#120 Fried Green Tomatoes

March 30, 2008
Zero RT miles

Day 3

Betty had me put the RT safely away in her garage shortly after I arrived. This is where the RT will stay, safe and dry, until I leave on Monday morning. Today, Betty will be chauffeuring me around in her cute little Pontiac as she plays tourist guide.

We always have a list of lessons learned (LL) from each trip. High on my list for this trip is...
LL: * Be hungry when you show up at Betty's house.
She is a wonderful cook and she makes sure that no one under her care goes hungry!

Saturday evening Betty served a platter full of hors d'oeuvres, then followed up with a full southern supper of pork roast, greens, yams, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. Then she finished us off with a homemade "just that morning" coconut cream pie! This morning I still wasn't in the least bit hungry so I passed on the full breakfast Betty was offering to cook. I need to save room for today's lunch.

Our first goal for today is located about 15 miles up highway US23 from Betty's home. After yesterday's warm temperatures in the 70s, we are surprised to step out of the house into a brisk and damp 42 degree morning. We hop in Betty's Pontiac as the misty rain turns to a light drizzle and back to a mist again. But our spirits are not dampened as we look forward to visiting the hometown of "The Bee Charmer" Idgy Threadgoode.

Fannie Flagg's book, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, was first published in 1987.

I had discovered the book and was already a fan when the film, Fried Green Tomatoes was released in 1991.
The movie was filmed in Juliette, GA. This is downtown Juliette. All of it. At the very end of the street on the left is the Whistle Stop Cafe.
We arrive before the cafe opens at 11am. We wanted to be sure to get a seat before they get busy.
What would you order when eating at the Whistle Stop Cafe?
Fried Green Tomatoes, of course! There they are...the namesake of print and film.
They went great with my cheeseburger and iced tea.
We finish eating our lunch as the cafe starts filling up. We leave, making room for others, and take a stroll outside to see what else there is to see in this small, but interesting place.
To the rear of the cafe we see the old BBQ pit made famous in the movie. Don't forget... "the secret was in the sauce."
Down the one street town...
One of these days I'd like to get back to Juliette to attend a first or third Saturday jam session at the Opry House.
I purchased some local honey in memory of the "The Bee Charmer" from The Honeycomb Country Store.

If you've read the book or seen the movie, you will know that the local train plays an important role in the story.
Our time in Juliette has come to an end. Time to hop in Betty's car and head back to Macon.
Back in Macon, we stop by Fort Hawkins a military supply point and frontier trading post established in 1806 which eventually became Macon.
Otis Redding, son of a Baptist preacher, grew up in Macon singing in the Vineville Baptist Church. He entered in a local talent show as a teenager and after winning 15 times in a row was banned from the contest. Otis Redding dropped out of high school in 10th grade and played with Little Richard's (also from Macon) former band - the Upsetters. He was killed at 26 yrs old in a chartered plane crash near Madison, WI on December 10, 1967. His most popular song, (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay, was recorded only 3 days before his death and released in January 1968.
This is a big, big week in Macon. It's the Cherry Blossom Festival! Nature has cooperated with the calendar this year and cherry blossoms are plentiful during the week+ of scheduled activities.
We were reminded that the parade was about to start when the Budweiser horses came prancing by.
We parked and made our way to downtown Macon to claim a spot to view the parade.
The Sheriff of Bibb County is secure enough in his manhood to sport a bright pink jacket during the Cherry Blossom Festival!
Though there are 11 Nu-Way locations in Georgia, only the one on Cotton Avenue in Macon is the original that opened in 1916 and still serves up the popular hot dogs...just not today. They are closed on Sunday. Darn.

"I'd Go a Long Way For a Nu-Way"®

LL: *It's okay to travel far for a Nu-Way...just check the hours of operation first.
It was just as well that Nu-Way was closed. I was still full from Sconyers BBQ, Betty's roast, pie, fried green tomatoes, etc.

AND Betty has another special dinner planned for tonight!

We get back home, settle in and the next thing I know Betty rings the dinner (supper, we are in the south) bell and calls me to the table. After eating just one meal made by Betty, you won't be surprised to learn that she has three bookcases full of cookbooks plus more stored in boxes that won't fit in the house. Tonight she serves her special spaghetti, a recipe she learned when living in California. As though the meat sauce wasn't special enough, she served it with pasta that she made herself! It was another delicious meal...with pie for desert! Can't get any better than that.

Tomorrow morning I will load up to head back north. I need to get back on the road while I can still fit into my riding gear!

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