Rebecca Barria, the first chairperson of this community garden, moved a year ago to an intown Atlanta neighborhood. She was a stay-at-home mom with two young children when we met (after teaching gifted high school English). She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree at Georgia State University, with a focus on play and literacy, and is also the recipient of a fellowship that has her working directly with high school students in need in the City of Atlanta. She has a garden plot at the Decatur Community Garden, but goodness knows if she ever even gets there! I saw her name on a stake there the other day--it's fading.
Bob Lundsten is chief of staff for a Dekalb County Commissioner, plus he is the force behind encouraging cities to install life-saving public-access defibrillators in their police cars and buildings (his advocacy work on this has already resulted in significant application in several cities and has saved at least four lives). He is also preparing for the wedding of the first of three daughters to be married.
Angela Minyard is busy with her grandchildren and other things in life, although she still has a huge and wonderful home garden.
Page Olsen is the chief of staff for a State Representative and is at the Capitol building in downtown Atlanta most days, when she's not also at multiple locations around metro-Atlanta of the restaurant, Cafe Intermezzo, that she and her husband own.
I'm not sure if Rod Pittman and Jim Hines are still a bit involved, although I do know Rod, at 85-years-old now, is the farm consultant at The Veggie Patch, which provides organically-grown fruits and veggies to Emory University , among many other places. I wrote about him for Edible Atlanta.
The last time I saw Jim (and Page as well, on separate occasions), we cut bamboo together to build the structures with the clients at the food pantry garden.
Robert Wittenstein got involved in a leadership position with another garden early on, but would come by to help with anything and everything. I haven't seen him for awhile, either, but I do know that Don somehow got him out there hiking a segment of the Appalachian Trail for several challenging days not long ago!
Volunteer extraordinaire Ann Dovanquy is still there. My friend, Tracy, however, had a life-threatening bee sting situation last fall and has to stay away, per doctor's orders. Her always-inspiring garden bed will be tended by her husband for now. Others who used to be there aren't anymore. Van and Sally. Jeff and Caryn. Connie. Lisa. Laura. Ashley. John Herron. Tom. Kathy. Rick. Diana.
And I, as you know, am elsewhere, too. I stopped by the Dunwoody Community Garden about two weeks ago and noticed that my original cinder block bed, the one heavy with meaning for me about which I wrote as the final story in my book, is no longer there. At first I felt a pang of sadness, but then I looked at the new bed that's in its place. Someone is clearly excited. In fact, folks are clearly excited all over the garden as there is lots of apparent new growth. And that's what it's all about.
And so it goes. And so it grows.
eclectic food-for-thought for a changing world