…but let me tell you this. I was at his office in Lithonia today and I was treated like an honored guest.

Hank Johnson's Lithonia office: Nice people inside

I want to thank the staff and particularly Andy Phelan. We certainly don’t agree on policy but they have the concept of southern hospitality down pat.

You can’t go very far in this area without finding a church of one kind or another.

Big and small, wide and narrow, some based out of houses and others consisting of many buildings churches do the landscape with ministry after ministry of almost every protestant denomination that you can find.

It reaches a point after a while that you almost don’t notice but you can’t help but notice the New Birth Church.

New Birth Sign
Continue reading “A Church Tale”

I will be writing a much longer post on the subject but I wanted to give a personal thank you for the kindness and the hospitality that the people of Doraville gave to a stranger from 1000 miles away who was intruding on their celebration and reception for their police chief who has just returned from Afghanistan. I want to give a particular thank you to the Mayor who gave me some of his time privately.

At the Reception

To Lynn Watanabe of the library I want you to know I’ve burned a CD of the events and if I don’t get a chance to drop it off before I leave, my friend Vinnie will swing by afterwards and drop it off there. All of the video I took will eventually end up on my youtube account so feel free to refer people there as well.
Chief/Col King and some of the citizens of Doraville

You know I have talked to people from Lithonia , Doraville, Atlanta, Norcross, Decatur and I have to say to my compatriots up north, if you had the pleasure of meeting the people of Georgia as I have you would have a very different picture of the south than what is currently portrayed in the media and in popular culture. I have yet to meet a person that I would not mind living on my street back home and I’ve met MANY people who I wish did.

Update: Here is a brief clip from the presentation before the reception

For people interested (and even for those not) here is my tentative schedule for the next two days:

Set in STONE:
Thursday: Meet and Greet with Liz Carter at Matthews Cafeteria 2299 Main Street Tucker Ga 30084-4702 8 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Friday Night 8-9 p.m. Personal meet-up with friends of Mr. Kelly Sr. (my host)

Planned almost certain:

Thursday 12:00 noon or so Lunch with rep of the Cory Ruth’s campaign

Thursday Morning Stone Mountain view the monument take some shots

Must do’s before I leave:

Visit Hank Johnson’s local Lithonia office

Tour Coke Museum (for youngest son)

Photos of houses (for wife)

If there are any local bloggers or tea party members who would like to talk the Matthews event is the best shot to do so. Hope to see you there.

This morning I swung down to Decatur where Kathy Mitchel of the Champion Free Press kindly gave me some of her time today.

One of the things I’ve continually found fascinating is the way county government interacts with towns and cities here, far different than Massachusetts. Kathy explained to me that about a century ago a law was passed that required that county seats needed to be no more than a day’s mule ride away from any citizen. (Forcing

The Champion one of two free papers in the area
government to be close to the people) The result has been a fiercely independent group of local governments that retain a fair amount of power.

It also means that people involved in county government tend to have real world experience in doing things and in interacting with people…Which Brings us to Hank Johnson.

The congressman was involved in country government on the local level for a long time, where he was known for a slow deliberate style. This served him very well against Cynthia McKinney, both has almost identical positions but Johnson’s style was considered a welcome change.

We talked briefly about the Guam issue. As a person who has known him for years she said this is fitting in with his sense of humor and style, the real issue however is not that particular situation, it is the health issue.

Johnson style is slow and deliberate to begin with (she told me of one county meeting with him that seemed to last forever (shades of the culvert). With the sickness slowing him down even further that is a big opening that Vernon Jones perhaps exploit.

She describes Jones and competent and a man who certainly got things done, but who’s shall we say personality might be too dynamic for the district. To say Mr. Jones has a reputation would be a bit of an understatement. As for Connie Stokes she seems to get lost in the shuffle whenever I talk about the race with anyone. I have yet to have anyone volunteer much about her which bodes poorly for her in the race.

In the End she thinks that Johnson will pull it off but was believed it would be close and would not be all that

Kathy Mitchell of the Champion Free Press
surprised if he ended up in a runoff or if Jones managed to win. Here she differed from Jennifer of the Crossroads News. Where she didn’t vary from was her belief that no republican would be elected nor did she consider the tea party a potent force in this election.

We also talked about the south, how jobs and quality of life had attracted people. She also commented on how the end of segregation half a century ago helped attract national business that had avoided the south in the past.

It was such a pleasant visit that I had to rush to my event in Doraville (more on that later). I was very lucky to have the benefit of her experience and now you do too.

As I run around this morning here are a few clips from my visit to the Varsity Drive in Last night:

And Inside:

And a room I missed:

That very nice lady in the second Clip thinks I say “thank you very much” just like Elvis. I don’t hear it myself.

On the heels of my concerns about being allowed back to Massachusetts over my sedition of disagreeing with this president, a vote for a more longterm exile comes from an unexpected source for a different reason:

Since you brought up baseball stuff, since you left the Red Sox have put a little winning streak together. Not to mention that Dice-K was so happy that you were leaving he pitched a near no-hitter on Saturday.

Why not stay a little longer in SC, or perhaps someone will pay to have to travel to another location.

Stay away from Massachusetts! the Red Sox Nation needs your help!

Apparently the Sox have not lost a game since the day I left and did it again

The Boston Red Sox’s recent purple patch continued as they downed the American League East leaders the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0.

David Ortiz was inspirational with a two-run double while Jon Lester was frugal, allowing one hit in six innings as the Red Sox won their seventh from the last eight.

Could the removal of all those fedoras really be making the difference for the old Town team? Well if they beat Tampa tonight I’ll wager Red Sox nation will do all they can to keep me away from my plane on Saturday.

I attended the UPCCA ( United PeachTree Corners Civic Organization) candidates forum last night (a bunch of “stock” photos here). I’m in the process of uploading interviews from the Forum and about half of section of the republican candidates for the Ga-7 race. I will post that later tonight. For now I want to give you a quick pan of the area:

Here is an overview of what I saw:

Liz and Cheryl setting up
Cheryl who you might remember from Field Guide to Bloggers, and I arrived almost at the same time although we hadn’t seen each other since I came down here. The event was pretty packed and several candidates had tables in the back. Liz Carter was the only Ga-4 candidate who was in attendance. It was actually the first time we met in person. My interview with her is already posted here,
Liz at the Forumn
so check it out if you haven’t already. She is just as impressive in person as she was over the phone with a fine grasp on the issues and what matters most at this time. I plan on a more complete profile later in the week.

I haven’t met any of the other candidates at this time but I’d say this district would be in very good hands with Liz, particularly if she takes Cheryl with her to Washington. Talk about two strong, bright, hard working women.

The Forum had short sessions with the candidates for state, county and federal offices with a series of questions that went back and forth, sometimes you has as few as two candidates (such as the Sec of State race). For the Ga-7 seat race you had 8 candidates taking up two tables. It was very odd to see candidates who actually stuck to the time limits. I only saw one go over the entire night.

Georiga Sec of state candidates Doug MacGinnitie & Angela Moore

Although on a political level we disagree on several issues, on a personal level I got along famously with Angela Moore, hey we Sicilians gotta stick together! I also give her a lot of kudos as the only democrat that I saw in attendance.

The Congressional seat was the big race I met several of the candidates. I didn’t see a single one that I think would not do a good job in the seat, but it was Mr. Cox’s mother who impressed me the most.

She didn’t want to speak on camera (which seems to be one constant down here, I’ve had a horrible time trying to get people to talk on camera but off camera we had a lovely conversation about her son. She is without a doubt an excellent asset to her son and a fine woman.

Considering the sheer number of candidates the night went forward very smoothly. I would recommend attendance of this event in the future for any local who wants to know a little bit more about the people who represent them.