Friday, March 18, 2016

It Was Thirty-Nine Years Ago Today...

...That Susan and I officially became residents of Cobb County.

For almost six years after we got married, we lived in Cedartown. Susan grew up there. I had family in Cedartown (and lived there for about two years in the late 1950s), so I was familiar with the town. It was a good place for us to begin our married life. Rent was cheap, costs were low, we had family nearby to help us out in a pinch, and we were able to survive on more-or-less one income. (Susan worked while I went to Berry College on scholarship; after I graduated, I worked while Susan got her certification in computer programming at Coosa Valley Tech.)

Susan got her first significant job offer from Management Science America (MSA) in early March of 1977. They needed her to start right away. So on March 11th, we came to Marietta and found an apartment on Franklin Road (which was, in 1977, not the dangerous place that it is now--it was, in fact, a desirable and trendy upscale area in Marietta). On March 14th, she began working at MSA; she stayed with our friend Larry Mason that first week. On March 16th and 17th, Gary Steele and Barry Hunter helped me box up all of our belongings at the house on Olive Street that Susan and I called home. And on March 18th, movers loaded up our belongings at took them to our apartment at 1029 Franklin Road. (I couldn't afford movers; my parents covered that cost as a moving present for us.)

I often think how different life might have been had Susan not taken that job. If she had found work in Rome or Cedartown instead, I never would have moved to Marietta. I never would have found Dr. No's Comics... so I never would have gone to work for Artie Decker, ordering comics for his store. As a result, he never would have offered to sell that store to me in 1982, and I most likely would never have gone into comics retailing.

I would have continued to teach at East Rome High School rather than taking a job at North Cobb High School. The many wonderful friends I made there would have remained strangers to me.

I never would have met Ward Batty. We would have never begun doing fanzines together. We would have never become partners in a comic shop. And we would have never started Comic Shop News.

I would have never met Charles Rutledge, who has since become my best friend. My life would have been the poorer because of that, and I think Charles's life might have been different as well.

Lanny Lathem. Brett Brooks. Randy Satterfield. Jim Moore. Lisa Fowler (now Lisa Huskey). Alan Huskey. Dave Johnson. Mark Bagley. Buck Turner. Tom Kater. Jared Miller. Julie Hadden. Whitney Donald. Jason Brewer. Sage Tipton. Matt Davidson. Amber Livesay. Jenni Pate. I would have never crossed paths with any of them.

Bob Wayne. Chris Powell. Steve Geppi. Herb McCaulla. Pat Henry. Carol Kalish. Steve Saffel. All of these people, and so many more, would have remained strangers to me, our lives never intersecting.

So many things are so very different now, all because of that job and the subsequent move. I sometimes wonder how my life might have been had we stayed in Rome. But I never, ever regret the move, or all the wonderful things it has brought into my life in the 39 years since.

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