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Make the most of Monday

December 20 — Amy, Collin, and Chad here with your Monday Draft. 🎄 Only five days 'til Christmas!

☁️ Overcast with a high of 50° today. Rain returns tomorrow.

❤️ After a long battle with Parkinson's disease, Georgia's former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson died Sunday at the age of 76. He served as Senator for nearly 15 years until retiring in 2019. Isakson was a statesman beloved by Republicans and respected by Democrats.

“Hopefully my epitaph will say… that he always worked for the best interests of people," he told GPB’s Political Rewind in 2019. "As long as that’s the case, I’m happy."

The Atlanta native was fond of saying people were either "friends, or future friends."
It feels harder and harder to find the spirit of bipartisanship displayed in the above photo with Isakson and the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis on the House floor.

Watch Lewis' 2019 tribute to Isakson here, and read AJC columnist Patricia Murphy's analysis of the moment when Lewis said, "I will come over to meet you, brother."  

➡ To wit, yesterday, the Democrats' "Build Back Better" bill seemed destined to fail after West Virginia's Joe Manchin pulled his support, which was the last hope as all 50 Republican senators have refused to support the bill.

🎓 Closer to home, the 38th annual Mayor’s Masked Ball took place Saturday night at the Marriott Marquis, with an after party at the Illuminarium. The annual fundraiser for the United Negro College Fund provides scholarships and support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The sold-out event was hosted by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and emceed by actress Lynn Whitfield. Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton performed as well.

💔 Citizen Supply announced via Instagram that it will be closing its doors on Dec. 31. Over the past six years, Citizen Supply has provided a retail environment where local artisans and small brands have showcased their work in Ponce City Market.

🚗 Some good news for anybody who's ever parked "outside the lines!" Last week the state supreme court ruled that cars can only be booted in areas with ordinances in place.

🙏 Thank you to Lori Geary and the crew at Fox 5's "Georgia Gang," who named Rough Draft one of their "winners of the week!" Share with your friends and family by sending them this link so they can subscribe: <<RH_REFLINK>>

Anyone who subscribes before midnight will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift card to Sweet Cheats!

🕖 Today's Rough Draft is ④ stories ➼

• COVID's toll
• Last-minute gift ideas
• Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium’s heyday

Podcasts we like

Have a great day, see you Wednesday! 
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1. Omicron to the world: 'Bah humbug!' 

😷Even as Moderna announced encouraging news about its vaccine's effectiveness against Omicron this morning, a surge in COVID-19 cases forced local restaurants to close over the weekend, shuttered CNN's offices, and generally gave us a sense of deja vu.

Sunday night’s NBA game between Atlanta and Cleveland was one of five NBA games cancelled yesterday due to COVID. Five members of the Cavaliers
tested positive for COVID-19, as did Atlanta's newly-engaged All-Star guard Trae Young.

➡ Ticonderoga Club, B-Side Decatur, Juniper Cafe, 8Arm, Supremo, Lucian Books & Wine, Field Day, a Mano, and Bread & Butterfly were some of the restaurants that shuttered over the weekend. All cited staff members testing positive for the virus as the reason.

8Arm said it would remain closed the rest of the week “due to multiple cases of COVID among our fully vaccinated staff.” The restaurant encouraged its customers to get vaccinated, get the booster shot, and wear masks, something public health officials reiterated on the Sunday morning political talk shows. 

“If you’re vaccinated and you’re boosted, and you take care when you go into congregate settings like airports to make sure you continually wear your mask, you should be OK,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC's "Meet the Press."

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s latest figures posted on Friday showed that COVID-19 cases increased by 60% in the last 14 days. The state reported 2,334 new cases, the highest number since early October.

A little more than half the state – 54 % – have been vaccinated against COVID.

💉 If you are still in need of a vaccination or a booster shot, the CDC’s vaccine finder site is quick and easy to use.


🇮🇱 Israel is banning travel to the U.S., Canada, and eight other countries. Visitors from those countries must remain in quarantine. 

🇳🇱 The Netherlands is going into lockdown
*Win a Sweet Cheats Gift Card*  Referrals are the best way to help Rough Draft grow. For every friend you refer, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card to Sweet Cheats. We are giving away one more gift card tonight at midnight. Share your personal referral link with friends via email, text, or all the socials.  Your link is: <<RH_REFLINK>>
Drawings will be held at midnight on Dec. 20. 
2. Last-minute gift ideas

Since 2014, Grant Park's Hawkins & Clover has been a cult favorite. First as a salon, then pivoting in 2020 to a delicately curated space to find an ever-evolving collection of unique and interesting items.

 Time is ticking on the Christmas gift front, so we asked friend of the Draft and H&C owner Erika Audrey for her last-minute gifts to rescue the procrastinators among us.

1. Kitsch mini roller set: $18. This small but mighty duo packs a punch against circulation, lymphatic drainage, and tired eyes. Perfect for your favorite skincare junkie or fatigued boss babe.

2. Staplehouse salsa macha: $16. Give the gift of amazing flavor by local fave Staplehouse. Upgrade your pizza, avocado toast, or anything really! In store pick-up.
3. Moodcast Sinner candle: $28. Smoke, leather, and vetiver unite to make this our most popular candle by a mile.
4. Grimm’s nesting bowls from Seed Factory: $33. These delightful wooden toys are my go-to for my favorite little people. Seed Factory has a lot of different shapes and colors, but these are my favorite. 
5. Slow North neck wrap: $47. These therapy packs are a hit every holiday season. Freeze for cold therapy and microwave for hot. Add a drop of essential oil and your tired muscles are ready to relax.


If you're looking for a literary gift idea, refer back to Friday's popular My Top 5 from Brettne Bloom, a book agent with great local gifts for the readers on your list.
3. Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium’s heyday 

⚾ In the ’70s and ’80s, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was home to the Braves, the Falcons, and a multitude of events and major concerts with world-famous artists, including the Beatles.

The stadium was demolished in 1997. All that remains is a piece of outfield wall memorializing Hank Aaron’s 715th home run.

The Braves and Falcons shared the stadium for 26 years. The Falcons moved to the Georgia Dome in '92. Five years later, the Braves moved to Turner Field.

This month, columnist and former Atlanta DJ Kelly McCoy relives the days when Dale Murphy and Bob Horner were the pride of the Braves.

"As luck would have it, I heard Dale Murphy was going to be at 'Quixie' cutting a commercial," Kelly recalls. "I thought, here’s my chance. Everyone in the place was excited he was there, and he could not have been any nicer."

Read about Kelly’s adventures, interviewing Murph, trading drinks with Horner, introducing ‘60s music groups Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and The Association at the stadium, and more in From the Crates.
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4. Look & Listen: Atlanta stories 

🎸 Grady High School graduate Faye Webster (above) stopped by the legendary Shangri-La to play some songs and chat with Broken Record’s Justin Richmond about life on the road with Wilco, leaving her guitar in Glasgow, and the music scenes in Athens and Atlanta. Webster schools Richmond a bit after he admits to "not being super familiar with Atlanta" or knowing that R.E.M. is from Athens. 

Webster says, "I like Atlanta because...there's everything" and that "the music scene in Athens is really, really sick." Listen to the whole episode here, but the local discussion starts at 20:15.

🎤 Speaking of Athens, R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe checks in with iconic NPR station KCRW to reflect on his time in Los Angeles during the mid-’80s, when he befriended DJ Deirdre O'Donoghue, who's been called "the most influential American DJ you've never heard of."

🎧  The BBC's Susan Stone explores the complex history and legacy behind Atlanta-based C.A.R.E. and their beginnings providing food for starving Europeans after World War II.

As the pandemic ravaged the U.S., 2020 marked the first time ever that C.A.R.E. provided aid directly to Americans. 

🚢 More than two years after it wrecked, clean up of the giant cargo ship the Golden Ray is nearing completion off the coast of St. Simons and Jekyll islands. It's the largest wreck removal in U.S. history, which has left an impact on the local community, economy, and environment. 

🚗 Need some road trip music for holiday traveling? Stephanie Stuckey's playlist is just the thing. She's a former member of Georgia's House of Representatives, current CEO of Stuckey's roadside eateries, and she knows the songs to ease the burden of a long drive.
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