I spent most of the day in Warm Springs today.
It was been almost 10 years since I'd spent any time there. And the changes I saw today saddened me.
Downtown Warm Springs used to be a vibrant, busy place with lots of shops and restaurants.
Today, my colleague Robin Trimarchi and I saw empty storefronts. And no one on the streets, except shop owners cleaning the sidewalk in front of their businesses.
But one resident is trying to change things. Preston Evans will open a wax museum next weekend.
Yes, I said wax museum.
He bought 30-something figures from a going-out-of-business wax museum. He spent days, feverishly putting the figures together. In fact, there were some without hands, which he said will be put on last.
He said it was tougher than he thought, putting them together.
While the wax museum was interesting, his other three museums were even better.
He collects motorcyles. I've never thought of myself as a motorcycle aficiando, but these were really cool.
Like he said, "If you love motorcycles, you're gonna love the museums. If you don't love motorcycles, you're gonna love the museums."
And that's for sure.
Right across the street from the wax museum is the famous Bulloch House restaurant. Robin and I had lunch there and it was fabulous!
Just the way it was the last time I ate there.
We met with Sabra McCullar, the executive director of the Welcome Center. I didn't realize her job is not just for Warm Springs, but for all of Meriwether County.
She gave us two story ideas that we'll work on soon. The first is really intriguing. Sheila Lee, the Warm Springs mayor, still works at the Bulloch House as a waitress. Apparently, she just loves talking to people and what better job than waiting on people in a popular restaurant?
The other is a 55-mile drive through Meriwether County, stopping at various attractions.
The next stop was the historic Warm Springs pools, which will be open Labor Day weekend. The pools are filled twice a year to allow people to swim in the therapeutic water.
The final stop was the Little White House. While Robin went to the actual house to take pictures, I stayed in the gift shop. My feet hurt.
But I did go into the museum, which was built in 2004. It is a beautiful space, filled with all sorts of things that President Franklin D. Roosevelt used.
There are going to be some events in Warm Springs and in the county that you might want to go to. I'll write about those later.
In the meantime, take the 30-minute ride to Warm Springs and have lunch at one of the restaurants. Believe it or not, there's even a Thai restaurant.