The Roswell Incidents. The Other Roswell.

(Dear Kind Atlanta Metroblog Reader; This here’s your old pal, captain Steve, with a cross-post from my personal blog-the entry’s a few weeks old. I promise to not do more than a handful of these, but this one’s probably more appropriate to the Atlanta metroblog than my own personal blog. I also achieved quite a nice sunburn and some sore muscles in acquiring the material written about, and I didn’t even raid Krispy Kreme to make myself feel better. Now, let’s take a little Steve-tour of Historic Roswell, Georgia.)

Why would someone lose a perfectly good little steak knife in a civil war era cemetery under an ancient hickory by the graves of the family Hudlow? For the same reason they downed a 40-ounce a few feet away? Were they just arming themselves against the genteel ghosts in confederate butternut floating all about?

The cemetery is just across the street from the Krispy Kreme. It’s a difficult walk in a way-it slopes steeply everywhere in that boneyard, one wonders how it can be there seems to be so few flat places to stand.

There’s lots of dead confederates there.

In a prominent place, a donut’s throw from the Roswell Krispy Kreme and right on the road, is a large square plot with a stone reading only Wm. H. Faulkner in the center. The stone gave me pause, as I was certain the William Faulkner we all know about is buried in Oxford, Mississippi-yet the plainness of the plot I happened onto was so distinctive I wondered for a moment.

I headed back to Mimosa, the shadier street with better sidewalks, and eventually passed Kimball Hall. As I was approaching I saw a large group of people enter the big house en masse, two women trailing the group carrying bunched-up white organza. As I sat on a bench across the street taking a breather I pondered the white gauzy material already wound through the rails on the steps into the house, the newels festooned with ribbons. The place is an Old Victorian, it’s grounds have been renovated to be perfectly suited to weddings and similar events. In the heavy golden light of the morning it was a study in beauty-in-waiting-lushly landscaped, trellises spectacular with lightly-scented flowers. For a moment I understood little girls and their dream weddings very well.

I walked on, eventually to Canton Street. I passed art galleries displaying knockoffs of impressionist works that were bad when the impressionists painted them, and restaurants like Fratelli di Napoli and Pastis. Pastis has the distinction of a lovely balcony that overlooks the resolutely historic little area, and it was all I could do to avoid the temptation to blow money on lunch there just to sit on that balcony. I felt fine telling myself another time, though. There was still walking to be done.

At Plum and Magnolia I sat again and watched the clothes hung on a rack in front of the Bilt House, one of the businesses on Plum that comprises Plum Tree Village. Bright women’s clothing, dancing madly to the rhythm of passing cars and solid suburban women in sensible shoes, pushing strollerfuls of sunburned blonde babies.

I passed more places I marked for later, more in-depth research, like Metanoya and the too-new to have a website (apparently) Plum Street Cafe. The actual destination was a place called ‘Coffee by the Book.’ A little new and used bookstore cum coffee bar. I puttered there for an hour before I headed home.

What did I gain?

A sunburn. Sore legs that were really complaining because I’d not yet let them fully recover from my most recent MS flareup. (I have relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis.)

Part of a day in the sun passing by hanging white and hot pink flowers, under Magnolia trees with their shining leaves and heavy blossoms. Feeling the breath of the world on me and moving through me. I got to ponder the symmetry of the spire of my very own church, comparing it to an obelisk in the old cemetery, standing next to one and looking up at the other.

I composed good photographs with no camera present, I smelled a passing whiff of decay on a street full of restaurants. Saw a black man walking boldly with his shirt off in front of a German Automobile Repair Shop.

That night while we were at the Borders in Buckhead it stormed. Great cracks of lightning and sideways rain, the lights even flickered.

We ate at Mellow Mushroom and came home.

And that’s all.

And sometimes, that’s enough.


1 Comment so far

  1. Meridian (unregistered) on August 17th, 2005 @ 8:56 am


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