Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The South... It Shall rise again!

So, I came down South... for perfectly logical reasons too - Atlanta's on the way to Cancun from Boston; I've friends to visit down here; and the contract I was finishing up at work was for a company in Atlanta - meeting them face to face seemed like a good idea. So, first off, hooray for seeing Duke friends whom I haven't seen in a while:

Irina and Michael, at their house in Atlanta. Last time I'd seen them was in Seattle, and they were still proud residents of Boston, Massachussets!

The family Maggee: Matt and Kristin, along with Julie and baby Kyle. We have seen each other merely a year ago, but they have added a new member of the family since then!

So, hanging out with friends was goal #1 in Atlanta. Finishing up work was goal #2, but that's hardly worthy of any photographs, or much of a blog mention. Goal #3 was to explore Atlanta a little bit, and so, on Saturday, we all set off for Stone Mountain. Which was a fascinating place... A bit of a history revuw: see, here I was thinking that back in the 1860's, we had us a bit of a Civil War - there was a number of reasons for it, the South fought bravely, but eventually the North won, and, though it took a while, the South has generally embraced this. Save for an occasional Dukes of Hazzard fan with a Confederate flag in his garage and a 'The South shall rise again!' on his mind. Well... it turns out that this notion may be a little more wide spread than just your deranged Daisy Duke fan in his garage, as Atlanta has constructed a beautiful called Stone Mountain. (Which happens to be one of the most visited tourist sites in all of the South.) And it's apparently a very tastefully done monument to the Confederacy:

The Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson

Now, personally, I'm a little torn on this. On one hand, it is all a part of history, and should by all means be remembered and properly appreciated. On the other hand, the South lost, and shouldn't we be moving on by now? It just seems a little odd that this isn't a private display, but (I presume) a state-sponsored one. But hey, that's where I get to "it's the South! And it wouldn't be the South if it wasn't just a little weird! Or if it made sense! I mean, grits!? Really?"

Fortunately, Stone Mountain isn't just a perplexing monument celebrating the losing side in a war 150 years ago. It's also an 825-foot tall rock that you can hike up, which we promptly did. Both kids in tow! And a local Christian group doing the hike at the same time as us... And also this guy. But we made it to the top in fairly short order and were treated to a spectacular view of our surroundings:

I had no idea the city Of Atlanta was in the middle of so much forest!

Don't want to walk? Just ride the Sky Lift!

So... that was Atlanta. And the South. Fascinating... interesting... a little weird! Apparently still more than a little put out about a certain General Sherman burning most of the state of Georgia to the ground...

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