|Creator:||Sparks, Andrew Horace, 1919-1989|
|Title:||Andrew H. Sparks papers|
|Quantity:||11.8 Linear feet (24 document boxes, 1 card file box, 1 oversized box, 2 oversized folders A)|
Journalist and magazine editor, of Atlanta, Ga.
"Andrew Sparks was born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1991, and grew up in Millen, Ga. (pop. 2,500), where his first newspaper story was published when he was 12. A group of 7th grade and high school boys toured the North Carolina mountains on a school bus, and the Millen News offered a prize--$5--to the boy who wrote the best article about the trip. Andrew Sparks took notes, and won, He still takes copious notes, which he believes are the basis of factual and accurate reporting, certainly for long magazine pieces.
He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1940, the only man in his class to get two degrees--B.A. and M.A. In college he also wrote a 600-page novel; it didn't sell but he learned alot about historical research--and typewriting. Afterwards he taught school for two years, one of them in freshman English at North Georgia College.
During World War II he spent three years in service, half of it in England with the 8th Air Force. Yank published one humorous piece he wrote about a Dear John letter, "Send Me Love by V-Mail."
Back in Atlanta he applied to the late editor Angus Perkerson for a job on The Atlanta Journal Magazine, the nation's oldest or second oldest Sunday supplement. He's still writing for it and in these 23 years has covered much of the South, from Hell's Hollow, Ga., to Cape Kennedy, interviewed a miscellany of characters (mountain midwife, poet Conrad Aiken, a muskrat-eating fireman, and the Queen of Holland to name a few), and has covered a wide range of events from presidential visits to a girls' school spend the night.
Conservation is one of his special interest."
-unfinished autobiographical sketch, written about 1968 (2:9)
Sparks eventually became editor of the Atlanta Magazine (finally titled Atlanta Weekly) until it ceased publication in 1985. Sparks met and married Olive Ann Burns, author of Cold Sassy Tree, (see MS 2776) at the magazine. They had a son John A. Sparks, of Colorado Springs, CO, and a daughter Becky Sparks of Atlanta.
Both Andy and Olive Ann were diagnosed with lymphoma in the late 70s, and Andy died in 1989 of heart failure. Olive Ann died a year later.
Sparks' placement of conservation at the top of what would have been a long list of "special interests" explains what shaped much of his career as reporter and researcher. This collection contains primarily the materials relating to stories written or researched for the Atlanta magazine. Their organization as subject headings follows Sparks' division. Finished stories, handwritten notes, drafts and contacts were kept in folders for each story he worked on. The photographs basically follow this division.
Owing to the diversity of subjects included and Sparks own interests reflected, simple subject indexes are included at the end of this inventory.
Personal materials include Sparks' writings, done throughout his career and evidently constantly rewritten, military papers, sketches and printed material on his particular hobbies. Only "Send Me Love by V-Mail" and portions of "Wild Islands" which first appeared in the Atlanta magazine have been published.
Chiefly notes and finished stories researched by Sparks while writer for and editor of Atlanta Weekly magazine; together with correspondence, unpublished short stories, novel entitled Wild Islands, and other papers. Topics include historic preservation and conservation in Georgia.