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I'm Bruce Dorton and this is Georgia Gazette. Coming up on today's program, a Georgia computer software company played an instrumental role in the Bosnian peace talks held recently in Dayton, Ohio. We'll find out what that role was. Ripoff artists know the holiday season is a good time to fleece well-meaning people. Former expert Barry Reed tells us about some of their scams and how we can protect ourselves. An important deadline is looming for the parents of graduating high school seniors. Financial planner Pat Ballantoni has some tips for making sure you don't miss out on college financial aid. Plus an interview with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil author John Barrett. And an update on this old house in Savannah all ahead on today's Georgia Gazette. We're first the news from National Public Radio. Good afternoon and welcome to Georgia Gazette.
I'm Bruce Dorton. On today's edition and Atlanta business helps peace negotiators map out a truce in Bosnia. Don't be the victim of scam artists this holiday season. I consume more expert shares tips to keep you from getting ripped off. Wait until February to see what this old house is doing in Savannah. Well neither could we. We'll have an update on the progress contractors are making in the renovation of a 100-year-old house on Monterey Square. Plus storyteller Carmen Dede and musician songwriter Matthew Cahler. Georgia Gazette, it's a radio magazine and joy it then pass it on. When the Bosnians and Croats met in Dayton, Ohio, to work out details of their peace agreement, they worked from a computer-generated map developed by a Georgia company Susana Capeludo
has the story. Atlanta based Erda's Incorporated usually creates computer maps for researchers in forestry, urban planning, environmental monitoring and meteorology. People in more than 100 countries use the system. In the United States, Erda's computer mapping software is being used more and more by the military. The system used in the Bosnian peace talks in Dayton was a prototype. Negotiators used it to draw and redraw boundaries as they hammered out an agreement. Fred Woods and Erda's product representative was in Dayton to help with the system. It was very exciting working there. It was very tiring, a lot of long hours getting phone calls after I'd been asleep for an hour after 13 plus, 15 plus hours. It was stressful, the demands for map products, it averaged about a new map or a series of maps every two hours. We estimated that in a three-week period time, over 3,000 copies of and different variations
of maps were created, so it was a 24-hour process. At their Atlanta headquarters, Erda's manager Kurt Schwopi looks at one of the Bosnian maps on a computer screen. This area of Bosnia is fascinating, it's the Tuzla area, it's like Tuzla, often the distance, and that is going to be the headquarters for the peacekeeping forces in Bosnia, and that airfield will be the primary airfield that they'll be flying in and out of and getting resupplied from. Schwopi says this map was created from many pieces of information, which in computer terms are called sensors. There's a number of different sources of digital imagery available to the military user. Of course, you can't go into a whole lot of detail, because they're somewhat secret or not available to the public, but a sensor can range from anything from a picture taken out of an aircraft to the video captured of a missile going into the target.
I think we saw a lot of that during the desert storm war, and there's other sensors. I think in Bosnia, they're really experimenting with the unmanned aerial vehicles. These are planes that can fly around the battlefield, and it's just like a radio-controlled plane. They're even using it to follow cars, down roads, and other things to try to track where different activities are occurring. Once the information is gathered, it is fed into the computer, which then creates the image on the screen. Fred Woods uses a computer mouse to move the computer image around. And I'm able to push down and rotate around and watch the image lay down, and the topography of the land starts popping up. It's kind of like what you see nowadays, and when you see a weather forecast, you know how to do the 3D and go up through the United States, it's kind of hard to look. Yes, we're able to see the mountains, how the lake is flat, where the roads are cut, as well as other depressions or bumps on the earth, so to speak, such as hills and mountains,
river valleys and draws, as well as other topographic features. With his mouse, Woods moves around the hills and valleys as if flying in an airplane. The system can also make the map three-dimensional, curtswopey. So now when you put on the special glasses, you're actually looking in 3D. Wearing the glasses, the mountains and hills around Tuzla seem to pop out of the screen, and we're there, looking at them as if from a helicopter. Now you're getting a real understanding of the train. This is one way a commander can go out and take a train reconnaissance without having to ever leave the security of his command post. But computer maps, no matter how advanced or accurate, cannot prepare the soldiers for every difficulty they'll face in Bosnia.
Military experts predict the weather and unfamiliar territory will be the biggest obstacles the peacekeeping troops will have to overcome. Shwopey agrees. The train is a key factor there. During the Gulf War, I was an army officer. We were doing train analysis in the desert, and the train was very neutral. In other words, it didn't favor any side. But in Bosnia, a smart force can use the train to their advantage, getting into the high places, defending valleys through key lines of communication and such. The train will play a major factor in any type of operation that happens there. I'm Susanna Capeluto. You're listening to Georgia Gazette, I'm Bruce Dorton. My guest now, Barry W. Reed, from the governor's office of Consumer Affairs, Barry, good
to see you again. It's always good to be with you and all of your listeners on Pete State Radio, Bruce. Well, it's the holiday season, and it's the time when these scam artists come out of the closet and there's a lot going on. Let's first let's talk about some of the scams that are going on. Well, basically we have so many instances where promises are made or representations are made about a product, a written ad, and the person gets to the store and the dog on toy doesn't look a thing like it did in the picture. People need to be real careful and shop around and know about the quality of the merchandise before they put their credit card or their check-up on the counter or their cash. It's up to us to be very, very cautious, and we're seeing a lot of buyer remorse, Bruce, during the Christmas season where people make impulse purchases, get it home and look at it and say, you know, it's really not what I thought it was going to be at all. I'm, you know, that first look didn't do it for me, and I want to take it back. And that brings me to the probably the biggest tip we can give, our listeners out there
today. Georgia, like every state in the union, does not have a mandatory refund law. When you and I go into a merchant store to purchase something, it's up to us to find out what the refund policy of that store is. Many many stores have it posted. Many stores have made it known through ads and otherwise that they will take back the product no matter what. Some stores say, I'll only give you the ability to exchange it for something else in my store. Some stores say, I'm sorry, you bought it and it's yours. It's up to us to check it out before we make the purchase. No mandatory refunds under law anywhere in the country. You know, this past week I received some mail in it. I opened it. It was a check for $200 and I thought, wow, maybe I won something and that's what the information said. You have been selected, et cetera, et cetera. But upon reading the information closer, I realized that the check was $200, but it had to be cashed to buy the merchandise from the people who sent it to me.
That's a common, common mailing. Again, that's a piece of fraud in my judgment. They make you believe on the one hand that you've really been given something. And in fact, you're going to wind up spending your hard-earned cash down the road for products that you probably have little or no interest in if you go ahead and get hooked in the deal by endorsing that check, so-called check, or trying to take advantage of it by purchasing through their inventory of goods and services. Usually the stuff is junk, Bruce. They'll make it sound like it's covered in gold, but the fact is it's junk and you're going to wind up losing money. You're going to be so careful these day in time to check carefully. If you don't know whether or not it's legitimate, take the time to ask somebody who you think would know, a banker, a lawyer, a consumer affairs office, a better business bureau, throughout our state we have excellent BBBs, and many times they've already gotten a report from somebody who has been burned by trying to take advantage of that so-called $200 check.
Even if you get substandard or defective merchandise many times, you can't find these people. You can't find these guys. They're going, they're a post office box. They're not even, you know, you can't find a body or a person's name to put to that box many times. Okay, I'm talking with Barry W. Reed from the Governor's Office on consumer affairs. We're talking about holiday scans, holiday buying, and now holiday charities. My pet peeve, so many, so many, many real worthwhile needs out there, Bruce, that don't get met because crooks, con-artist scammers, if you will, go out and misrepresent who they are. Some of them are, we call them knockoff charities where they try to get a name that's very close to the name of the legitimate. There is, of course, an American Cancer Society. But no American Cancer Association. That's exactly right. It's exactly right, and there's no, and some that have the name, get a name that's close to the name, and even get it incorporated to, you know, to increase their appearance of
legitimacy. I can remember one a few years ago, the Cancer Fund of America was soliciting all over the state. In the southern part of our state, telephone solicitations, mail solicitations, we do education to prevent cancer. We do this. We do that well. The only thing they ever did was on the back of the mailer that they were asking you money for, they would put the seven warning signals for cancer. We didn't think that was worth the kind of money that was being taken in and going straight into these rascals pockets. We issued a cease and a sister order and literally ran them out of the state. But there are many, many other people out there that during the holiday season are going to try to play on your heartstrings and make you believe they're going to send a handicap child to a camp or to a circus. You've got to be ever so careful and check, and there's a place you can check, Bruce. The Secretary of State's office here in Georgia, and they're in the government listings and your blue pages of your directory, has a charitable solicitations program set up where every legitimate charity in Georgia is required to register with the Secretary
of State's office. And once a year, they have to report to that office how much they raised, how they spent it, and what they spent it on. That's public information. We urge businesses before you write a check, check. Check with the Secretary of State's office. You might also check with the Better Business Bureau, many times they're aware of the con games that are going on in your local area before we are at the state level. And through talking to you and some of your colleagues, I've always learned when I'm getting a telephone call wanting something, the first thing I say, send me some information and I'll consider it. In the mail, see, Bruce, they try to avoid the mail like the plague because that brings them under the U.S. Postal Inspector's criminal authority. And we love to get those mail pieces where they've gone too far in the mail, turned it over to the Postal Inspector and watched these people be brought up on criminal charges. But even beyond that, if they say they're going to put something in the mail, but they still need some more information on you, don't give it to them.
Don't give a check account number out. Don't give your bank account number out, no credit cards to these people. You don't need to talk and do. We've got a phrase, Bruce, and it's a short and sweet one, hang up on fraud. It's not impolite to do it. Despite the fact, through the years, we've been taught that it's discurdious or not the best manners to do that. In this day and time, that's the way we have to protect ourselves. Use these high-pressure telephone calls as red flags. Use these requests for information or for you to send a check. They're going to have a courier come pick it up. That's the other thing that I'm going to do, Bruce. They want to use FedEx or UPS or some courier service to pick it up in the hopes that they'll avoid the mail fraud. So use that as a red flag as well. No one around this country is sitting in a room with a bank of telephones and a million dollars or a hundred thousand dollars for the prizes to give you for nothing. If someone calls and says, you've won a thousand dollars but we need $39.95 to process it. You should forget about it, correct?
Well, my father-in-law, down in Henry County, he's 80 years old, did. He got that very pitch made to him. He had won a thousand dollars and wouldn't he like to make a hundred dollar contribution to the charity that this thing was sponsoring. This whole promotion was built around. He said, I sure would, Sonny. You just send me $900 and keep the hundred and that's the one way you can deal with that problem. I've been talking with Barry W. Reed from the Governor's Office on Consumer Affairs. Barry thanks again for coming in and being with us. Thank you very much. Now, Georgia Gazette's own Miss Lawy Roy, Audrey Balloon, joins us to offer some legal
advice on a giant of a problem. Dear Miss Lawy Roy, my name is Mr. GB Giant. GB stands for Great Big, which is an old family name handed down from generations of giants. My problem began with a young kid who lives down the road for me, name of Jack. He was sent to the store by his mom to sell a cow so that the family could get some money for some grub. Maybe the kid is kind of dumb because instead of getting the money for the cow, he got a bunch of beans. Well, his mom got so mad the racket she made could be heard all over town that she threw the beans out the window and sent them to bed without the grub. Anyway, while the kid was asleep, the beans took root and a huge beanstalk grew outside of his window right up to and then over my property line. Well, when the kid woke up, he saw the stalk and climbed it, landing slap dab in my front yard. I can't believe it. He even began to snoop around. I tell you some kids these days just don't have any manners.
When I spotted him, I got kind of upset. Mrs. G told me to calm down and just squish him with my foot because getting angry raises my blood pressure. Since she always seems to be yak, yak, yakking about something, I wasn't listening to her. Besides, I just wanted to teach the kid a lesson. So, after giving him fair warning by yelling, the five bow-fum, I smelled a blood of an English moon. I began to chase him. Now, I'm not in as good a shape as I used to be. I've gained a ton of weight since my use and all those muscles I used to have have turned to fat. So, the little chwerp was able to get down to the bottom of the stalk before I could get there to give him a piece of my mind. In fact, I was still on the stalk when he ran and got an axe and cut the darn thing down, which caused me to fall hard and injure my back. What was my blood pressure, my extra weight, my back, my wife feeling down at me, I told you so, and no way to get home.
I really need your help to either sue Jack's mother or Jack, or to file a worker's compensation claim. Sincerely, GB giant, dear GB. My research shows that Jack's mother is a single parent and doesn't have a lot of money and can't afford to keep a cow much less by any kind of homeowners insurance. Therefore, suing her won't do you any good. Also, Jack is a minor, and so you won't find a payday in that camp either. Check to see if you have any insurance and whether it covers medical care and a rental car so that you can get home. And if you don't have any insurance, get your wife to throw your wallet down to you. Speaking of your wife, my strongest advice is, listen to her, she sounds like the brains of the outfit. And last, as for the worker's compensation claim, you weren't working, so forget it. Audrey Balloon is a real life attorney in Macon.
With holiday season in full swing, many parents are busy shopping, attending school pageants and entertaining. But parents of graduating high school seniors have an additional burden during this already busy time, and that's beginning the process of lining up college financial aid. Susan Hoskinson talks with Atlanta Financial Planner Pat Ballontonie about the impending deadlines. There's approximately $42 billion in financial aid available from every source available in our country today. And 97% of that money, though, that $42 billion, is going to come through the financial aid process where you fill out all the applications and reforms required by each school. And 75% of the aid comes from the federal government alone. So you need to get involved in the process as soon as possible so that you can maximize all types of aid, which of course the best ones are free, where you don't have to pay back
scholarships and grants. However, this works study, money available, and there's also loans. The better loans, of course, will go to the students with the greater need. And December is the month that parents and students should begin getting involved in searching out financial aid? Yes, they should be looking and asking for the forms and applications at the school that incentive everything to them already, and starting to pull their income and asset information together so they can be at the front of the pack when the schools start giving out the financial aid. Can any of this be done over the computer? Well, the federal application, which is the, called the FASA, or free application for federal student aid, that application drives the whole process. Without that application, you will not get any financial aid. However, there is a new system just introduced by the U.S. Department of Education, called FASA Express.
And you can get the software for free and put it in your computer, of course, or minimum computer requirements, hardware requirements. You have to have a printer and you have to have a modem, of course. You could file your application online, however, you still have to print out a certification page, which requires the signatures of the student and the parents. You fail to do that, or if you fail to send that certification form in that you print out to the processing center within 21 days, then your application will not be processed. So yes, it's possible, but I would caution those that would try to do that to make sure they really understand computers and pay attention to the details. And even parents who believe that they may earn too much money, have too high an income, should really get involved in searching out financial aid because they may really qualify for some kind of financial help. Absolutely. The worst case scenario is some family with high income and assets will still qualify for what are considered still low interest loans.
Students would prevent them from selling an asset, whether it's a stock or a bond or real estate, to meet the funding requirements for the child's education. And oftentimes, schools have money that they give on a non-need basis, meaning regardless of your income and assets. However, you still have to complete all the forms, the federal form, the school's formal and whatever else they require to get that money. So sometimes there could be a pleasant surprise if you're not aware of certain aid. And what percentage of a student's tuition, yearly tuition and costs are usually met by financial aid? Well, that's going to vary by the student and the family's financial situation because the whole system basically is based on need. How much money do you need to attend the school? So how they figure that is the financial aid administrator will determine the cost of one year of school for the student based on campus off campus living or at home, the
subject matter of the fees and the books, everything associated for that cost of education. So let's say they come up with $20,000 for the year. Then you've completed your federal application and the other school applications. Basically, the federal application is what's looked at to determine what your need is. So based on the information you put on your federal application, let's say after they process it, they say, well, based on your income and assets, this family should pay $10,000 towards their child's education. Okay, we have a $20,000 school cost. The government says in the financial aid processes, you should be able to afford $10,000 of that. Now you're eligible for $10,000 in $8,000 to $20,000 minus what you're expected to pay. So that brings us to another point. That's why a lot of students, regardless of the cost of the school, can sometimes go to a more expensive school.
Because let's say the school was $30,000 a year. You're still expected only to pay $10,000. So you subtract $10,000 from the $30,000. Now you're eligible for $20,000 in financial aid. So you shouldn't be discouraged by the cost of the school a lot of times because you can get there for the same amount of pocket. And in Georgia, we also have the Hope Scholarship program. But that requires the filing also of the federal financial aid form. Does it not? Yes, it does. You will not get the State Hope program unless you file the federal application. Pat Bellentoni's parents should plan to get completed financial aid applications into the mail by the first week of January, since most of the money is awarded on a first come, first served basis. His workbook for parents titled College Financial Aid Made Easy, the second edition for the 1996-97 academic year, is available in bookstores. And now Georgia gives that commentator, author and gardener Lee May, takes a moment to reflect on holiday traditions. The
State They came down the chimney about a half past three. Left all these pretty presents, then you see me for me. Merry Christmas, pretty baby. When I was growing up down south in Meridian, Mississippi and up south in East St. Louis, Illinois, the holiday season wasn't official in my house until we played the record with Charles Brown singing Merry Christmas Baby. Then the celebrating could begin. Dad would pull mother into the middle of the living room and they'd slow dance or slow drag, as we called it, until good time Charles Brown had sung his last words. Mother and dad are gone now, but I still play their song.
Instead of a scratchy old 78 RPM record, Charles Brown sings and moans on a cassette tape, and he still sounds good. When we hear the bells at the start of the song, my wife Lynn and I ease into the middle of the kitchen and slow drag until he sings his last words. Holiday traditions come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Merry Christmas Baby is a fine tradition for me, and I'm hoping to get another one started. Gifts from the heart instead of from the store. Books are the only store bought exception I'd make, reading really is fundamental.
And besides, I've written a book. I know, I know, I'm tilting at a huge windmill with an idea that cuts out gifts like coats and cars and computers, but given time, who knows. In any case, I will tilt on giving my wife, say, a vacation from the chore of her choice. Instead of another set of earrings that may or may not work for her, one of our daughters will get cuttings from the willow tree she's always loved. I'll give a friend a lesson in how to create a bonsai. She's always lusted after my miniaturized trees. Another friend will get my promise to keep in closer touch. Other gift possibilities are books from our bookshelves, a babysitting night for friends or relatives. Of course, I have no idea whether such gifts will be appreciated or ridiculed. But I do know they represent something personal, and they capture the spirit of the season
rather than hold gift givers captive in crowds of obligatory shoppers. In starting this tradition, I have only one concern. Will Charles Brown still get his much more glittery gift? Give me diamond ring for Christmas, now I'm living in the end of the day. Lee May lives in Atlanta where he tends his garden and writes a gardening column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution News Favors. Still to come on Georgia Gazetta talk with author John Berrent about life after midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and an update on the renovation project public televisions this whole house is going through in Savannah. Georgia musician songwriter Matthew Kailer talks about his new live CD Jeff's last dance plus storyteller Carmen Dede. Stay with us. When the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil came out in 1994, author John Berrent
expected it to do moderately well in Savannah where the novel is set. He didn't expect it to spend more than 85 weeks on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. Berrent now calls New York City home, but recently he returned to Georgia. Susanna Capelito spoke with him about his new found fame and fortune. How has your life been since this book came out? This book has taken over my life that I am constantly interviewed and people come up to me in the street. People talk to me about nothing but whether I'm in a social setting or in a store somewhere or being interviewed on a radio or television. So it's taken over. It hasn't changed my life materially because I haven't gone out and bought a new home I haven't got. A lot of new clothes and cars and bones and things like that. I do feel very good about having spent seven years in Savannah taking my time telling friends, yes, I will finish this book, but I don't know when. And so I really did lavish time and effort on it and of course all that has paid off and
I'm very happy about it. Did you expect your book to do that well? No. I mean, maybe a bit of dreams about this, I guess. Oh, I know it. No, my dreams were totally different. My dreams had to do with critical acceptance. First, you see, I have been in magazines for 25 years as an associate editor of Esquire and writer for Esquire and as editor of New York magazine. So I had never written a book. I had written short pieces and at the time came when I was tired of skittering from topic to topic and wanted to wallow in something I decided I had to write a book in order to do that and I decided that the book would be Savannah. So my major dream for when I wrote this book was that the critics would say, yes, this is a book. It's a book. He's written a book. Then I hope they would say, it's a very good book and I even dreamt that they would say, it's a great book and all that sort of came true.
What I didn't even think about was commercial success. I thought I'd written a book that people would enjoy, but I didn't know how many people there were out there who would buy it and enjoy it because as I was writing it, people did respond very well to it. So that's a total surprise. Someone once, several people asked me as I was writing it, did I think I was writing a bestseller and I said, are you kidding? With all the crazy characters in here, it's not a mainstream bestseller, not a mainstream book. It's very quirky and so I was quite surprised that people did buy it in every increasing numbers and then it got on the New York Times bestseller list at all, let alone stay on it for 89 weeks. Big surprise. Do you think that the quirkiness of the characters actually then was the reason for it to be successful? Well, looking back and trying to figure out what it was, that's part of it, but I think the one of the major elements in it's success has been that it's a real story.
It's a real city that people generally didn't know too much about. They are real people and real incidents. The fact that this sounds like it came out of somebody's very wild imagination and yet it's still true, really makes it a more compelling book. Also, it's about a beautiful southern city that people didn't know much about, an historic city, one that you enter in the very beginning and it's fun to be in it. I mean, it's about a murder, but it's a funny book. And there's a great deal of charm evident in the city and from the people who are in it, the characters are marvellously charming. And it's also clear that the narrator, me, the narrator had a very good time and was enjoying himself and liking the characters, liking the city. And the atmosphere of the book is one that's a pleasure to be in, I am told. Baren's book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is the story of a real live murder committed by a rich savannah and teak dealer and his subsequent murder trials.
But it is the description of the city and the sometimes bizarre people who live there that's made the book popular with readers around the world. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has more than 700,000 copies in print. It has been published in 11 foreign countries, including France, Brazil, Norway, Japan and Greece. And Baren says it is number one in Britain. And it is also one of the reasons why the producers of the award-winning public television series, This Old House, decided to find an old home there to renovate. Apparently, somebody on the staff read the book or maybe more than one. And they went straight to Savannah looking for a house as close as possible to Mercer House. And it's right on the same square, right across the street. They have invited me to come down there and take, for one of their eight installments and take the viewers on a tour of Savannah according to the book and I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to tape it sometime in January and it will air shortly thereafter and I'm very much looking forward to it.
I think it's a wonderful program. And Savannah is a place where houses have been restored magnificently and it's a great place to have an installment of this old house. Baren says he will show people the outside of the Mercer House because it is after all the private residents as well as McClarys Drugstore, which is now McClarys Cafe. He will also tour Savannah's downtown, including the courthouse where the trials took place and of course Bonaventure Cemetery, The Garden of Good An Evil and the setting for the cover photograph. Baren was a 1995 Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of the 1994 Southern Book Award. Movie rights to Midnight in the Garden of Good An Evil have been sold to Warner Brothers. I'm Susanna Capoluto. This old house returns to Savannah in January to tape the progress being made on the renovation of Mills Fleming's 100 plus year old house on Monterey Square. But we couldn't wait that long to find out what's going on with the project. Sid Hoskinson has our update. The renovation job on Fleming's home is well underway and project manager Jeff Ferhan
says happily there have been few surprises. The house itself with all the character that's in it and the moldings and the wood and the fireplaces and everything else, it is an excellent condition. I mean, we're not demoing the entire site. In fact, the main purpose, my main thrust on the whole design of the residence was to try to maintain the integrity of everything that was in it and preserve the plaster moldings and the plaster ceiling rosettes and the existing doors and trim and to a great extent even the floor that we do have some termite damage in some areas and we'll be replacing some of it. Ferhan says there is debris all over the job site, but that's because workers are in such a hurry. They have to complete in three to four months what would normally take them a year to do. Homeowner Mills Fleming is not concerned in the least by all the mess and confusion. In fact, he says he's very impressed with the work being done on his house. Every day I go by on my way into work, seven thirty I stop off and they're always there
bright and early and around lunchtime. I always stop by and they're hard, they never seem to stop. They are literally at a juggernaut pace on this, so we're very impressed with the work that's been done and just how expeditiously it all seems to be taking place. Fleming is not the only one who finds the renovation of his home incredible. He says there are many other people in Savannah who are also thrilled with the project. They don't want to know how I got so lucky, but after that they're very, very happy with the fact that this old house is coming to Savannah and the fact that there will be so much publicity around it because it shows the city off but it also shows the house off as well and to really focus and show the benefits of living in an old house and to see the beauty of the structure come out now is really probably the best thing about it.
I'm Sid Hoskinson. The eight part of this old house series in Savannah begins airing in February. I love a queen of town under the moon by the sea, kids old Savannah town, so very dear to me, Savannah moon, though your smile so high above, every heart knows you have something to do with love. George Gazette's storyteller Carmen Dede remembers the first Christmas her Cuban-born family spent in Georgia. On our arrival in 1963, the pewter skies of Decatur, Georgia gripped my Cuban father's heart with an unshakable frost and he fell into a terrible depression. With our exile in North America came the chilling realization that he had exchanged the balmy breezes of our Caribbean island for windows that had to be taped with plastic to
keep out the abysmal winter winds. On one particularly cold and wretched morning, he told his one friend at the steel mill, Big D, of his longing for that island in the Antilles. Big D, this country is a lugar de los muertos, the place of the dead. What do you mean, Carlos? My father cocked his head toward the steamy factory windows. I mean look outside, Big D, the trees they are dead, the grass, cheese dead, the lugar de los muertos. Big D laughed. Carlos, it's winter, ain't they got winter down on that Habana yours? Them trees ain't dead, they're sleeping. Big D, spring calm, why you ain't seen nothing till you seen a dodge of spring? Dogwoods and azaleas, wisterias and four sithias? For what?
For sithias. It's a flower. They're all flowers, Carlos. South is full of them in the spring. Buffy had been staring quietly out of the windows when he turned to face his friend. In Cuba, we had flowers in December. Perhaps it was the mountains of unspoken loss behind those simple words that inspired Big D, or it might have been something as human as, well, one gardener's need to best another. But this old southern man harbored my father's words, and weeks later, on Christmas Eve, we received a knock on the door of our attic apartment on Feld Avenue. A great hulk of a man in a faded corduroy jacket filled our doorway like an old Rizlibear. His hand held a single yellow rose. The stem carefully wrapped in aluminum foil. My father's hand trembled as he received it.
Buffy has always said he would not have survived that first terrible winter if it had not been for Big D. This was not only an offer of friendship, it was a promise of spring. Carmen D. D. lives in Tucker with her three daughters. She has published a number of children's books and travels around the country telling her stories. Sing a songwriter Matthew Cailer has teamed up with fellow musicians Sean Mullins to produce Jeff's last dance. No CD was recorded live this spring at a club indicator, Georgia. Played together often on for a long time, just as friends and enjoying the way the music
happens, you know, people like the way it sounds when we do things together. And we were getting requests for people really wanted to hear something with us together. And so we decided that as many shows as many shows as we do together, why not go ahead and record something that we can release together and people can enjoy that, you know, has the two of us on it. We don't write together, these are all songs that we've written separately. They're songs that are either previously own or our other recordings or will be on upcoming recordings of our own stuff. But we decided to, you know, we harmonize together and play on each other's stuff and works out really well. Let's do a song. Oh yeah, let's try it out here, let's see. And so this is called Shimmer. I like that song a lot and I wrote that song with several different things in mind that kind of had the first versus is this child being born into the world and the actual imagery
that I had for that was an African-American nurse handling the childbirth, helping with the childbirth. And I thought that, you know, these new eyes, these new big blue eyes from this baby boy, they don't see the race, they don't see the difference. And we're taught what the difference is and we're taught how to hate and so that's what I was kind of getting at. He's born to Shimmer, born to shine, born to radiate, born to live, born to love, so we'll teach you guys. He's born to Shimmer, he's born to shine, he's born to radiate, born to live, he's born to love, but we'll teach him how to hate. Yeah, the story about the cover is this, it's a strange cover and everyone asks us about
it. There's these several civil war era soldiers pointing weapons at this man in a dress and he's holding up a knife and then there's another soldier behind him grabbing him by the arm from behind. And what that is is, well, first I should back up and say that we couldn't come up with something that we really thought was good for the album cover, so I started hunting around for like public domain things and heated too. We were over at Emery University looking up in the archives, you know, the, whatever you call it. The special collections department, yeah. And I found a lithograph that was dated May 10th, 1865 and it turned out to be that it was the same day we recorded the album but 130 years prior to that and that's Jefferson Davis in a dress who was a president of the Confederacy and when the war was over he was trying to escape and this is his wife here on the cover and him and they're both wearing
dresses. She was wearing dress too, she always did and he started wearing one, he started wearing one recently and looked good on him everything but the Union soldiers, they recognized him as being Jefferson Davis and they captured him and the lithograph was drawn by some guy and it was called Jeff's Last Shift but that was kind of hard to say, so we changed it to Jeff's Last Dance and it just so happens that it looks like Jefferson Davis is dancing with that soldier. So it's a Southern kind of theme, it's interesting, I don't know how many people know that Jeff Jefferson Davis was a drag queen. Song for the Self is exactly that, it's kind of a, it's kind of a look into the whole self-help thing and self therapy and just kind of looking at yourself and kind of cheering
yourself up, self-parenting in a way and it's a nice song, it's a love song but it's a love song to oneself basically. I was thinking about how you talk about the mind's eye, you can see things in your mind's eye and I think people in general, but especially musicians probably hear stuff with their mind's ear. Could we do that song? I love that song and I think that you express what you're talking about so well when you actually play it.
It's about music and how music doesn't really belong to me, you know, and how you can't really own it much less really anything, we learn how to draw up contracts and own things but I just, we just think we do. Jeff's Last Dance and Kayla's first CD, My Own Medicine, are releases of Dream Catcher
Records. And that's Georgia Gazette for this week, our show produced by Susanna Capeludo and Sid Hoskinson next week, Georgia Gazette vacates its Friday noon spot for a holiday special, seasonings with Werder May Grovener. Georgia Gazette returns Friday, December 29th, make plans to join us then. I'm Bruce Thornton, have a nice day and a nice holiday. There is a rhythm keeping time, beating the drum in the ear of the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, the mind, there is a rhythm
keeping time, beating the heart in the ear of the mind. Broadcast of Georgia Gazette is made possible in part by a grant from West Point Stevens. If you have questions or comments about this program, please write to Georgia Gazette, Peachtate Public Radio, 1540 Steward Avenue, Southwest, Atlanta, Georgia, 30310, or call us at 1-800-654-3038. Georgia Gazette is a public affairs presentation of Peachtate Public Radio.
Thank you.
Georgia Gazette
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Georgia Public Broadcasting (Atlanta, Georgia)
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Georgia Gazette. Georgia software company plays key role in the Bosnian Peace Talks, Berry Reed discusses holiday scams, College financial aid tips for parents, Interview with the author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" John Berendt, Update on "This Old House" in Savannah. Peach State Public Radio.
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Host: Bruce Dortin
Producer: Cyd Hoskinson
Producer: Susanna Capelouto
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Georgia Public Broadcasting
Identifier: GPBGG19951215 (Georgia Public Broadcasting)
Format: DAT
Duration: 01:30:00
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Chicago: “Georgia Gazette,” 1995-12-15, Georgia Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “Georgia Gazette.” 1995-12-15. Georgia Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: Georgia Gazette. Boston, MA: Georgia Public Broadcasting, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from