Thursday, April 04, 2024

Atlanta Terminal, and Dangerous Parking

 The Atlanta Train Terminal. It was a grand old beautiful building of its time wasn't it? It was on Spring and Mitchell Streets, across Spring Street from where I worked at the Postal Service at the Federal Annex.

I think they bulldozed it away in the late 1970s to make way for the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, a non-descript building with no character or artful look like the Atlanta Terminal had. Behind it at the tracks, underneath the bridges and viaducts was an area that never saw daylight is where I parked my car. A guy named Thumond charged $5 a month. It was the cheapest parking in Atlanta. Also, an area you don't hang around. You park and run! The area was on the edge of what would become Underground Atlanta. Then, when I parked there it was an area for the homeless and criminally insane, I found out. It was cluttered with beer wind bottles and occasionally a pile of human shit.
Once I got out of my car and a heavy elderly man approached me and asked if I had some money to spare. I said no, but he wanted to talk so I paused to hear what he had to say. Bad idea. He grabbed me and wrapped a strong arm around my neck and with his other hand touched a knife blade to my throat. He told me he had just escaped from prison that very day and he needed money, now how much money did I really have. I gave him my wallet, he looked at it and said something like, "Shit! I got more money than you, you should be holding me up!" Then he sung me a rendition of a religious song... we still had a hold around my neck. He sung me another religious song - both songs were about Jesus and how much he loved us. The second song, I think he was in the habit, when singing it to spread his arms wide apart to really belt it out, to get the point across, I suppose, which he did, which released me, and I ran off like a wild rabbit. He was too old and drunk to chase me. I did not park there again.
Moral: Never trust anyone that holds a knife to your throat and sings to you about Jesus.

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