George Smith: Frog Eye? Not much to tell ...
Aug 25, 2013 | 3976 views |  0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Frog Eye, Ala. – You may have been here and didn’t know you were here.

For that, let me tell you something I found on Facebook:

Places in Frog Eye, Ala.

“No Places Found.”

But I can tell you how to get here.

Hit U. S. 431 South off I-20 east toward Heflin. A few miles south of Wedowee hang a right on Randolph County 33. You have 14 miles of crooked, but when you finally do get to a stop sign, hang a hard left (up a hill), then a right on Alabama 77.

In a couple of miles, stop at the Abanda Bake Shop and Cafe, look for Elliott Cotney. That’s where Elliott has breakfast most weekday mornings. Ask Elliott to take you to Frog Eye.

So I did and we did.

But first, you may ask why I wanted to go to Frog Eye, Ala.?

For one thing, the name intrigued me, creating a mighty urge to see Frog Eye for myself.

Secondly, I had heard a local story about how Frog Eye got its name.

The story is a certain store owner, in addition to dried beans and brown eggs (and other stuff), had a sideline business as a bootlegger.

Actually, that may be a bit strong, but the story goes that there was an imitation frog out front. When certain illegal beverages were available, the frog’s eyes were open, if not they were closed.

Cotney, whose great-great grandfather was one of the first to settle around here, told me that story.

He also said, and I quote:

“No, he didn’t handle white whiskey. He sold the good stuff, chartered whiskey. He’d buy it where it was legal, sell it here.”

One more thing:

“To my knowledge, he never got busted. I think somebody probably tipped him off if a raid was planned.”

I can’t really tell you all of that is fact, but I sure like it. And while I haven’t talked to anyone who actually bought “chartered” whiskey in downtown Frog Eye, I’d like to if the story is true. But I’d just about bet you there’s another story or two out there on how Frog Eye got its name. I’d love to hear those, too.

Frog Eye, Ala.

That sings and I did stand in the middle of Bibby Ferry’s road and look at the old store where Frog Eye reportedly was christened. It is worth mentioning that the old store (a nice looking relic) is smack-dab in the heart of well, Frog Eye.

“Nothing” here apparently includes people.

I found that out when I went looking for the population of Frog Eye on line and found this:

“Frog Eye has not been included in past Census counts, so there is no population information for this community.”

And this:

“But in 2010 there were 212 people within five miles of Frog Eye.”

Anyway, as the road curves it’s 67 miles to get here and, as the clock, turns it’s one hour and 27 minutes.

Like I said, there’s nothing here . . . but it’s a very nice and pleasant way to spend a day. You have Merle Haggard on the stereo coming and going and Elliott Cotney as your tour guide once you get him away from the biscuits and gravy at the Abanda Bake Shop and Cafe.

Elliott is absolutely essential in getting to Frog Eye. After we swung off Alabama 77 onto Chambers County 062/Randolph County 141, I was totally lost. Truth is, I couldn’t get back to Frog Eye without Elliott.

I do know we were in parts of three counties – Randolph, Chambers and Tallapoosa – before we got back to home base Wadley.

Oh, one other thing that makes Elliott good company. He likes Merle Haggard, too.


George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email:
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