Google+ Georgia On My Mind: July 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Morning in Georgia

I’m a real fan of those snapshot in time activities – you know – the ones where you get an idea regarding what people are doing at the same moment across various locations.

I’ve always wanted to assign students to head off in all directions across campus armed with disposable cameras and synchronized watches. Then at the appointed time they snap pictures and take a few notes. The result would be a snapshot of our school at a particular moment in time.

Think about it – there would be images of students taking notes, students on the playground, a student checking in late, some classes working on math while others are learning a song on their recorder in music class.

A cacophony of learning – with the whole representing our school.

So, let me tie in the painting I’ve posted here. The title is Monday Morning in Georgia, and the artist is Gertrude Horton. I love the scene in this painting. Look at the lady at the washtub with what looks to be sheets she is washing. My eye carries to the lady sitting in the doorway with the child and of course, the man in the foreground really gets my attention. I love his stance. There is quiet a story going on here.
The painting belongs to a friend of mine and his wife and when I was in their home recently for dinner they shared it with me and I could resist share it with you.
The painting strikes several chords of interest with me.

First – Georgia is mentioned in the title.

Second – the history of the painting is interesting. The label on the painting advises the title and the artist. It also says the painting was commissioned as part of the Public Works of Art Program in 1934 for the 5th region where J.J. Haverty was the director. The painting hung in the Washington D.C. office of Congressman Richard Ramspeck from Decatur, Georgia. His biography can be found here.

My friend’s grandfather, Thomas Lee Camp, served as a staff assistant for Ramspeck, and at some point the painting was given to him. I would identify my friends but the label on the painting also says “property of the United States government”. I’d hate for the government to suddenly want their painting back, however I think the painting was retired from the inventory and that is the reason Ramspeck gave it to my friend's grandfather.

The Public Works of Art Program was part of the New Deal during the Depression and the purpose was to employ artists. It was the first government program to support the arts nationally.

From December, 1933 to June, 1934 over 3600 men and women took part in a general assignment that asked for works to portray the American scene. The artists had the complete freedom to create except for a certain few pieces. The best part about painting and all of the works completed for this program is they are a snapshot of life in all parts of the country.

The public works of Art paintings are some of the best sources of analyzing how people were living in the early days of the Depression.

A cacophony of life – representing the Depression.

Represented here is just one little sliver of Georgia during that time.


An article from a magazine titled Survey Graphic, 1934 regarding the Public Works of Art Program

My article at History Is Elementary regarding the Coit Tower paintings which were also part of the Public Works of Art Program

The Smithsonian collection of works from this program found here.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Shared Space

I have never thought of myself as a groupie but I just may have to reconsider after visiting Hemingway’s on the Marietta Square last weekend to see a high school acquaintance perform. I’m ready to pack my bag and become a camp follower of sorts.

Jeff Pike is a bona fide Woodward Academy man having matriculated all twelve years at my alma mater. He and I weren’t friends in school as far as I can remember. In fact, he was a year ahead of me, and I doubt he ever knew who I was until we linked up on Facebook mainly because at one time we shared academic space – evidence enough that we are family of sorts…something akin to being blood brothers or sisters for life.


Actually…..I had seen several of Jeff’s Facebook updates regarding where he was performing next, so decided to see what the fuss was about and share some more space with him.

I’m glad I did.

First, the venue – Hemingway’s is a wonderful neighborhood bar and restaurant located on the square in Marietta, Georgia with lots of atmosphere. It’s been around since 1993 and is dubbed Atlanta’s “Parrothead Paradise” by the Atlanta Journal. There are plenty of tables inside and out on the patio yet the place isn’t too large. As Goldilocks would say the place is just right.

A long stacked stone bar was occupied with various patrons of all ages when I arrived, so I found a quiet table in the back where I could see the stage. The staff was moving about the place serving everyone with a smile, and doing exactly what I like – they look you in the eye and they check back often. Of course, as I looked around the place and noticed the molded tin ceiling tiles and the exposed foundation rock that can be seen as you traverse the stairs to the restrooms, I wondered about the history of the location…however, that will have to be another story for another time.

Now on to the Jeff Pike Trio, or JP3….This particular Sunday the trio consisted of Jeff Pike and Chaz McDonald…sadly, the third member James Cobb , was absent, but I’m sure I’ll meet up with him soon enough since I’ve decided to become a groupie.

One thing is for sure…..they know showmanship is more than standing on a stage and strumming a guitar.

Jeff expertly words a room making each and every person free welcome and takes the time to greet every person during his breaks asking for requests, visiting with people he’s performed for before, and getting to know new folks. He even make Elementaryhistoryteacher….ME…..who tends to stick to herself wallowing in her quirkiness with iphone and her current writing project (Yes, I take it everywhere I go) feel special and welcome. Thanks, Jeff!

Jeff and Chaz’s performance was just plain fun for laid back entertainment. Each set was filled with interplay between the audience and the performers that included several requested songs from the catalogs of Bob Segar, the Allman Brothers, Elvis and the Eagles. The best part of the afternoon was the Jimmy Buffet favorites such as It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere and A Pirate Looks at Forty

The afternoon evaporated all too quickly while soccer and baseball flickering on the large screen televisions scattered about Hemingway’s melted into golf. Song after song rocked me, relaxed me, and reminded me of times long past. Outside cars rushed by, people meandered down the sidewalk and families frolicked in the park as we became lost in the entertainment.

You can find out more about Jeff Pike and his wonderful career at his website found here and more about A1A, Jeff’s band that is known far and wide for presenting the Official and Original Jimmy Buffet Tribute show here.
Go on.....find out where Jeff will be performing next. Share some space with him. You won't regret it.
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