Number of posts: 14
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By Ron Feinberg:
The idea was to get together with some old chums, colleagues from that place with the printing press where we all once worked. My friend Bolly took care of the logistics and the plan was to meet at a Macaroni Grill – boring, bland, but certainly predictable – out here in the northern ’burbs.
The problems – and fun, I guess – started when I arrived at the designated spot and found that the ho-hum Italian restaurant had been replaced with something called The Tilted Kilt! A moment later I spotted my friends standing next to the Kilt’s greeter, everyone waiting for me. Bolly, Butch and Charlie were wearing a smile. The greeter was wearing, well, not much.
The Tilted Kilt, it turns out, is what happens if you take a neighborhood pub and smash it up with a soft-core gentleman’s club.
It features an assortment of fried goodies, sandwiches and salads – the ubiquitous fare available at dozens of other chains. What sets The Tilted Kilt apart is the nearly nekkid wait staff.
Waitresses, btw, are called cast members! Go figure. They walk about in plaid halter tops and micro mini-skirts, girl-school stockings and Mary Jane shoes. Along with the tang of fries, chili and beer, sex hangs heavily in the air.
One of the miracles of this brave new information age we’re living through is the ability to find out just about anything with a few clicks of a mouse. Need to know what the weather will be tomorrow, what’s playing at the local Cineplex or who the mayor of Poughkeepsie is? The answers are all out there, floating about with several billion other bits of info …
I mention all this as prologue, a sort of metaphorical scratching of the noggin, before I wonder aloud why we’re not witnessing a renaissance in the field of journalism …
First of all, you need to understand I’m a low-tech sort of guy. Back when I first started earning money playing with words, I did my work on a typewriter. That’s right, one of those little contraptions that had keys you pounded and a paper carriage that you tossed back into position after typing a sentence or two.
These days, other than my computer and a pretty ancient cell phone, I still remain rooted in the 20th Century. It’s not that I have anything against the magical devices that are being developed today. I simply fear I’ve reached that point of information overload …
With that as preamble, I stand before you today to sing the praises of one of those new-fangled, high-tech contraptions …
My wife and I just returned from an emergency visit to the local fire station. I needed a little attention from one of the medics.
The episode began simply enough with Wendy noticing a little blemish on the back of my neck. I’ve been spending way too much time outdoors in recent weeks, working in the yard and exercising, and my wife thought perhaps I might want to make an appointment with a dermatologist.
Then she noticed that the blemish had, ugh, legs.
The images out of the gulf coast are alarming, nature once again showing who’s boss – and who ain’t!
The daily horror show — oil-slickened beaches, wetlands, birds, turtles and other critters – is a heavy price to pay for our inexhaustible craving and need for energy.
The area, of course, has been hit hard before, most recently and dramatically when hurricane Katrina roared onto shore, demolishing man-made structures and pristine beaches from the Florida panhandle, across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
It’s a zoo out there. No, really, my neighborhood is starting to look like a zoo!
There have always been dogs and cats, birds, squirrels and chipmunks. Occasionally I’ve spotted a snake sunning itself on my driveway and a raccoon or two looking for a snack on my patio. Rabbits have been multiplying like, well, rabbits around here for years.
But this week nature has grabbed hold of my little corner of the world and reminded me once again of the collision course the ‘burbs and the beasts are facing these days.
I was nearly asleep when I heard footsteps and glanced up to see my mother standing at the doorway of her bedroom. She looked annoyed, shaking her head in irritation.
“Would you please come take this elderly woman out of my room,” she said.
I shuddered and pushed myself to my feet, then followed my mother into her room. It was semi-dark, a splash of light from the adjoining bathroom spilling across the floor and across her bed. As usual, the room was immaculate.
It was still early as we lined up in front of the flag pole, jostling about, trying to mimic the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) troops to our left. We were volunteers, a mixed-bag of Zionists from literally around the world – New Zealand, Australia and South Africa; Russia, England and Holland; Chile, Canada and the U.S. Surely we could figure out how to stand along the lines painted in the asphalt where we stood and snap to attention when the order came from the commander.
I was privy recently to an important conversation with a man named Meylakh Sheykhet. Everything about him seemed a little foreign initially and there was a time not so long ago that it would have been impossible to reach him. But the world has changed and there’s magic about these days – computers and e-mail; Facebook and Twitter; Google, Yahoo and Bing. You just need to know how to conjure up the proper spells, ahhh, search engines. On a recent afternoon, I sat inside a windowless meeting room at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta in Midtown, part of a committee looking into the desecration of mass grave sites in Eastern Europe. It seems the brutal reality of the Holocaust remains alive, especially across the killing fields of Belarus and Ukraine. Although there are numerous memorials hidden away in the woods and fields of the region, thousands of graves sites […]
My friend Bill and I were sitting in Goldberg’s, sharing a bagel and war stories. Both of us are recently retired from that newspaper on Marietta Street and still trying to figure out what we’ll be doing with the rest of our lives. We toss around a few of the options – airline attendant, junior executive, stocking clerk at Kroger or cashier at QT. Bill adds the “f” word – freelancing. It’s about then that we decide we should be in a bar instead of a southern-fried deli in East Cobb. Inevitably we find ourselves staring blankly at one another, the same thought bouncing around our minds – what happened? On this particular day in mid-summer, the rich, pungent aroma of lox, corned beef, pastrami and stuffed cabbage wafting about, I had the answer. In fact, it was in an envelope on the table, hidden underneath a scattering of poppy […]
The news earlier this month of the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, once again letting tourists wiggle their way through the iconic figure on Liberty Island, had me tumbling backward to a memorable trip my family took to New York in the early 1990s. Right here in metro Atlanta, of course, we have our own hotspots – Stone Mountain, the Margaret Mitchell House, CNN, the Big Chicken – but eventually most of us Southerners get a hankering to visit the Big Apple. If you plot out the details before arriving, over a long weekend it’s possible to visit the Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Modern Art; dash through The Plaza Hotel and walk along Fifth Avenue; nosh your way through a foot-high corned beef sandwich at the Carnegie Deli and catch a matinee at the Gershwin Theater in Times Square; hop aboard the subway and stroll through […]
I was witness to an execution in Georgia last week. It was an ugly, painful sight.
I was returning from an errand, turning off of Riverside Drive onto Johnson Ferry Road, just south of the Chattahoochee River where Fulton and Cobb Counties bump up against one another. Traffic came to a sudden halt and I spotted a workman in the middle of the road holding a stop sign.
Additional workers, all sporting reflective vests and DOT hard hats, were standing alongside the road, staring toward a culvert where a stand of oaks and pines had recently been cleared away, part of a massive road widening project that has been in the works for years.
The death of Michael Jackson was the top story last week. The entertainer made headlines around the world, praised for his talent, his ability to bridge the gap between blacks and whites with his music and his philanthropic endeavors. He was, almost everyone agreed, a hero. Such talk had me thinking about someone I had the opportunity to interview years ago, when I was the editor of the Faith & Values section of The Atlanta Constitution. While she had her 15 minutes of fame back in the mid-1990s, not too many people would recall Oseola McCarty today. A quick reminder: She was the Mississippi washerwoman who amassed a small fortune, then gave away much of it to the University of Southern Mississippi. This is her story. It’s worth repeating when talking about heroes. Oseola McCarty’s life was filled with grace, a quiet hymn to goodness. She managed to skirt the […]
The University of Georgia spread out before me and everything seemed possible. It was 1967 and the fall quarter was to begin in a few days. I had driven up to Athens from Columbus with a friend, his ’64 Chevy filled with several bags of luggage and an old metal footlocker held together with a tangle of rope and masking tape. It was a lengthy trip. At the time there was no simple way to make it from central Georgia, through Atlanta and on to Athens. The state’s massive interstate system was still mostly an idea in somebody’s desk at the DOT, so we were forced to ramble along winding secondary roads and through tiny towns – Waverly Hall, Warm Springs, Greenville and Moreland, Jonesboro, East Point and Lawrenceville, Dacula, Winder and Statham. By the time we limped into Athens we had been on the road nearly four hours and […]