Way back in the 1980s and 90s or thereabouts people with nothing better to do than try to lure people to Pooler used to say things were cooler there. Maybe they still do, somewhere in Pooler where it’s actually cooler.
Dumb as it sounded to my ears, the slogan must’ve worked because years later Pooler ain't what it used to be. It’s much, much, much more.
I know that because several elected officials – and Republicans at that – point to Pooler as an example of what they don’t want happening here. “Proper planning,” they might as well say, to be blunt, “prevents Pooler.” In the meantime, there’s still Pooler. It leaves a mark if you’re not ready for it.
A Thunderbolt native and longtime Richmond Hill resident shot me an email the other day to say just that. Seems he’d gone up into Rincon for the first time in decades and was aghast at the changes wrought there.
“Rincon got Poolerized,” he lamented.
“Really sad. Where will it all end?”
I don’t know a good answer to that question, but I like that term. Thanks Frank.
It’s apt, and works as a verb for those of us who’ve been hereabouts a while and who, when we get out and go somewhere, are reduced to casting an increasingly sad eye on the Poolerization of Georgia’s Coastal Empire – and the South Carolina Lowcountry, for that matter. Sure, the country may be polarized, but not us. We’re Poolerized.
So when (and where) will it all end? I suspect it won’t so long as there’s a nickel to be made from moving dirt and knocking down trees and evicting wildlife from its habitat, and replacing it all with Pooler.
Thus, at some point 10 or 20 years from now you won’t be able to tell one end of the Georgia coast from the other.
What happened to this place, someone will ask? It used to be laid back. Unhurried. Easy going. Now it’s all stressed out and 90 percent of the people sound like they’re from Atlanta or Florida by way of somewhere up north.
Sorry, it got all Poolered up, we’ll say, shaking our heads sadly. Poolerized. Poolered.
Poolerited. Poolerplated. Poolereezed.
Pooler the great smelting pot of America, 21st Century Georgia style, turning a region of many distinctive communities into one vast tract of mixed use development, suburban cornhole competitions and Botox clinics.
Wrinkle Free Wednesdays only $10 a pop. Oh, and don’t forget to read your covenants to see if the Greater Pooler HOA allows political propaganda or panhandling, whichever comes first.
Anyway, after the great Pooler Annexation of 2025, we’ll all be Poolerites, or Poolerainians. “Ich bin ein Poolermanner,” President John F. Kennedy’s ghost will announce, and scare the heck out of everybody.
But he’ll be right. By then any of us left will be Poolermanners, or Poolerettes. Lady Poolermanners, maybe. Up to the Pooler PC Police, that one. Oh, and us creaky senior citizens will be called Pooler-o-sauruses.
Ambulance chasing lawyers who advertise on local Pooler TV news stations instead of newspapers because their target audience can’t read will be called Poolerpettifoggers. Vinyl siding will be called Poolerplanks or Poolerwrap, and Pembroke will be called West Pooler. Don’t laugh, South Bryan. Richmond Hill will be Pooler Where Henry Ford Lived. The Great Ogeechee Seafood Fest will be called The Pooler Prawn Plate, and people will dress up in day-glo pink shrimp suits and think they’re having fun while busy hunting a $20 place to park up in West Pooler so they can take a $50 shuttle to the action.
Rincon will become Pooler North. Port Wentworth will be Pooler Municipal Boat Ramp. Garden City will be known as the Pooler Warehouse Industrial Complex. Savannah will be Pooler Quarters on Abercorn, and you’ll need a key to the gate. Hilton Head will be called Pooler’s Big 10 Beach Bar and Grill and Poodle Crematorium.
Atlanta will be called Big Daddy Pooler, and it will like it. Ellabell will still be Ellabell, thanks goodness.
Oh, and those $200 beer coolers named after Bigfoot’s cousin will be known as Pooler Coolers, a nifty play on the Cooler in Pooler motif, not. And the biggest grossing film of 2028 will be Ferris Pooler’s Day Off, a remake of a certain comedy from the 1980s. That one was based in Chicago. This one will be based in Pooler, where is sort of like Chicago. Ferris will have a part time position at Pooler’s Pickled Poultry Planks, which is what Chic-fil-A turns into once Pooler gets hold of it.
As for fat little editors like me, I’ll be known in The Great State of Pooler as Porky Press.
Whitten is somehow still editor of the Bryan County News.