It seems like it’s been a month since I’ve written anything except a grocery list but it really hasn’t been a month even though the last thing I wrote that wasn’t a grocery list was last month but I wrote it on the last day of the month so it’s really been just a week and so much has happened in that week. Days came and went and I went and came to Atlanta and then home and now I’m in someone else’s home until next week taking care of their sweet puppy who weighs in at roughly sixty pounds which is more than half of what I weigh in at when I bother to weigh in though there aren’t many places that require me to weigh in upon arrival, but I think it is safe to say that it’s a big puppy and it is a she and her name is Lily.
So while I watch Lily devour one of the sofa cushions (just kidding, Susan (Susan is the owner of said large puppy), she’s chewing on something else), I thought I would catch you up on my comings and goings as said comings and goings relate to travel as opposed to other things where those words might be used. And did you notice that once again I made use of the embedded parenthetical phrase? I amaze myself sometimes, but not this time because I could see that embedded parenthetical phrase taking shape before it actually took shape.
As you may recall, I accompanied my friend to Atlanta over the weekend so she could attend the wedding of some relative. We turned a six or seven hour drive into a two day drive by stopping as much as possible. That last sentence is not quite true but we did stop quite a bit. Our first stop was at the Georgia welcome station because we both really had to make a pit stop. While there, we perused the various pamphlets for more possible stops besides the possible stops we already we’re possibly going to stop at. Once armed with more pieces of paper, we headed north until we spied the giant peanut monument.
We had arrived in Ashburn, Georgia, which we were soon to learn is the home of the Fire
Ant Festival. We were not there for the Fire Ant Festival which was a good thing because the Fire Ant Festival only takes place on the fourth weekend of March. Apparently, the Fire Ant Festival is full of wild and wacky activities and according to Penny Baker at the Chamber of Commerce draws about 30,000 people each year. So next year if you happen to be anywhere near Ashburn, Georgia on the fourth weekend of March, you might want to stop by.
We drove past the world’s giant peanut monument because it would have involved left
turns and we thought we could make right turns to get there on our way out of town. I once read that the secret to life is no left turns. It was a touching compelling essay about some guy’s grandfather and while I was touched and often avoid left turns when driving if I can, metaphorical left turns in life are often the best turns your life can take so while I tend to avoid left turns while driving if possible, I often take the metaphorical left turns in life. We would have made the driving left turn to the giant peanut if there hadn’t been another point of interest to see further down the road.
That other point of interest was the Crime and Punishment Museum which was not a museum about Dostoyevsky but about prisons and capital punishment. Once again, I experienced the parking space karma that I am known for by getting a primo spot right in front of the museum. Of course, it helped that the museum was closed. As was the Chamber of Commerce across the street where we were to start the tour. However, the sign on the Chamber’s door said it would re-open at 1 p.m. and seeing how it was 12:45 we decided to sit on the curb in the parking lot and eat the carrot sticks and turkey sandwiches I had packed for the trip.
We also took some photographs and then Penny Baker showed up. She explained that the museum had been closed for repainting, but they had finished the painting the day before and even though the museum wasn’t scheduled to reopen until Monday, she would give us a tour. We also got her life story, so I know about her divorce and that she once worked for the postal service and that she was born in Columbus, Georgia, worked in Atlanta, then Minnesota, then Washington, DC, and then moved to Indiana to be with the guy who would become her second and current husband and then retired to Ashburn where she lucked in to the Chamber job and now you know her life story, too.
Our private tour of the museum was very interesting and we felt like celebrities because
we got a private tour. The building was actually a jail. the sheriff and his family lived on the first floor and the jail cells were on the second floor. They had the last meal menus for executed prisoners framed on the wall. One guy wanted two cheesecakes. I’m not sure what I would want for my last meal but I think I would order at least three days of food, maybe more and I would eat very slowly.
There was also an electric chair and we learned that the electric chair was invented by Thomas Edison who thought it would be a more humane way to execute prisoners than by hanging because he thought it would only take five seconds of electric current. It turned out that it took four minutes of continuous electric current to kill a man and witnesses could smell flesh and hair burning. Edison witnessed an execution and when he realized how long it took, he immediately regretted his invention. I tend to think if he hadn’t invented it, someone else would have.
Much as we hated to leave Penny Baker, we had more stuff to see, so we bade our farewells and headed towards the world’s giant peanut monument. There was a placard but I didn’t read it, so I cannot tell you who built it or why except we were in peanut territory so maybe that was the reason and though you can get a glimpse of the monument as you fly by on I-75 you can’t really get a photograph unless you take the time to take the road between Pizza Hut and Zaxby’s down past a couple of factories until you come to a dirt road and there in all it’s glory it is.
After our brief stop at the
giant peanut because there was no gift shop or cafe or anything really except the giant peanut, we got back on the interstate and headed to Cordele where we saw the Confederate Nuclear Missile though I’m pretty sure the nuclear warheads were removed before it was placed in the parking lot between a gas station and a Krystal hamburger place or maybe not, this is the south after all. And apparently, that little patch of land between the gas station and the Krystal hamburger place is known far and wide or maybe just by locals or anyone who stops at that gas station or Krystal hamburger place as Confederate Launch Pad #1. It was a bit anti-climatic though not everyone can say they’ve seen a confederate nuclear missile. It’s quite possible that most people don’t want to say that, but that’s probably because they are no metaphorical left turn kind of people.
We still had a few miles to go before we slept but I will have to suspend the suspense of what happened next because I need to feed the giant puppy because she is starting to act like she might eat me if I don’t feed her, so I’ll pick up my traveling tale of whether or not left turns were taken the next time unless I become puppy chow between now and the next time.