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updated Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What All Went On
*** slightly slanted memory *** my first memories of athens *** Hear the Method Actors! *** saved from a crazed redneck *** Look at us, ain't we neat *** Night of the Red sticks *** I partied at Beaver Mansion *** a little trailer behind Wax *** raid the dempsy dumpster *** playing our very first show *** He hollered "WHOA, MULE!" *** the Barber Street Motor Club *** the start of the Athens music scene *** wonderful things happening on roofs... *** I remember both too much and too little *** Friend Ship *** I couldn’t get in because of my age *** later i was out of my mind ***

*** I was known as Mark Phredd *** Random Memory Fragments 1977-1981 *** my own slant on some of the same events *** living and sweltering at Stichcraft *** Automatic Gallery Image of the Moment Slideshow *** my first great winter in Athens *** Tyrone's burning down with all our tabs! *** turn on the hose in my living room *** secret meetings of the Barber Street Men’s Club *** The tall, shaggy-haired clerk in a black trenchcoat *** PARTY TALK *** A Few Unclaimed Party Memories *** Groundhog’s Day, 1979 *** "put mustard on them then they aren't so bad" *** The Arnoldsville Swim Club ***

*** a little farther down Barber Street *** LOVEMETHODREMHER... *** our moonshine had turned to poison *** my sweetest Athens moments involved boys *** We were called “Looking for Mr. Donut.” *** naked only hiding ourselves with trench coats & boots *** Easter Punch *** the grey house across from 169 *** I came from Columbia, SC in June, 1986
Stream your Conscious
Write a story,

I lived a little farther down Barber Street (and also briefly in Kit Traub's house on Pulaski - actually it belonged to Chatham Murray). I was part of a little known girl band called the Ghetto Belles then Jackie O then the Thrill Ho's. Deb Sommer, Dorothy Parker, Judy Long, Tilda the Terrible, Reece, the Betz....we were all members. I'm turning 50 the weekend of the rewind, so I guess I'm too old to rewind. Fare thee well John Seawright, thanks for the memories, and hey Vic (the "bad man")! LER

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Hey ya'll I am so impressed at this site. I have to share a story. When I first moved to Athens in 1976 I was living in the dorm with a roomate (another that has several other stories attached)that I was not really to compatible with. I had several friends living in a place called the green house. It was painted really green. Really green. At the time it was on the wild boundaries of Athens.
My cousin Joe Buck lived there.He was an upperclassman about to graduate and had great party connectiopns. Bill tabor lived downstairs.He would go home on the weekends to work for his dad maintaining a lot of high maintenence properties. He would bring in some pretty amazing stuff that fleeing tennants left behind. This was the party house. Or at least our party house.
Bill decided it would be a good idea if we made moonshine. He had an old coffee urn-the old industrial type. Bill took it to a local welder and requested some alterations to which the welder replied " well if I was to do what I think youre doing I would suggest you put the input tube here and move the drain cock to this side." Very helpfull tips.
We went to the library to figure this out and armed with some fragmented information proceded to make some poison.
It was a beautiful spring and Joe Buck thought we should make a sign for the front yard.There was some old lumber and paint in the basement so we made a sign. Ella and Rudy's Aloha Lounge. I painted palm trees at the corners. We put it on the side of the highway in the front yard.The Green House has long since been demolished but the still bare lot they tore the house down to make possible is now at the corner of the Loop and Hy 78-quite the busy thoroughfare now but then like I said was the wild boundary.
We started noticing a lot of suspicioius treaffic. Bland looking late model sedans with the really cheap hubcaps would slowly roll through the back circle driveway. Bill kept a broken shotgun near the door to keep the revenoors at bay. Already our moonshine had turned to poison so we were out of the moonshine buisness anyway.
Late one hot summer night Bill and I were sitting at the kitchen table driking Jack Daniels and a car turned into our drive very tentatively. Two sheepish frat boys kame to the screen door and knocked. We were sitting right there.Come on in we said so they came in and we offered whiskey.These were two boys that were out on a dare or a pledge hazing.In either event I was suddenly struck that we were,at least tonight, the guys that they were either afraid of or sick with curiosity. Well how can we help you fellas Bill says and one of the boys says Is Ella here? Now we are getting somewhere. I keep calling these two boys because that is really what they were. So were we but,I guess we had seen more or something
Bill said "Sure...Ellas in the back bedroom" and sent this boy back to hiss roomate's room.Bill's roomate was a big old horse of a country boy.KInd of unhinged in an unsettling way. He was a pharmacology grad student.
Expecting chaos and then the unnerving calm untill the guy comes back and said "MAn..she's UGLY". We had to agree.
curtis crowe

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Alot of my sweetest Athens moments involved boys. Lots and lots of boys. Big tall lanky ones, like John Seawright, who took me to Washington, GA to spend the day with some people who weren't wuite sure the Civil War - pardon me, War of Northern Agression - was over. Real skinny eggheads like Mike Green, who got me to read Michel Foucault. leading to endless discussions. Little short ones, like Nicky Ginaris, who wore my favorite tie to work at the Eldorado, and never failed to make me laugh. The fit ones, like Mr. Stephen, who got me to dance in a whole new way. Then there were all of the band ones, starting with the B's, where I found a soulmate in Keith Strickland, then Pylon where Michael and Curtis spiced up the world. And Mark Cline, and Armie and Mike Richmond and Kit, and David Gamble, and Vic Varney, and Thom Smith, whose dubalicious revelations kept me bobbing and weaving. And then there was REM, and Scotch Club, and a bathtub full of grain punch. Ther!
e were trips to Arcade for the Sunday beers, picking peaches at Hot Thomas' orchard, staying up all night,swapping records, making tapes.

Athens mixed in with New York, and New York came to Athens in the form of Jim Fouratt and his boyfriend, and Tom Carson and his wife. Robert Fripp called a lot, and Eno wrote letters. John Cale came to play. So did the Gang of Four, my favorite raving lunatic starkers, who tried their best to turn VBH and me into alcoholics. Lester Bangs died, and I mourned his death with an evening of drinking and dancing that left me with a sprained ankle that lasted for weeks. One of the bands playing at Tyrone's that night spent the night at my house, and put ice on my ankle before they left town the next day.

People would come to Athens, and we would grill chicken and make homemade ice cream. We had a barbecue for Tom Carson, because he had never been to a cookout. I left Vanessa in the kitchen, saying, "Put the chicken in marination!" On my way back from Bell's, I drove past a line of people, all carrying platters or plates or bowls, on the way to my house. I fed half of Athens in that house on Boulevard. One time, we had a dinner party and Vanessa and I were the only girls there out of about 20 people. We didn't plan it that way, it was just that all of the hungry people we ran into during the day happened to be boys.

Don't get me wrong: I love the girls, too. I probably would not be here were it not for Vanessa, Lorri, Betty Alice, Phyllis, Cynthia, DeLoris, Diana, Sally, Betsy, Robin, DebraLee, Jan, Leslie, Linda, Lynda, Ann and Lauren, and oh so many more.

But it is the boys I am thinking about right now, all of the delicious, repulsive, fabulous awful boys who haunt my dreams and make me count the minutes until Friday evening.

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Jessica Fisher Willson 1980 -1985 I remember Living on Cobb, Milledge, Hill, Grady, and at the Bakery on Pulaski. I practically lived at the Hen House, and next door at KR and Thom's and Kurt and Paul‘s. Going to Potter’s house instead of doing laundry. Endless parties and lovely BBD’s with X-tra hot sauce at Taco Stand. The terrible produce at the Prince Street Bells, and having to trek home with stuff from Phoenix. I’m into food…must be hungry.

When I was actually in school before dropping out, I remember studying at Friends before happy hour because of the breezy palmetto atmosphere that degenerated into Tennessee Williams style debauchery. Huge, painful, never ending crushes on cool boys. Playing pinball at happy hour any number of places. Working at Abbott’s and Sons of Italy forever, and occasionally the Kaffee Club late at night. I remember the Watt over Blimpie’s and the floor shaking so hard, you were automatically pogoing without trying. In 1980, I was underage, but I remember getting into the Watt as long as I promised Paul Scales that I’d drink water. Getting into Tyrone’s was harder. I remember one time Lynda and I had fake Ids, I think. I think the summer of 1980, I lived in Ingrid’s room while she actually went back to Rockville. And somehow a bunch of us started a ‘spin-off’ band in the practice space across from the Red and Black offices. As I recall it was Jimmy Ellison, Lynda Stipe, Mike Mills, Kurt Woo!
d and me. We were called ‘Looking for Mr. Donut.“ Some time later, I was in an all girl band called “A La Mod” with Sheila McClure, Linda Skates, and we practiced in their tiny bedroom using the walls to get the bass to reverberate, since we didn‘t have a bass amp. We never played out. I didn’t actually play out until 1985, can’t remember the name of the band, and left after our debut, which is a good thing - Julie House was supposed to be in the band too, but bailed- clever gurl. I’ll leave it to KR to tell the Warren Z-beck story….

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I remember..........coming to Athens in 77 & living in Russell...meeting the sub-basement girls in the spring of 78...doing lots of acid down there & changing Musics from everything I was listening to( 70's bands) to everything they were lisetening to ,esp. punk rock...I liked the excitement .carol became my best friend for almost 2 years...I met Michael when he came to our house out on lexington rd. in 1978 or 1979 to audition for a band that played there. he had velvet underground lp's & bowie, etc. he stayed for 1.2 minutes & bolted BUT IT WAS NICE TO MEET HIM because he was different.Later we became VERY close & lived together at 169.I was at a fun party at curtis' loft...named the watt on clayton where Pylon played & was friendly with Michael L. who liked my green army jumpsuit.I was starting to get drunk alot on beer from all the kegs.I had seen Devo at the agora in atlanta but missed the pistols & then saw the cramps ,above ,I think ch 3 records!
on broad st in athens. I clung to my academia as best I could ,making mostly B's....soon enough though I became a townie by my junior year & my friends from marietta ridiculed me for wearing skinny ties. But I learned to dance from adele at tyrones to probably rem. I did alot of mda with judy & lauren & crashed at pulaski st. for months. jefferson took my bedroom at 169 with michael. I remember..coke....& I remember one ill fated trip for speed to atl. where the roads iced up & we hauled ass back to athens because we couldn't drive good any more.I remember the morning after tyrones burned down francis allen & I went to see.I remember michael & I going to linda mitchells house to apologize for rem trashing their place that summer. then taking michael to sing at tyrones.I also took him to Piedmont Park to sing there & once to the ritz in nyc.he & I walked naked only hiding ourselves with trench coats & boots to visit unsuspecting women who lived along that back road parallel to barber.
pete buck & anns' house. pete coming over to get m
ichael sooo early to go to atl. to open up for the police which was a secret.meeting kim s & going to a play with her..pylon park. mens clubs at bills'.getting quualudes for mark c when he was in marietta at larry t's parents house in the same neighborhood I'd grown up in. = the fun there. spending time w/ carol at her dorm at boston university...driving into nyc for the first time with her in a vw on acid...trying to see the statue of liberty in the fog. moving to ny for 4 months & living with donna & mark phredd & steven whitney. meeting tommy...getting to know paula illingworth..making color xeroxes in the library with dana downs. peter cline."managing" ohh ok.. dancing with maria fleet to blonde in a disco. all the trips to dalton.seeing rem at ohh so many places...seeing the b's at forrest hills...cindys' wedding at the taylor -grady house with lisa farmer. all of mathew sweets' guitars in the apt below the taylor grady house.lynda stipe. hopper.sandi phipps & the 3-way!
kiss.rodger brown. party out of bounds interview at moes in va -hi,atl. john & sam seawright. Glenn chitlik.love tractor.herbert.spending the night with iggy pop & dominique ....fun with jerry & davey.living in prick the renters house on meigs. marrying liz cahill. eraserhead. 1st time I heard the song "Horses" on purple micro dot at scottish's house in bent tree with cathy russo & louis escobar from columbia. smoking pot. getting into law school.painting classes in the art dept. fun with betsey & blair in new haven & ny.waiting tables on 5th ave. moving back to atl. going to studio 54 with laura levine.meeting sting & drinking free heinnys & cognac.all the partys on the porch.

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••Easter Punch••
Making that bathtub full of punch for the Easter Party was funny. I snagged 2 full gallons of pure reagent ethanol (200 proof), put it in a 5 gallon bucket and filled the bucket up with sliced fruit, strawberries, and grapes 3 days before Easter. I took the shelves out of the fridge and put the bucket in. I stirred the fruit a couple times a day-

Finally it was easter morning. The fruit was a bit faded in color, but it made up for any cosmetic loss with the wallop it had when you ate it. The grapes were especially potent and mind altering!

Well, since the fridge was full of boozed up fruit, there was no room to buy and store a clawfoot bathtub's volume in juice. I planned to pick it up at Bell's the morning of the party, which started at 2PM.
Slight glitch in my thinking.

EASTER SUNDAY=no open grocery stores! OOPS.

Maureen was the hero here! We drove to every convieneince store in town. I bought every bit of that strange sugary colored stuff with fake flavor there was- because that was all there was, and frozen lemonade concentrate- pink and yellow flavor. I had to have enough fluid to dilute the 2 gallons of pure ethanol or my party guests would have tumbled off the porch at 169 Barber before dark.
I needed 35 gallons minimum. The 7-11's were shutting down for the holiday. We barely found enough!

Now home with the fluids, I mixed up the punch, threw a set of floating beach toys in it, hung my 3d jesus over it on the porch...

Fast forward- it is now dawn- the sun is coming up. The hard core of the group are clustered around the nearly empty tub. Mark Segura had his cheshire cat grin on and sunglasses, leaning back against the house. Mike Mills and Pete Buck were trying to scoop up the end of the punch & still searching for the elusive grapes. Someone got the idea to tip the tub up on one side to make the scooping more effective.

But first, to pay respect for the fabulous time had that past 18 hours celebrating easter- they washed my feet in the tub's remaining punch, tipped the tub, scooped it out and drank it. The Coach sort of slipped down to his butt against the house laughing.

It was a perfectly absurd surreal ending for a positively spectacular party. I still have that 3d Jesus too!

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I transferred to the art department at UGA in January 1980 where I had a painting class and two art history classes with Michael Stipe. I lived at Creswell at first and was very unhappy, so I moved out spring quarter with my friend Kathy Suhr to Barber Street, the grey house across from 169 (next to the empty lot that now has a house on it.)--I don't remember the address. My house was divided into three apartments. I had access to a washer and dryer, but the dryer was broken so the folks in the middle apartment, that opened into mine to reach the laundry, all of us had to hang our clothes in the back yard. All our cats got feline leukemia; it was going around in the neighborhood. And that was the summer of the Prince Avenue Rapist. It got so hot and we were afraid to open our windows. My roommate moved in with her boyfriend and I stayed behind and went crazy mad and fell in unrequited love with a teaching assistant.

I got a new roommate named Eileen Kilker, then I moved out of the Barber Street area to live with April Patchak. She decided to start the eastern branch of the American Indian Movement so we did all that. I remember that Pylon and Little Tigers and some others did some benefits to raise money for the Pine Ridge reservation of the Sioux.

We used to skinny dip at the lake a lot, had a wild foods party, went to a lot of parties in Fowlersville including the Fall Equinox Arts Fest, had a potluck in which unbenownst to us, someone cooked everything with pot. We had a lot of fun. I sometimes stamped hands at Tyrone's.

I married Dwight Lyman and moved to Atlanta in '83 and my daughter Halley is now going into her second year at UGA. She's an Ecology major. We also have another daughter named Maia who is 10.
Laura Ross

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I came from Columbia, SC in June, 1986. and moved in to the bedroom of my ex-Cola roomate, Len, at 170 Barber St(white house, black pointy top and big wooden fence surrounding yard). Months earlier Len had been living next door at 168 Barber(yellow house, flat lil'yard, cool porch swing-next to car wash). Greg (Cola-folk), Len, and I sat out on the yella poach, smokin' pot from a bong, fashioned from respiratory therapy utensils, and lecherously glared in awe down over the fence at the three most beautiful fascinating girls we had ever witness. As the smoked swirled from their cigarettes, we could hear the reverberations off their coffee-buzzing lips and to me it was complete magic.

Within 3 years I had gone from New Wave to Punk to Hippie-Punk to Goth to completely hopelessly romantic as I sat on that porch dreaming about those girls. They were and wore Vintage. All three had black hair. Two had effervescent pale skin and one had a more exotic tone. That one Spring day in 1986 those three girls were my whole world, and it was killing me not to have the courage to just go and speak to them as they glided and hopped acrss the street to the store and back.

Then Len had moved next door and I was in his bedroom. Beautiful, but rather high-strung, Edie Sedgewickesque black-haired girl #1 was living in the bedroom across the hall. She was Cathy. Up the stairs, in a separate semi-apartment was the 30 year-old matriarchal figure of the group. She was OLD ATHENS. She was completely resembled a 1930's actress such as Viviene Leigh, Norma Sherer or Hedy Lamar. She wore those dresses, shoes, and jewelry and I felt like I was transported to a punk bohemian version of a 1930's Hollywood film set. That woman was Cynthia, and within days she was my girlfriend. I had moved up the stairs and into Cynthia's bed.

However, because the landlord was an old money-grubbing judgemental bitch, I was officially just visiting downstairs. many of Cynthia's friends would drop by reguraly because she had an air-conditioner. At least some found me intriguing. One of her friends saw me outside the Uptown Lounge and commented to her that he thought I looked like I had just gotten off the Siouxsie and the banshees tour bus.

I was never in a band, but i wanted to be iggy pop and I gotta make this bold statement and say, that I almost single-handedly brought the embodiment of punk rock to Athens. There were already bands that played it, people that had the spirit within them, and those that believed in all the intellectual ideals of it, but I looked it, acted it, lived it, and believed it. And when you are young and full of it, that does become the truth. I must add that had i been behaving that way in a "real" city I would have been murdered. Athens was the best stage any actor could ever hope for...

I guess Cynthia kept some food in her pad, but she was in grad school and didn't have alot of money. Of course I was always dead broke. My parents helped me alot. So, I guess Cynthia mostly had beans and rice and cornbread and butter. Oh my god, she made some awesome cornbread. I would drench it in butter and sop up the kidney beans. It tasted like bread syrup.

Then the third beauty, the exotic-toned one, showed back up for full-time college from her home in Brazil. She was Helena. She was 19 and the most stunningly beautiful girl i had ever seen. Plus she was quite intelligent and had this combination of neurotic and Latin energy...and Vic V. married her.

I remember about a year 1/2 later when she was on her infamous coffee bender. She was constantly moving and talking a thousand miles per/hr. Some of it was very interesting but it could truly make your head spin. one night I gave her a ride home and she invited me in. We (mostly her) talked while she folded clean laundry and I had to drink some Scotch to keep from getting queasy at how her mind worked at that speed. It was truly a well-known coffee bender. Folks were concerned and they were talking. a coffee bender is basically the same thing as an alcohol bender. Where you go through a period that you just keep drinking more and more, no matter how crazy it makes you, and you begin to spiral out of control until you crash, baby, crash. Valium sure would have helped that bash...

and the colored girls go do ta do ta do ta do ta do...
yadda..yadda..yadda. Look here, see, now , what it is ya gotta understand is...
that when you gots a 21 year-old hot-blooded, high-strung, Brazilian girl raised on the java; ya see now that she has built quite a tolerence and so she keeps trying to get that ever-allusive feeling that she's never going to experience again. This is where pure addiction takes over and leads to a full-blown bender that only a crash, hospital stay, or good shot of heroin is gonna cure.

CATHY- Maybe much to your chagrin, I have thought about you fondly over the years. I hope you don't still hate me. I am truly sorry for drinking the bottle of Saki that someone had given you for your birthday. Afterall, David G was in town...
so how is one supposed to survive a weeknight without tripping on Acid all alone in the middle of the night in the kitchen at 170 Barber. OK, bad idea...
I bet some saki could bring me down. Seriously, how long have you lived in England? I don't think we've spoken in about 18 years, have we? Last I heard was you were a waitress in the sky. OK, I admit it - I was an obnoxious asshole back then, and you looked better in pale skin and black clothing. Can we all just get along. Ciao! Manhattan...
Mark E. Blanton

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