John F. Schaffner
It all started when I spotted a temporary sign along Johnson Ferry Road as I was driving to the meeting of the Ashford Alliance Community Association at the Merrill Gardens facility. The sign said, “Celebrate Silver Lake, September 26th.”
Still learning about the Brookhaven area neighborhoods and amenities, and always looking for interesting events or situations to have photographed for the Brookhaven Reporter, my managing editor, Scott Bernarde and I set out to get some more information about this event in order to assign a photographer.
It seemed like a simple enough task. Boy, was I mistaken.
Even though I had not heard of Silver Lake, I figured it should not be too difficult to find. It had to be just off Johnson Ferry Road in the proximity to where I saw the sign. The fact is, it took Scott and I a significant amount of time to locate Silver Lake. It took even longer to find out anything about “Celebrate Silver Lake.”
While Scott was checking out all of the potential links on the Internet (he is younger than I and more Internet savvy), I spent a lot of time placing telephone inquiries to as many contacts as I could think of at the moment in Brookhaven.
After what seemed like hours of investigation, we found a location for Silver Lake — even a satellite photo of it — and found the names of people who were plugged into the neighborhoods around the lake. Surely now we would be able to find out what kind of a celebration this was to be.
Unfortunately, our phone calls and emails drew no immediate response. So, we simply told our photographer where Silver Lake is located and that a celebration is supposed to be taking place there —maybe involving a concert of some sort. Go there and see what you can find, we told the photographer.
Then, lo and behold, Scott got a response from a Bill Chambers, who knew all about the lake and the celebration.
He informed Scott that Celebrate Silver Lake is an annual event — an outdoor family picnic event — that usually draws 300 to 400 people. “This is the first year in the last 11 that we had to go indoors,” Chambers said. “Next year is our 100th celebration of the lake.”
Incidentally, in case there are some of our readers who do not know, the lake and surrounding area is about 80 acres and is maintained by the Silver Lake Civic Association, comprised of members from the surrounding several neighborhoods around the lake.
“The event each year is a fund-raiser that helps our association to keep the lake pollution free and maintain the walking trails,” Chambers explained.
Oh, by the way, Chambers manages the band that played for the event.
Now that we know where Silver Lake is and what Celebrate Silver Lake is all about, we will certainly be back for the 100th celebration next year, and will probably stop by the lake every so often to see if there is a nice feature photo opportunity available.
There is a message in all this: We are still learning about Brookhaven and you, our readers, can help us with that learning process. Call us and let us know about your special events, or just about an interesting story of photo you think we might like. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 404-917-2200, ext. 13.
I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you.