19 December 2021


 on this date, sixteen  years ago, i   transferred my belongings from   sinclair ave to peachtree street ---   except for hershey croaking, i have   regretted it not at all

04 November 2021


leonard cohen thought jeff buckley  did the finest rendition of "hallelujah," but pentatonix certainly does it justice 

20 October 2021

holy scripture

in olden times i read the bible all the way through, twice --- inspired by john quincy adams who endeavored to read it through each year, i started the same today --- genesis is a big old mess. what with lot's wife turned into  a pillar of salt and then his daughters getting him drunk so they could have his babies and what not --- plus multiple wives and concubines all over the place and wierd sacrifices and what not --- omg --- 

but the new english translation is a good one, a more intelligible version of king james --- i will continue

then robt walks in with dumpster books, including the "metaphysical bible dictionary" --- the sweet baby jesus is speaking to me!

18 October 2021

fresh times

it's been an excellent week, except for the terrible hangover yesterday --- saw dear friends almost every day --- also too roberto --- plus it got cool, finally

15 October 2021

the beagle

i forgot to mark the occasion at the time, but ten days ago was the second anniversary of kuntry kenny becoming a city dog — there have been challenges, but he turned out to be the perfect companion for the covid sequester and all the other bullshit of the last year or so

images from the past

i dragged out the mat cutter the other day and framed up several of the best images of those i've taken over the last few years  out of thousands taken, once in a while the sweet baby jesus and/or serendipitous circumstances lets me take a good one  i tried printing on coated canvas, which i like, but the effect is kind of lost when it's covered with glass  

07 October 2021

whiney me

all in all, the past few months have been a chore --- i fell into a black hole of despair, as usual for no particular reason that i can discern, but this one was especially dark --- i even spent most of more than one day in bed, which i have never done --- robt went back to work (after 18 months!), which was great, but suddenly i was alone most days with too much time to think  --- only later  did i discover he's found him a part-time squeeze, which is ok since we haven't had a sexual relationship in twenty years, but still a bit of a shock --- and i had two people call me an "arrogant asshole," which made me spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide if that is true, which it might be to a certain extent, but basically decided there was a lot of emotional projection going on on their part --- plus trump and his minions are still not locked away in a dungeon somewhere, typical muggy miserable summer weather continues in atlanner, and two copperhead snakes at the river (first in decades of going out there) made me want to stay indoors with the a/c on all the time --- almost worst of all was the stupid "restless leg syndrome" which kept me awake all night sometime --- went to the doctor for that actually and got some xanax, which overwhelms the jittery legs, as well as b12 and magnesium --- talked to him about the depressive episode and he wound up prescribing prozac, another selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which i had tried once before --- again i hated it and after two weeks reduced the dose to every other day --- when i saw him earlier this week, we agreed to end it entirely and max out my dose of welbutrin, which got me off cigarettes but is probably nothing more than a placebo at this point --- in the meantime, serendipitous, unsolicited, and in one case overwhelmingly effusive expressions of my worth as a human being had already combined with whatever else to put me in a better place --- i feel like my old self again

17 August 2021

lost causes

there is no sense of proportion or nuance in the campaign to rid public space of traitorous memorials to "the lost cause," a campaign i whole-heartedly endorse  --- and the latest, removing the lion of lucerne replica from oakland cemetery, makes me a little ill --- it is a giant tombstone for all the unknown confederate dead (and there were a lot of those poor fkrs), the unluckiest of those riled up to die in a poor man's fight in a rich man's war --- the traces of red paint when it was most recently vandalized only add to its story --- but they're removing it for safe-keeping, doncha know --- bullshit --- nobody wants to go to the trouble to interpret it properly 

29 July 2021


my g-grandpa hart might not have been a visionary like finster or eddie martin, but he had his own special mix of preacher and artist --- born in 1857, died a hundred years later when i was eight years old --- i am glad our paths at least crossed in real time --- even if we never actually conversed, i feel like i know him, from old photographs, my grandma's reminiscences of their conversations, and most of all from his writing, which i am now tasked with preserving ---

96th birthday, may 1953 --- he's at center in this photograph and that's me at lower right

18 July 2021

debris from the gene pool

my dailey cousins have gifted me with an enormous pile of debris from gene-pool memorabilia, including much wonderful stuff from my g-grandpa hart (1857-1957) especially --- had to order more archival sleeves and what not --- i probly have most all of my grandma's early 20th century correspondence, including dozens of really wonderful postcards


07 July 2021

our heritage

i don't remember any mention of this year marking the bicentennial of the muscogee signing away title to over four million acres of land between the ocmulgee and flint rivers in the treaty of indian springs, which was signed in early january 1821 --- the territory was quickly organized into five large counties, and in may the legislature authorized the state's fourth land lottery to distribute the land to new white settlers --- the counties were surveyed into land districts “nine miles square, as near as practicable,” and each district was surveyed into land lots of 202½ acres, or a little over half mile square, a process that took most of that summer and fall to complete --- by the end of the year, the lottery was complete and white settlers were pouring into what is now the city of atlanta --- 

all of the survey field notebooks are online --- this page is from the 17th district survey, which began on 18 july 1821 just a few hundred feet south of the intersection of virginia ave and rosedale drive in va-highland

04 July 2021

urban renewal

cleaning out the closet:
i think of this project by central atlanta progress and the arts festival in 1980 as the genesis of the now out-of-control fad for painting masonry buildings --- it was great then as downtown was trying to deal with the raw facades left after adjacent buildings had been demolished --- now even the finest brick, stone, and concrete finishes are being ruined, with not a shred of artistic intent to mitigate the destruction

15 March 2021


seven years ago i commenced a most excellent project, a history of sautee nacoochee, coochee for short, commissioned by a wonderful community association that is trying to preserve one of the more beautiful places in the state — i had been wanting to write a history of a place literally from the ground up and had started the idea with midtown atlanta, but it got too complicated and i quit — these valleys in white county on the other hand . . . . they've gotten way more than they were expecting, and i made about a dollar an hour by the time it was done—but it's 130,000 words that i got off on writing and of which i am really quite proud 

it's not done, maybe, probably, since i'm not sure that they will follow through with their threat to publish it, but if they do i stand ready to endure a little more aggravation from my garrulous, overbearing editrix, but not much —

thank you chris brooks and judy barber for making it all possible in the first place

19 February 2021


second shot of pfizer vaccine is in my arm — i told the big guy from the sandy springs fire dept that gave it to me not to break the needle off in my arm and he told me about taking a shot one time that went to the bone — eek

it'll take a couple of weeks to fully kick in, but even after the first dose, i was already enjoying a sharp reduction in existential dread — nearly a half million dead in this country, and the toll is still growing, with many of those deaths the direct result of the incompetence and rigid ideology of the previous administration — ever since reagan and his stupid "government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" nonsense, a good portion of the country has bought into the republicans' decades-long demonization of government — this pandemic and the big old mess in frozen-up texas right now is proving again why we have to work together, and why gummint, whatever its faults, is the most efficient way to do that

10 February 2021

kerron hoppock

i have spent a few hours memoralizing one of my grandmother's aunts, kerron hoppock lee (1860-1938) --- the name has popped up in historical research, and i've been wondering how they could all be related to my aunt --- they weren't --- just as they are killing off aunt jemima, i discover that jemima, keziah, and kerenhappuch were the beautiful daughters of job that he had after the lord god jehovah ruined his life --- william blake got off on the story --- 

06 February 2021

benefits of exiting trumpistan

i have not needed one of these little units since 20 january 2021 --- the ten-plus weeks of nonsense between the election and inauguration worked my nerves and required a pill or two --- 

who was john lee?

when my great-aunt ruby lee died way last century some time, i inherited a whole bunch of photographs --- there were tintypes of the family that she couldn't identify and a pile of snapshot from when she got her first camera in 1920 --- and in between group portraits of her aunts and uncles and what not, and a dead baby or two --- this photograph purports to be my great-great-grandfather john lee (1792-1865), who is buried in a little family cemetery off washington road in southwestern east point --- i didn't know it at the time, but we lived in the first house in the first suburban development of his old farm in the late 1950s --- 3701 chesapeake way

i've memorialized his family and that part of the world here ---

28 January 2021

ending the plague

wonder of wonders: i got my first dose of the pfizer covid vaccine this morning --- facilitated by a wonderful neighbor who just told me where to go and when --- i had to drive to alpharetta, but whatever --- second dose in three weeks and, theoretically, two or so weeks after that, i might not fear so much for my life from day to day, at least from communicable disease, although vehicular homicide of a pedestrian remains a constant threat

19 January 2021

at last

"I suppose in this way, the past four years have been a bittersweet gift to us: a pulling away the curtains of decorum and phony civility, allowing us to see people’s hearts with clarity. We can no longer hide behind the stories we thought were true about those we love and share life with, and about the place we live. We’ve all shown what sides that we are on and the hills that we’re willing to allow relationships to die on." --- john pavlovitz

14 January 2021

the gene pool

i think i'm nearly done with great-aunt ruby lee's jumble of photographs --- one more dead-baby picture, this one high victorian, but sadly unidentified

some great images in the collection

my great-grandparents ipson and tommie lee and offspring --- my grandma front and center

my great-grandpa's sisters, all born before the civil war --- kerron, theodosia, roxanne, and missouri

too many people remain unidentified

not fake news

so much for the new year --- 

04 January 2021

photographing the gene pool

i have been sorting thru a bunch of photographs inherited from an old-maid great aunt --- in addition to the dead-baby pic, there is this little tintype of my g-grandpa ipson lee (1862-1930)
along with this fairly skeery one of four guys who are probably his half brothers

my g-grandparents ipson and tommie lee, taken easter 1920 --- they're standing at the end of the front porch of their house, which i remember seeing in its decrepit final years fifty years ago --- in the far background at left is the only image i've found of the house that his father, john lee, built in the 1840s --- part of the chimney may or may not remain in the twentieth century house that now stands on the site --- all on washington road in what is now southwestern side of east point

there are many others, including this one of my ma and her sister with bob the dog, ca 1925

i'll get the most of them posted to the gene pool soon

03 January 2021

bifurcated times

even drudge is lit about all the sedition and what not --- really and truly unbelievable
as is this photograph of my first cousin, twice removed, as a dead baby --- i think he is harvey jefferson betterton (1885-1886)

but who has an image like this and doesn't put a name on the back or something

01 January 2021

2020 in books ---

Neil Ansell, Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills

*Mark Kurlansky, Paper: Paging Through History (2016)

Douglas Hurt, The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830 (1996)

Marcus Whiffen, The Eighteenth-Century Houses of Williamsburg, an Architectural History (1960)

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash, 1929 (1955)

Eric Jay Dolin, A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America’s Hurricanes (2020)

*Clive James, Cultural Amnesia: Necessary memories from History and the Arts (2008)

William N. Morgan, Pre-Columbian Architecture in Eastern North America (1999)

***Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent (2020)

***Edward Ball, Life of a Klansman (2020)

***Eric Cervini, The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America (2020)

*William E. Wallace, Michelangelo, God’s Architect (2019)

Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (2020)

Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (2011)

**Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries (2009)

T. M. Devine. The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed, 1600-1900 (2019)

Ernle Bradford, The Great Betrayal: The Great Siege of Constantinople (2014)

*Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (2007)

Alistair Moffat, Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms (1999)

Alistair Moffat, Remembering Charles Rennie McIntosh (1998)

Alistair Moffat, Before Scotland: The Story of Scotland Before History (2005)

*Alistair Moffat, To the Island of Tides: A Journey to Lindisfarne (2019)

Alistair Moffat, The Faded Map: Lost Kingdoms of Scotland (2010)

James Shapiro, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1666 (2015)

**Matthew Kneale, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings (2019)

***David Coles, Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Color (2019)

Alistair Moffat, The Highland Clans (2010)

*Simon Thurley, Whitehall Palace: An Architectural History of the Royal Apartments, 1240-1690 (1999)

David Zucchino, Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy (2020)

*Peter Ackroyd, Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day (2019)

Peter Ackroyd, Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I (2014)

Peter Ackroyd, Dominion: The History of England from the Battle of Waterloo to Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (2019)

Peter Ackroyd, Revolution: The History of England from the Battle of the Boyne to the Battle of Waterloo (2017)

Peter Ackroyd, Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution (2015)

Peter Ackroyd, Civil War: The History of England, Volume III (2015)

***Toby Green, A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution (2020)