Athens, you never cease to amaze me! What a piece of work you are! Small, progressive island adrift in a sea of intolerance. College town, townie town, Normaltown, downtown, Athenstown. City of bars and beer and more bars and more beer, and people of every ethnicity and creed and hue. Caring people and bright people and sharing people and tattooed people and unglued people and shiny, happy people holding hands and sad, unhappy people slumped on sidewalks holding crumpled cardboard signs, asking all who pass for quarters and nickels and dimes, and undocumented people who want nothing more than the opportunity to study and learn at your great university.
Athens, where academics and athletes walk side-by-side down downtown streets. City of dreamers and beauty queens and poets and artists and chefs and waiters and waitresses and teachers and preachers and so many more, and, lo and behold, musicians galore.
Athens, foodie town, from 5&10 to the Varsity Drive-In, to those born-again biscuits at Mama's Boy, and Donderos' fried potatoes and fried green tomatoes, and the chocolate torte at the Last Resort, and Allen's hamburger steak smothered in onions, long gone but forever etched in my craw and in my memory, as is Poss' Barbeque.
Athens, music town of great renown, from the 40 Watt to Hendershot's to Little Kings to the Foundry to the miracle of the Georgia Theatre. To Terry "Mad Dog" Melton to the Jesters and the Normaltown Flyers, to the B-52s and Stipe and the boys and Vic Chesnutt and Elf Power and the Drive-By Truckers and so many more.
Athens, so full of memories, good and bad, ugly and beautiful, happy and sad. You are indeed a classic.
Athens, you drive me crazy!
Athens, you never cease to amaze me!
© 2016 Charley Seagraves
[photo of Charley Seagraves by David Noah, September 2015]