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Family plows Chipper Jones' likeness in corn field

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Misty Duren an operator of Corn Dawgs Corn Maze, tours the Tribute to Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones corn maze in Loganville on Thursday. The seven acre maze will be open from September 23 through November 4.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The entrance of the Corn Dawgs Corn Maze in Loganville salutes Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones with a seven acre plowed corn maze of Jones and his number 10.

IF YOU GO

• What: Corn Dawgs Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

• When: Open 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday from Sept. 23 through Nov. 4.

• Where: Located off Highway 81 in Walnut Grove

• Info: For more information, visit corndawgs.com

LOGANVILLE -- Baseball fans Misty and Lamar Duren had a dream. And a cornfield.

Their inspiration for plowing paths through seven acres of feed grade maize, however, did not involve visions ... or the softspoken ghosts of the infamous Chicago Black Sox players.

The couple just wanted to honor their favorite Atlanta Braves third baseman.

"People around here have respect for Chipper Jones," said Misty Duren, leading a small tour through Corn Dawgs Corn Maze Thursday morning. "We thought it would be a good theme, since he's retiring."

Jones announced retirement plans in March after spending his entire 18-year career with the Atlanta Braves. The Florida native is a seven-time All-Star, has a .304 career batting average and has hit 468 home runs.

And, thanks to the Durens, from now through Nov. 4 his smiling mug and jersey number can be spotted from any airplane, hot air balloon, jet or helicopter soaring above the Highway 81 farm.

In the farm's fourth year offering fall activities, the Durens said using the likeness of a baseball player as the theme of its corn maze was a a departure from previous patterns.

"Last year, we did a Coca-Cola bottle to celebrate 125 years of Coke," Duren said. "The problem with that one ... it was a very difficult maze. It took upwards of an hour or an hour and a half for people to get through it."

She said the Jones maze is of "moderate difficulty. It takes about 30 or 45 minutes to get in and get out."

Because visitors do sometimes get lost in the corn, the family built elevated bridges that raise up above the paths, so that maze dwellers can take a moment to get their bearings.

"We also have flags we set out around the maze, so you can grab a flag and wave it above the corn if you can't find your way out ... we'll come rescue you," Duren said, laughing.

Duren said that workers begin plowing the corn when it's about four feet high. By the time fall rolls around, the corn is more than eight feet tall.

In addition to the agricultural labyrinth, Corn Dawgs Corn Maze has other activities aimed at entertaining children like jumping pillows, bungies and a corn maze for toddlers.

Duren said it's all part of the so-called agritourism craze.

"You get a lot of city folks that want to feel that farm feeling," she said. "So, they come out to the farm."

Duren added that the business gets a lot of visitors from the Alpharetta area. "I don't know that Loganville is necessarily the country, but I guess it is to them."

Husband, Lamar, said the idea of a corn maze attracts visitors because "it's something different. There's nothing like this anywhere around us."

His wife added that she thinks "folks are curious to come walk around in a maze that's a tribute to a great baseball player ... as a show of support and appreciation."

While it's unlikely the Loganville family will ever see the likes of a spectral Shoeless Joe Jackson, they're holding out hope for a visit from a certain Braves third baseman.

Comments

kevin 2 years ago

must be a very rich farm to sacrifice destroying all that crop for a Chipper ad.

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BufordGuy 2 years ago

They'll make a ton more off the city-slicker yankees that think corn comes from the grocery store getting lost in that thing than they ever would on the grain.

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