Chamblee54

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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Monroe Drive Or Boulevard

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on July 18, 2019

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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, one block east of Charles Allen/Parkway, 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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Babe, Hank, Barry, And Joe

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 16, 2019







In 2007, Barry Bonds was about to break the lifetime record for home runs. Folks said the record was tainted because of steroid use, and because Mr. Bonds was not a nice man. There were calls for an asterisk in the record book. This was odd to PG, who was in Georgia when Hank Aaron broke the home run record in 1974. Back then, the line was that Babe Ruth had fewer at bats than Mr. Aaron. A lot of hateful things were said about Mr. Aaron before home run 714.

PG decided to take a look at the metrics. This post is the result. As a bonus to the reader(s), Joe Torre and Hank Aaron gets a summer rerun. It is based on a column by Furman Bisher, who went to the press box in the sky March 18, 2012. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

There is a certain controversy these days about the eminent breaking of the lifetime home run record. Currently held by Hank Aaron, the record is threatened by Barry Bonds. Before Mr. Aaron held the title, Babe Ruth was the owner.

Controversy about the lifetime home run record is nothing new. In 1974, when Hank Aaron was about to break the record, the admirers of Babe Ruth said that Mr. Ruth had fewer at bats than Mr. Aaron did. Many attributed this criticism to racism, with a black man besting a white man’s record. The current controversy is two fold. There are allegations that Mr. Bonds took steroids to make him stronger, and that he “cheated”. There are also concerns about the personality of Mr. Bonds.

PG does not think steroid use is a big deal. Ballplayers are abusing their bodies to perform, and if they take the risk of using steroids, that is their business. Many people disagree.

A good question to ask is, would Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron have used steroids if they had the chance? Mr. Ruth was a wildman, who drank during prohibition, and was known for undisciplined behavior. Mr. Aaron played in an era where steroid use was not as common as it is today. The answer to the first question is (Mr. Ruth) probably and (Mr. Aaron) who knows.

While you are keeping hypocrisy statistics, Mr. Aaron and Mr. Bonds played on television, where beer commercials were constant. While alcohol is *now* legal, it is a very damaging drug. Any ballplayer who plays on television promotes its use. This is both steroid users, and non users.

As for personalities, there is the widely circulated story about the college team that Mr. Bonds played on voting 22-3 to kick him off the team. At the very least, he does not charm sportswriters.

In 1917, Babe Ruth was suspended for hitting an umpire. He was known for his outlandish behavior throughout his career. It should also be noted that he played in an era when the press did not scrutinize the behavior of players. How would today’s media treat Babe Ruth?

PG once heard a radio show caller say that Hank Aaron was a mean racist, who would just as soon cut your throat as look at you. He had never heard this said out loud before, but had heard hints about Mr. Aaron’s personality over the years. People who achieve great things are not always friendly.

Mr. Aaron is the only one of the three that PG met, however briefly. In July of 1965, the Milwaukee Braves came to Atlanta to play an exhibition game in Atlanta Stadium. After the game, PG was allowed to wait outside the clubhouse, to get autographs from the players as they left. Joe Torre saw the crowd, hid behind a truck, and made a quick getaway. Hank Aaron came out, patiently signing every autograph, while smoking a cigarette.

The fact is, all three men played in different eras. Babe Ruth never played at night, never flew to California, and only played against white players…many of the most talented players of his era were in the Negro League. Hank Aaron played before free agency, interleague play, the DH, and widespread use of steroids. The only way to determine who is the home run champion is to count how many homers are hit, and award the prize to the man who hits the most.

Which of the three made the most money? Barry Bonds, by a wide margin. He played in the free agent era. Babe Ruth had the best line about his salary. In 1930 Ruth was asked by a reporter what he thought of his yearly salary of $80,000 being more than President Hoover’s $75,000. He replied “yea, but I had a better year than he did.”

Who played on the most teams to win a World Series? Babe Ruth 7, Hank Aaron 1, Barry Bonds 0.

The career of Babe Ruth was a long time ago. He made a greater impact on America that the other two combined. He was one of the first sports superstars, as America emerged from the carnage of World War One. Mr. Ruth broke the single season home run record, he hit 29 homers. The next year, he hit 54. There is a possibility of a livelier baseball.

Babe Ruth captured the imagination of America like few personalities ever have. Playing in New York (which dominated the press) did not hurt. He was a man of his times…it is unlikely than anyone could have that kind of impact on today’s superstar saturated America. While his record has been broken, his place in the history of baseball is the same.

UPDATE: As of July, 2016, the lifetime home run leaders were: Barry Bonds, 762, Hank Aaron, 755, Babe Ruth, 714, Alex Rodriguez, 696. Mr. Rodriguez is said to have used steroids.







Furman Bisher has a piece at the fishwrapper site about Joe Torre. (The link no longer works.) The punch line is that Mr. Torre “grew up” when the Braves traded him to St. Louis. PG was a kid when this was going on, and did not hear a lot of what went on.

In 1965, the Braves played a lame duck year in Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta. One night, there was an exhibition game at Atlanta Stadium, the Braves against the Yankees. PG got his oh so patient dad to take him to the clubhouse after the game, to get autographs. In those days, you could go into the bowels of the stadium and wait outside the locker room. Hank Aaron signed dozens of autographs while smoking a cigarette. Joe Torre came out, hid behind a truck, and took off running.

Mr. Torre was a raccoon eyed catcher for the Braves. In the first regular season game in 1966, he hit two home runs, in a thirteen inning loss. Soon, the novelty of big league baseball in a toilet shaped stadium wore off. Mr. Torre got at least one DUI, and a reputation as a barroom brawler. He was traded to St. Louis in 1968. Mr. Torre hit .373, and won the national league MVP in 1971.

The comments to the feature by Furman Bisher were interesting. Cecil 34 contributes
“The reason that Torre was traded is because on the team’s charter flight back to Atlanta back in 68, a drunken Torre got into a fistfight with Aaron. Aaron popped off to Torre, and thus the fight was on, broken up by the other players. Since Aaron was the face of the franchise at the time, Torre was traded. There had been bad blood between them for years before this incident anyway. Reasons vary. But the final nail in the coffin was this fistfight. I was told Torre could pack a punch and Aaron came out on the worse end of it.”
There has been whispering for years about Hank Aaron and his attitude. Furman Bisher made hints once or twice, but there was never anything of substance. It seems that Mr. Aaron does not lack for self confidence. Mr. Aaron was the subject of much racially based abuse while chasing the home run record in 1973, and some anger is justified.

Hank Aaron was known to not get along with Rico Carty. Mr. Carty is a dark skinned man from the Dominican Republic, who was popular with fans. Mr. Carty was eventually traded. Rico Carty had a barbecue restaurant on Peachtree Road in Chamblee, next door to the Park and Shop.

Joe Torre was the manager of the Braves in the early eighties. The team won a divisional title in 1982, but lost the NLCS. This was after Ted Turner bought the team. Mr. Turner fired Mr. Torre in 1984.

Getting back to the comment thread, Misterwax contributes
“Turner cut Joe Torre loose because Ted was in love with Henry Aaron and Aaron thought Joe Torre was a white supremacist….A hangover from the clubhouse days when they were teammates…still does today. And THAT is the only reason he was cut…because Hank Aaron said so.”
Hank Aaron was recently quoted on Barry Bonds and Steroids. Joe Torre retired as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. He won four World Series as manager of the New York Yankees. Furman Bisher outlived Bear Bryant by 26 years, passing away March 18, 2012. Selah.






Paula Deen Six Years Later

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 29, 2019

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Six years ago, the media racism carnival centered around Paula Deen. A disgruntled former employee was shaking down the celebrity. The DFE, who was white, claimed racial discrimination. Many say the DFE was exploiting the oppression of black people for personal gain.

A few things have happened since this story was published. These three links tell part of the story. Race-based claims thrown out in Paula Deen lawsuit, Paula Deen lawsuit appears to be over; settlement a possibility, Paula Deen closes restaurant at center of harassment lawsuit.

This story is a repost. Some of the links in this story no longer work. The link to Deposition of plaintiff Lisa T. Jackson vs. Paula Deen Enterprises, etc. does work. Pages 15 and 153 are interesting. On page 267, Lisa Jackson says that Jim Crow is a singer.

The New York Times did it’s liberal media duty Saturday with a story about Savannah, and the Paula Deen controversy. There were three curious words in paragraph four. “The predicament that Ms. Deen finds herself in began when a former employee — a white woman who is now managing restaurants in Atlanta — filed a discrimination lawsuit in March 2012.”

This thing has seemed, er, fishy from the get go. The restaurant industry is full of disgruntled former employees, few of whom are paragons of virtue. DFE worked in a restaurant partially owned by a famous person. It is uncertain how active the famous person was in the day to day operation of the restaurant. DFE has a lawyer, who gets famous person to say embarrassing things in a deposition. Somehow, this deposition is leaked to National Enquirer. And now we learn that DFE is white.

Confirmation of the ethnicity of DFE is tough to come by. Few pictures are available. You have to ask Mr. Google repeated questions. A law industry blog called Huseby (spell check suggestion:Houseboy) has a good story on the matter, with a couple of links.

The attorney for the plaintiff, Matthew Billips, has a few issues.
“The case began with an “inflammatory letter seeking over a million dollars for forgo filing a lawsuit and allow Deen ‘a chance to salvage a brand that can continue to have value,’ ” Withers’ document said. (Tom Withers, attorney for Bubba Hiers, the brother of Paula Deen) In the motion to dismiss Billips, Withers quoted a tweet by Billips in which he said “suing Paula Deen is a hoot.” Withers also referred to a sexually laced tweet Billips directed at Deen “even more concerning.” In it, “Billips promises to symbolically undress and have sex with” Deen, Withers said. “Billips has posted sexually explicit tweets using extremely graphic and profane language and imagery. He has used the “N” word,” Withers’ motion said.”
Huseby links to an article in the ABA Journal that is downright fascinating. This feature confirms that Lisa Jackson, the DFE/plaintiff, is melanin deficient. The Deen-Hiers legal team has filed a motion, that is highly entertaining. Unfortunately, the pdf is not copy friendly, so the ABA summary will have to do. If you have the time to read the legal motion, you will enjoy it.

“The motion by lawyer Tom Withers says the plaintiff pursuing race-based claims has no standing to assert them because she is white, the Savannah Morning News reports. The plaintiff, Lisa Jackson, had claimed she was sexually harassed and worked in a racially hostile environment at a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother. Withers represents Deen’s brother and the restaurant.

According to the motion, Jackson claimed she was offended because her nieces “are bi-racial with an African-American father.” But the motion says there is just one niece, and she is related to Jackson’s partner, who said in a deposition that the niece’s father is Hispanic and she hasn’t seen the girl in years…. “Jackson cannot enforce someone else’s right, and she has no actionable claim for feeling ‘uncomfortable’ around discriminatory conduct directed at others … Jackson must show that any harassment was directed toward her because she was white, but at her deposition she alleged she was treated more favorably than African American employees at the restaurant.” (p.153)

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Family Barber Shop

Posted in Book Reports, Georgia History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 27, 2019


PG was reveling in the slack glory of Georgia June, when his brother said he was ready to go to the Family Barber Shop, in downtown Chamblee. FBS in the basement, downstairs from the former Post Office. PG got dragged to FBS when he was a kid. It was always Saturday afternoon. The wait time was never under an hour. Everybody in the room was smoking. The only entertainment was a black and white TV, tuned in to “Wide World of Sports.”

When PG got to FBS, he dropped GP off, and went looking for a parking spot. GP made his way down the stairs, into the basement facility. There was a spot, under a shade tree, at the end of the driveway. There was a no parking sign in front of the space to the left, but not the one that PG occupied. Behind a fence, there were was about 4% of an acre, full of whatever weeds happened to be growing. A black cat appears, walks across a pile of wood chips, and vanishes in the weeds.

With a shady parking spot secured, the next order of business a book. PG was up to part 3, chapter 2, of On The Road. Sal drops in on Dean at 2 am. Dean’s wife, Camille, throws him out. Dean is confused. He is standing on a street, reading Eugene Sue’s Mysteries Of Paris.

The next day, Roy Johnson is driving Sal and Dean around. S&D go to Mill City, looking for an old friend. “A beautiful colored girl opened the door instead; Dean and I talked to her a great deal. Roy Johnson waited in the car, Eugene Sue’s Mysteries Of Paris.”

MOP turns up twice in four pages in the beat generation classic. Google has the standard amazon/goodreads chatter. The text is on gutenberg. MOP begins: “It was on a cold and rainy night, towards the end of October, 1838, that a tall and powerful man, with an old broad-brimmed straw hat upon his head, and clad in a blue cotton carter’s frock, which hung loosely over trousers of the same material, crossed the Pont au Change, and darted with a hasty step into the Cité, that labyrinth of obscure, narrow, and winding streets which extends from the Palais de Justice to Notre Dame.”

Before long, GP is coming back to the car, bringing with him the news that the Family Barber Shop was closing. It had been in business for over eighty years. The parking lot was a problem, and the rent was going up. The owners decided to take their clippers, and go elsewhere.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Russel Lee was the photographer, in July 1941. Baseball players and spectators stand at attention while Chief Justice Stone gives the oath of allegiance over the radio. Vale, Oregon Father with his two daughters on the merry-go-round, one of the carnival attractions at the Fourth of July celebrations The On The Road series is now complete. part one part two part three part four part five part six part seven

Steve Martin

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 27, 2019

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There is a form letter floating through the intercourse now. It is a letter that Steve Martin used to send to his fans. (The letter was recently immortalized at Letters of Note.)

He …that is Stephen Glenn “Steve” Martin (born August 14, 1945) … has moved up in correspondence with his adoring fans. Mr. Martin now gives out business cards, with the message “This card certifies that the holder had met Steve Martin and found him genuinely friendly”. What a wild and crazy guy!

This is becoming one of those really really modern days here. Listening to a djmix with a Lady Gaga song, drinking coffee out of a Mcdonalds plastic cup, and writing a tribute to Steve Martin. What a day! Oh, before we forget, there is the story about the drive in theater on I85 that was showing “Father of the Bride”. One day, the h fell off the marquee, and the title of the movie became “Fater of the Bride”. Good times.

The story of Steve Martin and PG began one night at the Great Southeast Music Hall. PG got tired of hearing how great the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was, and decided to see a show. The show started when some guy in a white suit came out with a banjo. John McEuen stood next to him, and kept falling into the microphone stand and saying “this guy cracks me up”.

Steve Martin, the white suit guy, said that he paid somebody five thousand dollars for a joke. He then took this arrow, with a coat hanger wire attached to it, with a shape for his head to fit in, and put it on. That got a laugh, but not worth five thousand dollars. There was another gag…”do you mind if i smoke, no do you mind if i fart”. That got a slightly bigger laugh.

In those days, you could not sell alcohol in public on sunday night in Georgia. To compensate, the Music Hall sold children’s tickets for the sunday night shows. Mr. Martin was not used to having children in the audience. “Hey kid I gotta joke for you. There were these two lesbians…”

The show went over well with the Nitty Gritty crowd. However, it is doubtful that anyone thought, this is the beloved entertainer of our generation.

Mr. Martin was not through for the night. At one point, the NGDB moved to the back of the stage, and a smarmy lounge lizard, in a white suit, came on stage. While the band played “The girl from Ipanema”, Mr. Martin sang about the girl with diarrhea.

This was one of the last shows that Steve Martin did as an opening act. (He did return to the Great Southeast Music Hall. Once, he did a week with Martin Mull, called the Steve Martin Mull Revue.) Within two years, he was a guest host on Saturday Night Live, and a certified wild and crazy guy. A couple of years later, he was famous again as “The Jerk”. Steve Martin had arrived.

This is a repost. The pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The animated dentures are from chattering teeth. The check is in the mail.

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Why We Call Football Soccer

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 20, 2019


The world cup is about to start. It is by far the largest sporting event in the world. And, despite what you hear in this country, they play football (futbol), not soccer.

In the 19th century, the english wrote the rules for something called association football. This was different from rugby football. Somehow, soccer, a nickname for association, became the name of this new sport. When the pastime spread from the upper crust schools to the working class, it became known as football. It made sense, being a sport where you kick the ball with your feet.

In the USA, there was another sport called football. It involves beer and steroids. The ball only gets kicked when it is time for a commercial. For some reason, when association football became popular here, the name soccer stuck.

PG thinks soccer is a terrible word, for a pretty good sport. All those guttural noises sound bad in the mouth, like something is caught in your throat. Maybe, if the sport had another name north of the Rio Grande, it would be more popular. As it is, soccer is popular as a kids game, but strikes out as a spectator sport in the lower 48. UPDATE Nine years later, the Atlanta United routinely sells out Mercedes Benz stadium today. The venue had not been conceived in 2010.

There was even a joke on laugh in once. It may be field hockey to you, but it’s soccer to me. If you get that, the social security office will be open at the usual time tomorrow.


A young man named Jordan Griner was the designated driver June 19, 2010. After dropping the last passenger off, he was crossing West Peachtree Street at 17th. A lady was driving north on West Peachtree, ran a red light, and smashed into Mr. Griner. . The lady had a blood alcohol content of .229, well above the legal limit of .08. The lady is in a world of trouble, and the man is dead. Mr. Griner worked in the Governor’s office, so the case got some attention.

There is a lot of talk about drinking and driving, as there should be. People should not drive when they are intoxicated. As long as alcohol and automobiles are used, this is going to be a problem.

When you enter an intersection, you should look to see who is coming. If you see a car driving too fast, heading in your direction, wait for it to go through. Especially in midtown Atlanta, at 4 am Saturday.

There used to be a yellow brick apartment building at 17th and West Peachtree. This was the residence of Margaret Mitchell (Mrs. John Marsh). One afternoon, Mrs. Marsh met a friend at the Atlanta Woman’s Club, on Peachtree Street. After a few cocktails, Mr. and Mrs. Marsh left the Woman’s Club, intending to go across the street to a movie. Mrs. Marsh stepped in front of a taxi, and into eternity. Tomorrow is another day.

A developer had plans for the triangle of land between West Peachtree, Peachtree, and 17th. He tore down all the apartment buildings on that block, including the one Margaret Mitchell called home. The deal fell through for the developer, and the corner of 17th and West Peachtree is a vacant lot. The developer should have looked to see what was coming.

This is a double repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”, and the chamblee54 collection.

The Nightclub

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on June 17, 2019


A picture turned up on facebook the other day. It was a flyer for a rock club at 2581 Piedmont Road called The Nightclub. The facebooker said “Found on the Strip Project’s page! I THINK the year is 1975…but…T Wesley Dean, can you help with this? Thermos played there”

Broadview Plaza had a strange design. It was at the corner of Piedmont Road and Lindbergh Drive, about a mile north of the park. BP was one of the first shopping centers built in Atlanta. BP was built on the site of Mooney’s Lake … “a summer swimming hole off of Morosgo Drive in Buckhead that was in business from 1920-58.” The design was unusual, having a row of stores facing Morosgo Drive, connected to a larger group of stores by an escalator. The downstairs portion was home to the Great Southeast Music Hall. The Nightclub was in the upstairs part, next to the escalator.

Peaches Records and Tapes was just getting going in 1975. PRT was a huge facility at the base of heartbreak hill on Peachtree. Rock stars put hand prints in cement in front of the store. One of the hand prints proclaimed DARRYL RHODES IS GOD. Mr. Rhodes, backed by the Hahavishnu Orchestra, performed at PRT Halloween 1975. Mr. Rhodes had a big time playing his shit hits. (fecal dyslexia is rough) Shoplifters had a productive evening.

What does this have to do with The Nightclub? One afternoon, Peaches had a flyer on the checkout counter. The handbill had a coupon for free admission to the Roger McGuinn show. PG went to this show. Jim McGuinn was the front man for the Byrds, before he changed his name to Roger. The show was fun to watch, with “Chestnut Mare” and “Lover of the Bayou” remembered 44 years later. Before doing “Eight Miles High,” Mr. McGuinn strapped on a guitar with christmas tree lights in the body. The lights flashed when the corresponding string was picked.

A few days later, Miles Davis was scheduled to play. Someone was going to take his parents to see the show. When they heard that Miles had gone electric, they decided not to go. PG wound up with one of the extra tickets. Then Miles Davis decided not to perform that night. The substitute was Thermos Greenwood and the Colored People. Yes, that was the name of the band. The players, all white men, painted their faces different colors. The guitar player was green, the drummer was silver, and the bass player was red. TGATCP played what they called “cigar music.”

The Nightclub soldiered on for a while, and went out of business. This is what bars do. PG did see one more show upstairs. Spirit played there Halloween 1977. One celebrant wore a Richard Nixon mask, with prison stripes. PG improvised a beekeeper costume. A drunken young lady asked PG what his costume was. “Are you going to catch bees in the men’s room, you freak? Before Spirit came on stage, someone sitting near PG, said that the band was demanding their money before they went onstage. Spirit put on a rousing show. They’ve got a line on you. Pictures for today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Midtown

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 7, 2019

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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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