Chamblee54

April 30, 1992

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on April 30, 2021








Doug Richards is an Atlanta tv news reporter. He writes a blog, live apartment fire. He was on the scene twenty nine years ago. There was a riot downtown. Mr. Richards had a bad night.

PG was working in the Healey building that day. He ran an RMS, or reprographic management service, in an architects office. He had a blueline machine, ran jobs for the customer, and had free time. PG did a lot of exploring, and enjoyed the various events downtown. On April 30, 1992, there was an event he did not enjoy.

The day before, a jury in California issued a verdict. Four policemen were acquitted of wrongdoing in an incident involving Rodney King. The incident had been videotaped, and received widespread attention. The verdict of the jury was not popular. The dissatisfaction spread to Atlanta.

Sometimes, PG thinks he has a guardian angel looking over him. If so, then this thursday afternoon was one of those times. PG went walking out into the gathering storm. He was a block south of the train station at five points, when he saw someone throw a rock into a store front. The sheet metal drapes were rolled down on the outside of the store. PG realized that he was not in a good place, and quickly made his way back to the Healey building.

A group of policeman were lined up in the lobby of the building, wearing flack jackets. One of the police was a white man, who was familiar to workers in the neighborhood. A few weeks before the incident, he had been walking around the neighborhood showing off his newborn baby.

There was very little work done that afternoon in the architect’s office. Someone said not to stand close to the windows, which seemed like a good idea. Fourteen floors below, on Broad Street, the window at Rosa’s Pizza had a brick thrown threw it. There were helicopters hovering over downtown, making an ominous noise.

There was a lot of soul searching about race relations that day. The Olympics were coming to town in four years, and the potential for international disaster was apparent. As it turned out, the disturbance was limited to a few hundred people. It could have been much, much worse. If one percent of the anger in Atlanta had been unleashed that day, instead of .001 percent, the Olympics would have been looking for a new host.

After a while, the people in the office were called into the lobby. The Principal of the firm, the partner in charge of production, walked out to his vehicle with PG. The principal drove an inconspicuous vehicle, which made PG feel a bit better. PG took his pocketknife, opened the blade, and put it in his back pocket. It probably would not have done him much good.

PG usually took the train downtown. As fate would have it, there was a big project at the main office of redo blue on West Peachtree Street. That is where PG’s vehicle was, in anticipation of working overtime that night. The principal drove PG to this building. PG called his mother, to let her know that he was ok. The Atlanta manager of Redo Blue talked to him, to make sure that he was not hurt.

If PG had not gone back downtown the next day, he might not have ever gone back. He was back at the West Peachtree Street office, and was assured that it was safe to ride the train into town. The Macy’s at 180 Peachtree had plywood nailed over the display windows. A gift shop in the Healey building had a sign in the window, “Black owned business”. Friday May 1, 1992, was a quiet day.

Pictures for this repost are from “Special Collections and Archives, G.S.U. Library”.







Fair Street Bottom

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on April 29, 2021


Twenty nine years ago, after the Rodney King verdict was announced, America was in turmoil. This story was originally told, in much greater detail, in 2018. It details a disturbance in Atlanta, in a neighborhood near Atlanta University Center. One of the players during this event was a Spelman College freshman named Stacey Abrams. It is not known how much of a role she had in firing up the neighborhood residents who looted a Korean grocery store.

Recently, Miss Abrams has been rabble-rousing about sb202. When people react to her leadership, and start to boycott GA, Miss Abrams claims to have been opposed to an actual boycott. Miss Abrams has based her political career on making trouble about voting access. She should not be surprised when people pay attention to her demagoguery, and take action. When you start a fire, you don’t know where it is going to go. High octane rhetoric works in unexpected ways.

Stacey Abrams appeared on Democracy Now. “So, I was a student at Spelman. I was a freshman. It was 1992, April. … And so, after the Rodney King verdict was announced, there were riots in Los Angeles, but there were also small riots in Georgia, including in that area. The reaction from the mayor was to actually cordon off that entire community, both the universities and the housing developments and then surrounding neighborhoods. And then they tear-gassed us. …

After the Rodney King verdict, in California, students at AUC led a march from the school to downtown. At some point, the march degenerated into a riot. A grocery store on Fair Street was looted. Police were called in, and tear gas was used.

“The Korean-owned grocery store located in Atlanta’s Fair Street Bottom closed early… looters from breaking the lock and prying the door up just enough to crawl under and loot the establishment. … The police finally dispersed the looters with tear gas after they tried to set fire to the building.”

“Fair Street Bottom … was in the heart of one of the city’s oldest public housing communities – John Hope Homes. With walking distance to the west near Spelman College was another housing project – University Homes. … Most of Atlanta missed the “Battle of Fair Street Bottom” unless they read or watch the news. The distance never spread beyond those few blocks …”

“I don’t remember where the phone call came from, but we were informed that some of the marchers were causing damage as they were marching back to the campus. Unfortunate for the marchers some of the young men and high school students joined the march as they passed through John Hope Homes. … By the time, I got to the Atlanta University Center, the student organizers had lost control of the march. Those marches who had a taste of destruction downtown were hell-bent on continuing. The Korean-owned 5 Star Supermarket became the focus of the headless mob, as did a few park police cars that were either turned over or set on fire. After a few hours, and quite a bit of tear gas, the Atlanta Police quelled the disturbance before nightfall. Students retreated back to their dorms and the young looters retreated back to their neighborhoods.”

“In the afternoon of April 30, 1992, a group of students swarmed off the campuses of the Atlanta University Center. A segment of the crowd headed to the downtown business district, where they looted and attacked white pedestrians. A gang of students stopped to shout racial epithets and break the windows of both the Five Star Supermarket and the Five Star Liquor Store. Glenn Park, who is the son of Plaintiffs, was working at the store; he relayed these events to a police officer.”

“On the following day around 1:30 or 2:00 p.m., students at the Atlanta University Center began to throw projectiles from windows of a dormitory at the corner of Brawley Avenue and Fair Street, which is located about three blocks from Plaintiffs’ stores. A police S.W.A.T. team used tear gas to disperse these students. … The Plaintiffs decided to close their stores and congregate in an upstairs apartment within the Five Star Supermarket as nearby police officers observed. … By 6:45 p.m., … members of the crowd began throwing rocks and breaking into Five Star Liquor Store. From his position in the police helicopter, Officer S.F. Patterson advised other officers over TAC I radio that approximately fifty to seventy-five students were vandalizing a small business at Elm and Fair.”

“On May 4, 1992, Mayor (Maynard) Jackson and Chief (Eldrin) Bell participated in another press conference in which they addressed the previous days’ events and apologized to the Korean community … Mayor Jackson also recognized the black community’s long-standing resentment of the Korean business community …” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The First One Hundred Days

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on April 29, 2021


Chamblee54 started in 2005, about halfway through the reign of W. 2009 saw The First Hundred Days, a tasteful piece about the start of the Obama drama.

The first hundred days of a presidency is a landmark. At this point, POTUS gets a report card. JRB is approaching this point. The grades he gets at this point depend on the scorekeeper. A look at the last few presidents is instructive.
John Kennedy tried to invade Cuba in his first hundred days, with disastrous results. Lyndon Johnson watched The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Richard Nixon moved into the White House. Gerald Ford gave a pardon to Mr. Nixon. Jimmy Carter was portrayed by Dan Aykroyd .

Moving into the eighties, Ronald Reagan got shot in his first hundred days. George HW Bush talked to a rehab center about his son. Bill Clinton tried to get gay people accepted for military duty. George W Bush ignored reports about Saudi students in pilot schools.

PG did not have an opinion about BHO, at this point in 2009. The first dog, Bo, made an impressive debut, as did wife Michelle. BHO arguably has worse problems than any of the eight prezzes listed above. He, and the country, survived. Nobody seems to know what happened to Bo.

Pundits were puzzled by the first hundred days of Donald J. Trump. There was talk about draining a swamp. Outside the rhetoric, and the nervous nellie opposition, there was relatively little action.

April 29, 2021, is day 99 of the Biden presidency. Sleepy Joe is a welcome change, after four years of toxic resistance. With the covid vaccinations, Mr. Biden continues the presidential tradition of getting credit for his predecessor’s work. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

The Boy

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on April 29, 2021

The Buddha

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on April 28, 2021


“The Buddha” is available for online viewing. 43 minutes into the PBS production, Gautama Siddhartha (pronounced sid HART ha) turned away from asceticism. He accepted a bowl of rice pudding from a lady, and was a step farther on the path to enlightenment.

Buddhism has always seemed “too asian” for PG, or perhaps he is too western/christian to follow. There are some things, confirmed by this video, that PG finds appealing. The stories of Buddha are understood to be legends, with no one (that we know of) claiming them to be literal history. This is not like the book worship of Christians. Stories about Jesus are said to be literal truth. The ideas that Buddha taught are not changed by “mistakes” in telling his life story.

There is a story about Buddha seeing his ascetic buddies, after he ate the bowl of rice pudding. He got the ascetics to listen to him, until he won them over. From what PG has seen of humans, especially spiritually charged ones, he finds it tough to imagine these people listening that long. The average Jesus worshiper cannot be quiet long enough for you to finish a single sentence.

Christianity is obsessed with life after death. The Buddha of this show takes a different approach: “There are stories of people coming to the Buddha, and saying, “I am leaving your teaching because you have not told me about whether there is a life after death, or whether there is another world. And the Buddha says, ‘Did I ever say that I would give you the answers to these things?’ ‘No, Lord, you didn’t.’ ‘Why do you think that I ever said that I would give you the answer to these things? Because these are not the things that you need to know. The thing that you need to know is how to deal with suffering, because at this very moment, what made you ask that question was suffering.”

The focus is on the life of Buddha, not his death. The focus is on this life, not on life after death. Buddha lived to an old age, teaching up until his departure. Maybe if Jesus had been better at human relationships, he would not have been executed.

Maybe PG is so scarred by Jesus that he cannot benefit from any other source of wisdom. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The men are Confederate soldiers from the War Between the States. Many resources are available for those who wish to learn more.

Venerate

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on April 27, 2021

Confederate Memorial Day

Posted in Georgia History, History, Holidays, Library of Congress, War by chamblee54 on April 26, 2021

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Today is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia. It is an ancient question…how to honor the soldiers from the side that lost. They were just as valiant as the Union Soldiers. Considering the shortages of the Confederate Armies, the Rebels may have been just a bit braver.

The issue of Federalism is a defining conflict of the American experience. What powers do we give the Federal Government, and what powers do we cede to the States? The Confederacy was the product of this conflict. The Confederate States were a collection of individual states, with separate armies. This is one reason why the war turned out the way it did.

This is not a defense for slavery. The “Peculiar institution” was a moral horror. The after effects of slavery affect us today. Any remembrance of the Confederacy should know that. This does not make the men who fought any less brave.

It is tough to see the War Between the States through the modern eye. It was a different time, before many of the modern conveniences that are now considered necessities. Many say that the United States were divided from the start, and the fact the union lasted as long as it did was remarkable. When a conflict becomes us against them, the “causes” become unimportant.

The War was a horror, with no pain medicine. Little could be done for the wounded. It took the south many, many years to recover. This healing continues today. Remembering the sacrifices made by our ancestors helps. This is a repost. Pictures are from the The Library of Congress.

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Prison Of Bad Policy Choices

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on April 26, 2021


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Hank

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on April 25, 2021

Cary Grant Took LSD

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 24, 2021










There is a nifty article about Cary Grant and LSD on the web now. It seems Mr. Grant, the onetime Archibald Leach, had a few issues. Duh. Married five times. Widely rumored to the the bf of Randolph Scott. A talented actor, but a mess in the real world.

In 1956, Mr. Grant was with third wife Betsy Drake, who had a tough summer.
“It was an open secret between cast and crew alike that the married Cary Grant was sleeping with Sophia Loren during their filming of The Pride and The Passion. Drake had flown to Italy to be by her husband’s side during the shoot only to find Grant ignoring her. Distraught, she fled on what was to be a quiet voyage on the SS Andrea Doria. On July 25, 1956 her quiescent journey turned into a nightmare. The ship collided with a Swedish ocean liner off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, sinking to the bottom of the Sea and claiming fifty-one lives.2 Betsy survived but was traumatized. The incident, coupled with the estrangement of her husband, haunted her in her sleep.”
Betsy Drake had a friend named Sally Brophy, an actress. Miss Brophy also received help from a psychiatrist, which included taking LSD. Eventually, Cary Grant started to go see this doctor.

Taking a legal trip, in a Hollywood doctor’s office, is not like going to a rave. It was seen as therapy, a way of learning how to deal with your problems. According to Cary Grant, it worked very well. He talked about it to a reporter, and then confirmed that he wanted this to go out to the public.

“The shock of each revelation brings with it an anguish of sadness for what was not known before … I learned many things in the quiet of that room … In one LSD dream I shit all over the rug and shit all over the floor. Another time I imagined myself as a giant penis launching off from earth like a spaceship … As a philosopher once said, you cannot judge the day until the night ..”

The only problem was, Mr. Grant had a movie coming out, “Operation Petticoat”. The studio “tripped out” when it heard the star of the show was praising LSD in the press. Mr. Grant had a share in the profits of the film, and was persuaded to call the reporter and recant on the interview.

Not everyone was impressed by the doctors that Mr. Grant used.
“Aldous Huxley had encountered the clinic prior to his death, but had sought his LSD experiences from the parallel practice of Dr. Oscar Janiger, the other acid doctor to the stars. Huxley witnessed Chandler and Hartman’s work and was unnerved by their approach. “We met two Beverly Hills psychiatrists the other day,” he wrote, “who specialise in LSD therapy at $100 a shot – and, really, I have seldom met people of lower sensitivity, more vulgar mind! To think of people made vulnerable by LSD being exposed to such people is profoundly disturbing.”
In any event, LSD became criminalized, Doctors Chandler and Hartman got in trouble, and Cary Grant got married two more times. While Grant never renounced LSD, he refused to use any other illegal drug, even marijuana. He was a conservative old fogey.

Maureen Donaldson was the lover of Cary Grant in the seventies, and was a friend of Alice Cooper. She finally persuaded Mr. Grant to go to an Alice Cooper concert with her. He wore sunglasses, gold chains, and dressed like a “seedy agent”. He sat through the entire show, wearing earplugs, hating every minute of it.
As Miss Donaldson recalled the evening
“Driving back to Los Angeles, I congratulated Cary for being such a good sport … He’d made an extraordinary effort to please me … [I asked him] ‘You really hated it, didn’t you?’ ‘It’s…’ he said, struggling for words, ‘you know what it’s like? Remember I told you about the time I took LSD in my doctor’s office and shat all over his rug and floor?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Well now I know how that poor doctor felt.”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Fat Or Racist

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 23, 2021


@jimchines Could we just stop with the use of “fat” as an insult already? You’re trying to hit the person you’re insulting, but you’re hurting a lot of other people in the process. Grow the hell up. @jimchines Yeah, Shakespeare also made his share of fat jokes/insults too, unfortunately. Do better. Get creative, and scrub that particular tired, lazy insult from your repertoire.

@chamblee54 What about the use of anything as an insult. I would start with racist.

@jimchines Racism is something we can choose to support, or we can choose to push back against. Too many people simply choose to ignore it. Which means accepting it. Don’t want to be described as racist? Stop doing/supporting/accepting racist shit. Seems simple enough to me. @jimchines Usually when I see people saying “racist” is an insult, all they’re trying to do is shut down criticism and silence conversation about race and racism. It’s tiresome.

@chamblee54 “Don’t want to be described as racist? Stop doing/supporting/accepting racist shit.” That is a lie. Even if you do quit being racist, how will your haters know? That lie is used to justify prejudice. Out of respect for our mental health, this thread should end now.

@jimchines Consider it ended. But in the future, perhaps don’t stir up conversations you’re unable or unwilling to have.

@chamblee54 Point taken. That was not my intention, however. Unfortunately, that is how it turned out. Fat compares to racist, in the third party conception that it is something the insultee has control over. In the case of fat, the change is measurable and apparent.

As twitterspats go, this was mercifully brief. One could go on about the relative merits of using fat, or racist, as weapons of verbal destruction. Both epithets usually have elements of bullying, and hypocrisy, in their use. Many language custodians, who would be appalled by fat, feel virtuous in calling someone racist. It would be better to retire both insults. That probably is not going to happen.

What makes this episode noteworthy is the connection between @jimchines and @chamblee54. There is a third party, who we will call @duh. This is not his name, but does incorporate his initials.

@chamblee54 and @duh quit communicating in 2008, after quarreling at @duh’s LiveJournal. @chamblee54 developed a distaste for online combat, and has tried, with varying degrees of success, to stay out of trouble. @duh, otoh, seems to glory in digital feuds. If a person goes to his facebook feed, they will see many examples of this.

One of these disputes included @jimchines. If you have a lot of free time, you can read about it. (one two three four) The beginning, and end, of one @jimchines post says a great deal. “Well, this has been quite the week. … My thanks to everyone for their patience while I worked through this.”

What makes yesterday’s episode ironic is that @duh is an aggressive pro-black pundit. He will call someone RACIST at the slightest provocation. To see the target of white-shaming defend the use of racist is quite the spectacle.

FWIW, @chamblee54, who sports an old man”s pot-belly, has only seen face pictures of @jimchines. @duh is flamboyantly skinny. @chamblee54 has never met either gentleman irl. Judgements about waistlines, or racial attitudes, are not appropriate.

While finishing this post, a tweet turned up. @melaninbarbie “Ma’Khia Bryant being fat matters. The violence that young fat Black girls experience contributed to her death and if you don’t understand why, y’all need to start cracking open some fucking books on fatphobia.” Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The men are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States.

Flames And Ether

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on April 23, 2021