Thursday, January 27, 2005

Spinning stories in Ball Ground, Georgia...

All a story has to do to immediately lose credibility is to start off like this: "I heard this from my husband's brother who heard it from some of his friends who swear it's the God's honest truth." And who am I to question the "God's honest truth?" But even sans credibility, it's a good story about a small Southern town that wears eccentricity on its sleeve live a sausage gravy stain. (I found out as an outsider to the South, that "crazy" is never to be used to describe anything Southern. Maybe "eccentric" or "different," but never crazy.)

Anyway, it seems that a wealthy man (the source of this wealth is only speculated, but most agree that it has a freckled past) bought up most the stores on the main street of downtown Ball Ground. Anybody would have just assumed that he wanted to corner the market on the locals' drycleaning needs, floral arrangements, four-dollar coffee drinks, etc., but, no, this character is a lot more interesting than that. Here's the eyebrow raiser...he went on to fill all the storefronts with rocks. Rocks of all shapes and sizes. And they weren't even for sale. The stores are all closed up, and he only allows certain people in to see them. The word on the street is that he even had a little boy arrested once for stealing one of the rocks. I can't imagine the police report on that one.

But this story isn't seems that the IRS showed up on the doorsteps of the man's house one day to demand back-taxes. (It's said that the man lives a few houses up from the stores, so he can keep any eye on all his rocks.) He stood on his porch and asked them, matter-of-factly, "How much do I owe?" The suits told him, just as matter-of-factly, that he owed a couple of million dollars. The man told them to stay there on the front porch, and that he would be right back. A few minutes passed, and he came back with a couple of fat bags of cash. Handing them the bags, he said, "Now get off my property." And when a man in this part of the country tells you that, you'd better already have one foot in the car, one hand in a waving motion, and an one extremely humbled look on your face.

Now, when I heard my husband first told me that story, I thought, "Now that's a man, if he exists, who I could have a great cup of coffee with!" I've grown so tired of all the desperate housewives around the Atlanta suburbs who wouldn't know problems even if their Escalades broke down on I-85 on the way to their plastic surgeon's office. But my next thought was, "What am I thinking? That can't be true..." That was until my husband and I were just driving around one day, trying to get our son to go sleep, and we happened upon "Ball Ground Highway." We thought, "What the heck? Let's go see about this suburban legend..." We drove into Ball Ground proper, and there were all the storefronts...closed up and filled with rocks...and that's the God's honest truth.

0 Things not left unsaid: