Chamblee54

Monroe Drive Or Boulevard

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on July 23, 2017

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It is an Atlanta cliche. Boulevard turns into Monroe Drive because one was black, and the other white. The white people did not want to live on a street with the same name as the black neighborhood. You hear this all the time, with very little explanation. It is plausible. At one time, Ponce de Leon Avenue was a dividing line between the white, and black, neighborhoods. There are, however, a few questions about this name change business. This is a repost.

In the space between I-85 and Dekalb County, there are four streets that change names when they cross Ponce De Leon Avenue. These are Juniper/Courtland, Charles Allen/Parkway, Monroe/Boulevard, and Briarcliff/Moreland. Several streets cross Ponce without changing names, including Spring Street, Peachtree Street, Piedmont Avenue, and North Highland Avenue.

Four thoroughfares are affected by the Ponce rebranding. Juniper/Courtland is mostly commercial, at least south of Ponce. Briarcliff/Moreland is mostly white until you get to the railroad tracks south of Little Five Points. When Moreland Avenue goes under the MARTA line, the neighborhood is Reynoldstown….which was not named for Burt Reynolds.

Charles Allen/Parkway does change from white to black at Ponce. The street name then changes to Jackson Street, the original name, at Highland Avenue. Monroe/Boulevard also goes from white to black at Ponce. However, when you cross the railroad tracks, Boulevard goes through Cabbagetown, a white neighborhood. Boulevard residents change color several times before the road dead ends at the Federal Prison. Oakland Cemetery, and Zoo Atlanta, do not play a role in this drama.

If this litany of street names is boring, it is all right to skip over the text. The pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Roads change names all over the metro area, for a variety of reasons. In the area between Ponce De Leon Avenue and I 20, there are roads that change at railroad tracks (North Highland/Highland, Krog/Estoria.) Others change at Highland Avenue (Parkway/Jackson, Glen Iris/Randolph) or Decatur Street (Hilliard/Grant, Bell/Hill.) Some of these changes are racially motivated, while others are not. Some make sense, while most do not.

No one seems to know when this Monroe/Boulevard thing happened. An 1892 “Bird’s eye view” shows Boulevard sailing off into the horizon, past a racetrack in today’s Piedmont Park. A 1911 map shows Boulevard starting near “L.P. Grant Park,” and sailing past Ponce up to Piedmont Park. A 1940 map shows Boulevard going past Park Drive, only to turn into Monroe Drive at Montgomery Ferry Road. Finally, a 1969 map of “Negro Residential Areas” shows Monroe Drive changing into Boulevard at Ponce De Leon Avenue, like it is today. Boulevard is a stand alone street name at all times.

If anyone knows about this name change business, please leave a comment. It would be interesting to know when these changes were made, and what government agency made them. Google has not been helpful, except for pointing the way to several map collections.

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The Biggest Shill in Georgia Part Two

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 15, 2017

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This is an update to a chamblee54 feature, The Biggest Shill In Georgia. It is about politcal website inside baseball. Or maybe it is republican on republican snowflake abuse. If you don’t want to bother with the text, you can always skip ahead to the pictures. The pictures, from The Library of Congress. , are usually more entertaining than the text. Russell Lee took the pictures in October, 1938. “Crowd, listening to the Cajun band at National Rice Festival, Crowley, Louisiana.”

After the chamblee54 feature hit the innertubes, a comment/link/self promotion device was posted at the seminal post, The Biggest Shill in Georgia. Here are the comments that followed: ScottNAtlanta If it isnt Sen David Perdue…I’m not sure who is, but then again…he is in DC TheDeepDark Anyone want to explain this to our friend Chamblee54? Ellynn Not really. It took me under 2 mins. reading through facebook comments to figure it out. If i can do it… any one can.

Facebook can be frustrating to bloggers. You would prefer to have comments go to your blog. However, facebook is more convenient to some people. Unfortunately, if you are trying to follow the action, and look at the blog comments only, you might miss out on some of the buzz.

GeorgiaPol had a facebook comment thread about the post that started it all, Williams: “Casey Cagle Likes Nickelback!” Someone made a multi-paragraph comment. The commenter appears to be a supporter of Michael Williams, and criticized the GeorgiaPol coverage.

Chamblee54 agrees with GeorgiaPol on this. Michael Williams made a fool of himself. It is tough to take sides in this one. Casey Cagle is a career Gold Domer, who has trouble keeping his shoes tied. Michael Williams brags about being “the first Georgia elected official to endorse Donald Trump for President.” In a perfect world they would both lose. Given the republican bullpen, those two might be the best we have to choose from. It is not like the Democrats are going to help.

The commenter finished his message with a flourish. “In the meantime, I advise the owners of this website to consider changing its name to Georgiashill.com. Doing so would offer the public much more substance as to its real purposes.” Thirteen minutes later, there was a reply: GeorgiaPol.com “That was a great suggestion about the website… so we bought it… We think you might like it.”

This was amusing, but did not quite explain everything. It seems there was more than one facebook thread. The post was shared, on facebook and twitter, by @MikeHassinger “Who’s the biggest shill in Georgia? Find out with just one click.” Scott Jackson Redirects me to Mike Hassinger’s page, that isn’t very nice of GeorgiaPol I think. Thomas Wheatley It redirected me to my own page!

GeorgiaPol was just playing a little joke on the people who drop in. Compared to the way RedState deals with inconvenient comments, being directed to your facebook page by georgiashill.com is pretty mild. As for inside baseball, it is almost time for football.

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The Biggest Shill in Georgia

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on July 14, 2017

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Georgia is electing a new Governor next year. These no-incumbent elections can get weird. There is usually an “its my turn” journeyman, a couple of ambitious performers, and the nut jobs. Yesterday, a man named Michael Williams held a meeting in front of a staircase at the state capitol. This event was slammed by a political website, GeorgiaPol

PG observed these events, and chuckled. He went to the Michael Williams website, and found a hilarious paragraph in the bio. “His first experience with his own business was selling candy on the school bus. Unfortunately, this was also his first experience with over-reaching government regulations. The school shut down his school bus candy sales. Michael was devastated but learned a lesson about government control that he would never forget.” This is like the punchline, to the joke about the *free market* pervert… “Hey kid, you want to buy some candy?”

GeorgiaPol has a regular post, Morning Reads. It is usually a collection of links, and news tidbits. PG wanted to share the Williams timeline feature somewhere, and posted it in the Morning Reads comments. He thought one, or two, people might enjoy it.

The Biggest Shill in Georgia turned up at July 14, 2017 9:58 AM. By TheDeepDark “noun 1. an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others. verb 1. act or work as a shill. Since we see this word used a lot in comments, on Facebook, and just about everywhere we thought it would be a good idea to internally vote and come up with the one person that we believe embodies this word the best… we present you with http://www.georgiashill.com Enjoy your day.”

When you click on http://www.georgiashill.com , you go the the facebook page of Luther Mckinnon. As some of you know, Luther Mckinnon is the owner of chamblee54, and the man behind PG. This has never been a secret. Chamblee54 is a psuedonym. If you look in the “About Me” page, you will see pictures, and a few biographical clues. All posts on chamblee54 are advertised on facebook and twitter, on accounts using the Luther Mckinnon identity.

If you click on the gravatar for “TheDeepDark,” you see this: TheDeepDark We’re sorry, that profile has been deleted. Perhaps you’d like to log in or sign up for an account? Perhaps the five comments will provide a clue. John Pezold Got me. Is this 2017’s version of Rick Rolling? Lawton Sack GeorgiaPolling chamblee54 I resemble that remark Ellynn I don’t even comment on the Facebook page… What did I miss? blakeage80 Nice. Only TheDeepDark could pull that off.

It is tough what to make of this. Did TDD think chamblee54 was working for Michael Williams? Was this an inside joke for GeorgiaPol? Nobody said anything on facebook, so maybe it didn’t really happen. Pictures for your friday afternoon entertainment are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. UPDATE: Here is Part Two.

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688

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on July 11, 2017








There was a comment at Chamblee54. “Steve Loehrer – So tell me what you know about Rose’s Cantina. I booked the music there from 1978-80 – Thorogood, Delbert, The Thunderbirds, The Fans, The Razor Boys and on and on. I was the one that did it. And I probably know you.” This blog has previously published features about the Great Southeast Music Hall, Richards, and the Georgian Terrace Ballroom. One more music venue post is not going to hurt anyone, and will be a good excuse to post some more pictures, from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

688 Spring Street is a nondescript building, located down the hill from the Varsity. At one time, a company called Southern Tailors made wine jackets there. It is currently a Concentra Urgent Care Center. In between, it was the site of two rock and roll nightclubs, Roses Cantina and 688. One block over, at 688 West Peachtree, is a Catholic Construction management office.

House manager Rose Lynn Scott is quoted as saying “You know, we really aren’t sure exactly when it all started and ended,” Scott said. “Honest to God, we weren’t paying that close attention.”PG first knew about it around 1977, and really didn’t go very often. There is a running list for this post, and whenever a new band sinks into the mush, it is duly noted. Some band did “Love Gun,” which sounds remarkably similar to “Amphetamine Annie” by Canned Heat.

The punk rock revolution did not completely pass Atlanta by. A band called the Fans said they were making the pop music of the eighties. PG saw them twice and Roses, and they might be the only time he ever paid to get in. They were an impressive outfit, doing Velvet Underground and Telstar. Later, they opened for Talking Heads at the Agora, and were pretty awful. Much, much later, PG shared an apartment with the brother, of the drummer, for the Fans. Also living there was the brothers wife, a cable guy, seven snakes, a ferret, and a cat.

Back to the words of Rose Lynn, “It was a dive bar supreme and proud of it.” The stage was in the middle of the house, with a game room behind the stage. If you liked to shoot pool and listen to bands, this was the place. As for drinking, PG might get a beer or two, but mostly got bombed at other spots.

In those days, PG would go rambling from club to club, often accompanied by his friend Dinkson. One night, they stumbled in on a three piece band. They did a song called “Madison Blues”, with the guitar playing slinging riffs, and the bass playing playing the same notes over and over, never changing the look on his face. This was George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

One other night, PG stumbled in on the last few minutes of a show by the Brains. They wrote a song called “Money Changes Everything” that Cyndi Lauper did well with. This is another great local band that never seemed to get a national audience. Another night, some old black man, possibly John Lee Hooker, was playing guitar.

Around about this time, PG decided to either grow up, or take his childhood seriously. He wound up in Seattle WA. That wore off after a while. On the greyhound bus going home, PG talked to a young lady, who said something about a punk rock club in the Roses Cantina space. This was the 688.

A few weeks later, Iggy Pop did a week at 688. Here, through the miracle of copy paste, is the story. It isn’t plagiarism when you wrote it yourself.

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 would be 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 cocaine 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. You got the northbound bus on West Peachtree Street. You could look down, from Fourth street, and see the Coca Cola sign downtown. Freeway expansion sent that section of West Peachtree to old road hell.

Twenty years after that, PG worked in a building at that corner of Fourth and West Peachtree. If he had known about the future of working for Redo Blue, PG might have jumped under the 23 Oglethorpe bus, instead of getting on it. The Coca Cola sign was long gone by then.

There was band called Human Sexual Response in those days. PG caught their act at 688. They had three vocalists, wearing matching outfits, and sang a lot of lyric happy songs with really cool harmonies. The problem was, PG was not familiar with those oh so witty lyrics, and did not know what it was all about. At least he got out of the house.

Kevin Dunn played guitar for the Fans. (He had an ad for guitar lessons on the bulletin board at Wax and Facts. It said that raising racing turtles was more profitable than playing guitar.) One night at 688, he performed with his band The regiment of women. They opened for someone, possibly the Plastics, who we will get to in a minute. So, this guy plays guitar and sings, and a woman plays a drum machine. No skin pounding drummer, but a lady who twisted the knobs on a machine.

The Plastics were from Japan, and did a killer version of “Last Train to Clarksville”. It was about this time that PG got a job, and decided that he liked sleeping better than hanging out downtown.

One night, about 1983 or so, PG made an exception. The band that night was Modern English. Before the show, PG ate three z burgers from the Zestos on Ponce de Leon. During the show, the singer rubbed his stomach, and said to feel the music. About this time, the z burgers were making their presence known, and PG could feel something, but it wasn’t the music.

The last show PG saw at 688 was Hüsker Dü. The best guess is February 14, 1986. There was a totem pole, made of old TV sets, in the front part of the club in 1986. Here is the story.

Hüsker Dü means “do you remember” in Danish and Norwegian. PG saw them sometime in the eighties. It might have been the metroplex, but it might have been the 688. There is a list of shows they played, and the metroplex is not on there.

PG saw a show at the Metroplex the next night. The band is forgotten. The metroplex was a dark spooky building on Marietta street near the omni. The balcony was very dark, with everything painted black. PG tripped over a bench.

688 was a different story. PG saw a bunch of shows there, both as 688 and Rose’s Cantina. HD may have been the last show PG saw before they closed. PG was well into the work/sleep lifestyle that preoccupied his life after a certain point, and just didn’t make it out much anymore. A friend won tickets to the show or he wouldn’t have made it.

PG didn’t get into the show very much. HD was a trio, with the later-outed Bob Mould as the guitar g-d. For all of his musical skills, Mould is not much for onstage charisma. PG felt that if he had been more familiar with their music, he would have enjoyed it more. Some bands you can see without hearing their records and get into it right away, where others need a bit of familiarity.








Midtown

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 24, 2017

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The neighborhood along Peachtree Road has always been a great place to be a freak. For a long time it didn’t have a name. It is north of downtown, between Piedmont Park and Georgia Tech. Sometime in the early eighties, people started to call it Midtown, and the name stuck.

In the time after the War Between the States, this area was a shantytown called “Tight Squeeze”. It evolved into a pleasant middle class area. In the sixties, hippies took over. The area was known as the strip, or tight squeeze. Many stories could be told.

After the flower children moved on, the area went into decline. Gays started to move in, with the battle cry “Give us our rights or we will remodel your house.” Developers, worshiping the triune G-d of location, location, location, began to smell money. The neighborhood became trendy, then expensive, then more expensive. The freaks with money remain. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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There is a nifty webcam up now. It shows the progress of a high rise going up now at 12th and Peachtree in midtown. The location of the camera itself is not certain, with the speculation centering on 999 Peachtree, two blocks south on Tenth Street.

A glance at the image reveals a curve in the road, between the two glass boxes under construction. Atlanta does not have wide, straight boulevards extending to the horizon. It is said that Atlanta did not build roads, but paved the cow paths.

People of a certain age will remember this area as the strip. The tenth street district was a neighborhood shopping area, up until the mid sixties. At some point, the old businesses started to move out and the hippies moved in. For a while, it was a festive party. Soon enough reality returned, and the area went into a crime filled decline.

The 999 complex is the neighborhood story in a nutshell. Before 1985, it was a block of small businesses. There was a hardware store, with the peace symbol set in tiles in the sidewalk. On Juniper Street stood the Langdon Court Apartments. They were named for PG’s great uncle Langdon Quin. Ru Paul used to stay there. He would sit out on a balcony, and wave to the traffic going by.

Across the street was a chinese restaurant, the House of Eng. A staircase on the side led to the Suzy Wong Lounge. Behind the building was an apartment building. It was one of the residences of Margaret Mitchell, while she wrote “Gone With The Wind”. She called it “the dump”, which was fairly accurate. The museum on that site would have amazed her.

PG went to the House of Eng for lunch one day in 1985. He noticed that he was the only customer in the house, at 12:30 pm on a weekday. After finishing his lunch, PG knew why.

At some point, it was decided to build a high rise there. Heery was one of the equity partners, along with a law firm and an ad agency. The building was designed by Heery (duh).The ad agency folded before the building opened, followed within a couple of years by the law firm. Heery was sold to a British company. PG does not know who owns 999 Peachtree now.

This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The building, at 12th and Peachtree, is finished.





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Luther C. McKinnon

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays by chamblee54 on June 18, 2017





Luther Campbell McKinnon Sr. was born February 22, 1916, on a farm in Rowland, North Carolina. Europe was stuck in a war that would change the world, and not until The United States got involved. This didn’t happen for another year.
Luke was the youngest of four children. After life as a farm boy, he went to Wake Forest University, and then came back when his Daddy died. He ran a family dairy for a few years, and went to live in New Jersey. He lived near a prison, and saw the lights dim when the electric chair was used.
In the early fifties, he came to Atlanta to live. This was where his sister Sarah stayed, with her husband and two daughters. One day he went into the C&S bank on 10th street, and took notice of one of the tellers. On October 6, 1951, he married Jean Dunaway. She was with him the rest of his life.
At some point in this era he started selling shoes. He would go to warehouses, gas stations, and wherever barefoot men needed shoes. He was “The Shoe Man” .
Before long there were two boys, and he bought a house, then another. The second house is the current residence of my brother and myself, and is probably worth 15 times what he paid for it. He had the good fortune to not buy in an area that was “blockbusted,’ as many neighborhoods were.
And this was his life. He tended a garden, went to the gym, and was in the Lions Club for many years. When he met Mom, she let him know that going to church with her was part of the deal. They found a church that was good for their needs, and made many friends there. The Pastor at Briarcliff Baptist, Glen Waldrop, was his friend.
When I think of the character of this man, there is one night, which stands out. My brother was away at the time. The day before, Mom had discovered she had a detached retina, and was in the hospital awaiting surgery. Her job had arranged a “leaf tour” by train in North Georgia, and she got one of her friends at work to take me. There was some mechanical trouble on the train, and it did not get back into town until 3am Monday morning. And yet, Daddy stayed at home, did not panic, and had faith that all of us would be back soon, which we were.
Through all the struggles of his life, Dad was cheerful, laughed a lot, and was good company. He left me with a rich repertoire of country sayings, and had many stories to tell. He was surprising mellow about black people, if a bit old fashioned. (In the south when I grew up, this was highly unusual).
Dad was always in good, vigorous health, and I thought he would be with us for a long time. Well, that is not how things work. A cancer developed in his liver, and spread to his lungs (he did not smoke). After a mercifully brief illness, we lost him on February 7, 1992. This is a repost.




35 Broad Street

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 13, 2017

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PG was having a delightfully slack afternoon, The one productive activity was editing pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. In box seventy two of “corporate bodies”, in the Lane Brothers archive, there was a picture commissioned by King Road Marker Company. It displayed a brand new crosswalk, over Marietta Street at the intersection of Broad Street. The picture was taken at 1:51 p.m. September 27, 1954. This is a repost.

The time caught PG’s eye. 1:51 is one of the times used to display clocks and watches in advertising. Most ads use 10:09. This arrangement of the hour and minute hands makes a welcoming gesture. This allows the logo of the watch to be visible, and is thought to encourage the viewer to purchase the timepiece. The shadows on the buildings indicate that the picture was shot in early afternoon.

The clock with the magic time advertised the C&S national bank. The building behind the clock was the headquarters of that bank. In 1954, Citizens and Southern bank was a prime player in the Atlanta market. (PG’s dad said that C&S stood for choke’m and squeez’m.) At some point, C&S merged with NCNB to become Nationsbank, which was later absorbed by Bank Of America.

C&S kept it’s headquarters at 35 Broad Street for many years after competitors built trophy buildings. Their were constant rumors about where the C&S highrise was going to go. Finally, C&S Plaza was built at Peachtree and North Avenue, a mile north of five points. The building was to become the tallest building in America outside of New York and Chicago. During the construction of this building, C&S became part of Nationsbank.

The picture is featured in Atlanta Time Machine. The building is now owned by Georgia State University, with a BOA branch on the first floor.
The banking hall is spectacular. It was designed by Philip Shutze, before the great depression. Here is more information.
Nations Bank Building (Citizens and Southern National Bank Building, Empire Building)
35 Broad Street, NW 1901: Bruce and Morgan, Architects, NR.
Remodeling of Lower Floors and Interiors 1929:
Hentz, Adler and Shutze, Architects; Philip Shutze, Designer
Fourteen stories high, the Nations Bank Building was the first steel-frame structure to be built in Atlanta. Its clear-cut silhouette, simple fenestration, and heavily decorated terra-cotta top bear the influence of the Chicago School. In 1929 the building became the headquarters of the Citizens and Southern National Bank, which asked Philip Shutze to redesign its three lower floors. Because the impression of load-bearing masonry was regarded as better suited for a banking establishment than large glass panes were, the original display windows were replaces by classical motifs apparently “carved out” of Indiana limestone.
Philip Shutze was inspired by Italian Mannerism, and especially by the city gates of Verona by Michele Sanmichelo (1484-1559) … Reached from Marietta and Walton streets through lofty arcaded entryways and a more intimate elevator lobby in the early Renaissance style on Broad Street, the banking hall is a long nave articulated by colossal Corinthian pilasters. While its walls and floors feature several kinds of Georgia, Tennessee, and European marbles in a warm gold-brown color scheme, the ceiling, from which hang gigantic chandeliers, is left bare. The Pantheon, which Shutze had measured during his internship at the American Academy in Rome, served as direct source for the pedimented niches, and for the floors with alternate square and circular patterns. Also, of Roman inspiration are the bronze desks and the eagle motif found throughout the design.

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The Night Muhammad Ali Fought In Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 8, 2017

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Many have noted that Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic torch in 1996. Few seem to remember another Atlanta appearance from the former Cassius Clay. It happened October 26, 1970, at the Municipal Auditorium. To get to this point, lets borrow a few lines from a Courier-Journal Ali Timeline.

1960 – “Clay defeats Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland on Sept. 5 to win the light-heavyweight boxing gold medal at the Olympics in Rome…”

1962 – “Clay hears Elijah Muhammad speak for the first time. He meets another Nation of Islam leader, Malcolm X, who becomes a friend and adviser. – On March 9, the military draft board classifies Clay 1-A, meaning he is fit and available to be called into the Army…”

1964 -” Because of a low score on the Army intelligence test, Clay is reclassified 1-Y, not qualified for military service, in January. “I said I was The Greatest,” he explains. “I never said I was the smartest.” – Clay scores a stunning seventh-round technical knockout over 7-1 favorite Sonny Liston on Feb. 25 at the Miami Convention Center, winning the world heavyweight championship at age 22. – In response to a reporter’s question the day after the fight, Clay confirms he is a member of the Nation of Islam, saying: “I believe in Allah and in peace. … I’m not a Christian anymore. … Followers of Allah are the sweetest people in the world. They don’t tote weapons. They pray five times a day.” – A rift grows between Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. Ali sides with Elijah, causing grief for Malcolm. – Casting off his “slave name,” Clay adopts the temporary name Cassius X. Later he announces that Elijah has bestowed on him the name Muhammad Ali. The name means “Praiseworthy One.”…”

1965 – “Ali knocks out Liston in the first round of their rematch, before only 4,280 fans in Lewiston, Maine, on May 25. Liston falls under a “phantom” punch that apparently few people see, giving rise to suspicions that he threw the fight. Former champion Joe Louis eventually declares Ali “unfit” to hold the title. – In October, former champion Floyd Patterson says: “Cassius Clay is disgracing himself and the Negro race.” On Nov. 22, Ali delivers a punishing defeat to Patterson, in part, he says, because Patterson refuses to call him Ali….”

1966 – “With the Vietnam War heating up, the Army lowers test-score standards, reclassifying Ali 1-A — fit for service. – “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong,” he says to reporters who call him at home in Miami. He later explains that “no Viet Cong ever called me nigger.” – Ali asks to be reclassified a conscientious objector to military service. A hearing officer sides with him, but the draft board keeps him 1-A, armed with a U.S. Justice Department opinion that Ali’s objections to military service are political not religious….”

1967 – “On April 28, Ali refuses induction into the Army in Houston.” “It is the light of my consciousness as a Muslim minister and my own personal convictions that I take my stand in rejecting the call to be inducted in the armed services,” Ali stated after refusing induction on April 28, 1967. “I have searched my conscience and I find I cannot be true to my belief in my religion by accepting such a call.” He was convicted of draft evasion on June 20, 1967. Ali was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000, the maximum penalty for the offense. He remained free on a $5,000 bond while he appealed his conviction. Ali was also stripped of the World Heavyweight Championship by the New York State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Association, systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport. “

For three and a half years, Mr. Ali was unable to fight in the ring. The WBA had a tournament, and installed their own champion. People tried to set up a fight for Mr. Ali, but were blocked by politicians, and state boxing authorities. California Governor Ronald Reagan said “That draft dodger will never fight in my state, period.” Then someone had the idea to have the fight in Atlanta.

Atlanta has never been a boxing town. There was no boxing commission. The Municipal Auditorium, the only venue that could host, was a dump. As Ring magazine tells the story: “So it was the height of irony that it was Atlanta, a city that occupied the heart of the Deep South, that provided the breakthrough. State Senator Leroy Johnson and Governor Lester Maddox helped pave the way for a most improbable return by persuading the City of Atlanta Athletic Commission to grant Ali a boxing license on Aug. 12, 1970. Shortly thereafter, it was announced Ali would fight Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 at the City Auditorium in Atlanta. The bout was scheduled for 15 rounds, probably in recognition of Ali’s status as lineal heavyweight champion.” (Other sources say that Governor Maddox was opposed to hosting the fight, but was powerless to stop it.)

The opponent was Jerry Quarry, whose white skin was apparent that night. His obituary notes: :His most famous night was in Atlanta, Georgia, in October 1970, when he was the “fall-guy” for Ali’s comeback from his three- year exile. Quarry was stopped because of a badly cut eye in the third round. It brought him his biggest payday, $338,000. … By 1995 he was in the care of his brother James, and was suffering from severe pugilistic dementia.” Jerry Quarry died January 3, 1999.

The fight was not much of a contest. It lasted three rounds, before the referee stopped the match. Mr. Ali fought for ten more years, and regained the Heavyweight Championship twice. “On June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court unanimously overturns Ali’s 4-year-old draft conviction, saying that his claims as a conscientious objector were based on religion and were sincere.”

The fight was the occasion for a display of black pride, and black money. The New Yorker essayist George Plimpton remembered that invasion of the Harlem peacocks in their enormous purple Cadillacs: “I’d never seen crowds as fancy, especially the men – felt hatbands and feathered capes, and the stilted shoes, the heels like polished ebony, and many smoking stuff in odd meerschaum pipes.”

“The times reported that the bout was like “a page out of the roaring twenties. … The ladies had beads down to the hem of their maxi-skirts. One man wore an ankle length mink coat, with a high hat of mink to match. … Diana Ross sat in the forth row, ringside, with a bouffant, Afro-American hair-do that stretched out 10 inches on each side.” Many of those in attendance were invited to a party.

“Engraved invitations to one party in particular had been passed around to the hustlers in New York a week earlier and in Atlanta in the days leading up to the fight. The invitations announced that “Fireball” was throwing a party at 2819 Handy Drive, in Collier Heights.

The Handy Drive house happened to be one of several properties that “Chicken Man” Williams owned. He’d given a friend, an Atlantan-turned-New-Yorker known as “Fireball,” permission to use the house. He’d even helped build a craps table the week before so all the big-time gamblers who were sure to show up could “roll the bones.”

Williams’ girlfriend, Barbara Smith, skipped the fight to help prepare for the party. She and two girlfriends were busy in the kitchen when they heard the front door open. The fight was still going on, so Smith went to the front, expecting to meet an early bird. She was greeted by three men in ski masks standing in the hallway. All were armed; one was pointing a shotgun at her face. …

An estimated 80 to 200 people had arrived at the house expecting to party, only to be fleeced by masked men with shotguns. According to news accounts, the victims were led to the basement, then ordered to strip to their underwear, throw all their valuables in a pile and lay on the floor…

As more victims arrived, floor space in the basement became scarce, so the gunmen ordered the victims to lie on top of each other. Cash and jewelry was swept into pillowcases. That went on for hours as more and more people kept showing up. By 3 a.m., the half-naked victims were stacked like cordwood on top of each other.

Not one shot was fired. But as they left, the gunmen took Smith and one of her friends hostage and told everyone else to stay put. Three hours later, they dropped the women off on the other side of town and gave them $10 each for cab fare. By that time, the investigation was underway.

Creative Loafing has a terrific story about the party at Chicken Man’s house. If you have a few minutes, it is worth your time. Ditto for this newspaper story, in the sucky google books format.

A key person in the story is J.D. Hudson. One of the first eight black Atlanta policemen, Lt. Hudson was Mr. Ali’s bodyguard the night of the fight. Lt. Hudson wound up conducting the investigation of the party at Chicken Man’s house. Lt. Hudson met Gordon “Chicken Man” Williams, under rather unpleasant circumstances, in 1949.

Lt. Hudson never suspected Chicken Man of being part of the robbery. “From the time he took over the case, Hudson says, he knew Williams wasn’t responsible — even though other investigators already had pinned the crime on him. For one thing, Hudson could place Williams at the fight at the time the gunmen were at the house setting up the crime.

For another, Hudson says, “I knew [Williams] wasn’t dumb enough to pull a stunt like that. This was a man who ran [a] million-dollar operation from a pay phone on a street corner. He was smart. He could’ve run IBM or Coke. There’s no way he would’ve risked all that to pay somebody off. This was pulled off by a bunch of young thugs who were trying to knock over a party, and when they got there and saw how big it was, they improvised.”

Chicken Man went to prison in the seventies, and became a minister. He served as the Pastor of the Salem Baptist Church. Gordon Williams died December 6, 2014. J.D.Hudson died June 4, 2009. The men who robbed the party goers were killed a few months after the fight.

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

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Joe Pyne

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 20, 2017



The Joe Pyne show was on Atlanta on channel 11, at 11:30 Saturday night. Many guests were unusual characters. Mr. Pyne was rude to his guests, often telling them to “gargle with razor blades.”

Mr. Pyne had a wooden leg. The lower part of his left leg was amputated in 1955 because of cancer. He was a marine in World War 2, and was wounded in the same leg.
Once, Frank Zappa was on the show. Mr. Pyne asked if his long hair made him a girl. Mr. Zappa replied by asking if Mr. Pyne’s wooden leg made him a table. This may be an urban legend.

Georgia Governor Lester Maddox was a guest on the show in 1969. The Governor was offended by Mr. Pyne, and walked off the show. The next guest called himself Culious Jeezer, and claimed to have been alive during the Roman Empire.

PG saw another episode of the JPS. People wearing masks discussed being “swingers”. Mr. Pyne was respectful to them

Joe Pyne was an enthusiastic cigarette smoker. The cameras showed him puffing, which is not done today. (Has anyone seen a picture of Barack Obama smoking?). He developed lung cancer, and died March 23, 1970. This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.


Jean D. McKinnon

Posted in Georgia History, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on May 14, 2017

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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 Mattie Vance Quin. She is my grandmother.
After the Great War, Mattie Vance 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

Posted in Georgia History, History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on May 6, 2017

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May 6is 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 more or less 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 Library of Congress.

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Lene Lovich

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on May 4, 2017

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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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