Sunday, June 29, 2008

WELCOME TO GUMMOLAND! (WALHALLA, SOUTH CAROLINA)

We stumbled into the Twinkie-munching town of Walhalla, South Carolina while searching for roadside attractions in the area. The Osama Bin Muffler Man in nearby Seneca had been replaced by a muffler family. That was disappointing. Walhalla is near Clemson, the conservative football school, but is otherwise in the middle of nowhere on the Georgia/South Carolina border. Our first stop was an antique market that appeared to be open later than it should be. “There’s a big redneck, who really is red, sitting outside,” I commented. The store was actually closed and some sort of auction was about to begin. It was an auction of weird metal things. Gazing at the portly, overall-wearing crowd, I assumed these items had something to do with farms. I had seen them before at a swap meet, but had not inquired what they were. We were a bit out of place in this environment and my wife wouldn’t let me use the bathroom because she was afraid of the amiable, thick-accented country folk milling about. So, we skipped out without ever finding out what them metal things were.



Muffler Family (Seneca, S.C)

I insisted that we walk around Walhalla’s main street, which was fairly lively for late in a weekday when most of the stores were closed. There was the redneck store that featured a confederate flag bikini in the window. Hidden Treasures looked like an amazing junk store with Slim Jims and old stuffed animals in the window display. It was hard to imagine what sort of treasures this store could possibly contain. Another place that had been closed down had a nutty rendering of a very gay-looking sailor/pirate painted on the glass door. It was all that remained of this mysterious store. What had been sold there (parrots, nautical junk, submarine sandwiches)?

Confederate Redneck Store (Walhalla, S.C.)


Hidden Treasures (Walhalla, S.C)

Walhalla has a unique split store (don’t know if there’s a proper term for places that are laundromat/pool halls or bookstore/ice cream stands). This one is a barren salon for hair or nails containing basically a chair and a sink and in the front of the store they sell the front bumpers of cars with headlights. It must be a couple that owns this store. He sells the bumper things and she does the hair or whatever.

There are some Latinos living in Walhalla (how did they ever find Walhalla?), such as the owners of the salon/car bumper store, but much of the town is pasty albino white of the sort you find in certain far-flung corners of the Appalachians. I’m not sure if I can recommend going there, as it’s pretty much out of the way of everything, but I would go back for sure. Though, I’m really not able to do justice to this town’s dead-raccoon-in-the-middle-of-Main-Street, tobacco-spittin’, odor-intensive ambience.

11 comments:

Jennybean :) said...

Wow. I've been to Walhalla, and I found it very redneck, quaint with beautiful surroundings.

CJ said...

I live in Walhalla, and I assure you I am not albino, nor is my neck red. I do not spit tobacco, have never in my life eaten a Twinkie, and I do not have a thick southern accent. While we may have some choice stores that are questionable, and far too many "antique" stores along Main Street, to make the assumption that all who reside here belong to some sort of stereotype is a bit ignorant. Don't get me wrong, we have more than our fair share of hillbillies and good ol' boys here, but not everyone subscribes to that lifestyle. Walhalla is a beautiful place to live, country folk and all. It's not quite in the middle of nowhere. It is only an hour from Greenville, and less than two from Atlanta. If you love nature, you could spend weeks on hiking trails and visiting waterfalls. We are minutes from beautiful lakes and wonderous views. And for these reasons, I happen to rather like it here.

On a side note, we don't have children running around in bunny suits, no one (that I'm aware of) eats spagetti while in the bath tub, and our town has yet to be destroyed by a massive tornado. But thanks for the reference.

Jayne Sharpe Jones said...

I was born and raised in Walhalla. Like EVERYWHERE else...we have our share of "rednecks". Also, our share of idiots, like the ones that came through there, (you and your wife). Walhalla is a friendly, beautiful little town, resting at the foothills of the mountains, which borders N.C. as well as Georgia. Perhaps you should learn geographical boundaries.Next time you bravely visit there, take the time to look up all the waterfalls, rivers, and hiking trails. It is some of the most beautiful country in the USA!

What an ignorant thing to say, Albinos! Lalaland is where I believe you reside, mentally.
Maybe you and your wife couldn't handle the hikes etc...how much do you guys weigh?

Jayne Sharpe Jones said...

You are a disgrace to your fellow "vegetarian Jew-Ass-Jew from the Westside." I now live in Atlanta, and there are so many idiots like you moving here. What a shame! Typical Jew!

Deliasgone said...

Why would your wife be afraid of the people there? In general, the people in Walhalla, or the Upstate for that matter, are some of the nicest folks you'd meet.
~A former Atlanta girl

Chris said...

i am from walhalla and have a gummo tatto. how ironic.

Heidi said...

you know, i live in walhalla and i am a professional cellist. yes, that's right. culture. your commentary is a simple display of holier-than-thou ignorance and i pity you. i chose this area because of the people and the proximity to the mountains. while you may be creeped out, disgusted, or entertained by those "good ol' boy" rednecks, if you and your dear family stopped in and needed help, i'm quite sure they'd be the first to offer their assistance. i don't think i'd bash on the people willing to help me, if i were you. again, i've seen no one in rabbit ears, or selling cats to the chinese restaurant (i'm pretty sure food service trucks deliver here too). i don't "fit in" here: i'm tattooed, pierced, and happy as hell. but i am respected. you don't have to BE the essence of a place in order to enjoy it. you don't have to come back, but you don't have to throw unfounded judgments out there while you're at it. did it ever occur to you what some preconceived notions about someone like you might be? i doubt you would agree with half of them. think about it.

Adam said...

Thanks Walhallians for commenting on this article I wrote a couple of years ago. My impressions were based on spending no more than a couple of hours in your town, so I wouldn't dare pin down everyone in the town as being a rabbit-costume-wearing, spaghetti-in-the-bathtub-eating albino. I'm sure there are all types of residents in this crying-out-for-help little backwater including at least one professional cellist. But I would strongly disagree with Jayne that her hometown is beautiful, though it is sweet that an armpit like Walhalla has residents willing to defend and describe it in terms generally reserved for Yosemite or some place that someone might actually want to go to on purpose.

Jayne Sharpe Jones said...

You're very welcome Adam. May I suggest, you go back to school and take a course in writing.You are just a typical narcissistic LA native. One that thinks way more of himself, than others do.I've been to LA for an extended amount of time. I hated it, so many problems of their own there. You write moronic crap. Being Jewish, I would think you of all people,would understand how it feels to be "put down" for who you are. Kinda sad actually. It shows your inner conflicts about yourself.

Ryan Blaich said...

Chattooga River, google it. Our country has countless beautiful spots and I'd dare say none of them are in a city. Walhalla has the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River. Also there is Stumphouse Tunnel, an Underground Railroad that would have freed thousands of slaves. This tunnel, carved through a mountain, was the labor of pasty albino rednecks...imagine that.

I've said dumb things before, so I will not come down on you for your opinion of my hometown. I hope you realize how insensitive and close-minded your comments were. Perhaps we criticise what we fear and we fear what we don't understand

Zyklon J said...
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