Ever since COVID-19 starting making history in our local community, families have had more time at home to stream content, ponder the future, and think about the past. Families are talking about their memories and sharing stories and maybe even cooking up an old recipe or two. These times, in some ways, can connect us to our past. Just think about grandparents and great-grandparents, think about what it must have been like to live with real social distance. How grateful and excited it might have been to just ride down the road and visit someone on their front porch, play rook, or pick a little music with one another? I think about my own family’s reunions and the joy that the older folks got from sharing a meal and talking while all us kids wondered what the big deal was. These days, it’s a bit easier to relate. At least now we have the time to cook a meal with our families again without having to plan the rest of out lives around that simple act.
Something my grandparents also used to do was sit around the living room and listen to an old Firestone manufactured radio that stood like a piece of furniture where a TV might be today. They gathered around and listened to an old radio show, and we hope that in this season you might consider doing the same with our local history podcast!
So far on the show, we’ve covered a good bit of our history in Gwinnett. At the same time, we’ve barely even scratched the surface. If you go all the way back to the start, we kicked things off with an overview of Gwinnett History in our Eph. 00… That was last November when we were just figuring things out, we thank Gwinnett Magazine’s Guide To Gwinnett for supporting and starting the show, and after a 3 part series on Button Gwinnett, some mind benders from Lake Lanier, and a more personal holiday special we broke into the new year. We’ve talked about the Gold Rush that came to Gwinnett back in the day and we have had a lot to talk about in the 3 part series we wrapped up in March on the 1920s in Gwinnett. From the Birth of Ezzard Charles and an overview of Jim Crowe Georgia as we entered black history month, to a look at early education 100 years ago off Old Fountain road. We also over-viewed several of the happenings around Gwinnett in the Twenties such as the musical career of Gid Tanner and the Skillet lickers, to a female mayor in Duluth that jump started great parks in Gwinnett, and we even found a pot of Gold and some oil in a well in Dacula. Finally, we discovered that what goes around comes around, and sometimes the old rails get turned into walking trails as we rediscovered the Lawrenceville Branch Railroad.
Today, there’s a lot more listeners than we first started with. With over 10 shows, now at over 1600 listeners, I was very pleased to know that it’s more than just a few of us that care about our local history, and I’m sure there are thousands more of us that have yet to discover the podcast. So… keep sharing and talking about the show. It makes 100% of the difference.
Today, I’m very pleased to call our first season to a close with a very special history of one of our Gwinnett cities. Last fall, a team of local historians completed a journey and a documentary film about the history of Buford, Georgia. Lynn Bowman, who operates the Buford Museum in downtown Buford produced the feature. I had the pleasure of meeting Lynn on a local access TV show years ago, and he’s been a consistent source of historical fact for writers, publications, and visitors to Buford, Georgia for decades now.
Lynn paired up with director Ernie Mosteller at Okra Entertainment, and the project was brought to Lynn by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who sought to record the oral history of the city and The Bona Allen Company that helped make the city what it is today.
Make sure you check out the film, and go buy the DVD and Blu-Ray next time you stop by the Buford Museum. I personally got to attend the premiere of the film at the Sylvia Beard Theatre. Having produced half a dozen documentary films, I can tell you that making a film of any kind isn’t easy. The research, the hours of choosing what to include and what to take out. How an interview will look, and acquiring the rights to visual aids such as photographs and film footage takes a long time, and this project took Lynn and Ernie over 2 years to complete.
After talking with Lynn, he was kind enough to let us cover this history of Buford by using clips from the film. So, we’re excited to talk about Buford, The Leather City. As told by these incredible local historians.
We hope you enjoy and we’ll be back soon with a second season!