We packed everything we owned for the move from LA to Atlanta, but still had a somewhat empty house by the time we were all moved in. The housing crisis had afforded us the ability to get a real nice place in Atlanta… but now we had to furnish it. Alex called the house our “Derelict Mansion.” It was new and beautifully built, but our old furniture barely did the job. And since we were really stretching it to live in such a nice home, we couldn’t just go out and buy whatever we wanted. Case in point, our cable outlet was in the wrong room, but there was a fee to have it rewired, so I just ran a 100-foot cable extension from one room to the next. We tried to hide it against the wall, but part of it ran across a doorway and then up to the outlet making it not only an obvious rig-job, but a tripping hazard as well.
We spent a good bit of time our first few months seeking out bargains to help fill our bigger-than-needed home, finding the best grocery stores and just getting our bearings. One landmark that kept getting mentioned was the Big Chicken. You’d ask someone where the furniture outlet was: “Take a left at the Big Chicken….” Or ask someone where they lived: “You know where the Big Chicken is, well….” So, my wife was intrigued. And that’s one of the reasons I love her—she’s always willing to check out something new, just because.
We were in Boston a few years back and getting settled in our hotel room. Alex picked up the local magazine and saw all kinds of great restaurants and things to do, but what really caught her eye was the landmark that most of these places had in common: “Right next to the Big Dig,” they all seemed to say. Having not been to Boston or read about their nightmare-of-a-transportation-project, she didn’t realize that the Big Dig was just torn up cement (granted it was deeply torn up) to make way for new roads and tunnels. “Well, we’ve still got to see this thing” she says. So we found the deepest part of the dig and took some photos.
The Big Chicken though was a bona fide Atlanta landmark: it’s even on maps. So, one day we’re out looking for a tractor supply store– yes I said tractor supply store (they had a sale on garden wagons) and we came to a red light, and, Ta-Da! There it was looming over the corner of an intersection in a not-so-great part of town. Two flat triangular pieces of red and white tin-like material joined together some 50-feet in the air. A yellow beak that opened and closed, and one googly-eye on either side that spun in circles. “Kentucky Fried Chicken” was written in big bold letters across the middle.
“This is it?” Alex asked disappointedly. “Yep,” I replied. “Well that’s a bit of a let-down.” “Yep.” “Well, where’s this tractor supply store? I’ve never been to one of those!” She said, moving on to another first.