Most people have forgotten Floyd Hudgins, the bombastic gentleman from Muscogee County, a larger-than-life country boy who put on an expensive suit and spent an unorthodox career around Georgia's Gold Dome.
The fact that his grandfather is overlooked bothers his grandson and the rising senior at Chattahoochee County High School is trying to remind people who Floyd Hudgins was.
Dustin was 12 years old when Floyd died in 2010. He was too young to understand his grandfather's impact and his controversial ways of getting things done.
Hudgins served in the Georgia House, but it was the Senate where he roared. As a young man, he worked on a crane and helped put pieces of steel in place when the old Municipal Auditorium was being built.
He wasn't a smooth operator and his verbs didn't always agree with his nouns, but in the Senate he feared no one. Legislation he introduced helped pave the way for consolidated governments, juvenile justice and the abolition of steel traps. He also preserved the history of Atlanta's Fox Theatre and our own Springer Opera House.
Hudgins also got entwined with Billy Carter when the president's rampaging brother started doing business with the government of Libya while Jimmy Carter was in the White House. That involvement would be Floyd's downfall.
When Dustin decided to use his grandfather for his National History Day project, he wasn't blind to Floyd's outrageous side. He created a website, and his thesis statement said his "grandfather could be called a savior of or an embarrassment to the State of Georgia."
His goal was to show that though Floyd is under-appreciated, "his contributions are innumerable and will never be forgotten."
These projects usually feature giants from the history books, but Dustin wanted to honor his grandfather. "I do not care about credit it receives. This is a personal project -- not for judges, not for recognition, but for my grandfather."
However, he finished second in the statewide contest and next week he will be one of 3,000 young people in Maryland for the 41st National History Day competition.
"I wanted to tell a humble story that matters," he said. "I chose a website because you can't paste a video or play music on a tri-board."
Most legislators today come off the same assembly line. They're bland and predictable.
There probably wouldn't be a place for a brash bully like Floyd Hudgins. But his grandson is right. Floyd is underappreciated and his colorful story is forgotten.
Dustin Chandler-Hudgins wants to change that, and one day he plans to get into politics himself. Sorry, Dustin, you may have the same last name, but there will never be another Floyd Hudgins.
-- Richard Hyatt is an independent correspondent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.