Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Atlanta, Georgia

It has been some forty years since I have spent any appreciable time in Atlanta.  There is plenty for the tourist to see and do in this city, unfortunately while we were there last week it was bitter cold, like 29 degrees F. cold, when my sister Linda and I decided to drive downtown.  John was ill with a bad cold and could not join us.  Our first stop was the capitol building, it was a busy place while we were there and parking spaces were few, I think that we found the last parking spot!
The legislation of Georgia is presently in session, so we sat for a short time in both the Senate and the House.  Nothing much interesting was going on as reading of bills and regulations was on the agenda, as well as the morning orders of the day.  Time was taken to recognize special groups as the veterans of Georgia, the YMCA of Georgia, the Chamber of Commerce of Haversham County, realtors of Georgia, and a special nod was given to Georgia restaurants as it was National Restaurant Day.  Many people representing those groups were in the legislative galleries- no wonder there was a lack parking spots!
In 1895 the Governor set aside a place in the Capitol for a museum.  Here I found the Georgia Flag, the state's official flag as of 2003.  The state's seal is within the circle of 13 stars, which represent the first colonies (Georgia was the 13th colony to enter the Union).  The flag is an improvement over the original flag which closely looked like the Confederate flag.  Our next stop of the day was the apartment of Margaret Mitchel, author of the book Gone With The Wind. 
Pictured above is the corner of her apartment where Mitchell wrote the second most read book in the world.  She and her second husband lived here from 1925-1932.  An ankle injury made it difficult to commute to work, and after she had read all the books in the nearby library, her husband gave her a pound of newsprint copy paper  to write her own book.  She had grown up in Atlanta and had heard many stories about the Civil War, with that knowledge and her own experiences living in the South, she was able to weave a fictional story of Scarlett O'Hare- the spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner.  It took Mitchell three years to write the book- all of it written in the home she fondly called "The Dump".
A ticket to the Atlanta History Center allows you to visit the Mitchell apartment, as well as the Swan house which is located on the grounds of the Center.  The sweeping staircase pictured above you may have seen in one of the Hunger Game movies.  Built in 1928, it was the home of Edward Inman, the heir to a large cotton brokerage fortune amassed in the post-Civil War era.  He died three years after moving into the home, his wife lived in it until 1965.  In the dining room is a pair of 18th-century swan tables.
The Inmans purchased them in England in 1924 and it is believed that they inspired the swan motif throughout the house.  After touring the house we spent time in the gallery on the terrace level.  Here is a collection of English pottery and porcelain, Chinese export porcelain as well as American and and English period furniture donated to the museum by the architect of the Swan house.  It is his private collection.
We had a full day in Atlanta, and certainly plan on coming back.  For now we needed to drive further north to Illinois for our grandson's first birthday.  We will just have to ignore the inclement weather!

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