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And the award goes to….wait…I’m in the ditch…
Sarcastically Southern
SS june july 2023

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up on the outskirts of Statesboro, between Statesboro and Portal, on a road named Banks Dairy. That location put me in the Portal School District. In my senior year of high school, I became friends with my now-husband, Jason. He lived on a dirt road named Banks Creek Church Road. (It’s a mouthful — and sometimes doesn’t fit in the address box on websites when I’m online shopping! But don’t tell Jason I know THAT.) 

In January 2004, we started dating and naturally, I would visit him at his house. At the time, I drove a periwinkle blue Ford Ranger (a hand-me-down from my dad). My dad, Melvin Hooks, is a house painter and this truck was covered in paint from his various jobsites (and a specific incident involving that truck and one of my high school best friends, but that’s a story for another time…or never.). Jason drove a red Ford Ranger that was a little newer than mine and had 4-wheel drive. Thank goodness.

Jason and I moved in together in 2008 and lived at Collins Lake on Lakeside Drive for almost 10 years before moving to our current home… on Banks Creek Church Road. 

I bet you’re wondering why I’m focusing so much on this particular dirt road… it’s because this dirt road was voted the Worst Dirt Road in Bulloch County by Discovering Bulloch readers! And I, a writer for that very magazine, live on it! I think Alanis Morrisette wrote a song about this… called “Ironic.” 

I no longer drive that periwinkle blue Ford Ranger (RIP Danger Ranger). I now drive a Toyota Camry. Look, before you judge me for driving a car and living on a dirt road, I had the car before we moved here. 

My Aunt Jennie and Uncle Charlie’s house is on Old Dill Road, which should have come in a close second as worst dirt road if you ask me, so I had some practice driving on dirt roads — especially muddy ones. And as kids in the country do, I’d done my fair share of dirt road riding with my friends, listening to music, talking about boys and, during homecoming week, toilet papering houses. But again, a story for another…never mind.  

However, it wasn’t long into the relationship that I realized that Banks Creek Church Road was a different breed of dirt road. Its approximate 3- to 4-mile stretch spans from Moore Road on one side and all the way to Ponderosa on the other, crossing over Rocky Ford Road and Two Chop. If you’re from Bulloch County, it’s best described as the dirt road behind “the old Ruby Parrish store,” despite that store changing ownership at least three times. 

So how did I figure out that this dirt road was one of the worst? Well…let’s just say that there’s something in the ditches that was like a magnet to that poor periwinkle blue Ford Ranger. The ruts, the washouts, the pure sloppy, muddy mess that the road would be in after a slight sprinkle was the stuff of legends. 

But imagine a day after the road crews have scraped the road, dragged the ditches and put all that excess dirt right back on top of the road. And the dirt is still loose because traffic hasn’t compacted it yet… 

That, my friends, is how the residents of Banks Creek Church Road predict the rain. 

If you’ve ever seen “The Lion King,” seeing the dirt road crews on our road is the equivalent of the hyenas whispering “Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa” while in the elephant graveyard — it’s something that sends chills down your spine. And causes a pain in your…neck. 

Driveways with a pitch toward the dirt road wash into the road, causing a ditch across the road. Culverts or drainage pipes, whatever you prefer to call them, fill up with clay and sand washed from the road, causing water that should be running through them to run over the dirt road instead. 

Banks Creek Primitive Baptist Church is located on this road, and I can imagine that its members pray both for rain for the crops and plants, and for it not to rain before Sunday services. 

Luckily, I’ve figured out which direction out of my driveway is the least likely to put me in the ditch after a monsoon, but unfortunately, if I make the wrong decision, there’s no turning back — attempting to turn around would cause more trouble than just taking my chances of continuing. 

I’ve put the Camry in the ditch once in the five years we’ve been here (knock on wood). And really, the ruts in the road had more to do with it than I did. 

About three years ago, there was a really bad rainstorm that carried on for a few days. A tree fell on one side of the road (the side coming to our house from Rocky Ford Road), but the side from Two Chop was clear. Well, the Two Chop side is the one with the steep clay hill that has caused many a vehicle to go into the ditch. The ditch witches claimed two or three victims that day, but luckily, the Camry wasn’t one of them. 

Jason and his 4x4 and tow strap helped recover the victims who fell prey to the rainy weather. But let this award serve as a warning to all who may travel this muddy country road!