SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW...map
There's always these polls going on in Creative Loafing or whatever asking what's the best Atlanta's got to offer. One of the more peculiar categories is best street character. Baton Bob usually wins. Bicycle Pants Man of Ponce gets some play. But what about us OTP folks? What do we have to offer?
Well, we got a public citizen who is just as interesting, doesn't get the press, and is a bit more subdued, a more OTP kind of crazy. He's the Guy playing Guitar while walking up and down the Giant Block of Granite, the Stone Mountain Songman, His name is either Roy or Tony (I usually get it wrong) and he has two passions in life: Walking up Stone Mountain, and playing guitar. So, a couple of years ago, he decided to combine the two. So now, if your timings right, you can walk up the beautiful mountain to sounds of "One" by U2, or you can see the sunset to the sounds of "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals (Two of my faves by the Stone Mountain Songman).
I tried to tip him once and he refused, He said he's not there to make money, though he's glad to hear that the music is appreciated.
Now, if you get a chance, he'll converse for a bit. Not for long, he'd rather be picking and singing. But he's an interesting guy, and actually one of the inspirations for this website. He said that he walks up and down the mountain about two hundred times a year. He challenged me to try to do it 100 times: that random challenge was the start on me getting out and about more. He said that his best time up and down is about 20 minutes (that's of course without the guitar). [as of July 19, 2007: I've been up the Mountain 44 times this year and my best time is 40:06, before you laugh you try it].
He's a bit of a philospher, and has told me, "Nothing bad ever happens up here, all the bad is down there" and that the "Secret to long life is living life more vertically." (I am paraphrasing but he would agree with the sentiments, I'm sure.)
Now, if you've ever been up the mountain you should be impressed by the fact that the Guitarman can sing while he does it. Remember its a little over a mile up, and you get an elevation gain over Six Hundred feet.
If you see him, thank him for the music. And if you get a chance to vote for him somewhere, do it.