Saturday, November 25, 2006

glory glory to ol' georgia

ok, so you won't hear that much about football on here from me. HOWEVER, I have to say that a certain play this afternoon was quite impressive. one of our linebackers reached into a PILE of players and snatched out the fumble made by Tech, and then proceded straight to the goal line. ok, so he dove in and got himself called out for it, but still. even better though is that Tony Taylor is an Oconee boy. Warriors make great Bulldogs.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

give em all a big fat lip

so I guess I'll explain the previous post first. I went up to Nashville for a few days two weekends ago. which seems crazy that it was that long ago and that I'm writing about it NOW, but whatever. the YouTube video is of the in-store MuteMath did at Grimey's saturday evening. it was great, especially considering that I was standing on the back porch with the other fans who didn't show up an hour early. but I got the cd signed, so it's all good. the next day we went back to Grimey's to see another in-store. this time it was a band called the Black Keys. rather Hendrix-esque, but don't let the music fool you - it's a couple (yes, two!) of white guys (as in, not even TAN) from Ohio. they're really good. later that night we headed over to City Hall. which is a cool venue b-t-w, but why call it that? crazy. anyway, the main event was the MuteMath show, which opened with Club of Suns. Club of Suns is a glam-rock band, which is fine if you know that. however, for the unprepared it's just bizarre . . . and they throw glittery confetti at the audience. next up was Jonezetta, who won me over immediately back in Athens, so dancing to their set was a blast. plus lead-singer Robert had a little fan posse in the front, so that was cute. following them and preceding MuteMath was The Whigs, who performed wonderfully, despite most of the audience not knowing any of their songs. actually, they had managed to win most of the crowd over by the end of the set. and then came MuteMath . . . incredible. this had to have been the best show I've been to. I tend to rate these things on the total package, the atmosphere in the crowd, etc. it was fantastic. unbelievable. and I was at the 40watt show! so if you get a chance, go see this band. seriously.

monday I finally got to see Rachel, and we all went out to lunch before we headed back down to Athens. it was really great, but now I keep thinking about moving back to Nashville. but not for a year or so. AT LEAST.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

peculiar people

what I did this weekend:

Friday, November 03, 2006


I love the holidays, I can't help it. I grew up watching my grandmother decorating for every holiday that had a theme. she had rotating art collections for each one and the seasons for crying out loud! and Christmas is my favorite - the history & meaning, the events, the look, food.

I'm already planning dishes for Thanksgiving and pulling out books for Christmas. I can't help it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

my grandmother

Biography of Gretta Moll Dewald

Gretta was born October 26, 1929 at Kutztown, PA of Dr. Lloyd A. Moll and Olga Wuchter Moll.

Early in World War II they moved to Atlanta where her father was assigned, as a Naval Officer, to assist the Commandant of the Navy's V12 program at Georgia Tech. After the war, he organized and developed what is now Southern Polytechnic State University (then, Southern Tech, a remedial program to prepare returning veterans to enter Tech). He later served as President of Middle Georgia College in Cochran, then Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, where he retired from the Georgia University System. Subsequently, he retired from the Navy Reserve as a Captain.

Gretta graduated from Atlanta Girls High in 1946, then Agnes Scott College in 1950. She taught 4th/5th grade Geography and History at Eastman, GA in 1950/51, then 10th grade English at Atlanta Bass High in 1951/52.

She married Charles Dewald at St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta December 20, 1951. They now have five children and seven grandchildren. They were very active in the North Decatur Presbyterian Church during the late ‘50's, through the ‘60's and ‘70's while their children were growing. Gretta was a teacher, Superintendent of the Sunday School, organized the Children's Choirs, an occasional soloist in the Adult Choir, and the 2nd woman chosen by the congregation to be an Elder. She was active in Decatur's Winona Park Elementary School's PTA and library; Indian Guides; Scoutmaster of a Girl Scout Troop – all while raising five children and getting involved in Politics.

Gretta's first involvement was Ray Cunningham's (a family friend) campaign for Decatur City Councilman in the early/mid ‘60's – he lost. After that, she was one of the organizers of the Democratic Women of DeKalb. She became active in the Democratic Party of DeKalb; then became its President. In the late ‘60's, she, along with Marge Thurman and others, re-wrote the State Party's by- laws.

During the late ‘60's and through the ‘70's, the Dewald house on Kodiak Drive in Sagamore Hills was the largest house available to the Democratic Women of DeKalb, so it was used for a number of their functions. When Shirley Chisholm, Congresswoman from New York City, ran for President in 1972 (the first black woman to do so), the group decided to put on a reception for her when she came through Atlanta since no other group offered. They chose our 5-level house. No one anticipated the result. Well over (300) people signed the guest book, some from as far away as Miami. An estimated (250) were still waiting when she arrived late. Charles was concerned about the strength of the structure. The lowest level is a 17' x 42' playroom. It was packed. She was a small person, so she took off her shoes and stood on top of our pool table to address the crowd. Meanwhile, traffic on Kodiak Drive, a suburban cul-de-sac street about 1/4 mile long, was completely blocked. Neighbors could not get to or out of their drives. Police arrived twice to get it cleared, but were not successful.

Gretta's involvement with Jimmy Carter started in 1970. Her father, Dr. Lloyd Moll - President of Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, called and suggested that she consider working in Carter's gubernatorial campaign ( the opposition called him "Jimmy WHO?" ). Dr. Moll had been an education resource/mentor to state Senator Carter who had been assigned to the Senate Education Committee of Georgia's legislature. Gretta became very active in the DeKalb County campaign. Subsequently, the large DeKalb voter turnout for Carter was a notable factor in his victory.

In 1972, Governor Carter nominated a slate of Georgia Delegates for the Democratic National Convention in Miami. Gretta was not among them, so she chose to run against one of Carter's nominees (Horace Tate) and won – the only successful challenge to Carter's nominees.

Gretta actively campaigned to establish MARTA, and then served on the MARTA Board as a representative of DeKalb County from 1975 into 1977. One of the original MARTA cars carried a brass plate honoring ‘Gretta M. Dewald' as a MARTA Board Member.

During the run-up to the 1976 Presidential Campaign preliminaries, Gretta arranged to have Senator "Scoop" Jackson of Washington, Representative Paul Simon of Illinois – both prominent potential presidential candidates – along with Governor Jimmy Carter and Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia at the same head table in the Plantation Restaurant on Memorial Drive for a Democratic Party of DeKalb function. The state party was very frustrated because they were "scooped".

When Carter started his Presidential Campaign for the 1976 Democratic Nomination, he organized the Peanut Brigade. Gretta became a team leader who would fly into a city, rent a car and take a team into an assigned neighborhood to canvass door-to-door for votes. She visited, among others, Tallahassee, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, and three New England states. She was Co- Chairperson of the DeKalb County campaign. Jimmy's mother, Lillian Carter, was the key ‘draw' for a reception at our house.

Our family attended Jimmy's January 1977 inauguration. Gretta was told by Rosalyn that she was on several ‘interesting lists'. Later that year, Rosalyn called and asked her to come to Washington and be the Chairperson - Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee. The male-oriented DNC provided very little funding for the Women's Division, so Gretta spent her own money on a program of seminars she planned and conducted around the country to train women to run for office. Also, she often worked with or for Rosalyn, traveling with her or sometimes filling in for her at speaking engagements.

After Carter lost re-election in 1980, and Manuel Maloof was elected Chairman of the DeKalb County Commission, Gretta was asked by Manuel to return to Atlanta and become his Executive Assistant. Manuel utilized her as his ‘chief of staff', having all department heads report in through her to him. Normally, she implemented his plans and orders. She served from January 1981 until early in 1989 – the longest serving, and only woman Executive Assistant in DeKalb's history.

In 1988(?), she was one of those named and honored as ‘Women of Achievement' by the Metropolitan Atlanta YWCA. There were numerous other awards and recognitions.

In 1989, Gretta was asked by DeKalb's judges to organize and manage the ‘Pre-Trial Release Program' for the DeKalb Court System, reporting to the judges. She did so until retiring at the end of 1994.

In 2004, Georgia State University Library requested and received Gretta's records and papers – some (195) file boxes. In 2005, they staged an event honoring Gretta and thanking her for the gift to their Women's Collection.

written by Charles F. Dewald