Cover Story

    Atlanta’s 9/11 Canine Commemorative

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inspired heroism writ large—and that heroism wasn’t limited to humans. Search and rescue (SAR) dogs worked tirelessly in the wake of the trag-edy, enduring the same dangers and hardships as their human handlers. The American Kennel Club (AKC) immediately stepped up and created a fund to provide food, supplies and veterinary care for those dogs as they undertook the herculean task of searching the rubble for remains and survivors.


    This initial outreach spurred the AKC to create the Dog New York (DOGNY) project, which estab-lishes a permanent resource called the Canine Support and Relief Fund. This fund will be earmarked for future SAR efforts. A dozen Georgia canine associations have contributed $25,000 to DOGNY, and their support has been acknowledged via a memorial statue and plaque in downtown Atlanta.


    This writer happened upon that memorial quite by chance; it sits next to the Georgia Department of Agriculture building at Washington Street and MLK Jr. Drive, just across from the Georgia State Capi-tol. The serene,   Read more...

  • Singing-Praises

    Singing Praises for DeKalb Town

    “Doraville,” sang the classic southern band Atlanta Rhythm Section, “a touch of country in the city,” and it became famous in the 1970s. The band was formed from two groups, Candymen and Classics IV (known for the 1968 hit “Spooky,” often covered), and began as session musicians based at famed Studio One in Doraville. Started in 1970 by audio engineer Rodney Mills and supported by renowned Atlanta music publisher Bill Lowery, Studio One, which closed in 1989, recorded such well-known bands as Journey, Lynard Skynard, Outlaws and .38 Special.


    In 1972, the Studio One session players decided to form a regular group, Atlanta Rhythm Section. Band members changed sometimes, but ARS manager and producer Buddy Buie always led them. Known for his imagery, themes and wit, he usually headed the list of their songwriting credits. Hits in-cluded “Imaginary Lovers,” “Champagne Jam,” “So into You” and of course, “Doraville.”


    While ARS never gained the fame of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Allman Brothers Band, they loved their musical home so much they did an album cal   Read more...

  • Easter_in_Atlanta

    Easter in 1914 Atlanta

    From local newspapers and magazines alone, you might never realize that Easter in 1914 Atlanta had any religious significance whatsoever. Retailers seized the coming of spring to push the latest styles of clothing for men, women and children with nary a word about Christianity or church services. It was all about fabrics, new colors and the accessories the newest fashions required to set them off.


    Even better for local merchants were new and growing traditions. H. G. Hastings asked, “Will you do your share in the growing and beautiful custom of sending a floral remembrance to a friend for Easter?” People were urged to use the latest technology by calling in their orders, which were available for two daily delivery services. Sweet smelling pots of hyacinths at 25 cents to $1 were considered the best plant for Easter. Al-though Easter lilies appeared in some store advertising, Hastings didn’t suggest them.


    Commercialization also extended to sweets. City drugstores had apparently endless supplies of sugar candy rabbits, ducks and chickens. Were these the forerunners   Read more...

  • April-Fools

    April Fool’s Day Fun

    The origins of April Fools’ Day are obscure. Some historians believe cultural precedents were the Hilaria (from the Latin, “hilarious”) ancient Roman festivals celebrated about April 1 after the vernal or spring equinox—when finally days are longer than nights, with more sunlight than darkness—to honor Cybele, mother of the Roman gods. Hilaria generally meant rejoicing, a time of play.


    And so it was for centuries throughout the medieval era that generations of people considered the time about April 1 as the start of a regenerating new year in spring. After the Roman Catholic Church set the standard of Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day in the Gregorian calendar of the 1580s, its supporters may have dubbed those who thought otherwise as “April fools,” making fun of them.


    Still, April 1 remained special, flourishing especially in Europe as a day for pranks, or mischie-vous tricks. One of the most common was to pin a paper fish to a victim’s back without being noticed, a practice called “April fish.” Eventually pranks developed into hoaxes, something more elab   Read more...

  • Shamrock

    Shamrock Power!

    Familiar green trefoil or “three leaflets” holds particular sway in the imaginations of many people.


    An enduring image of St. Patrick’s Day is shamrock, traditionally placed as an icon on March issues of Hometown News. Shamrocks are considered clovers, used as fodder for plants to feed butterflies and moths. Various types of clovers, alone or in grass, are also staple crops for soiling and pasturing. Shamrocks grow freely and abundantly, shooting up again and again, and are nutritious for livestock.


    According to legend, shamrock became a traditional symbol in Ireland under St. Patrick, a Christian missionary in the fifth century. He used it to explain to pagan Irish the Christian mystery of the Trinity, defining God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just as there is one shamrock, there are three leaflets. Shamrock symbols were used on badges and various motifs throughout the counties of Ireland.


    It was from shamrock that the Irish got their national color. Versions of “The Wearing of the Green” native street ballad noted a technicalit   Read more...

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