I’ve always been partial to trivia — even before it was called trivia. My mind seems to be a natural storehouse for useless facts of little importance or value. When the board game Trivial Pursuit first came out I would sit and play it for hours. And I didn’t cheat, no matter what the late Mike Chonko might have had you believe.
My kids inherited my penchant for things trivial and on our many treks across this great country we would transport an edition or two of our favorite trivia game and play whenever time permitted. It was always me against the rest of the family and I was undefeated in all 50 states.
As of late I cannot make that claim. My kids have out-degreed me and they have a grasp of useless information in a plethora of fields. Plus, I am old and tired and have succumbed to CRS — can’t remember stuff — disease. I put up a game fight when we play but haven’t actually won a contest in a couple of years.
When this column began — way back in the previous century — I offered an annual contest, complete with prizes and everything. The Internet sort of rendered the competition moot after a couple of years because everybody could find out everything in a matter of seconds. Everything except my one great unanswered question — Who was Cookie French?
Well, this is not a contest and please do not e-mail me your answers, but just for fun, let’s play a little trivia today. Gather your friends around and see who can answer these old Atlanta questions first. And at least try to come up with the answers before you start to Google the questions.
We’ll start with an underhand toss. First three questions:
Who was Officer Don’s puppet friend on the Popeye Club? What do the initials C&S stand for in C&S Bank and where was Funtown located?
See how easy that was? Why don’t you give yourself 5 points apiece if you knew those answers. How do you know if you knew them? Look ’em up later.
OK. Here are a few 8-pointers. What would you probably be shopping for if you made a special trip to Thompson, Boland, Lee? Where was the Magnolia Tea Room located? Who was the original host of Stars of Tomorrow?
Ready for a few 10-pointers? Here you go.
What was the name of the most famous gorilla ever to call the Atlanta Zoo home? Who was said gorilla named for? And speaking of the Atlanta Zoo, who provided the original narrative for the soundtrack accompanying the presentation at the Cyclorama?
How are we doing so far? If you aren’t from around here feel free to call in a local for help — if you can find one — and if you are way too young to answer — or even understand — many of these questions, cozy up to an oldster. They would appreciate the attention.
Twelve-point questions: Who was Country Brown and what did the call letters WSB stand for when they were first introduced to the radio world? When WSB became a television station, what name was given to their headquarters building?
Boy, we are having fun now.
Fifteen points each. Who preceded Larry Munson as Georgia’s play-by-play man? Who were the two broadcasters in the booth during the Brave’s first year in Atlanta and what two famous structures sat across from one another on the upper end of Ponce De Leon Avenue until the mid-’60s.
Give yourself 18 points if you know, off the top of your head, what Brenda Mae Tarpley was best known for. Take another 18 if you know who held a non-existent flip-flop parade every 4th of July in beautiful downtown Tucker. You might as well get 18 points for knowing the name of Atlanta’s Mr. Anonymous, too.
We are almost done. Twenty points if you know the name of the only restaurant in America where you could get fried chicken and a pick handle on the same visit and 20 more if you know where Hosea Williams made his final civil rights march.
Ready for a big finish? Here we go. This is a 25-point bonus question and might make the difference in winning and losing — if, of course, we were going to have a winner or a loser. What did Herman Talmadge call the $50,000 his wife found in his overcoat pocket?
Now, that ought to keep you busy for a while. If you want to score what you knew off the top of your head, there are 269 points available. If you scored 250 or more you and I need to have a glorified walking and a bag of strings at the Varsity. I’ll buy. You’re a true native.
If you scored in the 225 range you probably visited Storyland when you were down on Stewart Avenue having fun. Two hundred points or more? I’m almost positive you rode the Pink Pig when you were little.
Now if you scored between 150 and 200 you probably moved here after 285 was completed. 100-150, you weren’t born in Atlanta but you got here as soon as you could. Fifty to 100 points? Well bless your heart.
And if you scored fewer than 50 points? Delta is ready when you are. Go back to Newark before it’s too late!
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.