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NewsPub Notes

Old Theaters, Old Trucks


Anonymous Fans

Caps off to the investors who are buying the Georgia Theatre. (Read the story here) From the little we know about them, they sound like people who love this great place, appreciate it for what it is and have the means to assure its continuation as an iconic music venue.

But what’s with the anonymity? Taking over a place that was saved by an outpouring of public support but remaining unknown to the public just doesn’t feel right. Maybe as time goes along, we’ll understand this part of the deal more, but right now, the Theatre belonging to anonymous owners in Athens and Atlanta feels weird. There are no doubt many reasons for anonymity—modesty, not wanting to be bugged for tickets, day jobs where owning a rock-and-roll palace wouldn’t play well—but there are a lot of creepy connotations, too, and it just seems like this venue, which belongs to the public, demands transparency in its ownership.

News from Harold Williams

Harold and Paula are in the Camden Brookwood Apartments, Apt. 2110, 147 26th St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, near Shepherd Center, and he’ll begin another round of physical and occupational therapy. “I’m hanging in here and taking it one day at a time,” Harold says. Don’t you know he is! Keep those cards and letters coming. They mean a lot. 

Classic Work Truck

When I was growing up, our store always had a pickup truck for delivering groceries—usually a Chevrolet. We had a Ford once, but that was left over from the furniture business that was abandoned when it came to light that the route man was using the truck more for courting than for collections. My favorite among those trucks was the 1954 Chevy five-window pickup. There was something elegant about the design of those rear windows, not to mention the increased visibility. The truck was sturdy and simple: manual shift on the column, the old reliable straight-six engine under the hood; no air-conditioning, but a nifty side vent to let in the air while you drove. It was a work truck, but with some concern for the driver.

1954 was the last year of the post-war Chevy design. The next year, the bodies bloated and the V-8 became the standard engine. Since then, pickups have only grown larger, plusher and more complicated and also more popular than ever, though you wouldn’t want to haul a load of gravel in them.

Visiting friends in Decatur in recent years, I have admired a real, 1954 five-window Chevy pickup, a working truck, rather than a restored showpiece. Recently, I noticed a For Sale sign on it, and my heart leapt! A brief family conference reminded me that a 60-year-old truck that foreign-car specialist Garry Cummings doesn’t work on does not fit into our game plan, but maybe it does in yours. The owner, Bill Selman, uses it for yard work, etc., but has decided that it’s time to sell this classic old truck, so I told him that even though I could not buy it, there might be somebody in Athens who would like to have it. He describes the truck as a “1954 Chevy pickup truck, Limited Edition with curved corner cab windows; real collector’s dream. Runs good. Decatur, GA 30030. 678-459-2434.” You can drive it as is or restore it, depending on your abilities and resources. It would look right at home on Prince Avenue.