By: Dr. Scott R. Harden
Cherokee County is greatly different than it was when I first crossed the county line from Dekalb shortly after Dental School and dating back to 1988.
You just never know where life will take you. I still wonder how it brought me to Cherokee County. In retrospect, there is no doubt that Cherokee County was the place I was meant to live.
The first arrow in my life that pointed to Cherokee County dates back to my senior year as an undergraduate at University of South Florida. My roommate, Devon, was kind enough to drive me up to Georgia for an interview at Emory University Dental School. We stayed with his aunt and uncle in a city called Marietta. The flair of true Southern hospitality gleaned brightly when his cousin brought us to Lake Allatoona to jump off a 30 foot cliff into the Lake, and further took us four-wheel mud hopping in his monster truck at a place kids called “Hell Hole” in “Thousand Acre Woods”. I’m happy to report we did survive and what’s better is I was accepted into Emory’s dental school program.
As a first year dental student, the second arrow directing my future to Cherokee County was a memorable trip in a sporty 4-cylinder white Camaro with a beautiful young lady named Kathy, now my wife. We departed Dekalb County in route to “C-S-ta”, a resort owned by CNS Bank, and offered to Kathy as an employee. A flat tire during this day trip, caused a detour into a Texaco station on Highway 92, providing me the privilege of changing the tire. The lake, the pool, and a beautiful sunny day created a great memory for the two of us, despite our flat tire incident.
As a senior in dental school, I began looking for a private practice opportunity. Despite negotiations in Buckhead and Gwinnett County, fate displayed the third arrow directing my future and took me back to Cherokee County once again. In 1988, Woodstock clearly offered the best future opportunities for a start up dental practice.
Arrow number four presented when Kathy and I purchased a house in the Eagle Watch subdivision of Towne Lake. The search for our home with a real estate agent brought us by the YMCA on Bells Ferry Road, formerly “C-S-ta”, and donated by CNS Bank. We then saw the cliffs at Lake Allatoona that I had jumped off of like Tarzan six years earlier. I quickly realized my dental office on Highway 92 was located only several blocks from the Texaco station where I changed Kathy’s flat tire on our trip to the bank. Our home in Eagle Watch subdivision turned out to be located on property formerly called “Thousand Acre Woods”. My worst fear is my house is sitting on the mud pit known as “Hell Hole”.
Seventeen years have passed since that day I first entered Cherokee County. I have enjoyed a very rewarding career in dentistry, have two wonderful children and will soon celebrate my 19th wedding anniversary. I recently learned that there remains yet a fifth arrow of fate. Nearly a century ago, my great-grandfather and great uncle, both doctors, had practices right in this area. This fact is most interesting since I am originally from Miami, Florida, and I was not aware of family members anywhere in Georgia prior to moving here.