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The year was 1996, when just down the road we hosted the greatest athletic competition in history: The Olympics. In Georgia, there was a great sense of pride in our city and state. Southern hospitality was given to all who came from every competing country on the planet. For the first time thus far in our history, we were able to take MARTA towards Midtown, or hop in our cars to various venues around the state, to root not for the Dawgs or the Yellow Jackets, but instead for the team we call our nation.

The 1996 Olympic Torch as it passed in front of Howard Brothers, Doraville.

The 1996 Olympic Torch as it passed in front of Howard Brothers, Doraville.

20 years has come and gone quickly. Rio 2016 is just a few weeks away where Athletes will travel to Brazil to compete for gold.

I myself have an interesting story. I moved to Duluth from Milledgeville around the same time of the Olympics. I wasn’t even half a year old. I wasn’t old enough to remember the Games at all, but my parents still bought me a brick in commemoration somewhere I’ve never seen in Centennial Olympic Park.

I’ve been an Atlantian for my entire memorable life, and I remember all the changes that have happened at the intersection of Buford Highway and Pleasant Hill, from demolished businesses to an entirely reconstructed interchange.

One thing that stayed the same was Howard Brothers, the hardware store at the end of my street. It wasn’t the oldest store, and now it isn’t even the newest. It has always been a comforting sign to see on the way home, and the sign I programmed earlier today is the first thing I see as I turn on my street.

Back when I moved here, everyone from Georgia was cheering for the turf they stood on, and so was the rest of the U.S. as well. We all have a place we call home, and we hold pride in that place we do call home.

For me, home has always been defined by the shop that always had the right screw for the job and a nifty piece to fix my lawnmower. Whether in Doraville, Duluth, Oakwood, Alpharetta, or Athens, you’re near the crew that’ll get the job done.

Go USA! Bring home some gold!