Chamblee54

Jane Fonda And J. Edgar Hoover

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics, War by chamblee54 on June 5, 2021

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This repost is a work of speculation, and has no basis in proven fact.The thesis cannot be proved nor disproved. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Listening to talk radio while you drive is a dangerous activity. You might start to think, and look at the man behind the screen. Neal Boortz was on a rant today about Jane Fonda. It it the same story you have heard many times…she gave aid and comfort to the enemy, she is a traitor, American troops died because of her, she should have been executed.

Sometimes when you hear something too many times, you begin to have doubts about what you heard. A light bulb went off in PG’s head when he heard the Fonda Rant again..
.What if Jane Fonda was working for the US government when she went to Hanoi?
What was in it for the government? This trip gave our government a discredited leader of the antiwar movement to denounce. When the government was trashing Jane Fonda, they did not have to defend the disastrous policies of that war.

Miss Fonda has been an icon of right wing hatred ever since, as well as of military training. One story has Miss Fonda giving the North Vietnamese information about activities by American forces. How would she get this information?

The infamous trip to Hanoi took place in the Summer of 1972. American troops were being withdrawn, and anti war protests lost most of their passion. (It was also soon after the death of F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover, and the Watergate burglary) The war in Vietnam was essentially over for America. We were no longer trying to win, but to negotiate a face saving treaty. President Nixon called it “Peace with Honor”. Miss Fonda’s actions had little impact on these negotiations.

Miss Fonda made some radio broadcasts from Hanoi. Is it possible that coded messages to our troops were included in these broadcasts? Is it also possible that she gave the North Vietnamese misinformation on purpose?

Why would a women known for her left wing activism do such a thing? Maybe, the FBI had some dirt on her, and blackmailed her.

In 1967, Kurt Vonnegut published a book titled “Mother Night”. It tells the story of Howard W. Campbell Jr. Mr. Campbell made propaganda broadcasts for Germany in World War II, which were secretly used to pass coded messages to the Allies. He was condemned as a traitor after the war, but never prosecuted. He did not win an Academy Award.

The role of the government in this affair could have taken another role. Perhaps Miss Fonda was sincere in her actions, but aided by the government. Miss Fonda was under surveillance in 1972. The government would have known about her plans to go to North Vietnam, and perhaps could have stopped her. But, because her going to Hanoi was to their advantage, the government allowed the trip to take place.

The above is speculation, and could be horribly wrong. The fact that Miss Fonda has expressed regrets over her trip neither proves nor disproves this. She got great movie roles, and won two Academy Awards, during the seventies. This may be a coincidence, or maybe it was a reward for her service.

Clearly, the trip she made to Hanoi had propaganda value to the US government. It has been a Godsend over the years. You should always consider who benefits from an action.

During his rant today, Mr. Boortz said that US troops died because of Miss Fonda. (He does not discuss the man who went to Nam in his place, after his draft deferment.) By saying this, he can ignore the tens of thousands of troops who died because Richard Nixon chose to wait until 1973 to sign a “peace treaty”. He could have made the same deal in 1969. Peace with honor indeed.

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A few days ago, the possibility that the government allowed Jane Fonda to go to Hanoi was discussed. Ms. Fonda’s trip to North Vietnam had numerous propaganda/p.r. advantages to the American government. Direct government sponsorship cannot be ruled out. Another scenario would have the government knowing about the trip, having the ability to stop the trip, but allowing it to happen. For the purposes of today’s discussion, we will call this the “Hoover Option”(HO). It is named for John Edgar Hoover, the publicity savvy director of the FBI until his death in 1972.

HO is a favorite of conspiracy theorists. It is difficult to prove or disprove, and explains a lot of things. Another conspiracy rich event is the shooting of John Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The various hypotheses on this event are well known. Numerous people wanted JFK to retire…gangsters, teamsters, Republicans, Lyndon Johnson, Vietnamese… to the point to where it is tough to sort out all the possible candidates. The thinking goes here, that J. Edgar Hoover knew of the plot to kill JFK, could have stopped it, but chose to allow it to happen. Even conspiracy skeptics think this is plausible.

The concept of Lee Harvey Oswald working alone does not eliminate the possibility of HO. Here was a sketchy character, known to have traveled to the Soviet Union, and favor “fair play for Cuba”. He worked in a building on the parade route. As much as the FBI knew…especially about those with Soviet connections…is it possible that Mr. Hoover knew what Mr. Oswald was going to do that Friday? And decided to allow it to happen. And why did Jackie choose that photogenic pink outfit?

A few years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis, TN. Mr. Hoover had a well known hatred of Dr. King. How did a sketchy character get a room, within gunshot range of the hotel Dr. King stayed in? How did he know when Dr. King would be stepping on the balcony? Did Mr. Hoover know all of this, and still allow the shooting to take place? Why was Jesse Jackson there?

J. Edgar Hoover died on May 2, 1972. This was 13 days before Arthur Bremer shot George Wallace, six weeks before the Watergate burglary, and eight weeks before Jane Fonda went to Hanoi. Mr. Hoover died at the height of the Nixon administrations “dirty tricks”, just a few weeks before they got caught. No doubt, Mr. Hoover knew what Tricky Dick was up to.

HO has probably been in existence throughout history. Most leaders have blood on their hands, and it is always better to get someone else to do the dirty work.

Pearl Harbor has long been the object of this speculation. There is little doubt that Mr. Roosevelt wanted the United States to join the war, but was having a tough time with an isolationist public. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Mr. Roosevelt got what he wanted. It has long been speculated that he knew in advance about the attack, and let it go down. There were obvious advantages to him.

Which brings us to the Pearl Harbor of the modern era, 911. The attacks that day were a political jackpot for George W. Bush. He was able to ram many restrictions on civil liberties through congress, and begin a war in Iraq, that had clearly been planned for some time. Did our government know about plans for the 911 attacks, and quietly let them happen?

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Gene Talmadge

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History, Politics by chamblee54 on May 29, 2021






Former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge was famous for saying, to cheering crowds,
“Sure I stole, but I stole for you”. PG suspected an urban legend, and decided to see what Mr. Google had to say.
Eugene Talmadge was Agriculture Commissioner before he was Governor. He had some relatives on the state payroll. There was something funky going on with fertilizer. He bought a bunch of hogs, and sent them to Chicago, where he thought he could make more money. After a while, some people started to ask questions. His answer was
“If I stole, it was for farmers like yourselves”. (This is on page 59 of “The Wild Man from Sugar Creek.”)
This was in 1931. The depression hit Georgia hard. The wool hat boys were in a world of fertilizer. Mr. Talmadge set himself up as the champion of the dirt farmers, and the enemy of the lyin’ Atlanta newspapers. In 1932 he was elected Governor. He was re-elected three times, but died in 1946, before he could serve again. He was replaced by two Governors.

The county unit system was one reason Mr. Talmadge kept getting elected. Each of Georgia’s 159 counties got a certain number of votes. Three rural counties were the equivalent of winning Fulton County. Mr. Talmadge boasted that he never won a county with street cars.

Mr. Talmadge’s campaigns were legendary. He would speak at the county courthouse, and plants in the crowd would scream questions, like “what about those lyin Atlanta newspapers?”. One of his favorite lines was
“Yeah, it’s true. I stole, but I stole for you, the dirt farmer”.
PG’s aunt went to work at the Trust Company of Georgia in the early fifties. There was a story that the new employees were told. It seems as though Governor Talmadge was in the lobby of the Trust Company, after having a happy lunch. He had to use the restroom, and went to the corner of the lobby to relieve himself.

There is a statue of Gene Talmadge in front of the State Capitol. The plate at the base reads “I may surprise you, but I shall not deceive you.” This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”






Why The War Between The States Was Fought

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 28, 2021


Recently, Mr. Trump said something stupid about the War Between the States. After his comments began to filter into the marketplace of ideas, people began to react. There was a good bit of self righteous talk about how bad the Confederacy was. Maybe it is time for another point of view. This feature will have minimal research. Mostly, PG is typing things he has heard and thought. It is possible that some items will be incorrect. The reader is encouraged to do their own research. Comments are welcome.

When the colonies declared independence in 1776, nobody knew how things would turn out. First, Great Britain needed to be defeated. After that, the Articles of Confederation went into effect. “Under these articles, the states remained sovereign and independent, with Congress serving as the last resort on appeal of disputes. Congress was also given the authority to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces and coin money. However, the central government lacked the ability to levy taxes and regulate commerce…”

This arrangement was not working, and the Constitutional Convention was called. Originally, the CC was going to revise the Articles of Confederation, but wound up throwing the whole thing out, and creating the Constitution. This document called for greater federal authority. The issue of what powers to give to the states, and what powers to give to the central government, was contentious. It remains controversial to this day.

Had any group of antonymous states formed a federal union before? Usually, such a union is the result of a conquest, with one of the states ruling the others. It is unclear whether such a union had been attempted before, or how successful it was. When the “founding fathers” created the constitution, they probably did not foresee how it would play out. The current system, with a massive central government cat-herding the 50 states, would have been laughed off as a dangerous fantasy.

So the states start to have disagreements. One of the things they disagreed over was slavery. Yes, this was an important factor in the unpleasantness to come. Slavery also influenced a lot of the economic conflicts. The North wanted high tariffs to protect industry. The South wanted low tariffs, so they could sell cotton to Europe. There were many other ways for the states to not get along.

Finally, in 1861, the disagreements became too big to ignore. The south seceded, and the War Between The States began. The Confederate States of America was a looser union than the United States. The thought was that the states were more important than the federal union. Mr. Lincoln disagreed. (One popular name for the conflict was Mr. Lincoln’s war.) Many people say that Mr. Lincoln was not especially concerned about the slaves, but wanted to keep the union together.

How does slavery enter into this? Imagine the conflict over states rights vs federalism to be an open tank of gasoline. The lit match that was thrown into that tank was slavery. When the winners wrote the war history, it sounded better to say that the war was fought to free the slaves. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This was a repost.

Lene Lovich

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on May 26, 2021

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Lene Lovich was born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan, March 30, 1949. She moved to England as a teenager, and met Les Chappell. He who played guitar in her band, and was her man.

As an art school student, she started to tie her long hair in plaits to keep it out of the clay while studying sculpture. Her recording debut was as part of an audience, when Chuck Berry recorded “My ding a ling”. This may have been the inspiration for “Lucky Number.”

Miss Lovich played in several bands, before winding up on the Stiff label. She put out two albums that became popular in the USA, and did a tour. After a while, she retired from music to raise a family. Miss Lovich has made a slight comeback in recent years.

PG had the privilege of seeing Lene Lovich at the Agora Ballroom, Atlanta GA, in the winter of 1980. The opening act was The Romantics. The show was taped for broadcast on the NBC radio network, and Don Pardo was on hand to introduce the bands.

The Romantics were unknown to the crowd at the Agora that night. They came on stage wearing costumes that looked like the Beatles of 1963. Every song they did was a bit better than the one before, and they got a big round of applause when the set ended.

Don Pardo had quite a career. He was the house announcer on November 22, 1963, and was the voice of NBC when he interrupted a soap opera to announce that John Kennedy had been “cut down with assassin’s bullets”. During his career as a TV announcer, Mr. Pardo could not use profanity. That night at the Agora, he made up for lost time…every other word he said was a cuss word. Dominick George “Don” Pardo, born February 22, 1918, passed away August 18, 2014.

Soon, Lene Lovich (spell check suggestion:lovechild) and her band came on stage. She was not the typical sexpot rock chanteuse… A bit chubby, with her long hair tied in plaits. Wearing a long sleeve black dress, probably stolen from a convent, she provided fantasy for only the kinkiest. Les Chappell was there, with his shaved head, to stop any trouble before it started, and play guitar.

The material came mostly from the first two albums on Stiff records. (At some point in the evening, someone…maybe Lovich, maybe Pardo…said “Be stiff”.) She introduced “Lucky Number” by saying “We have a song that goes ah oh aih oh”. During an instrumental jam in that song, she cried out “We have an American on keyboards”. The American was Thomas Dolby, who would soon go solo. He did not appear to be blinded by science.

The first encore was ” I think we’re alone now”, which had been a hit for Tommy James and the Shondells (spell check suggestions: shoulders, shovelfuls). Soon the night was over. Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

UPDATE: This comment was left on facebook “Those first two albums are GREAT. I probably saw her on this same tour; Dolby was with her. I was a club on South Street in Philly. She looked like a freaked-out Teutonic barmaid, the St. Pauli girl gone goth (before there was goth). Somehow, the sight of her playing sax was hilarious, and the concert was a blast. I bought a recent Thomas Dolby CD a couple months ago. Sucked, as, alas, did Lene’s last one.


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Jean D. McKinnon

Posted in Georgia History, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on May 9, 2021

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The first picture in this episode is a family portrait of the Quin family in Washington Georgia. The nine surviving children of Hugh Pharr Quin are sitting for the camera. Mr. Quin had joined the Georgia State Troops of the Army of the Confederacy at the age of 16, and after the war went to Washington to live with his sister. Mr. Quin was in the church choir of the First Methodist Church when he met the organist, Betty Lou DuBose. They were married January 22, 1879.
The original name of Mrs. Quin was Louisa Toombs DuBose. She was the daughter of James Rembert DuBose. His brother in law was Robert Toombs, the Secretary of State of the Confederacy, and a man of whom many stories are told.
In this picture, Mrs. Quin is holding the hand of her second youngest daughter so she will not run away. This is Martha (Mattie) Vance Quin. She is my grandmother.
After the Great War, Mattie Quin was living in Memphis Tennessee, where she met Arthur Dunaway. Mr. Dunaway was a veteran of the war, and was from Paragould, Arkansas. On July 23, 1922 her first Daughter, Jean, was born. This is my mother.
Mr. Dunaway died in 1930, shortly after the birth of his son Arthur. There were hard times and upheaval after this, with the family settling in Atlanta. There her third child Helen Ann Moffat was born on December 12, 1933. This is my Aunt Helen and my mother’s best friend.

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Jean lived for many years with her mother and sister at 939 Piedmont, among other locations. She joined the First Baptist Church and sang in the choir. She got a job with the C&S bank, and was working at the Tenth Street Branch when she met Luther McKinnon. He was a native of Rowland, North Carolina. They were married October 6, 1951.
They moved into the Skyland Apartments, which in those days was out in the country. Mom told a story about Dad taking her home from Choir practice, and going home on the two lane Buford Hiway. There was a man who went to the restaurants to get scraps to feed his pigs, and his truck was always in front of them. This was a serious matter in the summer without air conditioning.
Soon, they moved into a house, and Luther junior was born on May 6, 1954. This is me. Malcolm was born May 10, 1956, which did it for the children.
The fifties were spent on Wimberly Road, a street of always pregnant women just outside Brookhaven. It was a great place to be a little kid.
In 1960, we moved to Parkridge Drive, to the house where my brother and I stay today. The note payment was $88 a month. Ashford Park School is a short walk away…the lady who sold us the house said “you slap you kid on the fanny and he is at school”.
In 1962, our family followed the choir director from First Baptist to Briarcliff Baptist, which is where my parents remained.
In 1964, Mom went back to work. She ran the drive in window at Lenox Square for the Trust Company of Georgia until it was time to retire. She became a talk radio fan when RING radio started, and was a friend of her customer Ludlow Porch. She gave dog biscuits to customers with dogs.
During this era of change, Mom taught me that all people were good people, be they black or white. This was rare in the south. She later became disgusted with the War in Vietnam, and liked to quote a man she heard on the radio. “How will we get out of Vietnam?””By ship and by plane”.
Eventually, it was time to retire. Her and Dad did the requisite traveling, until Dad got sick and passed away February 7, 1992. Mom stuck around for a few more years, until her time came December 18, 1998. This is a repost.

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May 6, 2021

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 6, 2021

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May 6 is a day in spring, with 35% of the year gone by. It has it’s fair share of history, some of which did not turn out well. In 1861, the Confederate Congress declared war on the United States. In 1937, a German zeppelin named “Hindenburg” exploded while trying to land in New Jersey. In 1940, Bob Hope did his first show for the USO, somewhere in California.

Roger Bannister ran the first sub four minute mile, on May 6, 1954. The current record is 3:43.13 by Hicham El Guerrouj on July 7, 1999, with a party with Prince to celebrate. Since most track meets now use 1500 meters, the mile record is obsolete.

On this day, Georgia executed two notable prisoners. In 2003, Carl Isaacs was put to death. Mr. Isaacs was the ringleader in the 1973 Alday family killing, in Donalsonville GA. Five years later, in 2008, William Earl Lynd was poisoned by the state. This was the first condemned man to die after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that execution by poisoning was constitutional.

Taurus is the sign for those whose blood starts to pump May 6. Included are:
Maximilien Robespierre (1758) Sigmund Freud (1856) Rudolph Valentino (1895)
Orson Welles (1915) Willie Mays (1931) Rubin Carter (1937)
Bob Seger (1945) Tony Blair (1953) PG (1954) George Clooney(1961)
To make room for these folks, someone has to die. For May 6 this would mean:
Henry David Thoreau (1862) L. Frank Baum (1919) Marlene Dietrich (1992)
This repost, written like H.P. Lovecraft, has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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RISK!

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 5, 2021


RISK! is a story telling podcast. Every week, an hour of tales comes out, hosted by @TheKevinAllison. PG has been a fan, often listening to the show while editing the historic pictures that illustrate this blog. There was even a post once, Binge Listening To RISK! PG eventually recovered.

The last time RISK! was in Atlanta, they played a sold out club in East Atlanta. The show last night was at The Masquerade. This is located in Underground Atlanta, in the middle of downtown. PG remembers an entrance across the street from the Marta station. Tickets were available at the door. PG decided “Today’s the day, take a risk.”

The ride downtown was uneventful. PG walks across Peachtree, to the Underground entrance. The door is locked. The stairs nearby have a barricade in front of the doors. Door after door is locked. PG can see people downstairs, and knew they got in there somehow.

PG began to wonder how he was going to get back to the train station, after the show. Downtown can be a scary, intimidating place. One time, panhandlers got in his face, and screamed bloody murder. When PG found the entrance, it was on a side street, and down a catwalk. What was that going to be like after dark? PG considered turning around, and taking the train back to Brookhaven.

The Masquerade takes up most of the entertainment area at Underground. PG talked to a security dude, who explained that most of Underground was closed. Would it be safe to walk back to the Marta station? Security dude says that police are everywhere, and that it would be OK. PG decides to get in line. Soon, a man is going through the line. If you want to drink, you can show your ID, and get a wrist band. PG, who retired from alcohol in 1988, decided that a drinkers wrist band was a tasteful accessory for the evening.

The performance space is a big room, with folding chairs instead of tables. PG finds an empty seat on the second row. Soon, he was talking to his neighbor, about all the fun we had when we were younger. At a bit after eight, the PA announcer welcomes you to the show, and Kevin Allison came out walks on stage. No, he did not sing the Stamps.com song, but he did urge you to pre-order his book. SPOILER ALERT These next few paragraphs may have spoilers, if you are going to listen to the show later. Since PG did not completely get the names of the storytellers, he will call them something else. The exception to this is TS Madison, who is already something else. A spell check suggestion for pre-order is pee-order.

Kevin told the first story of the evening. As a young man from Ohio, Kevin went to college in New York. One night, there was an adventurous visit to a sex club. Kevin took a man home. The man turned out to be a jerk, making Kevin do painful things involving Converse sneakers. At kink camp, a few years later, another jerk forced the same issue with Doc Martens.

Lady01 took the stage first. She is an Indian/Catholic, with a double load of family nonsense. There was a trip home to discuss an arranged marriage, which did not include her Muslim boyfriend. The discussion did not go well. The lady is a confident performer … as were all the storytellers this night … and was easy to hear. The sound system, and lighting, were superb throughout.

Man01 was next. Every storytelling session in Georgia needs to have a story about a mobile home. Man01 had a father, with a fondness for alcohol. One night, the drinking, and fighting, got out of hand. Father’s boss got killed. The father is now doing life in prison.

@TsMadisonatl1, the third performer, is a force of nature. PG was excited when he learned she was appearing. “Big Dick Bitch” is a pre-operative transsexual, currently living in Conyers, GA. Wearing six inch heels, green hair, and a tight fitting outfit, TSM told a story she calls “Turkish Delight.” At the start of her performance, TSM made a snapchat video. PG is in the second row. He wore a red shirt, which went very well with his red neck.

Miss Madison, in a normal world, would be the headliner. How can you follow that hair? Man02 took the challenge. He told a story involving an eclipse, pringles potato chips, and a very brief career in show business. A friendship with Mitch Hedberg added a few laughs, and a chance to open a show, at the 40 Watt club, in Athens GA.

Man03 was the final story of the night. He told of a love story, that seemed too good to end well. It didn’t. While all these stories were told, PG was listening, and mostly enjoying. The thought was still in his mind… how am I going to get back to Marta? Upper Alabama street looked so barren when he walked down it, and could only be worse after the sun went down.

Going to the front of the room, PG met Kevin Allison. They had been exchanging tweets, and PG was eager to meet him in the flesh. Kevin said that he saw PG in the crowd, and thought he recognized him. PG has a bag over his head on twitter.

The security lady said to go up the stairs, and walk down Upper Alabama Street to the train station. When PG got there, there were lots of people. A barber shop was open, and had a few customers. PG got to Marta without any complications, except, when he was waiting to get on the train. A man, getting off the train, looked at PG with an evil, vacant stare. PG ignored him, and went home.

Pictures are from the Library of Congress. “Farm Security Administration (FSA) camp for migratory agriculture workers. Farmersville, California. Meeting of camp council.” Dorothea Lange, photographer. May 1939. This is a repost. RISK continues to put out two virtual shows a week, with live streams replacing in-person performances. PG is no longer in the good graces of the RISK community. Don’t Yuck on My Yum and Another Story About Race tell the tale.

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.

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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The Iggy Pop Story

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 21, 2021

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Speaking of Iggy Pop, and music merchandising, he has a collection of music for sale. Included in this package is a show he did at Richards, across the street from Grady Stadium. One night Iggy was singing at Richards, when Elton John appeared onstage wearing a gorilla suit.

The greatest achievement of Mr. Pop is living so long. (He was born April 21, 1947). He has done heroin by the kilo, jumps off stage into crowds of punk rock fans, and is a general mess. He still has a great smile, although it is not known how many of those teeth are his own.

One night in 1980, PG saw a performance by Iggy Pop. The site was the 688 club, a storefront on Spring Street, across the expressway from Georgia Tech. 688 Spring Street had been the site of Roses Cantina, where PG had seen George Thorogood. Some other blues band did Amphetamine Annie with the original lyrics…instead of speed kills, they said love gun.

Roses was a cool place, a long narrow space with the performers in the middle, and a pool table behind the stage. Nightclubs are a tough business for capitalists, and Roses shut down.

At any rate, by the time PG got back from Seattle, some brave investors decided to have a punk rock club at 688 Spring Street. Soon, Iggy Pop was playing a week there. In the seventies, the bands would play for five days at the great southeast music hall or the electric ballroom, two shows a night, and if you were really cool you would go on a weeknight before it got too crowded. Soon after that, it was one night in town only, and you either saw it or you didn’t.

PG had a friend at the Martinique apartments on Buford Hiway. There was someone living in the complex known as ZenDen, who sold acid. You would go to his place, wade through the living room full of grown men listening to Suzi Quatro, and purchase the commodity.

On to the the 23 Oglethorpe bus, and downtown to 688 Spring Street. Before anyone knew it, the band was on the stage. A veteran of the Patti Smith Group, named Ivan Kral, was playing bass. Mr. Kral sneezed, and a huge white booger fell across his face. He was not playing when the show ended.

There was a white wall next to the stage, and someone wrote the song list on that wall. That list of songs stayed on the wall as long as 688 was open. “I want to be your dog” was on the list, as well as the number where Iggy pulled his pants off and performed in his underwear. Supposedly, in New York the drawers came off, but the TMI police were off duty that night.

The show was loud and long, and had the feel of an endurance event…either you go or the band does. Finally, the show was over, and PG got on the 23 Oglethorpe bus to go home. You got the northbound bus on West Peachtree Street. You could look down the street and see the Coca Cola sign downtown.

Thirty years later,PG, like Iggy Pop, has a full head of teeth, which, in PG’s case are his own. PG has a full head of white hair, as apparently does Mr. Pop, although he does appear to touch up his hair. Maybe he really is a blond. This post should be over, but if there are 37 more words then we will have 688. The space on Spring Street is still standing, which is pretty good for Atlanta. It is now an emergency room, or something.

This is a repost. The original was posted seven years ago. Iggy is still alive. So is PG. 688 Spring Street stands. 23 Oglethorpe is the answer to a trivia question. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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SB 202 Part 420

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on April 20, 2021


The sb202 story just gets weirder and weirder. Maybe the lesterslature meant to call it sb420.

“A major coalition of Black faith leaders in Georgia, representing more than 1,000 churches in the state, will call on Tuesday for a boycott of Home Depot …” The NYT does not link to a list of the 1000+ churches. Nor does it detail what the problems are with the legislation.

An AP story about the always visible Stacey Abrams is more helpful. “The Georgia law imposes a new voter identification requirement for mail-in ballots rather than the signature match used in 2020, a change Abrams says is burdensome for older, poorer voters …” The new requirement is writing the voters drivers license/photo ID number on the absentee ballot application.

Sen. Chuck Grassley says MLB moving the all star game will cost GA 100 million jobs. Not to be outdone, Georgia’s own @EWErickson notes: “So they picked Home Depot, the company founded by Jews, to boycott. Of course, they did.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.