On a day-to-day basis, I do tend to find myself a little disappointed. On my walk to work every morning I glance around at the purely functional names that adorn the streets that I live and feel wholly uninspired. The millisecond of ponderance that went into coming up with the name “Fashion Street”, the place where all the clothes shops were, or “Brick Lane”, the road that used to house tile and brick manufacturers, has led to a lifetime of tedium. I mean, where is the imagination? Where is the creativity? Sure, some of us do get to live on “Bird in Bush Road”, stroll down “Cock Lane” or spend a night on “Ravey Street”, but that’s just not enough. There should be comedy around every corner, enchantment out every window and fascination upon every letterhead! It was only recently when I got chatting to one of the girls downstairs in our office that I realised that not everyone’s daily routines are filled with the same monotony. Some people are really living in a dream...
So, can you tell me a bit about the place that you’re from?
Liz: I grew up on Lookout Mountain, Georgia, in a little place called Fairyland. It’s part of the Appalachian Mountain chain.
Why is it called Fairyland?
There’s a really big attaction there called Rock City, and I think the guy that founded that was really into fairytales and stuff. I think that he owned quite a lot of the mountain like before people moved there. So, he just sorta named everything like Peter Pan Way and Cinderella Walk. Rock City is a big attraction in the States, and it’s got like caves and stuff that have things that look like diamonds. There’s Gnomes everywhere, and like there’s little goats running around. It’s all fairytaley.
Sounds pretty crazy
Well, I never thought it was weird, but then I discovered that it is when you look back on it. There’s this place called Ruby Falls as well, which is like this really big natural waterfall and a big cave, and that’s just further down the mountain. It’s touristy, but not as well.
So they get loads of people going there to see these wonders?
Yeah. I don’t know sort of how much there is to do there otherwise. At the bottom of the mountain it’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is quite a big attraction also. You go up the mountain and then it turns into Georgia.
What was the name of the street that you lived on?
Duran Drive? What was the reason for that?
I don’t know actually, I never thought about it, but I went to Fairyland Elementary. It’s actually pronounced “Fairaland”, but a lot of people say Fairyland.
Is it people that live there that call it Fairyland?
Yeah it is.
And do the kids have funnier names as well as a result of coming from Fairyland?
Umm, not really. I mean, there’s normal southern names like “Chucky” and stuff like that, but I did know a guy called Zadok.
Yeah haha. I wasn’t really friends with him, but his name sort of stood out.
What did Zadok look like?
He was really, really tall.
Did people seem, overall, happier in Fairyland?
Umm I’m not sure. I guess so. There’s a big divide there though. There’s this thing called the “front of the mountain” and the “back of the mountain”. So, the Front of the Mountain is like a bit more wealthy, and that where Fairyland is. So, there’s a lot of people in the music industry and sort of old American companies like, some of the Coca Cola people live there, so there’s really big houses. And then you go to the Back of the Mountain and it gets to be more like trailer parks and stuff. So, there’s a difference between Fairyland and the other bit.
So it’s the age-old story then that money can buy you happiness...and real estate in Fairyland?
Yeah. I think it’s quite a wealthy community. They all have pretty interesting jobs. There’s a lot of doctors and, as I said the descendents or whatever of the Coca Cola company live there. I can’t remember what all my friends’ parents did. Umm one of them was a rodent killer, you know like you get the truck spray them haha I don’t know if that’s really all that interesting.
Was there a rodent problem in Fairyland?
Not really it was more like bugs and stuff.
Do the rodents there look sort of like a certain Disney character?
Yeah, actually. Exactly like that. It’s terrifying! There’s loads of chipmunks and stuff that come into the house, but you can’t really kill them because they’re really cute.
Did Fairyland seem like an exciting and mystical place when you first moved there?
I moved to Fairyland when I was like 7. We’d moved around a lot before. I remember thinking that it was weird, because one of my friends that I first got to know lived on Gnome Trail, which was a little strange, but it was just part of their everyday life. You get used to it quite quickly. But when you’re 7 it makes life much more interesting.