Sunday, 4 November 2012

Georgia On My Mind

(I promise the terrible punning blog post titles will end soon)

I'm in Jasper, Georgia staying the some contacts made through the Roosevelt Scholarship and I've been made to feel incredibly welcome - all you hear about Southern hospitality is totally true.  I arrived on Friday night sorry to leave Bentonville and North-West Arkansas but I've hardly stopped since so I've not had any time to feel sad about my trip nearly coming to an end.  

I'm staying out in Jasper, Georgia which is about an hour from Atlanta and is the home of the Georgia Marble Company - I'm in a company town without even planning it!  The marble from here was used to make the Lincoln Memorial which I'll be seeing in a few days.  The trainline to and from the quarry runs just past the home where I'm staying and I can hear a train clicking past as I type this. 

On Saturday we went to the annual Chomp and Stomp festival in Atlanta - a mixture of beer festival, running event, live music and lots and lots of chilli.  We were able to sample a lot (a lot!) of chilli and I also tried some of the beers from Sweet Water Brewery from Atlanta - I can recommend the IPA in particular.  It was a really warm and sunny day and I could have stayed from much longer, but we were on something of a packed schedule.  I really liked the atmosphere in the neighbourhood that the festival was held - a place called Cabbagetown - it felt a bit like Sherwood in Nottingham: lots of independent businesses, people really engaged in their community and some great green spaces - the kind of place that I like to live! 

People enjoying the early Autumn sun
That is a lot of chilli that's been eaten!
We had to dash off to make sure that we got to Stone Mountain in time.  This is an enormous granite monolith which would be impressive enough but it also has a huge carving of three Confederate commanders in the side to commemorate the American Civil War.  The surrounding park was quite Disney-fied but the mountain itself was pretty spectacular especially the walk down (we took the cable car up!) to ground level.  A great view of Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs.  

A not very good picture of the carving.  The white mound to the left is a man-made ski-run...
Today (Sunda) was a long trip again to see the Little White House at Warm Springs.  This was where Franklin Roosevelt went to get relief from the debilitating effects of Polio and ended up living and working here - it was whilst meeting local people here that he was prompted to develop progressive policies like the New Deal, rural electrification and the Public Works Act. 

A pretty humble house, even for the 1930s. 
The museum here is really impressive - telling a lot of the story of FDR and his work plus what his life was like down here.  You can also travel to the original springs and bathing area where FDR found relief and also prompted the research that ultimately led to the discovery of the vaccine for Polio and its virtual elimination.  I've always been a fan but today really opened up a different side of the man and his work. 

Tomorrow I'm meeting with Coca-Cola at the 'World of Coke' in downtown Atlanta - worried that my Diet Coke addiction might get out of hand once I'm left to roam freely in that place...

1 comment:

  1. It's now disputed whether FDR's ailment was in fact caused by polio, I discovered today on Wikipedia. I've been doing a bit of reading around polio, having just finished 'Nemesis' by Philip Roth ...