Kenny Rogers strides through specially formulated fog into the spotlight as the faithful roar their approval. When the eighties country-pop icon steps forward, folksy and powerful, unpretentious and celebrated, the restless casino crowd is enrapt. T-shirts printed with images of Rogers from a decade ago strain across more than a few bellies.
The notion that Muhammad Ali—a conscientious objector who was a member of the Nation of Islam—would make his comeback in the deep South at the height of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War seemed laugh-out-loud ridiculous. But thanks to one fortuitous telephone call to a local businessman—and the political savvy of State Senator Leroy Johnson—Atlanta stunned the world by granting Ali a boxing license and playing host to his return on October 26, 1970.
Waffle House is as Atlanta as Coca-Cola, CNN, or Delta, only more demure. You won't turn on your television to see the king of all-night diners assaulting you with multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns, and you won't get a jingle stuck in your head, because there isn't one. Waffle House never needed one. Waffle by waffle, egg by egg, the chain has quietly grown to a consistent place in the nation's top ten family-owned chains.
John Lewis and Julian Bond. Two men whose lives were shaped in the crucible of the civil rights movement, whose beings were transformed by the soaring energy and ringing eloquence of the man who came to symbolize that movement, Martin Luther King Jr., and whose major roles have been played out in the cold vacuum of his absence.