Bullock County

Work in progress...

You all know by now that I have published a book called Amazing Alabama - our state's first coloring book. It took me a little under a year to complete and each of the 67 counties has its very own coloring pages. I'm not originally from Alabama and didn't get to take Alabama History in the 4th grade, so this was a really cool research project for me. 

Well, now I'm working on the Georgia version. It's not going to be called "Gorgeous Georgia", but if you have any other ideas for a good name, please shoot me an email and let me know. Anyway, Georgia has 159 counties (as opposed to Alabama's only 67), so this book will be structured a bit differently. Not ALL of the counties are going to have their own page - mainly for logistical reasons. Nobody wants a 180 page coloring book that would probably cost $40! Not to worry - all of the counties will be represented. 

I actually grew up in Georgia - Athens, in fact. My Dad was in sales and used to drive those Georgia backroads all the time. He has been really instrumental in helping me figure out neat "off the beaten path" things to include. I'm about 1/8 of the way through right now. That's not as far as I'd like to be, but I'm having to do a lot of weeding through... Georgia has a TON of really neat things! I've been sharing a few things here-and-there on my Facebook and Instagram, so if you don't already follow me, you NEED TO. Hey, you've got to stay up-to-date with everything! 

 

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One of the really cool things I had to include is in Athens (Clarke County). Did you know that there's a tree that doesn't belong to anyone? The (very edited) story goes like this: a man died and left a trust in the name of his favorite tree (yes, a TREE) so that it would be taken care of in perpetuity. This tree is rightfully called, "the tree that owns itself".

 

Bulloch County, GA is home to the U.S. National Tick Museum at Georgia Southern University. Let me tell you - let felt like CHRISTMAS when I found that little gem!

 

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This one is still in the sketch-phase, but the world's ONLY life sized elephant funerary monument is in Colquitt County. Did you know that? I sure didn't...

 

Cobb County, in north Atlanta, is home to the Big Chicken, a fast food beacon that has been around for over 50 years. At one point it was scheduled to be torn down, but the people of Cobb County pitched a fit and started a petition to save it! If you've never seen the Big Chicken, you really need to make a special trip. 

 

I'm already planning an epic Georgia road trip this summer with one of my daughters. We're going to try to hit all 159 of the counties. Has anyone else done this? I need to get a brand new crisp (properly folded) Georgia map and draw out a route for us... tell me I'm not the only one who still does this...

What neat things have YOU found along the backroads in Georgia that I need to make sure we see?

Bullock County, Alabama

Back before Christmas I had the privilege of meeting Midge Putnam, from Bullock County, at a meeting in Opelika. Midge is like a one-man-band, and I get the idea that she's really good at what all she is involved with! She works with the Red Door Theater, the Tourism Council of Bullock County, she's a Spanish Teacher at Conecuh Springs Christian School, she's an active mom, and she's also really involved in the local Girl Scouts! Anyway, we started talking about ways she could get me down to Union Springs for a series of book talks. It started out small (I was just going to come to a local bookclub and talk), but I had no idea how incredible this day would turn out to be!

Several weeks ago, after she and I had already nailed down our plans for the bookclub talk, she sent me an excited email saying that ALL the 4th graders in Bullock County were getting their very own copy of my book, and would I mind coming a bit early to visit the schools. 

We visited 2 schools that day - the first one being Union Springs Elementary School Those kids were so excited and they asked really incredible questions. They quietly looked through their books and followed along as I talked about several of our state's 67 counties. Their Principal, Marvin Lowe, really should be proud of his smart, excited kids who are so eager to learn. And at Conecuh Springs Christian School, we were joined by Debbie Collins' sweet 4th grade class to learn all about Bullock County, coloring, the Bicentennial, and a whole host of other things that our state's 67 counties have to offer! 

A HUGE "Thank You" to people like Midge who see how endless the possibilities are when it comes to educating our youth and getting kids EXCITED about learning. I know Amazing Alabama is a coloring book, but if I can get just one person to show a new interest in something they learn about our incredible state, then I think I've done my job!