Your Friendly Neighbor / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Mercer University Press
Beginning with an exploration of Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead of Chattanooga, who in 1899 secured the first bottling rights from Coca-Cola Company founder Asa Candler, Cheatham goes on to examine several key Georgia bottlers:
- The Montgomery Family of Atlanta and the parallel rise of their bottling company and the city during the 1950s and '60s;
- The Barron Family of Rome and their substantial nurturing of and investment in local institutions, such as Berry College, Darlington School and Shorter College;
- The Roberts of Columbus, who contributed greatly to Baptist institutions of higher learning, such as Mercer University;
- The Samses of Athens and for the real sense of family they imparted to their employees;
- The Haley Family of Athens, and their successful divestiture of bottling profits into the Albany community; and
- The Cobbs of LaGrange-West Point, known throughout the industry for their marketing innovations and throughout the community for their plant tours for schoolchildren.
Also discussed in depth is Delony Sledge, the Coca-Cola advertising director whose classic campaigns (including Things Go Better With Coke) defined the drink's golden age of advertising and who mobilized the bottlers behind his work. Your Friendly Neighbor concludes with an examination of the bottlers as a whole and the foundations they founded and The Coca-Cola Company leaders who inspired them to leave a mark upon their respective communities.
Mike Cheatham is a communications professional retired from posts with The Coca-Cola Company, Union Carbide, and several advertising agencies. The Toccoa, Georgia, native continues work as a freelance writer and is the author of more than two hundred articles and three books, including An Athens Diary 1996: One Georgia City�s Olympic Experience (1996). He holds degrees from the University of Georgia and Emory University.