No. Peach trees are not indigenous to the area. There are 30-odd different streets with Peachtree in their names, and there's a Peach, a Peachford, a Peachwood and five different Peachcrests. But that's not what's confusing about driving in Atlanta.
What's really confusing is this sort of thing: Atlanta's principal north-south non-Interstate arteries are Peachtree and Piedmont. They start out parallel, four blocks apart, headed northeast. Then they go due north for a while, but only three blocks apart. Then West Peachtree suddenly arises to take over Peachtree's course, and Peachtree jogs to the right, so it's only two blocks from Piedmont. Then West Peachtree disappears into Peachtree again. Then Peachtree veers to the northwest and Piedmont to the northeast, so they spread farther and farther apart, and then they swing back together and cross each other, Piedmont going off to the northwest and Peachtree to the northeast. Along the way they both cross Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth streets (there is no First or Second), but neither of them crosses Ninth. Peachtree crosses 11th and 12th; Piedmont intersects with little spurs called 11th and 12th that aren't continuations of the 11th and 12th that Peachtree crosses. Peachtree crosses 13th, Piedmont doesn't. After 14th and 15th, which both Peachtree and Piedmont cross, Piedmont crosses no more numbered streets. Peachtree crosses 16th and 17th, but it skips 18th and 19th. There are no 20th through 24th streets. Twenty-fifth, 26th and 28th make faint impressions on Peachtree. There is no 27th.
There is a Boulevard Drive that's perpendicular to Memorial Drive, and a Boulevard Drive that's parallel to Memorial Drive. And there's something about Monroe Drive—this is hard to explain, but if you stay on Monroe Drive long enough, you find yourself on Piedmont crossing Monroe Drive at a point where you were 20 minutes ago.
What's the weather going to be like?
Atlanta's is one of the finest climates in the U.S. year-round. Except for this time of year. The last time I was in Atlanta in July, I looked out from my air-conditioned room and noticed a nice light rain, so I ventured outside. Instantly I was seized by the sensation that I had become a freshly baked muffin, hot clear through, except here and there on the surface, where, as the tiny raindrops hit me, I felt flecked by spritzes of mint. It was interesting but hardly conducive to enjoyment of outdoor sports.
You don't make Atlanta sound very inviting.
Let me state my bias. I am from Decatur. Decatur could have been Atlanta, but folks didn't want the smoke and the noise of the railroad. When Terminus was founded, a Decaturite said, "The train don't start nowhere, and it don't go nowhere."
Now Decatur is part of metropolitan Atlanta. But Decatur has something that Atlanta doesn't: a focal point, the Decatur Square, with the old courthouse on it. As it happens, the Decatur Square is also Roy A. Blount Plaza, named for my late father, a civic leader who was, among other things, chairman of MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Association, back when the subway system it includes was laid out in the early '70s.
The MARTA subway is quiet and clean, with helpful attendants and attractive stations. In the Peachtree Center station I saw, at last, something indigenously substantial: The rough-hewn walls alongside the tracks are of the same granite through which the tunnel was blasted. If the Atlanta Olympics work out O.K. logistically, I figure MARTA will be the star. Unless the air-conditioning in the cars is overwhelmed and mass suffocation ensues.
What you're saying is, you couldn't find any "there" in Atlanta except in a hole in the ground that you somehow connect with your father?