Today marks the 29th anniversary of the day that Susan and I moved from Cedartown to Marietta. (Actually, I should say "yesterday" as I post this; I wrote it on the 18th, but continuing problems with blogger.com forced me to save it as a draft, so it's not being posted until after midnight on the 19th.) Hard to believe that I've been a resident of Marietta for significantly more than half my life; I still think of myself as a Roman, even though I only lived in Rome for the first 17.9 years of my life, then in Cedartown for the next 5.75 years before we moved here.
March 18, 1977 was a warm day, even by Georgia March standards--we reached 84 that day, as I remember all too well because I was helping to load and unload a truck that day. Susan had actually come to Atlanta on March 13th to stay with a friend so that she could begin her new job at Management Science America on March 14th. So by the time I supervised the movers, loaded up the stuff that was going into my car, and made my way to Marietta, Susan had been living in the metro area for five days. But March 18th was our first day in our first apartment (prior to that time, we had lived in two different rental houses).
Our first apartment was a first-floor place in Savannah Oaks, a complex on then-trendy Franklin Road. Today, Franklin Road is one of the most crime-ridden areas in Cobb County; back then, though, it was the most desirable area in Cobb, filled with upwardly-mobiles twenty-somethings. I was impressed with the apartment's proximity to everything; there were restaurants galore, a grocery, a drugstore, and a movie theater in the shopping center next to us, and US 41 and I-75 were just a few minutes away. At the time, 41 was the main drag in Marietta, with development clustered within a few miles of the Big Chicken and again in the Smyrna area from Treasure Island and Richway down to Cumberland Mall. There was a large Oz Records just four miles from the apartment, and I had shopped there on several occasions before we chose Savannah Oaks as our new home.
The apartment was our first air-conditioned home. We ran the air conditioning the first night we moved in, and it was quite a relief after a full day of schlepping boxes and furniture. The apartment had green shag carpeting--ugly, but that was all too common back then.
It also had a horrible noise problem, we discovered almost immediately. Our upstairs neighbors had an eighty-pound German Shepherd that ran from one end of the apartment to the other incessantly, and there was no soundproofing at all between the two floors of the apartment. We tried to work with them, explaining the problem, but they were absolutely disinterested in doing anything. After a few months of it, at which time the apartment complex actually cut into our ceiling and verified that there was no insulation or anything else to cut down on the noise, they moved us into a townhouse apartment so that we would have no upstairs neighbors. From that point on, life on Franklin Road was very pleasant.
When we first moved there, I-75 wasn't even completed. When I drove back to Rome, GA, to teach at East Rome High School, I had to get off the interstate at Barrett Parkway, which had no development at all. I would then travel the rest of the way north on US41. A year or so later, they opened the interstate all the way, but at that time, 41 was the road for travellers heading from Florida to the Northeast.
It seemed like a wonderful life back then; we were surrounded by opportunity, and after almost six years of relative poverty in Cedartown, we felt almost wealthy. After all, we had two incomes for the first time (previously, Susan had worked full time while I was in college, and then I worked full time while Susan went to Coosa Valley Tech), and we actually had money to spare after paying all of our bills. By the end of 1977, we were able to splurge on our first VHS VCR, putting us at the technological cutting edge.
It was a golden time, and our entire future seemed clear. As it turned out, much of what we foresaw for ourselves was nothing like what the future actually brought us... but that's part of the mystery of it all, isn't it?