Thursday, December 23, 2010

MLK in Dunwoody

The game is afoot and Dunwoody has responded by incorporating yet another "non-profit" in an attempt to snag the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. As some may know, the GMHF has fallen on hard times and being the opportunists we are, Dunwoody is ready to pounce. The bid is in. It is stacked with two résumés for each and every member of the newly minted non-profit--a tactic clearly intended to demonstrate their incredible abilities to make a profit, yet it nonetheless makes a compelling case for relocating the irreplaceable GMHF assets from an AAM certified facility in Macon to the stock room behind an expansive gift shop in Perimeter Mall.

But they've run into a wee little problem. The tale that follows was recounted to The Other Dunwoody by a meeting attendee who cannot be named because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the "no-pro". As it turns out, only one person is allowed to speak for the no-pro, and he speaks too much.

The meeting, held recently at an undisclosed location, was dominated by The Grand Poohbah, designated speaker, and the Purveyor of Bloated Non-Profit Salaries, also serving as Treasurer, who enjoyed the ill fate of reporting the bad news to Pooh.

"Pooh, I just got off the phone with the head of GMHF and they have a problem with the Dunwoody relo."

"Look, Purv, I thought I had this locked down. This isn't more whining about their precious artifacts being stored in...what did they call it...yeah, a "smash and grab" shopping center? Or is it that AAM certification crap again?"

"Well, those two are still on the table. Sort of."

"What do you mean 'sort of'?"

"It's like this Pooh: it seems, outside of Dunwoody proper, and you know what I mean by proper, there are lots of African Americans in Georgia. It should come as no surprise that this is reflected in the demographics of both the inductees and attendees of the GMHF."

"So? Just because Dunwoody is in Georgia, doesn't mean there's Georgians in Dunwoody. It's always been that way. Plus, this is the 'Town in Beige' not 'Somewhere Under a Rainbow'.  And we didn't paint the Farmhouse WHITE because the paint was cheaper!"

"Yeah, Pooh. I know...I know. But it's different now. Things have changed since you moved here. Now we want something from The Other Georgia and well, they want something from us. They won't even consider our bid without it."

"OK Purv. What the hell is it? Do they want more money under the table? Is this just another shakedown? Haven't  we paid them enough already?"

Purv, in a voice tinged with fear, whispered his response. "Dammit Pooh. I told you about that kinda talk. You keep it up, folks are gonna find out and you'll have us all in trouble. And NO, that's not what it is. It's even worse."

"What could be worse?"

"I'll tell you what. Turns out they've looked over every map of Dunwoody and come to find out, we don't have a street named after Martin Luther King. Not a one. Nowhere. And they'll not have the GMHF in a city without one."

"Alright Purv! I've had enough of your practical jokes and you've wasted enough of all our time. Especially mine! And who else was in on this prank? I want names. NOW!"

"Look Pooh, this is no joke. And they're not negotiating on this. There is no wiggle room. None whatsoever. Fer crissakes they're even ON Martin Luther King Boulevard in Macon. This is serious. We've gotta find a street to rename and push it through Council ASAP or Athens is gonna win with that silly 'we're the most musical city in Georgia' bullshit. And Athens has a Martin Luther King Parkway."

"OK. Fine. Let's pick a street. How about Jett Ferry? Get it? Jett?"

"Yeah, Pooh, I get it. And even if you weren't trying to be funny, you know what kind of people live on Jett Ferry. Can you see them sending out Christmas cards with an MLK return address? How about Ashford-Dunwoody? That's where it will be located and it's a silly name anyway." 

"Negatory, Purv. I've got plans for renaming that road." Nods of approval all around the room. "How about over by Winter's Chapel? Those folks won't complain, half of 'em don't even speak English. Or Tilly Mill? You gonna tell me there's folks wantin' to rename it 'Golda Lox Lane' or something?"

Purv ended the uncomfortable silence, responding in a firm, controlled voice. "Pooh, this is serious and if you can't be, then it's you who's wasting time. We gotta come up with a street and it can't be so obvious we shoved it in a corner. Get with the program."

Pooh, not acknowledging the prior offense and with more than a little anger in his voice retorted: "Don't talk to me like that Purv. I'll have your ass if you do. So what street would you pick since you're so smart? You think you're gonna rename Mount Vernon or Chamblee Dunwoody, or even Dunwoody Road?"

"Dunwoody Road is out. You can't even begin to imagine the hell we'd catch from that asshole blogger on that one." As Purv pours over an expensive GIS map of Dunwoody, he stops, looks up and says, "I've got it. This is perfect."

"Ok, so what is it?"


"Nandina? Where, or what, the hell is Nandina?"

"Nandina. It's that short piece of pavement between Mount Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody that all those assholes use as a cut-through."

"You mean the jerks who expect the whole world to stop so they can make a left turn?"

"Those are they.  This is perfect. It's in lovely downtown Dunwoody. Folks on both major roads will see the signs and know how inclusive we are. It's close enough to the Farmhouse to be a place of honor, but independent enough that it will not evoke antebellum images."

"Purv, stop with the gibberish and speak English." Pooh leans over the map and smiles. "Ya know what? You're absolutely right, Nandina is perfect. With a name like that it can't be related to a founding father. Sounds Mexican so no Dunwoodians will object...can you imagine the uproar if we renamed a cul de sac called 'Brickleberry Lane'?"

"You can NOT name a dead end street after Martin Luther King!"

"Right. With Nandina we only have to change two signs. Not as good as one, but still not bad. And think of the money we save, we change it back. You're a genius! But there's only one other thing."

"What's that."

"Everybody has to know it was my idea."

"WHAT!!???" It's MY idea."

"Look, Purv, you signed an IPR agreement. All ideas belong to me. That's just the way it is."

Purv, obviously annoyed, said "Fine. We're still not done Mister Idea Man. What are you gonna call it: Boulevard, Street, Road, or Lane? Or maybe you think it would be a good idea to call it 'Alley'?"

"You're about to cross a line you don't wanna cross there Purv. Anyway, I don't need to make that choice. Though I'm sure they'd rubber-stamp the idea, it's nice to throw the Council a bone every now and then. This is one of those times. Let them pick, then they're committed to it too. Now, unknot yer shorts and get the ball rollin'. We need an official Memo From The Staff signed by 5K. We need it inside the hour, so get moving. When you get that done, get those biddies over at 'Lemonade Days' started on the renaming ceremony. I'll be busy writing my speech."

There you have it Dear Readers. Martin Luther King Jr. is coming to Dunwoody and we have the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to thank for it.