R Brantley

Some years ago, a few of us took a trip to a festival at Paint Rock, Alabama. We spent the night

in Scottsboro, went to eat at a place called 50 Taters and went shopping at the Unclaimed

Baggage Center.

It was a good trip and I thought back fondly on this trip many times.

My son and daughter-in-law don’t take a day off as much as I think they should, so I suggest

different places to go on occasion.

Some days ago, we decided to go somewhere. Ronnie (my son) had a birthday coming up and we

decided to take off on Tuesday, hit all the thrift stores on the way up and spend the night in a

nice motel, get up on Wednesday morning and shop at the Unclaimed Baggage Center until

Tammy (my daughter-in-law) got tired of it before heading home.

We got out our Garmin and put it on the windshield, filled the truck with gas and headed out.

through Ale City to Sylacauga to a thrift store and then on to Talladega. There we got on

Highway 77 and went up through Lincoln and the beautiful lakes. Can you imagine fixing

potatoes about half as big as a football 50 different ways and all of them delicious? They had

built a new restaurant since I was last there and it was perfect.

Back to the motel to rest up for tomorrow. I was not home and I have trouble sleeping on some

beds so after about an hour my back started hurting and I was glad to see daylight come. As soon

as it did, I went down to the lobby for coffee and continental breakfast. A few people with

florescent green vests came through and got donuts and coffee and away they went.

A couple came in and sat down.

“Good morning, did you have a good night?” I asked.

“Yes,” the man answered back with a Yankee brogue.

I continued, “It rained during the night, but it is supposed to be a pretty day.”

He smiled and grunted, and I asked where he was from.

“Ohio,” he answered and with that I told him about my trip to Noah’s Ark near Cincinnati, Ohio.

By this time Ronnie and Tammy showed up. I asked the man his name and introduced him to my

family. The man said they don’t do this up North.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Come into a motel diner and start a conversation,” he replied.

About that time another older man and woman had sit down and was drinking coffee.

“I am not from here I told her; I am from Tallassee, Alabama. You look like the people that

painted our church sign in Notasulga.”

For the next 30 minutes we laughed and talked and found out all of us were in Scottsboro to go

through the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

As I got up to leave, I told them it was nice meeting them. I was going back to my room, but

Tammy and Ronnie were still with them.

The Yankee man from Ohio told me how much he enjoyed the conversation; he said the people

would not believe him, but he wished everyone North and South would be friendly. We went to

the Unclaimed Baggage Center, but it was a disappointment.

A few years ago, when some of us were there, it was kind of like a treasure hunt.

This time I guess due to TV and advertisement everything was overpriced. I saw sunglasses at

$120 and watches as high as $500. I was ready to go from the get-go, but we had come quite a

distance, so we gave Tammy about three hours to look and look. We had another great meal and

headed home, stopping at a couple of places on the way.

It was a good trip; we met some great people and now we can say, “Been there … Done that.”

Someday I will write about the Cotton Festival in Eclectic; it was great.