The unincorporated community of Chestnut Mountain in Hall County, which was named for Lyman Hall, signer of the Declaration of Independence. It has a languid and unhurried pace in which you feel that the down home folk who populate this section of our state, would extend a helping hand to anyone in need. Salt of the earth types. Brother’s keepers.

There is an abundance of pickup trucks in these parts, U. S. flags waving from porches and places of business, dormant undergrowth waiting to bust forth to glorify the spring. While COVID issues have been on their minds the last year — same as it has been in Nogales, Arizona; Latchford, Ontario; Pedesina, Italy; Tokyo and Timbuktu — they are eager to get outdoors and get on with life.

The drive to get here is a familiar and welcomed excursion. You get off the beaten path and take the back roads through fallow fields and pastureland that reflects the simple life, a love of the land and an abiding lust for the outdoors. A redeeming atmosphere to enhance a slackened pace.

In fact, you have no choice. There is enough traffic to dictate that if you are in hurry, you still are going to take a long time to get to where you are going.

A friend had invited me to visit an accomplished businessman who hangs out on a spread that would turn the head of a country squire. While it is not palatial, it is resoundingly attractive and becoming.

I was quite excited to spend time with the host, Doug Magnus, who grew up in Hall County and found his business niche, an affiliation with heating and air conditioning —something we best appreciate, when we are without.

A bonus came about when we toured his property, which has a refreshing landscape, a spring-fed lake with plentiful bass and bream, a putting green and a restored Chevy or two. With a putting green to enhance efficiency at putting and chipping, there is the likelihood that any golfing aficionado will enjoy this game much more. That has been a Magnus recreational objective.

It won’t be long before this Hall Country garden spot will be awash in azalea and dogwood blooms as the arresting, rolling countryside becomes fit for an artist.

A self-made man, Magnus knew what it was like to work for what his tastes aspired. It he wanted a new pair of shoes, he simply worked and saved enough money to make the purchase. Same with a bicycle. Same with a new sport coat.

When he “was blessed” with more affluence, he continued to honor the work ethic, underscored team concepts in business, found outlets for pleasure and enlightenment. As soon as he became established there was a robust accent on “giving back.”

“I have met a lot of people I admire for their accomplishments in whatever field of endeavor they have chosen for their life’s work,” he said as he drove a couple of visitors around his fetching property. “But, I have just as much respect for that man who quietly goes about making a living and doing right by his family. I see a lot of those people every day. They are Americans who are just as important as governors and senators.”

As lunchtime approached, the host grinned with excitement. “I’m going to take you to the greatest place in this county for lunch,” Doug said. His rave review was about Mac’s Pit Stop Grill and the proprietor, Jerry “Mac” McKimmy.

Mac’s, is a popular place for breakfast and lunch. “Best pancakes in Hall County and the best hamburger, too,” Doug said as Mac beamed while taking orders.

In case you raise an eyebrow when a friend touts a friend’s menu, turn the corner into Mac’s dining room and visually connect with the states from which visitors, who have enjoyed Mac’s cooking, hail from: There are car tags from Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado, South Dakota, Oklahoma, California, Ohio, Florida, Alabama, Alaska and Saskatchewan where you find “The Land of the Living Skies.”

Return next week and you will find that some other traveling American from another state has stopped in and has left his calling card.

If a drive through the countryside, followed by conversation with an accomplished businessman and an unforgettable hamburger doesn’t make your day, then you are one in need of counsel.

And I don’t mean, an attorney.

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Loran Smith is co-host of “The Tailgate Show” and sideline announcer for University of Georgia football. He is also a freelance writer and columnist.

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