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GazettE SANDY SPRINGS 1 The Stories of Sandy Springs Dear Friends Welcome to the Sandy Springs Gazette Volume III published by Heritage Sandy Springs. For years the stories you will read and listen to in this interactive publication sat on shelves in our library and archives waiting for researchers genealogists or interested readers like yourselves to explore them. As Heritage Sandy Springs updates our mission we are also updating our approach to sharing the history of Sandy Springs with our community. The purpose of the Gazette is to give life to the stories of our residents and to highlight them as they are remembered. While we do not authenticate the accuracy of any particular story we print we do strive to provide historical context for each of these memories. We have chosen to take the narratives of our community--your stories--and tell the history of our town through the lens of those who experienced it firsthand. History at Heritage Sandy Springs will no longer be relegated to a library shelf. We have created this collaborative publication for those of you who remember these stories events and locations and want to share our unique history with the next generation. Here is what you can expect from the Sandy Springs Gazette Every other Thursday Heritage Sandy Springs (HSS) will publish a new article the online Gazette based on oral histories from Sandy Springs residents accumulating a firsthand account of historic people places events and happenings in our community. You can receive notifications via Facebook and Twitter when the new articles have been published. Look for hashtag TBT (throwback Thursday) or SandySpringsGazette. Or you can sign up for our email list to get the latest information every other Thursday evening. (http heritagesandysprings.org ) In February we will publish the online stories into a full print journal so that you can give the Sandy Springs Gazette to someone who may not have online access. We look forward to welcoming you into the captivating and compelling history of our beloved community. Sincerely Keith L. Moore M.A. Director of Historic Resources P.S. If these stories spark memories or if you know of someone who would like to share an oral history of our community please feel free to contact Heritage Sandy Springs at curator heritagesandysprings.org or 404-851-1749 so we can arrange an interview for you. Table Alcohol Goes Undercover .............................4 Call of Duty Back Home ................................8 Grit Gumption and Grace ........................12 Call of Duty in Vietnam ..............................14 A Fine-Tuned Life .........................................18 Save our Springs ..........................................22 Thirty Years of Philanthropy .....................26 Leisure & Learning in Early Sandy Springs 32 Preseving Sandy Springs............................36 Like Father Like Son ...................................38 A Non-Combative Hero ...............................42 A Family in Power ....................................... 46 The Vietnam War ........................................ 48 of Contents 3 Sandy Springs Gazette February 2018 - January 2019 Volume 3 Issue 19 Publisher Heritage Sandy Springs Chip Emerson Executive Editor Keith Moore Associate Editor Stacey Hader Epstein Writer Keith Moore Production and Design FourWindsAgency.us Multi-Media Editor Keith Moore FourWindsAgency.us Contributors Melissa Swindell Karen Meizen McEnerny Leslie Walden Rachel Rosner Stacey Hader Epstein Jeff Kushner Tami Kushner Greg Marchand Richard Blount www.HeritageSandySprings.org The Sandy Springs Gazette is published bi-weekly by Heritage Sandy Springs Article ideas are welcome. Please email inquiries to curator heritagesandysprings.org Copyright 2018 R2R Media Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher are strictly prohibited. This journal is available by digital download. Heritage Sandy Springs 6110 Bluestone Rd. Sandy Springs GA 30328 404-851-9111 Alcohol Goes Undercover in Spirited Sandy Springs From the Heritage Sandy Springs Archives B Interviews with Jim and Betty Pirkle Stroup and J.W. and Frank Self The consumption of alcohol has been a long-standing Increases in public drunkenness and excessive consumption tradition of many cultures throughout the world. From family of various substances pushed the American Temperance gatherings to celebrations and holidays alcoholic libations Society to call for regulations and in some instances the have played important roles in social cultural and political outright banishment of alcoholic substances. By the 1920s settings. Subsequently laws regarding the production and increases in alcoholism family violence and saloon-based consumption of alcohol have existed for many reasons political corruption prompted activists throughout the including religious countr y to seek to and vir tuous ones. cure the countr y The temperance and remove alcohol movement--a social from the United crusade against St ate s. T he anti the consumption alcohol movement led of alcoholic to the full prohibition b ever ages -- b egan of alcohol when in the early 1820s. A t he Vols tead Ac t few decades later e nfor ce d nat io nal in 1885 residents of prohibition enacted Fulton County had by the ratification the option to vote of the Eighteenth on whether alcohol Amendment on Photograph of people drinking moonshine Georgia. Vanishing Georgia collection Georgia Archives. MUR-109-82 would be allowed in J a n u a r y 8 1919. their county. By 1907 Although the entire the county s residents had spoken strongly against the country went dry from 1920 to 1933 Georgia s statewide evils of alcohol. The fervor in which residents embraced prohibition extended before and beyond the country s temperance took hold fast and lasted longer than almost mandate--beginning in 1908 and ending in 1935. While any other region in the country. many local citizens abided by these new laws based on Protestant and evangelical ideologies many entrepreneurs 5 who provided local residents with whiskey even after prohibition ended. One resident J.W. Self recalls Tubby Sewell was our bootlegger. He made whiskey...and sold it. Everybody knew it. No secret about it. Tubby made whiskey. He had a still somewhere. Bootlegging in Fulton County was common throughout the early twentieth century mainly because the law lacked efficient resources to enforce it. In the 1930s Sandy Springs was still dotted with small farmhouses sitting on large acres of land. It was within the surrounding forested areas of these private properties where the majority of moonshiner s operated. Tubby supposedly operated his still off Mount Vernon Highway and Whitner Drive on a piece of Frank Tiller s fifty acres. However adults throughout Sandy Springs have childhood memories of running into old stills that had blown up or continued to be operational into the late 1930s--even after prohibition had been repealed in 1935. One Sandy Springer Jim Stroup remembers A lot of that was bootlegging. If you ve never heard of that that s making alcohol. And what happened was if you went next to a creek and you saw something dug out that s what the men did back in those days. They would get next to a creek where they needed the water and then they d use the cooling tubes. They would bring in corn and sugar and they would produce alcohol. Then Roswell Road was the main artery for most of bootlegging that went on in North Georgia. Course as the city grew out then and people flew planes they could see the smoke. But before that happened and helicopters there were bootleggers all over this whole area. All over Sandy Springs. And today course you could go as far as Cumming and... I did a lot of hunting rabbit hunting fox also possum and coon. We hunted all of these animals some with dogs and some without dogs. But in so doing we would run across all these places and you could tell if it was fresh or if it had been blown up. In the early days of bootlegging moonshiners routinely used runners--drivers in otherwise ordinary-looking cars--who would transport moonshine from the still in the woods to thirsty customers across the county. The car almost always looked common enough to avoid attention from the police Policeman standing alongside wrecked car and cases of moonshine liquor November 16 1922. Public domain. Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division Library of Congress Washington D. C began to engage in a new line of business which skirted the law and provided a ready source of income. Bootlegging the illegal process of producing and selling alcohol dates back to the early 1700s and was a popular line of employment for working-class individuals. Georgian farmers had taken to making their own moonshine and selling the excess tax-free to other local farmers and immigrants in an effort to offset the extreme disparages in Lord if I ever get out of this car I ll never ride with Tubby again poverty that plagued the Georgia region. With the onset of local prohibition in 1908 and then national prohibition in 1920 illicit alcohol production skyrocketed creating a thriving black market for local moonshiners throughout the state. Fulton County residents rarely had a difficult time finding their local fix. Although the county had outlawed whiskey and beer in 1886 residents were able to travel to the DeKalb County line where liquor was still legal purchase from a supplier and then return back to their farms. By the time prohibition took hold across the country however Sandy Springs had at least one of its very own suppliers Alcohol Goes Undercover in Spirited Sandy Springs continued W. E. Joiner (left) and J. A. Hightower assistant warehousemen examining some of the stock on hand when Commissioner Head arrived at Albany to issue the first liquor licenses Monday. Daily Papers March 29 1938. AJCP553-124f Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Archives Georgia State University Library. but usually the engine of car would be modified so that it could easily outmaneuver and outrun any law enforcement officer who suspected what the driver was actually doing. J.W. remembers [Tubby] could go down the road he had a.... 44 coupe. He could go down the road ninety miles an hour and turn around and meet the police coming back turn that thing around at ninety miles an hour right in the middle of the road. Frank adds I don t think he ever got caught. He hired somebody to do all his hauling. If you needed a pint of whiskey why you called this number and he said put two dollars in the mailbox. When you went back by you picked up your whiskey...Nobody ever really sold it to you. You just got it. Most moonshine runners knew the area they drove like the backs of their hands and were able to outmaneuver and elude law enforcement. Many drivers like Tubby became known for coining maneuvers like the bootleg turn in which the drivers would quickly turn the car around in a controlled skid to abruptly change course. However not all drivers were so lucky. Jim recalls They made a lot of charcoal but it wasn t really charcoal. I got involved in alcohol at an early age. Not that I was one to drink a lot of it. But I knew people that did. And on one Sunday morning we were going up Roswell Road up here to almost Dalrymple. And we saw police cars pulled over a it looked like any other car. And they were pulling out loads of whiskey. And the policemen were out there with axes that were breaking--these were metal cans that were full of whiskey--and they were breaking into those cans and then pouring it out on the ground. And there were several...people down the street that were drinking that...as they poured it out up the street at Dalrymple and Roswell Road and people were drinking out of it Once prohibition had officially ended in Fulton County in 1935 the demand for bootlegged alcohol diminished and the drivers found themselves with souped-up cars and nearly out of work. Many drivers turned to a new interest-- racing their cars in amateur races--that lasted until 1947 when one of the drivers decided to organize these races. On December 14 1947 Big Bill France held a meeting with other drivers to set up official rules for what eventually became the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing or NASCAR. But for Tubby and many bootleggers like him they moved on to other enterprises leaving their stills hidden in the forests of Sandy Springs for future generations to stumble upon while exploring the area s natural surroundings. B 7 ou Missed Stories Y ead The R Visit Heritage Sandy Springs to get your copy Volume 2 Call of Duty Back Home An Interview with John Paulson B Interviewer Stacey Hader Epstein & Keith Moore B Date of Interview February 12 2018 When American soldiers returned home from World War II recount the difficulty many of his comrades had to readjusting they were greeted as heroes many had parades held to honor to civilian life. While the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) their service and sacrifice. Unfortunately that kind of reception was created to serve veterans from all contemporary military eluded most veterans returning from Vietnam. They were some conflicts the changing landscape of the VA still leaves room for of the first veterans to experience negativity backlash and outside organizations to help veterans where they can. mistreatment from the public for their service to our country. Anti-war protestors tended to blame the soldiers for their On July 21 1930 President Herbert Hoover created the Veterans participation in the war rather than the politicians who put them Administration by signing an executive order which united the there. Since the 1970s veteran affairs and the treatment of the three previous bureaus that managed pensions and benefits of returning American veterans--the troops has varied Veterans Bureau depending on the Bureau of the military Pensions and e ng ag e me nt i n the National which they had Homes for the b e e n i nvo l ve d. Disabled. From H oweve r s i nce its outset the VA the Vietnam included medical War veterans care for veterans. retur ned home Throughout there has been the 193 0 s no other military and the Great engagement Depression its that has seen work continued its veterans to focus on the so adversely care for World treated for their War I veterans. involvement in a The VA managed Logo for the US Department of Veterans Affairs circa December 2014. war. the majority Courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs of veterans John Paulson benefits including returned from Vietnam in February 1970. A Chicago native allowances life insurance bonus certificates retirement he returned to La Grange Illinois after serving in the A1 9 payments and pensions. From 1931 to 1941 the number of VA (Alpha Company First Battalion 9th Marine Regiment) of the medical facilities around the country grew rapidly from sixtyUnited States Marine Corps. While Paulson did not discuss any four to ninety-one and doubled the amount of beds available immediate negativity due to his involvement in the war he did to veterans. With World War II on the horizon the VA redoubled 9 John Paulson returned to Chicago in February 1970 after serving his enlistment term overseas. He had intended to follow a fellow veteran to California but at the insistence of his mother he stayed in Chicago where he soon met his future wife Mary. After several years in the construction industry Paulson completed his Bachelor of Science and then Master of Science in engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago campus and began work as a civil engineer. He remembers Really geotechnical engineering which is a specialty of civil engineers... Geotechnical engineers work with foundations and soils and earthwork and things of that nature. And I worked for a big company designing power plants a company called Sargent and Lundy. They designed a bunch of nuclear power and coal fired power plants. Mary worked Phoenix Patriot Foundation CEO and Executive Director John as a docent in the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in Oak Paulson founder Jared Ogden and Mary Paulson at a fundraiser Park Chicago. In 1986 however Paulson received an at the Dunwoody Country Club circa 2014. Courtesy of Phoenix Patriot Foundation. offer from Exxon Chemical to work in its construction fabrics division--Geosynthetics--a department that needed an engineer to provide technical support to other its efforts by issuing new life insurance programs and in 1943 engineers about using its products. Paulson accepted the offer created the Disabled Veterans Rehabilitation Act which provided and relocated to what he was told was Dunwoody Georgia-- 621 000 disabled World War II veterans with vocational training but was actually Sandy Springs. Mary and John raised two when they returned home. As the war continued increasing children in their home on Northridge Road where they still live public sentiment to help returning veterans resulted in the today. Paulson spent many years working as a civil engineer and creation of the Servicemen s Readjustment Act or the GI Bill of continues to be involved with Geosynthetics and its construction Rights. The bill-- signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on fabrics but eventually he decided to start his own business. He June 22 1944--drastically transformed the concept of veteran recalls affairs by offering four years of university or vocational training a federally guaranteed home loan with no down payment and I had started my own engineering consulting company unemployment compensation for fifty-two weeks. The GI Bill and then I had a friend tell me that You can get set afforded dreams of higher education and home ownership aside contracts for veteran owned small businesses to millions of veterans and their families. More than any other and the best one was a service to the disabled veteran program in American history the GI Bill has contributed to the owned small business [SDVOSB]. This friend had also welfare of veterans and their families and to the growth of the told me that if anybody had been in combat you re nation s economy. automatically entitled to 10 percent disability because combat is a disabling event. So I went to the VA By the mid-1960s the Vietnam War was continually escalating down here and applied for disability benefits and I and United States military forces were rapidly increasing. Initially was granted 10 percent disability started a SDVOSB Congress offered limited benefits to veterans who had served Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business--a in Vietnam from 1964 to 1975 only later extending that time company that was called REDI Engineering. I started to include those who had served in the first part of the war with an associate friend of mine and we design retaining beginning in 1961. Although most of the returning veterans walls...in and around Atlanta hundreds of them. from Vietnam succeeded in making the transition to civilian life many were incapable of doing so. Advances in both medical While today s VA system has been improving access to its technology and aviation in the postwar era meant that many programs and payments there are an increasing number of nonwounded and injured military personnel survived their injuries profits that are dedicated to helping wounded veterans who in much larger numbers. Roughly 150 000 veterans came home have served in the most recent military conflicts. Paulson after wounded or with amputations while at least 21 000 were recognizing the benefits of having access to veteran assistances permanently disabled and unable to work for the rest of their became involved with the Phoenix Patriot Foundation in 2015. lives. Many veterans returned with debilitating psychological He remembers problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which the government did not recognize as a serious illness until 1979. So one of the kids that used to hang around our house Even worse many did not receive the proper and necessary help was named Jared Ogden and he was between my son s to navigate an increasingly complex VA system. Call of Duty Back Home continued challenges or jet-ski challenges things of that nature. But it s all about getting veterans to re engage and go on with whatever the next aspect of their life is. My wife actually followed it more closely than I had...my wife was one of the first ambassadors when it was formed in late 2010 and then in 2014 2015 I can t remember now Jared approached me to be on their board. Today the Phoenix Patriot Foundation helps facilitate the engagement of veterans through a multitude of platforms. It offers workshops on starting one s own business a tuition assistance program through the Technical College System of Georgia and helps veterans discover their passions and their next steps. And although PPF is unable to offer medical and mental health services to veterans the non-profit organization provides the next best thing Paulson explains So we put environments together where veterans can just talk. Twice a year we have something at our house usually it s just a cookout usually it s when Jared s in town we invite local veterans that we have here sometimes neighbors and just sit around and eat and drink tell stories. But find out also what s on everybody s mind...what do you wanna [sic] do [next] What re you running into that s a problem and how can we help you So that s what it is. Veterans will talk to other veterans combat veterans will talk to combat veterans...But anyway so that s what Phoenix Patriot Foundation does we have a chapter in Southern California we have a chapter in Texas and a chapter in Georgia. And I think we had another one already started in Tennessee. The city of Sandy Springs and then Mayor Eva Galambos declared December 20 2011 as Jared Ogden Day commemorating the North Springs High School graduate for his service to the country as well as the work he and countless others continue to do through PPF. John Paulson continues his work to serve both veterans and his community. Currently he serves on the board of directors of PPF as its president and chief executive officer. In addition he is serving his third term as the councilman of Sandy Springs District One and is working with the Local American Legion Post to help veterans navigate the increasingly complicated VA system. He laughingly states It s funny when I retired everybody wanted my opinion because my opinion was free...If you start charging they don t want you as much. But this is why I feel good about what I am doing I enjoy doing it I like dealing with these young guys and so with that I ll continue to stay involved and continue to help out. B Former Navy Seal and Paralympian Dan Cnossen at the Phoenix Patriot Foundation Fundraiser Atlanta Georgia. Courtesy of the Phoenix Patriot Foundation. and my daughter s age but he would come to the house and we live on a small lake and he would fish in our lake. So we got to know him pretty well. He decided one day he was at the house and he told my wife that he wanted to go to the Naval Academy. And she said Great. When you graduate from the Naval Academy send me an invitation because I want to go. Sure enough four years later we get an invitation we go to the Naval Academy. Watch the Naval Academy graduation which was pretty cool. He goes off into the navy but a year later he comes back and he says I want to go be a Navy SEAL. What my wife said When you graduate Navy SEAL Buds give us a call we ll come to your graduation. So he went off he became a Navy SEAL and he was deployed to Afghanistan to replace a friend of his who had been hit by an IED and lost both legs. After several of his close friends were severely wounded Jared Ogden subsequently went on to found the Phoenix Patriot Foundation (PPF) providing direct support to injured and combat-wounded veterans who served post-9 11. Its goal is to enable veterans to fully recover reintegrate and remain engaged in serving their country. The organization s vision is to offset the gap between the number of injured military and support received by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs so that no wounded servicemen is ever left behind. Paulson states [His friend] survived. But with the loss of both limbs it was obviously tough on him we d go see this fella name s Dan Dan Cnossen and there was really no path for a veteran who had been injured. Once you got out of the veteran hospital what do you do next You know what s your next career in life So Phoenix Patriot Foundation was formed to help veterans with facilitating whatever their next passion in life is. And we do everything from financial assistance we do physical challenges where people go out and do swimming Read The Stories You Missed Volume 1 11 Click Here Grit Gumption and Grace The Women of Sandy Springs Although women were among the earliest settlers within Sandy Springs their stories have consistently been told in the background to men. Next year the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum shines a spotlight on the achievement and voices of women throughout Sandy Springs history in our newest exhibit Grit Gumption and Grace The Women of Sandy Springs. Grit Gumption and Grace will highlight the impact role and accomplishments of women throughout our 150-year history beginning with the women who helped settle the area and continue to the early twenty-first century to highlight the endeavors and contributions of Sandy Springs women. The exhibit will also feature narratives of women of color--a routinely displaced story in Sandy Springs history. Through our folk history collection our oral histories letters diaries and other archival resources we can accurately portray their lives and let the audience see their contributions to our city--which have often gone unacknowledged in a patriarchal society. Grit Gumption and Grace will help rewrite the narrative of Sandy Springs history by emphasizing the significant role that women have played through its entirety. Grit Gumption and Grace will guide viewers through the exhibit chronologically to focus on the role of women in our community their contributions and the societal shifts within the community--both politically and culturally. Take a look at this unique 1964 article from the Sandy Springs News highlighting Mount Vernon Presbyterians first female Deacon Mrs. A.A. Snipes Jr. Grit Gumption and Grace will open next summer 2019. B 13 Call of Duty in Vietnam An Interview with John Paulson B Interviewer Stacey Hader Epstein & Keith Moore B Date of Interview February 12 2018 The Vietnam War still holds a sensitive place in contemporary American memory. The United States involvement in the conflict in Vietnam was one of the first in which media outlets brought the war to every living room across the country through television broadcast. Through its portrayal in the media what initially began with positive public opinion would eventually devolve after nearly ten years of military conflict and by the late 1960s inviting a wave of negativity from the public. The anti-war movement in Vietnam grew exponentially as civilians also became engrossed in violence-- marking a shift in how Americans viewed both participants in the war and the war itself. Despite the increasing aversion to America s involvement in the war however young men still took up the call to arms for Uncle Sam. [I] spent two years [at Lyons Township.] This is 1966 to 1968 and at the time antiwar protests were raging. The country was really torn apart. It was pretty tough stuff. I had a buddy of mine who was my friend for the last couple of years that I lived out there and he had gone in the marines. So he and I were talking about going and I heard so much about going to war and the nobleness of going to war. I d heard about World War II from my father from my uncles [and] Vietnam was the only war I was ever going to get a chance to go see. Vietnam was it was here. It was 1968 I d just gotten an associate s degree and I was wasting my time. John had been carefully watching the enlistments of the Vietnam War and initially noted the United States Marines required a four-year commitment upon enlis ting. That requirement changed in 1968 af ter the Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese Army. John Paulson today a Sandy Springs Councilman was born February 1949 Chicago Illinois. He at tended primary and secondary An American man and woman watching footage of the Vietnam War on a television school inside the Chicago in their living room February 13 1968. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. city limits but by 1964 his family had relocated to a suburb LaGrange where John attended Lyons Township High School. In 1966 John graduated and began pursuing an By 1968 the United States continual reliance on a wartime associate s degree in science at Lyons Township Junior College. strategy of attrition weighed heavily on the American people. By the time John had turned nineteen years old however the The war continued to drag on and for the American people United States was in turmoil and a war had been raging in it seemed that there was no end in sight as politicians on both Vietnam for nearly eleven years. John remembers sides were uninterested in a peace treaty. With the surprise military attacks on the South Vietnamese Army and the U.S. 15 that night so I spent half the night in a big bunker. It was just a big pipe like a big sewer pipe twenty-five foot in diameter but they covered it up with soil so that s where you go. It s a bomb shelter essentially. Next day we got assigned to a group called 1 9 First Battalion 9th Marines Alpha Company which had the nickname The Walking Dead. Now that was because as a combat unit they tend to get into a lot of scrapes. I was assigned... along with a bunch of other marines got on some trucks and off we went to a base called Quang Tri and then from there I went to Vandegrift Combat Base which is way up north. John performed multiple duties while in Alpha Company. He initially was an ammo humper--a person in charge of carrying around ammunition for a 30-caliber machine gun--before being reassigned to a regular fire team. Alpha Company patrolled various regions from the north in the A Shau Valley to the south near Da Nang establishing perimeters engaging in firefights and providing support in fire missions. John remembers Sometimes we were out the longest time we were away was probably several weeks. There were times you d go out on patrol and you d literally go out and you d be on patrol for six seven ten days. You literally were wandering around the country looking for the enemy. There were times it rained and you couldn t see ten feet in front of you...but you re on a patrol. You put on a poncho and off you go. By the summer of 1969 President Richard Nixon--bowing to pressure from a growing antiwar movement--announced at a news conference that the war in Vietnam was ending and the United States military forces would be removed. In a process of Vietnamization and under the provisions of Nixon s program South Vietnamese forces would be built up so they could assume more responsibility for the war. As the South Vietnamese forces became more capable U.S. forces would be withdrawn from combat and returned to the United States. John s 1 9 company was the first to be removed. He recalls I was there from February to August of 1969 and at the time President Nixon as a show of in fact I don t...whether it was a show of force that we were winning or the the symbol that we were winning [but] he began pulling troops out of Vietnam. We literally went from running an operation being on a hillside one night to literally the next day getting in trucks driving back to Da Nang and then boarding a ship to go back to Okinawa. Nixon s assertions that the war was ending proved premature however as in April 1970 he expanded the war by ordering U.S. and South Vietnamese troops to attack communist sanctuaries in Cambodia. These attacks on Cambodia subsequently resulted in mass outcries from across the United States and led to an increasing number of antiwar demonstrations. John holding a found AK-47 military rifle circa 1969. Courtesy of Councilman John Paulson. Marines in Vietnam the United States redoubled its efforts to supply more men and subsequently the Marine Corps reduced their enlistment time requirement by two years. So I decided recalls John Okay I would do this. What it meant was not a lot of extensive training you re not gonna [sic] be a brain surgeon in two years so it almost assured that I was gonna [sic] go to a war but that s why I joined anyway. I joined the marines because the marines are the toughest group out there and I thought if I m gonna [sic] go fight I need to be trained by the best. I joined at the end of June 1968 went to San Diego boot camp...Marine Corps Recruit Depot. John spent twelve weeks in San Diego before being shipped to advanced infantry training at nearby Camp Pendleton. By February 1969 he was in Okinawa Japan and had been trained as a Marine Corps Infantryman before landing in Da Nang by the end of the month. Da Nang Air Base was a French Air Force and later Republic of Vietnam military base located in the middle of the Vietnamese peninsula near the DMZ. It was a major military base for the air force army and Marine Corps and was the first station where military platoons landed before being distributed throughout the war zone on assignment. John remembers I landed the first night in Da Nang. I ll never forget it Da Nang s a big base or was a big base over there. After we landed and got squared away for the night they were playing a movie and the movie was John Wayne and the Green Berets. So big screen and Da Nang got attacked Call of Duty in Vietnam continued He returned home to Chicago awaiting for his time to travel back to California where he and his close friend Jerry Taylor had made plans to start their next adventures. He recalls We were going to go on to California and seek our next future but by then I had met my wife. Mary my first wife and still my first wife. So I couldn t go. In fact it s funny--I got back to Chicago and I wanted to go to California right away. My mother just went ballistic. I wasn t aware of the fact that many people in this country were watching TV every night and the Vietnam War was being shown on the six o clock news and the actual footage and it turns out my mother was very concerned she was going to see me you know there one day. So she was pretty upset at the fact that I was just going to take off again after having been gone. She didn t know if I was dead or alive. So I made an agreement with her and said I ll stay for six months. I worked construction in the Chicago area for six months actually for longer than that but at the end of six months I was going to move to California. But [Jerry] went I stayed because I had by then met my wife on a blind date. Indeed the Vietnam War was one of the first major military conflicts to be broadcast in the living rooms of American families. In 1964 close to sixty percent of the population relied solely on the television to receive their news coverage and by 1966 ninety-six percent of Americans owned a television. After the Tet Offensive media coverage of the war became predominantly negative and images of both civilian and military casualties were increasingly televised on the nightly news. The eventual unenthusiastic coverage by the media helped facilitate the true nature of the war and subsequently helped fuel and shape the antiwar movement in the United States. B John and the 1 9 Company on patrol along Highway 9 circa 1969. Courtesy of Councilman John Paulson. While John was a part of the first company to withdraw he was struck with malaria before he made it out of Okinawa. He was quarantined at the hospital in Camp Kue for a month before returning to headquarters to serve out his year abroad. John returned stateside in February 1970. Once John returned to Camp Pendleton he was given the opportunity to re-enlist for another four or six years. There was a chance he could have been assigned to an embassy in Spain or possibly Italy but even on embassy duty the likelihood he would return to Vietnam was high and as John remembers Once was enough. John left active duty and entered into the U.S. Marine Corps inactive Reserve for the balance of his six years. John Paulson taking a break in Vietnam circa April 1969. Courtesy of Councilman John Paulson. 17 ou Missed Stories Y ead The R Visit Heritage Sandy Springs to get your copy Volume 2 A Fine-Tuned Life An Interview with Mark Tweak Evans B Interviewer Stacey Hader Epstein B Date of Interview January 24 2018 Music and the arts have played a central role in Sandy Springs throughout the community s development. As evident from the early revival songs of camp meetings to the city s new performing arts center many of the area s residents have dedicated themselves to cultivating a unique Sandy Springs arts culture. One area resident Mark Evans known by many in the music industry as Tweak was exposed to music and the arts as early as he can remember. Throughout his life in Sandy Springs music was a consistent and lasting influence on his character and ultimately his career. am--obviously had deeper friends and stuff which she had to leave behind but she maintained all of her Yankee heritage and I turned into a redneck. Redneck or not Tweak was surrounded by different art forms from an early age. His father s career as an artist created an atmosphere that encouraged artistic talent and expression. Indeed Tweak s entire family encouraged family members to pursue art in any form which subsequently instilled a love of music in him that would last a lifetime. His paternal grandmother was a choir director at her local church in Boston and his grandfather was a singer--a soloist baritone. Tweak recollects Mark Tweak Evans was born a Yankee outside Boston proper in 1956. He spent the earliest years of his life in the city of Boston until his father moved their My father sang was a big family to Sandy Springs in 1965. music enthusiast big jazz His father a graphic design artist enthusiast. My sister played and watercolorist by trade had violin and sang in the AllState received a corporate transfer to Chorus. So my dad s vision relocate the family to Atlanta. was for me to be the next Tweak was only eight years old Tommy Dorsey--he was a at the time and he learned famous jazz trombone player. Tweak s Senior Picture from the quickly that the South was not And so I d started playing Ridgeview High School yearbook 1974. the only American region with trombone and off I went and Courtesy of Tweak Evans. a distinct accent. I lived off that s just what I did. Well I High Point Road on Timber Trail was forcefed jazz...because Northeast. I went to High Point Elementary School. It was a little we would sit at supper every night and Dad would stack bit tough for me moving down from Boston socially because up records on the record player. You know it might I had a Boston accent...and everybody gave me trouble over be Big Band one night it might be somebody else that. And it s like my big sister--she s seven years older than I someone like Marian McPartland the next night [and] it 19 might be Tommy Dorsey. It might be who knows what and we listened to jazz every night. It was just a routine. Regardless of his father s insistence Tweak immediately took a liking to the trombone and quickly displayed a knack for the instrument. He began playing the trombone in the fourth grade and was immediately enlisted into the elementary school band at High Point. The [high school s] music teacher...Dan Smith... he had me playing in the high school band in seventh grade because they needed musicians number one and I guess I was okay at playing trombone remembers Tweak. When he officially moved on to Ridgeview High School Tweak played in the school s marching band the concert band and the orchestra throughout his high school years. college. Despite his waning excitement for music he continued to play in the DeKalb Community Orchestra but was unwilling to continue his career as a trombonist. Tweak continued in the arts field in one way or another for many years. His father having been a prominent patron of the local Sam Flax art supply store was able to help secure a position for Tweak as a store supply clerk. Tweak recalls He knew all the employees there you know. He was a regular customer. Says Oh my son s looking for a job. Well one of the outside salesmen a local guy played in a band--Chip Mayes. [He says] I have a new stock clerk we ll put him in down there. Tweak s position as a supply clerk opened many doors for him throughout his tenure at the store. He eventually became the office and credit manager and then Tweak had a special musical assistant store manager before connection with his teacher he transferred to Atlanta Art Dan Smith. He remembers Supply to run several retail Smith fondly as an early music locations for the company. instructor that ignited a fire In time Tweak became a and made Tweak want to play. manufacturer s rep for a line Not long after Tweak became of art supplies. However it a student at Ridgeview was his love for music and his High School Dan Smith was connection with his first boss murdered -- a crime that Chip Mayes that kept Tweak remains unsolved to this day. in the music industry. [He] Tweak remembers played in a band--Circus--and they played college parties I can t remember the frat parties and you know exact year but I know... around. They were a rock Elrod Mr. Mr. Elrod came band. And I started hanging in. He was the guy [that] out with him and star ted ended up taking over playing with knobs and dials from that position being on the form of mixing boards opened up. So you know and things like that. And I had he s a nice guy but he a pretty good ear through all didn t do anything for my classical training and I just Sound board and recording equipment circa 1980. me. I was taking private started doing that. I mean I trombone lessons from had my day job but then if he the third trombone player had a gig somewhere I d go at the Atlanta Symphony... then Mr. Smith got me into a and we d load the van up and tote the speakers in and do all couple summer programs at the North Carolina School that kind of stuff and whatnot remembers Tweak. He continued of the Arts at Greensboro in North Carolina where I was working his day job selling art supplies but it was always the selected like one of six in the nation to go to this school. music that kept bringing Tweak random side gigs and ultimately It was because of him and everything--he was like my the most enjoyment. mentor you know and kept me playing. So I went to that but then Mr. Elrod comes in and...There was really Tweak continued working multiple jobs until Chip started nothing he could offer me. recognizing the need for sound and audio engineers in the music business. Tweak remembers Chip kept acquiring more and With the untimely death of his mentor Tweak had lost his more equipment and eventually realized he could rent it to other enthusiasm for music. I lost my fire. I did lose my fire for music bands and Tweak was one of their engineers. He recalls [Chip] but then I went to work. My father was a graphic artist and he s was an engineer. He worked on the tower out there. Northlake also a watercolorist. So in another form of art I ve been around you know the 50 000-watt amp there. Did all that. So all the the arts all my life recalls Tweak. He graduated from Ridgeview communications thing. Plus he had the sound company. And his High School in 1974 and followed his family s order to attend tours used to be Isley Brothers Kool & the Gang Jackson Five A Fine-Tuned Life continued Those guys that Tweak had barely feigned an interest in meeting was the American country rock--Southern rock band Confederate Railroad. Tweak would travel all over the world with Confederate Railroad. He toured Europe the United Kingdom and South America as well as every truck stop in the continental United States. In 2009 after nearly twenty years and multiple double-platinum albums Tweak decided it was time to leave the band and come back to Georgia to have a quieter life close to home. Part of the reason I left the road was I wanted to stay home. I got tired of waking up in a hotel parking lot in my bunk on the bus. I d be tired of just being beat to death on the road but figured I had my little sound system. I can do shows around town such as Heritage Sandy Springs and maybe other little places that I can fit myself into that little niche. At the end of the day I ll be home in my bed. Tweak s ambitions to lead a quiet life in the local community were short-lived. While he found his niche as the local sound-guy he continues to be booked for multiple events across the country to handle sound and audio needs. He states One of the first calls I got was from my buddies in Illinois. Can you go to Miami Do a show with us Well uh what show Well it s a corporate Confederate Railroad circa 2007. Marvin Gaye people like that. He became my inspiration more so what s led me to where I am today because he was now my new mentor in a different aspect of music from the technical side of it. And it was that technical side of work that earned him his nickname for he tweaked or adjusted the sound and other components of musical performances. As technology grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s Tweak and the company began to build their own speakers cables and sound equipment and became prolific engineers in the music industry. It wasn t long before Tweak met the band that would fill his career with twenty years of music. He recollects Jimmy Buster...he called me and he goes There s a band that plays up here at our bar that might need a good... that s getting ready to sign a record deal and might need a good sound guy. And I goes uh... He goes What are you doing And I said Sitting on the couch. Well you want to come meet em You said band right No I don t want to meet them. Oh come on. I ll buy you a drink. Okay. Be right there. And I met the guys and you know and they were looking at me like Pftt sound guy. I m looking at them like Pftt band guys. It was pleasant. So a couple of weeks later he calls me again he goes What re you doing tomorrow Watching television. You know that band you met I go Yeah. He goes I ve got to run to the bar because the manager called in sick and I need to kind of come and manage the club and they have to have a sound guy. I said So He goes I ll pay you and buy your drinks. Be right there. It s what I wanted to hear. Pay first do drinks second. I m there. So I went over there and just walked up to the soundboard and did what I do. They take their first break and here comes the lead singer. And he goes You re that guy we met. Well yeah. He goes We can actually hear ourselves. We ve never sounded like that in this place. I m like Okay. I m just doing what I do. You know we all do things differently. Close to twenty years later I retired from em [sic]. He became my inspiration more so what s led me to where I am today because he was now my new mentor in a different aspect of music from the technical side of it. show. What show Well we got Glory House to follow and Miami Sound Machine. And...we ve got Lionel Ritchie in another room. And a short time later Can you go to San Diego and do a show with us What this time Uh we got Don Felder from the Eagles. San Diego really Alright. Oh then we re gonna [sic] go to Santa Barbara and do Sheryl Crow. While he may not have the completely quiet life he had hoped for Tweak continues to be one of the most sought-after sound engineers in the community. Upon reflection he says he owes it all to his years at Ridgeview High School with Dan Smith as the driving force in learning what it takes to make music properly. And from time to time he still will travel to venues all over the country as a sound engineer...and tweaks everything just right. B Read The Stories You Missed Volume 1 21 Click Here Save Our Springs The Arts & Heritage Story B Guest Author Ludovico S. Villanueva M.D B Sandy Springs was blessed with springs centered at The springs were a favorite gathering place for the Indians 109 Sandy Springs Circle and found in several other who considered the waters to have magical healing powers. locations in the central town which not long ago were still Local folk historian Lois Coogle related that on January 8 bubbling through the sandy soil of our community. The 1821 Chief William McIntosh of the Creek Indians ceded this Chattahoochee River which borders Sandy Springs is now and surrounding areas to the United States Government. home to over 65 000 Later that year the springs in its 23 748 first Caucasian settlers acres (37.1 square entered the newly mile s) of rolling acquired area and by woodlands and mild a unique act of the climate. Bounded by state legislature land the City of Roswell on lots of 45 chain lengths the north the City of square or 202.5 acres Atlanta on the south were distributed by DeKalb County lottery. One such lot on the east Cobb (lot 88) was drawn County on the west by James Wilbourn and Gwinnett County [sic] for a grant fee of o n t h e ex t r e m e nineteen dollars. This nor t heas t Sand y lot is bordered by Springs --located Roswell Road on the in Fulton County-- east Abernathy Road has e merg e d as on the north Brandon Ludovico S. Villanueva M.D. founding member and President of the Arts and one of the ver y Mill Road on the west Heritage Society Inc. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs 2012.050.006 fines t residential and Mount Vernon educational financial Highway on the south. medical business and shopping areas in all of metro Atlanta. The Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. (Arts & Heritage) was chartered by the state of Georgia on 23 June 23 1980. It was founded to help perpetuate what remained of Sandy Springs significant past particularly the historic springs from which our community derived its name and to promote the arts and cultural development of our community to the end that the quality of life in it is enhanced. Its motto To enrich the culture of our community through programs in the arts and history which preserve the past celebrate the present and cultivate the future. In the beginning Arts & Heritage was designed to only be a heritage society a felt need in the community. Interested organizers from the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Sandy Springs Junior Woman s Club thought that a feeling of community could be facilitated by a historical focus--the sandy springs. Hence with other community-oriented organizations the J u n i o r W o m a n s Club organized the first Sandy Springs Benefit Ball (1979) and with a portion of the proceeds Ar ts & Heritage s incorporation was achieved. the early history and continuing heritage of the community to increase the aesthetic and practical awareness of the arts in the community and to promote the arts and artists-- visual and performing--within our community. Prior to the establishment of Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. there were no community-wide heritage arts organizations in Sandy Springs. Simply called Arts & Heritage the leaders of this new organization saw the need for this first-ever community-wide heritage arts group. One of the group s major aims was to help save the historic springs from which our community derived its name. Since its founding Arts & Heritage was mindful of the possible loss of the springs of Sandy Springs to commercial development. Indeed a rezoning petition (Z84-217) had already been submitted to the Fulton County Board of Commis sioner s by the owners of the 1.8 acre proper t y where the springs are located to consider rezoning the property from residential to commercial. As Arts & Heritage evolved it created a division in October During the last 1983 known as the stages of formation Historic Preservation of Arts & Heritage Commission of Arts t he ar t s p e o p le & H e r i t ag e. T hi s showed intense commission was part desire for inclusion and parcel of Arts & Save Our Springs drive of Arts and Heritage circa 1984. and so the final name Heritage and not a Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. of Sandy Springs separate organization. A r t s & Her it age Its first major Society Inc. came into being. The unique link of arts and accomplishment was the development of a presentation heritage was both productive and enjoyable for the general on The Origin and Early History of Sandy Springs. Past membership. For instance the heritage people--being President and at the time Historic Preservation Commission more down to earth --were able to lay a firm foundation Vice Chairman Mary Alyce Farrell Fields did the toilsome for the organization and the arts people--being more but fascinating and rewarding research. Kay H. Jones creative as are their inclinations--continued to forge founding vice president for heritage and a commission ahead with ideas and creativity. This wide spectrum of member accompanied Mary Alyce on walks through historic interests guaranteed that membership in the organization grounds homes and buildings to photograph them in slide would not be a dull one. form. This presentation was given to many community organizations including the Sandy Springs Chamber of Arts & Heritage was a non-profit volunteer alliance of local Commerce. residents civic and arts associations and corporate and professional groups intended to function as a heritage Ef for ts spearheaded by the Historic Preser vation society as well as a community arts council. The organization Commission of Arts & Heritage were redoubled when operated with the mission to promote community spirit and the Fulton County Planning Commission voted on cultural development to seek out record and help preserve October 17 1984 to recommend approval of the rezoning Save Our Springs continued crowded their chamber. On the day of the rezoning and condemnation hearings signs were circulated in Sandy Springs and in the commissioners chamber reading SOS - Save Our Springs -Preser ve Our Roots. These efforts helped persuade the commissioners to deny the rezoning petition from residential to commercial and then to condemn it for a historic site. This happy occ asion -- the saving of the springs of Sandy Springs -- occurred on Wednesday November 7 1984 at the chamber of the Fulton County Board of Membership Card for the Sandy Springs Arts and Heritage Society Inc. Ludovico S. Villanueva M.D. Commissioners. Through their President. Circa 1980-1981. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. actions of denying the rezoning of the proper ty harboring of said property from residential to commercial. It was the springs from R4 to C-1 and then promptly voting to observed though their action was intended to prod condemn it the commissioners ensured the springs of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to purchase Sandy Springs would remain here long after we all have the property immediately rather than as an indication of returned to dust. The grave concerns about the fate of the their endorsement for eradication of a most significant springs after which our community of Sandy Springs was and core landmark of our community and our county. named were over. The historic sandy springs were safely Saving the historic springs had been talked about for saved for posterity. many years however until Arts & Heritage there had not been a concerted thrust to ensure that the springs were preserved as a historic site for all generations. Now with the commission in place it could coordinate the efforts of all those interested in helping save the springs--businesses and civic and service organizations such as the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce the Sandy Springs Junior Woman s Club garden clubs homeowner associations and so on. With this commission actively focusing on its task saving the springs was facilitated. Letters were sent to Michael Lomax chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and copied to numerous others both nongovernmental and governmental. The commissioners were urged to deny the requested commercial rezoning and then The historic springs and Mabry house prior to its to condemn (purchase) the property harboring the springs redevelopment as part of the historic park circa 1980. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2008.103.008 as a historic site. To show the Fulton County Board of Commissioners how interested the citizens were to preserve a core landmark of the community Arts & Heritage chartered a bus to take people to the Fulton County Administration Building in Atlanta. Approximately thirty-five citizens of Sandy Springs 25 The task of saving the actual springs of Sandy Springs was a community-wide endeavor--no individual or single community organization can claim to have saved them only to have helped save them. The salvation of the springs was accomplished through the concerted efforts of numerous community organizations and citizens with particular acclamation due to the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce for keeping the interest in saving the springs alive--prior to the founding of Arts & Heritage--and to the Sandy Springs Junior Woman s Club for supporting the activities of Arts & Heritage in its early stages. With the springs saved the next phase of historic preservation work began preserving and beautifying the property containing the springs. The collective constructive forces involved in the saving of the springs continued to sustain the worthy project. Once the historic springs had been saved for posterity Arts & Heritage created a steering committee for the development of the historic site. This was chaired by Arts & Heritage Board Member Joey Mayson. Out of this steering committee emerged a separate organization named Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation Inc.--known today as Heritage Sandy Springs--whose mission was to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the endangered historic WilliamsPayne house. The Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation accomplished this goal on October 9 1985. Thereafter the two organizations continued their combined efforts to beautify and preserve the now historic park. Indeed Arts & Heritage continued to support the development of the Sandy Springs historic site. The transfer by Fulton County of the historic 1860 milk house donated by As a further Mr. & Mrs. E. A. progression in Montalvo was the heritage completed on area the Historic July 31 1989. Preservation The milk house Commission of was moved Arts & Heritage from its original initiated the location on formation of the Montalvo s the Squatters property at 14 Club in October Mount Paran 1984. The club s Road and Lake name gaily Forrest Road. referred to very Because the early settlers springs site who squatted was located on on land owned Fulton County Historic Park and the springs site before site construction by the Indians property Arts began. View toward Hilderbrand Drive. Courtesy of prior to the U.S. & Heritage Heritage Sandy Springs. 2008.103.006 Government deeded the milk land cessions. house to Fulton Joey Mason a County which was the governing body for unincorporated commission member at that time and his wife Frances Glenn Sandy Springs at that time. With the help of dedicated Mayson were named as co-presidents. The Squatters Club volunteers the authentic renovation of the milk house was included other current owners and caretakers--sometimes completed at its new and permanent location the Sandy referred to as temporary custodians --of historic homes Springs Historic Site at 109 Sandy Springs Circle. Situated buildings and sites or otherwise interested parties. Though behind the Williams-Payne house it is an appropriate never having attained full development since it only had complement to the historic home. conducted one meeting at the historic Glenridge Hall the Squatters Club became the forerunner of the Annual As part of its work the Historic Preservation Commission Sandy Springs Founders Day Celebration (the Sandy Springs of Arts & Heritage produced a beautiful well-illustrated Festival) now regularly held by Heritage Sandy Springs-- Historic Sandy Springs Driving Tour brochure which listed which is a direct descendant of the Historic Preservation twenty-one historic homes and sites and included a map and Commission of Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. a condensed history of the community. This brochure was a great help to the orchestrated efforts of numerous individuals and groups spearheaded by the Historic Preservation Save Our Springs continued After the springs were saved on November 7 1984 by governing board actions of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners Arts & Heritage (A&H) turned its attention towards the project of preserving and beautifying the property where the historic springs are located. This property has been referred to as the SS Historic Site. Mr. Mayson allegedly on his own made arrangements with Commissioner Milton Farris of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to take over the The Sandy Springs Historic Site Sign erected on the corner of Sandy Springs Circle and Hilderbrand Drive. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2010.219.029 Commission of Arts & Heritage to help save the springs site. These efforts helped convince the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to condemn the property that harbored the springs making way for the creation of the Sandy Springs Historic Site. This was a great and proud moment for the community of Sandy Springs and ensured that the springs of the town would be enjoyed by future generations of Sandy Springers. During its lifetime Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. presented and sponsored a variety of programs to benefit our community. As a direct result of the activities of Arts & Heritage other arts groups have thrived in the atmosphere it helped create including the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church Performing Arts Center the Sandy Springs Chamber Orchestra the Atlanta Virtuosi at Holy Innocents Episcopal School Heritage Sandy Springs and many other flourishing arts organizations in the Sandy Springs community. A COMMENTARY ON THE ARTS & HERITAGE STEERING COMMITTEE Recollections of Dr. Villanueva on the sequence of events leading up to the formation of the steering committee for the Sandy Springs Historic Site chaired by Mr. Joey Mayson View of the springs site with its well shed and construction of the Milk-House. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2008.103.122 management of the SS Historic Site and created and erected a Sandy Springs Historic Site sign on the property. Alongside this takeover of the SS Historic Site was his plan to transfer and rehabilitate an endangered historic house the WilliamsPayne house due to commercial development. With his takeover of the SS Historic Site he moved this dilapidated house had these two projects merged and he intended to raise several hundred thousand dollars. As far as A&H was concerned it could manage the SS Historic Site in preserving it and beautifying it. The raising of funds for such purpose was expected to be manageable. On the other hand if A&H embraced the rehabilitation of the dilapidated house it would be a different story. A major fundraising effort would be required. Most on the A&H Board who had just helped save the springs wanted the changes to be slower affording 27 a decade. There were substantial moves at reviving Arts & Heritage by calling upon earlier presidents to serve as presidents again which was done but the eventual conclusion arrived at was that it was time to let go of Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. It was wonderful while it lasted we learned much and we enjoyed much. Yet there has to be an acceptance of historical knowledge and experience well-articulated in the familiar expression The rise and fall of .... Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage View of the completed spring site renovation well shed Society Inc. now lives on in spirit and heritage lawn. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. in Heritage Sandy Springs Inc. 2011.223.001 (formerly Sandy Springs Historic Community Foundation Inc.) other interested organizations and individuals to participate. the other community-wide heritage organization in Sandy By adding the rehabilitation of the historic structure as a Springs. It is a direct descendant of the Historic Preservation second project it put A&H in a difficult position...of having Commission of Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. to take on something it did not want to do yet or be faulted Finally Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. (Arts & of being uninterested in saving historic structures if they Heritage) now itself belongs to history. B should somehow be lost. Early on there was a feeling that A&H was being supplanted through the steering committee 1 A more extensive formal history of Sandy Springs has also been written by Arts & by another organization--what organization it did not know. Heritage Past President Mary Alyce Fields. In addition an audiovisual presentation Then clearly the SS Historic Community Foundation surfaced of the history of Sandy Springs and of Arts & Heritage is being prepared by Past on or about August 12 1985 as incorporated by the State Vice President for Arts Arden Moser and is in its final stages. of Georgia. Once this occurred the steering committee had effectively steered the committee toward another direction 2 All views expressed in the Commentary of the Arts & Heritage Steering toward the SS Historic Community Foundation and away from Committee are views of the author and have not been altered in any way by the A&H. The Foundation then assumed control of both projects editors of the Sandy Springs Gazette or by the staff of Heritage Sandy Springs. the Sandy Springs Historic Site and the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Williams-Payne house. This was the failing of A&H of course for not watching what was going on closely enough. Still it did not taste good. Fortunately for SS the fundraising and other activities of the other organization were successful and we are happy about that for the glory of Sandy Springs For one A&H is pleased for the additional people on heritage matters that the Foundation brought with it. For a variety of reasons including but not limited to running out of time and energy Sandy Springs Arts & Heritage Society Inc. started becoming inactive around 1992. Fortunately Arts & Heritage had already done a good amount of its job particularly in helping save the springs of Sandy Springs increasing the cultural consciousness in our community and in documenting historic places like historic homes churches and cemeteries and other sites such as historic Glenridge Hall as well as in involving the arts and artists in our community. Arts & Heritage antedated Heritage Sandy Springs by half The Sandy Springs Society Thirty Years of Philanthropy An Interview with Dottie Megel B Interviewer Kimberly Brigance B Date of Interview March 18 2009 In the late 1950s the community of Sandy Springs was the popular area--when resident Dottie Megel was taken experiencing exponential growth. Families continued to with the civic-mindedness of the entire community. exit Atlanta s city center and head to the sprawling acreage available in the nearby northern Atlanta suburb. The city Dottie Megel moved to Sandy Springs in 1965 after having of Sandy Springs now the sixth largest in the state began grown up and spent the early years of her life in Madison nearly 150 years ago as nothing more than a few devout Georgia. Her husband ran a local business and Dottie s et tler s around a allocated the majority common water source. of her time to some Today the city boasts of the early civic h ea d q uar te r s a n d organizations in the regional offices for a Sandy Springs area-- variety of industries the garden clubs. including computerDottie always had a related ser vices passion for all things p a c k a g e d e li ve r y related to gardening. telecommunications She recollects and media. In Yes always I was addition Sandy president of the North Springs is home Shore Garden Club to numerous parks Martin s Landing and Founding members of the Sandy Springs Society at the annual gala circa 2009. as well as a wide I was president of the Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2010.181.001 v a r i e t y of p u b li c Colonial Garden Club p ro gr amming which is a Buckhead including the Sandy Springs Festival museum exhibits club. Then I was elected president of Fulton County lectures theater performances concerts children s Federation of Garden Clubs which encompasses all of educational and enrichment programs community garden the garden clubs which were over two hundred clubs at clubs and philanthropic organizations. It was during the that time maybe more. And I served in that capacity for post-war era--as a multitude of families began moving into two consecutive terms. Dottie served as president of that 29 least ten fifteen years because we loved them both. They were ver y helpful. I m tr ying to think when we formed our board of directors it was what maybe in 85 Joey Mason was elected p resid e nt and J ud y Bramblett who s long since moved a wonderful worker she was first vice president Dottie Megel second vice president which I did long-range planning. Cathy Hunt Image of the Sandy Springs Society Gazebo at Heritage Sandy Springs circa r e c o r d i n g s e c r e t a r y 2016. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2016.002.005 and Ann Chenault was corresponding secretary garden club umbrella organization from 1983 to 1986. It was Garnett Cobb treasurer during 1986 when the club learned that the Sears building Ann Thompson was historian and Myrtle Tankersley in Buckhead--where area garden clubs had their office parliamentarian. That was the original group that spaces--would be closing its doors. As a result the garden worked for a couple of years in this capacity. We got clubs were forced to relocate. Dorothy Felton who was our representative in the area to be a part of our group. And when you don t Garnett Cobb one of the most notable women in the Sandy really know what what your plans are you have the Springs Garden Club--and its president at that time-- long-range planning I had a lot of ideas. I mean enlisted Dottie s help in the acquisition and relocation of I could see festivals and Easter egg hunts on the the home of Major and Marie Payne two long-standing grounds and Halloween and [as] these things came residents of Sandy Springs. Cobb intended for the house to pass it was my job to oversee the festival and to be used as the permanent home of the Fulton County things like that the first couple of years. Federation of Garden Clubs. Portman-Barry Investors agreed to the donation and even agreed to pay for the cost The biggest obstacle that Dottie and the site committee of moving the house from their newly acquired property had to overcome was a financial one. So raising the provided it was removed by September 1985. During money recalls Dottie as Fulton County Federation research on the property it was discovered that the Payne President I had [a] big all-day event at Glenridge Hall. We house was a remodeled farmhouse dating back to 1869. had bridge. We had lunch. We had a fashion show. We It had been owned by Walter Jerome and Harriet Austin had probably three four hundred women there that day Williams--two founding citizens of Sandy Springs--and scattered throughout playing cards and it was a rainy day. at that time was one of eight known nineteenth-century It was a beautiful day but I think we raised 66 000 and that structures still remaining in Sandy Springs. Dottie recalls was some of the founding money to start doing the office. She wanted us to work with them and Portman-Barry to After the Williams-Payne House had been moved to its move the house onto the springs site and it would be a current location at 6075 Sandy Springs Circle the basement future home for the garden club [the entire] Fulton County became the new home for the Fulton County Federation of Federation of Garden Clubs. [This] was the original idea... Garden Clubs and the upstairs remained empty. The club s We had planned just to have offices. By July 1984 the intention was to restyle the house as a period museum in garden club realized that moving its newly acquired historic recognition of the home s original occupants. The house house would take an entire community and they began included a director s office a bathroom and a kitchen. recruiting volunteers and community members to get Volunteers were relied upon to answer the phones. Dottie involved with the project. Dottie recollects remembers The Garden Clubs Federation did operate out of there for probably a year or so but it all had to be We had help from Fulton County. We have had volunteers to come in and answer the phone and do things Tom Wilson Jim Kambourian they were on our like that like two or three times a week. And after a while committee to do whatever had to be done on the I think people just got tired of just coming in and sitting site and they they stayed [and] they served at in our empty office with nothing much going on. So we The Sandy Springs Society Thirty Years of Philanthropy continued leaders brought together nearly two hundred fifty women who were interested in increasing the civicmindedness of the Sandy Springs community. The Sandy Springs Society--today one of the largest philanthropic groups in Sandy Springs -- was founded that day in March 1988. The society s initial vision was to organize a group of women who would use their collective talents to raise money for the needs of Sandy Springs the historic springs site park and the Construction of the Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn at Williams-Payne House. Dottie recalls Heritage Green circa 2007. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. It wasn t anything to do with the garden clubs. This was for the house decided to let the festival committee use that room also and to do the parks and entertainment...all the things that because they didn t have anywhere to meet. we wanted to do here and we needed people. We needed By this time Dottie not only continued her role as president docents. We needed workers for the fence to build [sic]. of the Fulton County Federation of Garden Clubs and We needed people to be interested in Sandy Springs. And became president of the Sandy Springs Garden Club but we thought well if we have a real fun group and it s not a she also sat on the board of the Williams-Payne House. cheap group and its people that are experienced and that Through her activities within so many different civic groups have done things like this being president of an organization Dottie realized the need to unite the many women in the or whatever we d have a great group and that s proved to area into a cohesive community service group and so she be true. Today the society boasts a membership of over three hundred women who continue to form friendships set out to do just that. She remembers and connections through their shared efforts of community support. And we were always trying to raise money to to do cleaning or the walkways or something. It was always we needed money money money and Dorothy Felton and Ann Chenault and I were always in all the garden clubs. And the Garden Club of Georgia Deen Day Smith we got her to give money to us. We had her meet with Tilly over at Glenridge. We always had our hand out. Finally [we] decided...One day at my house Dorothy Felton Ann Chenault and I we said We ve got to bring all these women that live in Sandy Springs that s [sic] giving all their time to Buckhead to the opera the symphony and the zoo etcetera we need to group out here to get them interested in Sandy Springs. Ann Chenault Dorothy Felton Jan Collins and I Kerry Gill Marianne Broadbear and Lorellee Wolters and we met for lunch at Cherokee City Club. We decided that we would each invite ten friends to come join us. And we were going to have a big coffee which we did at Judy Mark s house. We had about 250 women show up for that coffee. Indeed sixteen Sandy Springs women gathered to form a philanthropic organization to benefit Sandy Springs. Initially thinking to call it Two Hundred Women the group s The Sandy Springs Society continues to be the active organization that its founders envisioned it to be thirty years ago. In appreciation of one of those founder s longago efforts to save the historic Williams-Payne House the structure s downstairs room is named the Garnett Cobb Garden Room. It is used for educational programs through the museum as well as for community events. As the needs of the community of Sandy Springs change and grow and the city continues to expand the work of the Sandy Springs Society remains both impactful and meaningful. While the Sandy Springs Society continues its support of Heritage Sandy Springs and the work it does to preserve the history of the community the society also provides funds to over fifty additional non-profits in the Sandy Springs community through its grant program. To date the society has contributed more than 3.2 million toward the betterment of the community. Heritage Sandy Springs honors the Sandy Springs Society s thirty years of philanthropy its continued commitment to Heritage Sandy Springs and of course to the Sandy Springs community at large. B 31 ou Missed Stories Y ead The R Visit Heritage Sandy Springs to get your copy Volume 2 Leisure and Learning in Early Sandy Springs An Interview with James Otis and Betty Pirkle Stroup B Interviewer Karen Meinzen McEnerny B Date of Interview August 2 2017 The community of Sandy Springs has grown steadily over the past several decades as residential and business development have spurred rapid population growth. While such changes have modernized the city s infrastructure and made Sandy Springs a destination point for many in the Atlanta area growth does not come without consequences. Longtime residents who grew up in the area have witnessed the natural lands c apes of t heir childhoods give way to new buildings being erected and expanding technologies leaving footprints on the city. For these residents the open fields and wooded areas of early Sandy Springs remain present in their memories regardless of the city s expansion. his mother Annie Lee Poss Stroup moved with Jim and his brother Charles to their brand new home at 81 West Belle Isle Road. Jim s father worked for North Fulton Park which is known today as Chastain Park for nearly thirty-seven years before retiring from the City of Atlanta Parks Department. Like many children in Sandy Springs Jim remembers that the first eighteen years of his life were often spent enjoying the natural beauty of the Sandy Springs area. In particular Jim fondly remembers his home on West Belle Isle Road and the many hours he spent ex plor ing t he wo o d s behind his family s house. Jim recollects I would set up rabbit boxes down by the creek to try to catch Jim and Charles Stroup circa 1930s. Gift of Jim and Betty Pirkle Stroup. Courtesy of rabbits and I d put Heritage Sandy Springs. 2017.008.031 One such Sandy Springer lettuce in those rabbit James Otis Stroup or boxes during early Jim as he is known today was born May 6 1934 on Spruell morning and check em [sic] every day. But we had Spring Road in the heart of the Sandy Springs community. several games that we played in those woods. All of Jim was only six months old when his father Fred Lee and [that] area was woods that were behind the houses 33 had consolidated the two schools into the Liberty Guinn Elementary School which was built on Long Island Drive. All those people [that] lived on Belle Isle and Spruell Spring and Hardeman all those kids would go through our yard remembers Jim. Usually [they would] go to one of those trails which would be a whole a big sharp would be a huge saving [sic] of walking. Liberty Guinn educated scores of children from throughout Sandy Springs. At that period of Exterior view of Liberty Guinn Elementary School. Courtesy time in Sandy Springs history if your child did of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2010.298.001 not attend Hammond Elementary they most likely would have attended Liberty Guinn. The on West Belle Isle. It was over on Long Island across school operated from the early 1930s until June 1975 and the street from where...Liberty Guinn Grammar School gave many of its young students a wide variety of educational was was all nothing but woods. And we d play in the opportunities. Jim remembers evening there would be a group of as many as ten guys all boys that would play Fox and the Hound. And we would play different games in the middle of those woods. And we would also take out certain areas and make a a track in the middle of the woods and we would run around those tracks to...mainly burn off the energy that we had. We also had a cable going from one tree to a lower tree and a piece of pipe over that cable and we would put steps up one tree and go walk up to the top and get on that cable and ride the cable down to about I guess fifty yards. The forest behind his home was a personal playground for Jim and his friends. They would play games build their own racetracks and even build bridges over the area s creeks. When heavier rains came to town the boys capitalized on the overflowing creeks and got ready for the abundance of fish. Jim remembers It was silly as it seems now we used safety pins. Are you familiar with what a safety pin is We would take a string and put a safety pin on it and dig up a worm and go put it in those muddy creeks in the hopes of catching a fish. Well that didn t work too good [sic]. But as kids this is what we did. Indeed the wooded area was the recreational backyard for the Stroup boys--Jim and Charles--but it was also the neighborhood shortcut as it separated their home from Liberty Guinn Elementary where they first attended school. Liberty Guinn Elementary School was founded as R.J. Liberty Elementary in the early 1900s. The land for the original school was donated by Mr. A. A. Jones and Mr. Will Sentell each of whom contributed one acre of land on the west side of Roswell and Franklin Roads. A second school named Liberty Hall operated simultaneously within the Sandy Springs community and sat at the intersection of Garmon and Mt. Paran Roads. By 1932 the Fulton County Board of Education In my next to last year of Liberty Guinn...I was a street guard [and] I went on a safety patrol trip to... Washington D.C. At the time my parents did not have the money to afford that so someone at Liberty Guinn parents or whatever paid for me going to Washington D.C. I think it was three days--caught a train out of Atlanta to Washington went through [the] Smithsonian Institute [sic] [the] Capitol [the] White House and all of that when I was a kid and that was very impressive. Unlike the fate of so many historic structures in Sandy Springs the fa ade of Liberty Guinn still exists on Long Island Drive. After the school closed its doors in 1975 Liberty Guinn transitioned from an elementary school to the Tommy Nobis Center--an organization founded by Atlanta Falcon linebacker Tommy Nobis that provides vocational support and employment training for people with disabilities--before it became the Donnellan School and subsequently can be seen today as part of the Holy Spirit Preparatory School. After finishing his years at Liberty Guinn Elementary School Jim moved on to nearby North Fulton High School where he joined the ROTC the glee club and taught a few bullies some lessons. North Fulton High School was located just south of central Buckhead at the busy intersection of Roswell Road Peachtree Road West Paces Ferry Road and East Paces Ferry Road. The Fulton County School Board formed North Fulton High School in the 1920s during one of the population booms of Atlanta s north side. North Fulton was the first and for a period of time the only high school that served the growing urban area of what today is the Peachtree Corridor. Jim remembers Like Father Like Son continued North Fulton High School graduating class circa 1933. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2008.155.001 I started going to North Fulton High School in 1940 that s 47. I started to North Fulton in 1947. [Back] in those days it was just about everyone had a uniform. The subfreshmen would wear a shirt and pants. But the rest of it was a military school at that particular time and everyone else wore a military uniform. So I was actually in five years of high school. I was in ROTC where I was in the Rifle Club. I was second in the city of Atlanta in 1950 in regard to sharpshooting. I was also in Mr. Lowrance s glee club in North Fulton from 1947 to 1953 the year I graduated. North Fulton High School existed until 1991 when it merged with Northside High School and relocated to become North Atlanta High School. The original site of the school is now Charlie Loudermilk Park which sits across the street from the Buckhead Theatre. Jim and several members of a local men s club helped build the park. He remembers I was in the Buckhead Boys the man that started Aaron Rents was Charlie Loudermilk and Charlie was a North Fulton graduate and he built Aaron Rents and that was just across the street from the Buckhead Theatre and at the present time this is 2017 and that park stands today in front of the Buckhead Theatre. It s called I think CocaCola has named it Roxy. All in all Jim remembers a fairly peaceful childhood. The woods behind his family home provided a shortcut to his school a playground for his pals and occasionally an area to work out differences--although Jim and his brother Charles knew better. Jim recalls [The] cut through to go to Liberty Guinn and coming out in the afternoons they would they would come back a similar way. Now being small children I was taught early in life not to fight. My mother and dad had a strong opinion my mother was constantly washing my clothes and if I got dirty she was gonna [sic] wash those clothes the very day I came in with Jim Stroup and Carol Thompson at Heritage Sandy Springs 2017. the dirty clothes and next day I would go to school clean. But when [in my] second year of North Fulton I started going the other way and started taking on the boys because we got to the point we were were not gonna [sic] be bullied. One of the boys got mean in our backyard one day and started cussing--with my mother standing there--she got all upset [and] me and my brother was [sic] there and she said Boys get him and when she said that...we got that boy. Despite Jim s one run-in with some early bullies he and his brother enjoyed their childhood in Sandy Springs. As Jim grew up he would go on to work several jobs in the community including one with the local milkman one with Superior Cleaners and also as a grocery boy at Sentell s Grocery before he joined the military during the Korean War. While many of Sandy Springs structures are no longer standing the childhood memories of Jim are still physically intact. Thankfully part of Liberty Guinn Elementary School still exists--albeit with a different moniker--and the forest where Jim spent most of his childhood remains free of development--forested as he remembers it--and a special place not only to Jim and his family but to the entire neighborhood along Belle Isle Road. B Read The Stories You Missed Volume 1 35 Click Here Preserving Sandy Springs in the Modern World An Interview with Linda Bussell Oglesby B Interviewer Karen Meinzen McEnerny & Rachel Rosner B Date of Interview October 19 2017 Over the past 170 years give or take a decade Sandy The family eventually purchased a home at 190 Mount Vernon Springs has emerged from its early days as a rural settlement Highway near what is considered the center of Sandy Springs. to become one of the largest cities in Georgia. As the city Her father Foster sold life insurance through the Life Insurance continues to expand Sandy Springers have witnessed the Company of Georgia and her mother She was a homemaker community grow up in today s modern society. At the triangle remembers Linda. She sewed made dresses for us three of Mount Vernon Highway Roswell Road and Johnson Ferry girls canned food from the vegetable garden and fruit trees Road the largest and most significant changes continue to be on our property. And church was a big part of our lives. We the most apparent as were active members once historic structures of Providence Baptist have succumbed to an Church later named increasingly expanding First Baptist Church c i t y. D e s pi te t he of Sandy Springs. modernizations and Linda s entire development of Sandy extended family S p r i n g s b u s i n e s s eventually relocated dis tric t the areas to the Sandy Springs nearest the center communit y. Linda of the city still hold recalls some of the strongest Exterior view of the Bussell s home at 190 Mount Vernon Highway. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs 2011.135.022. memories for longtime I think it was residents. work and financial opportunity that brought the family to the Atlanta Linda Bussell Oglesby has lived in Sandy Springs for a area. No one really remembers who came first but remarkable seventy seven years. She was born December 12 three aunts grandparents and parents along with 1941 at Crawford Long Hospital--making her an Atlanta native my two older sisters eventually moved to this area. through and through. Linda was born to Willie Lou Amerson In South Georgia they were in cotton and dairy. My Bussell and Foster Harrison Bussell who came to Sandy grandparents bought a house on Roswell Road now Springs in the 1930s in the midst of the Great Depression. home to Steak & Shake. 37 north after World War II. Linda s mother maintained a family garden on their three acres but Linda s favorite thing was the orchard that was on the family s property. She recollects I often cut through the woods along the alley to get to my best friend s house on Sandy Springs Circle. The alley ran behind our house where the rows of peach trees were. That was where I loved to play it was my private playground. Clos er to Dolores Bussell sister of Linda Bussell the house Oglesby standing in front of the Baker family were pear home. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2011.135.023 apple and crabapple trees. Daddy planted concord grapes on an arbor and there were fig trees all over the place. There were also muscadines and scuppernongs to eat and the three large pecan trees in the front yard were a constant source of nuts. I remarked to somebody the other day that I missed my mother s pear pickles and they said pear pickles The pears were not good for eating but they made great relish pickles and my favorite pear preserves. Mother made something out of whatever we had. Prior to the larger tracts of commercial development in the late 1960s the area where City Springs is now located was once dotted with farms and dairies. Bratton Farm sat on the corner of Sandy Springs Circle and Johnson Ferry Road on what is now the home of Sandy Springs Fire Station 2 and there were two dairies across Johnson Ferry recalls Linda. Mother use to send me down to the Bratton s to buy those round molds of butter. Today Sandy Springs is largely developed by commercial and chain real estate. Many of the once large tracts of land are now dotted with mansions that have forgone using the acreage for agriculture. As a result many longtime residents feel the town has lost its charm. As the city continues to grow and the historic areas of the town continually become modernized one thing remains the same the gently flowing springs which give the town its name the historic park at Heritage Green and the history archived at the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum will continue to memorialize the memories of residents like Linda preserving Sandy Springs history for generations to come. B View from the back of the Bussell family home Hildebrand and Mt. Vernon Highway circa 1958. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2011.135.024 Despite living near the center of town in what is generally considered the original business district of Sandy Springs Linda and many of her neighbors only utilized the local grocery stores for some things. Burdett s HardemanEckles and eventually an A&P grocer y store all operated along Roswell Road and offered the community several different shopping choices. Linda remembers shopping at Taylor s General Store after Hardeman-Eckles closed its doors. I remember going in there one day with my daddy. He died when I was fourteen so it must have been in the late forties. They had all these tables with folded jeans overalls and shirts on them. Daddy bought me a plaid Dan River shirt. I was thrilled. After renting for a few years in 1943 Mr. Bussell purchased a home and an empty lot on Mount Vernon Highway from Forrest Burdett. An additional lot acquired a short time later brought the Bussell property to roughly three acres in spite of the commercial development nearby. Many of the neighboring families had large gardens. One of Linda s neighbors had such a large garden that they needed to buy very little. Linda recalls Mrs. Sadie Baker (Lee) was the gardener in the family and she was an excellent one. The black couple that lived behind her house helped her with things like plowing. In addition to all kinds of vegetables Mrs. Baker also planted rows of flowers mostly zinnias. In the summertime she would put bunches of them down by the road for twenty-five or fifty-cents. Like us they also had chickens for both eggs and food. I can t remember whether they had other livestock. They grew enough corn to have it milled. Our neighbor on the other side Mrs. Harrison had a beautiful strawberry bed. She made her own mayonnaise and bottled her own grape juice. Hers was the only house I ever visited where I was always served halftea and halfgrape juice. Indeed Sandy Springs was known for its agriculture and rural landscape even as the town grew in the post-war world. Small affordable homes with large plots of land were what initially motivated many Atlanta residents to depart the city and travel Like Father Like Son An Interview with Lea Richmond III and Dr. Lea Richmond Jr. B Interviewer Bob & Susan Beard B Date of Interview December 7 2013 The social and cultural landscape for young Sandy Springers has drastically changed throughout the postwar world. Kids who remember growing up in Sandy Springs--or even in the United States--remember a radically different setting from the 1950s to what kids are experiencing today. As longtime resident Lea Richmond III remembers it his coming of age in Sandy Springs was a much simpler time. The Richmond family including Dr. Lea Ric hmond Jr. and his son Lea Richmond III moved to Sandy Springs during the population boom following World War II in the early 1950s. Bor n in 1947 Lea experienced and contributed firsthand to the development of Sandy Spr ings and saw its transition from a quiet suburb to an energetic city. the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Decatur before opening a clinic over Burdett s grocery store--at the corner of Mount Vernon Highway and Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. He later joined three other physicians to form the Sandy Springs Clinic where he worked primarily with children. For the doctor s son Lea living in the Brookhaven Apartments were some of his first memories of Sandy Springs. While living there he first attended Jim Cherry Elementary S c h o o l . Eventually D r. R i c h m o n d built a house at 72 9 C a r r i a g e Drive in the Mt. Ver non Woods neig h b o r ho o d. This would be the f a mil y s home base for many years to come. T he neighborhood in Mt. Ver non Woods offered a small close-knit Morgan Falls Dam in the early stages of construction communit y for before it created Bull Sluice Lake circa 1900. Courtesy t h e Ric h m o n d of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2010.188.002 f a m i l y. The As many families neighborhood left central Atlanta for nearby suburbs Dr. Lea Richmond often held cookouts and block parties and no one saw Jr.--a prominent and well-known general surgeon in the a need to lock their door--even when they went on area--established the family s first home on Piedmont vacations. Lea recalls Road. Not long after the family moved to a new home at Brookhaven Apartments which also happened to shorten I remember riding...There was a drugstore that Dr. Richmond s commute to work. Dr. Richmond worked at used to be in the old Sandy Springs Plaza shopping 39 Riva Ridge Fish Camp at Morgan Falls and Bull Sluice circa 1960s. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. 2014.011.001 center. Valler s [sic] Jewelers was there and there was a drugstore there. And I remember riding my bicycle which we all did a lot of back then from Carriage Drive and going up there after school to get get banana splits. We popped the balloon for one cent or three cents or whatever you won. And then I rode also rode my bike all over Sandy Springs and into other neighborhoods down off Glenridge. Of course you don t see that today but kids were much freer. Um there was not [sic] the concerns that there are today that everybody that haunts everybody. We we just...you know we kind of...You were home in time for dinner and nobody worried about anything other than being home in time for dinner. And then everybody also sneaked out at night in Sandy Springs. There were big groups of us that used to do that overnight. Um boy girl like I know we re talking ten to twenty people...It was just a different era and a much more friendly [sic] much gentler time I think from what I can remember. Lea attended Hammond Elementary School after moving to Mt. Vernon Woods and was a student there when the school burned down. I went to Hammond School and I do remember the Hammond School fire. remembers Lea. You could see the fire. Cause [sic] my grandparents who lived on Collier Road which is down off Northside Drive south of...where Piedmont Hospital is...where dad grew up on Collier Road--[you] could see the fire from there. In the 1950s Sandy Springs indeed offered a less complicated community for families to raise their children. Lea could ride his bike all around town and the green and natural areas that dot the communal landscape were rarely overrun with people. Lea remembers his dad taking him camping near the lake at Morgan Falls. Bull Sluice Lake is a small reservoir located along the Chattahoochee River in northern Sandy Springs. The lake encompasses nearly 700 acres and was created by the construction of Morgan Falls Dam in 1904. At first it was the largest hydroelectric dam built in the state and provided electricity for Atlanta s streetcars. The dam was rebuilt in 1924 to expand its electrical capacity and in 1957 it was revamped to regulate the flow of the much larger Buford Dam upstream. Aside from its technical purpose the product of the dam--Bull Sluice Lake--provided a local recreational spot for many youth. Lea recollects I can remember camping with my dad up at Bull Sluice below Morgan Falls Dam off Roswell Road above what became North Springs High School I guess. There was a dirt road that went over. And we camped at The Bluffs bottom of The Bluffs on the lake that was Bull Sluice Lake. There was nothing there. It was just one or two little houses. They were north of what was then Sandy Springs. Um and we had long tails. Long tails were black panthers [mountain lions]. And you could hear em [sic] screaming on the clifftops...I remember hearing the screaming at night when we camped out up there. Besides the hydroelectric power produced by the dam--which now provides enough power for about 4 400 Like Father Like Son continued not included. I mean we had beer machines in the dorms. Yeah. It was really different along with a Coke machine so... It was...it is a little different back then. Like so many young men in the late 1960s Lea joined the air force after college during the Vietnam War. After he came back from service in the early 1970s he knew exactly the career he wanted to follow. Dr. Richmond remembers I d wanted to hear a joke. Lea came to me when he got out Side of Hammond Elementary building after the of the service. And I said Sir fire 1959. Courtesy of Heritage Sandy Springs. what are you gonna [sic] do 2010.280.003 And he said Well I think I want to be a developer. I said Son homes--the lake s other primary use today is for recreation you don t know anything about...You you don t even know including fishing boating and camping. anything about landscape architecture. He said Dad... Lea spent his entire childhood around Sandy Springs living Later he told me. He said Dad what you didn t realize in multiple houses and attending multiple schools. After back then is if you if you need architect landscape you the Hammond Elementary fire in 1959 Dr. Richmond and you call an architectural landscaper. You don t have to be his wife decided to send Lea to The Lovett School a private one. Lea was in his mid-twenties and instead of returning country day school with an expansive wooded campus off to college for a business degree he listened to his father. West Wesley Road. And it [sic] was at the original Lovett He recalls I wanted to go and I wanted to become a first remembers Lea. We were real concerned because commercial developer. That was in my early twenties it was in the early 60s and there was [sic] conversations midtwenties I guess maybe around that time. This would about bussing and my family didn t want me to end up have been 1973 But at any rate I went into real estate. having to sit on a bus for an hour...to go to the other end Dad sent me down to meet with Mr. Frank Carter Sr. [Dad] of the city. I remember I was held back a year because said I really would recommend you just go get your real the academics were better than at Hammond School and I estate license and skip business school and just jump right went to Lovett and went there through middle school and in. That was his advice. Indeed Lea heeded his father s through high school. Graduated...June 6 1966. Lea would guidance and after completing his real estate licensure then leave the familiarity of Sandy Springs and travel to he took the first steps towards changing the face of Sandy attend the University of the South in Sewanee Tennessee. Springs. The University of the South also known as Sewanee is a private residential coeducational liberal arts college. However when Lea attended it was not co-ed. He recalls It s an all men school. We all traveled a lot on weekends. And to us it was a party weekend. There was an article about Sewanee in Rolling Stone magazine...they had listed the top 100 thinking schools in the United States and Sewanee was not on the list. But there was this big footnote and an asterisk after the number one up after the list. You know this big footnote. And a big footnote said Sorry Sewanee professionals are As a real estate agent and land developer Lea played a role in reshaping Sandy Springs. Interestingly being the son of a prominent area physician the first property he developed was the first freestanding surgical suite in the state. Lea worked with many doctors throughout the community and was instrumental in helping secure property for the construction of Northside Hospital. While he may not have followed completely in his father s footsteps as a medical professional Lea s contributions to the expansion of the entire medical community in Sandy Springs helped carry on his father s legacy. B 41 ou Missed Stories Y ead The R Visit Heritage Sandy Springs to get your copy Volume 2 A Non-Combative Hero An Interview with Thomas Emory Meeks B Interviewer Kimberly Brigance B Date of Interview December 19 2008 World War II was arguably the last major conflict of the twentieth century that unified nearly all Americans against a single cause. Not only did the war stimulate the economy and pull America out of the worst depression in history but it also incentivized flocks of men and women alike to join diverse branches of the military. From the army navy and marines to the W.A.C. W.A.V.E.S and Cadet Nursing Corps millions of U.S. citizens readily volunteered to help Uncle Sam beat the Axis powers of Japan Germany and Italy. Many Sandy Springers fulfilled both their international and domestic duties by planting victor y gardens enlisting in the military and working at the Bell Bomber plant in Marietta G e o r g i a . H o w e v e r m a n y residents had already taken up the cause to help the community before the war brought the United States direc tly into conflict. with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Tommy remembers I was away from home quite a bit because during the Depression what have you I worked away from home at a dairy farm for a small salary clothes and food. After that I joined the CCC Civilian Conservation Corps and I spent two years in that. We were located at that time in Newton Georgia Gainesville Georgia and we made several trips to Oregon and California while we were doing that. The CCC was a public relief program that was launched in 1933 as a way to get unemployed unmarried men back to work. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt s New Deal a national program designed to help young men contribute to the revitalization of the economy and domes tic wor k force. The CCC was primarily responsible for planting trees construc ting trails and building public facilities. Over the course of its nine years in operation nearly three million young men participated in the CCC which provided them with shelter clothing and food together with a wage of thirty dollars per month--twenty-five Poster promoting the Civilian Conservation Corps made dollars of which had to be sent home by the Illinois WPA Art Project Chicago circa 1935. Public to their families. Domain courtesy of the Works Progress Administration. While the United States was grappling with the Great Depression Europe was steadily witnessing the militarization of Germany the appeasement of Adolph Hitler and the outbreak of World War II with Germany s Thomas Emor y Meeks was born September 11 1920 in Por terdale Georgia at the onset of the Roaring Twenties. Tommy was raised by his mother Sarah Cole and father William Burgess Meeks until his parents separated during the Great Depression. Tommy s mother raised him and his two sisters by herself and once Tommy was old enough he took the first steps toward supporting his family by working 43 made the decision to quit his job as a civilian mechanic and enlist in the military before he had even arrived back home. Tommy immediately sought to enlist in the navy and received little objection from his mother two sisters or his girlfriend--who also joined the Cadet Nurse Corps. Tommy recollects I had always thought that navy would be the place where I would like to serve. I made a trip to Macon to join the navy. At that point there was a man there that says Hey with your experience as a mechanic...we ve got a problem. The construction people in foreign Mess line of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp circa 1933. lands that were caught by the enemy forces Public domain courtesy of the Oklahoma State University Special Collections and Archives 278480. was treated as spies and therefore shot. We have a construction bat talion branch of the nav y to invasion of Poland in 1939. t a ke t h e p l a c e The United States had been of the engineers reser vedly suppor ting the and construc tion Allied powers of World War II people that are in beginning in 1939. Through the war zone. They programs such as Cash and asked if I would Carry the Lend-Lease Act and wait a couple of others it was only a matter weeks and come of time before the United The sunken U.S. Navy battleships USS West Virginia (BB-48 left) back and join the and USS Arizona (BB-39) aflame after the Japanese attack on Pearl States was officially drawn into Harbor on December 7 1941. Public domain courtesy of the National Seabees. At that the war. That day occurred Archives and Records Administration 295986. time I was given December 7 1941--a day that an advanced rating will live in infamy. The morning of 30 plus and advanced from that through E8. of that fateful day Pearl Harbor the U.S. naval base near Honolulu Hawaii became the scene of a devastating surprise attack by Japanese air forces. Just before eight o clock that Sunday morning air sirens blared as hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base. The U.S. fleet scrambled to defend itself as best it could. Japanese forces managed to completely destroy or damage nearly twenty American naval vessels including eight battleships over three hundred airplanes and most military runways. Tommy had taken the day off as a mechanic to travel with his girlfriend to visit her brother when he heard the news of Pearl Harbor. He remembers My [girlfriend s] brother had been inducted into the army and was at Fort McPherson. We were out that Sunday morning visiting with him when we heard the announcement of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. They announced it [over the intercom]. I was scared. It was heartbreaking news. More than 2 400 Americans died in the attack including civilians and another 1 000 people were wounded. The day after the assault President Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan officially bringing the United States into the Allied forces and pitting the country against Japan Germany and Italy. Like so many young men Tommy had Indeed due to Tommy s prior work as a mechanic he was able to wait until May 1942 before officially enlisting in the United States Navy as a mechanic. He recalls Usually the training for the navy was something like thirteen and twenty-six weeks. My particular training we took a threeweeks brief training come out for six weeks and then we was transferred to California and went to the Third Marine Division. Tommy went through naval training in nine weeks before joining the Third Marine Division at Camp Elliott California. Tommy and the rest of his squadron trained with the marines before transferring to the Pacific theatre to battle the Japanese military. Tommy would spend the next four years as part of the Seabees a U.S. Naval Construction Battalion conscripted to rebuild military bases and infrastructure in the Pacific theatre. Tommy traveled from California to Guadalcanal Bougainville and eventually Guam encountering combat on his mission to restructure and revitalize the war-torn islands in the Pacific Ocean. A Non-Combative Hero continued After the attack on Pearl Harbor Rear Admiral Ben Moreell chief of the navy s Bureau of Yards and Docks immediately recognized the need for skilled mechanics and a construc tion crew to develop strong infrastructure and rebuild military bases. In December 1941 with an eye on the future he recommended the Official logo of the Naval formation of Naval Construction Construction Battalion or the Seabees circa 1942. Battalions or what would later Public Domain. be known as the Seabees. Tommy Meeks was one of more than 325 000 men who served with the Seabees during World War II. Though the Seabees did encounter combat they also subsequently rebuilt major airstrips bridges roads warehouses hospitals gasoline storage tanks and housing on six continents and more than 300 islands in the Pacific. The Seabees toured with the marines in the Pacific Theater landing shortly thereafter. Tommy recalls The first place we landed was Guadalcanal. Guadalcanal was secured by the Second Marine Division. We were still in the only island and we were still having air attacks. There we kind of based ourselves at Guadalcanal and done some projects patching the runways and building there. Building sawmills and this that and the other. We had several air attacks while we were there. When we first got there we were pretty well assured that the island was secure but hey. Everywhere we went we dig a foxhole. You know what a foxhole is A hole you get in when you re below ground. We did not do it at first at Guadalcanal. After the first raid we had everybody had a foxhole. Tommy followed the marines from one island to the next rebuilding for both military and civilian purposes during the leapfrogging or island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific Ocean theater of the war. The island-hopping campaign was a military strategy employed by the Allied powers against Japan during World War II. The goal was to bypass more heavily fortified Japanese positions on specific islands using the limited resources of the United States and instead to take strategically important islands such as Rabaul Guam and Bougainville. The island of Bougainville which sits off the coast of Papua New Guinea was under Australian control prior to the war and was captured by the Japanese Empire in 1942. The U.S. Marines launched a counter-campaign to retake the island in 1943 and hold the perimeter of the beachhead in Torokina Tommy played a part in that mission. He remembers We were faced with the position of the [Japanese] landing in behind us on Bougainville. That s where the navy would shore the ships. They really done [sic] a beautiful job in keeping the enemy out from behind us. Ten days we had an aircraft one with shot wings off and it landed [on] the strip we had started to build. He comes in to the runway and jumped off but at least he landed. We went on and completed a runway on Bougainville that they used on the islands in the chain. We built roads and kill boxes and stuff [on Bougainville] where they could have permanent front lines. Then we left there and come back to Guadalcanal. That was our base there. By 1944 Australian troops initiated the second phase of the offensive campaign and began to work their way north across the island engaging with small starving but determined Japanese garrisons who remained on Bougainville until 1945. After returning to Guadalcanal to resupply the Seabees headed out to Guam to retake that American territory. The island of Guam had been one of the first islands captured by the Japanese in the Pacific Theater in 1941. By 1944 the Allies had planned for an invasion which initially called for heavy preliminary bombardment first by carrier aircraft and planes based in the Marshall Islands to the east followed by close bombardment by battleships and beach craft. The Allied powers began their attack in June encompassing both naval and aerial bombing campaigns. On July 21 1944 U.S. Marines and the Seabees were ordered to land and retake the island in the Second Battle of Guam which only lasted until August 10 1944. Tommy remembers Before I left the ship before it hit the beach I think around eight o clock in the morning fifty-five minutes later I was told to go board the boat with a weapon carrier with a tank of water behind. One of our Seabees that had gone ashore with a bulldozer was back aboard ship with a shrapnel wound. I think it was an hour and fifty-five minutes after the first wave hit the beach when I went ashore. At that time the marines had advanced quite a bit. The Japanese knew where we were. The beaches were pretty well hit. We got in and the island was [sic] declared secure by the navy--whoever military forces--in ten days but there was more enemy fought out after that than before the ten days. By nine o clock in the morning Tommy had landed ashore with both men and tanks on multiple beaches of the island and by nightfall the U.S. Marines the Coast Guard and the Seabees had established multiple beachheads to offer the counteroffensive against the Japanese attempts at infiltration. 45 Appreciative every one of them. In fact the last time we were back there there was a woman approached me talking to me hugged my neck and thanked me for being part of the liberation party. She told me how old she was and I said You must have been about nine years old when we were there when we first landed. She said Yeah. On all of our trips back there and while we were there too really...Since we went back on our reunions--we were back there three times fortyyear celebration a fifty and a sixty the people were very friendly and appreciative very thankful for what we done. Tommy continued to serve even after the Allied powers had won the war. He had returned home on a leave of rotation and was in Providence Rhode Island when he heard of the victory. It was quite a celebration remembers Tommy. The town was...actually you thought an earthquake hit it the next morning probably because the bars were open and everybody was celebrating. Nobody hurt or anything like that but it was quite a celebration. After the war Tommy began his journey back to Georgia. He hopped on a train to Jacksonville Florida where he was met by his family before driving the remaining way. Tommy returned to work as a mechanic for the White Motor Company in 1952 before he transitioned to a position at LockheedGeorgia. He also joined the Seabees as a reservist in the Atlanta-based chapter he helped found. Tommy married his longtime girlfriend upon returning and after a short stint on the southeast side of Atlanta he bought a home in Sandy Springs in 1963. He retired from Lockheed-Georgia as a senior tool inspector as well as from the Seabees Reserve as a senior constructive mechanic both in 1985. Tommy continued to devote himself to caring for others in the community. He devoted the later years of his life to the Sandy Springs Masonic Lodge and although a retired mechanic he continued to repair plumbing and electrical problems for area widows and disabled residents until his death in 2014. B Seabees on Bougainville Island during the Pacific Theatre circa 1943. Public domain courtesy of the United States Navy. The Second Battle of Guam continued across the island for two more weeks. The continued Japanese counterattacks against the now-fortified American beachheads eventually exhausted their forces. By August the Japanese were running out of both food and ammunition and their artillery and tanks had all but been destroyed. Tommy and the Seabees had already been given their orders and had started to rebuild the island for the residents who had survived the Japanese occupation. We also built some housing for them. We also built some bridges there. I was in charge of at one point moving water. All the pumps on the island that we were using for moving water gasoline and whatever it was we maintained them to keep the water flowing. We built a bridge into Hagatna. It s still in use by the way. When we were over there our last trip we rededicated it--the bridge. I wondered then why we were building a fourlane bridge on Guam but the last time I was over there the fourlane bridge was in effect [a] fourlane road. Guam remained a base for Allied operations after the battle and the five airfields built by Tommy and the Seabees allowed B-29 Bombers to fly attack routes against the Japanese mainland. To this day Liberation Day is celebrated in Guam each year on July 21. Tommy and several members of his squad routinely travel back to celebrate Liberation Day. Tommy recalls Seabees repairing construction equipment and rebuilding infrastructure during the Pacific Theatre circa 1943. Public domain courtesy of the United States Navy. A Family in Power An Interview with Ruth Fox B Interviewer Garnett Cobb B Date of Interview August 20 1991 Atlanta and its surrounding communities rose from the ashes of the Civil War with a determination to make itself a prominent city on the east coast. Devastated and left in ruins from the war large industrial organizations relied on the established superiority of the rail transportation system in the city to rebuild and grow. The destruction by General Sherman and his marc h lef t many residents of the surrounding areas with little left and so many headed to larger cities in search of housing and jobs. Atlanta after 1910 encouraged Atkinson to acquire a financially unstable hydroelectric project on the Tallulah River. In 1912 Atkinson combined the Morgan Falls hydroelectric plant and the Georgia Railway and Elec tric Company to become the Georgia Power Company. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the Georgia Power combined and absorbed a profusion of southern utilities companies. In 1927 Athens Railway & Electric Company and Rome Railway & Light Company were merged and by 1928 the power companies of Macon and Augusta had joined with Georgia Power Company as well. The rapid expansion and growth of industry during the reconstruction era was fueled by both technological advances and a will to rebuild. This tenacity encouraged many citizens --including one Sandy Springs family--to work tirelessly to advance the amenities of not only Atlanta but of surrounding communities as well. Atlanta was one of the first cities in Georgia to have an increasing demand for electric lighting. As early as 1883 while the city was being rebuilt its citizens began to organize and promote the formation of an electric company. By 1891 an Atlanta banker named Henry Atkinson pulled together the first foundation of the Georgia Electric Light Company. The Ruth Fox was born in 1906 in expanding electricity industry Madison Count y Georgia just prompted another merger in northeast of Athens. Ruth was the Facade of Georgia Railway & Power Company s electric substation Edgewood Avenue Atlanta Georgia 1902. Atkinson with the help youngest of six children and unlike 1927. AJCP551_31f Atlanta Journal Constitution of a young attorney named many children in the early nineteenth Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Preston S. Arkwright charted century she was able to attend both Archives Georgia State University Library. the Georgia Railway and Electric primary and secondary levels of Company which merged with education before heading to the the Atlanta Consolidated Street Railway Company. The University of Georgia. Ruth recollects I went to school company went through numerous changes during those at the state normal school and the University of Georgia formative years. The increasing need for electricity in [before becoming] a home economist with Georgia Power 47 While Ruth her husband and their oldest son all worked for what is now one of the nation s largest generators of electricity their youngest son--Jim--struck out on his own. James L. Fox or Jim attended the University of South Carolina where he became a breakout basketball star. He was voted the best player in the state and became a pro basketball player with the NBA [sic] for ten years. He played with the Phoenix Suns and fell in love with Arizona [which] is where he and his family live now recollects Ruth. Jim graduated from college in 1965 and was immediately drafted in the eighth round of the 1965 National Basketball Association (NBA) Unidentified female picketers at Georgia Power Company protest draft by the Cincinnati Royals. Not one to play it circa 1972. L1981-19_009 Labor safe Jim turned down the opportunity with the Photographs International Royals and elected instead to travel to Europe Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 613 (Atlanta Ga.) Records where he played professionally for two seasons L1981-19 Southern Labor Archives. with the Real Madrid and Racing Mechelen Special Collections and Archives basketball teams. Jim returned stateside in Georgia State University Atlanta. 1967 when he teamed up with the Royals for their 1967-68 season. He eventually was traded Company. Indeed af ter to the Detroit Pistons in February 1968. Over Ruth graduated she began the course of his career Jim played for the her first job with the Georgia Cincinnati Royals Detroit Pistons Phoenix Baseball Card of Jim Fox circa 1969-1970. Power Company in Athens in Suns Chicago Bulls Seattle Supersonics the 1920s. I was there for Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Nets. Ruth four years recalls Ruth. I was transferred to Macon as remembers He left a cold cold place...and when he got a home service supervisor which was an interesting time to Phoenix on warm winter days I think he thought he had in my life. I loved my job and I did a great deal [with] died and gone to heaven. They have two boys Mike and schools teaching people how to use an electric range. Jim...They are all [basketball] players. In the early years of the Georgia Power Company Ruth was employed to provide demonstrations on how to use Ruth never thought twice about leaving Sandy Springs emergent technology specifically the electric range oven. even after her husband died. She moved into an old Ruth states I had given demonstrations in small towns farmhouse on Abernathy Road that sat on two acres and to women who had that range. That is something to really went back to work. She remembers After my husband s remember...going all the way from Jonesboro back to death I went back to work for Georgia Power. I worked the Florida line. [I went] to each district there were six for a while in home economics...then I had a very nice districts and I did all the demonstrations. promotion and worked with women s groups [as an] Ruth met her husband in the late 1930s and was married by 1938. My husband was also with the Georgia Power Company [in the] Operating Department. We moved to Sandy Springs in 1945. It was just a community at the time. [It only had] one store [which] was the Burdett s store a filling station and a hardware store...we loved living here remembers Ruth. She and her husband lived along Mount Vernon Highway. They had two sons who grew up in the Sandy Springs community and attended Hammond Elementary School one of which would follow in his parents vocational footsteps. Ruth recalls Richard my oldest son is an [alum] of Georgia Tech and has been employed by the Georgia Power Company. Richard presumably worked with the company s engineering department in its efforts to construct power plants throughout the state.1 advisor to the women employees and wives of employees. I retired in 1971. [I can t] believe that I ve been retired for 20 years But I have. Never one to sit idle Ruth got involved with Sandy Springs United Methodist Church as well as the Sandy Springs Women s Club becoming the club s first president. Ruth and the various clubs around the community sought to ensure every house in Sandy Springs had electricity access to clean water and eventually a fire department. Ruth recalls The members of the women s club were involved in every movement for the good of the community. We began working hard to get a library...a beautiful library [that] we have today we can be very proud. B 1 Editor s Note During Ruth s interview she did not mention directly what department Richard worked in. However she mentioned that his peers in engineering were transferred from station to station once their work was completed. The Vietnam War One Soldier s Story An Interview with Frederick Paul Heller B Interviewer Kimberly Brigance B Date of Interview December 15 2008 Nearly seventy-three years ago the United States Great Frederick Paul Heller--or Paul as everyone called him--was Britain and the Soviet Union declared victory over the born January 11 1939 in Albany New York. He grew up in a Axis powers of Germany Italy and Japan during World small town upstate called Walden Bridge that Paul says had War II. Almost immediately the U.S. and the Soviet Union more cows than people. Paul s father started out as a farmer entered into a before eventually cold war where becoming a a n i d e o l o g i c al salesman for bat tle bet ween a local farm c apit alis m and m a c h i n e r y communism c o m p a n y. H i s emerged through mother took care proxy wars such of their home as the Korean War Paul and his two and the Vietnam sisters. When War. For many Paul graduated Americ ans the from the loc al Vietnam War is high school at one of the most eighteen there contentious was not a doubt conflicts of in his mind what the t wentieth he wanted to do. GMC XM211 military trucks on unknown military base. 2017.008.023 Gift of c e nt u r y. S o m e Paul recollec t s James and Betty Stroup. Archives and Collections Heritage Sandy Springs. m e n s u c h a s My mother Marietta resident wanted me to be Paul Heller enthusiastically enlisted. Thousands of others an engineer and I didn t want to be an engineer. I was fed however were drafted and sent overseas--leaving family and up with school. I told her Well if you don t let me go in the friends confused and the general population enraged. Marine Corps when I m eighteen I ll quit and join ...I guess I d watched too many John Wayne movies. Paul entered 49 time I got promoted a few times. I was selected for warrant officer. In 1964 or 1965 I was commissioned as second lieutenant and then I went to Vietnam in 1967. I went to Vietnam I was a twenty-eightyearold second lieutenant with eleven years in the Marine Corps. From Paul s perspective Vietnam was still escalating and the fighting was relatively sparse. Vietnam had in fact been building for a hundred years as the resistance of the North Vietnamese--backed by communists in the Soviet Union and China--grew increasingly tired of the colonialist influences by the French and British as well as by the Americans perpetuated by the South Vietnamese government. The Viet Cong was a South Vietnamese communist front aided by the North which routinely engaged in guerrilla warfare against anti-communist forces in the region. The People s Army of Vietnam also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) engaged in more conventional warfare. As the war continued the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased and the role of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations involving ground forces artillery and airstrikes. The North Vietnamese government and the Viet Cong were striving for Vietnamese reunification for they viewed this conflict as a continuation of the colonial occupation by France and later the United States. France had been involved in small skirmishes with the Former debutante Diane Love preparing to serve with the Red Cross in the Vietnam War circa 1960s. AJCN131-035a Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archives. NVA and the Viet Cong since the end of World War II Special Collections and Archives Georgia State University Library. when it sought to regain control of its colonial territory. As the Cold War gained traction in the 1950s the United the service in Albany New York on September 10 1956. He States government saw Korea and then later Vietnam as remembers They sent me off to Parris Island to boot camp. larger indicators of what they called the Domino Theory -- After the first day I realized that I should have listened to my if one of these countries was to fall to communism the entire mother and become an engineer...You lose all your freedom. region would succumb as well. As early as 1950 American You have no freedom anymore and everything that you do military advisors arrived in what was then French Indochina as you re told to do. The early days of training what they did most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by is they tried to break you down and then they try to rebuild the Pentagon. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s you. What they wanted to do is undo everything that your with troop levels tripling in 1961 and then again in 1962. U.S. mother took seventeen years of spoiling and build you into commitment escalated even further following the 1964 Gulf being a marine. Paul spent twelve weeks training at Parris of Tonkin incident. Island before the Marine Corps decided he had his head on straight. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a When Paul s first tour in Vietnam began in 1967 he was private and worked his way up through the ranks. transferred to a relatively peaceful area. He recalls By the time Paul had enlisted in the marines the Korean War was ending but the war in Vietnam had only just begun. The Vietnam War or the Second Indochina War began in Vietnam Laos and Cambodia on November 1 1955 and ended with the fall of Saigon on April 30 1975. Paul served two tours in Vietnam between 1967 and 1968 and then again in 1972. Paul was a commissioned officer with eleven years of experience by the time he was sent for his first tour of duty. He remembers What happened along the way-- from 1956 we ll say to 1967--when I was in Vietnam the first Of course Vietnam you didn t have that many people going to Vietnam in 67. They were still building up for later years and of course I knew there was going be some fighting and combat and stuff like that but I didn t figure there d be too much. There really wasn t from March till January of 68. First I was stationed in Chu Lai and then in November I went to Quang Tr which was up on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Chu Lai is south of Da Nang you ve probably heard of Da Nang. Most marines were in what they The Vietnam War One Soldier s Story continued [At] night sometimes they d try to probe your line and get into you face and stuff. As for the helicopter outfit up there they wanted to blow up your helicopters [but] they never got in. What they try to do is they try to get sappers in there with a satchel charge on them and blow them up. They d also lob in the mortar rounds and rocket rounds and stuff. The Tet Offensive failed in its initial goal of overthrowing the South Vietnamese government but became the turning point in the war. The increasingly public presence of U.S. troops in Vietnam with a mounting number of casualties and little to show for their efforts began to draw ire from Americans back home. Despite decades of substantial U.S. military aid to the South Vietnamese government a large portion of the U.S. population began doubting its government s claims of progress toward winning the war. Anti-War Pickets Parade in Front of Peachtree Selective Service Building. October 17 1967. AJCP563-068a Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Archives Georgia State University Library. call I Corps there was [sic] five corps in Vietnam and I Corps--which was really first Corps--was in the northern part from DMZ down a little south of Chu Lai. Chu Lai was right on the coast maybe fifty-sixty miles south of Da Nang. That was nice it was peaceful. There was very little combat going on in that particular area at the time in 67. I was in support. I was a motor transport maintenance officer but then when I went up to Quang Tr I was the base defense commander. The war in Vietnam began to peak in 1968 with the Tet Offensive--one of the largest military campaigns of the entire Vietnam War. The Tet Offensive began on January 30 1968 as the forces of the Viet Cong and the NVA launched a surprise attack against the military and civilian command centers in South Vietnam. Paul recollects Some of the generals say it was a surprise but at that time I had been promoted to first lieutenant and also I get an intelligence briefing every day because of the base defense thing and we knew what was going to happen. I don t know why the general didn t. The early attacks from the Viet Cong and the NVA initially stunted the reaction of the U.S. and the South Vietnamese forces. They temporarily lost control of several cities before quickly regrouping and subsequently beating back the attacking forces inflicting heavy causalities. Paul recalls Actually the first time I really ever saw any combat or anything was during Tet. I was there during Tet in 68 and if you read any history of Vietnam you probably know what Tet in 68 is. Tet in 68 is when the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong tried to take over the country. They just didn t have quite enough stuff to do [it]. We built bunkers and foxholes and waited for them to come. They shelled us mostly. They really didn t try to probe our lines too much. Gradual withdrawal of U.S. ground forces began as part of the Vietnamization process which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves. Paul states On the second tour I went into Da Nang and it was rather peaceful there because all the fighting was up north of us and I went back with a Marine Corps fighter squadron and I was in a support role there and we only stayed there for a few months. Then they had a cutback. President Nixon said We re pulling the troops out of Vietnam. They sent us to a place called Nam Phong Thailand. What they d do is they d load the bombs on the airplanes fly them up over North Vietnam drop them go into Da Nang load bombs back on them fly them up over North Vietnam drop them [and] fly back to Thailand. That way we weren t in Vietnam. Direct U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War ended on August 15 1973 despite continual efforts by the U.S. military to secretly aid the South Vietnamese military. The capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war Vietnam was reunified the following year. As for Paul he was promoted to the rank of major before retiring after eighteen years of service. He returned to Marietta to raise his daughter and son with his wife Sun. B Read The Stories You Missed Volume 1 51 Click Here