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Points North Magazine

Articles by Mickey Goodman

The Sweet Life

by Mickey Goodman
Michael Coles makes a career out of cookies, coffee, and kids.

A Philosophy for Life
by Mickey Goodman

“What counts is not how much money we make or how much chicken we sell. What counts is the difference we make in the lives of others.

Standing with his back to his desk, Truett Cathy smiles down at two dozen Fairview Road Elementary second graders sitting cross-legged on the floor of his office at Chick-fil-A. They stare in awe at some of his favorite things – a 27-inch long and 14-inch high remote controlled motorcycle, a rocking “horse” cow large enough for an adult and a half-dozen bronze sculptures by famed Wild West sculptor and artist Frederic Remington.

“Who likes a surprise,” asks Chick-fil-A’s jovial founder. When he tosses each a miniature plush cow, the kids are ecstatic. But no one is happier than the man throwing the toys, the octogenarian whose broad smile and balding head are a familiar sight at the $1.2 billion privately held company….

The Last Defense:
Georgia’s Innocence Project is on a Mission to Free Innocent Inmates
by Mickey Goodman

For the past 18 years Clarence Harrison’s life has played out like a plot straight from a Hollywood horror movie. Though more than a dozen witnesses could have corroborated his alibi the night the crime was committed. But he was convicted of rape, robbery and kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison.

Thanks to an intern at the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP) who found long-lost DNA evidence that proved with 100 percent certainty he could not have committed the heinous crimes, Harrison is a free man today.

“When they told me I would be set free, I was happy” Harrison said, “but I was afraid too. I didn’t know what to expect. Would society accept me? Instead [Atlanta] has shown me nothing but pure love.” Strangers stop him on the street to embrace him and he continues to receive scores of congratulatory letters. Prisoners and their family members write to ask his opinion. He’s floored by it all. And very grateful…

Thrills Over Atlanta
A Tour Through Time Aboard a World War II Biplane
by Mickey Goodman

My dad, a member of “the Greatest Generation,” was passionate about flying before, during and after World War II. Mom joked that they courted at the Jackson, Miss. Airport. He was up in the wild blue yonder and her feet were firmly planted on the ground.

On each of their 69 anniversaries, she retold the story of their January 1932 wedding day. Instead of nervously waiting for time to get ready, Dad decided to take his best man up for a bird’s eye view. In the middle of a “loop-de-loop” (360-degree turn), his wallet, shiny unworn wedding band and change tumbled from his pockets and were forever lost in a farm field.

Despite the many flights I took with him in one of the post-war Mooney’s or Cessna’s his flight club owned, I never fully understood his love affair with planes until I climbed into the open cockpit of Brian Wolf’s 1941 Stearman. The biplane with its oversized engine and taxi cab-yellow fabric skin is identical to the plane Dad trained in prior to being shipped overseas.

Sally Ride, Star StruckSally Ride, Star Struck (cover story)
by Mickey Goodman
"I always thought the sky was God’s paintbrush. Sally Ride conquered that paintbrush and made it into God’s easel." – Joanna Meyer, age 11.

"We are the Champions" by Queen blared over the loud speaker as 250 blue-jeaned teeny boppers bounced to the beat. Star struck, they sat cross-legged on the floor eagerly awaiting the arrival of but their "champion," Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.

Ride, bringing her second annual Sally Ride Science Club Festival to Atlanta, also awed parents. "I was filled with pride to think that our generation produced this trailblazer who reached for the stars," said Anne Meyer of Alpharetta, who accompanied her daughter, Joanna, to the October festival at Agnes Scott College. "President Kennedy said we would go to the moon by the end of the decade and we did," she said proudly. "I was thrilled to see a woman go into space."

Little St. Simons Island Little St. Simons
Unspoiled Wilderness
by Mickey Goodman

“…Be a world of marsh that borders a world of sea.
Sinuous southward and sinuous northward
The shimmering band of the sand beach
Fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land.”
– Sidney Lanier, “The Marshes of Glynn”

The velvety marshlands that Sidney Lanier described so lyrically have drawn me to Georgia’s Golden Isles ever since I was introduced to the area 10 years ago. Each mile from Atlanta to Brunswick, Ga., makes me yearn for the white sand beaches and glorious sunsets at the end of the journey. Upon reaching Brunswick, the sight of soft shades of lime green moss juxtaposed with dark blue waterways always sets my heart a’ pattering as we cross over the causeways and bridges connecting the four islands — St. Simons, Sea, Jekyll and Little St. Simons.

Once again, the meandering drive down Kings Way leading into the heart of St. Simons transported me to a time and place where gracious living is a way of life. My friend and travel companion Judy Giles, a first-time Golden Isles visitor, was agog at the ancient live oaks decorated with lacy Spanish moss that formed a canopy over our heads. Like sentinels, they shield elegant homes from curious eyes as lush palm fronds cover their feet. Nearby, sapling oaks wear wisps of moss resembling peach fuzz on young men’s chests.


Panos KaratassosPano Karatassos
Born to Serve Fine Food
by Mickey Goodman

Like a steak on a fire, the atmosphere sizzled when Pano Karatassos stepped through the massive columns leading into the sleek white marble foyer at Kyma, the newest star in his Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. For a moment, waiters stood a little taller, their welcoming smiles a little broader. Patrons familiar with the founder and president’s ready grin and strong handshake gravitated toward him. Even the stars in the inky blue man-made sky above appeared to twinkle more merrily. Karatassos was clearly in his element.

Gracious and unhurried, commanding but not intimidating, Karatassos worked the room like the pro he is, offering greetings to some and quiet instructions to others. With his powerful presence, steady gaze, and dark hair graying at the temples, he epitomizes a man at the top of his game. “There is no one big thing in running successful restaurants — but 1,000 little things,” he said modestly. “It’s what people have come to expect at Buckhead Life [Restaurant Group].

The call of the open roadThe call of the open road
Classic cars, the ultimate collection
by Mickey Goodman

To Classic car owners who have motor oil instead of blood running through their veins, automobiles are Rembrandt’s with utility. You can admire a painting hanging on your wall and stamps and coins take up less space, “but you can’t take them on the road and drive off into another era,” collector Marc Hamburger says.

It is the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) who lays claim to the verbiage. They define “Classic” (with a capital “C”) as a fine or distinctive automobile produced between 1925 and 1948 that was high-priced when new, built in limited quantities and has engine displacement, custom coachwork and luxury accessories. They maintain an exhaustive list of vehicles considered Classics, though not every model from a given manufacturer is so designated.


Bathroom RenovationsBathroom Renovations
by Mickey Goodman

Renovating a bathroom is a lot like taking a trip to an exotic locale. It requires research, planning, flexibility, lots of patients, plenty of cash and a road map to find the way. Like travelers, homeowners can stroll down a common path on the aisles of a well-known home improvement center, work with an independent contractor, servce as their own foreman or discover new vistas with a company specializing in project management….

President, Southeast Chapter, The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
Copyright © Mickey Goodman, Freelance Writer. All rights reserved.

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