Once Upon a Time in ATL

I found myself awake and restless this morning, the melatonin wore off and the brain started running. I thought, for no reason other than it happened, about 2005 the Summer to Fall season when I worked downtown in Atlanta at the historic Atlanta College of Art. A performance artist who went by the moniker Baton Bob Spreader of Mirth, fresh out of St. Louis Mo. made his debut on Peachtree Street- marching up and down in his Cheerleader costume with his Baton waiving, five days a week.

So, who cares, right?

Well, Baton Bob was from StL, where my second brother (his stage name is Craig Mayhem) resides and was acquainted with each other from their local performance art scene. When Baton Bob traveled to ATL, Craig sent him my way, not thinking anything would come of it…

Well, this was my second year as the Academic Advisor of The Atlanta College of Art on 1280 Peachtree St. downtown, you see, and my new office was on the second floor of the Woodruff Arts Center building. Huge interior windows overlooked the glass frontage of Peachtree St. and one day- in walks Baton Bob.

With a smile on his face, he stated his name, his mission and that he needed a place to change and store his street clothes while performing and that my brother said I was cool. So for the next year prior to the closing of the 106 year old Atlanta College of Art Baton Bob used the Woodruff as his changing room and my office as a locker whilst he spread Mirth and Melody on Peachtree Street in the ATL. Weather permitting.

ACA closed the following year, Baton Bob got married and I haven’t seen him since. But I can say that’s a thing that happened!

One thought on “Once Upon a Time in ATL

  1. Wow, such an awesome story. All the things that I never knew or partially knew. I heard about the Atlanta College of Art from Nathaniel Hawthorne, a former student currently working at Callanwolde as an oil painting instructor. I am missing you at EGW, the place has changed a lot since I began in 2018. Ralph retired and Karl’s last day is June 2022.

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