Category Archives: Interviews

Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital Exposed for Keeping a Secret Waiting List that Caused the Death of 40 Veterans

Video posted by Washington Free Beacon Courtesy of CNN

According to CNN, the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital kept a secret waiting list; as many as 40 U.S. veterans have died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA Hospital. People familiar with the way Phoenix V.A. Hospital operates believe that there may be more than 40 deaths. However, upper management have devised the plan to create two lists, one is the real list, and the other is the decoy list, also coined as the secret waiting list.

When a patient is added to the secret waiting list, then dies waiting for an appointment, they then are removed from that list, ensuring that know one will ever know that the patient was ever there, hence the name “secret waiting list.” The decoy list was created to give the impression of the V.A’s efficiency by alluding to the fact that veterans are being seen and treated within a timely two-week cycle; when in reality it may be several months to over a year before veterans are actually seen and treated.

 CNN correspondent, Anderson Cooper, interviewed a retired VA Physician, who stated that the managements plan was to destroy the evidence of there ever being a waiting list, all for the sake of looking good by showing an improved wait time for patients to be seen and treated. However, they were too late with that plan before being exposed.

The V.A. Hospital is the largest healthcare facility in the country and Serves 8.7 million veterans. According to the Veteran Affairs, “they operate the nation’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliary, readjustment counseling centers, and other facilities.”

Infographic Courtesy of Associate Press

Infographic Courtesy of the Associated Press

According the International Business Times, there is evidence of bonuses awarded to executives at troubled VA hospitals and lengthy ongoing disability claims backlog. This has happened on numerous occasions, more recently in Roanoke Virginia.  The House Committee on Veterans Affairs even created a website  highlighting the V.A’s short comings, here is a copy of a letter  sent from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to President Obama and Secretary Shinseski, April 2013, regarding the claims of the V.A’s slow response time .  Granted, the VA does have numerous veterans that need servicing, however it is inexcusable to allow anyone to die, more specifically a veteran that has entrusted their lives into the hands of the VA. Why should any veteran die simply to have the hospital and management look good at getting veterans in and out in a timely fashion, and to receive a bonus on top of it for doing so?

Here is a clip of one Atlanta’s homeless veterans, Jay Williamson, as he complains about what he had to endure due to the V.A’s slow response about his living situation. Because of the V.A’s slow response, Williamson lost his home and is now living in the Atlanta Mission, a homeless shelter.  Williamson, previously interviewed, complains of waiting for over two years to receive help. “What I can’t understand, is they have all of that government money, I can’t understand why they’re not doing anything; we have needs also” says Williamson.

Veterans, including John L. Stamatiades, left, hold a banner at a news conference to announce a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging the misuse a 390-acre plot of land in West Los Angeles that was donated some 130 years ago to house veterans who need care after traumatic military experiences, at the Los Angeles Veterans Administration center in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 8, 2011. The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs leased much of the property at its West Los Angeles facility to private entities, instead of using it for veterans' permanent supportive housing. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Veterans, including John L. Stamatiades, left, hold a banner at a news conference to announce a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging the misuse a 390-acre plot of land in West Los Angeles that was donated some 130 years ago to house veterans who need care after traumatic military experiences, at the Los Angeles Veterans Administration center in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 8, 2011. The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs leased much of the property at its West Los Angeles facility to private entities, instead of using it for veterans’ permanent supportive housing. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

With the recent uncovering of the secret waiting list, how much more is the public unaware? What other questions needs addressing concerning the V.A? The public needs to know what else is happening behind closed doors that negatively affect the veterans. What can communities do to help the VA better serve the veterans who fought for and served this country, and what can be done to help improve the VA’s response time? These questions must be addressed.

 

Frantz Fortune Takes the Initiative to Help Get Homeless Vets Off the Streets

Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia (VEO) & Frantz Fortune

VEO for Homeless Vets from Dawn on Vimeo.

Frantz Fortune is the Executive Director of Veterans Empowerment Organization, also known as (VEO).  This organization was created & founded by Frantz Fortune, a social worker with years of experience working directly with the homeless population.  40yr old Frantz Fortune is a dedicated husband who has been married 17 years and a father of two, ages 8 years and 16 years old.  Fortune is a native of Haiti and has resided in the states for the past 22 years. Prior to running the VEO Program, Fortune was a real estate investor that began in 1999, up until the economic crash in 2008.  During that time Fortune took advantage of the crash and created an opportunity to build the Veterans Empowerment Organization.  He says it keeps him very busy, but it’s something he loves doing.  Fortune stated “I’m a selfless person and I have a desire to help.”

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Frantz Fortune, Founder and Executive Director of (VEO) Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia, seeking support to help get homeless vets off the streets.

Frantz made a point to say that “I don’t let trouble bother me, I just do what is needed to help.”  He even explained to his     children “you’re going to have to share daddy” knowing that the time spent away from home will be time invested in helping   feed, clothe and shelter the homeless vets and to help them to regain their independence and dignity.  “I have an awesome wife who allows me to be away while she takes care of home, so I can work” says Fortune.  His passion for serving others is a part of who he is but, he also remembers when he left a third world country to come to the United States, how he was afforded opportunities when he needed it; looks like he’s paying it forward, literally Fortune has used most of his own money to develop this program, but he can’t do it alone;  any support is always welcomed and appreciated.

Frantz has big ideas, big dreams and a desire to see a VEO opened in every city and/or state in the U.S.  He would even like to see other organizations like VEO help to solve what he calls a crisis, stating that there are 300,000 homeless vets in the U.S. and 2,000 in Atlanta alone.  He Spends time getting to know the Vets, which helped him to learn the man and understand them as humans and not just homeless.  Fortune is very ambitious in his dreams and desires to help the homeless; he also has a desire and goal to open a canteen to feed the homeless.  According to VEO, today Fortune is helping Atlanta to solve its homelessness problem through his work with The United Way and the Positive Outlook Foundation.  “We seek to create living conditions that will promote independence, dignity, and a sense of purpose for veterans who are currently under served and in need, including the mentally ill, those who have substance abuse problems, or physical disabilities.”

To help Frantz Fortune in his quest to get homeless veterans off the streets, don’t hesitate to stop by the VEO of Georgia to  lend a helping hand or donate food, money, or your time.  They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, every little bit  helps, so be a blessing.

 

 

 

 

 

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5k Run, One of the Largest AIDS Event in the Southeast Gains Over One Million Dollars in Financial Support

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run from Dawn on Vimeo.

AIDS  Organizations Will Receive  Financial Support Thanks to the AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5k Run Annual Event

AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run is an annual event that supports AID Atlanta and seven other AIDS service organizations.  They have been funding support to organizations for 23 years.  It’s one of the largest fundraising events for AIDS in the Southeast United States as well as  the most visible. With this years attendance reaching over 10,000 people.  The AIDS Walk & 5K Run involvement makes it possible for AID Atlanta and the other AIDS organizations continue the work to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. They have funded several programs, including the HIV primary health care, case management, HIV testing & counseling, and also provides support to AID Atlanta’s education program; which provides more than 80,000 prevention contacts annually.

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run at Piedmont Park

2013 AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run at Piedmont Park

Two Women indirectly affected by the disease are Caroline Mitchell and Tanzie Rena. They each give an account of their own personal experience of what it’s like to lose someone to HIV/AIDS. According to Caroline she has lost her brother and sister to AIDS in 1989 at a time when AIDS patients had stigma & discrimination attached.  Her sister was a prostitute and her brother was gay it was one of the toughest times her family had to deal with.

Caroline Tolbert (c) 2013

Caroline Mitchell (c) 2013 photo by D. Garvin

Caroline says “although my mother was always there for all of us, this was the one time she says was unable to fix it.”  During this tough time Caroline tried to be the strength for them all and became the support system for her siblings helping them at their homes.

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The Names Project Quilt laid out for People to Sign

Tanzie Rena’s pain is still fresh after recently losing her child this year just few months earlier to cancer, which may have also been a complication from the HIV virus.  However, Tanzie says “it doesn’t’ matter what my child died from, just not having my son here still hurts all the same.” Tanzie was also in attendance at the Atlanta AIDS Walk & 5k Run event where she signed one of the AIDS Quilt.

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Sal Gangi, College Park Fire Fighter (c) 2013

College Park Fire fighter, Sal Gangi explains the effects of HIV/AIDS and how they handle a call with an infected person.  However, he also reminds us that “it doesn’t matter who people are or whether or not they have HIV/AIDS, everyone is treated fairly and we are here for the people” says Gangi. Gangi’s reputation precedes him for the concern he has for human life  as a professional and simply as a human being.  One great example of that is from a mother of a dying child, Tanzie Rena, who remembers Gangi vividly because of the compassion he displayed to her son during his extreme weak & fragile state two weeks prior to his death.

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Tanzie Rena and Fire Fighter Sal Gangi

According to Tanzie Rena, Sal Gangi was one of the first responders who arrived at her house on an emergency call when her son fell ill from his sickness just two weeks prior to his death.“I remember this fire fighter because of the compassion he showed my son in his sufferings. I remember Mr. Gangi talking to my son the entire time to keep his focus on him and not his circumstance; even talking to him about living in New York City.”  “That stood out to me because he was so kind to my son and  it meant the world to me because no mother wants to see their child suffering”.  I will never forget him for for his kindness” says Tanzie.

College Park Ga. Fire Station (C) 2013

College Park Ga. Fire Station (C) 2013

The Names Project Foundation is Another participant of the event, they’re a non-profit organization and has been around since 1987, and has charge over the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The Creation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Being Made on the Spot at the AIDS Walk Event (C) 2013

The the AIDS Memorial Quilt Being Made on the Spot by Director of Programs, Jada Harris  (C) 2013 Piedmont Park

“The purpose of the quilt is to memorialize the victims of AIDS who has passed on and to help remind people of the seriousness of the disease” says Jada Harris.  According to The Names Project “The Quilt was conceived in November of 1985 by long-time San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones.  Since the 1978 assassinations of gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, Jones had helped organize the annuandlelight march honoring these men.  At the end of the march, Jones and others stood on ladders taping these placards to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building. The wall of names looked like a patchwork quilt.”  After seeing the wall, Jones and friends were inspired to create a larger memorial in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman, which was the inspiration for the quilts first patch a year later.

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Leonard Beaty

Leonard’s Story 2 from Dawn on Vimeo.

 Beaty Spreads the Gospel, Showcase New Talent and Inspires the Students Through Music

Leonard Beaty was born and raised in Rochester NY, in a strict single family home.   He was the third of four siblings.  Music has always been a part of his life.  He spent his whole life in church and his mother played drums and his uncle Andrew Beaty was a national recording gospel artist, formerly in a group called the chronicles, which was the beginning of his love for music.  A home filled with the sound of music set the tone for Beaty’s passion and love for music.  Beaty says when he was a young boy, he asked his godmother to buy him a keyboard and he promised he would always be obedient.  It was that first piece of instrument that started him on his path as a musician.

Leonard Beaty, captured in the back room of Elizabeth Baptist Church as he awaits performance time  (c) 2013  Photo by D. Garvin

Leonard Beaty, captured in the back room of Elizabeth Baptist Church as he awaits performance time
(c) 2013 Photo by D. Garvin

The lost of Beaty’s  grandmother put him in a state of depression. For the first time Beaty put away the keyboard that brought him so much joy. But, time away from playing brought on even more sadness, so Beaty decided to pick up his keys again and began playing.  According to Beaty he “felt a change in his spirit and began playing a new songs.”  Beaty never put the keys down again and began playing in churches as a young boy, as he got older he decided to invest in his own professional keyboard and never put it down again.

 

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Beaty Directs the Music at church (c) 2013

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Elizabeth Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga. (c) 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Record Company Offers Free Classes to Area Teens

James Barlow, also Known to the community as JB.  Barlow has been an Audio Visual Technician for over 25 years.  His role as an Audio Visual Technician has allowed him the opportunity to see and travel the country on many occasions.  Throughout his travels he has met many people in the field and has formed great business relationships/partnerships.

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With the numerous years of AV experience and travel opportunities under his belt, Barlow decided to share his gifts and talents with the youths of Georgia.  Five years ago, Barlow came up with the brilliant idea to form a youth development workshop program that will offer opportunity to students to gain positive influence and pull out creativity, as well as instill leadership skills by teaching team work, job readiness, life skills, audio visual technical skills and the arts. Today this program has come to fruition and is currently located at The West End performing arts center, the name of the program is called Art @ Work.

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Barlow understands the importance of mentoring and how meaningful engagement in arts and education can have a life-changing impact on a youth’s life; while at the same time having a positive benefit to not only the teens, but the organization and the community as a whole. Barlow says “Growing up, I never had a mentor to show me what to do or how to do it. I pretty much had to figure it out on my own.”  As an adult I realize the importance of mentoring and decided to give back to my community by allowing the youth to see the opportunities that lie ahead; opportunities that will help them to be successful in the world of audio visual and the arts.  One of Barlow’s favorite sayings “In order to seize the opportunity, you must to see the opportunity.”

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According to Barlow, some of the business relationships include Wade Jones and L.A. Jackson.  Jones and Jackson are business partners with the Peach City Record label and L.A. Jackson  who’s also the author of his newly released book, Musicology 2101 joined forces to help support Barlow’s dream to teach and support the youth by offering their time, talent and expertise.

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Independent Talent Come Together To Introduce Angelic Singz To The Atlanta Trance Dance Music Scene

Angelic Singz 3 from Dawn on Vimeo.

Angelic Singz, another one of Atlanta’s independent talent working her way into the music Industry debuting her first single called Atl Pretty Girls. Although this is Angelic’s first song to be released under nuqis music.  According to her producer, Angelic is no stranger to music and she also has a background of opera singing under her belt.  She performed at the 2013 Black History Month Parade in Atlanta, and is now being groomed to create an image for mainstream music. Angelic is realizing that it takes more than just pretty voice to make it in this industry, but a recognizable image necessary. The look for the cover of the Atl Pretty Girl Remix was implemented by Ward, however the style was a creation of Angelic, the image was the driving force of nuqis music and the creative eye was for the photos was from A. LO Photography. The overall collaboration from the three helped to pull together a great look and image for Angelic and  the C D cover for Atl Pretty Girls remix.

Herman Ward fondly known to his peers as Kat, is a local producer who has come a long way in the years of working in the music industry. Ward has worked his way up from production technician on tours ranging from Neyo to Usher and Janet Jackson to Limp Bizkit, just to name a few. He’s has produced music ranging from Hip Hop, rock and funk. He say’s “the mixture of genres is the formula he uses to create his style of dance music for nuqis music.  Nuqis Music and Angelic joined forces in collaboration for the Song Atl Pretty girls, which he says is the “Anthem for the pretty girls of Georgia.”

Arioel Lopez, also known as A. LO, is a man of many talents, he’s not only a successful photographer with a creative eye, but is also a popular online radio host for independent artist called B100radio.com. A. LO also understands the importance of image from a perspective of both a photographer and a host for independent artists. He was hired to incorporate his skills and expertise to help make the vision come alive.

 

L. A. Jackson Celebrates The First Release of His Seven Volume Book “Musicology 2101”

LA Jackson 091413 2 from Dawn on Vimeo.

On September 14, 2013, Friends, family and music Industry players come together in support of L.A Jackson for his newly released book Musicology 2101 at his book signing party, the book was released earlier this year.  The event was held in Riverdale, Ga. a popular south side spot called Blitz Sports Bar & Grill. Also in attendance was Wade Jones, business partner/Co-Founder of the Peach City Record label. Jones and Jackson have formed not only a great business/partnership, but they’ve also formed a great friendship in the process, as Jones speaks highly of Jackson and shows strong support of  his book.

The book signing also included a sneak peek of a few of the artists on his Exposer 3, CD.  Artists include, Warren J. Gallimore, Kimosha Letoi, Lion Tafari, Elliot Holden, Doja and last but not least, Young Steve released through L.A Jackson’s own MKM Multi-Media Works Entertainment.  The book signing was also an opportunity to introduce a few of the artists that’s a part of the MKM Entertainment Company. It was a great turn out, lots of  fun, food, music and great performances, enough to satisfy the senses. To find out more information about what L.A Jackson, the artists on the compilation Exposer CD and“Peach City Records” are up to, check out his Facebook page.

 

Andrew Gunn Brings The Music To The Streets of Atlanta At The 2013 Dragon Con Event

20130830 Dragoncon2 dg from Dawn on Vimeo.

Andrew Gunn, a traveling street musician who sings and plays guitar on the road. Gunn is straight out of Massachusetts, making his latest stop all the way in Atlanta Georgia for one of the largest multi-media popular culture conventions that “focuses on science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art music film and the universe” known as Dragon Con.  Gunn found a great location in downtown Atlanta, where thousands of people were for the event. Gunn says he will make his next stop in Florida as he continues his musical journey playing where the spirit leads.  He says jokingly that he will head south for the winter, however south is the direction he will be heading.  Gunn, moves around frequently on a budget, resting in different locations and as he puts it, sofa surfing.  Be on the lookout for Andrew, as he may be seen in a city near you.

 

Insurance Just May Be Your New Best Friend


The Value of Insurance, Protect Yourself

This an audio documentary about the value of having insurance as a part of our everyday needs and insurance agent, Richard Horton of American Family Insurance in East Point Georgia discuss how vitally important it is in today’s world to have Insurance.  Insurance today is more than just a basic need; it’s become a vital part of our everyday existence.  You may have never thought about how much you need insurance and for what, however when you really understand how it all works you’ll realize that you need insurance as protection, just as you would protect yourself in your home or a covering over your head, remember to cover yourself with insurance.

There are so many options out there today and now with extra added person attention with some.  There are so many to choose from, but do your homework, be smart and protect yourself with health, everyone needs health insurance, you never know when that medical emergency will happen, life insurance is important because you not only protect yourself, but the your family’s future, and there is car, everyone may not have a car, but remember, if you have a car that’s ten years old or more, full coverage isn’t necessary, so you can pocket what’s left and all business should be covered when you’re dealing with people and the public, it’s to protect yourself.  So, no matter how you look at it, protect and cover your assets, know that there is value in you.

 

Evanjahlist “The Music Man” Of Midtown Atlanta at Little Five Points

Evan, fondly known to the Little Five Points community in Midtown Atlanta as Evanjahlist, who’s a celebrity in his own right.  Evanjahlist says his first name is Evan and he created the add-on “Jahlist” as a last name and prefers to be called Evanjahlist (as in Evangelist).  The name represents the biblical term to spread the good word/message and reaching many people.

Evanjahlist sits on the streets of Atlanta's Little Five Points district stopping to take a break away from the drumming in order to stop & talk with  his drums while a spectator. August 10, 2013

Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013 Evanjahlist sits on the streets of Atlanta’s Little Five Points district stopping to take a break away from the drumming in order to  chat a moment with a spectator.              August 10, 2013

Evanjahlist is a 44yr old man who is currently homeless, he says he use to do art, stones and jewelry, but he doesn’t do it anymore and prefers to do music.  He has played drums since he was 12yrs old and he also sang in the choir.  Evanjahlist moved to Atlanta from Miami, during the 1996 Olympics, but has visited Georgia regularly every summer from childhood.  He says “although he lived in Miami, he grew up in Atlanta.”

He believes that Atlanta has the best culture, art and music scene around and says “that’s why I love Atlanta so much.”  Evanjahlist loves all genres of music and finds peace of mind and joy spreading love through his music to the community he plays in.  As he plays his homemade drum set made from two 5 gallon water jugs, a milk crate for a seat and a wooden spoon to hold his symbol in place and beating the drums with his hand and a wooden stick, Evanjahlist creates wonderful music.  Evan has been a part of the community for the past 17 yrs and is very well known by most people in the community.

Evanjahlist, the man of the community tells a little bit of his story as to why he plays on the streets of  Little Five Points in Midtown Atlanta He reminisces w/a pleasant memories. Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the man of the community tells a little bit of his story as to why he plays on the streets of Little Five Points in Midtown Atlanta
He reminisces w/a pleasant memories.
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

He was forced to move from one location, stating that he was told that he needed to get a permit to perform.  “It’s very hard to get a permit” says Evan, “so I moved to this location, where the spirit led me and I love this location.”

Evanjahlist, looks on talking to the people when they stop to ask questions.  Little Five Points, August 10, 2013 Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, looks on talking to the people when they stop to ask questions. Little Five Points, August 10, 2013
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist states that “he is not out robbing people, but is making an honest living.”  Although Evan is currently homeless and struggling, he keeps a great spirit and sees beauty in the world around him and just wants to share the good news and his music to the world while bringing a smile to the faces around him.

Evanjahlist watches as a young girl drops money into the bucket as he sits in front of a building playing his music.  August 10, 2013 Atlanta, Midtown's popular Little Five Points. Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist watches as a young girl drops money into the bucket as he sits in front of a building playing his music. August 10, 2013 Atlanta, Midtown’s popular Little Five Points.
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the music man stops to count his money after the bucket gets a little full and puts it away to prevent any temptation of theft. Midtown, Atlanta Little Five Points district.  August 10, 2013  Photo by: D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist, the music man stops to count his money after the bucket gets a little full and puts it away to prevent any temptation of theft. Midtown, Atlanta Little Five Points district. August 10, 2013 Photo by: D. D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist bucket is slowly filling up, but a little more help is always good.  He can always be found in Midtown Atlanta's Little Five Points district. August 10, 2013 Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

Evanjahlist bucket is slowly filling up, but a little more help is always good. He can always be found in Midtown Atlanta’s Little Five Points district.
August 10, 2013
Photo by D. Garvin/Journalist (c) 2013

So, the next time you’re in Midtown Atlanta in the Little Five Points district, don’t hesitate to drop by to say hello to Evanjahlist and Bless him with a little drop in the bucket.