11/7: Duluth wins award; Peach Coke?; On speaking out

GwinnettForum  |  Number 17.60  |   Nov. 7, 2017 

ONE OF THE GREAT places to visit in Georgia is Tallulah Falls and its nearby state park, especially during the leaf season. For more on Tallulah Falls, read the Georgia Tidbit below.
TODAY’S FOCUS: Duluth’s Parsons Alley Wins Atlanta Region’s Development Award
EEB PERSPECTIVE: Suggestion of a Peach Cola Means Few Coke Execs from the South
ANOTHER VIEW: Nip Sexual Harassment in the Bud, says Hank’s Daughter
SPOTLIGHT: Peach State Federal Credit Union
McLEMORE’S WORLD: It’s Not Easy Being an Artist
FEEDBACK: More Letters from Subjects Aired Here Before
UPCOMING: “Remembering Our Fallen” Traveling Display at GJAC November 6-9
NOTABLE: Andersonville Prison Offers Night Hours on November 11
RECOMMENDED: Republican Like Me by Ken Stern
GEORGIA TIDBIT: Tallulah Falls Becomes Tourist Destination in Late 19th Century
TODAY’S QUOTE: Reasons for One Person’s Continued Happiness
MYSTERY PHOTO: One of the Favorite Mystery Photo Subject Returns Again
LAGNIAPPE: Jane Alexander Always Dresses with Impressive Hat

Duluth’s Parsons Alley wins Atlanta region’s development award

From left at the award-winning presentation were, from left:  Jerry Miller with Fabric Developers; Mayor Nancy Harris; Chris McGahee, Duluth’s economic development manager; Chris Carter with Vantage Realty; Councilmember Marsha Anderson Bomar; Eric Kronberg with Kronberg Wall; and Gene Rice with Vantage Realty.

By Amanda Leiba, Duluth, Ga.The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has singled out the City of Duluth and its 30,000-square foot restaurant and retail district, Parsons Alley, as the top winner of the 2017 ARC Developments of Excellence Award. The presentation came before 1,400 leaders from 10-member counties at the State of the Region Breakfast last week at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Also receiving awards were the Atlanta Braves Complex and Avalon development in Alpharetta.

The interdisciplinary jury found the Parsons Alley development to be an important addition to downtown Duluth, providing new vitality and commercial options to complement the civic core, existing businesses, and the range of incremental improvements the city has undertaken over the last several years. The jury was also attracted to the city’s master developer role and the ways the city worked to “set the table” for this project to come to life. Jury members said that the development aligns with a range of ARC’s regional goals.

ARC’s Development of Excellence awards recognize projects in metro Atlanta that exemplify cutting-edge, livable design that enhance the surrounding community and support the goals and policies of the Atlanta Region’s Plan, metro Atlanta’s long-range, comprehensive blueprint.

Development of Excellence awards are given annually to developers, local governments and other organizations or people who are making the 10-county Atlanta region a better place to live, work and play.

Mayor Nancy Harris along with Council Member Marsha Bomar, accepted the award along with development partners, Kronberg Wall, Vantage Realty, and Fabric Development.


Suggestion of a peach Cola means few Coke execs from the South

By Elliott Brack, editor and publisher  |  If you were born in the South, you may have been flabbergasted at the announcement recently from Coca Cola. The world’s leading drink maker said that they were thinking of bringing out a Peach Cola.

Now we know that Georgia is the Peach State, though South Carolina grows more peaches. But Georgia’s got the moniker of the Peach State. So it’s mighty nice of the Coke people to want to honor their state with a peach cola. They, no doubt, think they can enrich their coffers, by producing a soft drink with a name that Georgians and others might enjoy with a peach flavor.

Our guess is that not many Coke executives today were raised in the South. After all, Coke is a giant international company, bringing sharp young people from many nations into their officer program, and eventually making many of them among their top executives.  For years, Coke was headed by a person of Cuban descent, Roberto C. Goizueta.

So we can understand that few executives at the very top level of Coke are from the South.

There was another soft drink company headquartered in Georgia years ago. It was the Royal Crown Bottling Company of Columbus, the very city where Coke originally came from before it found glory in Atlanta.

Royal Crown bottled a 12-ounce drink which was very similar to Coca Cola, which in those days came only in a 6-ounce bottle.  We young boys in the South recognized the difference in ounces when making our purchases, and often would buy the 12-ounce drink as our choice to pull from the cold-water cooler (which most of the time advertised Coca Cola.)  After all, if you had a nickel, you wanted to stretch it as far you could.  If you were flush, you might buy a five-cent package of Tom’s Peanuts to add a little flavor to your RC.

But back to peaches. Royal Crown, was first known as the Nehi Bottling Company, producing 12-ounce Nehi bottled drinks.  Nehi came in several flavors, Root Beer, Orange, Grape, Strawberry…..and yes, Peach. Our choice was either ice cold Orange or Grape, carbonated just enough to go with the fruit flavor.

But Peach?  Yucky!  Little taste! Icky!  Not for us. The Peach Nehi was just bad, watered down with no discernable peach taste, and nothing like a good, juicy Georgia peach. We didn’t waste our nickel on it.

Now giant modern Coca Cola, in all its brilliance, and perhaps with some marketing testing behind its decision, is proposing a peach-flavor to the ever-tasteful Coke!

These Coke experts may be right. People may flock to this new Peach drink in bunches, and their new flavor may be a winner.   For these executives who made this decision, we hope that it doesn’t cost them a job. You also may remember that there was all sorts of research, audience testing, and lot of marketing behind New Coke when it was introduced years ago, which flopped. We predict that a Peach Coke might also be a failure, unless Coke comes up with a far, far better taste than the ill-fated Nehi Peach.

This new flavor might never have been proposed if Coca Cola had some good old boys from the South in its executive ranks.


Nip sexual harassment in the bud, says Hank’s daughter

By Debra Houston, contributing columnistI grew up in the Land of #SpeakOut.

Three brothers and no sisters force a girl to choose between victimhood and empowerment. One brother loved hurling Granddaddy Long Legs on my person just to hear me squeal. That must be such delight for a boy.

At 20 I asked that same brother to chase off a ponytailed boyfriend I’d acquired. “That’s your job,” he said, irately, “not mine.”

I loved my siblings, who vacillated between treating me like a fourth brother during my tomboy years to acknowledging my femininity when I placed second in a beauty contest.  After I lost, my oldest brother said, “I want to see you back in there next year.” It was a true Knute Rockne moment.

My dad once marched into his boss’s office and demanded he leave the female staff alone. Hank supervised the tearful clerks who claimed his boss had touched them indecently. It was quite an act of insubordination for my dad’s part. He could’ve lost his job, and with four kids to feed.

Feminism wooed me in college, but our romance failed. Too many litmus tests, like believing an unborn baby is a parasite and hating men for keeping us in chains.

I honed my #SpeakOut skills at work. A male coworker made a crude joke about my body before a roomful of men. I am not a prude; I understand office banter. In this case I was humiliated. I said his words constituted sexual harassment. Upon hearing this, the men cleared the room. My boss told him next time he’d be fired.

Nip it in the bud, ladies. Not surprisingly, I acquired a reputation for speaking out. Henceforth I had fewer problems with men. I am Hank’s daughter.

I wish Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson had spoken out sooner about the late Roger Ailes. She claimed he’d propositioned her without end. She spoke out after she quit. This prompted some feminists to say that women can’t speak out on the job. They have kids to feed. Better to speak out after you resign.

And we’re sending women into combat?

Feminist Ashley Judd spoke out about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein only after acting offers had dried up. She said Weinstein propositioned her for career advancement. While Hollywood initially applauded her, its power brokers will circle their wagons against her for blowing the Teflon cover of Tinsel Town.

Someone has to be Rosa Parks, ladies. She was all about equal rights. The battle against sexual harassment is also about equal rights. So excuse me if I don’t join the #MeToo victim movement. I grew up in the Land of #SpeakOut.


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It’s not easy being an artist


More four-lane in Gwinnett than any other county?

Editor, the Forum:

So the folks in Buford, Lawrenceville and Sugar Hill will have a second four lane route to go along with the currently four lane Georgia Highway 20? This extension is not a road in the woods where no one lives. It will have major implications to neighborhoods in or near its path. If and when this extension is completed Gwinnett County will have more four lane highway miles than any other county in Georgia.

— Tim Sullivan, Buford,

Feels comments would be understandable more with substantiation

Editor, the Forum:

If George Wilson wishes us to understand and believe what he writes, which, I’m guessing is his objective, then I would suggest that he substantiate his statements.

— Ed Orr, Peachtree Corners

Send us your thoughts.  We encourage you to send us your letters and thoughts on issues raised in GwinnettForum.  Please limit comments to 300 words.  We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length.  Send feedback and letters to: elliott@brack.net


“Remembering Our Fallen” traveling display at GJAC Nov. 6-9

Photos of Georgia’s military heroes who were killed in post 9/11 wars will be on display at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center from Nov. 6 to Nov. 9 as part of the “Remembering Our Fallen – Georgia Memorial.”

Sponsored by Military Veterans of Georgia, the traveling exhibit incorporates military and personal photos of servicemen and women from Georgia killed in the fight against terrorism. Remembering Our Fallen is a national program of photographic war memorials to ensure that those killed in defense of our nation are not forgotten. The Georgia display honors more than 200 officers and enlisted personnel.

The display is free. The Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center is located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville.

Suwanee Youth Leaders seek students for 5th annual program

Now in its fifth year, the award-winning Suwanee Youth Leaders (SYL) program is accepting applications for its 2018 class. A nine-month City of Suwanee leadership program for high school sophomores and juniors, SYL is open to students who live in the North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, and Collins Hill clusters, as well as home school and private school students who reside within those clusters. The program centers on civic involvement, leadership skills, and volunteer opportunities.

The 2018 SYL program kicks off with a mandatory two-day retreat in early March. Students will then meet one Saturday each month March through October. The class will be expected to volunteer at several community events, which may include the August Concert, two Food Truck Friday events, Suwanee Fest, and Arts in the Park.

Seabrook to speak to Southern Wings Bird Club

The Southern Wings Bird Club will meet Monday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett,12 Bethesda Church Road in Lawrenceville.  The presentation will be by Charles Seabrook, entitled “35 of Georgia’s Natural Places That You Should See Before You Die.”

Seabrook retired from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he spent 34 years as a science and environmental writer. He began writing his Wild Georgia column for the AJC in September 1994 and has been writing it weekly ever since.  When he retired from the AJC in 2005, the newspaper asked him to continue writing the column on a freelance basis. It still appears every Saturday in the newspaper. Charles grew up on Johns Island, S.C., and has an abiding interest in nature and the outdoors.


Andersonville Prison offers night hours on Nov. 11

ANDERSONVILLE, Ga. – Get a rare chance to experience Camp Sumter Civil War prison site at night. On Saturday, November 11, Andersonville National Historic Site will open the historic Civil War prison site and the National Prisoner of War Museum from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.  Contemplate the nights of captivity endured by American prisoners of war (POWs) as you explore the museum after dark. Follow a path lit by lanterns to campfires out at the prison site, where living historians portraying Union prisoners and Confederate guards will offer a glimpse of life at Camp Sumter during the winter of 1864-1865.

At 7 p.m. at the museum, guest speaker April Baldwin will present “The Lesser-Known Role”, a program bringing to light the many contributions of African Americans to Andersonville. Ms. Baldwin is a park guide at Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and is pursuing a Master of Arts in History at Alabama State University. At 8 p.m. at the prison site, Park Ranger Jennifer Hopkins will present “Honoring Our Fallen Veterans”, a program about those buried in Andersonville National Cemetery.

Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles south of Oglethorpe, Ga. and 10 miles northeast of Americus, Ga. on Georgia Highway 49. The national park features the National Prisoner of War Museum, Andersonville National Cemetery and the site of the historic Civil War prison, Camp Sumter. ­Andersonville National Historic Site is the only national park within the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Park grounds are open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the museum open from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924-0343, visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande/.

Georgia Humanities’ Zainaldin to retire after 20 years

Georgia Humanities President Jamil Zainaldin has announced he will retire after 20 years of leading the organization. During his tenure Dr. Zainaldin has guided Georgia Humanities (GH) to productive collaboration and partnerships with colleges and universities, schools and libraries, historical societies, and numerous arts and cultural groups throughout the state. He has set his official retirement for early 2018.


Zainaldin says: “Since 1997 I have had the honor to be president of GH. For me, retirement includes the joy of learning, listening, and giving back in the best ways I know how to a state and its people who have given so much to me, my family, and the organization.” The retiring president is a native of Charlottesville, Va.

Board Chair James E. Toney said that through Zainaldin’s leadership, “GH is making more of an impact statewide, especially as seen in such projects as the internationally-acclaimed digital online New Georgia Encyclopedia, grants to promote local tourism opportunities, and National History Day in Georgia.  Jamil’s influence around the state is enormous, and his passion for uncovering the stories of all Georgia’s people is profound. Humanities leaders throughout the nation have and will continue to utilize Jamil as a resource to deliver quality humanities programming.”

The Board of Directors has appointed Laura McCarty, current executive vice president, as the next president.


Republican Like Me by Ken Stern

Reviewed by Alan Schneiberg, Sugar Hill  |  After the 2016 election Ken Stern, formerly CEO of National Public Radio, decided to get away from his liberal Democratic Washington community in order to travel the country to get to know the political attitudes of middle America.  He met Republicans and Democrats throughout the country to explore their opinions about the many issues that divide our nation.  Guns, abortion, climate change, economics, immigration, and poverty were discussed with both opinion makers and common folk.  He found unsupported ideology among Republicans and unworkable policies with Democrats.  He also found that most people were more alike in their opinions, but differ in approach.  Unfortunately, American tribal conflicts are deep and seemingly unchanging.  This book is filled with humor, facts, and data.  I highly recommend this read.

  • An invitation: what books, restaurants, movies or web sites have you enjoyed recently? Send us your recent selection, along with a short paragraph (100 words) as to why you liked this, plus what you plan to visit or read next. –eeb

Tallulah Falls becomes tourist destination in late 19th century

Located in the mountains of northeast Georgia, Tallulah Falls rose to prominence as a resort area in the late 19th century. Early in the 20th century, after a fierce struggle with conservationists led by Helen Dortch Longstreet, the Georgia Power Company dammed the waterfalls and constructed a large hydroelectric facility at the site. Georgia Power and the state of Georgia teamed to establish the Tallulah Gorge State Park, and thousands of Georgians visit the area annually.

Tallulah Falls was actually a series of four main cataracts and several smaller rapids that dropped approximately 350 feet over the course of a mile. After gathering speed through the Indian Arrow Rapids at the head of the falls, the Tallulah River raced down L’Eau d’Or, a 46-foot-tall cataract. Tempesta, estimated at 81 feet, was the second fall, followed by the largest cataract, Hurricane, which dropped 96 feet. Oceana, approximately a 42-foot drop, was the final major falls. The gorge through which the river cut created steep cliffs and rock outcroppings that provided excellent observation points and added to the scenic beauty of the falls.

The Cherokee Indians inhabited the land surrounding the gorge before the arrival of European settlers around 1820. The Cherokee called the falls Ugunyi, but the settlers named the gorge and falls Tallulah. While the Cherokee viewed the falls with trepidation and largely avoided the area, white settlers and travelers commented on the awe-inspiring beauty of the falls and gorge in newspapers and travel books. Some visitors compared Tallulah Falls to other legendary cataracts, and Tallulah was soon dubbed the “Niagara of the South.”

As word of Tallulah Falls’ beauty spread in the mid-19th century, more visitors started making the trek to the north Georgia mountains. By the early 19th century, local as well as national writers extolled this scenic wonder to broad readerships, which increased its allure to tourists, who had to travel for days over mountain trails to see it. The artist George Cooke painted Tallulah Falls in 1841, which depicts three of the four cataracts: L’Eau d’Or, Tempesta, and Hurricane.

Artist and writer Thomas Addison Richards made his engravings of the falls and the gorge a focal point of his book Georgia Illustrated, published in 1842, and made them the title piece of a collection of stories and sketches a decade later, Tallulah and Jocassee (1852). Other antebellum writers extolled the breathtaking beauty and power of this “very grand and wild scene, an immense chasm or ravine,” and many commented on the tremendous sound the rushing water produced.

In 1882 the extension of the railroad decreased the travel time between Atlanta and Tallulah Falls from days to hours and made the trip affordable for more Georgians. Nearly 20 hotels and boardinghouses sprang up around the falls to accommodate the increased number of visitors. The first of these establishments, the Cliff House Hotel, opened in 1882 and operated until 1937, when it burned in a kitchen fire. The hotel was owned by Rufus L. Moss Sr., a prominent Athens businessman, director and trustee of the Northeastern Railroad, and cofounder of the town Tallulah Falls. Moss also owned a significant amount of land around Tallulah Gorge and built a family home, Pine Terrace, there in 1879.

(To be continued)       


A favorite Mystery Photo subject returns again

Bridges, old grist mills and lighthouses always make fine Mystery Photos. See if you can recognize where this Mystery Photo is located, and what the name of the bridge might be. Send your answer to elliott@brack.net, and be sure to include where you live.

Yep, last edition’s mystery photo had a tie to the Georgia Encyclopedia article. First to recognize it was Lou Camerio, Lilburn: “The John C. Calhoun mansion is named Fort Hill and is on the grounds of Clemson University, national football champs, 2016-17.” The photo came from Susan McBrayer of Sugar Hill.

George Graf of Palmyra, Va. contributed: “Fort Hill (a.k.a. John C. Calhoun Mansion and Library), is a National Historic Landmark on the Clemson University campus in Clemson, S.C. The house is significant as the home from 1825-50 of John C. Calhoun, a leading national politician of the period, and is now a museum and library maintained in his memory.  The house is all that remains of what was once an extensive plantation estate.  Calhoun enlarged the original four-room house called Clergy Hall, to 14 rooms and renamed it Fort Hill for nearby Fort Rutledge.

Thomas Green and Anna Clemson moved into Fort Hill in 1872.  In his 1888 will, Clemson bequeathed more than 814 acres of the Fort Hill estate to the State of South Carolina for an agricultural college with a stipulation that the dwelling house “shall never be torn down or altered; but shall be kept in repair with all articles of furniture and vesture… and shall always be open for inspection of visitors.”  Clemson University has operated Fort Hill as a house museum as stipulated in the will.’


Jane Alexander always dresses with impressive hat

Always dressed up with a snazzy hat, Mrs. Jane Alexander, 97, right, of Lawrenceville was in attendance at a luncheon for retired Gwinnett County Public School employees recently. She is shown with Marlene Ratledge Buchanan of Snellville.  Mrs. Alexander is the widow of former County Agent J.T. Alexander, and taught at Grayson High School for six years and then moved to South Gwinnett High School in 1957, when the two schools were combined.  She retired in 1976. She lives across Scenic Highway from Alexander Park on land that was once the Alexander farm. (Photo by Sandy O’Neal).


AARP Defensive Smart Driver Course will be Thursday, November 9, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Suwanee Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. .  Learn defensive driving techniques and how to compensate for age related changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time.  Plus you may be eligible to receive an insurance discount upon completing the course, so consult your insurance agent for details! The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers. Reservations can be made by emailing events@gwinnettpl.org.  Bring a bag lunch; coffee will be provided. For more information, visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.

Fraud Prevention Workshop: On Saturday, November 11, the Lilburn Woman’s Club Domestic Violence Program and Lilburn Police Department will host a Fraud Prevention Workshop for seniors to be held from 10 a.m. in the meeting room in the new Lilburn City Hall on the bottom level across from the library.  The presentation is free and open to the community.  Mike Johnson, Lilburn Police Community Outreach Liaison, will be the speaker and will be accepting questions at the end of his presentation.  Come and learn how to take protective measures against fraud.

Holiday Craft Market: Saturday, Nov.11, at 10 a.m. at Pinckneyville Park. Free Admission! Do some early holiday shopping for unique pieces that make fun gifts for everyone! Enter the cookie recipe swap for a chance to win a prize. Kid’s activities will make it fun for the whole family! Artists, food vendors, and crafters, call 678-277-0920.

Veteran’s Day, November 11 at 11 a.m., will be observed by Gwinnett County at the Fallen Heroes Memorial, in front of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Building. Colonel Fred Van Horn, a Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient, will be the keynote speaker. Veterans are encouraged to attend and be recognized.

Trafficking Forum (rescheduled): The Fall Community Forum on Domestic Minor Human Trafficking has been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 2140 Beaver Ruin Road, in Norcross. For more details, contact Muriam.Nafees@gwinnettcounty.com.

Ribbon Cutting of a fire training tower at Maxwell School of Technology will be at noon, November 14, at the school located at 990 McElvaney Lane, Lawrenceville. For more information, all 770 822 7180.

(NEW) The third annual Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Career Connections will be November 16, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Gwinnett Infinite Energy Arena. This allows the district’s eighth grade students to see what career opportunities are available in Gwinnett County. Businesses and organizations will have exhibits at the event.


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