There are three things that I really do appreciate in life: my family, my friends, and living in the South. Now, for all of our flaws, (which I honestly do not believe there to be any, but trying to stay objective for the reader I will keep an open mind), the South is nothing if not interesting- especially if you take the time to really get down to the heart of it and meet some true “Southern Gems”. On a recent trip home from picking up our eldest daughter (Baby Girl 1) from camp in North Georgia, we were fortunate enough to be asked by our dear friends and their children to stop by their grandfather’s (affectionately know as “Grandaddy”) home. He lives up there off Big A Road, jut turn left at the Baptist Tabernacle onto Rose Lane and his house is up on the left. A simple ranch style house that sits among the beautiful oak trees that Grandaddy planted himself some 49 years ago. Grandaddy was waiting under the carport when we pulled into the gravel driveway. I had met Grandaddy a few times before and was happy to see him again. Not having spent a great deal of time in his presence, I am fairly confident that he is the kind of “gem” that uses words like “honey” and “sugar” when referring to any female in his life and “fella” and “buster” when referring to the males.
We go inside and are, in the Southern way, offered anything he can get for us to make our visit more comfortable including the homemade fudge that he keeps available at all times. We politely decline since we had just scarfed some gourmet Mexican for Los Amigos on Big A Road, but thanked him anyway. The kids play around for a bit and the adults meander into the living area. Grandaddy has recently snatched up quite a piece of furniture that is really the focal point of the whole house if you ask me. He has a sofa that stretches at the very least 14 feet down one wall that came out of his recently departed sister’s home. (In the South, that means dead, not recently left the building.) Boy, did he score big on this!! Not only can two people stretch out on this bad boy (not spooning, but feet to feet), but out of the five sections that make up this sofa, FOUR of them RECLINE! In the name of God and all that is holy, would someone please tell me who sat down and came up with this idea??!?! Grandaddy is a lucky, lucky man. It was really all my husband could do to stop me from getting Grandaddy to reveal where the dead sister picked up this token piece of furniture, and how I could acquire one for myself. Oh well, Christmas gift anyone?
Shortly, our friend came in from the kitchen after calling the neighbor, Mrs. Emme Kellar. He said we were going on a little field trip next door, because we couldn’t come to Grandaddy’s and not see Mr. Joe’s taxidermy shop…excuse me?
So we take off across the field and all our friends keep telling us is , “you aren’t going to believe this”, and this is “so cool”….hmmm, OK, a bunch of dead, stuffed animals in a barn-I am with you on the “I’m not gonna believe this” part, but “cool”?
“Miss Emme”, a petite and gentle woman, met us out back to let us into her somewhat recently departed (please see paragraph above) husband’s shop. Now, I do need to tell you I had my camera drawn and ready as if it was going to protect me from what I was walking into.
Cool? I do believe I stand corrected. Mr. Joe Kellar, was a “larger than life” kinda man, my friends exclaimed, and I do believe that to be true. The shop was covered from floor to ceiling with his work, fishing poles, massive numbers of awards from all over the state of Georgia and at least 30-40 walking sticks. Definitely left wishing we had come four years earlier when Mr. Joe could have given us the tour himself.
Wouldn’t want to meet this guy in a dark ally…
This is just what every Southerner likes to keep on their wall…a deer’s butt….heads are overrated!!
What’s wrong with letting your children become one with nature?