I took the advice of my wise readers and loaded my truck with my dogs, guns and wife, shook the dust of California off my boots and headed for Tennessee, never looking back.
We settled in Macon County right up on the Kentucky border. Matter of fact if I were to shoot in that general direction the bullet would land in Kentucky, probably disabling somebody’s tractor or still. Maybe a meth lab, it being Kentucky and all.
The nearest town is Lafayette, population 5000 and some, and is the County seat. It’s a bustling little town with 2 stoplights (3 if you count the 4-way stop by the drugstore), a Walmart, Tractor Supply and a livestock auction yard right in town. The courthouse sits right in the middle of the town square where you can find an antique shop, town department store, bank, newspaper office, a storefront church and approximately 37 starving lawyers.
There are no railroad tracks and 1 small stretch of 4 lane road in the entire county which only has two towns – Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs or RBS for short – 1 major highway (52) and Highway 10 which is a highway in name only. The nearest freeways are all 40 miles away.
There’s so little crime here that the weekly paper has been running the same headline for 3 straight weeks about a burglary ring (3 guys) getting busted here.
The police force is so bored that an minor accident in front of the Tractor Supply is sure to draw all 4 cops on shift as well as every deputy in the vicinity. And if there’s a State Trooper having pie at Midgett’s Country Restaurant, he’ll show up too.
There was a double homicide a few months back but it was barely in the county and both the suspects were from Trousdale County and the beef started down there. As far as I know the two counties are still fighting over who gets to take credit for it.
No gangs, no graffiti. None. We don’t go for that shit around here. Same thing with drugs, I haven’t seen any of it no matter what the Discovery Channel said about meth and pill abuse in Tennessee. Not in Macon County as far as I can see, anyway. I know it’s here but it’s not as big a problem as it’s made to be.
Our youngsters here have shown me they’re good kids, sons and daughters that any parent would be proud of. No sagging drawers, most of the boys around here are in camo or overalls – with both straps fastened.
But they have a LOT to do here – sports are huge. If you go to my weekly paper HERE you can see for yourself. And 4-H is big out here which is to be expected seeing as the town lives pretty much on agriculture. Plus there’s plenty of hunting and fishing around and the kids take full advantage of it – the girls too.
That’s the difference, too – that’s the whole secret to keeping your kids off drugs but that’s a whole ‘nother subject.
The county is overwhelmingly white with a smattering of Mexicans, especially when the tobacco comes in. I think I read on citydata.com there’s 24 black folks in the county and they’re good folks. They don’t act any differently than anybody else and they’re treated like everybody else. There’s no racial tension from either side that I can see, just the way it should be. We have an Asian family too.
It’s a semi dry county – No bars and I can buy beer here but not wine or alcohol. I also can’t have a beer with my meal. If I want whiskey I have to go to a liquor store 19.3 miles away in Hartsville. That sucks, huh? Not only that but they have a “beer tax” here – a six pack of decent beer runs 9 bucks. I know huh? Gotta take the bad with the good.
By the way, Greg B, I’m drinking the beer you bought me as I’m typing this post. Thanks, man.
Lafayette’s police force. A small southern police force. You know where I’m going with this, right?
No, you don’t.
The only thing I’ve got to say about LPD is that they wave at you when they drive past. I’m serious. I’ve had no interaction with them at all, even when I was tooling around town for a month with California plates on which is very noticeable seeing as Tennessee doesn’t require a front plate. But they haven’t given me no problems at all. But then again, I haven’t given them any reason too.
Same thing with Macon County Sheriff’s Department who patrols (occasionally) my area. I very seldom see a deputy on my road, maybe 3-4 times in the past year? But that’s a good thing – the less police in your area, the less crime. Gotta put your assets where you need ’em, I can understand that.
I have made the acquaintance of a detective here and he’s a good guy. He’s welcome to come on to the property for a social visit any time, we’ll have sweet tea and do a little shooting.
The one thing that I truly love about this place is how doggoned friendly everybody is. I swear, you cannot get out of your truck anywhere without hearing a “You doin’ all right?” which I’ve discovered is the official Tennessee State Greeting. My standard reply anymore of “Yeah, I’m good, still breathin’ and ain’t bleeding or locked up” always gets a laugh.
Men open doors for ladies and ladies let them know they appreciate it. Folks greet one another on the street. Sir and ma’am are common words around here.
I have yet to see any kind of hostility towards anyone here. No fights, no arguments, no disagreements, nothing. It’s a far cry from California, man.
It was the best decision I ever made in my life. I absolutely love it here.
Lisa asked me a couple weeks back that if I could go back to California for a visit, what would be the first thing I’d do? and I said “Leave”.