Chamblee54

Georgia Voter Registration

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on October 15, 2019


This is a repost. This time last year, the election from hell was in hyper-demagouge mode. Stacey Abrams was handed a potent issue, and worked it to death. It wasn’t until after the voting that many of us learned that the counties count the votes, and register voters. While tales of voter suppression cannot be completely ignored, it now appears obvious that we were repeatedly lied to.

@LEBassett “1.Brian Kemp is running for GA gov against Stacey Abrams (a black woman) 2. Kemp is in charge of elections & voter registration 3. Kemp made a new “exact match” rule that is holding up 53,000 voter registrations…. NEARLY 70% OF THEM BLACK 4. THIS IS ALL I WANT TO TALK ABOUT” There is nothing like getting your news from twitter.

Voting rights become a flashpoint in Georgia governor’s race The story gets attention. Georgia is holding up 53k voter registrations. 70% of these registrations are black people, according to an undocumented AP story. These registrations are in the Secretary of State’s office. The current SOS, Brian Kemp, is the Republican candidate for Governor. Mr. Kemp is white. His Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, is black. As you might imagine, the sensation-driven media is in outrage mode.

“An analysis of the records obtained by The Associated Press reveals racial disparity … the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black.” No link is provided for the analysis, which is likely to be true. Assuming that is factual … a dangerous proposition three weeks before an election … the next question should be How do they know.? Is the race of the voter on the voter registration application?

STATE OF GEORGIA APPLICATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION is your basic government form. On line 4, after telephone number, date of birth, and gender (a two check box male/female), we have race/ethnicity: White, Hispanic/Latino, Black, American Indian, Other (with a blank space), Asian/Pacific Islander. Qualifications include: “Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.” Does this requirement apply to candidates?

“Why must I indicate my race or ethnic group? The federal government requires South Carolina to document race or ethnic group for voters by the National Voter Registration Act.” This is the standard answer. The documentation for Georgia can be found at Voter Registration Statistics. If you are a statistics junkie, here is your fix for today.

Georgia has an regulation requiring voter registration to have an “exact match” with information already on file with the Georgia Department of Drivers Services (DDS) or Social Security Administration (SSA). “In 2017, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 268, which codified a voter registration database “exact match” protocol that had been already shown to disproportionately and negatively impact the ability of voting eligible African American, Latino and Asian American applicants to register to vote.” The regulation was not created by Brian Kemp.

Georgia Knew Its Voter Roll Practice Was Discriminatory. It Stuck With It Anyway. The implication of the recent stories is that applications are being targeted by race. Of course, many, if not most, of the clerks reviewing these applications are black. And how would the state know if the voters were black, if it was not on the application?

New FPCA Form Eliminates the Obnoxious Race Question takes a look from another perspective. Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is designed to help military personnel overseas obtain absentee ballots. With regards to the *race question*, authorities here give the standard answer: “Also, many states ask that you provide your race or ethnic group in order to demonstrate that they are complying with the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act.” This sentence has a footnote. “I have reviewed both the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“Motor Voter”), “), and I do not find any provision requiring the states to report to the Federal Government on the race of voters.” The article goes on to describe a Texas election. Absentee ballots were disputed because they were cast by non-Hispanic voters.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

25 Things About Georgia

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on October 8, 2019

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These daze, there is more media than messages. People need things to write about. One popular theme, at least in itp/otp, is lists about life in Georgia. A web facility that should know better, thought catalog, recently put out 25 Things You Need To Know About Georgia.

25TYNTKAG was written by Jeremy Populus Jones. He seems to be the CEO of something called GAFollowers. (@GAFollowers on twitter) From the fine print:
“GAFollowers was created on a “strength in numbers” foundation, finding a creative way to use free online social networking sites to strengthen the “bond” between people in Georgia to help better form this state. … GAFollowers is one of the largest twitter accounts in the state of Georgia that spans nearly every corner of the region.”
These lists about Georgia life usally have a few common comments. There is the heat, the bugs, the traffic, the multiple Peachtrees, and southern accents. They seldom mention the shameless corruption, religious mental illness, rampant obesity, or racial pandemonium. Lets take a look at 25TYNTKAG. Mr. Jones will be in blue, and Chamblee54 in green. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
1. The weather here is just as inconsistent as your ex-girlfriend. Not really. It gets cold in January, hot in July. Your ex-girlfriend is staying out of this.
2. We call all interstates in Georgia, “The Highway”. Most people use the number.
3. Only in Atlanta is everything named “Peachtree” without a single tree with peaches around. Peachtree is all over OTP.
4. Terio and Honey Boo Boo were born and raised here. You couldn’t do this without google. Terio is a chubby kid who dances. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
5. “Knuck if you Buck” is the song we will always get hype to no matter the age. Yuck.
6. White girls wear Nike shorts with big t-shirts covering their shorts. (How many can you spot?) Maybe there was a sale on big t-shirts at Walmart.
7. Zaxbys is what you eat. The TC comments said this is not accurate. They mentioned a certain spelling challenged company, that specializes in overpriced chicken sandwiches. At least the son of Mr. Zaxby doesn’t run off potential customers with his big mouth.
8. We call it a “rag” not a “washcloth”. Do people up north say a woman is on the washcloth?
9. Going outside at anytime during the summer instantly guarantees a minimum a 7 bug bites. This is mostly true. Who is counting?
10. In Georgia when someone ask, “Where you from?”, people usually reply with a county not a city. In Atlanta, when you say “Where are you from?” it is almost always somewhere outside of Georgia.
11. The speed limit is 65 mph but if you’re not going at least 80 mph you’ll be ran off the road. This is also true on surface roads. In hilly Atlanta, there are few places to pass on two lane roads.
12. In Georgia it’s not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy. Do people really say shopping cart? At Kroger it is a bascart. The stores have a bascart corral.
13. We get more inches of pollen in a week than inches of snow in a full year. Pollen season hits in early spring. It is rough for many people. The rest of the year gets relatively little pollen. There is a good ice/snow storm every ten years or so. This one is probably true.
14. You say Georgia, we say Jawja. Others say George-ah. To untrained ears they sound the same.
15. Sweet tea is our water. Very few people wash cars with sweet tea.
16. The night has been a success if you ended up at Waffle House. This is especially true if you are scattered, smothered, and covered.
17. In Georgia it’s necessary to look at the weather before picking out an outfit. A reason not to do numbered lists. Just think of what you have to say, write it down, and hope it is not copyrighted.
18. We pray that we get snow during the winters. The people who pray for winter storms are merchants. They have an inventory of batteries, milk, ice, and eggs to sell.
19. We are the creators of, “Turn Up”. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.
20. Here in Georgia white girls can twerk. No Miley Cyrus. Ditto reaction to number 17. What was PG thinking of when he decided to do this post?
21. You will usually be 30 minutes away from just about every destination that you’re heading to. 22. There’s a Waffle House in walking distance of every Waffle House. These two have been combined, for obvious reasons. Do people proofread these lists before sending them out?
23. Any dark soda is simply called “Coke”. Many say Cocola, without the second syllable.
24. We pronounce it “Atlanna”. Whatever. Sometimes the second t is audible, sometimes not. It definitely is not the ATL, except to radio shouters.
25. Braves, Falcons & UGA are the teams we really care about. Tech fans may disagree. Ditto taxpayers, who don’t care if Rankin Blank gets a new stadium.

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091119

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on September 11, 2019


This is my 911 story. I repeat it every year at this time. If you saw it last year, it has not changed. Every year I say this will be the last time. The wars started after 911 are still going on. This year, 91119 is a palindrome. Sarah Palin is getting a divorce. Few knew who she was in 2001.

I was at work, and someone called out that someone had run a plane into the World Trade Center. I didn’t think much of it, until I heard that the second tower had been hit, then the Pentagon, then the towers collapsed, then a plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

I focused on my job most of the day. There was always drama at that facility, and concentrating on my production duties helped to keep me saner. This was roughly the halfway point of my seven year tenure at this place.

One of the other workers was a bully for Jesus. He was a hateful loudmouth. After the extent of the damage became known, he shouted “They are doing this for Allah,” and prayed at his desk. The spectacle of the BFJ praying made me want to puke.

I became alienated from Jesus during these years. Once, I had once been tolerant of Christians and Jesus, as one would be with an eccentric relative. I began to loath the entire affair. I hear of others who found comfort in religion during this difficult time. That option simply was not available for me.

Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. “This item is part of a collection of images of downtown Atlanta streets that were taken before the viaduct construction of 1927 – 1929. Some of the covered streets became part of Underground Atlanta.”

Look At All That Money

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 23, 2019


It started Wednesday. Steve put a note on facebook that he needed a ride, from midtown to south atlanta, sometime early afternoon thursday. It had a medical sound to it. PG had been feeling the need to do a good deed, and sent a reply. After various negotiations, PG agreed to meet Steve on Howell Mill Road at 8:30am. They go back to South Atlanta when it was all over.

Thursday started at 7:40. I-85 is crowded, as usual, but moving. After several folders on the thumb drive, PG settled on Aphex Twin. This has a science fiction feel… going down an eight lane freeway, jam packed with modern vehicles, past ghastly condo projects, before you get to the megabuck medical center. Judy Jetson is a recovery nurse.

The first sign of induction into the medical machine is getting a parking ticket. The instructions were to go to level p6 of parking. The signs were small and confusing. It took a bit of searching to find p6. By this time, Steve had called from the surgery center. He had forgotten PG’s last name.

You walk into the surgery center. Steve caught a much appreciated lyft. The driver has to stay in the building all day. They can only leave the surgery waiting room after Steve goes back to be prepped. This waiting room has a tv, with the sound cut up loud. On the tv, some lady entertainer is singing, and the audience shrieks. It is not pleasant to listen to.

After a while, Steve goes back into the machine. PG goes down to the lobby, and is directed to the cafe. $2.35 later, PG walks out with a cup of coffee. The downstairs lobby is a marvel. Big, QUIET, full of the latest in medical interior design. Generous funding is invested in this facility.

The only problem is the seating area. There are two chairs on either side of a column. A small table is in front of the column. Instead of being in the center, between the two chairs, the table is off to one side. This lack of balance disturbs PG.

Soon, PG is back in the noisy waiting room. He is ushered into a prep area. Steve is in a surgery costume, with blood pressure cuff, iv drip, and other medical paraphernalia strategically positioned. Every where you look, you see $tate-of-the-art nurse toys. PG is reminded of the time when he heard a man say, regarding a field of cattle, look at all that money.

The procedure is scheduled for 10:30. For some reason, PG is sitting by Steve this whole time. It should be noted that PG and Steve are somewhere in the spectrum between friend and acquaintance. While there is mutual enjoyment of company, the two are not terribly close. The recovery instructions that PG hears are promptly forgotten. The Piedmont buddy system does have its advantages. Once, at a competing facility, PG lay alone, prepped and glasses-less, for 45 minutes. The only advantage to that was the take-home socks that are part of the surgery outfit. Steve got some Dunwoody banana yellow socks, while PG got vibrant purple.

Steve goes back into the procedure portal, and PG goes downstairs to the quiet lobby. His book for today is Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, read in fits and starts. The other people in the lobby are scrutinized. Places to go meditate are considered, but nothing has the perfect feng shui. Soon, a call from the facility comes. PG cannot get to his phone in time to answer. Since the surgery center is just one flight up, PG goes upstairs. All the call said was that everything was going well. PG decided to stay in the noisy waiting room, but not before getting the lady to cut down the sound on the tv. By now, it is The View, with Whoopi Goldberg going Whoo Pee Doo, in technicolor and dolby sound, to the horror of The View‘s blonde of the moment.

At 12:14, PG is ushered into the Physicians Consultation room. The PC room is a marvel. Seven feet wide, seven feet long, eight feet tall. Three chairs, a lamp, a table, a land line phone, and a tasteful framed print. Walls painted JAP beige, with not a trace of dirt to be seen. PG wishes he could have spent all his waiting time in here. At 12:37 the surgeon stuck his head in the door to say all was well. At 12:43, PG was forced to leave the PC, to make room for the next friend-of-a-procedure.

The next stop was the recovery resort, which looked very similar to the prep spa. PG sat in the chair. Small talk was made, and recovery instructions read. Eventually, it was time to get the vehicle, and drive to the patient pickup spot. PG got a couple of feet out the door, and decided to go back inside to use the restroom. Coming out of somewhere, a familiar face walked by. PG knew who it was, as did the familiar face. Somehow, when you see someone unexpectedly in a medical facility, you wonder what the story is. The two made nervous small talk for a minute, and hurried on.

PG and Steve got on the freeway, still full of vehicles. The drug store was on Boulevard. After that, the route went past the prison, and down into the ninth most dangerous neighborhood in America. The patient was dropped off, goodbyes were said, and PG got back on the interstate to go back to Brookhaven. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Two Stories

Posted in Georgia History, Music by chamblee54 on August 18, 2019








Today’s production is two stories from 2008. PG walked down New Peachtree Road. This is Atlanta, where there are a couple of hundred roads named Peachtree. No one seems to mind that most of the peach farms are south of Macon. The peaches grow a lot better there. They fuzz comes in heavier, and the pits are pittier. One time Dagwood Bumstead asked why peaches have fuzz. Blondie said, if they has arms they could shave. PG was walking down the road in the rain, with a freight train going down the tracks. This is forty percent of the ingredients for the perfect country and western song.

When PG was younger and drunker, there was a place on Clairmont Road called the Watering Hole. He would go there, drink beer, play pool, and have a good old time. As was the custom in such facilities, there was a jukebox. The patrons put money in the box and played the songs that they wanted to hear. A favorite was “you never even called me by my name” There is a little spoken part, where David Allan Coe talks about the perfect country and western song. This song must talk about rain, Momma, trains, trucks, prison, and gettin’ drunk.

New Peachtree Road has this gravel yard where the eighteen wheelers come and go. There was a big rig backing into place when PG walked by, and he may have heard the truck bump into a trailer. PG walked in the rain, between the train, and a big rig going bump against the trailer. The problem was, Mommas gone, PG doesn’t get drunk, and prison is way too much work. So much for the perfect country and western song.

The songwriter is Steve Goodman. He gave a show at the Last Resort in Athens GA, that a friend of PG attended. Mr. Goodman tells a story about performing on a train, during a series of concerts supporting Hubert Humphrey. It seems like Mr. Goodman had to use the restroom on the train. Now, in those days, the trains did not use holding tanks, but just ejected the matter by the tracks as they rode by. Mr. Goodman was told, do not flush the commode while the train is in the station. Mr. Goodman forgot the instructions. Mr. Humphrey said ”I am going to give the people of this country what they deserve”, Mr. Goodman flushed the commode, and sprayed the crowd.

PG told the Steve Goodman story another time. There was a comment.

Great to see your blog post that invokes Arlo Guthrie’s version of Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans.” Goodman often doesn’t get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, “Steve Goodman: Facing the Music.” The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of “City of New Orleans,” and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,080 interviewees.

The book also delves deeply into “You Never Even Call Me by My Name.” John Prine and David Allan Coe were key interviewees, and the book debunks the notion, promulgated by Coe, that Coe had anything to do with triggering the famous last verse of the song.

Finally, the Humphrey story actually stems from Goodman campaigning for Sen. Edmund Muskie in Florida in early 1972.

You can find out more at my Internet site . Amazingly, the book’s first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography. If you’re not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. ‘Nuff said!








Back to empathy for a minute. The word always takes PG back to an auditorium in Clarkston GA in 1971. PG was in his first quarter at Dekalb College. Today,the institution is known as Georgia Perimeter College. One of the selling points of college has always been the outside speakers that were brought to campus. This day, the subject was abortion.

A note on set and setting is appropriate. In 1971, New York state had legalized the abortion procedure. Roe vs. Wade was in the pipeline that would lead to the Supreme Court. That ruling would not be issued for another fifteen months. In the meantime, abortion was illegal in 49 states, including Georgia. The debate about abortions was not as politicized as today. The nomenclature of choice and life had not entered the vocabulary.

The Vietnam war was still being fought, although with fewer Americans in combat. The withdrawal of US forces took most of the steam out of the anti war movement. The modern spectacle of a person supporting a war, while claiming to be pro life, did not happen.

PG walked into the auditorium and found a seat. The lady began her presentation. After a few minutes of talk… she said something about a woman who was artificially inseminated with masturbated semen. The house lights were dimmed. A black and white film, of an abortion, was shown. It was noted when the fetus went into the vacuum cleaner attachment. The house lights were brought back up. They should have remained dim, as the woman was not kind on the eyes.

The closing part of her presentation was a song she wrote. She sang acapella. The song was written out of empathy with the not-to-be-born baby. The song was titled ” My mother My grave”. PG left the auditorium, and went to world history class.








Racism Double Feature

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Library of Congress, Quotes, Race by chamblee54 on August 17, 2019


There was a comment thread on facebook. Here is the comment that started it. “I have a Facebook friend, who is a black Trump supporter, who says he doesn’t care “if he’s racist or not.” I don’t know what to think about that. Maybe there are a few of my black friends who can help me with that?” There were a lot of comments, which is not surprising. Race, and not liking Donald Trump, are two popular topics of conversation.

The conversation started with a link to When Someone Says They Still Support Trump, I Instantly Know 6 Things About Them. The six items, with a parenthetical summary, are: 1. You want to be ruled, not governed (authoritarianism,) 2. You are not someone I would trust to do business with (business ethics,) 3. You’re either a racist or an enabler of racists (racism,) 4. You have issues with women (misogyny,) 5. You aren’t quite as “Christian” as you claim to be (religious exploitation,) 6. You are anti-constitution (respect for rule of law,)

While those six items are more or less true about Mr. Trump, it is a stretch to say they apply to anyone who supports the man. (Many of these character traits are present in people who don’t like Mr. Trump, especially authoritarianism.) What is disturbing to PG is the way that racial attitudes dominates the conversation. This is a problem in a lot of ways. The obsession with screaming racist helped Mr. Trump get elected. Insulting potential voters is not a good campaign strategy.

There seems to be a national verdict that Donald J. Trump is a racist. A non compliant racial attitude is worse than authoritarianism, crookedness, and mental instability. If you are white, and you question this orthodoxy, then you are a racist. If you are black, and don’t believe without question, then you are asking to be insulted.

The Trump-is-racist meme follows a cynical decision to make Mr. Trump’s racial attitudes a campaign issue. The best evidence cited is a 1973 complaint, involving discrimination in renting apartments. Other evidence… attacks on nationalities, attacks on religious groups, support of unseemly white people … utilize an elastic definition of racism. Others disagree.

There was a comment: Martin C Ezeonu “Lol… I don’t like Trump cuz he is an asshole. On the other hand we know exactly where there country stands now because of him. This country is still racist as hell. these past years nobody addressed is just politicians smartly covering it up. But now to move forward something has to give. And I like that. Let people stop being deceived. Don’t care if he is racist or not I like the fact that he is not a politician and couldn’t play the game. That’s why both parties want him out.”

Mr. Ezeonu is from Nigeria. He might have little in common with most African Americans, other that his skin tone. That is all many people see. People fail to appreciate the amazing diversity in today’s African America. In the comments, Mr. Exeonu was called an idiot, mentally ill, and many other things. Not agreeing with a national consensus is dangerous.

Mr. Trump has numerous problems. In the list of six things, we see authoritarian tendencies, and ethical shortcomings. Many feel the Democrats made a mistake by screaming racist, instead of focusing on his shady business practices. Many white people were alienated by this campaign tactic. After the Trump victory, many black people feel alienated by his election. The race situation gets worse and worse. Saying that Donald Trump is a racist does not help.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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One of the touted TED talks in the weekly email is Color blind or color brave? It is by Mellody Hobson, a POC in the investment business. It is the standard call to talk more about race. Talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. The word listen is not used.

At the 3:13 mark, Mrs. Hobson makes a remarkable statement. “Now I know there are people out there who will say that the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity, right?” (Yes, this is a TED talk.) It is possible that someone has said that. There are also people who say the earth is flat.

PG asked Mr. Google about this. The top two results are about the TED talk. The third result is an article in Forbes magazine, Racism In America Is Over. It is written by John McWhorter, one of the “black guys at Bloggingheads.tv.” Dr. McWhorter does say racism is over, sort of. The problems that remain are a lot worse. Too much food for thought, for a population with intellectual bulimia.

There is a quote in the Forbes article that is pure gold.
“When decrying racism opens no door and teaches no skill, it becomes a schoolroom tattletale affair. It is unworthy of all of us: “He’s just a racist” intoned like “nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!””
There are a lot more results. PG is getting tired of looking. If you want to see for yourself, google “the election of Barack Obama meant that it was the end of racial discrimination for all eternity.” Except for a rogue title editor at Forbes, almost nobody has said that. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Cross Keys

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on August 15, 2019


Mr. Bear “Speaking of obscure, do you remember the location of a restaurant downtown called the “Crosskeys”. There’s a photo of it in the Georgia State Library archives, but no notation of its location other than it appears to be near a big Gulf Oil lighted sign.” chamblee54 “I have seen that picture. There is a historic brass marker near Ashford Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry. Apparently there was some kind of trail crossing there called Cross Keys. Full disclosure: I went to Cross Keys High School. Nobody ever talked about what Cross Keys was. Google is not much help, except for an 1862 Battle of Cross Keys in Virginia.”

Some helpful person sent a couple of links, and soon PG was learning about Cross Keys… the militia district, not the school. Apparently, Cross Keys was centered around the intersection of Ashford Dunwoody and Johnson Ferry. The crossroads is a doozy… the two major thoroughfare are combined into a hundred yard stretch of asphalt, only to be separated again at an overworked red light. Both roads run between Peachtree and I285. One goes through pill hill, and the other leads to Perimeter Mall. None of this was going on when the Post Office was built in 1846.

“Historical records provide that the militia district of “Cross Keys” was established in 1827 and continued to be referenced as such at least as late as 1951. Prior to 1827 the only Federal post in the region was known as “Cross Keys,” and subsequently, “Old Cross Keys,” when the post moved to near current City of Chamblee just prior to Sherman’s March. … The area was increasingly settled by farming families during the first quarter of the 19th century. As land concessions were signed with the Creek (Muscogee) Nation between 1818 and 1821 more land was made available via grants to European settlers. While the mascots and symbols of “Indians” at Cross Keys High School are culturally inaccurate and reflect garb and headdresses of nomadic tribes of the mid and far west, it is a fitting and ironic tribute to the Muscogee Native Americans who long thrived on the same land…. The area remained primarily an agricultural community until the acquisition by the United States Army of a large tract of land in heart of the district in July of 1917. This tract became Camp Gordon, an infantry training and artillery cantonment. Part of that original 2,400 acres later became a Naval Air Station at the current site of Peachtree-DeKalb Airport.”

“There was a Cross Keys post office as early as 1846, when the postmaster was James A. Reeve.” A marker at Johnson Ferry and Ashford Dunwoody Road in Brookhaven gives this history for Old Cross Keys: “Ante-bellum crossroads settlement & post office, James Reeve (1792-1852) Post Master & merchant. Prior to 1864 the Post Office was removed to a point between Chamblee and Doraville where, name unchanged it was known as Cross Keys Post Office. To distinguish the one from the other, this place was called Old Cross Keys & was cited in Federal dispatches, maps & reports of military operations here in 1864. At this point, a brief contact was made between the marching columns of Dodge’s 16th and Schofield’s 23rd A.C. July 18, both enroute to Decatur from Chattahoochee River crossings.”

“Samuel House was one of the early settlers of this area, arriving in 1830. In 1850, he built a brick home that is now part of the Peachtree Golf Club. General Sherman spent the night at the home on July 18, 1864 and described it as “a brick house well known and near old Cross Keys.” … The name Cross Keys is referenced in Civil War records. Special orders from General James McPherson on July 16, 1864 instructs “The fifteenth Army Corps, Major General John A. Logan commanding, will move out from its present position at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow on the road leading to Cross Keys, following this road to a point near Providence Church, where he will take a left hand road (sometimes called the upper Decatur road, and proceed on this until he reaches Nancy’s creek, where he will take up a good position on each side of the road and go into bivouac.”

Major General William T. Sherman also issued orders on July 18. At the 15:00 mark of this lecture, the speaker quotes a dispatch to Gen. James Birdseye McPherson. “I am at Sam House’s, a brick house well known, and near old Cross Keys … a sick negro is the only human being left on the premises … we are eleven miles from Atlanta, five from Buckhead, and the signboard says ten miles to McCaffrey’s bridge and eleven to Roswell.” Four days later, Gen. McPherson was killed, in what is now East Atlanta Village.

There is little indication about why this area was called Cross Keys. In 1827, this was the middle on nowhere. “The symbol of the “crossed keys” itself traces to early Christian representations of the “keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth” famously offered by Jesus to Peter according to Matthew 16:19.” The phrase Cross Keys does not appear in the verse.

No one seems to know much about the Cross Keys restaurant. The GSU picture is dated November 8, 1951. A postcard gives the address as 237 Peachtree Street, and has the address of a CKR in Nashville. The Nashville restaurant is mentioned in a WSB-TV film from May 13, 1963. “… African American students protest segregation at two restaurants in town. … a white doorman outside the Cross Keys Restaurant. African American students march on the sidewalk … where police forcefully push the demonstrators away and let white people through the crowds.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Two articles were quoted in this post: Going way back to Cross Keys. Every few years I tell story of name, ‘Cross Keys,’ so our community doesn’t forget. The second story has a comment by Mr. Bear.

She Always Carries Jonquils

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on August 14, 2019






PG found Archival Atlanta: Electric Street Dummies, the Great Stonehenge Explosion, Nerve Tonics, and Bovine Laws : Forgotten Facts and Well-Kept Secrets from Our City’s Past at the Chamblee library. There are always more stories to be heard. This repost has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. It is written like Margaret Mitchell.

In the 1840s, the Western and Atlantic railroad wanted to hook up with the Central of Georgia railroad. The spot for the meeting was called Terminus. One idea was to name the town for William Lumpkin, a former Georgia Governor and a railroad executive. Lumpkinville sounded bad in the mouth, and the new town was named “Marthasville”, after the daughter of the Governor. (Martha is buried in Oakland Cemetery.) Few people liked this name, and someone decided that the feminine form of Atlantic was Atlanta. Unlike the state flag, this is unlikely to change.

The new town prospered, and recovered from the unpleasantness of 1864. In 1875, there was a problem with stray cows. The answer was the “1875 Cow Ordinance”. The law required that cows be kept in a pen at night. A fine of two dollars was assessed for every stray cow that was caught.

About this time, there were a few very busy railroad tracks going through downtown. People were getting tired of waiting for the trains to go through. One by one, viaducts were built over the tracks, creating a forgotten ground floor. This was built up into Underground Atlanta in the sixties, which was red hot for a while, then cooled off, and is now so so.

In 1897, J.W. Alexander was the first person in town to own a “horseless carriage”. One day, he decided to take a ride to East Point. A mule objected, and kicked man and machine into a ditch.

It is a rule that all history books about Atlanta have to discuss Coca Cola and Gone With The Wind. There are only so many stories to go around. This book tells of an Alpharetta farmer who bought the Tara set from MGM. He stored in a barn, the location of which was a secret. Betty Talmadge wanted to buy it, and the price went from $375k to $5k. After a while, the sale was finalized. There was only one problem…the farmer died, and never told anyone where the barn was. Mrs. Talmadge got the money from her husband’s overcoat, went to Alpharetta, and found the barn. The set was moved into another secret location, where it was in 1996, when Archival Atlanta was published, at an undisclosed local location.

Sam and William Venable owned Stone Mountain, and had a quarry there. (The Ku Klux Klan held meetings on the mountain.) (The spell check suggestion for Ku Klux is Kook Klutz.) Sam built a large granite house at 1410 Ponce de Leon Avenue, and stocked it with ammunition. He thought a race war was on the way, and wanted to be prepared. One night, a chimney overheated. The roof caught on fire. The explosives in the attic exploded, and took the roof off. The house was repaired, Mr. Venable died, and the house became part of a Lutheran church.

One of the few ante bellum houses in Atlanta is near Grant Park. It was once owned by Lemuel Grant, who donated the land for the park. He stays in a large marble house in Oakland Cemetery now. The Grant Park house was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John Marsh, in partnership with Boyd Eugene Taylor. After the death of Mrs. Marsh (also known as Margaret Mitchell), she was known to visit the house.
“Margaret just wanders through the house, looking things over. She never talks, and she always carries jonquils. The first night she came I was very shocked. I went out to her grave at Oakland Cemetery the next day. I’d never been to the house before. But I was almost certain of what I’d find. The plot is covered by a bed of jonquils.”






August 4

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on August 4, 2019


August 4 is just another day. Summer is roughly halfway over, if you talk about the time between the solstice and the equinox. Schools are starting, and football teams are tackling, so autumn is not far away. One advertising medium says August 4 is National Friendship Day, National Sisters Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, National Family Day, and National Coast Guard Day.

A few interesting people were born on August 4. 1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1821 – Louis Vuitton, 1901 – Louis Armstrong, 1961 – Barack Obama, 1971 – Jeff Gordon.

Important events took place on August 4. Wikipedia will be quoted, with a few tasteful edits. 1693 – “Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon’s invention of champagne.” 1892 – “The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, MA, home.” 1914 – “In response to the German invasion of Belgium, the British Empire declares war on Germany.” 1944 – “A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to an area in Amsterdam, where they arrest Anne Frank.” 1964 – “Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.” 1964 – “U.S. destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy report coming under attack in the Gulf of Tonkin.”

On August 4, 1964, I spent the day with my Grandmother. Her favorite soap opera, “As The World Turns,” was interrupted by a news bulletin announcing the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Later that day, we walked to the clubhouse of the Piedmont Park golf course. A friend of Gran’s worked there. The golf course lady could not wait to tell me that she did not like the Beatles. “If the Beatles were playing, for free, across the street, I would not waste the energy to walk over there and see them.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Richards

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on August 2, 2019

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A comment at a recent post mentioned “Jenning’s Rose Room, a classic poor white juke and dance hall … where Trader Joes now sits.” PG had been in that building when it was called Richards. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

There is no telling what the original use of the building at 931 Monroe Drive was. It was across the street from Grady Stadium, and adjacent to Piedmont Park. The railroad tracks that became the beltline ran behind it. The parking lot was primitive, with a marquee sign built at some point. (PG drove by that sign several nights and saw that Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing.)

There was another nightclub building on the hill behind JRR. One night, PG went to see a jazz band there, accompanied by someone who lived in a nearby house. After seeing the band, PG was led to a horse stable behind the bar. The horses were not well maintained … you could see the ribs sticking out. There is a story of a goat getting loose from the stable, and being chased out of the jazz bar during happy hour.

Jennings Rose Room was before PG’s time. There is a story that some men had lunch there, and made a bet. The idea was to hit a golf ball from the JRR parking lot, and putt it into a hole at Piedmont Park. A biscuit was used as a tee. The first shot went across the street, onto the field at the stadium. Eventually, the ball was hit across Tenth Street, onto a green, and into the cup.

At some point, Jennings Rose Room closed. A gay club called Chuck’s Rathskeller was opened in that location. A rock and roll club or two did business there. Then Richards opened.

The first time PG was in the house was after a Johnny Winter concert at the Fox. There were rumors of visiting musicians dropping by Richards to play after their shows. Mr. Winter was only onstage for a couple of minutes after PG got there.

The most memorable trip to Richards was during the summer of 1973. The headliner was Rory Gallagher, who was ok but not spectacular. The opening act was Sopwith Camel, one of the forgotten bands of the seventies. They performed a novelty hit, “Hello Hello”. Someone in the audience liked it, and paid them to do it again. The band wound up doing “Hello Hello” five times, and said that was the most money they made in a long time.

Average White Band was making the rounds that fall, and had a show at Richards. A lot of the audience was black, and they hit the dance floor in unison when “Pick up the Pieces” was played. Fellow Scotsman Alex Harvey was in town, and joined AWB to sing “I heard it through the grapevine”.

Muddy Waters played at Richards one night. The band did most of the playing, with Mr. Waters tossing in a few licks on bottleneck guitar. He might have sang a couple of times.

About this time, Iggy Pop played a few shows at Richards. One night, someone snuck up on him, and gave him a hug. It was Elton John, wearing a gorilla suit.

PG saw three more shows (that he can remember) at Richards. Richie Havens was worth the two dollar admission. Soft Machine played in the winter of 1974. Larry Coryell played a show that summer, with the Mike Greene Band opening. PG got to talk to Mike Greene that night. The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (who do the Grammy Awards) had a President named C. Michael Greene at one time. PG thinks this is the person he talked to that night.

Two friends of PG went, as their first date, to see Spirit at Richards. They were married a few years later. Towards the end of 1974, Richards was running out of steam. They advertised a New Years Eve show starring B.B. King, and sold high priced tickets. When the crowd showed up for the show, they found the doors locked. Richards had closed.

The next tenant for 931 Monroe Drive was going to be Cabaret After Dark, a gay club. There was a fire the night before the grand opening. The building was never used again. Eventually, a shopping center was built on the site.
UPDATE: Here is an article, from the Great Speckled Bird, about Richards. The 010975 edition of the Bird had an article about Richards closing. This is a repost.

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The B-52s

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on July 23, 2019








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There used to be a chinese restaurant, on the Atlanta Highway, called Hunan House. One night, a few people shared a flaming volcano, and formed a band. The b52s played their first show at a valentines day party in 1977. They were named for a bouffant hairstyle.

The b52’s were Ricky Wilson, his sister Cindy, Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider III, and Keith Strickland. The Wilsons and Mr. Strickland were from Athens. Miss Pierson and Mr. Schneider were from New Jersey. Planet Claire was the ancestral home.

Fred had lived in Atlanta before he moved to Athens. He stayed in an apartment on Monroe Drive, across from S&M clutch and brake company. PG knew some of his neighbors, and once rested his feet on a rug, formerly owned by Fred Schneider.

Somebody had connections, and The b52’s were playing shows in New York before long. They released a 45 on db records, “Rock Lobster” and “52 girls”. The first of the girls mentioned…there are only 23 named…is Effie. There was a famous whorehouse in Athens named Effies.

One night, they played a show at the Big Dipper, on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The Big Dipper was a former Maryland Fried Chicken, and is now something else. After the show, either Kate or Cindy was in the parking lot, talking to a local character named Beulah. As was his way, Beulah was talking about Mick Jagger this, Mick Jagger that. Finally, Kate had enough. “Fuck Mick Jagger. One day Mick Jagger will come see me, me, me.”

The b52’s were a fun band. Ricky had an unusual style on guitar, and Kate played a farfisa organ. The girls always wore big hair wigs. Fred was somewhere up front singing.

On Labor Day, 1978, PG saw the b52’s in Piedmont Park. There was a third girl that day, Wendy, who wore an inflatable beach float, and danced. The only songs PG is sure they did were “Downtown” and “Rock Lobster”. A few months later, PG saw the b52’s at the Agora ballroom. The Brains opened.

Sometime in late 1979, the eponymous first album came out. It became a hit, with dance clubs all over playing “Planet Claire”, “Dance this mess around”, and “6060-842”. In the summer of 1980, PG talked with a former Athenian in a hostel in Cannon Beach, Oregon. He mentioned that Cindy was the only heterosexual in the band.

The years went by, and more albums were released. On October 12, 1985, Ricky Wilson died of AIDS. He is buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery, behind Sanford Stadium in Athens. He sold bus tickets at the Greyhound station in downtown Athens before he hit the bigtime.

The band continues to this day. At some point, “Love Shack” was released, and became a hit. It is probably the best known b52’s song today. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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Blue Tail Fly

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on July 20, 2019

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Q: What does “Jimmy crack corn” mean, and why does he not care?—Matt, Columbus, Ohio

PG was trolling stupidquestion.net when there was a convergence of stupidity. (The site does not exist in 2012.) All his life he had heard “Blue Tail Fly”, and been embarrassed. And there, in (pardon the expression) black and white, was someone who wondered the same thing.

It seems as though “Blue Tail Fly” started out as a minstrel song. For those who don’t know, minstrel shows were white people putting on black makeup, and imitating African Americans. Minstrel shows are not well thought of these days.

The story of BTF involves a man named Jimmy. A fly bit the pony the old massa was riding, the pony was offended, and threw the old massa off. He was hurt landing, and died. Jimmy still has to crack corn, but he doesn’t care, because old massa has gone away.

Dave Barry took a poll once to find out the stupidest song of all time. The overwhelming winner/loser was “MacArthur Park”. The combination of over the top show stopping, while singing about a cake left out in the rain, makes this ditty a duh classic.

In the spirit of corny convergence, the video is a karaoke version featuring Donna Summer. Miss Summer is a talented singer, who happened to connect with Giorgio Moroder. Lots of singers could have hit the big time by fronting those records. Donna Summer hit the jackpot.

For a proper post, there needs to be a third stupid song. This is not about stupid bands, singing about being D U M B. Even though they totally don’t belong, there is a video of the Ramones included. PG saw the Ramones at the Agora Ballroom in 1983. This was after their prime, and before a homeless man caught the Ballroom on fire.

We still need a third stupid song, and PG wants to get this posted with as little research as possible. Just like some writer was once given twenty minutes to write a song, and he decided to do the worst song he could think of. The result was “Wild Thing”. PG used to have a 45 of someone who sounded like Bobby Kennedy singing “Wild Thing”. This video (of the Troggs performing “Wild Thing”) has the late Casey Kasem, and Portuguese subtitles. Let the good times roll.

These four hundred and twenty hastily chosen words are a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This was downtown Atlanta in 1941.


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