Still East Cobb After All These Years
Despite the many changes and growth, the area's dynamics remain the same.
When I first moved to East Cobb things were very different than what you see today. The annual Chattahoochee River Raft Race was drawing 500,000 funseekers. I think the last one saw almost a million folks on the 'Hooch. What a great time was had by all UNLESS you lived on the river. In that case, your yard became an open toilet, an exit point for drunk rafters and a phone booth for many.
Running along the river between Columns Drive and Powers Ferry Road was a totally different experience. The trail was wide enough for one runner at a time. There was no bridge nor any public restrooms. You didn't have to pay for parking. In fact, there was no public parking for the longest time. You parked along Columns Drive. Turning around at the end of Columns Drive could be quite an experience. On a long weekend run, you could actually watch a polo match because Columns was the home of the Atlanta Polo Grounds.
The nicest restaurant in the area was Cashin's Place, located in the original Merchant's Walk village. Cashin's rivaled Houston's for its salads and service. I think its founder, Jack Cashin, still lives in the area. Some of the original tenants of the Merchants Walk village still remain in business.
Everyone remembers the pine straw corner at Johnson Ferry and Roswell Road. But do you remember The Little Barber Shop? How about Perkins Hardware? The first time I ate at Longhorn Steaks was at its location on Lower Roswell. But back then, you walked in through a screen door. It was spartan, with little decor but much ambiance. The tables were covered with red and white checkered plastic table clothes. It was a good place to have a cold beer or an iced tea.
Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church were much smaller, but growing churches. In fact, the original chapel at Mt. Bethel still stands and was a very lonely little building back then. I don't remember any synagogues at that time. Bagelicious had not yet arrived. There were no big box retailers then, either.
Needless to say, lots has changed since I first arrived here. Other than the traffic, I have no regrets about living in East Cobb. I still think it's one of the very best places to live, work and raise kids in all of America. Heck, even the traffic is a testament to how much those of us that live here love the area.
Friends, families and co-workers have followed us here and made East Cobb their home, as well. I don't think I will ever leave.