“The Banjo Boy?”

Breaking Real Hot News From; The Dead South News Service. Photo’s courtesy of author James Dickie.

Obie Wahn, the hotshot reporter for the Dead South News Service is in Northeastern Georgia with a breaking story that is sure to get everyone’s attention.

Uncle Gus’s Riverside Rafting and Fish Camp located on the Chattooga River has been in operation since 1962 and is well known as the location where the actors and film crew stayed, and filmed the 1972 movie “Deliverance”.

Uncle Gus has long since departed the camp but his memory and influence are kept alive by his constant presence. When Uncle Gus passed back in 1982, his only daughter, Sparkle, had his body stuffed by the local taxidermist, and today, he sits in his favorite easy chair near the potbelly stove at the back of the camp store. For a few dollars, visitors can pose for a picture with old Gus and his two blue-tick hounds that are also stuffed and obediently sitting at his feet. Framed pictures of Uncle Gus and Sparkle with the cast of “Deliverance” decorate every wall in the store. A life-size cardboard Burt Reynolds stands behind the counter next to the cigarette display.

‘Miss Sparkle,’ as she is known around these parts, is a feisty red-headed single lady in her sixties. She contacted me on the Facebook saying she had a story that would beat all.

Miss Sparkle tells a whopper of a story so I will share it with you in her own words.

She tells it like this; “back in 1984, a bunch of rich bigshots from Washington DC came down to ride the Chattooga like in that famous movie that was filmed here. They were nice men and treated me with respect, even though I was just a river rat. Daddy hadn’t been gone long and I was real sad, so it was nice to have some company at the camp. One night the bunch of us were sitting around the campfire drinking daddy’s famous “shine” and this one fellow they called Joe B started sniffin’ my hair. I didn’t mind cause I had just washed it with lye soap and it smelled pretty good. He was a nice man, in a creepy sort of way. Too much “shine” always gets you in trouble, and I’ve had plenty of it since then. Well, about a year later the stork shows up with this bundle of joy. I call him Joe Bee. He ain’t no kid no more and doesn’t want to do anything but sit in that swing all day long playing the same song on that damn banjo. I’ll tell ya, it’s driving us all to drink more than we normally do, and that’s a bunch. We tried hiding it, but he always finds the darn thing. Little Joe Bee just wants to know who his daddy is. My two other boys, the twins, Smokey and Bandit, their daddy never comes to see them neither, but he gave them each a black Pontiac Trans Am for their sixteenth birthday. At least Joe Bee’s daddy could send him a monster truck or something.”

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