Friday, September 30, 2022

Georgia, Georgia 🎶

The whole day through
This old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind...🎶

Was Ray Charles talking about the state of Georgia or a lady?  Well, I'm referring to both.

On Weds. we were in Columbia, S. C., preparing to head towards Myrtle Beach on Sat.  As you can see on the map, we were projected to be in the center of the aftermath of Ian. After hurricane Ian left Florida, went out to sea, it was projected to land again in the Carolinas and carry high winds inward.

On Weds. the forecast for Hurricane Ian shows the dark blue dot in the center as Columbia, S. C. where we were.

We decided to pick up and head west into Georgia and see what happened. No need to be sitting in an RV if the projected winds hit 50. Pretty sure we had winds that high in Maine a couple of years ago but they also had trees come down with one landing on someone's RV. Pat found a campground 3 hours west of us on Lake Oconee and Thurs. morning we left for Parks Ferry Campground in Georgia.

Seems to be a big campground. Thurs. night there were 7 camped here and tonight even fewer.

Lake Oconee

We had a pull-thru spot so no need to unhook the car. I'm always looking for interesting things to do at our stops. Well, something I'll share next time came up and we needed groceries. Searching for grocery stores the Uncle Remus Museum popped up and since the car had to be unhooked anyway, we went to the museum. At the museum we found Georgia, not the state, but the lady. Georgia Smith was our docent today. She said she is nosy (I think just curious), she had a great sense of humor, and basicly seemed like your own grandma. 

The museum was constructed with 3 small slave homes and a wing from a plantation house. Georgia took us to the back, the plantation wing, and told us to grab a chair and sit around the table (pretend table that is). She reminded us to keep our elbows off! Not only did we learn about the author of the Uncle Remus folktales, Joel Chandler Harris, but we learned first hand about life in the 1940's when there was still segregation between Blacks and Whites.

I actually have an Uncle Remus book and had some background about the stories, but I still thought the book might be considered racist or offend some people. Georgia set me straight. She said people shouldn't be offended by most things, history is important and needs to be remembered--the good as well as the bad. In this case Harris' stories, put in writing in 1881, were the stories told by African American families from generation to generation. Because many slaves couldn't read or write Harris'stories were maybe the first time these folktales were put in writing.

Georgia graduated from High School in 1958 and said she only had black teachers until she went to college. Raised by her Grandma, who lived to be 110, she has lived in Eatonton, GA her entire life. Georgia had 6 children and was very proud that 3 were in the service. As a child she said every family had a story teller. In hers it was her Grandma. Children, Black and White, would gather round to hear these stories and the morals they held. By the way, in Eatonton at least, Georgia said that you do not refer to "animals" in the Uncle Remus stories they are "critters."

Br'er Terrapin

Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox

Pictures were not allowed inside the museum. Song of the South was a Disney movie based on the Uncle Remus stories and the ingenious critter Brer Rabbit. Hanging on one wall in the museum were a couple of still life's from the movie, both signed and donated by Walt Disney. The Uncle Remus stories were translated into 27 languages and they had several in a display case. The museum, though not large, could have captivated us for hours with its artifacts.

We were so fortunate to have met Georgia today. It's not often you meet someone who has an impact on your life, as she did mine. Just like every grandma she asked for a hug as we left! Oh, and if we were in town Sunday, she invited us to her church.

Eatonton, population near 6,300, is the only town in Putnam County Georgia. It has a huge county courthouse.

Uncle Remus and critters sitting on a bench at the Putnam County Courthouse. 

An audio recording at the Courthouse by Georgia, according to her, reading one of her favorite Uncle Remus stories, How Br'er Rabbit Lost his Tail.

On our way back to the campground from Eatonton you could see clouds from Hurricane Ian.

Great food

Where are the Piepers now? Lake Oconee, GA