Georgia Magazine - November 2012 - (Page 34)

Elbert County’s country stores By J. Keith Jones Bring Georgia home! The good I always loved going to Uncle Guy’s store as a child. Whenever Dad would walk into the house to take a break from working his farm and ask if I wanted to ride to Uncle Guy’s store, I was eager to go. Uncle Guy always gave me ice cream. I’m sure my father, Bill Jones, must have paid him, but I was too young to understand, so I associated Uncle Guy’s country store with Brown Mules, Brown Bears, Nutty Buddies, you name it. Uncle Guy Bell was my father’s uncle because he was married to my great-aunt Mae. His was one of three country stores in a row in sleepy little Fortsonia in Elbert County. The other two were owned by relatives Gilmer and Clarke Hudson. Gilmer was another nephew, and Clarke a cousin of Aunt Mae’s. These stores were among the more than half-dozen my dad would frequent—mostly during off season when there was nothing to plant, pick or cultivate. Often, you’d find farmers telling tall tales and spreading gossip around an old pot-bellied stove. These stores had a culture of their own. They were the proverbial public wells in these tiny communities of the South. Similar rituals were carried on in auto repair garages where the same tales were shared as mechanics worked under the hood of some neighbor’s pickup or his wife’s car. The circuit was complete at the local barber shop where a more uptown group traded friendly taunts, with the barber often leading the way. Each venue had a slightly different bunch, but there were certain men who made the rounds almost every day, spreading the latest news faster than More online at kudzu covers gullies and fallow pastures. One such man was Floyd Moss, who was long retired from active farming. He kept a few cows and always had a garden larger than most people’s houses, which he worked with his old Farmall tractor. Occasionally, he brought one of his two old mules out front of his house to give him a workout with the ancient manual plowshare. Daddy always said Mr. Moss knew more about cattle than the veterinarian in Elberton. The old country general store was part of the charm and individual character in these small communities. Many were not towns, but unincorporated villages. Places like Balchin’s, Worley’s and Hudson’s Store were the cultural hubs and crossroads of these wide spots on the road. Often you would not have realized there was a thriving community surrounding them. Many of the 34 eorgiama www.g .org gazine East, Garden Victory mmunity nton Co seed: Ca a legacy thers Building n helps o o Ross Mas page 26 rs lead Voluntee the way page 18 ation page 58 September uc Higher ed ia in Georg page 35 2012 ORDER FORM Mail subscription request to GEORGIA Magazine Subscription Request, P.O. Box 1707, Tucker, GA 30085-1707 County County City State ZIP City State ZIP Address Name Please send a subscription to: I am enclosing a check or money order for (check one) Please notify the recipient of gift $9.95 for one year $15.95 for two years Subscribe online at or mail the form below. Address Name Gift subscription is from: Bill me Bill Jones proudly holds his son Keith in 1965. GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2012

Georgia Magazine - November 2012
Picture This?
Liberty Notes
Georgia News
Calendar of Events
Festival Guide
Homes for the Holidays
Flip-Flops and Caviar: Winning Georgia Products
More Great Georgia Products
Around Georgia
Lodging and Dining on the North Georgia Art Ramble
My Georgia
Statement of Ownership
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
More Snapshot Submissions
Second Helping: More Holiday Side Dishes
Plant of the Month
November Online Trivia Contest

Georgia Magazine - November 2012