Same mission, different city: today, I'm in Augusta, Georgia, trying to win back the work of yet another former client, a chemical manufacturer for whom I worked from 1993 through 2003. Same van as yesterday, but a smaller crew, just me and Joe from Memphis.
Augusta is a city of about a half million located on the Savannah River, near the Fall Line, the boundary between the crystalline rock of the rolling Piedmont and the unconsolidated sediments of the flat Coastal Plain. Many stream characteristics change as they cross the Fall Line: rapids and shoals are common near the geologic contact, floodplains are considerably wider on the younger sediments, and the frequency of stream meanders increases.
Augusta is best known for hosting The Masters golf tournament each spring, and for being the hometown of James Brown, the godfather of soul. But in addition to Brown, Augusta's also the home of actor Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus from The Matrix) and Hulk Hogan, artist Jasper Johns, former president Woodrow Wilson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and opera singer Jessye Norman.
However, a certain elitist element in Atlanta refers to Augusta as "Disgusta." According to the Urban Dictionary, "Disgusta" is a "shitty little city in east central Georgia. . . A place so humid your underwear becomes permanently plastered to your ass. Devoid of Culture and Refinement. Lacking any redeemable qualities. Full of fat, white trash rednecks who think Applebee's is fine dining and go to Wal-Mart as entertainment. Populated by a plethora of fat women driving SUVs and Dodge Ram Pickups." I do not share this sentiment.
After we returned from Augusta, Joe had to return the van at the airport and catch a flight home to Memphis. From the airport, I took MARTA home. While taking public transit from the airport is not an extraordinary event in most other cities, a certain, mostly suburban element is so afraid to ride MARTA, with it's multi-cultural passengers and stops in less affluent neighborhoods, that they insist of carrying concealed weapons. Frankly, I'm more afraid of paranoid, pistol-packing, white suburban males on the train than I am of exhausted airport workers coming home from a long day at work.
Fortunately I saw none of the former and more of the latter. I took the MARTA light rail train from the airport to Arts Station, and then the bus from Arts Station to Piedmont Hospital, and walked the last mile home. No one tried to rob me, rape me, or register me to vote, and I actually got a little fresh air and exercise during the walk.
No big deal.