Marvin and I met in Atlanta as we were both in school there. I was at Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing and he was a grad student at Georgia Tech. That was 40 years ago. How Atlanta has changed in those years!! I thought I would share some of my thoughts on Atlanta then and now.
1. The Sky Line was not as impressive. The biggest buildings were downtown and the Regis Hotel was dominent with its revolving restaurant on top of the building. Now there are HUGE buildings everywhere.
2. Interstate 285 that circles the outside of Atlanta( Locally known as the Perimeter) now has about 8 lanes both ways. I try not to think about that as I am helping Marvin navigate. When we were young there were only two lanes going each way on the Perimeter. If you live in Atlanta, you live ITP or OTP...inside the Perimeter or outside the Perimeter. As students and newlyweds we lived ITP. Our son, Charles and his family live OTP. While we were there a small plane crashed in the median of 285...amazing to me that only the passengers on the plane were killed. As it was traffic was tied up for hours. My sympathies to the family who lost three members as well as the fiancee of a son. They were on their way to the graduation ceremonies at Ole Miss. A very sad day for a family that was looking forward to celebrating their graduate.
3. Traffic was bad then and it is bad now. While I love Atlanta, I do not think I would want to live there as getting from point A to point B is always nerve racking.
4. Shopping remains great in Atlanta. Oh my...all the shops and restaurants makes my heart go pitter patter. I have to admit that I miss all the downtown department stores that were there when I was a nursing student. We rode the Marta down to Peachtree Street where we could shop at Rich's and Davison's as well as Woolworths and The Baptist Bookstore. We would have lunch at the Shoneys downtown and that was such a treat back then. There was also a tea room at Rich's for the Ladies who Lunch!
5. Atlanta is a melting pot now. While we sat in the Northside Labor and Delivery waiting room, we heard no less than 6 languages spoken in 8 hours time.
6. Northside Hospital no longer does a steak dinner for the new parents who deliver there. When I was a student at GBH, no one wanted to come to our beautiful facility because it was downtown and we did not do a steak dinner like Northside did at the time. Even back in the 70s hospitals were vying for services. GBH was a great hospital and I am a proud graduate!!
7.Even though Atlanta is a big city, there are lots of green spaces to enjoy. I am glad that as the city has grown, the powers that be made sure that trees are in abundance. Of course with trees and bushes come allergies and I heard quite a lot of sneezing and coughing.
8. The Fabulous Fox Theater was almost razed in my day...thank goodness some forward thinking people saw that this grand old theater could be revitalized. Now it is a gem on Peachtree Street hosting all kinds of Broadway shows and special events.
9.The Varsity and other Atlanta landmarks are still going strong, making a visit to Hotlanta a walk down memory lane.
10. The biggest change for me is that my memories of nursing school have been erased. The nursing school is now a part of Mercer University and the school is located far from Boulevard, where our nursing dorm and classes were held. Georgia Baptist is Atlanta Medical Center as the Baptists sold it long ago. My old dorm is now low cost apartments for students who attend schools downtown...Tech, Ga State etc. At least Georgia Tech is unchanged but growing as it can within its landlocked downtown location.
All in all it was fun to be back in our old stomping grounds and now that Charles, Nancy and Audrey live there, we will have lots of opportunities to visit!