Just ask Marietta City Councilman Van Pearlberg, who is running to succeed the retiring Dorothy Robinson on the Cobb Superior Court and who inadvertently made an easy target of himself by sitting near the front of the crowd as Bacon delivered his State of the City speech on Thursday at the Smyrna Community Center.
Pearlberg, Bacon quipped, “is also going to be a judge just as soon as I give him a contribution, he says.”
Bacon teased Pearlberg about the “Windy Mac” connector road between Windy Hill and Macland roads opening in August, which will cause Smyrna to see a hike in traffic. The county built the road because it couldn’t convince the city of Marietta to widen Whitlock Avenue, Bacon claimed.
“They couldn’t deal with Marietta, right Van?” Bacon teased.
Bacon went on to mention the 2010 Census and how Smyrna’s population increased by 25 percent over the last 10 years, jumping to 51,271, while Marietta’s declined by about 4 percent to 56,579.
“I’d say by the next Census we will exceed Marietta, and the county seat will be in Smyrna,” Bacon said.
“We will move those buildings, the new courthouse, down to Smyrna, all the government offices, they’ll be coming down to Smyrna, and we will be using (Marietta City Councilman Philip) Goldstein’s moving company. Marietta has always been the largest city, and I think it actually went down, didn’t it Van?”
“No,” Pearlberg responded.
“Yes it did,” Bacon countered. “This is my speech. It went down. People are coming out in droves coming down to Smyrna. Let me tell you, I’ve got great friends in Marietta. Van’s not one of them. But I love them because I love the school board, I love the City of Marietta because they’re ‘in the barrel’ everyday with the MDJ. I’ve said this many times, that everybody has their turn in the barrel, but we can’t get in it because the City of Marietta and Cobb County Schools will not get out of it.”
During his speech, Bacon also referenced meeting presidential candidate Mitt Romney when the former Massachusetts governor visited Kenny’s Great Pies in Smyrna last month.
“A couple weeks ago we had Mitt Romney, and I had a chance to meet him, and they all grabbed me and said, ‘Look, just relax, don’t say stuff to him.’ It was like when Vice President Dick Cheney (visited). About four of them grabbed me and said, ‘Look, don’t mess around with him now, he’s nervous.’ And I’m going to tell you he was tight that day, and I did pretty good, but I can’t tell anybody what’s going to come out because I really don’t know.
“But (at the Romney event the MDJ’s) Jon (Gillooly) asked me, ‘Did I have any problem with a Mormon being president,’ and I said, ‘Well, if he doesn’t have any problem with a Methodist being mayor, we’re OK.’
“But I was pressured into endorsing him. Jon Gillooly said, ‘Are you going to endorse him?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll endorse him,’ and I didn’t even know much about him, but he was very presidential looking. He said he’s out of work, too.”
Yes, but maybe not for long.
And though Romney’s future vocation is unclear, it’s a sure bet that Bacon will continue to be one of Cobb’s most quotable and uninhibited public figures.
BARBECUING RIBS usually starts with applying a “rub” of dried spices. But Marietta barbecue maestro Sam Huff was rubbing elbows with the stars late last month on the set of the movie “Jayne Mansfield’s Car,” which is being filmed near LaGrange. Huff was hired to provide the ‘Q for a scene involving an outdoor cookout at a Southern mansion. Huff (a retired lawyer from west Cobb who now owns Sam’s BBQ-1 in east Cobb), his wife and law partner Diane Woods and BBQ-1 GM Dale Thornton spent two days preparing a menu of ribs, chicken, steaks, corn on the cob, deviled eggs, peach pies and the like. They hoped to catch a glimpse of the stars, but were told they usually rested in their trailers during breaks to stay out of the intense heat.
But at lunchtime that day Huff looked up to see a golf cart heading toward the trailers, with actor Robert Duvall (“The Godfather,” “Lonesome Dove” and many more) aboard.
“I stopped him and asked if he would like some genuine Georgia barbecue for lunch. I was prepared to be politely declined. However, he surprised me by saying, ‘I believe I would like that; let me go get my wife.’ I thought, ‘Oh, no! What do I do now?’” he emailed Around Town. “So we quickly set up a table and pulled together some barbecue and five minutes later Mr. Duvall appeared at our tent with his lovely and gracious wife, Luciana. He proceeded to eat three plates of barbecue and we ended up chatting and visiting for an hour and a half. I have never met a more delightful and down to earth couple.”
Duvall liked the barbecue so much he whipped out his cell phone and apprised several other cast and crew members of it.
Before he knew it, they all showed up and he was preparing plates for John Hurt (“Harry Potter”), British actor Ray Stephenson, Robert Patrick (the metal cop from “Terminator”) and actress Shawnee Smith.
“As I joined them at the table for lunch and conversation, I could not help being struck by the thought that one could not find people anywhere who are any friendlier and more personable than these actors and professionals. John Hurt and Ray Stephenson even stopped by at the end of the day’s shooting to join us for a cocktail and Robert Duvall stopped by on the way to his hotel to thank us for lunch and to say goodbye. All of these people are the personification of true class.”
THE COBB LIBRARY FOUNDATION will be hosting novelist Joshilyn Jackson on July 29 as part of its “Booked for Lunch” author series. Jackson is author of four novels, including the New York Times Bestsellers “Backseat Saints” and “The Girl Who Stopped Swimming.” Her first two works, “Gods in Alabama” and “Between, Georgia” were #1 BookSense Picks, making her the first author ever to receive that honor in back-to-back years. And “Between, Georgia” won her the Georgia Author of the Year Award.
The lecture event will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Indian Hills Country Club clubhouse in east Cobb. Cost is $25, with all proceeds funding the Gail Rogers Honorary Scholarship. For more, go to www.cobbcat.org/foundation.
THE COBB-MARIETTA WATER AUTHORITY is looking to play a substantial role in the construction of a proposed reservoir in neighboring Paulding County, according to general manager Glenn Page in the latest edition of The Atlanta Business Chronicle. Paulding is the CMWA’s second-biggest customer.
Incidentally, one of Georgia’s lead negotiators in the ongoing “water wars” with Alabama and Florida is Marietta native Todd Silliman, son of Marietta attorney Bob Silliman. The younger Silliman is an attorney with McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP and is a 1986 graduate of Marietta High School.
THE GEORGIA TEA PARTY will meet at 6:45 p.m. Thursday at 900 Roswell St. in Marietta, in the former car dealership building. And in a related event, the Cobb chapter of Americans for Prosperity will host former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Marietta as speaker at the same location at 8 p.m. July 28.
KSU’S CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF THE CIVIL WAR ERA will present “Gods and Generals” film actor H.W. “Bill” Smith as Confederate Sgt. Maj. Henry William McGowan at 6 p.m. Saturday. McGowan, who has a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia, is a “living historian” at the New Market Battlefield in Virginia. His show blends heritage, history and theater in an effort to portray a common man in an uncommon situation. He also explains the weapons and clothing used by the common soldier. The free production will take place in the auditorium of Building 22. Call (678)797-2551.
OVERHEARD at Thursday’s Marietta Kiwanis Club meeting: “Those Atlanta school officials behind the cheating scandal better hope they get the same jury that Casey Anthony got.”