“When we get back to Hahira, you can just turn in your ring, and your tie-tack. 'Cause Coy, you are out of the Shrine.” - Ray Stevens, ‘Shrine Convention’
Another day, another know-it-all from the metro running around the unspoiled parts of the state demonstrating a complete and total lack of home training. It’s not a new phenomenon.
A recent article in The Gwinnett Daily Post told the story of a recent visit by one Rob Jenkins, “a local writer and college professor,” to Hahira, down in Lowndes County. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I had to stop writing a post involving Hahira to write this defense of that fine town. So when I received word that such a scurrilous example of muckraking had hit the newsstands, I was angry. So I took some time to cool down.
Nope. Still angry.
The story is piled high with historical and factual inaccuracies. It’s almost embarrassing to read. Fortunately, Hahira is typical of South Georgia towns in that it has a wealth of folks who are quite capable and prepared to defend their hometown. Several of them did so masterfully here.
Since the historical inaccuracies were already rebutted by the good people of Hahira, I want to deal with the rest of the affront.
Supposedly this guy was almost hit by a train trying to go get a sandwich. Having crossed those same tracks in the exact same place I can tell you this, those tracks are straight as an arrow and South Georgia is flat as a table top. If you look south you can see a train coming as far as Lake City, Florida. If you look north you can see one as far as Unadilla. Yes, those trains come humming through town but if you get hit by a train in Hahira, you earned it.
As far as eats, there’s many good choices. From personal experience I can tell you the food and the service at the Church Street Cafe can’t be beaten. We had a wonderful pre-quail hunt breakfast there. Granted, we used our manners and didn’t go in there like a bunch of self-important carpetbaggers. That probably makes a huge difference in how the locals receive you.
Interestingly enough, the national chain restaurant Mr. Jenkins chose over local fare also had a store in the Gwinnett Place Mall. During the 2018 Christmas shopping season in that particular store a young lady died and her decomposing body went unnoticed for two weeks. That’s Gwinnett in microcosm. “Gwinnett is Great” so long as you love declining shopping centers, variable fare toll lanes, and concrete. You can’t tell where one town ends and another begins. You’re just another face in the crowd. If you get far enough north in the county you can pay half a million for a home that sits a full 18 inches from the one next door. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing. Even that close to your neighbors they probably won’t notice you except if they hear you flush the toilet next door. If you die they might notice you in a couple of weeks. What a wonderful place.
Mr. Jenkins, I wish your son and his new bride all the best but I hope you plan to have your family holiday gatherings at your own home. After that pile of hot garbage you wrote about Hahira you shouldn’t have the gall to ever step foot in that town again. I can’t imagine anyone even pretending to be a Georgian behaving in such a way. If you need to drive to Florida, you owe it to the people of Hahira to take I-95. Don’t ever show your face in their fine town ever again.
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire