Think about the town where you currently live: its local customs, traditions, and hangouts, its slang, what would be the strangest thing about this place for a first-time visitor?

canned peaches

There’s no mistaking, this is the Deep South–with cotton fields, boiled peanuts, and pecans.  They’re “pe-caahhns, ” and not “pe-cans”–like the “can” in “tin can.”

The village was named, Elberta, just like the varietal peach.  The orchards are no longer here.  Non-locals commonly change the name to “Alberta.”  We’re nowhere near the similar-sounding, Canadian province.

“You’re not from around here–are you?”  That’s a phrase you won’t hear in Elberta.  Most people came here from somewhere else.  The town was founded by German immigrants.  Elberta is best known  for German sausage festivals in spring and fall.

Elberta, is a wonderful mixture of funky, junky, home-grown, modern and old-fashioned, spread out along highway 98.  Signs of civilization are everywhere.  There are still plenty of wide-open spaces.

There’s a great little combo, gas station, grocery, and meat market. The “Road Kill Restaurant” is further down the street.  A nearby county heritage museum honors early settlers.

At “Grits and Gravy,” a favorite breakfast hangout, the proprietor carries a sidearm.  That could be unnerving to some newcomers. One of the restaurant employees was robbed on the way home from work.

“Elberta, Fur Das Gute Leben,” ( for the good life), proclaimed by welcome signs on both ends of town. 

I felt comfortable here–that’s why I stayed.


live oak arches Live Oaks
Arched, nearly
Touched, over
Shaded roadway
Draped with
Shawls of
Spanish moss

Passed by
Creole houses
With wide, inviting
Porches, supported
By white columns
At the end, of
Shaded driveways

Thoughts entered
The deep south
As far, as
One could go
An open invitation
As life slowed, to
A gentler pace

Brought back
Memories of
Friendships, that
Lasted, hospitality
Warm, as the
Humid summer
Days, in old
Magnolia Springs