Archive for the ‘Athens Georgia’ Tag

Litter in the Woods   Leave a comment

Above:  Evidence of Dumping, May 14, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I am blessed in many ways, including the proximity of my domicile to the Middle Oconee River–in particular, the area near Ben Burton Park, near where a historic dam used to be.  The area offers wonderful places to walk.

Unfortunately, I see litter, small, medium, and large out there too.  Regularly I set out for a walk with a pair of gloves and a 30-gallon trash bag, fill up the bag, and leave it in a dumpster.  I find this garbage in my neighborhood, before I cross into a clearing and into a second section of woods, north of Ben Burton Park.

Yesterday evening I went for a walk toward where the dam had been.  I returned with mud on my shoes, socks, and blue jeans (there had been rain for the previous two days) as well as recyclable items in two hands.  I found the litter in the woods–a beer can here, two plastic cups in other places, a Snapple bottle, and an old bottle of Mello Yello with some of the product still in it.  I washed the items in the my kitchen sink and deposited them into my recycling bin.

I am glad I could be a good steward of the planet, but I wish that certain other people would do the same.

By the way, I have reported the oven to the local government.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THOMAS BRADBURY CHANDLER, ANGLICAN PRIEST; HIS SON-IN-LAW, JOHN HENRY HOBART, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW YORK; AND HIS GRANDSON, WILLIAM HOBART HARE, APOSTLE TO THE SIOUX AND EPISCOPAL MISSIONARY BISHOP OF NIOBRARA THEN SOUTH DAKOTA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATERINA VOLPICELLI, FOUNDRESS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE SACRED HEART; SAINT LUDOVICO DA CASORIA, FOUNDER OF THE GRAY FRIARS OF CHARITY AND COFOUNDER OF THE GRAY SISTERS OF SAINT ELIZABETH; AND SAINT GIULIA SALZANO, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE CATECHETICAL SISTERS OF THE SACRED HEART

THE FEAST OF CHARLES HAMILTON HOUSTON AND THURGOOD MARSHALL, ATTORNEYS AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF DONALD COGGAN, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

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Gratitude for Athens, Georgia   Leave a comment

Above:  The Dome of the City Hall, Athens, Georgia, August 5, 2009

Photographer = Carol M. Highsmith

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-04138

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Seeking reasons for gratitude to God is a daily activity; it is an easy one, fortunately.

During the last few days I have been thinking deeply about a subset of those reasons; I have been pondering reasons I am blessed to live in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia.  Many such reasons–too many to enumerate in a succinct blog post–have come to mind.

A few follow.

A visit to relatives in Americus, Georgia, followed shortly by a lecture at The University of Georgia (UGA), started me down this path.  Last Tuesday night I attended a lecture by Dr. Richard B. Miller, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Religious Ethics at The University of Chicago Divinity School.  Miller spoke about St. Augustine of Hippo‘s concept of the common good and of its implications for today.  The full explanation of St. Augustine’s definition of sin as disordered love proved especially helpful.  As I listened and learned, I also thought about how fortunate I was to live in the town in which that event happened.  UGA, my relationship with which has been both positive and tumultuous, at different times, since 2005, made that lecture possible.

Indeed, I have may reasons to be grateful for and to UGA.  It creates a wonderful intellectual environment in Athens.  I care nothing about the athletics of a university, for the purpose of such an institution is supposed to be primarily educational, is it not?  The presence of UGA in Athens not only makes Athens what it is, but also makes me feel at home in this town, a colony of members of the intelligentsia.

I grew up in a series of United Methodist parsonages in small towns and communities in southern Georgia.  The intellectual atmosphere (not in the parsonage, of course) was generally lackluster, even anti-intellectual.  (Nevertheless, I do recall that sometimes even my father angrily rebuffed some of my attempts at academic discussions, especially of the Bible.  There was no good reason to fear Higher Criticism.  No philosophical meat grinder will grind up the truth, after all; the truth will break the meat grinder.)  I usually felt like an intellectual outcast and the resident heretic.  (Today I wear the label “heretic” with pride.  As churchy as I am, given the option of avoiding church or facing allegations of heresy in a congregation, I would choose the former.)  Politically and socially most of the neighbors were or seemed to be beyond conservative–reactionary, actually.  Many were openly and unapologetically racist.

Of course I gravitated toward the left side of the spectrum.  I have remained a man of the left, although I have, with greater frequency, found myself in rooms with people to my left–sometimes far to my left.  I have shifted slightly to the right in some ways, and far to the left (relative to my former position) in others.  Overall, I have continued to occupy a center-left position.  (I tend to be center-right in liturgical matters and to the left politically, socially, and theologically.  My unapologetic Western Classicism in music is prominent in my daily life.)  I have ceased to be the resident heretic, for (1) I worship with people, many of whom are to my left, and (2) I worship in a faith community where nobody accuses me of heresy.  Charges of heresy have usually come from the right, not the left, after all.  (This is why most ecclesiastical schisms occur to the right and the majority of church mergers happen on the left.  Tolerance and acceptance are antidotes to Donatism.)

St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church has been my spiritual home since August 2005.  The parish has saved my life (in 2007) and become a means by which I offer gifts and talents to God.  I have, for years, curated a movie series, functioned as the librarian, and taught adult Sunday School, for example.  For nearly a decade I sang in the choir.  (I have many fond memories of that time.)  Although some people roll their eyes when I obsess over the proper arrangement of chairs, hymnals, and prayer books in the worship space, tending to that matter has long been something I have offered to God.  (I have come to long wistfully for pews.)  Also, the music has long been mostly excellent in the parish.  Last Sunday, for example, a string quartet performed at the 10:30 service and accompanied the choir during a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s Ave Verum Corpus.

As much as I enjoy visits to relatives in Americus, Athens is my place.  As much as I visit Calvary Episcopal Church, Americus, occasionally, and find my spot in a pew there comfortably, St. Gregory the Great Church is my place.  As much as I enjoy visiting Americus, I also enjoy returning to Athens.

I am also grateful for friends and acquaintances. all of whose privacy I respect in this post by preserving in this post by naming none of them.  Some of them have saved my life and seen me through difficult times.  I have also performed my sacred duty and helped one friend to the point of self-sacrifice.  If necessary, I would do it again, without hesitation.

I hope to reside in Athens for long time.  The possibility of leaving eventually remains, of course; I admit that doing so might be proper one day.  That hypothetical day is one I hope is far off, if it is extant.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 24, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF OSCAR ROMERO, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF SAN SALVADOR; AND THE MARTYRS OF EL SALVADOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIDACUS JOSEPH OF CADIZ, CAPUCHIN FRIAR

THE FEAST OF PAUL COUTURIER, APOSTLE OF CHRISTIAN UNITY

THE FEAST OF THOMAS ATTWOOD, “FATHER OF MODERN CHURCH MUSIC”

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Tallassee Shoals XXXII: Arborial Angles   1 comment

Above:  Trees, February 11, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

This photograph comes from near the location of the old dam.

Nature contains many magnificent curves and angles.  The tree in the center of the photograph is especially impressive and beautiful.  The colors in the image also impress me.

The Middle Oconee River is visible through the trees.

The major reason I post this image is to share beauty, to counteract some of the ugliness and meanness rampant on the Internet.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2018 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XXXI: Woodland Trail   1 comment

Above:  The Terminus of a Trail at Ben Burton Park, Athens, Georgia, February 11, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

All Photographs Dated February 11, 2018

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

A most pleasant trail links Ben Burton Park to the cul-de-sac near my home.

The trail contains some shortcuts, such as the one on the left.

The trees in the middle of the image form fascinating angles.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2018 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XXX: Small Stone Structure   1 comment

Above:  Two Trees and One Small Stone Structure, February 11, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

All Photographs Dated February 11, 2018

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

One of the joys of wandering off trails is seeing sights I would never see otherwise.  One of these is immediately north of Ben Burton Park and between the Middle Oconee River and a back entrance to that park.

The arrangement of stones is prompts me to wonder what purpose this structure served.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2018 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XXIX: Bricks   1 comment

Above:  Old Bricks Beside the Middle Oconee River, February 11, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

All Images Dated February 11, 2018

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

Immediately north of Ben Burton Park and beside the Middle Oconee River, in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, exists evidence that brick structures were part of the old Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility.  On the approach to the tower, where the 1895 dam used to be, is a trail.  Beside that trail, in the woods, are stone walls.  Between two stone walls are broken-up parts of a brick structure, now partially overgrown.

I wonder what this area looked like prior to 1960, when the hydroelectric facility closed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2018 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XXVIII: Stone Corner   1 comment

Above:  The Entrance to the Stone Corner at Poss Creek, Ben Burton Park, Athens-Clarke County, from a Woodland Trail, February 11, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

All Photographs Dated February 11, 2018

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.  This post is also related to this one directly.

This tree grew around the chain.

Those indentions are present from one end of the stone corner to the other.  They prompt me wonder that the area looked like long ago.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 22, 2018 COMMON ERA

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