Sunday, December 02, 2007

Marietta Pilgrimage - aka Tour of Homes

Saturday we went on the home tour of Marietta. Each year five or six homes put their homes up for inspection by the public in general – whoever willing to pay their money to go through these houses. The houses generally belong to people who spared no expense in remodeling or renovating.

The above stone wall and gate was not on the tour. We just walked by it and I took a picture of it. Until recently the wall leaned forward towards the sidewalk, but somehow they corrected that. In my teenage years my friend Gene had an aunt that lived behind the wall. Sometimes when I was with him he would park his car alongside the sidewalk and walk through the gate and stay 15 to 30 minutes and return. Then I never thought to look behind the house to see what kind of house his aunt lived in, but recently I did. There is a huge barn or garage there. It is in the back yard of a big white house on another street (Kennesaw Avenue). I told in an earlier blog that Gene died in an auto wreck which he was drag racing. I wonder why he always went in his aunt’s house the back way? Here is the house his aunt probably lived in.

The first house we went to was the Alamo house. It has several unique rooms and unique designs and unique conversation pieces inside the house. As a matter of fact, that is what all these houses consisted of: conversation pieces.

Each house had a person on the outside of the house to make a checkmark on your book in the appropriate box to show you have been there and to allow so many in the first room at a time, where a docent would be waiting with his or her notes.

Outside the second house we visited the person on the outside to let so many go in at a time was Rachel. I met Rachel a previous year on the tour. That year we were touring the Leander Newton Trammell house and I started taking pictures. A lady came up to me that also was taking pictures – except her camera was expensive, she said, “I don’t think you are allowed to take pictures in the houses.”

I said, “You are.” and made a nudge in the direction of her camera.

She drew back and said something to the effect, “I own this house”.

I said, “I am related to Leander Newton Trammell…. “

She said, “Ok!” We got into a long conversation and she showed me other things of the Trammell family not on the tour.

We emailed each other for several weeks. We got a hold of a great grandson, and we were to get together with him… then suddenly he stopped emailing – which caused me to stop writing…and I guess that stopped Rachel too.

She was telling me that she is still giving tours…. Anybody walking down the street looking at the house in an interesting way she invites them in and gives them a tour.

One house that was on the tour was what is called the Green House. That was because it was owned by the Green family for 59 years. Anna worked with the lady who lived in the house for 59 years partly as a child and finally owner.

Another house was once owned by a family whose son was Anna’s uncle, by marriage.

Outside one house was a man sitting playing a docimer (?). We thought he was part of the entertainment but he said no, he was just waiting outside while his wife was inside touring. He gave us a quick lesson on how to plunk out a tune of the beautiful wood-string instrument.

In one of the houses a blond lady, also touring said, “Anna?” And Anna said her name with a question mark. When you get our age, people you haven’t for a long time, you often say their name with a question mark. When Anna said her old friend’s name I immediately knew her last name.

Anna said, “Eddie was in school with your sister.” Actually, Anna got that part confused. I was in school with the lady’s older sister’s first husband.

As a matter of fact, I ran around with her brother-in-law Larry. One time Larry retained his cousin Jesse and me to spy on his sister-in-law because he suspected she was having an affair.

I asked her how was her sister (by name). She was speechless for a moment and said she is suffering from dementia. Where is she? Anna asked. In Columbia, SC, the lady said.

I saw no reason to keep the conversation going by saying one time I was hired to spy on her sister. Some things are best forgotten, which her sister must be doing a good job at.

Our last house we visited Rachel’s husband had the same job Rachel had – letting so many people into the house at a time. We talked Trammell stuff to him too. He asked me my name and I said, “Eddie Hunter”

He said, “Are you the one that writes a blog?”


Then we talked about my blog. He is a very congenial person. Very nice.

That is about eight to ten people in this area that I know read my blog. Some night, after dark I expect them to approach our house with torches, tar, and feathers.

That house was once owned by the assistant principal when I was in high school. The assistant principal and his sister owned the house. Then his sister died, and he married a woman with the same name as his sister and they did a lot of innovations. I think there is a story here.

The latest owners built a big media room that the screen on the wall was almost as big as a drive-in theater. He also had a very nice plush office with a big album of old family relatives.

This is the Howell House. It was not on the tour, but we walked by it. As a teenager I hung out many hours at this house. I was friends with one of the four teenagers that lived there. I mentioned in a previous blog about the family owning a garment factory and now the production operation has moved to Blairsville. I hope this house is on the tour one year.

Also, I am proud to say my first cousin’s daughter was the co-chairman of the event this year, as she was the last year. Both years were well organized.

You are not suppose to take pictures inside the houses, as Rachel let me know, but sometimes I would snitch one. Here are some various pictures I took on the tour.

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Blogger Jean said...

If I want to be really kewl, I say in the direction of the person I think I know, "Anna" with no question. If I get a blank look I say, "You remind me of someone I know whose name is Anna, she's such a (lovely, gracious, fun) person."

I think the stringed instrument is a dulcimer.

Thanks for the tour of the tour. Do you think your friend who went behind the wall got money from his aunt? He probably went in the back door because she was in the kitchen.

6:18 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Dulcimer! That is what it is! Thanks.
Gene's visits were a mystery to me. He and his family lived in a low rent project... yet, the place he went is an area where the elite lives.
Gene had rich relatives in Woodstock, Ga., not far away - Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter, Dean Rusk was his cousin.
It could be dropping by for some money that he would hand off to his mother... could be.

6:57 AM  
Blogger janie said...

Jean beat me to it. I was going to name the instrument a dulcimer too.

Thanks for the tour. I was intrigued with the picture of the dog. WHAT was that?!

7:33 AM  
Blogger ET said...

It was there, like other pictures of the house with no particular emphasis so I snatched a picture.

7:44 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Those are all beautiful homes, Eddie. I'd love to go on that tour too.

1:51 PM  
Blogger ET said...

We have been going on them about 10 years now and haven't been disappointed yet.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Wow, this is a great event. I wish that there was something like this in NYC, where we can go into rich folks homes and tour them. Oh, wait - there is. When people want to sell, they often host open houses. I do drop in once in awhile. Of course, the super exclusive places do not allow open houses to avoid people like me just wandering in, so I would definitely need organized tours. Anyway, I am rambling. I love the photos and stories you posted.

2:59 PM  
Blogger ET said...

That is just about a tradition in all the towns in Cobb County. And also in Atlanta. I think last year in Anley Park about four to six elite opened their houses for commoners to tromp through on tours.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I love the architecture of those homes. Thanks for sneaking in those photos too-- love the dogwoman, lol!

I have a dulcimer just like that one.

8:48 AM  
Blogger ET said...

We went to a blue-grass festival in the north Georgia mountains last year and got to hear four people play their dulcimers. It was a treat.
The instruments reminded me of those flat wood things that you put a little wooden man on and you shake and he dances.

9:08 AM  

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