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Making a name for oneself - Gerry Yandel

I've decided I want to have a road named after me.

Preferably before I shuffle off the mortal coil, so I will have the opportunity to drive down it once or twice before my drivers license is permanently deactivated by the DMV in the sky.

My informal research into the matter - primarily consisting of roads I see as I drive around metro Atlanta - suggests there are a couple of ways to perpetuate my name on a piece of public infrastructure.

For instance, I know sometimes bridges and other structures are sometimes dedicated or named after a person.

That would be okay, I suppose, but every time I see one, it usually makes me think the person named either designed or built it. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability - or desire -- to do either.

Another alternative, of course, would be to buy a large chunk of land with a long, long driveway attached. I have seen many of these types of "personal" roadways, complete with the little green road sign. Sometimes it is just a family surname, like Smith Lane, and sometimes it is an entire name, like John Q. Public Way.

It seems to me this would be the easiest way to accomplish legitimate notoriety... except that it seems to be cost-prohibitive.

There is, of course, the aforementioned large chunk of land to purchase. It would have to be somewhere out in the country to afford the long driveway necessary. If there's not already a house on the property, there's the cost of building a structure of some sort. (After all, who's going to drive down my road if there's nowhere to go?)

I am not sure of the county, state or federal paperwork involved with proposing a street name. Plus, there's probably a waiting period, which, I suppose could run concurrently with the construction of my house.

Unfortunately, I am not currently in a position to buy up chunks of land in the country and build houses on them.

Then there is the third alternative, which doesn't cost any money or require engineering degrees. But it's also the hardest path toward unending fame: dedicated and selfless duty and commitment to the community.

I think if one immerses oneself in the constant drive to better the community, and perseveres for a long time at it, the chances are better than average to find someone to sponsor a road-naming proposal for you. (It seems like it would be unseemly to advocate a road-naming proposal for one's self, so I think this path would require an ally to make the proposal.)

Of course, there are countless people already spending large portions of their time trying to better the community and help their neighbors, so the competition would be stiff.

But, I am only 45, and I have, hopefully, many good years left to pursue this route toward the creation of Gerry Road.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some catching up to do.

Gerry Yandel is the city editor for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or gyandel@henryherald.com .