“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” — The Eagles, 1977
It’s felt that way if you’ve worked in downtown Ellijay the last couple of weeks, especially on Fridays. Traffic coming into town for the Apple Festival or the annual “leaf looking” tours will hesitantly let you out, but begrudgingly let you back in. Judging by how hard it is to find a parking space, the parking lot here at the Times-Courier seems to be a premium locale for tourists launching into local restaurants and shops, and most of our regular customers know to visit us early in the day.
Otherwise, you may need to bring a bar of soap to wash out your mouth from those words you thought you’d forgotten. And it’s not just that there are so many visitors, it’s that some of them drive ... so ... slowly ... to see what’s in the store windows as they creep by.
Nevertheless, we’re thankful for those who visit our fair town to gander around and go antiquing — and of course, buy a copy of the newspaper.
Speaking of creepy, have you driven into Ellijay late at night recently? Myself, I’m an early riser who may get up at 4:30 or 5 a.m., but hardly ever past 5:30. Yes, my time as one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (the U.S. Marine Corps) ruined me forever from sleeping late. Conversely, that means by 8 or 9 p.m. my motor has pretty much ground down. Call me before then if you want me to make sense.
So, if we’re ever coming through town in October from a function after dark I’m already tired, and then I’m freaked out. That’s right — Ellijay’s “Standing Dead” are everywhere, those “scarecrows” dreamed up by the chamber of commerce. Even in broad daylight driving around the square I keep thinking a tourist is going to bolt right in front of me from their standing position there at the curb.
“The Walking Dead” have nothing on this town.