Smorgasbord Letters from America – March 1986– Atlanta – Gone with the Wind by Sally Cronin

It is March 1986 and we are now in our second year in Houston. In my letters home to my parents in England I share our road trip to Atlanta for business and also our exploration into staying in the States permanently.

Dearest M & D.

As you can see from the letterhead, I am writing this from Atlanta. We did enjoy our visit with Kelly and Vicki in Shreveport and the baby is delightful, cannot believe she is a year old now. We continued on from them to Alabama where we spent last night having crossed the great Mississippi. It is now Sunday and after I have finished and post the letter we are heading out for lunch.

I was excited to see Atlanta but I am afraid that my last view of it was burnt to the ground when I went to see Gone with the Wind a few weeks ago (for the tenth time). Of course it is now a modern city and could be anywhere in the USA… but considering it was rebuilt almost completely after the civil war, they have done an amazing job. I am not sure what Scarlett would think about it, but I suspect old Rhett would have taken it in his stride…

Atlanta’s other world renowned claim to fame is that it is the birthplace and headquarters for Coca Cola… I doubt that there is not a country in the world that has not been infused with that beverage! It was discovered by a pharmacist called Dr. John Pemberton who created the drink in 1886.. and the company has never looked back.

images courtesy of… since mine are somewhere in storage.

The location is pretty stunning as it is amongst the Appalachian Mountains and we will do some exploring if we have time after David’s meetings. He is back to back with those for the first few days, but we should have a couple of days at the end of the week. I will be taking a look at the city and finding out more about its history. And then of course there are the shops…At least I see David in the evenings and we are not apart for 10 days.

We are staying in the Marriott Marquis which we were expecting to be up to the high standard that we have experienced before with the group, but the service is poor and long delays in getting food. We tend to keep a low profile and not make a fuss as we have both been in the hotel industry working in our younger days, but we are surprised at the lack of supervision. The staff don’t seem to be happy and that is not a good sign. Anyway we are tending to only sleep here and I am spending time in the room rather in the public areas, reading while David is working and we go out for meals rather than eat in the hotel. And local restaurants are excellent and we have received a couple of recommendations that we shall follow up on.

One thing that is very similar to Houston is the humidity and thank goodness for air conditioning in the room and the car.

I mentioned last time that David is exploring the options of staying here after his contract is up in January next year, and he has a couple of meetings set up next week. I think we are heading into an uncertain but exciting phase (nothing abnormal with that!)

I have to say that I am in two minds. I love our lifestyle here and the friends that we have made, but the chances are that if David is offered a job that it could be anywhere. As with Atlanta, the big cities are busy, noisy and very similar. Weather is very different however across the USA as we have discovered on our trips. Winters can be brutal in the north west and other cities have high risk factors for natural events such as earthquakes. You know me, I love travelling and don’t let much phase me, but I worry that if we move we won’t find such a welcoming and friendly community as we have in Houston.

I also am aware that it will mean seeing less of you and the rest of the family and I would miss that very much. The flights are long and I know after your visit in November that you mentioned that you both felt very tired for several days afterwards.

On that note, I am going to book my flight home for later in the year, once I know what dates Emma is going to be with us. That will boost my spirits no end.. she is such a mature 15 year old and we have lots of fun planned.

Anyway…we will be heading out to lunch shortly so will write again next week when we are home again..

love from us both S &D.


I hope you have enjoyed this latest letter home to my parents about our trip to Atlanta…Sally.

35 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Letters from America – March 1986– Atlanta – Gone with the Wind by Sally Cronin

  1. Interesting to get your impressions of Atlanta, which is where I live now. The first time we visited, knowing it was the home of Coca Cola, we called up their office and asked if they had a museum that was open to the public. The receptionist said no but, “That’s a really good idea.” A few years later, after we moved here, the World of Coca Cola opened. My husband likes to say we were the ones who gave them the idea!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Looking back by way of letters is fun. Lives of the ordinary are the real history.
    Visitors are often surprised at the wide variation of weather and landscape/cityscapes in the US. (Just as I’m always surprised to travel over seas and see places that look so similar to parts of Texas.)
    You’d probably not recognize Houston now – things change in the blink of an eye in these big cities it seems.
    Enjoyed the read. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, once again, Sally, for a great post. Like you, the name Atlanta brings Gone With the Wind to mind. I read the book when I was 17, and it was the first book I really didn’t want to end. I could hardly bear to read the last few pages.


  4. I live outside of Atlanta. I occasionally venture into downtown Atlanta for a concert, to visit the Fox Theatre or book signing, and a rare trip to The Varsity.

    We are moving even further away from the hustle and bustle of the Atlanta area. I like the quiet.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I know I’ve said this before, but this is one of my favorite series that you do, Sally. I think it’s fascinating to look back in time and see how places and things are the same or different. For example, disgruntled hotel employees typically are a reflection of poor leadership. When employees feel valued, they are going to project a much more positive vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pete and I agree.. customer facing jobs are tough and as you say without the right training and leadership it can be easy to slip into poor interface skills. Hotels are transient places where people come and go and you will never see again. It can lead to a dismissive attitude whereas the local pub relies on its regular trade..xx


  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 13th – 19th December – Christmas Party, Aretha, New Music Show 2021,Book Fair, | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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