Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fountain in the Park @ Marietta Square c1900


It says on the back:

“The fountain in the Marietta Square, turn of the twentieth century”

It did not mention the name of the park it is in – Glover Park.

It looks like the above surface base of the fountain are ornamental seahorses. And I think the same sea horses were there when I came along about 40 plus years later.

I also remember the little pond that the fountain fed. It had pennies in it and big gold fish/carp, some with white splotches, some mostly white with gold splotches.

Back in my pre-teenage years the fountain it had a iron black rail-picket fence around it. I suppose to keep people out of wish-pond penny collection. But the people could still throw things over the short fence, such as cigarette butts, gum, gum and candy wrappers, a loogie, and maybe even could piss through the rails, late at night.

In the picture the fountain’s water is ice. I remember several times in the deep of the winter and the pond would be frozen and the fish would be just there, still. I suppose when it thawed out they were ready for some more of what ever life dealt them, such as a cigar butt to fight over.

The fountain is still there, but has went through face lifts. The gold fish/carp was taken away. Sometimes on hot summer nights during concerts people will actually walk their toddlers in the water and I have seen teenagers dancing in it, sloshing water.

Instead of a iron rail fence now it is a multi-level short wall – tiered like a wedding cake, ideally for people to sit and enjoy the fountain, people, music, or whatever. I think the people of Cobb County have the late Harold Willingham to thank for the new fountain – don’t worry, he wasn’t out anything, he had all kinds of multi-leveled money deals with the county.

I remember when I did go through Glover Park to get to The Strand Theater, the place was infested with drunks. Then Cobb County was a dry county and drunks found a common ground in the park where they could drink their moonshine all day long out of brown paper bags and be among their own kind and no one would bother them. You would see men sitting on park benches, maybe a man passed out on a bench, maybe some woozy man asking for you for a nickel to buy something to eat or call his wife – in a way, it was an interesting experience just to see what you were going to see when you walked through the park.

One thing one might noticed now, but not then, was that all the drunks were white. Weren’t there any black drunks? you may ask and I would say, “I’m sure there were.”
However, Blacks were not allowed to sit on park benches in the park. Where the park is was what used to be the grounds the Cobb County Courthouse was on. Sherman burned it down. Somehow, one of the elite families in Marietta, the Glover family gained possession of that land.

In time they donated the land to Marietta for a park for the people with some conditions and stipulations. One of the stipulations was that no black person could sit on a park bench in the park. – or if they were ever allowed to the park’s ownership would revert back to the Glover family. I think it was enforced, I don’t think I ever saw a black person sitting on a bench there. I didn’t know the contract then. Not so may years ago, maybe in the 1970s or 80s, after we were married, did a member of the Glover family put an amendment in the original contract to cancel that ugly stipulation out.

Seeing all those white drunks lying around passed out, or pissing and vomiting, I wonder why they were afraid a black might sit on a bench – afraid it might give the place a bad reputation?

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2 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

Eddie, your last paragraph is great! I wish all the people who are prejudiced could be asked that question (in public).

11:06 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Judy,
Isn't that terrible?- back then the worst white trash was considered better than any hard working black man.

11:15 AM  

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