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Fried Chicken, Georgia, and REM: Ten-Year-Old Me Would be Proud


Oh, hi! It’s been a while. I finally escaped the city last week for a little Southern road trippin’. Aside from the 40 degree weather and hail, it was a nice time. Sweet tea, fried chicken, collards, boiled peanuts, barbecue…. It was essentially an eating tour of the South. Now I’m back, five pounds heavier and definitely not complaining.

On our way to Savannah we stopped in Athens, a little town in western Georgia that I’ve been dying to visit since I was ten years old. That’s when my obsession with REM began, when I discovered their album Automatic for the People, and as a result, became a life-long music junkie. In case you didn’t know (and if you’re a normal person, you don’t know), REM is from Athens.

I did all of the requisite dorky things that ten-year-old me would have wanted: we visited Wuxtry Records, the music shop where Michael Stipe and Peter Buck met. We saw a show at the 40 Watt Club, where REM and other Athens bands got their start. We even went to the nearby Waffle House, where I *think* Michael Stipe worked for a time. I promise, I’m usually not such a stalker freak. REM just does something to me.
The biggest dweeby pilgrimage was our stop at Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods. Automatic for the People got its name from Weaver D’s slogan for the restaurant (which is, you guessed it…). Whenever you order something, Weaver D kindly shouts your order to the cooks in the back, hands you a cup for sweet tea and says, “Automatic.” Whatever you want, it’s “automatic.”

The “delicious fine foods” change daily and range from fried chicken in gravy to fried pork chops—both of which were mighty fine.

Weaver D mentioned that they’d just run out of fried pig’s ear sandwiches that week, something I was dying to try. But still, the fried everything else and the Gawgia peach cobbler made up for it.

The walls are plastered in REM and Automatic for the People posters. I guess the album made Weaver D a little famous, or he just really loves those guys (I know the feeling). I was a little embarrassed to be snapping photos (what a tourist!!) but I snagged some when no one was looking. And I could swear I saw a few other people with cameras tucked under their jackets. Kindred spirits.

My brother Joe tried chatting with Weaver D as he cleaned out pig intestines for chitlins when the register was slow. He didn’t seem to be in the mood. At one point he said to Joe, “I oughta put up a sign that says Three-Question Limit per Customer.” I guess he doesn’t like small talk. But still, the sound of Weaver D’s sweet Gawgia drawl stayed with me like a song the rest of our trip, when I’d randomly repeat his parting words to us, “Niiiice meeetin’ alla y’aaall.”

Ten-year-old me was pretty happy.
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9 Responses to “Fried Chicken, Georgia, and REM: Ten-Year-Old Me Would be Proud”

  1. Jean says:

    bioled peanuts sound interesting, i don’t think i’ve ever even heard of that.

  2. Nik says:

    My condolences on the lack of fried pig ears up for grabs. Very cool–all of this.

  3. Katherine says:

    Too bad they don't deliver!

  4. Dan Sheehan says:

    You and your musical pilgrimages. Love it.

  5. Janet says:

    I would love to go on a road trip like this. I was a huge REM fan when I was younger. Gotta pull out those albums.

  6. Celia says:

    Wow, that food looks delicious! I don't know about pigs' ears though…

  7. Nicky says:

    Man, they know how to do it down south.


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