Cover Story
  • WSJ

    Hometown News Writer Featured in Wall Street Journal

    The Wall Street Journal, a New York-based English-language international daily newspaper with special em-phasis on business and economic matters, did a story on time capsules for its July 31 issue and used Hometown writer Dr. Paul Hudson as one of its sources. Entitled “Trying to Capture a Moment, Many Lose Track of Time,” the article written by Atlanta-based correspondent Carmeron McWhirter traced how time capsules typically end up forgotten or missing. Hudson, 64, who has written, studied and been interviewed about the subject for about 25 years, believes that time capsules—nearly always celebrated in the short term—are lost or forgotten in the long run.


    McWhirter in mid-July interviewed Paul at Oglethorpe University, home of the Crypt of Civilization. Hailed in the Guinness Book of World Records, the Crypt was sealed in 1940 and not to be opened until 8113. Not bur-ied like many time capsules, it stands half-underground in a granite hall at Oglethorpe behind a stainless steel door with a message on the Crypt. Its fans hope this is one multi-millennial specimen that won   Read more...

  • HistoryCenter

    DeKalb History Center Offers Special School Programs For 2015

    The DeKalb History Center, located in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Decatur, is offering special school programs this fall, some of which are new programs for specific grade levels.


    On Sept. 22 the DHC will host the Civil War Experience for the third time. It is a special program developed around fifth- and eighth-grade curricula. The highlight of this program is a play that the Center commissioned local playwright and actor, Cathy Kaemmerlen, to write for the purpose of teaching students about the war in DeKalb County and the Atlanta area. In addition to the one-hour play students take a Civil War walking tour of the downtown Decatur area.


    A new program for second-graders will take place Oct. 6 at the History Center’s Historic Complex at 720 West Trinity Place in Decatur. Second-Grade History Day allows students to spend nearly two hours with living historians in period clothing who present the lives of James Oglethorpe, Mary Musgrove, Chief Tomochichi, and Sequoyah.


    Later that month, Oct. 20-22, students experience the DHC’s largest school p   Read more...

  • DunwoodyCenterpiece

    Dunwoody’s Historic Centerpiece

    Dunwoody is lucky to have an active and successful Preservation Trust [DPT] dedicated to preserving and maintaining local historic sites. It all started in the 1990s with the preservation and restoration of the Cheek-Spruill house. Located at the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Chamblee/Dunwoody roads, this im-pressive structure is a very visible reminder of the area’s history – all thanks to the DPT.


    The Cheek-Spruill or “Dunwoody Farmhouse” began life in 1906. Originally one story, it soon rose to its present height in a basic “el” design with impressive double porches on the right. The classically in-spired gables are striking and lend a grander feeling to a simple country farmhouse. The front projecting bay is in the “cutaway” style where the corners are chamfered to give more windows and increase cross ventilation to interior spaces.


    The home was originally built by Joberry and Laura Cheek for one of their children according to local histories. The property included several acres, a barn and the usual farm outbuildings from that era. Two of those rem   Read more...

  • Jen Liam in front of the rock climbing wall she built in her home gym.

    DeKalb Woman Takes on American Ninja Warrior

    As a clinical therapist Jen Liam helps people overcome obstacles.


    “Whether it is physical or something internal-slow and steady is kind of my approach- there is no quick fix-its hard work and persistence. It’s not how many times you fall down its how many times you get up,” she said. And as a lifelong athlete who thrives on competition, Liam knows a lot about overcoming obstacles. That competitive drive took Liam to Orlando last May where she competed in the regional qualifying round of the reality TV series American Ninja Warrior, where contestants attempt to complete a series of increasingly difficult obstacle courses called “stages.” The show premiered in 2009 and airs on both NBC and the Esquire Network.


    Liam said she has watched the show for years and constantly thought about giving it a try. One night Liam asked her daughter Blais if she should do it. “She goes, ‘yeah I think you should,’’ said Liam, “and then like 30 seconds later she got kind of panicked and said Mom I don’t think you should do it. That was the moment that kicked me into   Read more...

  • MelPender

    Mel Pender: Lynwood Park’s Olympic Hero

    It was a long way to Olympic gold but Melvin “Mel” Pender Jr. made it literally every step along the way. Born in 1937, Pender grew up in rural Lynwood Park, the historically black community off Windsor Parkway near Oglethorpe University. Gentrified in the early 2000s, the neighborhood now does not resemble Pender’s Lynwood, which had its own local institutions, segregated schools and sports teams, where Mel was a star base-ball and football player.


    Leaving home at 17, Pender joined the U.S. Army and served two tours in Vietnam. Officers at camp football games on leave in Okinawa noted Pender’s incredible speed and encouraged him, at age 25, to compete against top athletes from Japan in his first international race. It was not long before the Army was supporting Pender to train for the U.S. Olympic team.


    Pender competed in the 1964 Olympics, and in 1968 at Mexico City he won a gold medal, racing the 2nd leg of the 4 x 100 meter relay (“I felt like I was flying,” he said) in a new world record. Returning to the U.S. Army, he earned a Bronze Star in Vietnam and late   Read more...
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