Production manager, original artwork, photography
I am a freelance designer, creating unique concepts in a variety of areas under the name Atkins' World. This site is an Atkins' World project as well as a labor of love that was a long time coming.
During my walks through Heidelberg, I marvel at the beauty of this city and the diversity of culture it encompasses. On these jaunts through town, I am occasionally stopped by people on the street who ask me, “Are you the mystery man?” Of course, I have to say “no”. The mystery man concept is an advertising campaign by one of the German radio stations to attract listeners. My style and dress is rather unusual, attracting their listeners to pose the question to me.
Let me tell you a little about myself…
The story begins in the 1950s, New York City, the Bronx. My younger years were largely influenced by too much television and Hollywood movies, which did not represent the average American or me. I was dancing to the Motown tunes and I liked the Beatles. The equal rights movement was in full swing and we called ourselves Afro-American. Generally speaking, white Americans had not accepted the black American or minorities as equals.
When I turned 16 years old, I ventured to Europe to visit friends in Schwetzing Germany (a province of Heidelberg). I was dress in a style of the times a very large Afro (black American hair style), worn out and mix color clothing including a large peace sign, not to forget my dark sunglasses to be worn at night in case the sun slips out (smile). It’s a Bronx thing.
One night late in the evening, I recall two little old German ladies walking towards me. I slowed down giving them enough time to cross to the other side of the street (accepted N.Y.C. behavior), but they kept coming. I was concern and contemplating crossing the street. Before I realized it, the two women were upon me and I got nervous.
One of the ladies spoke, “ Ist das ein Hut ?” With my little knowledge of German, I realized she was referring to my hair and had asked if it was a hat. I smile and replied, “Nein.” The second lady then asked, “ Darf ich das fuhlen?” I saw no problems with her request to feel my hair and they both replied, “Es ist sehr weich” (It is very soft).
I will never forget my feeling of fear replaced with kindness from two little old German ladies of Schwetzengen. My decision was made, I would stay in Germany and find residence nearby as I felt more comfortable here, welcomed by gentle yet curious strangers. One would have never expected a small city so far away from N.Y.C. life would change my outlook on life in general.
I consider myself first and foremost a designer, artist, then a production manager. I would like to welcome you to this website and hope that it assist you in your travels through the amazing city of Old Heidelberg.