NewsPub Notes

The Flagpole Guide to Athens Is Coming Again

Comprehensive, Compelling Content

While you are napping or jogging or enjoying a draft  Cosmik Debris, Flagpole’s intrepid advertising representatives are already starting to sell ads in the next Flagpole Guide to Athens. Yes, the Guide! Sure, it doesn’t hit the streets until the first part of August, just ahead of the UGA students, but a lot of work goes into making the Guide, and that’s why we’re already getting started on it.

In case you’re interested, there’s still time for you to suggest ideas for improving the Guide. Just let me know at The Guide has been guiding you around Athens for almost 25 years now, so we’ve got to be pretty good at it, but we’re always looking for new ideas.

The Guide is chock full of information about Athens: detailed maps, some history, some tips about getting around, a plethora of details about our rich cultural scene—the music, theater, art, outdoors and entertainment that abound all over Athens.

And of course, the Guide’s voluminous bar and restaurant section is the only comprehensive account of every place to eat in Athens and beyond. There is nothing else like it for a description of where to eat and drink in a town notable for those endeavors.

And this next Guide bar and restaurant extravaganza will be bigger and better (huge) than ever before, more user-friendly and containing even more guidance on where to find the places where you want to eat and drink.

Well, you’ll have to wait until August to see the new Guide, but meanwhile the current Guide is, as always, available online and around Athens at the usual 200-plus locations, so that you can pick one up wherever you are.

If you own or manage a bar or restaurant or any other business in the Athens area, don’t be surprised to hear from Anita or Jessica or Carey. They’ve got a lot to tell you about the new Guide, and they can put you in it for a year of exposure to all the hungry, thirsty and curious Athenians and visitors looking for usable information about Athens.

Still on the Job

The Grumpy Retiree is still on the job and on Facebook. If you’re retiring from the University this year, you may want to keep an eye on his page. Here’s a small excerpt from his latest post: “At any rate, tell any of your friends signing up for Medigap under USG’s revised health benefit this year to comparison-shop once they get their prescription drug plan through Aon. They might save some money while still preserving their access to our health care reimbursement from USG. And having to manually set up the premium auto-reimbursement for such a plan on the YSA site is nearly a no-brainer following my example.”

Please Don’t Take…

You know how we constantly replay our lives in our minds, trying to figure how we could have done things better and maybe could improve in the future? You don’t? Well then, don’t read My Sunshine Away, the novel by M.O. Walsh, because that’s what it’s all about. The narrator mercilessly though not unhumorously examines his growing up, so in that sense, I guess it is a coming-of-age story, if it needs a label.

I hope it doesn’t need a label, because this book defies such. This kid is obsessively fixated on his year-older, beautiful, athletic neighbor and schoolmate to the extent that he can’t really see her as a person, although he sees her every day. Might as well get this detail out right up front, because he does in the book: His neighbor, his fantasy girl, is raped, for real, right there in the neighborhood one evening, and he is culpable, to some extent, more or less. He is also a suspect.

I know this doesn’t sound like a book you would want to read, so don’t pick it up, because you probably won’t be able to put it down or at least stop picking it up to read further. The reason is in the writing. M.O. Walsh compels us with his ability to let us see the world through the eyes of a kid who is describing things we have all seen and felt and lived through, so that even though our lives were different from his our own memories flood through and add weight and nuance to this story. The rape is incidental, even though it’s the central fact that must be figured out in order for the story to make sense. That’s where Walsh’s astounding facility with the written word draws us into the mind and world of his narrator-kid.

Look, M.O. Walsh will be at Avid Bookshop at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 12 to read, discuss and sign copies of My Sunshine Away. If you have any idea that you might read his book, I urge you to go see him. It’s sort of like when you read Faulkner or Flannery O’Connor, and you think, “Good God, I would give anything to see this writer in person. Well, you can, and it’s free.