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Scene & Herd - Visions of Kramer

And football

If you were standing at the Tropic of Cancer last Thursday and noticed the sun was at 67 degrees in the southern sky at noon, or better yet, if you own a calendar, then you are no doubt aware that it is autumn. Autumn in Atlanta means many things: clogged gutters, slower traffic, brilliant sunsets, lousy tomatoes, and of course, football.

Believe it or not, even though I'm a Volvo-drivin', espresso-drinkin', sushi-eatin', New York Times-subscribin' sissy, I actually love football. I even have a favorite team ­-- the Sylvan Hills Middle School Golden Bears.

I like the Golden Bears for lots of reasons. Mostly, it's convenience. Their game field is about 300 feet from my front door. But I also like the way they play. They're not particularly skilled (neither, for that matter, are the teams I've seen them play), but they make up for their lack of finesse with hard work and enthusiasm.

The Golden Bears played their third game of the season last Saturday against the visiting Chargers from Ralph Bunche Middle School. At first, it looked as if the Chargers might give the Golden Bears some trouble. The Chargers have a running back, No. 12, who is big, fast and exceptionally poised for a middle-schooler. Also, the Chargers just look like winners. From their sharp blue and gold uniforms to their top-notch cheerleading squad (I particularly like the cheer about how Chargers are "da bomb"), they seemed like they've got their act together.

The Golden Bears, however, did not shrink from the challenge. The ragtag Golden Bears defense held firm — allowing the Chargers just six points and pretty much shutting down the Chargers' No. 12, bringing the Bear's record to 3-0 this season. Admittedly, the Golden Bears were helped by awful officiating, including a missed pass interference call during the third quarter that would have kept the Chargers' drive alive. Frustrated at the missed call, one Charger parent lost his cool and hollered at the referee, "What's the matter, ref? You ain't got no flags? I got some extra flags!"

Cock-A-Doodle: Later Saturday afternoon, I headed up to Cobb County for opening weekend of the North Georgia State Fair. The fair is a hybrid of a carnival and an agricultural fair, with games and rides on one end and animals on the other.

On the carnival side of things, I mostly just walked around and watched kids on the rides, pausing every now and then to marvel at how different people dress and cut their hair when you drive just 20 minutes outside the city. I tried a couple of the games. First, I tried to win a prize by shooting the red star out of a target with a BB gun. If the BBs remove all of the star from the target, the player wins. I didn't win. Next, I tried to dunk the loudmouth clown at the dunking booth. I failed to dunk, but it was nonetheless gratifying since the only way he taunted me was by making fun of my bald head ("Is that your head, or is your neck blowing a bubble?"). As long as he's making fun of me for being bald instead of fat, ugly or old, I'll be happy.

Over on the animal side of things, it was fair business as usual. I fed an emu, which was fun. They're more gentle than my dogs when you give them a treat, but their eyes are so big that they always look like they're on the verge of killing you.

The strangest (and nicest) thing that happened to me all weekend was during my visit to the fair's petting barn. I was standing by the roosters trying to snap a photo to run with a "nice cock" caption when a woman interrupted to tell me that she liked what I wrote about the Tupac Shakur statue last week. Standing next to about eight roosters in a Marietta barn, that sort of caught me off guard.

Look back: On Friday night, I stopped by Barbara Archer Gallery in Inman Park for the opening of Atlantan-turned-New Yorker J. Ivcevich's show, Silhouette City and the Pastoral Paradox Reprise. Say it 10 times fast.

New York seems to serving Ivcevich's muse well, as some of the most arresting photos-dipped-in-resin on display were urban landscape scenes from his new adopted home.

Stop by Barbara Archer Gallery in the next couple of weeks and you'll get two visual treats for one low price. One half of the space is dedicated to Ivcevich's great work, the other half is dedicated to photographer Daniel Kramer's Photographs of Bob Dylan, 1964-1965. Kramer created the iconic color images that grace the covers of the legendary albums Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited (prints of which are on display). He also followed Dylan around to concerts, recording sessions and to his house. He's coming to the gallery Oct. 15 to discuss the work. Like jewels and binoculars hanging from the head of a mule, I'll be there.

Very wise: If you're considering adoption, but have neither the time nor money to fly to Cambodia or Ethiopia to get yourself a trendy Maddox or Zahara, here's a suggestion: Adopt a grandparent.

Grandparents are great. They're funny, they usually know more than you, and thanks to Medicare's new prescription drug benefit, they've got all sorts of great pills sitting around!

Best of all, adopting a grandparent is easy. I know because on Saturday I stopped by the Adopt-A-Grandparent Program's 2005 Dance-A-Thon at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Howell Mill Road. The Dance-A-Thon featured swing dancing led by Swingin' from the Heart, a group of young volunteers who bring swing dancing to places like hospitals and nursing homes. There was more than dancing. There was also a short-but-sweet speech by Christine King Farris (older sister of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.), a silent auction for great stuff like theater and symphony tickets, and, not surprisingly for a room full of Southern grandmothers, several homemade red velvet cakes.

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



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