November 10, 2013

Georgia on my mind

Quick, what is the state song of Georgia? Hint: it has nothing to do with peaches, but I’m glad you asked. 

“Georgia on My Mind” is the correct answer. Hoagy Carmichael wrote it in 1930. He made a fabulous recording featuring one of my musical idols, Bix Beiderbecke, on the coronet.

You might recall a giant hit version done by Ga. native Ray Charles in 1960. I’m a sentimental slob and cry tears of joy each time I hear it. Willie Nelson is no slouch, either, when he intones those famous words and notes.

Kaye and I have vacationed often in Georgia, mostly with our friend Gloria, who grew up right here in our neck of the woods. Last month, we journeyed to the peach state and spent a couple weeks there.

It’s too bad I can’t accompany this column with photos. I took hundreds, and they are part of forever memories. Conyers is a historic community and we spent time walking around the old parts of town. A new movie called “Prisoners” was partially filmed there, and we viewed it in a Conyers theater. Well done, but too much blood and guts for my taste.

Sadly, one of our favorite restaurants, Michaelangelo’s, is closed. I have written some neat ghost stories about it and the wonderful Irish owner. Nearby, is the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, a place that we found amazing and moving. Attending a 7 a.m. celebration of Mass and listening to the chanting monks was inspirational. 

We traveled to Dillard, Ga., and enjoyed the famous Dillard House, a local favorite since 1917. The 1972 movie “Deliverance” was filmed throughout the area, and many locals were hired as extras. 

We stopped at the largest antiques store I have ever seen and spent hours going from room to room and saying things like, “Hey, we have one of those.” With thousands of items in every nook and cranny, Gloria managed to spot a tiny glass bottle that was formerly used for coffee cream. The logo proclaimed that it had come from the former Rosebud Creamery here in Plattsburgh. I took a picture and later regretted not having bought it. I’d love to hear the story of how it made its way south. 

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