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A Wedding, a Bulldog and the Graduate

Immediately after Christmas I headed the Honda north to my old stompin' grounds Athens, Georgia. The occasion was the nuptials of two wonderful women who've been partners for over 25 years. It was one of the sweetest weddings I've ever attended. The love in the room was palpable with nieces and nephews officiating, hearts overflowing with support, and darling little girls swirling to the music provided by none other than my sweetheart Joe Green.

Wedding guests stayed at a delightful little hotel called Graduate Athens which had sprung up 30 yards from the old farmhouse where I lived decades ago as a college co-ed. The hotel was so clever and original that I'm veering from my usual personal art themes and devoting this blog to the hotel.

The look was kitschy and the vibe was silly fun. My pictures don't quite capture the mood so I nabbed a couple off the hotel website. Notice the wood framed rectangle in top left of the lobby photo. That's a coffee shop and the walls are covered in bad 50's art including needlepoint violets, pastel robins, oil portraits and little random sketches. Most of the art appeared to be old 'Good Houskeeping craft projects' and work from beginning high school art classes. Without being an art snob, let's just say the artists responsible probably didn't attend the University on art scholarships!

Below is a pic of our king room. Be sure to note the orange Naugahyde tufted headboard, the concrete bulldog lamp, the plaid wool blanket and the bedside table made from stacked cases. Doesn't it just make you swoon?

Little details showed up everywhere setting the 50's mood, from a vintage radio and room keys fashioned from old student IDs to a hotel information folder made from a classic black and white composition notebook.

The bathroom held big candid photos of college antics framed and hung on red polka dot wall paper. I had time to take a closer look at the tiny fuzzy polka dots when I slowed down and took a seat on the john,. Low and behold they weren't dots at all! The photo below is greatly enlarged to show the details. The actual dots were less than 1/8th of an inch and could go completely undetected by a less discerning eye.

Amateur hobby art was the rage at Graduate Athens and it kept showing up in the most unexpected places. This time on the credenza...well actually it was the credenza! Behind the lovely framed portraits was a mini fridge and those hotel drawers I never bother to use.

If you are traveling through Athens and need a place to lay your head, step back in time and get a little 1950's shuteye at Graduate Athens. Don't forget to hang your 'do not disturb sign' on the door.

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