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A "Hidden Figure": Rev. Bradell Allison-Martin

by Tony Lowe (with additions by Vernard Martin)

Sitting with her husband in a city council chamber meeting that was filled to capacity in Hogansville on January 4, 2016, Rev. Bradell Allison-MArtin watched as the first African American Councilwoman was sworn into office.This moment was lost on most, but her presence was spcial for a reason.

Rev. Martin, a local civil rights activitst and organizer, who worked alongside her male contemporaries in the 1960s and early 1970s to make our county a better place, departed life on March 28th at the Wellstar West Georgia Hospice in Lagrange, GA at the age of 75.

The recent hit movie, "Hidden Figures", reminds us that there are still untold human stories. So with word of her death on Tuesday, it is appropriate during national Women's History Month, March, to celebrate her life as a hidden civil rights figure.

After graduating from West End High School in Hogansville in 1958, she worked briefly as a school secretary in the Meriwether Conty School, but spent most of life self-employed as a seamestress. A skill that he explained was taught by her grandmother.

As the late Lucious Glenn and Harold Smith began to establish the West Side Voter League, a non-partisan political organization in Hogansville in the late 1960's, Rev Bradell MArtin was right there alongside them. She believed in the old saying, "a vote-less are a hopeless people". Thus, she helped push for increased voter registration, and sought more inclusive representation in government.

Rev Martin previously recounted to me some of their early mobilizing efforts in Hogansville and across Troup County to make it a better place to live for all. Once organizing African Americans in the cities of Hogansville and West POint, they moved towards lagrange, the county seat.

Efforts in Lagrange proved far more difficult due to opposition from elected officials and local mils, explained Rev. Martin. In fact, many African Americans interested in organizing were threatned with job loss.

They had to use a different approach. So, along with Howard SMith and Lucious Glenn of Hogansville, and Rev Jackson of the 1st Street Baptist Church in Lagrange, she expained taht they devised a plan to create a "social club", as a decoy.

The success of the "ruse" completed the establshment of a network of political committies county wide.

Still, Bradel was not satisfied. She later broke new ground by becoming the first African American woman minister licensed in the Lagrange district and could be found delivering the Word in all areas of west Georgia.

She leaves behind a devoted husband, former councilman Charlie Frank Martin, four children, Vardis Tryone, Vickye Lynn, Vincent Frank and Vernard Charles, three grandchildren: Cory, Lynnsey and Christopher and two great grandchildren, Colton and Royce.
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Yes. Yes I do. For the same reason that I used to blog way back when. To get my thoughts down. To interact with other folks that spend time putting their thoughts down. As a log of myself and to remind myself that words matter.

So yeah, I'm doing this again. Good buy Livejournal. Hello Dreamwidth.
vernard: (scarletletter)
This was originally posted on my facebook account but I also wanted to put it here as this is my
personal journal.

Karsten Schwan died.

Karsten was my PhD advisor during my long and ultimately failed attempt to obtain a PhD at GA Tech. It wasn't his fault though. Far from it. Of the both of us, I have to confess that Karsten probably worked harder on my PhD than I ever did. Not necessarily on the science part of it but definitely on me the person. Karsten continued to support and believe in me far longer than any advisor would have done. And I know for a fact that he got an earful about it from some of his colleagues. All. The. Time. He even took me back as a student after I took a leave of absence after my divorce from my first wife. I can't imagine what folks were saying about him after that. But not a word of it reached my ear from him. Not an ounce of negativity. None. You often hear about unwavering loyalty. Well I’ve seen it.

When I announced that I was dropping out of the PhD program for good, Karsten again never said one negative word. Not one. Over the next 10+ years he was always happy to see me and always wanted to know what I was doing in my career. Despite not finishing my PhD, he still made me feel like I was one of his "kids". That meant a lot to me.

I got an opportunity to briefly work with him again on a small project while I was working at The Emory Center for Comprehensive Informatics. He was the same old Karsten. Full of absolutely brilliant ideas and enthusiasm but impressively humble at the same time. Those are rare qualities these days.
He was an amazing researcher but an even more amazing person. I don’t honestly recall if i ever told him that to his face. He probably would have blushed and played it down. That was just his style.

I miss him already.
vernard: (Default)
At least publically. I still use LJ as my own personal journal. But I've been ignoring the "live" part for a long time. Seems that most folks are on other social networks such as Google Plus, Facebook and twitter. Which are both fine but seem a lot more impersonal and for the "quick and dirty" updates.

I do miss LJ. I miss the community that seemed to be built around it. FB and others seem to be more like sound bites than real stories.

Anyway, who is still around here?
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I've just been using this journal as a private journal. I'm afraid that there just isn't that much "live" in my "livejournal" as of late.

Anyway, what is going on.

I got engaged on November 5th to Cynthia Bess. The wedding is on July 28th in Marietta. If you don't get an invite, don't feel insulted. Between our two families we easily can get 60 folks so there wasn't much room for friends. We'll be hosting a reception party at a later date for all the folks that would like to come. We just can't afford to host a wedding reception for 300 folks. Nor would we want to as there is no way to really enjoy everyone there with that many folks present.

We will be staying at my house in Tucker. And doing some renovations to my bachelor pad to make it fit for human company ;)

That is a quick thing for now. More later.


Jan. 3rd, 2012 07:59 am
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I'm about to head off to the first day of work in 2012. Depending on who you listen to it, 2012 is the supposed end of the world. How convenient it would be if that were true.

What would you do if you were certain it was the end of the world? Would you descend into total anarchy? Or would you use each day as if it were the most precious thing ever.

I guess what really matters is not whether it IS the end of the wolrd this year but whether you live like it is.

Happy New Year.


Mar. 27th, 2011 09:13 pm
vernard: (Default)
I'm sure I missed this during the great LJ exodus but why did people switch from LJ to DreamWidth?
vernard: (Default)
While I can talk like I've been beat to death with the Blarney Stone, writing seems to be not as easy. I can do it mind you. I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote an absurd amount of words in a month. But it was like pulling teeth. One of the things about that contest is that you are forced to generate content even if its bad. It gets you into the habit of writing and then you can refine later. The truth is that most good writers don't get it right the first time. They have to iterate. They find the plot holes just like everybody else does. But they are so close to it that its harder for you. So you avoid it. But when you are just starting out, generating words is the hard part.

For me, I'm a perfectionist with my writing. That's why its so hard. I am actually constantly rewritnig everything as the characters are hitting the page and that means I end u pgoing back a lot. And "perfection" is the enemhy of "good enough". The real world has enough plot holes in it already. Its overwhelmingly egotistical of me to think that I can do better with no practice.

So as of late I've started writing more and not focusing on the refinement. It does generate a lot of text that way. And I'm discovering that refining/editing your own work is the most horrible job any person can have. Torturous as you blast yourself about bad things but don't give yourself credit on the good stuff. And I'm writing the stories that I would want to hear. ones that if someone else were to have written it, I would rush to the bookstore to purchase it. Its that sort of inspiration that I think writers possess. They are often tortured by it as well as any other writer will say.

I don't care if I' a published author. I don't care if I never make a penny off of the stuff I write.

I just want to tell a story.
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For those of you that are on the bad side of a heartbreak. And your Valentine isn't yours anymore.

There is a song for that.

I present to you "Valeintines" by Zac Brown Band
Temporarily available here:
Zac Brown Band is a great band. I had the privilege of hearing them at Smith's Olde Bar before they made it big. I can honestly say that success has not changed them.


Well my day is through
And all these cards and flowers
They just make me feel used
And the hour is mine
On Valentines

So I broke the vase
Yes, I've had enough
I've got to leave this place
I'm surrounded by your stuff
It's been a month full of Mondays
And I'm trying to pull through
Do you know what it's like to have a valentine
That doesn't have you?

And I'll try, I'll try to keep my chin up high
There's just something about the color of your blue eyes
And I'll lie to my pride to keep my chin up high
Morning blue says "I'm your fool"
And it's killing me
Cutting me through

Mr. Darkness it's been awhile since I've seen you
You just come around right when my hurting seems through
Everyone gets someone and darkness I got you
Do you know what it's like to have a valentine
That doesn't have you

Although I'll try, I'll try to keep my chin up high
There's just something about the color of your blue eyes
And I'll lie to my pride to keep my chin up high
Morning blue says "I'm your fool"
And it's killing me
Cutting me through

Ate a whole bag of candy hearts I had for you
I took in the colors, I remained blue
None of the damn little words on 'em would be true
Do you know what it's like to have a Valentine
That doesn't have you?

And I'll try, I'll try to keep my chin up high
There's just something about the color of your blue eyes
Father times creeps on by
Morning blue says "I'm your fool"
And it's killing me
Cutting me through

Do you know what it's like to have a valentine
That doesn't have you?

Cue meme

Jan. 20th, 2011 03:58 pm
vernard: (Default)
I took the AD&D Stats Quiz and got these stats:

I personally think that the constitution is a bit low but I can live with everything else.

Take the quiz yourself at


Nov. 8th, 2010 12:27 am
vernard: (Default)
Wow. The world is silent for the first time in ages. Its eerie.

and beautiful.


Oct. 4th, 2010 08:56 am
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*drags out a very large telescope*

*drags out a large book on famous stars*

*flips pages until he gets to the N section*

*has an aha momemnt*

*points his telescope towards Douglasville*

And thus I have foudn the biggest star I can think of beginning with N.

Happy Birthday Dr. Nebula!
vernard: (Default)
We need technicians, for our client here in Atlanta, Ga our client has several open positions (5 to 6 needed) re hourly rate technicians, Mon. to Fri 40-45 hours per week both first and second shift, hourly rate is 18 to 20 an hour we need candidates asap, we will even pursue candidates with 6 months exp., right out of school, candidate must be able to solder required, and work with electronic circuits any school exp. or hands on exp. helpful see job desc below thanks for your refers and help
Michael A. Nutley
JRN & Associates
770-433-8507 Dir.#

Test Technician Job Desc
JRN Associates client located in Georgia is looking for several Test Technicians, these are fulltime hourly rate positions working for our client
Performs product verification tests on customer returned product . Runs automated and manual tests on circuit card assemblies. Works from defined and undefined documentation.
• Tests variety of modules, units and/or subassemblies. Uses defined and undefined documentation, schematics, notes and/or self-devised processes.
• Operates semi-automatic or manual test equipment stations -- analog, RF, video, audio, D/C circuits, optics, High-Speed data through put, Bulk Call Generation, T1/E1 Services, (voice/data/video interoperability) and power supply.
• Tests standard modules and assemblies, using test procedures or work instructions/aids.
• Troubleshoots test failures of complex boards using schematics.
• Complies with Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Handling Precautions, and safety procedures.
• Uses assembly-aids, such as microscopes, electrical and electromechanical test devices.
• Reworks units or subassemblies and perform visual inspection to ensure completion of assembly.
• May be required to modify document to reflect changes.
• Assist Manufacturing Engineering in resolving design and production problems.
• Minimum Education Level: Associate of Science Degree (A.S); Ability to read, understand, speak and write English
• Solder Skills: Ability to hand solder and desolder surface mount components.
• experience working with telecom and fiber related products.
• Other Useful Qualities: Prior experience working for a high tech organization and knowledge of QAD and Salesforce is a plus.

I'm back.

Aug. 19th, 2010 12:54 am
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I'm back. And I start with a quote.

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

A Splendid Torch, George Bernard Shaw

I've been gone a long time. Yes, from LiveJournal but also from what this journal represents: introspection. I'd given up on taking a good long hard look at myself, my actions, my feelings and my life. I had given up on the subtle and not so subtle insights that can also be gained by having others take a glimpse into me as well. I was lured away by the ephemeral and sweet nature of tweets and Walls. They were pleasant but somehow do not have a depth that I seek. So I return here, to my journal. my Livejournal. Its stark and bare. And somehow seems more like home for its bleakness. Here I shall lay naked in front of the mirror to see if there is an abyss hiding there.

So I return. And I make a promise both to myself and those of you that feel so inclined to read that I will be honest to my self. And I will post my thoughts and share what little knowledge and wisdom that I have. And in return, I will engage those that comment and seek my counsel. And with any luck, I can see if the "live" is still present in LiveJournal.

So hello everyone.  Its good to be back.
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I do not speak for Dragon Con officially so nothing that I say can be assumed to be official Dragon Con policy in any way shape or form.

If you are doing ON-SITE REGISTRATION at DragonCon and want to make getting your badge as fast as possible do the following:

Do NOT show up early before opening to stand in line. I MEAN IT. The longer the line is before they start processing the badges, the WORST the wait is. Here is why: Lets say there are 1000 people in line at start. Lets say they can process 1000 people an hour. Lets say 1000 an hour also show up and join the line. That means that the line will ALWAYS have 1000 people in it. It also means there will always be a full room and things will get absurdly hot because that room is designed to have that many people in it all the time.

While you are standing in line, you fill out a white form with all your contact info. Make sure you PRINT LEGIBLY. Do NOT write in cursive. This is hard to read. PRINT LARGE so that its easy to READ. Do NOT leave sections of the form blank. It slows them down as they usually ask you if that was intentional.

Bring CASH. Do not use a credit card because you have to wait for the machine to process it and you have to sign. If you bring cash its really really fast.

Bring your old badge from a previous DragonCon. Why? Because your membership number is on it. Your membership number (also called your badge number) doesn't change from year to year. If your info hasn't changed and you give them your membership number then from the point where you actual get to the Data Entry section of the process, it can be as fast as 10 seconds. instead of a full minute. And the reason you bring the badge rather than memorize the number is that the badge won't be wrong. :)

Bring a picture ID from the following list only: Drivers License, Military ID, Passport, Official State issued ID. Anything else will SLOW THINGS DOWN. You might even be refused.
Also, once you take out your ID at Data Entry, do NOT put it back up as you will need to show it again at badge pickup.

Spread the news folks.
vernard: (Default)

Looks like Prince has done another 180. I guess finding religion wasn't enough to keep him in the news so he had to declare "The Internet's completely over."

Putz. :)
vernard: (Default)
I am NOT an official representative of Dragon Con Inc. I'm just passing along the info that I know to be true.

If you made reservations at either the Baymont or Wyndham hotels, you need to be made aware that both of those hotels are closing permanently on August 15th.


The company that owns both those hotels has sold them and is closing them down so that their new owners can use them. This is rumored to be Georgia State University who will convert them to dorms.

Again, this is NOT Dragon Con's fault. Each hotel is its own separate company and entity.

Currently the best way to handle this situation is to call the hotel and ask to verify your reservation and go from there.
There are still reservations available at some of the overflow hotels but most are not within 4 blocks of D*C proper. There are still plenty of rooms at the hotels at the airport. And there are free shuttles running between those hotels and D*C.

Also, hotels consistently make rooms available in the D*C block as time goes by so if you call every Monday at 8am to the main 4 hotels, there is a chance someone will have canceled.

Folks, I can't stress this enough, regardless of where you are staying,CALL AND VERIFY YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW. Which this new demand for rooms, I suspect a lot of mistakes are going to be made and other reservations are going to be screwed up.
vernard: (Default)
Italian court indicts seven scientists and government officials for their failure to predict the severity and timing of last year's L'Aquila earthquake

I like to fancy myself a scientist. And not just because I have a degree or two that has the word "scientist" in its name. Its more a way of thinking and doing. Founded in the scientific method and balanced by true philosophy which is the art of applying logic.

Now as usual, the devil is in the details. They actual indictment doesn't really say that they could have predicted the actual earthquake, it says that they had enough indication that it was too dangerous NOT to evacuate. And therefore they were remiss in their duties and are responsible for the deaths of those that were caught by it.

however, its a slippery slope. And one I personally wish they would stay away from.

Reminds me too much of my own blasted country.



Jun. 21st, 2010 10:05 am
vernard: (Default)

I've been going through some trials as of late. The new job is going great. I'm just a bit off center due to the some personal issues I'd rather not go into right now. I know what I have to do but I never thought it would be so hard.

I'll be writing more. I have to. Writing is one of the few things that I used to do that eased my mind. My main writing outlet was my D&D campaign. I used to write about 10 pages a week of back story, notes and statistics to make the game go easier. We played once a month. As of late, we are lucky to play once ever 10 weeks. And thus my writing outlet has been limited.

I think writing serves as my creative outlet and that serves as a pressure release on everything else in my life. With all the extra stress, no pressure release means that I've been in danger of a massive explosion that would do Bad Things.

We'll see if we can fix that.
vernard: (Default)
Since I posted that I was starting the new job at the Center for Comprehensive Informatics, I've gotten a lot of questions centered around just what the hell is that.

The all knowing oracle that is Wikipedia gives too much information such that you are still confused after reading it. So I'm going to distill it down to something that makes sense.

"Informatics encompasses the study of systems that represent, process, and communicate information"

One of the current projects we are working on is the "In Silico" project. In Silico means performed on computer or via computer simulation.Our particular project is creating a work flow of hardware, software, middleware, wetware and such to facilitate the analysis of brain tumor data from the physical specimens that are taken from patients all the way to the point where doctor's can be aided with their analysis with expert systems to help categorize the tumors and provide quicker diagnosis. This will allow remote analysis of these specimens from anywhere in the world. As long as you have a data connection of some sort.

Pretty cool.

Right now I'm setting up critical infrastructure such as backups, large scale data storage (i.e. 60TB to start with plans for a 1 Petabyte storage environment within the year), small scale experimental cluster (64 cores), large scale computational cluster (1024 cores or more), and a Virtualization Farm that can support a few hundred Virtual Machines.

as you can imagine, it keeps me quite busy.


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Vernard Martin

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