The Two Sides of Atlanta

Well, I’ve been out of town for a couple of weeks and today was my first day back in Hotlanta. Ya’ll miss me?? (grin)

Just like many cities, Atlanta has a divided population. Divided by money, location, ethnicity, and, well, fashion.

So, I started my day in beautiful Buckhead. Where the rich and famous get there faces and wallets lifted daily. I attended a financial seminar where my only reason for being there was to video tape a segment of a seminar for a documentary I’m working on.

Everyone there was rich. Everyone had a laptop. Everyone had rental property all around the U.S. Everyone was very attentive as the speaker delivered his financial analysis lecture on current monetary trends and how not to get trapped in property loss and devaluation. Oh my. Seeing how I have no rental property or a fat bank account, I was more concerned with lighting the shot and making sure the audio was perfect. I thanked the group afterwards for allowing me to intrude and told them I was glad there were so many intelligent and well versed financial types that could one day help me out. The response from about half of them was, “Well, what about right after this seminar? There’s no time like the present to invest. I have some property I think you might be interested in……………………. ” Oh god, the pain. This was but the beginning of my long and soon-to-be exciting day in Hotlanta.

After I left and moved my car from among the expensive imports, I decided to drive over to the Atlanta Police Department’s Property Recovery Center. YES! They found my wallet. I lost it in Buckhead – don’t even ask with bar – a few weeks ago. Even though my credit card numbers had long since been changed and I had already sat in the Department of Motor Vehicles Center for HOURS to get a new drivers license… I still wanted to get my personal belonging back.


Do the words, “flash back” mean anything to you? They do to me. Having been, previously, in public safety for 18 years, I started to have a one.

The first person, “number 9”, got up, after being called, and came up to the window to reclaim his car. See, he was out of prison now and wanted to get his “ride” back. The second person, “number 10”, got up and wanted to have his guns returned to him. I just hate it when someone steals your guns and uses them to, oh, let’s see, ROB A BANK!

Then, before “number 11” could get to the window, “number 12” decided to come up before being “called” (sounds religious). My-oh-my, that’s a no-no.

“Yes, ma’am”, said the clerk.

“I’m number 12”, said the lady.

“I don’t believe I’ve called your number yet, ma’am”. replied the clerk.

“Well, I’m number 12 and just wanted you to know I am here and still waiting”, stated the lady.

“Yes, ma’am, so are numbers 11 all the way to number 29”, came the reply.

Oh, guess who number 29 was? I sat silently. I now understood why it was important to take a number and hold on to it with dear life.

“Well, I just wanted you to know I’m here and ready to get my pocketbooks back when you are”, said the lady as she took her seat again.

(insert blank stare by the clerk)

“Number 11!”

Running up to the window, number 11 stood like a puppy dog waiting for a bone.

Meanwhile, number 12 was about to have her time.

“Number 12”, said the second lady, removing the “this window is closed” sign from the window.

“I’m here to get my two pocketbooks back from you cause the only reason yawl arrested me was to get more of my stuff”, said the lady as she cocked herself at the window – right hand on her hip.

Well. One thing led to another and the discussion turned into a near altercation and it was clear that the APD officers were about to lock her up again and “take some more of here stuff”.

It was at that point that something very strange happened. You see, having spent 18 years in public safety, I wore one of those nifty utility belts around my uniform. You know the one, it’s got your radio on one side, your gun and handcuffs on the other side and perhaps your keys and other stuff strapped to it in front.

At the height of the “near altercation”, I realized my right hand was reaching around to the right side of my waist. For a spit second, I said to myself, “damn, where’s my belt?”

Another split second later, I realized 1) I don’t wear it anymore. 2) I’ve been out of public safety since 1997 and 3) I forgot to eat lunch.

A wave of embarrassment came over me because I hoped that no one had seen what I was doing. Not that they would have any idea what was going through my head but, still.

Anyway, I decided that I had a very small “flashback”. It was the first time in my life I felt a real flashback of my old career. It was actually pretty amazing. On a less funny note, I can ONLY imagine what it might be like for soldiers to have real flashbacks of combat. That certainly would not be as funny as my little silly stunt.

Anyway, they called my number and I got my wallet back – less the $20 that I left in there – and I went on my merry way.

It was just another day in the life of an Atlanta citizen. Nothing that a few Bud Lite’s at home can’t fix. ROCK ON!

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