Reporter Newspapers Small Business of the Year, 2013
SANDY SPRINGS/PERIMETER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Sandy Springs Reporter
Perimeter Business Spotlight on businesses in Reporter Newspapers communities PAGES 9-15
High school football
It’s time to put on the helmets and cleats and hit the ﬁeld PAGES 20-23
AUG. 22 — SEPT. 4, 2014 • VOL. 8 — NO. 17
After 46 years, cleaner packs up to make way for city center project
What’s ﬂying above Holy Innocents’?
BY ANN MARIE QUILL
Anyone who spends decades in the dry cleaning business is sure to pick up some stories along the way. Will Smith, who owns the Master Kleen on Roswell Road, says some of the most notable items he’s retrieved from customers’ pockets include a loaded pistol, $5,000 in cash and a lady’s high-heeled shoe. “Always check your pockets,” he said. “You don’t want people to know too much about you, including your dry cleaner.” Smith returns the items, of course, and that’s a fraction of the reason his franchise has stayed in business at the corner of Roswell and Mount Vernon roads since 1968. That legacy ends on Aug. 29, when Smith hands back to his clients the last pieces of dry-cleaned clothing. In March, Sandy Springs City Council voted to authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire the property for the city’s city center project. Smith’s father-in-law, Billy Dodd, started the business in 1968 and later opened another business in Cobb County on Powers Ferry Road. Smith left his banking career to run the Cobb business when it started in 1979, explaining that he wanted to become an entrepreneur rather than work for a big company. “I helped build that plant,” he said, from pipe fitting to moving the machinery in. “I learned it literally from the
PHOTOS BY ANN MARIE QUILL
Above, Max Armstrong, left, and his brother Sam, demonstrate how their drone operates in the sky over Sandy Springs. The brothers have been ﬂying the drone over their school, with permission, video documenting renovations and construction. Left, the drone takes ﬂight.
BY ANN MARIE QUILL
Max Armstrong waited patiently for lights on his drone to start blinking. Once they did so, the little flying machine could take off into the sky over Sandy Springs. “It takes a minute because it has to pick up a GPS signal,” his older brother, Sam, explained. “If it flies away and you lose it, you can flip a switch to make it come back to where it takes off from.” Sam and Max, who live in Buckhead, first started flying the drone in February after their dad, Brent Armstrong, bought the device to photograph and videotape buildings for his commercial real estate company. Max, who has flown the drone from the top of Colony Square in Midtown, above Atlantic Station, and around the IBM building, says their dad gets
them up early on Saturday mornings so that there won’t be heavy traffic in their footage. Max typically controls the drone while Sam edits the resulting video footage. Over the summer, the brothers have been flying their new drone at their school, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, which is undergoing $22.5 million in renovations and additions. Sam is in the 10th grade at Holy Innocents’ and his younger brother is an eighth grader. One of HIES’ architects, who knows the teens’ father, asked if the boys could film the renovation. The school has used footage from the drone to show parents how to maneuver carpools around the construction.
ANN MARIE QUILL
Marilyn Bryant, Master Kleen’s manager for 18 years, will be out of a job on Aug. 29, when the store closes for good. SEE MASTER KLEEN, PAGE 28
SEE WHAT’S THAT, PAGE 27
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