Around Town & Afar – Part 4
Acworth, Georgia – forty minutes west of Roswell.
I drove in on a hot Saturday day – heading to a bluegrass festival. The festival was a flop, so I instead made the decision to wander into town. I’d never been before, so this afforded me a chance to use the camera and discover a new place. Prior to this post I lent a few words about the Serendipity House, so I’ll just start after leaving there.
I walked back into town, past the post office and the flower shop, right into the main part of downtown. You’ll see the street pictures below. Instead of having a specific place to go or be, it was nice to just wander in with no intentions. A free visit, if you will, unencumbered by expectations. I browsed shops, snapped dozens of photographs, and ate at one of the local restaurants on the strip.
While walking around I happened on the Acworth Gallery. Thinking it was an art gallery, my feet headed directly for the front door. I tried the knob but it wasn’t open. However, I could hear this little dog just barking away at me from the inside. I stood there for a few seconds and turned around to decide my next direction, when the door opened and the dog bounded out towards my feet greeting me. When I looked up there was this artsy lady looking at me, (Lovona Brantley – I would learn), and I introduced myself. She said she had a party starting in a little while, but in Southern hospitality style invited me in – even though she probably had a million other things to do at the time.
It turns out she hosts tea parties for children and also painting parties. As I toured her home, she showed me the many paintings of her party guests, a bit of photography, and her own watercolors. We talked about how she soaks her paper in coffee grounds and wrings it dry, and how the local dry cleaner presses it for her to straighten it. Instant coffee is the key, she advised, after explaining that I’ve used teabags to color my paper before I paint.
I wish I would have taken some pictures of the tea party set up – delightfully cheery, it was all pink, with rose china and gold trimmings. Lace doilies covered the top of the tables. Teapots were ready for filling. All that was needed was children. And in the next room, tables set up with easels, paint brushes at the ready, stools just under and ready to be pulled out. The kitchen hosted another set up for parents – as well as the night party that was coming in (a ladies party). So incredibly creative. I’ll have to remember to have a party there.
Finally, I let her get back to work and wandered past the downtown area, coming upon Acworth Cycle – a mechanic shop on the main street. There was a mechanic in the shop, covered in grease and working hard on a bike. I stopped to admire the motorcycles and got close to the garage doors when he looked up. I asked him if he minded if I took some shots of the bikes. I told him I would probably post about them on the web and offered my card. He glanced down at his hands, which were black, and told me to put it on his toolbox. I kind of liked my girly pink business card resting on the tools, so absolutely out of place, and such a contrast to the whole of the garage. With his permission I got to work taking some bike shots. I like mechanical things so these kinds of pictures are natural for me.
I made a loop around and headed back to the town for some food. I chose something that I wouldn’t normally pick – Henry’s Louisiana Grill. I’m not a spicy food eater – and I knew for sure that this place would be spicy. And sure enough, I ordered the Shrimp and Crawfish Etoufee – which just about seared my lips off – it was soooo incredibly good, but I had to eat it on bread to soften the blow. My waitress said it wasn’t as hot as their grits – thank goodness I didn’t order their grits. To be honest, it probably wasn’t that hot, I’m just a big wuss when it comes to spicy food. Two thumbs up for this restaurant! The best part was that they held on to my leftovers until I passed back by – which meant I didn’t have to hold them and snap photographs at the same time.
Crossing over the railroad tracks, I encountered a sign that said Art Exhibit with an arrow – Gallery 4463. I followed the signs around the bend until I came upon some brick buildings. When I tried to open the door under the awning of Gallery 4463, I realized the door wasn’t open. I turned around to a smiling face who told me the entrance was just around the corner. As we walked together to the door, he introduced himself as Clemens Bak, the owner of the gallery. And as we entered, I met two more friendlies – artists with art in the gallery. A school exhibit was going on at the time, so I was able to see the creative talent of kids from elementary school to high school. In the back of the gallery were the artist exhibits. I browsed those in detail, until Clemens came back to talk to me about art. He showed me some of his mother’s and father’s art that was put away in flat drawers, the wood cuts/dyes/prints that his father made. It was really fantastic. Such a legacy to leave, a heritage to own – it was inspiring.
Leaving from the gallery, I shot a few more pictures and went to pick up my food. By this time I could feel my face burning a little, and the time was drawing near for the Rangers game – so I took my leave.
I really liked Acworth – such friendly people, and a great place to visit. I’ll go back next year when they have their arts festival in the middle of April 🙂
Enjoy the photographs!