Personal Journeys: A class by herself
Personal Journeys: 100 places to scatter his ashes
‘Take You Wherever You Go’
Personal Journeys: Radio silence
More Sunday stories
Complete list of Personal Journeys
Aspiring pilot featured in Personal Journey dies in accident
Haven’t heard this harp ensemble? You don’t know what you’re missing
How to clean annoying messes on your kitchen appliances and tools
Sara J. Gonzalez Park is Isabel Gonzalez Whitaker's way of honoring her community-minded mother's inspiration.
Back on the mound, pitcher Jude Hiley stands tall. The 13-year-old player makes a triumphant return after a battle with cancer.
The hashtag #blackgirlmagic is a source of inspiration and a rallying cry for black women. Take a look at our portrait series celebrating 10 movers and shakers who make Atlanta a better place to live.
Volunteer trip to Puerto Rico reveals an island still recovering from Hurricane Maria. The AJC's Suzanne Van Atten finds change and resilience on the battered island.
I have met many famous people of deep religious faith, including Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Arch- bishop Desmond Tutu, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin and Billy Graham, some of whom have had a direct and beneficial effect on my life.
At about nine o’clock on Wednesday morning, April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. boarded Eastern Air Lines Flight 381 in Atlanta. Along with four of his top aides he was flying to Memphis on an urgent mission. King and his entourage of smartly dressed African-Americans would have been an eye-catching sight for the 43 other passengers on the airplane.
Atlanta newcomer Rebekah Spicuglia comes to terms with the absence of her son Oscar, who was shot and killed at age 17.
Bestselling author Zoe Fishman finds that single motherhood is harder than she could have ever imagined, as she navigates an uncertain future as a newly widowed mom.
A Canton woman loses a son but gains a whole new family, when her mother's secret becomes a source of solace after a tragic car accident.
It was a mother’s worst nightmare, watching a child’s descent into drug addiction. When her daughter Page went to prison, music took a back seat for Athens musician Caroline Aiken.
Across three continents, no amount of tragedy could stop Dr. Gulshan Harjee from following her dream. She persevered through war, illness and a mass shooting that took her husband’s life.
Atlanta couple Laurie Eynon and Rob Wells mind the age gap in their May-December relationship. They were happily unmarried until health insurance made matrimony a necessity.
His daughter's death inspired Richard Blackwell to write a letter to parents of teenage daughters, which went viral after he posted it on LinkedIn. Blackwell is advocating for headgear and more restrictions on headers in youth soccer after he says two concussions triggered the social anxiety and depression in his 16-year-old daughter Alex, which he believes led to her suicide last September.
Atlanta's Tom Matte broke his brain with drugs and now he sees things you don’t. He’s been sober six years now, but he experiences chronic hallucinations and has mad math skills.
Pat Conroy's memories of Atlanta and the city's literary scene. The legendary raconteur and author holds court one last time in new oral biography "An Exaggerated Life." A book excerpt.
Atlanta's Zach Law recounts a very rough patch of his life and the long road back to normal.
Abuse survivor Felicia Villegas Echeverria could have fallen through the cracks, but her community wouldn’t let her
A follow up on some of our favorite stories from 2017.
Checking in with six previous subjects of our weekly Personal Journeys series, which examines the lives a extraordinary people. See how these Georgians continue to face life's challenges and triumphs.
Once a victim, Bhutanese refugee Ryan Koirala is now a protector.
Fab’rik owner Dana Spinola to take a hiatus from her successful retail business, but the lessons it taught her about balance may well sustain her for a long time to come.
I’ve heard people say that sometimes your brain will shut down just before traumatic experiences and you won’t remember anything that happened. That may be true, but it surely wasn’t the case for me. I remember every detail. I looked up and saw headlights. There was no time to react. The truck was moving too fast. I remember my body’s impact with the front of it.
Long-distance bike ride connects John Perry to his Cherokee heritage. There are only 1,157 Cherokee Nation citizens in Georgia, but reminders of Indians are everywhere.
The 69-year-old songwriter and Georgia native’s brushes with death and debauchery are behind him, but the music business beckons again.
Dr. Karen Kinsell works long hours for little pay in a one of Georgia’s poorest communities.
My full legal name is Marc Jeffrie Fitten, but I have always disliked it. It’s like the skin tag hanging from my neck that I keep promising myself I will do something about. Since I was 6, I have never been comfortable with hearing it spoken or saying it out loud. I have never identified with it. Ever since I was a child, everything in my DNA rejected this name.
Former Roswell judge Maurice Hilliard had a history of helping troubled youth, but he couldn't save his grandson from the grip of addiction.
Atlanta author Nicki Salcedo’s grieving heart takes comfort from an unexpected source. She was thrilled to discover that she and Nolan both wear the same size shoe as her father.
When I was a teen, my Dad would often come into my room on Saturday mornings when I was asleep. “John, you want to come with us? We’re opening up another fire station.” I’d moan, roll over and go back to sleep. I don’t remember how many fire stations my father, Frank H. Spink Jr.
Father and son share teaching moments and hard lessons in Southern history. Oakland Cemetery and "Star Wars" help to bring the Civil War into focus.
A long perilous road brought Dr. Heval Kelli to Atlanta after he and his family lost almost everything fleeing persecution in their native Syria. A Muslim, Kelli arrived here just two weeks after one of this nation’s darkest moments in history — the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Syrian refugee achieves American dream in Atlanta. Emory cardiology fellow Heval Kelli's long road to success, and how he's helping others achieve the American dream.
Stephanie Scott always wanted her own child, now she has 144 of them. The Reinhardt University football team and her faith have made her whole after devastating loss.
Atlanta's Julius Alexander hit turbulence on his path to being a pilot, but he has spent a lifetime clearing obstacles for kids who share his passion for flight.
Sam Massell discovered his inner politician in 1943. The revelation came at Druid Hills High School. Massell, a junior, held a paintbrush in one hand and a freshly daubed campaign banner in the other. His banner read: Goldstein for President! When Sam’s charismatic classmate, Charlie Goldstein, announced a campaign for school president, he needed campaign workers.
My granddaddy is the only black man I’ve ever met who was never broke a day in his life. He ran an illegal liquor house in Decatur, selling moonshine for 50 cents a shot from behind a bar he built himself out of plywood and old scraps of carpet and red leather. Granddaddy’s real name was George Walker, but folks called him Bear Cat or .
The flight from Atlanta to Tokyo was 19 hours, plus a stopover in Alaska to refuel. Laura Dorsey Rains sat there in her prim white shirt with the Peter Pan collar, her pantyhose itchy and hot. The burly man next to her was blowing cigar smoke in a cloud that enveloped her. She was too petrified to complain. Besides, well-bred Southern girls kept quiet and smiled.
“It’s all downhill from here,” my father said. It was the summer of 1998, and I was sitting in my apartment, not far from the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, calling my parents in New York to announce I would soon be returning to the States – something my dad had been urging me to do.
Olympic fever swept across the city in September 1990 when it was announced Atlanta would host the 1996 Summer Games. Residents were shocked, politicians astounded, business leaders brought to tears. Four years later, that zeal had slowly faded. Organizers believed excitement would return once sponsors were secured, the stadium was squared away and controversies became yesterday’s news.
Dorsey Jones was once a fixture on her father’s shoulder. That was her baby seat, most places Henry Jones went. And she was his world, his only child. Perched up there, Dorsey — born in Portsmouth, Virginia, on Thanksgiving Day 1970 — would often try to comb his hair. At least that’s what his family told her. She hasn’t a single memory of her dad.
A pounding headache woke Angie Aparo early one April morning last year. A bout of nausea followed, sending him to the toilet. The pain was so severe; he was frightened. But he’d had his annual physical just two months earlier that showed he was in fine health as he approached his 55th birthday. He hoped an adjustment by his chiropractor might alleviate his discomfort.
The first person I see at the maximum security women’s prison is the sergeant. I take off my shoes and hand over my clear plastic backpack full of books and student papers and the kinds of pens that don’t have a spring mechanism. The sergeant runs them through the X-ray machine while I step through the metal detector.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution launches its debut Video Personal Journey, a short documentary film about 11-year-old Bronco Reese of Woodstock who underwent a heart transplant two years ago and goes on his first overnight camp this summer at Camp Twin Lakes.
At the clang of the bell marking the end of the school day, third-grader Dikembe Mutombo grabbed his schoolbooks and loped across the wide street in Kinshasa, capital of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to the American Embassy, his movements as graceful as a gazelle. His friends, always three strides behind, were in hot pursuit, all eager to see the latest American movie shown free daily.
On what’s to become our final day together as a family, 5-year-old me squats in the kitchen corner, gluey-fingered with a cherry Popsicle. Dad polishes his rifle. Mom jabs at the linoleum with a broom. “Move your feet,” she snaps at him. “Move your feet.” She grumbles about housework, his lack of ambition and the miserable thing their life together has become.
The Indian sun shone hot on the bright flowing saris, tunics and distressed jeans of tourists ambling the broad walk toward the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra. Steve Stirling, 61, joined the flow, his corporate button-down shirt and slacks marking the rare Westerner in the crowd.
Sitting on my youngest daughter Julia’s bed, sifting through boxes and boxes of pictures of her, her brown eyes sparkling in each photo as she rambled through every day like a fearless colt in a china shop, I select the pictures I want. Julia at 6, owning the pink and purple fashion sense of a Disney princess.
There is no grocery on Home Street. It would be easy to mistake Grocery on Home for a corner store. Above the threshold to Matt Arnett’s red front door on Home Street in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood is a small, hand-painted sign that reads simply, “Grocery.
Born in 1916 on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, 20 miles from Monticello, Lewis spun a narrative that was bucolic and rural. As William Faulkner illuminated northern Mississippi, and Randall Kenan mythologized eastern North Carolina, Lewis made a study of Freetown, beginning with “A Taste of Country Cooking.
The phone rang. A call from Florida. My stomach dropped a little. Sure enough, Mom was sick again. So I hopped on a plane to south Florida, bracing for another chapter in my mother’s decline, and another attempt to convince her to go into assisted living. “No,
Becoming his father’s primary caretaker meant Vince Zangaro, now 41, had to grow up and accept the fact that a disease was stealing his dad from him, one memory at a time. It also forced him to recognize that he may be next in the line of Zangaro men affected by Alzheimer’s. His uncle, father and grandfather all shared symptoms of the disease.
On August 29, 2008, I was happy. I was at peace. I knew that everyone I cared about was all right. My husband, Larry, was content at his job. Both of my children seemed to be on a good path. My younger child, Joseph, was settled in at his second college (so far) and seemed to like his classes.
“Excuse me, sir. Is it possible for me to get in and just see the gift shop?” Visiting Washington, D.C., for business last November, I was drawn to the brand-new National Museum of African American History & Culture. The waiting list for tickets was eight months long to get in, but it was a warm, sunny day so I walked there from my hotel just to see what it looked like.
Josh Horton woke up in jail again. The stale reek of urine swirled around him. Confusion cast a fearful shadow. Usually he could rely on receipts and other pocket scraps to map what he’d done before blacking out. But Fulton County jailers had stripped him naked. The 24-year-old Alpharetta native wore only a paper gown. His racing heartbeat pounded like thunder in his head.
I consider readers of this column a special and loyal group, so I don’t mind taking a little chance with you. I hope you’ll bear with me. So, I’d like you to quit reading this column and get the “Living & Arts” section of your Sunday newspaper. If you haven’t already read it, read the main story with the headline “The Perfect Match.
In this age of emails, tweets and Facebook postings, Lori Dickman chose an old-fashioned way to try to save her son’s life: She typed up a plea on a sheet of paper.
Sylvester Lawson didn’t come armed with many details on the late May morning he paced the parking lot of Atlanta’s New Day Treatment Center. All he knew — and all he needed to know — was that a man he had catalogued nearly 40 years ago as a mentor gone missing was due on the next van. Obviously, there would be some catching up to do.
Donna McIntosh spends so much time at the hotel pool, some of her younger students think she lives there. McIntosh teaches lessons at the Holiday Inn Express in Alpharetta every day but Sunday. She keeps a purple suitcase with her, in case she’s too tired to drive home after a long day of classes. Her life revolves around swimming.
In an unspoken reminder of his famous pedigree, Asa Griggs Candler V welcomes guests to his Sandy Springs office with the offer of a frosted Coca-Cola, then ambles to a boardroom to sit beneath a portrait of his great-grandfather rescued from storage at the Commerce Club. The resemblance between the great-grandson and Coke’s founder is uncanny.
For one dark week last winter, a showdown broke out between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood, two powerhouse women’s health nonprofits and longtime allies in the fight against breast cancer. On Jan. 31, Komen’s decision to halt $680,000 in annual funds to Planned Parenthood went public.
EATONTON — Doria and Charles Alecksen chose their clothing carefully. She reached for an ivory gown — not the traditional attire for someone recently made a widow, but Doria never considered herself traditional. Charles, her son, put on the JROTC uniform that identified him as an aspiring soldier. It was a perfect morning, serene and bright, the first day of September.
It had come to this, dying alone in his bathroom by his own hand. Through guile and force of personality, Glenn Richardson was known to Republicans in the state House as a leader who delivered his party into power after a century in the wilderness. As Georgia’s speaker of the House, he was the state’s second most powerful man.
“I don’t know if I can make it,” Greg Clement told his wife, Jan. Jan didn’t respond. As Greg remembers it, he was reaching out and got nothing. As Jan recalls, she was so upset she had nothing to say. “I was probably trying not to cry,” she said.
The hair. It had been a point of pride; long, dark tresses that cascaded past her shoulders. It shone in the sun. And now it was coming out in clumps. The chemo did that. She made a hard choice. On a sunny November afternoon last year, she sat in a plastic chair in the backyard of her mom and stepdad’s Atlanta home.
Every Sunday for the past five months, our reporters and photographers have brought you some truly amazing stories about the people who call Georgia home. Today, we are revisiting some of those people to update you about what happened after their stories were published.
Buttoning her coat tightly around her to keep out the unrelenting cold of her dingy boarding house room in Hungary, Eva Dukesz, 23, unwrapped the few groceries she had bought for dinner: a loaf of stale bread, a head of nearly spoiled cabbage, a turnip and a few limp carrots. She filled a pot with water, added the vegetables and put it on a contraband hot plate to boil.
Despite protests from the Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization and bad press in the local paper, they bulldozed the house where I lost my virginity. It was a turn-of-the-century farmhouse about a mile from my college campus, with great blue-gray gables framed by two towering cedars at the street.
Necessity inspires Alison Auerbach's vision of a new kind of school for her son and others like him.
This is not supposed to be my life. The me I planned to be is slipping on a pair of designer shoes while my husband serves our children breakfast in the kitchen of our Cambridge townhouse. On the way to my first appointment of the day with a client at the Boston Women’s Health Collective, I drop my kids off at school while mentally outlining my latest article on feminist therapy.
The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most begged her not to be tested — at least not now. “Please,” her mother pleaded. “Your dad is so sick. We are hurting so much already.” Her boyfriend implored her not to invite news that could cast such a long and dark shadow over their future. “You don’t know what it will do to you,” he warned.
Fairy godmothers of folklore fame are magical creatures, capable of turning pumpkins into carriages and making wishes come true. At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, 91-year-old Jackie Viener has played that role every Tuesday for seven years.
On Thanksgiving morning just after sunrise, my husband Kevin asked, “Is that sage I smell?” “Yes,” I replied, happy that he remembered. The fragrant, comforting scent of the herb all around us wasn’t coming from a turkey roasting in the oven.
My journey into the lives of the Sing-Hing family from Myanmar began almost four years ago at the AJC Decatur Book Festival. I was selling my photo book “The Women of Southeast Asia” when Daphne Hall,a teacher with the Global Village Project (GVP), a school for refugee girls, was drawn to my booth. She immediately recognized the women in the book.
Janea Cox, her husband Brian, their 7-year-old daughter Haleigh and their chocolate Lab Kala left their Forsyth home in December 2016 for their semi-annual trip to Colorado. They flew into Denver and made their way toward Colorado Springs in a rental car, squeezing the three of them, a wheelchair and the dog into the small, four-door sedan.
Somewhere in the rustic foothills of Jamaica, Norma Bell longed to leave her parents’ sugarcane farm near the rural village of Catadupa. And eventually she did.Norma found her way to Montego Bay around age 17. She got a job at a jewelry store. There she met a man named Charles, a Holiday Inn security guard, who asked her on a date. Nine months later, on Dec.
Devastated by his sister’s death, Brett Bramble set out on an odyssey to draw attention to the heroin epidemic.
Murdered teen’s legacy endures from the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter. A book excerpt. By Timothy B. Tyson.
AJC reporter Ellen Eldridge struggles with the helplessness of watching a tragedy unfold on Facebook.
The Rev. James Brewer-Calvert, senior pastor at Decatur First Christian Church, discovered he had colon cancer 10 years after his father, also a pastor, died from the same disease.
Kyle Brooks' whimsical street art has made him a darling of corporate Atlanta.
A mysterious illness changes the course of a hospital chaplain's life.
Like 100,000 grandparents in Georgia, Loretta Jenkins is raising grandchildren, and every day is a challenge.
As Manuel's Tavern prepares to reopen, owner Brian Maloof looks for ways to bring his love of farming to the table.
A friend memorializes Frank Barham’s life by finishing the journey cut tragically short last year.
Troubled siblings find success in lessons rooted in grandfather’s teachings, using reclaimed wood to build furniture.
Personal Journeys is now in its fourth year and any trepidation that we might run out of compelling stories to tell has been proven unfounded so far. Here are four very different stories about extraordinary people who are charting new territory in their lives and giving it their all.
Walter Banks looks back over his 50 years with the Atlanta Braves.
Centenarian Sandy West wants to live out her days on Ossabaw Island, but time may be running out.
Jane Warring helped move Leon Sims out of his bug-infested apartment and into her heart.
An update on four extraordinary people who follow the beat of their own drums.
Battle with deadly superbug upends writer’s life. He’s one of the lucky ones.
Luis Diaz, a veteran lacrosse official and a Delta Air Lines retiree who was featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Personal Journeys series in January, received a prestigious lifetime achievement award for mechanics from the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday. Called the Charles
How the mysterious disappearance of Sherron Lankester’s son nearly destroyed her.
The National Book Festival along the Mall in Washington is thronged with readers and authors who’ve come to revel in the written word on this fall day in 2004. Just three years old, the festival has been forged by first lady Laura Bush and the Library of Congress in the belief that literature is a living thing, that the right words, composed in just the right way, can push a life forward.