2018 Eufaula Pilgrimage

A Pilgrimage to Eufaula, or Three Braved the Rain
By Tom Miro 

“Give me a break.”

As I sat in the Dunkin’ Donuts, sipping the world’s finest coffee (that’s right Deborah, he said it!  Ed.) with my wife, looking at the threatening sky, I mused to myself that I must be snake-bit, or at least related to the rain gods.  The previous trip I had led to Columbus, GA was run through a deluge, and this morning trip to Eufaula was shaping up to go the same way.  The Weather Channel had suggesting building an ark in anticipation of the deluge to come.

Our 0800 departure time was fast approaching, and it looked like Tami and I would ride to the Pilgrimage alone with SOB (easy now, that’s Son of Betsy, folks.  Ed.).  Fortunately, with a few minutes to spare, Tom Densmore, he of the lovely black TR4A, pulled into the lot with his spotless Ford T-Bird.  Understandable, as the TR has no wipers, yet!

We happy few headed east out Vaughn, caught US 82 at Union Springs, marveling once again at the four lanes to nowhere, then motored on east, a straight shot to Eufaula and what looked to be an interesting visit.  It did not disappoint.

Unlike our previous Saturday visit, the town was buzzing with activity, as several historic houses were open for tours, with docents in period costumes, and food and drink and art for sale on a peaceful side street.  Nice!  Even better, the house tours, 7 bucks each at regular price, were free to Tami and I as veterans.  Sweet!

Tom and Tami and I toured several homes during the morning, enjoying the descriptions and histories provided and admired the architecture, not simply of the individual homes, but the layout of the town’s historic district.  Tom bid us farewell at about 1130, and we headed downtown to lunch at the River City Grille, which serves a mean meatloaf, along with some sinfully good fried green tomatoes.

After lunch Tami and I toured one more home on the western side of town.  Located on a bluff, this area is where the well-to-do moved after a yellow fever epidemic struck the town.  After an enjoyable visit, and a chance to explore this home from its lavish public rooms to the cisterns located on the roof which provided indoor plumbing (very rare in Eufaula at the time), we jumped in the TR and headed home, just the two of us.

2 final notes on this visit.

1:  Great trip – this will definitely be on the yearly agenda

2:  After all the Weather Channel drama, we got a sprinkle or two on the way, and no rain worth mentioning at our destination.

Just sayin’.

PS – I learned later from Doc Peden he made the pilgrimage as well.  Arriving later than we had, he didn’t meet up with us, although everyone in town he asked said the British Car club was coming.  Despite this, he enjoyed the historic town immensely.

PSS – while touring the Shorter Mansion, I ran into a docent in a Civil War era Navy uniform.  I spoke with him a bit and learned his first tour of duty was aboard my old carrier, USS AMERICA, about 30 years before I reported aboard.  Small world indeed.