In 2014 Sam and Barbie Bromberg moved to Piedmont Heights from Alpharetta to be closer to Sam’s mother who lives in Morningside, where Sam was born, and to participate in the arts and cultural vibe of Atlanta. Sam came of age in Piedmont Heights in the late 1960s when, at aqe 15, he worked for Baskin-Robbins in Ansley Mall and then at the Kroger supermarket when it was located where CVS Pharmacy is today. Sam and Barbie are now “back home” at Rockridge Place.
Their new residence has a large side yard on Rock Springs Road where the previous owner had placed large boulders, an ornamental tree, and a concrete bench. Living across the street, I often noticed Sam walking around this yard or sitting on the bench in deep thought and one day went over to welcome him to the neighborhood.
I asked Sam if he would consider selling a portion of his yard to be converted into a “pocket park," explaining that it would be a pleasant resting spot for walkers and joggers along Rock Springs Road. Sam declined but liked the idea of further improving it as a neighborhood amenity. As time went by, Sam placed a sculpture of Humpty Dumpty on the bench, then added an electric lamp post and, most recently, a fake—but very realistic-looking—black and white dog relieving himself on a bright red fireplug. Sam said the dog’s name was Fritz and he was surprised it had not “walked off.” The diorama is totally charming, and Sam has, in fact, created the originally suggested pocket park.
Recently I spotted Sam in his yard and went over to compliment him on the latest addition to the street scene. While we were sitting on the bench and talking, two walkers came by and cheerfully thanked Sam for what he had done. That says it all.
Sam owns Nova Wealth Management Group, and Barbie is an Intuitive Counselor. They have made Piedmont Heights a much better place, and I hope their contribution will inspire others to create more such informal neighborhood pocket parks.
By Bill Seay (Rock Springs Rd)