I’m a "proud Yellow Jacket" as my tag line below says, but I have a real problem – one I’m ashamed to mention near my Georgia Tech buddies. I absolutely love Athens, Georgia. I could live in Athens. I could work in Athens. I could go to church in Athens. If shoved with a mildly hot poker, I could even take a creative writing class or two in that "school" in Athens. This town is just about the coolest place on the planet. And I’ve been around the world several times, so I know what I’m talking about. Rome, Italy, remains my favorite city, but if Athens gets a few more dead saints and better espresso, it’ll be a toss up.
Jan, my lovely wife, and I went on a "hot date" today and walked around downtown Athens. We ate breakfast at The Grit, and then we talked with Van Shepherd at Chick Music. Van knows his guitars and is just an all-around Southern Gentleman. We shopped for CDs at Wuxtry Records and left with two of their coolest T-shirts and copies of "Finest Worksongs," the Athens benefit show held back on 9/12/2006 at the 40 Watt. I was at that sold-out show, as close to the stage as I could get. REM played a surprise set that night and then hung around in the crowd, Michael Stipe sitting on one end of the pool table, me on the other. REM’s guitar tech, DeWitt Burton, let me and a buddy help pack up the guitars, including Peter Buck’s legendary "trucker" Rickenbacker 360. What a memory for a guitarist… REM roadie for the night.
Jan and I then went to George Dean’s to look at clothing. The senior Mr. Dean passed away last October at the age of 88, but Wayne Dean is carrying on his legacy. Wayne sold me some shirts and pants, but he didn’t try to sell me any of those red UGA game day outfits. He knows when he’s dealing with the Tech trade. Jan and I ended up at Weaver D’s for lunch. We sat with the man himself, Dexter Weaver, as we ate some of the tastiest soul food in the South. We listened to Dexter say "Automatic" whenever he was asked for something. All told, it was a wonderful day in Athens. Just don’t tell anyone down at Tech that I said so. They might not look too kindly on my heretical ecumenical stance.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at email@example.com.