The life-sized, stainless steel lounge chair stands out among the thousands of granite and marble grave markers in the .
It's near the grave of Philip David Hicks, born Sept. 26, 1979, and died March 16, 1997. The headstone is engraved with a cross, a soccer ball, the Boy Scout seal and the words "Forever Prepared."
On my walks and jogs through the cemetery, I'd often wondered about this chair located near the Church Street entrance. I decided to find out and, after asking around, finally got the phone number of David Hicks, Philip's father.
David Hicks, an architect, said he designed the bench himself, based on a drawing Philip made of a man reclining and reading a book.
The family wanted to create something that would cause people to pause at the grave. David and his wife, Mary, used to leave a pencil and notepad near the chair for people to jot down their thoughts. The chair even earned a mention in the book Georgia Curiosities.
"That was kind of my intent, to create something people could enjoy and kind of pique their curiosity," David said.
Philip was the second of the Hicks' three sons. He was a student at Druid Hills High, a member of several sports teams and an Eagle Scout who belonged to Troop 175 in Decatur.
Fifteen years ago, he died in a car wreck. The school still remembers Philip with the Red Devil Dash, a 5K that benefits the Phillip Hicks Memorial Sportsmanship Award and the Druid Hills Athletic Foundation.
His father says, "Philip was not an A student. He was not at the top of his class. I'd have to use the word charismatic. People seemed to gravitate to him."
That's still true.
People besides me are still asking about Philip Hicks. Www.golf.com writer Jeff Ritter, part of the Sports Illustrated online team covering the Masters, put together a long story about Philip.
Ritter met Paul Roeser, an Augusta gallery guard who was one of Philip's best friends, and learned how many people loved Philip Hicks.
Ritter discovered connections between the Hicks family and several top players at the Masters, including Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood, that I won't try to explain. Just read his story.
The point: David Hicks says he's come to expect questions about his late son.
"Strangers or people I know will say, 'I knew Phil' or 'I came across the marker at the cemetery,' " he said. "It amazes me how much he inspires people."
Note the present tense. It seems like Philip Hicks is still touching people, even in death.