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Archive By Author - Johnny Vardeman


How an idea for religion study started

Sometimes it takes idea decades before it becomes reality. It took only 15 months from when the idea of a Christian education center was discussed in Gainesville for it to open its doors to students wanting to learn more about various religions.

September 27, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


How kudzu got its grip on Georgia

In view of this year's bodacious bumper crop of kudzu, it's interesting to see how we got where we are.

September 20, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County man rose to prominence as an orator

One of Hall County's most colorful characters was H.W.J. Ham, a journalist and lawyer who became nationally famous as an orator.

September 13, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Chautauquas entertained, enlightened before TV, radio

Scientists and assorted tinkerers were just beginning to dabble in radio about the turn of the 20th century. It would be a couple of decades before entrepreneurs and listeners would realize its potential as a mass medium.

September 06, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Pendergrass was a thriving town in early 1900s

It is no accident Pendergrass in Jackson County is about halfway between Athens and Gainesville.

August 30, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


'Mark Trail' continues a longtime local link

For more than six decades, "Mark Trail" has been a fixture in newspaper funnies. It was birthed by a Gainesville man, continued by another Gainesvillian, and a third Gainesville artist has dipped his pen in it recently.

August 23, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


'Ghost Town' health resort in Lumpkin County drew crowds

In the 1950s and perhaps later, a favorite pastime for some high school and college students was to explore what they called "Ghost Town" in Lumpkin County.

August 16, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Nalleys keep ’em in the road in tough times

The Nalley name continues on 10 Atlanta area car dealerships, but the Nalley family no longer is involved directly in them. Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., a multibillion-dollar business, acquired most of the Nalley car enterprises in 1997, with Jim Nalley remaining as a partner and chief executive officer. His and wife Rene's three sons, Clay (C.V. Nalley IV), Street and Slater, continued working for Asbury.

August 02, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Nalley autos cranked up in Gainesville

When Jim Nalley was growing up in Gainesville in the 1950s, his main hang-out was his father's Chevrolet dealership on South Main Street.

July 26, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


What visitors to Gainesville saw in 1908

A visitor to Gainesville in 1908 wrote about what he liked about the city.

July 19, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Good reading to lift you up on down days

Six Gainesville friends were together on a Caribbean cruise in May 1996. When the ship returned to port, three stayed for another day to tour Miami.

July 12, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Hall County was feeling its oats in 1920s

Even when it was tiny with mostly volunteer staff, the chamber of commerce for Gainesville and Hall County was aggressive in promoting the area.

July 05, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


19th century teacher had tough words for parents

Educators sometimes are frustrated that parents don't get more involved in their children's education. But their problems today hardly compare to the late 1800s when children were expected to pull their weight on the family farm.

June 28, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Lulans are proud of their veterans from past wars

For Lula being no bigger than it is, the east Hall County town has supplied its country with more than its share of military heroes.

June 21, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Mayflower Café started tasty career

If you lived in Hall County or nearby in the 1950s, more than likely you had a meal at the Mayflower Café.

June 14, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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Articles By Author - Johnny Vardeman


Johnny Vardeman: Gainesville’s Jack of all sports was a pure natural

If a ball had anything to do with it, Jack Roberts was naturally great at it.

May 01, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: 100 years later, politics remain as divisive and bizarre as ever

Elections 100 years ago, on state, local and national levels, are not so dissimilar from this year's.

April 24, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Some places, bits of history are missing off today’s maps

Old maps reveal a lot about the history of an area, changes that have come about, places that no longer are obvious.

April 17, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Public housing and the legacy of a preacher

Some Gainesville homes were still without electricity and used kerosene for both heating and lighting in the late 1940s when the idea for a public ...

April 10, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Try this quiz: What do you recollect about street changes?

Time for another history trivia quiz about Northeast Georgia. Answers at end of column.

April 03, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Hall boosters took to road to tell story before WWI

Hall County was feeling its oats just before World War I. It had landed two large textile mills, other small industries were thriving, a few ...

March 27, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Horse Guards militia group was horseless in early years

The Candler Horse Guards was a Hall County militia group that despite its name went without its own horses for a while.

March 20, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


Johnny Vardeman: Local lawyer Perry liked to take on the powerful

H.H. Perry, the colorful, constantly controversial Gainesville lawyer in the early 1900s, who never met a political race he didn't like, also had ...

March 12, 2016 | Johnny Vardeman | Columnists


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