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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Baseball skill led to career as textile exec

If it hadn't been for Phil Rizzuto, famed New York Yankees shortstop during the team's dominance in the 1940s and '50s, Pat Hallford might have made it in the major leagues.

June 15, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer pilot lost over sea in World War II

When Gainesville's airport was merely a dirt strip on the hill where the more modern facility is today, Hugh Minor Sr. was among the handful of pilots who flew regularly.

June 15, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Tag fee cut helped launch Talmadge

The recent Georgia Legislature's fussing about car tags revives memories of other tussles that became election campaign topics.

And this past session appears to be much of that: fueling fodder for candidates at the ballot box, whether it be this year's legislative and local races or future statewide campaigns.

June 08, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Step right up: Old-timey medicine show is headed to town

Ramblin' Tommy Scott will bring his old-timey medicine show to Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University next month, and he'll be selling the snake oil whose formula was passed on to him by his mentor, Doc M.F. Chamberlain, more than 75 years ago.

May 25, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Campaigns run forever for collector of memorabilia

It seems like the 2008 election campaign already has lasted a decade, but it's just getting started.

May 10, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Rail sleuths try to track down old train lines

An informal group of railroad buffs is trying to track routes of long-gone railroads that chugged through the highlands of North Georgia.

April 27, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


When GHS almost lost its Red Elephants

Gainesville High School has a long tradition of championship sports teams. Could you imagine the school without any athletics program at all? It happened, though briefly, in 1933.

April 27, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Bill Slack Jr. helped city, county on lake issues

One person more than any other was responsible for Gainesville and Hall County being compensated for infrastructure that was affected by the creation of Lake Lanier.

April 26, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Beware of bitter battles over borders

Legislators wanting to challenge Georgia's border with Tennessee better be careful what they ask for. When Georgia got into a border dispute with North Carolina two centuries ago, it came out on the short end.

April 20, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


On Rin Tin Tin, Roosevelt and frog legs

Presidential assassinations, and attempted assassinations, burn deep into Americans' memories.

April 19, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Special rose might still be growing here somewhere

Recent rains, some coming close to qualifying as the frog-strangling variety, have inched the level of Lake Lanier up gradually.

April 06, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Century-old building poised for parking lot

The familiar painted Snowdrift Flour sign is barely readable on the side of the old brick Carter Wholesale building at the corner of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Maple Street in downtown Gainesville.

April 05, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Mystery of missing dog tags is solved

Like a lot of other people, one of our grandchildren's favorite things on mild winter afternoons is scouring the expanded shore of Lake Lanier, hoping to find that special treasure.

March 30, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Singer-farmer left a lifetime of songs, deeds

Ray Wofford died Jan. 4, but they're still singing his praises.

March 16, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Some things you may have missed about Hall County

When Georgia was celebrating its bicentennial in 1933, Hall County historian William H. Hosch provided some firsts for Gainesville and Hall County. Some are well-known; others are more obscure.

March 09, 2008 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


‘Miracle man’ earned renown as horticulturist

Gainesville native Iverson D. Hudgins was characterized "a miracle man" because he survived the 1936 tornado despite being caught in the vortex of the twister, thrown high above his house, landing midst all manner of debris and leaving him with 17 fractures and nails in one eye and his jaw.

April 12, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


1936 tornado victim fought for life after storm struck

There are so many stories that have been told and retold about the 1936 tornado that caused more than 200 deaths in the heart of Gainesville.

April 05, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


River ford bandits’ lair is gone, but legends live

Woolley's Ford was one of those places on rivers in Northeast Georgia where people would cross either wading across shallows or riding a ferry. Bridges weren't all that common on such streams as the Chattahoochee or Chestatee until the late 1800s.

March 30, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pioneer Hall pastor, store merchant forgave debts

The first minister of Chestatee Baptist Church, John Edward "Jackie" Rives, was a successful farmer and merchant who turned preacher in 1833 after hearing a stirring sermon on swearing, a sin he admitted he was guilty of.

March 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Drawn into history: Gainesville cartoonist to continue legacy of ‘Mark Trail’ comic

Jack Elrod spent much of his childhood roaming the rivers and woods around Gainesville and North Georgia.

March 09, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Helen’s Helen was a Missouri social butterfly

If it weren't for the preference of Southern cooks for white flour in the early 1900s, there might not be a Helen, Ga., as it is today.

March 02, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chicopee looked at Lula for its model village

Iris Thompson Fry of Lula is somewhat of a hoarder - not the kind you see on television, but a hoarder of memories and stories.

February 23, 2014 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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