Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 24

COUNTRY ROADS

Seen Ray Lately?
30 Years Ago in
Blue Ridge Country

"W

JOE TENNIS

e don't die. Everybody comes
back in and out in another
body. There is one soul of everything.
Now that's everything alike. We don't
have dog souls, they have one dog
soul, and we have one soul of human
spirit. Through the male and the female, the young-un get born
back again. It's called a different name and maybe a different look
but it's the same person."
-The late National Heritage Fellow storyteller Ray Hicks (19222003), as quoted by Su Clauson-Wicker in her profile of Hicks, of the
North Carolina mountains, in the September/October 1989 issue.

It's been a half-century since plans developed to turn Helen into a
village with a Bavarian look in the mountains of Georgia.

HELEN TURNS 50

H

elen, Georgia, turns 50 in 2019. Well, sort of. It's actually
been known as Helen, Georgia, for 106 years-since taking its name from Helen McComb, the niece of a major real
estate developer, John E. Mitchell.
But it was not until 1969 when what was once a dying
lumber town adopted its Bavarian-style look with cobblestone alleyways and gingerbread trim-thanks to the
vision of local artist John Kollock and the support of several
businessmen.
"It was a very simple, little town," says 60-year-old Terry
Sims, who grew up three miles north of Helen.
"And it was a pass-through place," remembers Alta Buckley, who drove through in 1969. "It was just a Georgia town
that was dying. Fortunately, it was not dying completely."
Today, little but lively "Alpine Helen" is a place to play-
from the parade of tubers on the Chattahoochee River, bubbling through town, to the live music, horse-drawn carriages,
eclectic gift shops, lodges and German cuisine served at
Helen's restaurants.
"It's just an exciting, little town," says Buckley, an information specialist at the Helen Visitor Center.
This year, too, Helen marks the addition of the new
Georgia Mountain Coaster-an offshoot attraction of the
Cool River Tubing Company, owned by Sims. And while
that new ride adds tracks, what was once the Gainesville &
Northwestern Railroad is now the universally accessible Helen
to Hardman Heritage Trail, offering a mile-long journey in the
woods, overlooking a milldam and the ruffles of the river's
course.
helenga.org
-JOE TENNIS

24

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

COURTESY CENTER FOR CULTURE PRESERVATION

The North Georgia town is older, but took on its
Alpine identity in '69.

Director David Weintraub interviews Jere Brittain, chair of the
Upper French Broad Defense Association that fought the TVA's
plan to dam tributaries of the French Broad in the '60s and '70s.

SAVING WATERWAYS

F

ilmmaker David Weintraub explores the deep relationships
between water and human in his latest documentary, "Guardians of the Our Troubled Waters: River Heroes of the South." The
film tells stories of the efforts to save waterways in western North
Carolina, East Tennessee and South Florida, focusing on two
women author/activists. In our region in 1955, Wilma Dykeman
published "The French Broad," a clarion call to clean up the polluted river in western North Carolina.
"The film is the story of ordinary people who made extraordinary efforts to protect what was most dear to our community,
which in my mind is the natural resources around us," says Weintraub, who hopes the film will inspire a new generation of water
protectors. Visit SaveCulture.org for information about viewing
the film.
-CAT MCCUE


http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 44
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_1112
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com