Sunday, February 26, 2012

Georgia on my Mind- 1978-1980

So we started a little community on Arlington Avenue in Macon. Our house was divided into the bottom half- one apartment, and the top half- two apartments. Our upstairs neighbor was a very well educated fellow from New York who was studying the historical aspects of Macon. He got very excited, for example, when he "discovered" an old mill in Juliette (where some of the Fried Green Tomatoes movie was filmed) that had lots of grits bags lying around. To John they were like finding buried treasure. He shared my love of all things romantic and Macon/Middle Georgia. Macon is also close to Atlanta, on I-75, and thus was not really off the beaten path. I met so many interesting people there, who were far and away more worldly than most of the people I grew up with in Alabama.

Phil and I hung out at The Cottage a lot. We went to Atlanta to see Bob Marley at the Fox. We went to hear Barry Commoner speak at Emory about energy solutions. We started an anti-nuclear group. We ate at the H and H and were treated like part of the family. I enjoyed the pace and relaxation in Macon, and left behind all the uptightness and uncertainties of Birmingham. I met a very unusual teacher named Al who was head of the sociology department at Mercer. His classes were unusual as well. Since I was doing a self designed major, and had really completed all the heavy courses at UAB, I was free to dabble in whatever interested me. All the classes I took were top notch. Only Bob Penny's English class at UAB could compare.

Al's class was a community sociology class, and the assignments involved doing something in the community. I chose a class where I would learn to make tofu at the home of Mary and Pat. Mary and Pat were true hippies and their home and lifestyle were amazing. Pat was a jewelry maker and junk collector. Mary knew everything there was to know about organic and whole foods, herbs, vegetarianism, alternative medicine, etc. I learned how to make tofu in their kitchen and still make the barbecue tofu that Mary used to take to pot lucks. Later I joined the food co-op and pursued a full education in healthy alternatives. I felt like I was in graduate school, and indeed I really was. I loved the philosophy classes, the excellent psychology classes and the lack of repressive moralizing by the faculty. Here people seemed genuinely interested in the pursuit of education. What a concept!

Life was so easy in Macon. Phil and I did not have much money, but we had great friends, lots to do, and no real obstacles to achieving our goals. He did well at Mercer Law School, and I did well at Mercer. I was not allowed to graduate Magna Cum Laude even though I had a 4.0 grade average because I had transferred from UAB.

What happened? Well, as best I can tell, my resolve to drink less fell by the wayside, I began to see that graduation was approaching, and I met someone. It all started with the women's softball team- The Cottage Cheese. And that, is a whole other story.

No comments:

Post a Comment