18 April 2023

Ellis Millsaps: The Russians are Coming and Kansas City Shitweed, Part II ( The Long-awaited)

 Read Pt I here

Sometimes while out of work or not we engaged in other money making activities. My friend 

Ken Jordan, the day after I sat in the bleachers cheering wildly as Gene Garber struck out Pete 

Rose ending his historic hitting streak, got to work that evening silk screening t-shirts depicting a drooping rose with the caption ”44 and no more” which he sold out of his trunk in the parking lot of Atlanta Stadium after the next game.

We had other ventures from which we didn't make money but otherwise profited. I'm thinking of the parties we gave at our grand house. Not only did we invite our friends but we put up notices on utility poles in the neighborhood as if we were Pylon advertising our next show. 

The deal was you paid $5 at the bar, got your hand stamped and could drink all of anything you wanted for the rest of the evening from our well stocked bar. We would collect a bunch of cash and go back to the liquor store. I recall one occasion when my oldest friend, Rick Goss, my next door neighbor in Fannin County ( he lived a mile away) and I went to the store, restocked the bar and purchased a bottle of Martell Cordon Bleu which we stowed away for later.

 You might think it's somewhat risky to invite total strangers into your house where you're handling hundreds of dollars in cash, but we didn't worry about it and besides we usually had police protection. An Atlanta city policeman whose first name I once knew but no longer recall,  worked security at Dante's on weekends and appeared regularly in uniform.

We didn't exactly pay him but he had a free ticket at the bar, a bevy of young beauties to court and spark and access to whatever else might be transpiring. I mean if you have lines laid on the table are you going to tell the cop he can't have his? I don't think so. 

Most of the 69ers, as we called our softball team, worked for a healthy income of tips, and other than sales tax and auto tag fees paid no taxes. An exception was my good friend of 50 years, Bill Demond, who worked as an exceptional cook before he became a fishmonger. In 1977 he and another guy founded the two man operation “Inland Seafood “of which he is now CEO with 10 wholesale locations and 600 employees, but prior to that he was out of work a while and accepted a job for which he was paid $500 to drive a U-Haul to Kansas and bring it back full of the marijuana which grows wild there. His financier here wanted this wild weed to mix with his quality imported stuff which he sold in bulk.

Bill made his run and came back home with his money and a grocery bag full of what we soon came to call Kansas City Shitweed. It earned its name because no matter how much you smoked  it it only reminded you a little of getting stoned. It turned out, we were to learn after a while, that the story was entirely different if you cooked it. So one Friday Bill decided he would make some marijuana brownies that we would eat before heading out to see Glen Phillips at the Roxy. What Bill made was more like marijuana pie, two thin layers of brownie surrounding an inch deep concoction of wild marijuana and butter. It was awful but we ate it.

We were headed off toward Buckhead when the road  began to curve over and over like a corkscrew. It is a testament to my young hand to eye coordination that I was able to keep the car on this winding path.

We made it to the Roxy where we were fastened to our seats, unable to move.  That was not  only because Phillips was so sensationally entertaining, (Lowell George of Little Feat with whom Glen sometimes played called him ” the most amazing guitarist I've ever seen.”  Peter Buck of REM said that he doesn't play guitar solos because he’s seen Glen Phillips.) we couldn't have moved anyway. 

You can email Ellis at millsapsellis00@gmail.com

Ellis "Da" Millsaps is a recovering Attorney but has worn many hats over the years: father, bus boy, stand-up comedian, novelist, wiffle ball player, rock'n'roll band manager, and at one time wrote a popular and funny column for The Covington News. A Fannin Co. mountain boy originally, Mr. Millsaps now stays at the mill village of Porterdale by way of 20 years in Mansfield. Usually funny and at times irreverent and subversive, he leans left in his political philosophy but can always be counted on for a pretty darn good write-up. The Chronicles are proud to have him involved...


13 April 2023

The Music Minute, Weekend of 4/15: Live Music @ The Five, Amici & Others; Shane Clark in Madison Friday Night

 Howdy, Music Lovers, and welcome back to...

Music Minute

As usual, we've got another big weekend lined up. Let's take a look at a few of the shows coming up in & around the home county: 

Who's Playing Where & When
Weekend of April 15th -

A playing at B at C

After Hours









And that's just a handful of the upcoming shows this weekend. Remember: live music every Friday night at Amici Covington; multiple venues in Conyers, Monroe & Social Circle are doing live music as well, so get out there & enjoy some great tunes! 

Until next time, 



11 April 2023

[Past Piedmont Chronicles] - A TPC PSA by MB McCart: A Primer on Driving on the Square, About Town Generally & a Couple of Modest Proposals

 *originally published in 2019

Previously this publication has discussed some of the challenges facing the centerpiece of our beloved home city, the beautiful Covington Square.

In that piece, I mentioned that traffic & parking are among the two biggest issues facing our downtown business district. And to that point, here, as a service to the general public, is the...

TPC Guide to Driving on the Covington Square & Elsewhere Throughout the Home City

by: MB McCart 

For a large portion of the Square, there exists between the inner & outer lanes, a solid while line, with small breaks in the middle of the east, west, south & north sides, that denotes...something.

"Well, actually," I can hear some of you saying, "that solid white line means that you can't change lanes." Perhaps. Much research by this writer, and a couple days worth of research by the CPD & also an Atty-at-Law I reached out to, seems to confirm that you're not supposed to cross a solid white line; however, time & time again I cannot seem to find that expressly mentioned in Title 40 of the OCGA. It somewhat seems to be common knowledge that you're not supposed to cross a solid white line, but is it really an affixed rule that constitutes a moving violation? Or is it more just kind of like a general guideline? I seriously ask because in several states, that's exactly what a solid white line represents - passing not recommended, but not necessarily restricted, either.

Scott Miller, an attorney, says it is a violation in Georgia, but again - while the Code discusses white lines in Title 40, and more particularly in Chapter 6, I still can't find it where it expressly, specifically says you can't.

Regardless, and to regrettably carry on for far too long on this particular point, most folks believe you're not supposed to cross it, but many folks don't, or they simply don't care, and that really pisses off the folks who "stay in their lane" when these folks whip around them - C-town 500-style - on the curves (Turn Left!). 

And this is where I become conflicted, my friends. It irritates me as well! In fact, many times over the years (decades, actually) when I see someone in my rear-view about to whip into that inner lane, I'll actually move to the left, in essence blocking them, and I usually feel really damn good about myself for having done so, though, technically, I may have committed a moving violation myself, but somebody's got to do it. I apologize to no one.

But the traffic analyst in me, and based on countless hours of research from various vantage points in & around the Square the last few years, sees that the more people who actually do that & go ahead & take the next curve & get out of the way actually work to remedy the usual bottleneck spots which ultimately improves overall flow. And, as I've posited many times in this space, it's all about that flow, though!

So...where does that leave us? No closer to a solution, unfortunately. Apparently the city & the CPD have reached out to GDOT to get clarification on the white lines on the Square. I'm sure that'll be a quick & efficient response.

One last thing, though. And a big, big point, I believe. We need to bring back Yield signs for northbound traffic on Church for those turning right onto Floyd, and also for southbound traffic on Monticello for those turning right onto Washington. That, combined with - AGAIN!!1! - adjusting the feeder lights at Floyd & Elm + Pace & Usher, would probably solve the damn thing. 

But hey, I'm just crazy, so nobody ever listens to me...

A Few Modest Proposals:

- Perhaps public flogging for drivers turning left onto 278 from Floyd St.? These people are a problem. They should be dealt with ruthlessly & efficiently, you know, for the greater good & all.

-  Can we put in an IQ test for folks getting a driver's license? I know this is gonna sound kind of rough, but a lot of these folks (and you know who I'm talking about here - the down-with-disease, bad-DNA-having types [the Wal-Mart Crowd], various other dullards, mouthbreathers & slackjaws as well as the white & ghetto trash),  just don't need to be driving. In a few years that will become a memory after we transition to automated vehicles, but in the meantime, perhaps we should go ahead & address that?

- And, again, this is going to sound awful - but... I'm the guy that writes publicly what many others are thinking - but you know when you get behind a car with a certain type of license plate, that more times than not, it's gonna be a damn hassle! Just a big ole production with a whole bunch of uninspired, lackadaisical, selfish & inconsiderate driving. 

Drive with some purpose, people! Be efficient & expeditious! Be courteous.

But perhaps that's the rub, or, the real story, if you will. As long as we have the human element involved with driving, it's never going to be perfect. So, perhaps about the time we finally get that fully automated driving thing going, it may unfortunately coincide with Skynet becoming self-aware. So while we may be running for our lives, at least the traffic will be better.

MB McCart 

Quick Check-In From The Editor: Spring Break Over; Talkin' Hospital Authority; What's Comin' Down The Pike

 *Cross-posted at MB's Word on the Street 

Greetings, Fearless Readers, and we sure hope it's dandy as candy out there. 

How about The Masters? What a tournament we witnessed this year. The weather was really something, wasn't it? It went from Summer to Winter to Spring in the span of three days. Was thrilled to see Rahm win it. He's a special guy. Helluva player, too. I think he could be the one to become the face of professional golf to fill the void of Tiger. We'll see. 

Last week was also Spring Break for yours truly so we didn't have any postings. 

But now we're back! 

Coming up this week: 

- 1st report on the Newton County Hospital Authority. And yes, you read that right. And no - you haven't gone back in time five years, either. The Authority L I V E S! Yes, indeed. Most folks thought it was dissolved after they did away w/ the indigent care & ambulance millage & executed the 40-yr lease w/ Piedmont Healthcare. That is NOT the case. Stay tuned. DEVELOPING... 

- Later in the week exclusively at TPC: a Past Piedmont Chronicles; Da's second chapter of The Russians Are Coming & Kansas City Shitweed, and another Music Minute

Okay for now, 

- MB McCart