Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Georgia on my mind

Down Kenneth L. Birdsong Highway (Georgia Highway 57), north of where it crosses state highway 112, on either side of the Norfolk Southern RR tracks is the town of Toomsboro, Georgia, population 662. Toomsboro, lies in a valley, deep in the woods, a little west of Hazard, and like too many small towns across America is dead, only no one told the aging residents who like their small community, just the way it is.

One citizen in particular, David Bumgardner, snatched up a number of the better properties in town after the bank, and big employers moved out; back in the days money flowed freely, intending to make silk from the sows ear. He figured that all the town needed was his money sprinkled about sprucing up the town. He put his money where his heart was, purchased 20 or so buildings, restoring the older buildings as necessary figuring he'd make a killing on the tourists who'd flock to see the 1880's in 2010. In this case he built it, but they didn't come, so now his little bit of paradise is for sale. Hoping Kim Bassinger's experience in small towns has been forgotten, David would like to see a movie company buy his property as a backdrop for a feature film. Ya can't blame a man for thinking big.

I'll share my idea with you. Picture a reality TV program. A family of "from there's" (from someplace other than Toomsboro) moves to town after taking David up on his offer to sell. Think the Clampetts or Boss Hogg moves to town. Boss and Mrs. Boss work tirelessly at weaseling their way into local society, with big promises of "Look what I can do for you, but I need for you to..." Boss buys the town with the money the Reality TV people throw at him, and in a few years we can see him again as he tries to unload. If your family name is Grant or Sherman I'd give this opportunity a miss. They've long memories in those hills.



Linda McMullan said...

Ouch! This hits uncomfortably close to home, and folks I love dearly - there's a story like this in pretty little Tuscumbia, Alabama. And in Shallotte, North's so hard to see an old town crumble, so hard not to dream of revival and saving those gorgeous old buildings and bringing a new economy to a necessarily dying old town.

David Bumgardner wasn't the first, and won't be the last, unfortunately.

The French Tangerine said...

LOL. You are too much.. Love your well thought out possible scenarios.. As you say, can't blame a man for thinking big..

Toad said...

Linda, I suspect the story is true for most small towns in America once Walmart arrived in their county.

Linda McMullan said...

And there is a Super Sized Walmart in both of those tiny towns...