Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have noticed I didn’t have a column last week.
I can assure you there was a reason for that.
I wasn’t here to write one because I was on vacation. It was actually more of a staycation because I didn’t leave the state and I spent much of the time at home.
But, I did get away from metro Atlanta for one day to make a trip up to Helen.
And, no, I didn’t do it to get there for Oktoberfest. I actually went up there on Halloween — three days after Oktoberfest ended.
I know I have written about Helen multiple times. It’s one of Georgia’s unique features because much of the town center is designed to look like a small Alpine village.
But, this was my first time visiting the place on Halloween, which is a true treat.
Most people do the safe Halloween thing by setting up stations in a parking lot and letting children come by and get some candy. However, the business owners in Helen bring candy to work on Halloween and families come by each store to do their Trick or Treating.
And, it’s not just the kids showing up in costumes. Adults in the families get dressed up too, which is why you saw princesses, witches, a human Lady Bug and Elvis all within the span of an hour.
Actually, the human Lady Bug and Elvis were together as part of a group of costumed people that also included a woman in a hodge-podge outfit that included a black skirt, orange leggings and a blue wig.
It gave life to an area that was otherwise dead because people were turned off by the bitter cold sweeping in from Hurricane Sandy.
Helen is an interesting place not just because of the Alpine design. It’s got an eclectic mix of stores all within a one-block radius. There’s a fine China shop, “Granny’s” funnel cake shop, candy kitchen, gift shop and college sports-themed shop in the same block with a tattoo parlor and biker gear shop.
And, then there was a concert by a local rock band with absolutely no talent and a lead guitarist dressed as a participant in a witches coven meeting/slumber party in the town square. All that was missing was a chicken wire barrier protecting the band from any tomatoes and beer bottles that should have been thrown at them for being so bad at playing music.
Some guy in a ghoulish costume came up and started dancing like an old man with the lead guitarist. A woman dressed as a hippie occasionally joined in the fun.
As the band continued playing into the night, I hopped back into my car and drove home content with the knowledge that I had experienced something new in Helen.
Curt Yeomans covers government for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at email@example.com.