It's official. I have (once again) moved out of Atlanta. It is a city that boasts my "home teams"--well, one fewer than before-- and a skyline that has for many years been my favorite in the world. I love the restaurants, the music venues, the sporting arenas and Churches... well at least the older ones.
I moved to Atlanta many years ago, with a few trips beyond it's borders with my truck packed full of my belongings, and then back again to always start over. It is a city full of memories. My grandfather used to take me to the Original Pancake House on Lavista Road, before he died. I was about my son's age then. With the amount of Varsity that I ate growing up, it is amazing that I didn't sweat grease. We even had a varsity on campus at my college, and no, I didn't go to UGA or Tech.
In the seasons before the braves became the 'Team of the 90's' I remember going to watch them at Atlanta-Fulton County stadium. Sometimes we would get good seats along the first base line. Sometimes we had great seats four rows back from home plate. I remember watching Dale Murphy at bat. Last year, I went out to Turner field and ran the bases with Jack on my shoulders. Not the bases of turner field, but the bases of Atlanta-Fulton County stadium, still marked in the pavement of the parking lot, just outside the gates.
I saw teams come and go, the Flames had come and gone before I was born, but the Attack came and went, and so did the Knights. I used to watch them play on channel 69, after I should have been asleep in bed. I would pull my black and white 14" TV up to my top bunk and watch them play through the static inherent in a UHF signal with my blankets pulled up over my head and the TV. If I recall correctly, we even had a roller derby team long before the Atlanta Roller-Girls.
I had fieldtrips to Fernbank and the Fabulous Fox. I spent the night at Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park, getting to taste the primate chow when taking a tour of their facilities. I got up close and personal with Willie B. and I got bombed at the Olympics, an incident that was later brought up during a security clearance interview at MEPS at Ft. Gillam.
I was stitched up and poked and prodded at most of the hospitals. My son was born at Crawford Long back when it was still Crawford Long. And inside of a week, both my wife and my son were admitted to the hospital across the street from eachother, one at Egleston and the other at Emory University hospital.
Speaking of Emory. I worked in their ER for a few years. I also spent more than a few nights in the ER over at "The Grady", one of them a very memorable Halloween in 2006. I became an EMT in Atlanta, and worked everyend of the metro area over the last ten years.
Much of my family has lived and died in Atlanta, and a few of them are still burried there.
But now things are changing. I have a son whom I love very much, and need to raise as best I can. I have left my twenties and want a quiet place to do that. I want to own my own home, and pay taxes low enough that it isn't a second rent check. I want to simplify life as much as possible. And 'Don't you want to go where everybody knows your name'?
There are places in this world that I love. Atlanta tops the list. It is still home, I just don't live there anymore.