"I see some of the negative comments regarding the sad state of affairs in towns such as Albany. Unfortunately most large cities are plagued with crime, poverty, etc. That being said, just a few miles outside of the city proper, in any direction, a different world exists. I live near Doerun on a dirt road. It's a simple place far removed from shopping malls and the violence that seems to occur daily."
Tell that to any rural sheriff and be prepared to be laughed at. Gangs, drugs, violence and other “big city” problems have made major inroads into rural areas in the past 40 years. In fact, your county averages more total arrests per 100,000 than the average for all the counties in the state. Regarding poverty, about 29% of your fellow Colquitt Countians live below the poverty line compared to 19% of all Georgians.
I am glad you have not experienced crime and poverty out on your dirt road, but man you must not socialize much to be so ignorant to the effects poverty, meth, and crack has had on many rural families in that area, including many of my friends and family. And your "head in the sand" attitude will do nothing to help the serious problems rural counties face.
You read my mind Mr. I've lived my whole life in Stewart County, but have always worked in Columbus and Atlanta. I was an entertainer abroad for many years, but this place has always been the hideout.
I made it back from ATL after 5 years.
We are some of the few that are able to make a decent living here and life for us is good. South Georgia is my home and I am fortunate.
"the wrong kind of big-box store". Just, wow.
I enjoyed this article. I see some of the negative comments regarding the sad state of affairs in towns such as Albany. Unfortunately most large cities are plagued with crime, poverty, etc. That being said, just a few miles outside of the city proper, in any direction, a different world exists. I live near Doerun on a dirt road. It's a simple place far removed from shopping malls and the violence that seems to occur daily. My abode is a magical place to me. I pee in the yard, play guitar under the stars, and fish in the nearby ponds. I've travelled to a lot of places and lived among a myriad of different cultures, but I consider myself Blessed to reside in the tranquil beauty on my South Georgia dirt road.
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I am a South Georgia girl born and raised here and never left. I have 4 college degrees all from South Ga colleges. I teach at a small, rural middle school where race relations aren't the issue that the media would lead you to believe them to be. I have traveled extensively in the Southeastern USA, but there is no place I would rather be than right here in small town South Georgia!!!
"You mentioned the history of loblollies in South Georgia, and here's a link to a poem of mine about the history of the Southern longleaf. Of course, all of us Southern writers who write about longleaf owe a debt to my buddy, Janisse Ray..."
One of the largest old growth longleaf pine preserves is at the Joseph Jones Ecological Center west of Tifton. Here is a link:
Thanks for your love letter to South Georgia. My wife and I moved from Atlanta to Tifton eight years ago to her inherited family farm. While I miss the cultural energy of Atlanta, it's wonderful to be more surrounded by nature. You mentioned the history of loblollies in South Georgia, and here's a link to a poem of mine about the history of the Southern longleaf. Of course, all of us Southern writers who write about longleaf owe a debt to my buddy, Janisse Ray, who pioneered writing creatively on that subject.
Good discussion. It's really all about perspective and frame of reference put together with personal preference. The good thing is we don't really have to choose; we can enjoy more than one location in life. Never so clear as when reading "Go Set a Watchman."
I am your opposite. Grew up in the ATL and moved to Moultrie 13 years ago to raise my family. We are now business owners holding on to the Courthouse Square idea we fell in love with.
Thanks for this "letter"!
"Thomasville is an oddity in South Georgia and has been for decades. Definitely is not representative of the rest of the region. It has a lot cultural aspects that don't exist elsewhere down here almost solely because of Northern Industrialists and their money utilizing it as their winter playground."
Thomasville has indeed been historically an atypical Georgia rural small town. It is only about 35 miles from the Florida state capitol and college town of Tallahassee. Consequently, it has historically had access to many of the cultural amenities of a college town and many who reside in Thomasville work in Tallahassee.
Thomasville is an oddity in South Georgia and has been for decades. Definitely is not representative of the rest of the region. It has a lot cultural aspects that don't exist elsewhere down here almost solely because of Northern Industrialists and their money utilizing it as their winter playground.
@ Gary Finley I grew up and still live in the Beautiful City of Thomasville. We are NOT backwoods. We have many cultural events happening all the time. Our downtown is revitalized, and people from larger surrounding "cities" come to our town to shop and enjoy the friendliness of our small town. Something the big cities have forgotten. While there are pockets like Virginia Highlands in Atlanta, it still does not have the same "feel" as a small south Georgia town. I love Atlanta, as a place to visit, but prefer to return to the slower pace of my south Georgia roots. It takes all kinds, so don't bash what you don't know.
Atlanta, Georgia – Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
In 2011, Atlanta City Council passed an ordinance proposed by Mayor Kasim Reed, increasing the retirement contribution required from City employees by 5 percent. Atlanta employees objected that this action was in violation of long-established legal protections against impairment of contracts. In 2013 a group of city employees, including labor representatives, sought the enforcement of their retirement contracts by the courts. In 2014, the Superior Court in Fulton County ruled in favor of the City and the employees appealed Georgia’s Supreme Court, which heard the case in May and is expected to rule by year’s end.
At each step of the litigation, Mayor Reed has made explicit statements that firefighters and police officers will not receive any pay raises, unless and until they withdraw their lawsuit. On Monday, the administration proposed, and the council passed, a pay raise for general employees, but specifically excluded firefighters and police. Afterward the mayor reiterated to local media that the reason firefighters and police were not getting raises was because they refuse to withdraw the law suit.
These punitive actions by the mayor against firefighters and police officers violate federal and state laws designed to protect employees from retaliation for seeking redress in the courts. For instance, Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 45-1-4 says, in part “No public employer shall retaliate against a public employee for objecting to, or refusing to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the public employer that the public employee has reasonable cause to believe is in violation of or noncompliance with a law, rule, or regulation.”
Reed’s latest statements continue a pattern of insulting and belligerent behavior from the mayor against public safety professionals in Atlanta, the result of which have been unprecedented rates of attrition in the fire and police departments. For instance, addressing representatives of Atlanta’s firefighters and police, Mayor Reed infamously said, “You’re not going to rob the train and shoot the conductor in the head at the same time, and that’s what you’re trying to do here.”
Atlanta Professional Fire Fighters Association president Stephen Borders commented, “All Americans are entitled to their day in court, and there is no exception for the men and women who protect the public. For this mayor to continue to retaliate against firefighters and police for seeking the protection of the courts is shameful and, we believe, unlawful. We will continue to stand up for our members’ constitutional and legal rights as we are obligated to do”.
I am a "transplanted" Ohio girl, more aptly know as a @$%# Yankee because I didn't just come down and go back, I chose to stay. (That was said lovingly, as it is said by native friends who tease me from time to time). I live in Cook County, just below Tifton. Notice I said that I CHOSE to stay. WHy? James put it very well. There are many unique things about this area and the people that love living here. Of course it is not for everyone...but for me it FITS. For the most part, people are still genuine and breathe true Southern Hospitality. There is a fragrance in the overturned dirt, a changing chorus of morning, evening, and night critters, and not so much a different pace but an acceptance of ones individual pace. Sweet, kind, giving, individuals and grumpy, abrasive, people probably exist in the same percentages as any other place in the world. I have encountered both. (I have been both LOL) I am blessed to call this "other" GA my home. Of course it is one's choice to not feel the same. I am pretty certain all the roads that lead to these "other GA' towns are not one way. But as this "other GA" fades from your rear view as you go...please permit us to continue to feel and know...what would be lost if it indeed disappeared.
I grew up in SWGA and now live in SEGA. I've never lived above the "gnat line." South Georgia is definitely my home. I would never want to live in the "other" Georgia.
I would love for South Georgia to have remained as bucolic and seemingly innocent as it was during my youth there, but those days are gone. Meth, crack and now junk have swept through like a slow moving, silent tornado leaving a path of devastation that might be invisible to the casual observer except at one point Albany had the highest murder rate of any city its size in the nation. To make matters worse, the rural hospital systems are now collapsing under the weight of Gop refusal to expand Medicaid. Meanwhile, the elites in the Gold Dome turn a blind eye to the suffering of blacks and working class whites.
There is still a lot of good folks still there like Carrie, but there is also a lot of work to be done. My heart is with them.
You don't see many folks waxing poetic over Atlanta, that's for sure.
Does gunning down our most corrupt politicians and leaders count as "civic participation"?
Just kidding, I prefer poisoning, its just so damn hard to get your hands on a gun in our society, damn militia keeps buying them all up.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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