Delegating Denver #13 of 56: Georgia

View larger image


Total Number of Delegates: 104 Pledged: 87 Unpledged: 17

How to Recognize a Georgia Delegate: Everyone hates Georgia, and they always have. That's why Gone With the Wind has been America's all-time favorite movie. It tells the story of General Sherman’s attempt to burn the state to the ground, a fantasy that is still shared by anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting a Georgia resident. Georgians have all the personality of a high-school security guard. All strangers are suspects, and all rules are made to be enforced — or, better yet, created on the spot. Questioning a Georgian's authority will only be met with hoots of derision. To find a Georgian at the 2008 Denver Democratic National Convention, just look for the delegates who are demanding arcane new procedures and laughing at those who ask why.

Famous Georgians: Comedians David Cross and Jeff Foxworthy; musicians Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Gladys Knight, Otis Redding, Brenda Lee, Amy Grant, Gnarls Barkley and Michael Stipe; B-52's Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson and Keith Strickland; Black Crowes Chris and Rich Robinson; Indigo Girl Amy Ray; OutKasts Andre 3000 and Big Boi; actors Chris Tucker, Holly Hunter, Kim Basinger and Dakota Fanning; director Spike Lee, CNN blowhard Nancy Grace, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; writer Alice Walker; cartoonist Walt Kelly; Hulk Hogan; Evander Holyfield; Ty Cobb; Jackie Robinson; Sugar Ray Robinson; Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low

Famous Georgia Democrats: 39th president Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, Sam Nunn, Zell Miller, Julian Bond, Andrew Young, Cynthia McKinney and Hank Johnson (who is, along with Representative Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, one of the first two Buddhists to serve in the U.S. Congress)

Famous Georgians With Denver and Colorado Connections: Colorado Explorer John C. Fremont, Gold Rushers Soapy Smith, William Green Russell, John H. Gregory and Lewis Ralston, former Broncos coach Dan Reeves, Denver Bronco Champ Bailey, Bighorn think tank-er Rutt Bridges, odd couple JonBenét Ramsey and John Mark Karr

State Nickname: The Empire State of the South, the Peach State (official); the Goober State, the Cracker State (unofficial) Population: 9,363,941 Racial Distribution: 60% white, 30% black, 2.7% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 7% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $29,442 Unemployment: 5%

Recommendations for the Georgia Delegation:

Most Georgian Denver Neighborhood: Whittier

Most Georgian Bar: Oceanaire Seafood Room 1400 Arapahoe Street The Peach Schnapps-flavored Oceanaire Martini will taste like a tiny slice of Sea Island in the middle of Downtown Denver. A more Dirty South experience can be had at: Bash 1902 Blake Street

Most Georgian Restaurant: Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q 24153 East Prospect Avenue, Aurora All the sweet tea, collards and brisket that you know and love, made fresh daily in Aurora, which is to Denver as Hiram is to Atlanta.

View larger image

Best Day Trip: Russell Gulch If states could be related, Georgia would be Colorado's closest next of kin. Colorado's written history is lousy with Georgians, from expeditious John C. Fremont, who surveyed the Arkansas River Valley, to Lewis Ralston, William Greeneberry Russell and John H. Gregory, who discovered gold and created thousands of jobs. Without Georgians, Colorado would still be Kansas. The clearest way to illustrate this point is with a quick trip west on U.S. Highway 6. In the middle of Clear Creek Canyon, follow the casino buses up Colorado 119 for another six miles and turn left on Gregory Street. The road traverses Gregory Gulch, the site of Colorado's first gold strike and location of the historic mining towns of Black Hawk and Central City. At Spring Street, follow Colorado 279 up over Quartz Hill into Russell Gulch. Here sits the ghost town named for the Georgian prospector who panned more than $20,000 worth of gold in 1859. It is pure Colorado, with a Georgia twist. Surrounded by windswept hills scarred with ore dumps, this is the perfect place to contemplate how Georgians, from early miners to John Mark Karr, have helped define Colorado — and how the state remains haunted by their ghosts.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Cronin