Bluto & The North Georgia Mountains
This cabin was built by my g-g-g-grandfather John Hunter (c1775-1848). It is still standing and tbe Union County Historical Society declared it to be the oldest standing man-mad structure in Union County, Ga.
One day I took Bluto to the North Georgia Mountains to give him a whistle stop tour of where I ancestors stomped and multiplied.
We went to Dahlonega where gold was discovered about 1830 or so – which ultimately caused the removal of the Indians to Oklahoma.
We went to Union County and I showed Bluto my great-great-great grandfather John Hunter’s (1775-1848) cabin, which has been declared by the Union County Historical Society to be the oldest man-made dwelling in the county. Inside the cabin looks to be about 10 x 12. Most rooms in houses these days are bigger than that.
Before we went across the field to the cabin we went into a country store across the road from the cabin to buy a Coke. The store was a general store looking place which if one was to have a store in the area, generally it was a general store. It was ran by one person – a young man maybe between 20 and 25… he looked like a good old country boy who. I suspected his parents owned the store.
The good old country boy came up to me and asked me what did I think of old blablablabla. That may as well been what he said, the name or word he said made no sense to me at all. Then he went on to say Old Blablablabla will have to live that down. I then remembered I had a Georgia Bulldog baseball cap on…. He was talking about football, and I remember some foul up a coach had at UGA the past week.. but I wasn’t sure what. I said, “Well, I think he knew what he was doing – you got to remember he gets a lot of pressure from the alumni who pays a big chunk of his salary.”
He agreed, and said he never thought about it that way. Neither have I.
We went to Helen, Georgia. Anna and I spent our Honeymoon near Helen in 1967 at Unicoi State Park. There in the park was a big beautiful waterfall. The town of Helen then was just a sleepy southern mountain town. Now it is a heavy bumper to bumper traffic tourist town. Their attraction? They made the little three block long town to look like an Alpine Village. And they have plenty of gift shops and beer joints with loud music. What more would a tourist want in North Georgia?
We ate at Georgia Barbecue, just outside of Helen. Outside in the parking lot were service kind of pickup trucks: plumbing company trucks, electrical contractors' trucks, county maintenance trucks - in other words, an affordable place in Helen.
About 5 to 7 miles down the road from Helen is Cleveland, Georgia. Cleveland is the home of Babyland General Hospital, where Cabbage Patch Kids are pulled up out of the garden, or something like that. Cabbage Patch Kids was the brain child of Xavier Roberts … but actually these children have no brains. When we found the hospital and found a place to park Bluto was out of the car and marching like he had just seen the coming of Lord and the Lord had his arms spread opened accepting people to come to him.
Bluto has a hard time walking because he has hip problems. But you would never know it the way he was marching to the Babyland General Hospital, home of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. It was as if he received a touch from God and instantly healed him.
He just stuck his head in the door and decided it would be cheaper (and less embarrassing) for me to just take his picture standing in front of the Babyland
Xavier Roberts took the look from the Appalachian dirt poor artists and turned that poor dirt into gold dirt… gold dirt for him.
Incidentally, between Helen and Cleveland is a little community named Sautee Valley. There, in slavery days there was a man living there considered the meanest man in Georgia. I mentioned this in an earlier blog. He was a distant in-law. His 401K for his elderly slaves was simply to snuff them out of existence then he didn’t have to feed them anymore.
There is a kind of an informal farmer’s market selling various kinds of produce at the intersection of two main roads in Marietta. We noticed riding by there before there was also a trailer with many large display of flags. The United States Flag, various versions of the Georgia flags – there is one version that has the stars and stripes – the Confederate battlefield flag, which was our flag for about 10 years to show defiance to the Civil Rights law, and also the Confederate flag in various sizes. Bluto wanted a full size Confederate Battle Flag.
After we returned from the mountains I started deep frying a turkey and Bluto went to the corner and went to the trailer to buy the flag he wanted. He went in and the proprietor was leaning on a cheap old couch sound asleep. Bluto had to wake him up to buy his Confederate Flag. Somehow, being asleep seemed part of the show for tourists like Bluto.