With the latest Bryan’s Faves’ winners announcement just around the corner, I figured I’d throw out some obvious winners in categories overlooked by the good people who cooked up the contest. Apologies in advance to anyone who reads this.
Bryan’s Favorite Place Not to Drive: Pooler. Pooler. Pooler.
Everything used to be Cooler in Pooler, just like the Pooler Chamber said. Then it got discovered. Now Pooler is Bryan’s Favorite Place Not to Drive. I know Bryan, and he’ll tell you the same thing. Driving in Pooler is actually getting so doggone dangerous it should be outlawed until they get the roads figured out. But nope, they’re building a Costco. And 4,219 more warehouses.
Bryan’s Favorite Place in Bryan County Not to Drive: For me it’s either 17 or 144, but especially westbound 144 toward I-95 anywhere east of Kroger during the evening rush hour. People who moved here last month from New York will go around you and then cut back into the right lane so they can hurry up and stop and turn right into the Kroger parking lot, causing you to have to brake and almost get rear-ended by somebody who moved here last week from Chicago.
Runner up: Blitchton. Blitchton is a wonderful little community up in North Bryan just over the Ogeechee River from Savannah, for all you folks who just moved to Richmond Hill and wouldn’t know North Bryan from North Carolina.
It just happens, however, to be located at the intersection of Highway 80 and Highway 280 not far from I-16. That means every other trucker in the universe coming in or out of the port of Savannah will drive through there on a regular basis to dodge the weigh station on I-16. And now the powers-that- be plan to build warehouses just up Eldora Road, which will add even more truck traffic. It’s called progress, we’re told. Bah.
Honorable mention: I-16 at 280. Industrial parks are reportedly great for providing jobs, but boy do they make a lot of traffic. Rush hour around that interchange will weird you out in a hurry. And it’s naturally going to get worse before it gets better.
Bryan’s Favorite Bean: I have it on good authority Bryan’s Favorite bean is the pork and bean.
Bryan’s Favorite Place to Gaze at Trees: Pembroke wins this hands down, being the longtime tree city it is. You can hardly turn around up there without running into a tree that makes you wish you could go sit down under it and take a nap or read something profound, like Shakespeare or Emily Post. Pembroke is also home to the Bryan County Elementary School tree, where the old school once stood. That’s where all the students snuck out to smoke, too, back in the day when even second graders snuck out and smoked ‘em if they had ‘em.
Bryan’s Favorite Place to Get Good Road Food, like a couple pickled eggs, a bag of spicy pork cracklings and a Coke zero to wash it down with while still keeping an eye on the waistline: Truth is, just about any convenience store will do, so long as it isn’t a yuppiefied one. Yuppified convenience stores will be the death of the South, if yuppies don’t do it in first. So, give me those old timey side-of-the- road places where you have to poke around under stacks of ancient cans of potted meat, fishing bobbers, fly swatters and urinal biscuits made in 1982 to find whatever it is you’re looking for, which you’ll know when you find it.
Bryan’s Favorite Best Southern Accent: Being from South Carolina, where all my cousins tend to sound like Ginger Billy of YouTube fame, I’ve heard a lot of great Southern accents in my time. Few people hereabouts have accents are as Shelby Foote-lian as that of former Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis, who was recently honored by the city of Richmond Hill. There are drawls, y’all, and then there are drawls like King Richard’s – drawls that sound like they ought to come with a side of hush puppies and some sweet tea.