N. Fulton Flashback, 1981: New Year’s Eve reflection on suburban life


"North Fulton Flashback" is a look through The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s news archives at historical events that have helped shape the region. Plan to see a distinct mixture of both serious and quirky news stories from our stash.

On the final day of 1981, The Atlanta Constitution published a reflective look at suburban life in North Fulton.

Despite being written 35 years ago, much of what North Fulton EXTRA reporter Jim McCown said is still applicable today.

It eloquently began:

"It was a year of paving way for the future while trying not to blacktop the past. It was a year of allowing growth without destroying a way of life. 

In other words, it was just another year in the life of North Fulton County, USA.

North Fulton has for years been in the enviable position of being one of the most prosperous areas in the South. But dancing to the music of suburban life has its price -- often paid in the form of rezoning battles, threats of annexation and legendary rush hour traffic.

The end of the year is a time when area observers try to sit back and spot trends. But like the length of skirts and Dow Jones averages, it's hard to tell whether the trends are upward or downward, or whether things will change altogether in one day's time."

The article went on to discuss evidence of a burgeoning animosity between “city dwellers” and “suburbanites” over the proposed extension of Ga. 400.

The public outcry resulted in a “split” between Atlanta and surrounding communities.

The year was then broken down by month with a “few highlights of 1981, North Fulton style.”

In April, Honda announced plans to move its regional parts warehouse from Gwinnett to Alpharetta.

July saw the indictment of a man in the shooting death of a Fulton County policeman at the Prado shopping mall in Sandy Springs.

The following month, a Fulton officer was cleared in the shooting death of a 19-year-old man in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

In November, Roswell residents protested the showing of the R-rated version of an X-rated film, Caligula.

And in December, “North Springs High School’s hopes for a state championship football title were dashed with a 15-7 loss to Commerce.”

A look at North Fulton life as told on New Year's Eve, 1981 by Becca Godwin on Scribd