FAUX-VARIAN Helen, GA: The Knockoff Handbag of Small Town America

FAUX-VARIAN Helen, GA: The Knockoff Handbag of Small Town America

For years, YEARS (*shakes fist at sky*) I have wanted to explore this tiny alpine hamlet snuggled into Georgia's mountains.

Surely there must be an incredible story of how it got there. Did a fearless group of settlers hoist up their lederhosen, brave treacherous seas and build a village all their own? Does Rapunzel have an apartment on Main Street?

No. Of course not.

Helen is as connected to Europe as I am to the Vikings.

We have four dudes: Pete, Jim, John and Bob, to thank for Helen.

In 1968 they decided their SAWMILL town needed a facelift. John had seen Bavaria while in the Army and pitched city council on changing the facade of all the buildings.

A few years later Helen was Alpinized. Away went the mills and in came the tourists.

Tremendous creative effort - I respect that. Crafty replications - well done. Hell of a tourist trap - don't miss Ye Ole Vape Shop and Ye Ole Dollar General.