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Archive By Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


Barber follows grandfather's old-time ways

When Ben McCool was a youngster, one of his jobs was cleaning out spittoons in his grandfather's barber shop.

October 11, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


Center Point fills unique role in education

Center Point's mission isn't intended to turn out preachers, but it happens as a happy by-product to some of the students who take released-time courses in religion.

October 04, 2009 | Johnny Vardeman | Johnny Vardeman's column


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


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Articles by Section - Johnny Vardeman's column


‘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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