Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - 43

the only people who came to town were
lumberjacks," Witucki says. "And a lot
of these lumberjacks were of German
extraction."
Most of the time, Witucki lives in Orlando, Florida, where he's played many
seasons of stanzas at Disney World. Yet
he's also a part-time resident of Cleveland,
Georgia, where he has a second home on
Goat Neck Road in White County-less
than 10 miles from Helen.
"And I come up to Helen and I hang
out with all those beer-drinking German
friends and play music at the Festhalle
there," he says. "It's like turning the hands
of the clock back. The Festhalle is what
put Helen on the map."
With or without a festival, Witucki
loves Helen.
"It reminds me of Germany-the lay
of the land, the weather. The weather is
absolutely glorious," he says. "You get up
there at night, and it cools off and sometimes you need a jacket."
In the void for Oktoberfest in 2020,
consider this North Georgia scenic drive:
Start in Cleveland, the site of Babyland-
the home of the Cabbage Patch Kids.
Follow Ga. 75 for about seven miles to
reach Helen. Here, the traffic slows. Go a
couple miles through town. Then follow
for a couple more miles to reach Unicoi
State Park to see a variety of color-changing trees in autumn.

KENTUCKY:
Pumpkins and Mums
Across the mountains of
eastern Kentucky, Rich
Meadors is known as
"the Pumpkin Man."
Meadors shows a good
time for all in the fall with
hearty autumn decorations at Corbin,
Kentucky, as well as the streets of London,
Williamsburg and Barbourville.
Meadors is actually quite the pride of
Williamsburg, where his family operates a
farm and large pumpkin patch along the
Cumberland River.
Meadors uses horses to perform about
85 percent of farm work, "We've got five
tractors," he says, "but we still use the
horses."
Those animals are also used for
horse-drawn
wagon
rides
when
Meadors opens his farm for tours.
Please check ahead: 606-524-4722 or
sallygapfarms.com
Here, every child goes home with a
free pumpkin: what's all part of the divine
plan that Meadors says God told him to
follow.

Once, Meadors had a
nearby farm. He built his
wife, Charline, a dream
house. And they figured
they would live there until
their golden years.
Then, one day, the
40-year-old Meadors had a
vision of God telling him
to move elsewhere and plant pumpkins.
That, he did. The Meadors couple, with
four children, bought an old farmhouse
and got to work in the fields.
And the pumpkins?
Well, during that year in 2012, the
vines looked awful. And, before long,
Meadors got frustrated. He stood out on
his farm, in the middle of a drought.
And he just started to question why.
It seemed like everything was going
wrong. But, Meadors says, that's when
God intervened.
"He just told me to just walk out in
those vines and see what's out there,"
Meadors says. "And they looked awful-
the sorriest-looking vines they ever looked
in your life. And, God as my witness, I
walked about three feet, and my foot hit
a pumpkin."

ABOVE: Rich and Charline Meadors celebrate autumn in a big way at their Sally Gaps Farms. See
detail shot below right.
BELOW LEFT: Cumberland Falls is a highlight of any eastern Kentucky visit.

STOCK.ADOBE.COM

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2020

43


http://www.sallygapfarms.com http://STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020

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Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover2
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Blue Ridge Country September/October 2020 - Cover3
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