Charles Salter’s “Georgia Rambler” columns have been collected in a new book.
For decades, his old clips and photographs remained in the basement. Then in 2010, the "Georgia Rambler" was resurrected thanks to a segment on "This American Life," a weekly show produced by Chicago Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International. Salter's daughter-in-law, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lisa Pollak, is a producer on "This American Life," and she and several others traveled south to reprise Salter's former gig. After the "Georgia Rambler" episode aired on July 30, 2010, Salter heard from the History Press in Charleston, S.C. A collection of his old columns was published last year.
"It was really heartwarming to know that after all these years, people would still be interested in the old human interest stories," Salter said. "So many people are transferred to Atlanta and they live inside 285. They might go down to Jekyll Island, they might go down to Savannah, but they don't see what I call the real Georgia."
"The Georgia Rambler: A Potter's Snake, the 'Real Thing' Recipe, a Satilla Adventure and More" is available at historypress.net or amazon.com.
With summer winding down, here are a few more titles to take you on a literary roadtrip through Georgia:
"Between, Georgia" by Joshilyn Jackson (Grand Central Publishing, 2006, 304 pages). Small town meets family drama with lots of wacky characters and a few spooky elements tossed in for good measure. Is there a better combination?
"The Orchard" by Jeffrey Stepakoff (Thomas Dunne Books, 2011, 336 pages). Overworked Atlantan steps out of her stilettos to seek refuge in the North Georgia mountains and crosses paths with a handsome apple farmer. Mmm. Delicious.
"My Reading Life" by Pat Conroy (Nan A. Talese, 2010, 352 pages). The chapter of this nonfiction book set in Atlanta chronicles the novelist's time here. It's a fascinating look back at the early days of Atlanta's now flourishing literary community. (Michael Jackson once stopped by a now-shuttered Juniper Street used book store in search of a rare volume? Who knew?)
"Searching for Eternity" by Elizabeth Musser (Bethany House, 2007, 428 pages). A French teenager is shipped off to live with relatives in Atlanta in the 1960s. As the city navigates the civil rights era, he must learn strange new customs, such as eating Varsity hot dogs instead of the baguettes and jam he loved at home.
"Silver Sparrow" by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books, 2011, 352 pages). Two girls share one father, who tries to keep their paths from ever crossing. That works about as well as you'd expect, and the girls' relationship propels the narrative.
"In My Father's Garden" by Lee May (University of Alabama Press, 2002, 224 pages). In this elegantly written and often funny memoir, a shared love of the earth helps a Georgia gardener and his estranged father reunite.