Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cairo (Kay-Row)

 photo image_zps25eafbe1.jpg

Like the sign says...there, between Banbridge and Cairo, Georgia, in Whigham County, on the last Saturday of January...Rattlesnake Round Up. It's not a play on's a mess of rattle snakes that have been rounded up in the area. You can watch them pop balloons and watch idiots be idiots with rattle snakes (I recently saw a man on tv put a bunch of them in his mouth in front of a small crowd for an even smaller fee...he got bit). They demonstrate how the venom is milked for anti-venom and you can eat 'em. I did...breaded and fried. Taste like squirrel...which kinda taste like gator...which really just taste like chicken. That must have been more than 30 years ago now.

They're still rounding them up though. In that part of Georgia and Florida you'll see signs up offering so much money per snake...not enough.

 photo image_zpsd2b21004.jpg

Tuscaloosa, Alabama...there are many things to love about Tuscaloosa...this is one of them. I don't even know what it was there lot maybe...diner. Who knows. It sits behind a gas station now, near a ledge that separates it from the parking lot of Chinese buffet. It's not a very pleasant block and probably everything on it should be condemned but, I would imagine he persists there because no one wants to claim responsibility for tearing him down.

 photo image_zps7d02797d.jpg

Madison Florida...probably the very edge of the cities jurisdiction. There was a bbq and juke there...maybe a hotel. I've been going to Madison all my life...41 years and it's been burnt down, and in that state, at least since then. If they ever do clear that lot I'll cry.

 photo image_zpscb103473.jpg

Somewhere along I-10 in North Florida.

 photo image_zpsc14b4d8b.jpg

Is there any place more beautiful in the cosmos than a fireworks stand...No!

Like you're author...North Florida Crackers.


  1. Wonderful photos that, from this far away, summon up feeling of the weirdly exotic. Eating snake seems a little extreme but if you fellows insist on munching on squirrel, I suppose it's not so strange. Ever considered vegetarianism? ;) Great tune by a great band who I had the privilege to see live not long before the plane went down.

    1. Can you eat hog if you're a vegetarian?

      You'll find a lot of Gator on menus around here...but not a lot of rattle snake. Still, the gamiest thing I've ever eaten was gator "wings" . Normally, it's the white meat of the tail that's eaten (it's good too). This was gator arms prepared like chicken wings. Tough and swampy.

      It is an exotic place along these old highways.

    2. Skynard is the boss and from what I understand the ripped Britain a new one there toward the end.

  2. Yes, amazing photos! When I see pics like these I feel as if they must be on a film set.
    Plus there is a little detail on that graffitied door which I just love - the little couple in the middle above the notice. Their scratched outlines making them solid silhouettes bring to mind figures running through a dark tunnel lit up from behind - (exactly what the artist intended, I'm sure...)

    Needless to say I won't be sampling rattlesnake, gator or squirrel meat any time soon but I appreciate the education!

    1. All that meat is off the grid at least...if you're gonna eat it somebody has to come face to face with it.

      The couple is certainly the highlight...though there is an obvious runner up. Somebody else evidently loves that one. Ha

      I cherish my time on the roads down here.

  3. Your post has made me realize I've never eaten a reptile. Must do something about that. This being Australia, I can probably do something about that in the back patio.

  4. Crocodiles don't look nearly so tasty as gators... How about some common brown snake.

    Go on get you some amphibian while you're at it... Frog legs are pretty tasty.

  5. Wow! Really fab photos!

    On the whole, though, I think I'll just stick with chicken.

    In honour of Tuscaloosa:

    And even though I susiect this has nothing to do with the town of Madison:

    And I'm sort of guessing Madness are taling about a different Cairo:

    Am I allowed to say I prefer J.J. Cale's version of "Call me the Breeze"? No? Okay, I won't.

    1. Well of course you can say it....but...

      Tuscaloosa Lucy is a great one though.

      I should've pointed out I went through Meridian Ms and Montgomery Al. We could get some good ones out of that.

    2. Might not be a bad time to point out that the chicken might be a riskier bet than rattlesnake.

      Last week, with all of us making our bread selling meat, I had a conversation with a sales rep and an owner about how dreadful the industrialized meat industry is.

      None of us are giving up meat...I will eat hog...for god sake there's got to be a better way than some of these slaughterhouses. We don't eat these creatures because we hate them...we love them because they provide us with sustenance. Then there's all the chemicals...I sell some chicken wings that are big as turkey legs.

      A deep freezer and buying a cow and a hog at a time is the future I think...and raw milk dammit.