Growing up in Fairyland
British street names suck. On my walk to work every morning I glance around and resent the purely functional titles of the streets that I live on: Fashion Street, the place where all the clothes shops were, or Brick Lane, the road that used to house brick manufacturers. These are the products of an unimaginative society. Where's the romance? It's not like this everywhere though. Our intern Liz comes from a wonderful place – a place called Fairyland. Her childhood looks pretty idyllic.
Vice: 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 attraction there called Rock City, and I think the guy that founded that was really into fairy tales and stuff. I think that he owned quite a lot of the mountain before people moved there. So he just sort of named everything like Peter Pan Way and Cinderella Walk. There’s gnomes everywhere, and little goats running around. It’s all fairytale-y.
Sounds pretty cute.
There’s this place called Ruby Falls as well, which is a really big natural waterfall and a big cave, just further down the mountain.
What else are the roads called?
Things like Red Riding Hood Trail, Robin Hood Trail, Aladdin Road, and Wendy Trail.
What was the name of the street that you lived on?
Duran Drive? Because of Duran Duran?
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 the people who 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.
Are people 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 a bit more wealthy, and that's where Fairyland is. There’s a lot of people in the music industry and old American companies – 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. There’s a difference between Fairyland and the other bit.
Are there loads of cute animals in Fairyland?
Not really. It was more like bugs and stuff. There are loads of chipmunks and stuff that come into the house, but you can’t really kill them because they are 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. When you’re seven it makes life much more interesting.
PHOTOS: ELIZABETH SHINGLETON & FAMILY
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