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Saturday 4 December 2010
I went on the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society 2010 Yuletide Tour of Homes yesterday with my mother and her sister. It was pretty much everything that you would expect a Christmas walking tour of historical homes to be: cold and uncomfortable. No offense meant to the home owners, but I couldn't help but walk through their homes and compare them unfavorably to mine, where I can walk around without wearing shoe-coverings and take what I want from the refrigerator.
That picture above is the Sumner home, a former Confederate headquarters. It stands majestically on a small hill overlooking LaGrange Street, a stone's throw from downtown Newnan. From the outside, it looked very majestic at dusk this December evening, but I can't say as I learned very much by walking through its living spaces crammed with scores of people themselves perhaps best described as historic. I'd post a picture of the 10-inch hardwood board walls or the prized 48-star United States flag flown for President Garfield, but interior photography, like smoking, was strictly prohibited.
Not every home on the tour was a historical relic. Some were just old. I told my mother that her home could be on the tour if she renovated the kitchen. And added $100,000 worth of antiques.
Mother insisted on telling every one of the docents that we spoke with that we were locals. I thought that was odd until it was pointed out that most of the people on the tour had driven down from such far-flung locations as Marietta or Decatur to wander through strangers' homes. Newnan may be a nice place to visit, but apparently they don't want to live here.
To be fair, I'm sure that I wasn't exactly the life of the tour. Hearing one homeowner's son say that he had spoodles -- a cross between a spaniel and a poodle -- I turned into a complete snob and replied, "I only appreciate purebred poodles." I know, I know. What do they expect when they let people like me into their homes? I'm sure that there will be full background checks and pat downs before future tours.
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