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Books and balls 

The first week of November is the time when civic-minded Georgians partake in that important civic ritual: watching high school playoff games.

click to enlarge TRI-CITIES CHEERLEADER AFTER SEASON-ENDING LOSS TO COLQUITT COUNTY: "B-E D-E-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!"
  • TRI-CITIES CHEERLEADER AFTER SEASON-ENDING LOSS TO COLQUITT COUNTY: "B-E D-E-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!"

Your columnist is not immune to pigskin fever. Last Friday evening, he visited East Point to watch the visiting Colquitt County Packers take on the Tri-Cities Bulldogs in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Your columnist needs to stop writing about himself in the third person now. OK, I feel better.

The game was a defensive battle. Throughout the first half, both teams were only able to mount one good drive. The Packers scored a touchdown on the team's only long run of the game. The Bulldogs rallied in the second quarter, driving all the way to the three-yard line before settling for a field goal.

Halftime was a hoot. Just in case people at the stadium needed reminders that Colquitt County ain't really around here, the Packers marching band performed a medley of five songs by the band Journey. One of the concession booths was selling what looked like freshly fried fish, but what I tried was rubbery. Wayne had the hot dog.

I spent the second half taking pics from the Tri-Cities sidelines. Unable to get any traction against Colquitt's run defense, tensions started to build. A couple of the coaches really tore into the players. I think coaches yell because they think it motivates players, but it didn't take a psychologist to see that getting chewed out was more draining than inspiring. The so-called fans didn't help, either. A few grown-ups were actually berating the players for their performances. Assholes.

In the end, Tri-Cities was unable to score. The final score was 7-3, with Colquitt moving on to this Friday's game against Starr's Mill. In all honesty, I don't care one bit who wins the state championship. I just like watching the games.

click to enlarge ATLANTA AUTHOR JACK PENDARVIS AT A CAPPELLA BOOKS: "You're not allowed to leave until you buy at least one copy of my book."
  • ATLANTA AUTHOR JACK PENDARVIS AT A CAPPELLA BOOKS: "You're not allowed to leave until you buy at least one copy of my book."

Nevertheless, it very moving to be standing among the Tri-Cities players as their season came to an end. Unlike some of the adults around them, the players didn't lose their dignity and start berating people. Several of them broke down and cried. For some, it was the last football game they'll ever play. One pair, not ready to leave, waited for everyone to leave the field and then walked a final, silent lap around the field together.

Make Us Proud, Pt. 2: Unless something supremely weird happens between when I write this (Monday morning) and when you read this (after Wednesday), Shirley Franklin will have won re-election to a second term as mayor of Atlanta. In the spirit of bandwagon-jumping, I attended a rally and party for Herroner at the home of Jake and Solange Henderson in southwest Atlanta.

Like the campaign itself, the party was easygoing and pleasantly uneventful. Because the mayor is, for all practical purposes, running unopposed, it was more of a low-key victory celebration than a true rally. When the mayor arrived with her mother, she spent the first 30 minutes or so walking around and greeting guests. The guest list was an illustrious one. It included Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor (taller than I thought he'd be); Billy Knight (as tall as I expected him to be); CL's Doug Monroe (same height as he was when I saw him last week); U.S. Rep. John Lewis (looking dapper, I must say); Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard (wearing an apron for some reason); Outwrite Books overlord Philip Rafshoon (less facial hair these days); and veteran political activist and commentator Tom Houck (who graciously introduced me to lots of people and, for some reason, has bestowed the nickname "Doctor" on me).

click to enlarge RAYMOND LOEWY SHOW AT MODA: The only flaw in the Loewy-designed '51 Studebaker Champion was its annoying lack of leg room.
  • RAYMOND LOEWY SHOW AT MODA: The only flaw in the Loewy-designed '51 Studebaker Champion was its annoying lack of leg room.

Book 'em: After mayoring, I stopped by A Cappella Books in Little Five Points for a book signing and reading by Jack Pendarvis. An Atlantan, Pendarvis has just produced a collection of stories titled The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure. I haven't read it yet, but if the excerpts he read on Sunday are anything to go by, it'll be fantastic.

The jokingly awful title comes from a section of the book where Pendarvis adopts the voice of what he calls "the worst writer in America." Pendarvis' "worst writer" produces hilariously awkward, shamelessly thesaurused sentences. For example, a discussion about Thanksgiving cranberries includes the overly adverbed line, "'Frozen is the same as fresh,' whimpered the mistaken harpy." I don't think I can do him justice here. Just browse through a copy next time you're at a bookstore.

Yup, that's him: The Museum of Design Atlanta is hosting an exhibit of work by Raymond Loewy. I stopped by the opening last Thursday. You may not know Loewy's name, but you've definitely seen his work. In fact, it's likely that you or your parents owned some of it at one point.

click to enlarge SHIRLEY FRANKLIN RALLY: Mayor Franklin shows Hawks GM Billy Knight that it's indeed possible to win two in a row.
  • SHIRLEY FRANKLIN RALLY: Mayor Franklin shows Hawks GM Billy Knight that it's indeed possible to win two in a row.

Though he died in 1986, Loewy is still the king of industrial design. Loewy is to industrial design what Michael Jordan is to basketball, what Joe Montana is to quarterbacking, what Michael Flatley is to "The Dance," what J. Lo is to ample-bootied Latina-American actress/singers, etc. He and his firm designed cars, radios, appliances, cutlery, clocks, locomotives, buses and even airplanes. Loewy's work is recognizable by its combination of elegance and streamlined simplicity. Do you remember the Studebaker Avanti? That's his design. Remember that sleek cutlery you used when you were eating dinner while flying to Paris on the Concorde? Yup, he designed that.

Though it's been modified over the years, the exterior of Air Force One is still based on Loewy's Kennedy-era design. Loewy and his firm were also responsible for countless iconic logos, including those for Lucky Strike, Nabisco, Greyhound and the U.S. Postal Service (not the current ugly logo, but the cool one that it replaced).

Perhaps the greatest testament to Loewy's genius as a designer were his tea sets. Have you ever seen groups of men ooh-ing and ahh-ing at friggin' tea cups? I didn't until last Thursday night's opening. The show is open until Dec. 23.

For more of Andy's adventures, visit Scene & Herd at andy2000.org.

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