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OPINION PAGE - AUGUST 25, 1999 - HOMER, GEORGIA

Column
Angela D. Gary
The Banks County News- August 25, 1999

The perfect weekend getaway
Located high in the mountains of North Carolina, it is a perfect place for a weekend retreat. The air is cooler, the pace is slower and the folks are friendly. Highlands, N.C., has always been a favorite destination for me. It seemed the perfect getaway for my mom's birthday weekend. I made reservations ahead of time at a bed and breakfast.
Saturday, we headed out bright and early. It's only a two-hour drive from our house and we were in no hurry. We stopped in Dillard for breakfast at the Dillard House. The family-style buffet offers something for everyone-ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, grits, gravy, biscuits, pancakes, cinnamon rolls and fruit. You certainly don't leave the table hungry.
Highlands is located only 14 miles from Dillard. It is a very scenic (and steep and winding) drive. The trees join overhead to give the roadway the appearance of a covered bridge. The view is great and there are spots to stop and hike to the waterfalls along the mountainside. The natural beauty is all around.
The downtown area is filled with unique shops, antique stores, historic bed and breakfasts and churches and art galleries. Main Street is usually bustling, but there is plenty of parking. We started at the end of one side of the road and ended up at the end of the other side. Benches are scattered throughout town and we stopped several times to rest. It only took a few hours to cover all of town and stop at a few shops that caught our eye.
The best find as far as shopping goes was some of the stuffed animals that I collect. They were all "retired" and cost only $3 each. The store was apparently getting out of the business and selling all of their stock.
After checking out downtown, we went to our bed and breakfast, The Old Edwards Inn. It is located in the heart of downtown and is within easy walking distance of all of the shops. The rates range from $100-$115 for one night and it includes breakfast.
The inn was built over 100 years ago and has been carefully restored by the innkeepers. You step back in time as soon as you arrive at the front door and see the sign "21 Good Rooms For Ladies And Gentlemen." The building is red brick with balconies on the second and third floors. The first floor has two sitting rooms and a restaurant. One sitting room has the head of a large moose from Alaska.
The rooms are filled with antiques. Antique furniture in our room included a queen-sized bed with a curtained canopy atop it, a dresser, a couch, a chair and an old-fashioned, claw-footed bathtub. We also had a balcony overlooking town.
The Central House Restaurant is part of the original building. We made reservations for dinner when we arrived in town. This is a good idea, as it is popular among tourists and locals alike. The fresh seafood was outstanding. The desserts also sounded yummy, but we didn't have room after filling up on shrimp, scallops and fish. The prices ranged from $15 to $20 for a main entree.
We had breakfast at the inn Sunday morning before heading for home. A cook was set up in the hallway of the restaurant, and he greeted guests with the morning's selections-French toast, omelets, grits, bacon, sausage, biscuits, fruit or cereal. He made the orders and delivered them to the guests. It was great.
The drive home was also pleasant, with stops at several roadside stands to get fresh vegetables and fruit. My mother still enjoys canning and freezing like her mother taught her. She had plans to can some peach jelly and freeze corn. I've never seen so many people fighting for fresh corn. They were lined around the bin grabbing the stalks. Mom found the peaches and corn and I spotted fresh new potatoes and cabbage. We loaded up the car and continued on home toward Nicholson.
It was a relaxing weekend and I'm already planning a return trip.
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald.

Editorial
The Banks County News
August 25, 1999

Wanted: Candidates for election
The Town of Alto is looking for people to fill the mayor's seat and four council seats. Last time qualifying was held, the election had to be canceled because no one qualified for the seats. The current council members agreed to serve again because of the lack of interest among the citizens in serving.
The mayor and current council have worked hard and done a good job for Alto. They have to make tough choices and not all of them wanted to sign on for another term of office. But their love of their town led them to step forward when no one else would.
We hope people qualify for the upcoming election so that it can be held as scheduled. Qualifying will be held Sept. 15-17 and the election will be Nov. 2.



Letters to the Editor
The Banks County News
August 25, 1999

Let Charity Road stay private
Dear Editor:
This is in response to an article published in The Banks County News Aug. 18, 1999, regarding the Charity Road dispute. When we purchased land from real estate agent Larry Cagle six years ago on the dead-end of Charity Road, it was no more than a jeep trail. Mr. Cagle removed trees and graded the road to make it passable for Jackson Electric Membership Corporation to get power to us and for a construction truck to get in.
We went to the then county commission chairman Milton Patterson to ask if the county would rock the road and maintain it. Patterson said the dead-end of Charity Road and Charity Drive where the road forks, and dead-ends in both directions were owner-maintained and had been since before 1974. Patterson stated that the county couldn't afford to open every dead-end road in the county and maintain them just because someone wants to build a house. Since that time, all the rock on the dead-end of Charity Road has been purchased by my husband, David Tolar, only, but that was fine with us as for many years we were the only landowners who lived on the dead-end road. Anyone can see that the end of Charity has been maintained by us as well or better than the front of Charity Road that has always been maintained by the county.
In the past year, the county has stopped maintaining many dead-end roads. If now, after all this time, the county decides to take maintenance back over on Charity Road, what will the explanation be to the rest of Banks County taxpayers as to why special attention is being given to us? Why should our road now be open when their roads are being closed?
I address this to the BOC. If you take over maintenance of Charity Road it will set a precedent in the county and everyone living on a dead-end non-county-maintained road will want the same attention. Our survey shows us owning to the middle of the road, proving it is private. As stated in court by Judge Banks at a hearing, the landowners on Charity Road own to the center of the road, making it private.
Hasn't Banks County had its fill of the happenings on Charity Road and the people who live there? Why is the BOC holding special meetings just about one road and its residents? If the BOC gives us special treatment concerning our road, the county will be forced to do the same for others. Leave the road the way it is, because if you don't, the BOC will find themselves with a flood of demands that will come following such actions for roads to be reopened and maintained all over the county. It will not be fair to the taxpayers of Banks County for the BOC to give us special attention. The county cannot afford to take on the additional road maintenance that would result from the re-opening of the dead-ends of Charity Road and Charity Drive, because what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Sincerely,
Edna Tolar, Homer


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