Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not Just Whistlin' Dixie

Recent City actions give the critical thinker cause to ponder where we're really headed. Dunwoody always had an intense reverence for the Farmhouse in spite of the fact that most of us aren't even sons of sons of farmers, and even more aren't better than first generation Dunwoodian. After all, how could we be since Dunwoody was mostly farms 50 years ago. But by golly, we'll have images of that farmhouse on the city logo and atop ever street sign in town. And that's OK, if that's all it were.

But that's not all.

Juxtaposed in time and space we have the Dunwoody Village Overlay District and associated ordinances mandating a strict adherence to a Williamsburg aesthetic. Dear reader, it doesn't matter what they want to call it, it is still Williamsburg, and to be fair, there is a Williamsburg, Georgia, but it is below the gnat line and not the Williamsburg afflicting Dunwoody. It is also interesting to observe that the beloved Dunwoody Farmhouse could never be built under these draconian restrictions. As popular as it is, if it weren't already there, it never would be.

What does this tell us?

Certainly that the powers that are have an almost perverse, conflicted affection for yester-year and yester-place. Not too surprising since many Atlantans who moved to Dunwoody in the early years were white flighters, joined later by folks from parts of the country where Williamsburg might well have been indigenous. And it seems they fit right in with that white flight mentality. So we shouldn't be surprised if Official Dunwoody seeks to spread homogeneity beyond the village and beyond architecture. In fact we shouldn't be surprised if Dixie is recognized as the de facto city anthem.

But there is a silver lining---a new game in town. When you're stuck in traffic around Mount Vernon and Chamblee-Dunwoody, don't curse the cars from Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb clogging our streets. Put away that anger. Just look to the beloved farmhouse and find all the "Williamsburg Violations" you can. You will be surprised not only at how this helps pass the time, and how every time you play the game you find even more, but it won't be long before you're humming the tune to "Dixie". And if you have the courage, and your windows up, belt it out. Loud and clear!
"...in the land of cotton,
ole times there are not forgotten..."