This week I'm serving as the guest poster on the Instagram account for Classic Georgia (www.classicgeorgia.com). That's fitting as I think Classic Georgia and ABG will make for a great pairing. They're sort of like sisters, celebrating the tried, tested, and true Georgia and everything that makes this state great and beautiful - the true soul and identity of Georgia.
One thing you can still find in Georgia is the old country store. Wood floors, a dirt parking lot, live bait for sale, glass bottles of Coca-Cola sold from a top-opening refrigerated box with a bottle opener mounted on the front.
Fosters Mill Store is that kind of place. It's refreshing to sit at the lunch counter and enjoy a fried bologna sandwich and polite conversation with the friendly owners. Sipping Coke from a bottle and passing amicable banter back and forth across the counter is an experience that you can't duplicate at some fast food chain. And this isn't the experience you can expect across the street in a cinder block building that offers gasoline and beer. Grab a biscuit for breakfast, maybe some minnows on your way to Brushy or Weiss. Be friendly, don't hurry, this is the South, as it was intended to be.
When Ray Charles sang about the moonlight trough the pines, he wasn't just whistling Dixie. Georgia is blessed with trees and not just pines. They give us shade, recreation, and income. They hold our tree stands, fuel the fires of our BBQ, provide us with timber for lumber and paper, bestow upon us the world's finest pecans, peaches, apples, and serve as a beautiful canvas for the paintbrush of God.
Agriculture is our number one industry. It has been since 1733. Before that, it wasn't just industry, it was survival. Georgia farms produce cotton, peanuts, peaches, pecans, beef, poultry, and I'll stop there, knowing that I've left someone out. In every corner of this state, hardy men and women coax the red clay of Georgia into providing us with food and materials for finished good. These are the people on the real dirt roads, the ones on the real tractors.
And Georgia has its history. Native American mound builders, European settlers, wars, politicians, revolutionaries. The Trail of Tears, The March to the Sea, The Appalachian Trail.
These are just a few of the things that make up classic Georgia, at least in my mind. So get in your rocking chair for some porch sitting, have an ice cold Coke, read a Flannery O'Connor story under a live oak, and if you think the peaches are good, thank a farmer.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire