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Georgia Natural Wonder #232 - Cherokee Bluffs - Hall County. (Part 3) 166
Cherokee Bluffs

For our 3rd Hall County post (4th Wonder since we included 2 with our last post) we found a little county park I never heard of, Cherokee Bluff Park in Flowery Branch. My daughter and I took her little dog Onyx out for a freezing temperature hike on Sunday so most of the images today are my own. Cherokee Bluffs Park has a lot of amenities but the real feature, and what makes it a Georgia Natural Wonder for Hall County, is the Cherokee Bluff rock formations.

[Image: Vaur83y.jpg] TRD & Onyx.

Cherokee Bluffs is one of the newest parks in Southern Hall County.

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It is a 168-acre park with rolling meadows, streams, natural shoals, native wildlife, and historic sites.  

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Park amenities include the Lodge (an event and meeting space), an amphitheater, pavilion, multi-use bike/pedestrian walking trail, playground, and dog park.

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Check out this 0.7-mile out-and-back trail near Flowery Branch, Georgia. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 19 min to complete. 

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We arrived at the beginning of the parking lot by the entrance and parked by the cabin.

This trail is great for hiking and walking, and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Route lead me to an old log cabin homestead and around a small lake.

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Roberts Orr House and frozen pond behind it.

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We then wandered down hill through beautiful grass meadows, 

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Down through the meadows kinda winging it.

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Then we ran into another couple walking back up actual trail by lake in hollow, and they said the bluffs were back up the hill by the nearest parking lot.

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So back up the hill we trudged. To be honest, I slipped on gravel or rock not once but twice.

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We found a gorgeous rock outcrop with a cave.

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TRD overboard of Cherokee Bluffs

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Up on the Bluffs overlooking the lake.

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TRD gets in here for a couple of images.

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Icicles as it was a cold day.

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Gettin Artsy.
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Bluffs go on for 150 yards. Trying to get shot Squirrel on top of right boulder.

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You go around to the top of the Bluff.

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And look, your only 100 yards from the lower parking lot.

Trip Advisor Most of the park is ADA Accessible even the Amphitheater. There is a Bike Trail, Community Meeting Room(s), and a large and small Dog Park. There is an Historic Site. Tons of Parking for amphitheater crowds. There is a Pavilion, Picnic Areas, and a Playground. Saw some Disc Golf baskets along the Walking Trail.

Trip Advisor Reviews:

We enjoyed walking along the tops of the bluffs as well as underneath them. Got our exercise walking the two mile natural terrain trail that winds through the woods surrounding the park and also runs alongside a lake.

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Hall County Parks reports that Cherokee Bluffs Park is great. Beautiful landscaping with something for everyone: A covered picnic area for the family or events, a playground for the kids, a dog park, and a beautiful trail.

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All Trails is where I found this park on the Internet. They say Discover this 2.1-mile loop trail near Flowery Branch, Georgia. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 49 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome and may be off-leash in some areas.

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Gainesville Times wrote large, natural formations of rock cliffs in South Hall that has history as both hunting grounds for Native Americans as well temporarily sheltering families of early settlers underneath the overhang of the rocks. The area has gained a little attention recently with a decision last week by the Hall County school board to name its new middle and high schools, which open next fall, after Cherokee Bluffs.

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Mountain Project is a Rock Climbing site and their description is .... Cherokee Bluffs was a locally known little bluff on private property where people would come hang out and party.  Most of the boulder problems here were climbed before it was developed into a park.  The history of who did what first on the majority of the problems is unknown.  Since becoming a park, the area has become very popular and you'll most often have people walking the trails while you're bouldering. There are a handful of quality lines here.

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However, the majority of the rock is lower quality with many problems utilizing hollow crumbly flakes down low that continue to exfoliate or break.  The top outs tend to have solid quality rock. 

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On the downside, there has definitely been some vandalism back on the actual bluffs where there is some graffiti on the rocks and some open fires have blackened the largest of the overhangs.

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It looks like the largest overhang has been some kind of teen party hangout.

[Image: M9eIJ1Z.jpg] Onyx is a Party detector. Sniffing some past shenanigans.

Cherokee Bluffs Park is located at 5867 Blackjack Road, Flowery Branch, Ga. 30542. Now we turn our attention to Hall County part Three. We've covered the National Historical Sites and the Historical markers, now we turn to a Wikipedia recount of the Cities, towns , and unincorporated areas of Hall County.


Buford (mostly in Gwinnett County)

We covered Buford in GNW #181 on the Chattahoochee River and North Gwinnett County.

Flowery Branch


Hernando de Soto entered Hall County in March 1540 in transit between Stone Mountain and the Conasauga River. Virginian Robert Young arrived there in 1795, established a plantation on thousands of acres in what was the Cherokee Nation, and built a home and his tavern just down the road from the family cemetery, where he was buried after he died in 1851.

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Family Cemetery Marker and Rocks represented Slaves and Indians who were connected to Plantation.

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Andrew Jackson passed through Flowery Branch on his way to the First Seminole War in 1818. He won playing cards at Young's Tavern, a good sign in War.

Atlanta Highway in that day was known as " Major Ridge" , the Cherokee Indian trail that eventually became the main road to Atlanta. There is an Historical marker in front of the Ponce City Market (former Sears Building) on Ponce de Leon Blvd. that notes Robert Young surveyed that road all the way to Flowery Branch.

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Not the Robert Young who starred with Spencer Tracy in Northwest Passage and is best known as Marcus Welby M.D.

Part of the historic Old Federal Road is in Flowery Branch. It was an important route through northern Georgia in the early to mid-1800s. Its most obvious significance lay in four issues: the early history of Cherokee-U.S. social, economic, and cultural relations in the early 1800s, the eventual use of the Road as part of the Trail of Tears, use of the Road during the Georgia Gold Rush, and Union and Confederate use of the Road during the campaigns for Chickamauga in 1863 and Atlanta in 1864.

[Image: Pw7ZRN7.jpg] Vintage Flowery Branch.

Flowery Branch was established in 1874, one year after the Richmond and Danville Air-Line Railroad Railway System built a rail line through the city connecting Charlotte to Atlanta.

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The city hosts the Historic Caboose exhibit and the Historic Train Depot museum. There are several annual festivals.

[Image: Mu68ff3.jpg] Flowery Branch Days.

Flowery Branch was originally named Anaguluskee, a Cherokee Indian word meaning "flowers on the branch". Other sources claim the original name was Nattagasska ("Blossom Creek"), which long-term residents recall as an alternative nickname for the town.

Popular culture

Flowery Branch is a popular film location, featured in several movies and television series including Ozark & Blended.

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Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his family move into a lake house in the Ozark Mountains.

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The Atlanta Falcons Training Facilities are in Flowery Branch.


Gainesville is a city and the county seat of Hall County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 42,296. Because of its large number of poultry processing plants, it has been called the "Poultry Capital of the World."

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TRD Nugget Steppenwolf had a song sorta about Chickens, click and play remainder of post.


Gainesville was established as "Mule Camp Springs" by European-American settlers in the early 1800s. Less than three years after the organization of Hall County on December 15, 1818, Mule Camp Springs was renamed "Gainesville" on April 21, 1821. It was named in honor of General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, a hero of the War of 1812 and a noted military surveyor and road-builder. Gainesville was selected to be the county seat and chartered by the Georgia General Assembly on November 30, 1821.

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Gaines and his Historical marker from GNW #227 and Clay County.

A gold rush that began in nearby Lumpkin County in the 1830s resulted in an increase in the number of settlers and the beginning of a business community. In the middle of the 19th century, Gainesville had two important events. In 1849, it became established as a resort center, with people attracted to the springs. In 1851, much of the small city was destroyed by fire.

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After the Civil War, Gainesville began to grow from 1870. In 1871 The Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway, later re-organized into The Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railroad, began to stop in Gainesville, increasing its ties to other markets and stimulating business and population. It grew from 1,000 in 1870, to over 5,000 by 1900.

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By 1898, textile mills had become the primary driver of the economy, with the railroad integral to delivering raw cotton and carrying away the mills' products. With the revenues generated by the mills, in 1902, Gainesville became the first city south of Baltimore to install street lamps. On March 1, 1905, free mail delivery began in Gainesville, and on August 10, 1910, the Gainesville post office was opened. On December 22, 1915, the city's first high-rise, the Jackson Building, had its formal opening. In 1919 Southern Bell made improvements to the phone system.

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City services began in Gainesville on February 22, 1873, with the election of a City Marshal, followed by solid waste collection in 1874. In 1890, a bond issue to fund the waterworks was passed, and the original water distribution system was developed. In 1943, at the height of World War II, Gainesville contributed to the war effort by leasing the airport to the US government for $1.00. The military used it as a naval air station for training purposes. In 1947, the airport was returned to the city of Gainesville, improved by the addition of two 4,000-foot landing strips (one of which was later lengthened to 5,500 feet).

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After World War II, a businessman named Jesse Jewell started the poultry industry in north Georgia. Chickens have since become the state's largest agricultural crop. I thought that was Vidalia Onions.

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In 1956, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed Lake Sidney Lanier, by building Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River. During the 1996 Summer Olympics, Gainesville served as the venue for the rowing and kayaking medal competitions, which were staged on Lake Lanier. We been over all that last two post. Gainesville gained accreditation of its Parks and Recreation Department in 2001. 

[Image: a54liwy.jpg] Skateboard Parks.

This was the third department in the state to be accredited. The Lakeside water treatment plant opened in 2002. The city has sponsored new social activities, including the Spring Chicken Festival in 2003, the Art in the Square gathering in 2004, and "Dredgefest" in 2008.

[Image: nHbE95o.jpg] Festivals in Gainesville.

2008 saw the reopening of the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, the reopening of the Linwood Water Reclamation Facility Grand, and the completion of the Longwood Park Fishing Pier.

[Image: p4ZCNkS.jpg] Longwood Park Fishing Pier.

On January 28, 2021, a poultry plant in Gainesville leaked liquid nitrogen killing 6 and hospitalizing 12.

Gillsville (partly in Banks County)

Gillsville is a city in Banks and Hall counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 235 at the 2010 census.

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New Coke sign covers vintage Pottery Company sign.


The community was named after the local Gills family.  Incorporated December 16, 1901. Named for a settler family of Gills. 

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The original community here was called STONETHROW (in 1796) by railroad crews since it was such a short distance from Maysville.

Lula (partly in Banks County)

Lula is a city in Hall and Banks counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. Most of the city is in Hall County, with a small eastern portion of the city located in Banks County. The population was 2,822 at the 2020 census. 

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The Hall County portion of Lula is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lula is the home of RailRoad Days, a yearly festival held usually every May.

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Lula is the railroad junction between the Atlanta northeast line and the Athens north line of Norfolk Southern Railway. The rail spur from Athens to Lula was completed in 1874 for the North Eastern Railroad.

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Civil engineers Joel Hurt and his brother Fletcher named the town in honor of Miss Lula Phinizy, later Mrs. Abner W. Calhoun, whom they both admired.

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Miss Lula and the Calhoun Crypt at Oakland Cemetery.

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated Lula as a town in 1905.


Oakwood is a city in Hall County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Gainesville, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 4,822 at the 2020 census, up from 3,970 in 2010.

[Image: 3nzBvf4.jpg] Spent almost an hour looking for downtown Oakwood images.


The Georgia General Assembly incorporated Oakwood in 1903.Oakwood originated around 1873, when the railroad first ran between Charlotte and Atlanta. Initially called Odell’s Crossing, the name was later changed to Oakwood because the location was the regular stop for wood-burning locomotives picking up essential fuel – oak wood.

[Image: g2BMlfZ.jpg] All about Outlet shopping Oakwood today.


Braselton (partly in Jackson, Barrow, and Gwinnett Counties)

We covered Braselton in GNW #122 on Hurricane Shoals and Jackson County.


Clermont is a town in Hall County, Georgia, United States. The population was 875 at the 2010 census.

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General Store, Clermont.


An early variant name was "Dip". A post office called Dip was established in 1892, and the name was changed to Clermont in 1905.

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Dip Post Office.

The old Clermont Hotel has been renovated and is operated as a bed and breakfast inn and event venue by Phyllis Henson and Robin Collinson.

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They note that it also served as a department store and the Clermont post office at one time. 

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Old fertilizer signs have replaced the doors in this historic agricultural warehouse. 

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1913 as the "Town of Clermont", with municipal corporate limits extending in a one-mile radius from the intersection of King and Main streets.

Unincorporated communities


A variant spelling was "Bellmont". A post office called "Bellmont" was established in 1886, and remained in operation until 1908. In 1900, the community had 90 inhabitants. The primary social center for Belmont is Belmont Baptist church. 

[Image: Mh47Gmv.jpg] Bellmont Baptist Church.

Belmont’s primary industry is ranching. It is a prime retirement spot to enjoy raising chickens and cows, engage in recreational hunting including deer and turkey, and go fishing in Larry’s pond.


The community was named after Allen Daniel Candler, 56th Governor of Georgia. The last governor to be both a veteran of the Civil War (1861-65) and a Georgia native, Allen Candler may have made his greatest contribution to the state after his retirement from politics, when he became the first compiler of Georgia records. Candler edited nearly thirty volumes of Georgia’s colonial, revolutionary, and Confederate historical documents.

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Candler and his first two books.

The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place as the "Town of Candler" in 1910. The town's charter was officially dissolved in 1995 along with those of many other inactive Georgia municipalities.

Chestnut Mountain

Chestnut Mountain is an unincorporated community in Hall County, Georgia, United States. The community is located along Georgia State Route 53, 8.7 miles south of Gainesville. What hasn’t changed about Chestnut Mountain is Ga. 53’s role in the area’s growth. “It originally was an Indian trading path way back in the 18th century, then it was a federal highway after that, the first main road through the area to connect the south to the north to a trading post.”  The first question anyone passing through Chestnut Mountain may ask is ‘where is the mountain?’

[Image: f7OaJpZ.png]Only thing that comes up under Chestnut Mountain Google.

The ‘mountain’ lies at the southeast corner of the intersection of Ga. 53 and Ga. 211. The community was named after J. T. Chestnut, a pioneer citizen.

Murrayville (partly in Lumpkin and White Counties)

Murrayville is an unincorporated community in Hall County, Georgia, United States. The community is located along Georgia State Route 60, 9.6 miles north-northwest of Gainesville. 

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Murrayville has a post office with ZIP code 30564.

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The community was named after Patrick J. Murray, a local merchant. Enterprising businessman Murray saw opportunity nearly 200 years ago as he watched miners make the 20-plus mile journey between the gold fields near Dahlonega and the assay offices, and first private mint, in Gainesville. He believed those fortune-seekers needed someplace to “spend” their money and a general store and boarding house (with tavern) at the midway point of their trek seemed a good idea. 

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Store in Murrayville today.

Murray’s investment was successful.  In 1831 he was named the area’s first post master and is honored as the namesake of the unincorporated north Hall County community, now known as Murrayville.


Chicopee is a former mill village located approximately four miles south of downtown Gainesville, and is in Hall County, Georgia, United States.

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Chicopee was designed in 1925 by Earle Sumner Draper for the Chicopee Manufacturing Corporation, a subsidiary of The Johnson and Johnson Company. It was his last mill town project and his most successful. It was the personal project of Robert Wood Johnson II. Construction started in 1927 and the village consisted of 217 homes, a company store, medical office, and the mill across the street. The mill is the earliest example of a large single story textile plant built in the South.

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The village is unincorporated and has a population of approximately 350. Originally the property was laid out for roughly 500 homes but only 217 homes were built in the first phase and the full plan was never completed. Chicopee GA as a whole is now a historic district. The Mill buildings are within the City of Gainesville while the Village is within unincorporated Hall County.

Dawgleright Addendum Chicopee

Chicopee Mill (former textile mill)

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Outings, General Store.

Chicopee Village (housed mill workers, the village had a school, two churches, medical clinic, etc.)

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Village House, Mill Workers.

Former Chicopee Elementary / Later renamed to Jones Elementary after former principal, Sylvester B. Jones

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Former Jones Elementary is now Ivester Early College (UNG).

The Howard E. Ivester Early College is an innovative, dual enrollment campus for academically ready high school students to earn a high school diploma while also earning college credits.

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Old Jones Elementary Gym is now used by World Language Academy Middle School.

At WLA Middle School, we provide an innovative, dual-language immersion environment, as we strive to develop world changers who respect and serve others.

[Image: vvrvHMx.jpg] Lot of Spanish being spoken in Gainesville.

Chicopee Woods Golf Course

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Carved out of forest land, Chicopee Woods Golf Course rambles over picturesque rolling hills in the North Georgia Mountains.

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This beautiful course in Gainesville, Georgia, is home to 27 holes that have to be played to be appreciated.


It’s a little more sparse and rural than other areas of Hall County, but it does have the average gas stations, a liquor store and some restaurants. Then you spot the 20-foot-tall rabbit, waving to all those who enter Rabbittown. 

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Now nearby, New Holland Mill was constructed by the Pacolet Manufacturing Company in the 1890s. 

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And it consisted of several hundred homes for workers in the Pacolet Cotton Mill. A central feature was New Holland Springs, which purportedly had health-giving properties.

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The village still has a population of approximately 600. The New Holland mill is currently owned and operated by Milliken, Inc.

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In the early 20th Century, when the New Holland Mill was still fully functioning, there was a heavy demand for rabbits in what later came to be called Rabbittown. Rabbittown actually got it’s name from Mr. (David) Highsmith. He used to raise rabbits and they would come from New Holland and buy the rabbits. The rabbits were mostly used for a home-cooked dinner at that time. People used to be poor; they’d eat rabbit.

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Sculptor and carving expert Denny Walley, created the Rabbittown monument. He worked for "Saturday Night Live" and created the puppet Toonces the Driving Cat. The slide guitarist and vocalist spent much of his life touring with rockers Frank Zappa, Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart. Currently Walley plays with a Scandinavian rock band.

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Oh Man, any excuse to add in a Frank Zappa TRD Nugget even here at the end.

At the risk of upsetting some, but in the spirit of Frat Boy Humor "Go Dawgs!" I reprise the Chicks A Peeing since we did talk about Chicopee Mills a little there toward end of post. My web search for Cherokee Women or Bluff Women was not nearly as interesting.

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