Thursday, January 30, 2014

1982 snow surprisingly similar to 2014 snow, who woulda thunk?

via The Atlanta Time Machine Facebook page:

Neighbor Greg posts: "This photo of the big 1982 "Snowjam" storm was taken the day after the deluge hit town and shows the view looking north along Clairmont Road, near the railroad overpass between North Decatur Rd and North Druid Hills Road. Though it's not visible in the picture, the VA Hospital is just up around the bend on the left.

Thanks go to Elinor Howard Cook for sending it in this photo, which was taken by her husband."

That would be the Emory Clairmont campus to the left.

click to enlarge
Edit: oh yes yes yes, someone out there has put together a SnowJam '82 photo album:

UPDATE: And, footage from the 1973 ice storm.

Parenting workshop @ North Decatur Presbyterian Church

Get the details at

A few real-time road updates from neighbors

via Medlock Park Neighbors Facebook page (~8am):

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

National Weather Service

Issued at 1pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014, National Weather Service
Active for next 23 hours 
Locations: Clayton; Cobb; DeKalb; Douglas; Fayette; Fulton; Gwinnett; Henry; Rockdale 
The National Weather Service in Peachtree City has relayed a Civil Emergency Message at the request of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in Atlanta Georgia.
A state of emergency remains in effect for all of Georgia due to impacts from a winter storm on Tuesday through this morning. 
This message replaces the Winter Storm Warning that expired at 1:00 pm EST this afternoon. It will remain in effect until noon on Thursday and primarily pertains to the Atlanta metro counties of Gema Area 7. Those counties include Fulton, Dekalb, Clayton. Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Rockdale, Fayette and Henry Counties. 
A combination of some sleet initially followed by 1 to 3 inches of snow caused most roadways to become extremely hazardous and in many cases impassable. The ice and snow has been compacted into solid sheets of ice which continues to cause treacherous road conditions. Hundreds of vehicles and trucks are still stranded or abandoned on portions of the interstates and primary roads in the Atlanta metro area. Any melting that occurs this afternoon will refreeze tonight as temperatures fall into the teens. 
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency requests that travel be limited to emergencies only for your safety, and for the safety of emergency officials and Georgia Department of Transportation employees that continue to respond to the dangerous impacts of the winter storm.

Winter Storm Warning Until 1PM today

Latest updates @ 9:45am via Facebook:
TG: drove my wife to work at DeKalb Medical from Joiner Court, up Woodtrail Lane, then up Medlock to North Decatur Road. Looks like North Decatur was salted. Nice and grippy. The rest was icy but passable. 
MS: Desmond is drivable from Clairmont to Gaylemont - downtown Decatur is okay too. Up the hill on Clairmont at the VA is NOT okay.
via  Click to enlarge.
The AJC and CNN are reporting on how so many people have been stuck overnight due to crowded road conditions, accidents and overall gridlock resulting from yesterday's snows.  Many neighbors had long commutes yesterday, but overall, our side of town has fared better than most. As for today, neighborhood streets are navigable and traffic is very light, but there are a lot of icy spots and those who had to head out recommend avoiding the roads if possible. With a current temperature of 13F and an expected high of 33F, it's likely more ice will develop.  Tonight's low is expected to be 18F but Thursday should bring a high of 42F.

AJC: Gridlock continues as unspeakably horrible commute home stretches into hour 18

CNN: Stranded, cold motorists spend nights on freeways after rare snow in South

Facebook:  users are communicating with one another and sharing updates via SnowedOutAtlanta. Lots of stories about folks opening up their homes to strangers, Kroger bringing food to kids stranded in school buses, etc.

For a map showing road conditions, visit GA DOT at In the neighborhood, drivers are reporting icy spots so please drive only if you have to, and proceed with caution. Some nearby views below, courtesy of GA DOT cameras:
US78 E at Lawrenceville Hwy. 
US78 E at North Druid Hills Rd.
The following Winter Storm Warning for DeKalb continues until 1pm today (and apologies, for the National Weather Service speaks in ALL CAPS):

Winter Storm Warning for De Kalb, GA



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow's a-coming

The National Weather Service has the snow arriving after 11am...
Today Snow, mainly after 11am. High near 32. North wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible. 
Tonight Snow, mainly before 1am. Low around 17. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. 

The National Weather Service also has a little history for today: "In 1948, an ice storm that affected states from Arkansas to South Carolina, including Georgia, caused $20 million dollars in damage and resulted in 30 deaths."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cyclists and pedestrians: be bright!

"The Governor's Office of Highway Safety is urging cyclists and pedestrians to wear reflective gear. 
GOHS officials say there were more than 130 pedestrian fatalities in 2012 and the number accounted for about 11 percent of all traffic deaths that year. Authorities say a majority of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities on a national level happen at night. Officials say about 32 percent happen between 8 p.m. and midnight, and 24 percent happen between midnight and 4 a.m."  Read the rest @ CBS Atlanta
For additional safety tips, visit the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DeKalb Co. School System makes progress with SACS

Goodish news...
"DeKalb has met or made significant progress on the "required actions" to regain full accreditation by SACS, including planning, instituting respect for the superintendent's authority, fiscal discipline and effective deployment of technology...Read the rest @ AJC
The System still has work to do (its upgraded status is "accredited warned") but it is good to hear that progress is being made.

Paper shredding event [Jan 25, 26]

via CHCA
From realtor Joan Kaplan: Join us at our 4th Annual Free Community Paper Shredding Event on Saturday, January 25, 2014 between 9:30 am- noon (or until the truck fills up) and again on Sunday January 26, 2014 between 1:30pm-4:00 pm (or until the truck fills up) located in the Toco Hills Shopping Center at 2899-A North Druid Hills (on the Kroger side), hosted by Joan Kaplan of Marshall Berch & Associates Real Estate of Palmer House Properties. Gather up your old documents to be shredded & destroyed on-site (while you watch) the EcoShredding truck. Maximum of 5 boxes per vehicle please. We teamed up again with professional organizers Linda Lanier and Michelle Cooper of Put-it-There Professional Organizers to host this free community event. For more information contact Realtor Joan Kaplan at 404/ 281 4106  or
What to shred? Consumer Reports has some guidelines on how long to keep documents.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Neighborhood service projects on MLK Day

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Photo shamelessly stolen from
Medlock Park Neighbors Facebook page.

What a neighborhood: not one, not two, but THREE clean-ups were organized as service projects to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. ICS volunteers tidied up the area behind and around the school, neighbors picked up litter off roadsides, and the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve mulched, tidied up and planted seedings.

Thank you to all the volunteers!

Tree Benadryl: "I no longer feel congested!"
Begone, English ivy; the remaining "above shoulder" height tendrils will die. Die!
Also at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, this damaged maple was safely removed
by an arborist.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tree Planting at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve [Jan 20]

via the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve:

"Join us on MLK Day from 1-3:30pm for a volunteer day. We will be doing trail maintenance, removing English ivy, and planting trees (600, to be precise).
Meet the baby trees, class of 2034: white oaks, redbuds and shortleaf pines.
Tomorrow's trees begin growing
We are expecting a big group, so please bring gloves and other hand tools. A few extra wheel barrows would help too."

If you have not been by the nature preserve lately, you would be surprised at the progress. Large amounts of privet have been removed, opening the understory for natives. With all this good rain we have had, the pond is full, and the colors are great.

The recent freeze really toasted the bamboos, they look a bit snow-capped. On a chilly morning, expect some ice along the edge of the pond.
Panoramic view of the pond (with ducks!). Click to enlarge or view full-size image.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The way we were, part deux

Click to enlarge; original (full size!) available at the Atlanta Time Machine
During a recent estate sale, neighbor Greg, the genius behind the Atlanta Time Machine, made one lucky find: an aerial view of the neighborhood taken in the mid-1950's.  This is a great addition to our growing "Medlock Time Machine" archive, which now includes neighborhood views from high above, taken in the 1940's and 1960's and the nearby Decatur Waterworks.

Greg annotated the image for our benefit and has uploaded the high-resolution version of this image to the Atlanta Time Machine. The photo generated a great discussion in the Medlock Park Neighbors Facebook page. For posterity, here are some memories and tips on locating neighborhood landmarks both old and new:

E. W.: My uncle said when he was a kid he could see Stone Mountain from the top of Vistamont because the trees werent blocking the view.

A.W.: ...the same uncle told me that when he was a kid ('50s-'60s), you could look out from Vistamont and see if your friends' bikes were parked by their houses on Ava and Brengare. Our mature plantings weren't mature then.

A.W.: ... looking toward the west. Medlock Elementary is the most recognizable structure, just to the right of the center. Medlock Rd. proceeds left from there, and right above there is where Medlock Park is now. The big light-colored space at the lower left is the Scott Drive-In, where Patel Plaza is now. Medlock Plaza and Fountain's are in the photo, as is the Gulf station; Suburban isn't yet.

G.G.: ... The road slicing up toward the left hand corner of the picture is Scott Boulevard. You can see the Scott Drive-In movie theatre where Scott turns into Lawrenceville Hwy and DeKalb Industrial goes off to the left. The Patel Brothers plaza is now on the land where the drive-in was (and it was later a Kroger, then a Last Chance Thrift Store). Over to the right of the Scott Drive-In by several hundred yards and a little higher, and you can see Medlock School.

A.W.: Does anyone know what the long structure is at the right-hand edge of the photo?

G.G.: That's the EV Camp Steel Works plant, located at North Druid Hills Rd, right where N. Druid now crosses over the railroad tracks. It's now the site of an apartment complex.

B.A.H.: if you zoom in on the photo of Woodridge on the ATM website, you'll see what was meant to be a cut through (never completed)... from Woodridge to Harrington. [Scroll down for more info on this.]

A.W.: My memory only goes back to the '70s, but I think the shops facing North Decatur then were the original ones. The current Melton's used to be a barber shop at the far left, and a hardware store in an L-shape to the right and behind it. Pet Supermarket was an appliance store, and at the far right was Stacy's Pharmacy. I think there's always been a laundromat where there's a laundromat now.

I'm, pretty sure Pinckard Cleaners was an original, but I don't remember what else was on the Medlock Road side. The Woodshed, empty space on this photo, was the original location of Your DeKalb Farmer's Market. I can still remember how that smelled. Before that, it was a roller rink. I don't know if it was anything before that.

C.N.: Is anybody writing this all down? [yes!] I've only been here about 20 yrs, but I remember that the Pet Supermarket space was a pawn shop (maybe All American Pawn?) I think Pinckard must have been original; I remember they had ads saying they had been in business since 1950-something.

C.A.B.: Stacey's Drug Store and Pinckard's were there when I bought my house in 1994. Wonder why no one has moved in the old Pinkard's building?

A.W.: OMG that smell was so horrible.

L.C.:  Just above Willivee Place there is a large bright blob. Is that water? That area has Peachtree Creek and Burnt Fork Creek in it. Were they, at some point, dammed to create a little lake?

A.W.: I don't know if the smell inside YDFM was worse then than it is now, but the smell outside was definitely worse. A sort of fishy metallic sewage-y smell.

C.A.B: eewwww! I'm glad it moved! Looks like there were no houses yet ... on Woodridge. The cul-de-sac had been cleared, but the houses aren't there yet.

M.M.: I can see my house from here. It's the only one with a tree on our road!

T.M.: Still have that tree...?

M.M.: I'm curious how old the trees are in our back yard. We sit above Medlock Park, so have some of that patch of forest that you can see in the pic. Husband guesses it was cleared at some point because our hardwoods aren't as old as, say, Lullwater trees. But it had clearly been replanted and grown up by the '50s.

J.C.:  I assume this photograph was taken pre-1956 as the area near Schoel/Harrington does not appear to be developed yet.

G.G.: I think it's either '54 or '55 (based on a comment elsewhere from a friend who knew the years of construction of a couple of different houses in his family's history, one of which is visible & one of which was not yet built when the photo was taken).

C.N.: If I am correct in how I am looking at things, the Medlock Park baseball fields are not there yet but the land is open? Or am I looking at it wrong?

G.G.: yes, that photo's definitely a treasure for those of us in the neighborhood, glad you're enjoying. And you have your bearings straight w/ regard to Medlock Park (cleared land, no baseball fields). Just beneath it is Medlock Elementary.

C.H.: Seeing the Burnt Fork Creek impoundment is really cool. I always wondered how far back into the woods that 'lake' went before they dynamited the dam.

B.B.: At Medlock Plaza, the original business before the roller rink was a bowling alley.

G.G.: After zooming in on the Scott / Medlock intersection, I see the original Scott Boulevard Baptist Church 3-story education building, completed in 1953. The land for the 1958 Sanctuary has been cleared but the building not built. That would date the photo between 1953 and 1957.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

This probably deserves a separate post, "A way that never was," but in the interest of keeping it all in one place...

In a Facebook discussion last September, neighbor Clarke posted a 1953 building plan for "Cobb Estates" that did not come to fruition.
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
Clark wrote: "This is the original development plat for "Cobb Estates" circa 1953... several things of note are the names for the streets: Wintergreen was Cedar Lane, Woodridge was Medlock Rd. etc. Even Lawrenceville Hwy. seemed to be two-lane and called Lawrenceville Rd. Apparently the lots were twice as big too. A trip back in time... "

At a garden tour years back, a volunteer explained that there used to be a row of cedars leading to the entrance of the Steele-Cobb House (original built in 1855). Some of these cedars still remain near the corner of Fox Hills and Wintergreen.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DeKalb County's Low and No-Cost Spay/Neuter Program

"DeKalb County Animal Services announces SNIP DeKalb, which provides free spay/neuters, including vaccinations, for low income pet owners that reside in DeKalb County. DeKalb Residents who can not afford to pay for a spay or neuter themselves at one of the low cost spay/neuter clinics should print and fill out the SNIP DeKalb application and send it in. When approved, a voucher for the free spay/neuter and instructions will be mailed to them."

See the application form for no-cost spay/neuter and also their page on low-cost spay/neuter.

And don't forget the shelter has extended their "Home for the Pawlidays" very reduced adoption fees ($20 for dogs, $10 for cats) through January 15!

Service opportunities [Jan 20]

We have two opportunities to give back right here in the neighborhood:

1) From CSNP president, Chris Beck:  Join us on MLK Day from 1-3:30pm for volunteer day at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve. We will be doing trail maintenance, removing English ivy, and planting trees.

In case we have a big group, please bring gloves and other hand tools. A few extra wheel barrows would help too.

2) From Lisa Crowder: Street clean-up. See the Medlock Park Neighbors Facebook page for details, but this is an informal call to pick up litter you see as you walk around the neighborhood, particularly on this day.

If you can't make either of these events, mark your schedule for April and MANA's annual Earth Day cleanup.