go with the Curley and Larry already digested. A page of poems by Emily Dickinson was the result. These pages left PG unmoved. It was as if he was back in the sixth grade, with a horrible English teacher forcing him to memorize Hiawatha. It was time to go home.




3 Responses

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  1. Cemetery Blues « Chamblee54 said, on October 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    […] Poets Remembrance Day. Edgar Allan Poe met his maker on this day in 1849. There was a Chamblee54 post about DPRD two years ago. The idea is to go to a cemetery and read a poem. An effort will be made to do that […]

  2. Cemetery Blues | Chamblee54 said, on October 7, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    […] Day. Edgar Allan Poe met his maker on this day in 1849. This is a repost. There was a Chamblee54 post about DPRD two years ago. The idea is to go to a cemetery and read a poem. An effort will be made to do that […]

  3. Cemetery Blues | Chamblee54 said, on September 28, 2016 at 10:00 am

    […] Poets Remembrance Day. Edgar Allan Poe met his maker on this day in 1849. There was a Chamblee54 post about DPRD two years ago. The idea is to go to a cemetery and read a poem. An effort will be made to do that […]


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