When I was making my decision about the second Camaro, whether or not I could afford it because the payments would cut way into what I could afford for an apartment, Pop told me that I didn’t have to move if I didn’t want to and he offered the old world custom that allowed a daughter to stay at her parents’ home (rent-free) until she married. Yeah, that sounds a little twisted in modern day America, but it meant I could have the Camaro and save some money while still having play money. And somehow, I think Pop had a little empty nest fear after my brother moved and got married. Besides, if I moved, Pop and I would have been in a nasty custody battle over Azreal!
So, I bought the Camaro, traveled and saved some money for the eventual first and last month’s rent and security deposit in Atlanta. I planned to make more money at the job that brought me south, so affording the car and rent was not something I was worried about. I needed a couple more years of experience to slip in to the bottom of a network news department in a large market anyway and at that time Atlanta has growing at a fast and furious pace! Pre-Olympics it was a small blip on the “growing” radar, but the Olympics and continued growth of industry and communications was bringing it up into the top 10 major market status it has now.
I started spending at least a couple of days in Atlanta as part of my fall vacation every year, getting to know the streets and character of my future home. In 1995, I flew to Atlanta a couple of days before New Year’s Eve with friends to welcome the Olympic year in the Olympic City. We went to the huge party at Underground Atlanta and stayed at the hotel at Underground Atlanta. After midnight the streets were packed anyway and we all had several fruity drinks and glasses of champagne more than would have been responsible for trying to drive. Heck, we helped each other find the elevator back to the hotel! Thankfully, by 1995, many of us really didn’t drink much anymore, so it wasn’t terribly expensive to become “nothing even resembling a designated driver,” but it was a fun party night with a few thousand strangers that became pals for the evening.
Barnie’s was the first coffee shop you see at the bottom of the elevator in Underground Atlanta and a place I have enjoyed many a latte! It was also a definite stop on a blurry-eyed and warm January 1 in 1996.
New Year's Eve 1995
Nani, Tracy, Rich, Jeff, John, Brad