There is little doubt that the few mental faculties I once had are on a steady decline. That said I’m not sure about much any more but there’s one thing that is for guaranteed certain: I much prefer living in a rural area as opposed to a concrete jungle and Buckhead, Ga. suits me right down to the ground. The community of which I speak here is not the one adjacent to downtown Atlanta but rather 60 some odd miles to the east in the county of Morgan.
By most standards Buckhead is a hick town and even sports a water tower that has been lovingly painted (by Jim Bob Picasso) with the head of a male deer. That emblem is proudly displayed and looks much classier and decorative than anything I’ve seen at the High Museum of Art in the aforementioned concrete jungle.
If these revelations have made you smirk at the name and symbol of our little town consider this: Would you rather live in Big Ugly, W.Va. where the most recent headline read, “Big Ugly Woman Cut in Saloon Fight” or in Smelley, Ala. where the lede story in their local newspaper was titled, “Smelley, Homeless Man Arrested for Panhandling.” You see what I mean? Buckhead is actually a pretty cool name.
Three weeks ago I had the great misfortune of having to go to Atlanta. It was forced upon me by circumstance. My youngest daughter was moving into an apartment in that traffic-infested town. She is actually excited about living there. After an all day adventure of furniture moving and arranging we were finally ready to depart and I found that my normal good humor and positive outlook had gone south. I was moody, irritable and grouchy. These are characteristics that I rarely display and the simple reason was that I had been in Atlanta too long. It is an aversion bordering on loathing and it literally makes me ill.
I was practically pulling my hair out by noon and nearly comatose by 4. However upon re-entering the town limits of Buckhead later that evening I was instantly cured and once again became my jovial self.
I suppose there are those who shake their heads and wonder why this fool would want to live in the boondocks. Here is a sampling of my reasons:
1) I like to hear the quiet.
2) I enjoy the smell of the woods.
3) I like my neighbors and friends far better than those funky city folks.
4) My pond is 25 yards away.
5) I can drive for long stretches and not pass a car.
On the other hand here are a few of my reasons for disliking big cities:
1) Quiet in Atlanta is the pause between MARTA trains passing.
2) Atlanta constantly smells like a paper mill.
3) Living in Atlanta is similar I think to being in a Third World country.
4) I dislike human zoos.
5) In my mind and despite its population, Atlanta is a desert of loneliness when compared to the camaraderie found in rural areas.
There might be other places that one could consider living, and I’ve thought of that very thing. As I go through the list in my mind here are some possibilities and the reasons I’ve rejected them:
1) California — Cal has too many earthquakes and San Francisco is there. Weirdoes abound in great numbers.
2) North Dakota — I’m not really fond of living in a place that’s so flat you can shoot a cue ball from one end to the other.
3) Tennessee — Big Orange country gets too many recruiting violations and sings way too many renditions of sorry old “Rocky Top.”
4) Minnesota — too damn cold.
5) South Carolina — think pulpwood.
6) Pennsylvania — I’m opposed to living in a place where the state bird is a grouse.
7) Florida — don’t like gators. Period.
So you see, I’ve looked around pretty thoroughly and have come to the conclusion that there’s no place like the Real Buckhead. That’s where I’m at and it’s where I’m staying. It’s quiet, smells good, isn’t crowded, the people that are here are friendly, the barbecue joints are excellent and there are plenty of places to hunt and fish. No sane person can argue with that logic.
Alvin Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.