Book Cover

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Winecoff Furniture Restored

Dresser Recovered From The Winecoff Hotel
Dear Mr. Goodwin,

I have a bedroom suite that I believe my father purchased from an auction of furniture from the Winecoff Hotel. It is the only bedroom suite I remember my parents ever using. The suite consists of a double bed, a dresser with mirror and a chest of drawers. Both chests have marble tops.

I remember when my father got the pieces. We lived in College Park, Georgia. He refinished them in the late fifties or early sixties. As a young girl, I would "help" him from time to time.

To my knowledge, the bedroom suite was refinished only once. The mirror is somewhat wavy, I feel certain that it is original. The hardware is original. The middle drawer still has its lock but the locks are missing from the other drawers. I don't believe there are any scorch marks on the furniture.

Thank you for helping me to learn more about this important event and its significance for my family. It is so sad that so many high school students attending the Youth Assembly were lost in the fire. Coincidentally, as a senior in high school in College Park, I too was a delegate to the YMCA Youth Assembly.

Thanks again,
Canton, Georgia

Dear Beth,

Thanks so much for the photo. Not every room in the hotel was burned and a variety of furnishings were recovered. It's great to know a complete bedroom suite from The Winecoff Hotel is still intact. I also know of a Winecoff Hotel table, now in Roswell, Georgia and a grand piano in Pine Lake, Georgia.

After the 1948 civil trial, the hotel's furnishings were sold at auction to help satisfy the judgement of the court. It's likely your father bought the furniture at that auction. Please know, his dollars went to those who deserved them - the injured survivors and the victims' families.

All best,
Allen B. Goodwin

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lucky Honeymoon

This Winecoff Hotel Room Is
Believed To Be The Bridal Suite
Dear Mr. Goodwin,

Congratulations on an excellent book. Though obviously a tragic subject, I still found it to be well written and captivating.

Just recently I learned, much to my surprise, that I have connections that go back to the hotel and 1946. I discovered that my parents - from Birmingham - spent their honeymoon in Atlanta and at the Winecoff in September of 1946 and were horrified by the news of the fire in December - apparently so much so that they never discussed it with me. I only discovered this in the last few years.
I'm told they felt they were among the "lucky ones" - those who were not in the wrong place at the wrong time later that year.
Again, thank you for an excellent book.

Very best wishes,
Dave Robertson
Lexington, Kentucky

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Georgia Reader Writes

Dear Mr. Goodwin,

I just finished your book this weekend. I plan to reread it. It is REAL! It breaks your heart on one hand but makes you marvel at the human spirit on the other. I love the fact that the little boy whose father threw him to safety became a doctor like his dad had been. Thanks again for your book.

Belinda Seaman
Canton, Ga.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

California Transit Reader

Dear Mr. Goodwin:
The book arrived today and is FABULOUS! Thank you so much for signing
it. It's a present for my brother and I know he's going to love it.
Thank you again.
Sheryl Aumack

Ms. Aumack,
Thanks for the kind words and all best to you and your brother.

Mr. Goodwin,
I gave the book to my brother last night and he was over the moon, and your signing it made it so much more special. Lately, due to rising gasoline costs he has to take two buses and a train to get to work in another county and uses the time to catch up on his reading. He does enjoy non-fiction, and in particular, books on "disasters" (poor term, I know) especially when they are as thorough a work as yours (really cover the history of the "situation" as well the the event itself and the aftermath). I often read these after he does (he never tells me anything that would spoil the reading) and I find I am enjoying these tomes as well as I feel I learn many things as well, historically and on a personal level with those that were involved.

Thank you again and wishing you all the very best in the future.
Sheryl Aumack
Westchester, CA

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Volunteer's Role Recalled

I was living in Atlanta at the time of the Winecoff fire. My Grandfather, Paul Fleming, heard about it on the radio and went to volunteer.

You see, he had only retired shortly before from being an Assistant Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department and thought he could be a volunteer that knew how to help.

Although he liked to reminisce about his past in the fire department, he never talked about that day. Apparently, it was all too much even for an experienced man like him.

My mother was rather protective and I was only 6 years old so she wouldn’t have talked about it to me at the time.

At one time, my grandfather’s assignment had been inspecting buildings for fire violations. Mom said he once commented about the central staircase in that hotel. He said he worried about it because, if a fire ever got started, it would act like a chimney to carry the fire upwards and also block the escape route for about everyone.

Unfortunately, there was little that he could do about it except point out the problem because it was an existing building. Apparently, his concern was born out when the actual event occurred.

Paul Bowen
Manassas, Virginia

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Childhood Memories

Dear Mr. Goodwin,

I was in the first grade living on Georgia Avenue, in what is today the parking lot of Turner Field at the time of the fire. I was 10 days short of my 8th birthday. There was a fire station about two blocks away on Central Avenue and fire sirens at night was not unusual. I recall how they went on for hours and the next morning we learned of the fire. My parents and I, like most of Atlanta, went to downtown to see the hotel. I recall we took the trolley to town and there were thousands of people staring up at the building and the sheets were still hanging out of the windows. The smell was bad.

One thing I will never forget, is in the alley behind the hotel and the Mortgage Guarantee Building were trash cans filled with bloody sheets. That I remember vividly.

I was living in Washington State when your book came out and immediately made a purchase. I have read it many times and still find the fire fascinating. Thank you and your co-author for this work.

Michael Dunn

Dear Mr. Dunn,

Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your eyewitness account of the fire's aftermath.

Be safe,