One way or another, Atlanta has always been the central urban area of my life. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I grew up, we went to Atlanta when we wanted to go to the city. It's where we went to play, to see a show, to cheer for our teams.
Later in life, I came back to Atlanta when I went to school in nearby Athens. We drove the back roads into town to go to Oxford Books, to eat at the Majestic, to play a show in Little Five Points. I've performed on the big stage at the Fox Theater. I've watched the laser light show at Stone Mountain while eating a Blimpie Best. Heck, my band played the Claremont Lounge.
I didn't really think about my history with the city when I set off for Atlanta today. It's a place to go to a meeting, like a dozen other towns. But flying in over the stadiums, riding MARTA in from the airport today, alighting in Midtown and making my way to the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, I suddenly remembered it all.
Atlanta's never been my home. My husband was born here, but I've never been a native. Still, I have a proprietary interest that I can't deny. And I'm hoping to grab a moment, between meetings, to stroll and reminisce.