It’s that time of year again when friends become enemies, people barking loudly is acceptable and no one dares plan an event on a Saturday – college football season!

By Katy Ruth Camp

My father, John Camp, was a high school football coach for 33 years (much of that at Marietta High School) and is a University of Georgia football letter man so I was raised on Friday night lights and Saturday afternoon tailgates.

My grandparents have had the same four season tickets to UGA games for nearly 50 years, my grandfather was in the Red Coat Marching Band in the late 1940s, I graduated from UGA where I worked in the sports information department under “what ya got” Loran Smith and my brother (an MHS alumnus) also graduated from UGA where he was going to play football until an injury sidelined him.

Needless to say, I bleed red and black! But not all of my friends are so fortunate. I felt so sad for sweet baby Albert, the beautiful child of my friends Amy Reeves and State Rep. Bert Reeves, when I saw they had dressed him in a University of Florida outfit on a September Saturday. Such a waste of cuteness! Amy is a UF graduate and Bert is a Georgia Tech alumnus so poor baby Albert doesn’t stand a chance.

I had to begrudgingly pull out all of the orange I own this summer in support of YWCA of Northwest Georgia CEO Holly Tuchman during her battle with Gullian-Barre Syndrome. And it wasn’t because orange is her favorite color but rather an extension of her love of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Only for you, Holly! Only for you.

At the end of the day, though, we can all love each other anyway, despite our fortunate or unfortunate collegiate allegiances. Just don’t gator chop me without expecting a bark in return!

Trip of a lifetime

If you were following my “10 Cities in 10 Days” travel blog on in September, then you know about the incredible solo trip I took through the West. I booked rooms, rented a convertible and spent 10 days traveling through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.

For 1,500 miles, it was just me, the most gorgeous scenery you’ve ever seen, sunshine, Apple music and the Silver Fox, as I called the silver Mustang convertible who was my constant companion.

Many friends and family members as well as people I met during my journey through the West asked me why I decided to take this trip. Tom Heyer and Wendy Bunch even got onto me about going at it alone, as they thought Dad was with me the whole time!

There was no one reason, really, although I don’t believe there ever has to be a reason to travel and experience new sights and places. For several months, I have longed to travel more and I didn’t see any reason in waiting or wanting to have a companion when there was nothing stopping me to do this myself. I have always dreamed of going West and I can count on one hand the number of times during those ten days that I felt a bit lonely. I actually quite liked traveling alone.

I could visit what I wanted to, eat where I wanted to, hike where I wanted to and take as much time as I liked for all of it. I am an extreme extrovert but I enjoyed the freedom I had to just be in the moment and not worry about whether another person was happy in that moment as well. This trip truly changed my life and I know it would not have had the same effect on me had I had company along the way. It was the right time in my life, and the right place in this world.

Many of my Cobb friends and readers cheered me on along the way and one wonderful but still anonymous soul even surprised me with a night at the infamous Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs. There is so much beauty in this world and I highly recommend that you take a chance and “grab life by the horns.” 

Happy birthday to The Strand

September 24 marked the 81st birthday for the Earl Smith Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square and, to celebrate, the venue held a birthday party filled with music, laughter, food, drinks and wonderful fourth-floor patio weather. All of the “who’s who’s” of Marietta were there and it was a nice, casual and wonderful way to celebrate.

The theatre was saved by a group of community leaders and volunteers in 2002 when they came together to raise money to renovate and reopen the historic theatre. Since that time, The Strand has become an iconic fixture on the Square and continues to provide quality productions and concerts for the community, as well as serve Cobb’s children through theatre education.

I can’t imagine The Square without The Strand but it is a nonprofit and relies on donations to survive. Whether it’s attending a concert or pulling out the checkbook, let’s make sure we have many more Strand birthdays to celebrate!

Speaking of theatres…

In September, Atlanta Lyric Theatre Executive Director Brandt Blocker announced that he would be leaving that position as his wife, Christine, accepted a new job in Hong Kong. The Blocker clan isn’t moving until January, but I know many in the community are already mourning the loss of Blocker’s leadership over our fantastic musical theatre group.

Blocker joked that he is “retired” but will be back in two years so, hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of Cobb’s music man! Best wishes to the Blocker family on what is sure to be an exciting adventure.

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