On the corner of Moreland and Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, sits a colorful roadside produce stand. I stopped to pick up peaches and proceeded to forget the purpose for stopping when Raymond Ramsey, the proprietor, greeted me with a melodic Jamaican accent. As we chatted I became mesmerized by his exuberant expressions and gestures. He was full of life and wonderful stories and exuded optimism and happiness. He spoke of the importance of following one’s passion. He remarked,” My friend, you gotta paint your picture before your life is over”. Have you painted your picture today?
My visit to the Starlight Drive-In in Atlanta last weekend was like taking a trip back in time. I have not been to a drive-in movie since I was a teenager and I can say that not much has changed. The exception was that instead of the speaker that was available to hang on the car window, the audio today is accessed via the FM radio in one’s car. This particular night, the atmosphere and light at the drive-in was eerie. Atlanta had been doused by a heavy rainstorm that afternoon. The air was dense and the city lights bounced off the blanket of clouds hovering overhead. These weather conditions in combination with the array of colors emitted from the six different movie screens created the surreal mood in the parking lot that night.
Our family recently moved into the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur. The Oakhurst Village is a two block walk from our doorstep; it houses an eclectic array of family owned businesses and restaurants. Last week I had the opportunity to meet John Byun, owner of the Oakhurst Laundry and Cleaners. John was born in Korea but came to the United States when he was 16 years old to complete his schooling and to escape the pressures of the Korean school system. School-aged children in Korea attend school from 6:00 am until 9:00 at night and the competition is fierce. After returning to Korea to serve a two-and-one-half year mandatory military stint, John returned to the United States with his bride. In 2004, John graduated from Ohio State with a Master of Information Science degree. Two years ago, John’s wife was transferred to Atlanta to work and the family moved. John knew that he wanted to be self-employed and researched various business options. Last year, Oakhurst Laundry became available for purchase and John jumped at the opportunity. What John likes most about owning the Oakhurst Laundry is that it provides him with free time to pursue his other interests. He is a translator for professors in Korea who need assistance with translating teaching materials from English to Korean.
Last Thursday my son had an early evening baseball game at Browns Mill Park in Lithonia. The temperature at 6:00 pm registered 100 degrees! Unable to sit still for the duration of the game, I wandered around the ball park in search of a distraction to ease my misery. I found the distraction I needed when I spotted these youngsters playing with each other near the concession stand. They appeared oblivious to the record high temperature and were happily running around tossing a ball and searching for bugs. At one point, a cockroach scurried out from under a trash can and the boys dashed madly after it. One boy was trying to squash it and another was screaming,”Don’t kill it. It’s part of the circle of life”. This environmentally conscious boy gave me reason to pause. I should probably reconsider the pest control service for our new house.