Friday, July 28, 2006

Bluto In Atlanta


Margaret Mitchell's grave in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

One day we went to the Atlanta History Museum. One of the docents there I worked with at the Census in the year 2000. I always thought she went too much beyond her duties to get that extra attention from management. She would bring blueberry muffins and made sure the managers got what they wanted before she put them out for us to grab. And anther girl just as attention starved brought in larger blueberry muffins, and then she brought bigger ones with biscuits and jelly – and we found ourselves in the cross-fire of an attention-getting war. She got us in the museum free. All this time I had my mother-in-law’s wheelchair borrowed to make getting around easier for Bluto.

He studied each exhibit in detail. Good for him. I am bad about reading what was on the plaque, glance at it and move on.

I don’t remember if it was the same day or not but we visited Oakland Cemetery near the Capital in Atlanta. We saw Margaret Mitchell’s grave, and some more famous graves. Colonel Andrew of Andrews Raiders was hung in Oakland Cemetery. There are several Georgia Governors buried in Oakland.

Andrews Raiders are the ones that stole The General locomotive engine from the depot in Kennesaw, Georgia, and was chased by a conductor with the last name Fulton on the engine The Texan. Before they stole The General they spent the night at the Kennesaw House Hotel in Marietta. Walt Disney made a movie of it. Fess Parker was Colonel Andrews and Jeffrey Hunter was Fulton. They were caught in Ringgold, Georgia. From the time I was a teenager Ringgold was known for 15 minute marriages, no waiting. Several of my friends married there.
We went to the Cyclorama at Grants Park, which also houses the Atlanta Zoo. The Cyclorama is a giant painting of The Burning of Atlanta. It is on a huge canvas that is circular. The seating arrangement turns slowly and you sit and watch the incredible details. Very sad Civil War music is in the background. It is an emotional experience.

In the lobby of the Cyclorama is The Texan, which is the engine that Conductor Fulton chased The General in The Great Locomotive Chase.

One day we visited the Coke Museum and Underground Atlanta. It may have been the day we visited Oakland Cemetery and the History Museum. It was all in the same town.

The Coke Museum is a narrow building sort of in the plaza of Underground Atlanta. When you pay your money you take an elevator up to the top floor and then you walk start off at the top with viewing displays of the very early stages of Coke inventing, marketing, and advertising. Each floor down you progress another era. It is very well done. I heard it has even got better since the giant Atlanta Aquarium has been added.
On the bottom floor you can drink all the different kinds of Coke products from different countries. I remember one time we had Rocky’s birthday party there. He drunk too many Coke drinks. His lips turned blue and he became very chilled. Hyperthermia?

After the Coke Museum the plan was for me to push Bluto in the wheelchair across the plaza to Underground Atlanta. Bluto weighed well over 300 pounds. Those cobblestones of the plaza did us in as far as the wheelchair goes. A wheel broke. I think I ended up paying almost a hundred bucks to get it all replaced. Not only the wheel, but the axel.

After that we walked the block to Underground Atlanta.

Underground Atlanta should have been named Used To Be Atlanta. It was Atlanta up until July 1864 when Sherman came though and burned it. When Bill left on his march to Savannah and the sea, the Atlanta townsfolk had to rebuild. Through a complex of bridges, via ducts, and overhead streets, the built over the original Atlanta.

Then after the new Atlanta was built it left the old Atlanta is a position of never seeing day light… blocks and blocks of narrow cobble stone streets with store fronts, lamp posts, street signs rats and the homeless as inhabitants. When I worked for the Atlanta Post Office I parked on the edge of it free. Everybody was afraid to park to close to the area, afraid they might be robbed. My heap, a old model pv544 Volvo went untouched – even the have-nots turned up their noses at it.

However, I had two attempted muggings on me, which one succeeded, but I’ll save that for another blog entry someday.

Somebody with an enterprising mind found himself in old dusty Underground Atlanta one day and realized what a goldmine it was. With a little cleaning and cops this place could be booming again.

It didn’t take long for Underground Atlanta to rebuild itself. We went there often when entertaining friends from out of town. It was store front after store front of bars, entertainment spots, gift shops – bright lights, loud music. The homeless had to find someplace else to sleep.

One of the best local blues musicians, Piano Red played at one of the spots. There was a theater. There, we saw Jesus Christ Superstar for about the umpteenth time. One time while there I remember I saw a very vogue looking chick with an open blouse with no bra. One small tit was exposed. No one seemed to mind and I think the only person who couldn’t keep his eyes off that one tit was me.

Bluto and I entered Underground Atlanta and spent a short time there, maybe having one or two drinks. He wasn’t too comfortable walking – remember I was pushing a broken empty wheelchair.

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