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Mike Tasos: Things sure have changed in Forsyth County
Mike Tasos

Things sure have changed.

Who let all these people in?

While President Trump deals with immigration down Mexico way, we might need someone to place a “Closed” sign on our border. God bless Texas, but how about a little help with our demarcation line.

I’m talking about the one between Fulton and Forsyth counties.

I’m sorry fellow Forsythians, our secret is out.

We’ve known all along what many in Atlanta are just now finding out. Lake Lanier prettier every time I drive across Buford Dam. The lake is even more beautiful when it is full of water — like it is these days.

As a faithful Parrothead since 1975, I am ashamed I have not visited the new Margaritaville on the lake. A co-worker is good friends with the wife of Jimmy Buffett’s money man. 

I’m working on (and this is a long shot), sitting down with the pirate who looked at 40 some 30-plus years ago. One can dream and I’ve promised to bring the rum.

No wonder more Atlantans are enjoying us.

Except, as a longtime reader of the outstanding Forsyth County News, there appears to be a disturbing trend. We’ve become a primo destination for a voluminous rap sheet of non-resident crime.

Is it because those unenlightened desperado simpletons believe once they toodle up Ga. 400 and hit FoCo, perhaps Andy and Barney are manning the patrol cars.

Is Fulton County a crowded market that has made doing any new criminal business much tougher and forced the banditos to ply their wares elsewhere?

Someone offered one of the reasons being we’re so close to 400, heading to their hideouts is more convenient.

Has anyone found a consistent optimal time to be on 400? Me neither. 

Face facts, they’re criminals. Perhaps it’s in their nature to roll the dice and hope not to get caught.

Before going on, I think Sherriff Ron Freeman has a tough, thankless job. Has anyone noticed the deputies’ new uniforms? But that’s small change.

Sheriff Freeman isn’t playing around. He has a saying: “We don’t catch and release.” 

In other words, there’s no promising to come back to court just because they are honest and upright citizens. Which they are probably not. No, in order to walk out, they’ll need a cash bond, which is inexpensive. The alternative is to stay in jail and wait for trial. 

Recently, CNN has been running a series “The Movies,” looking at classic films by decades. 

Watching a piece on “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Longest Yard” made me ponder: Nowadays, is incarceration too easy? 

Those guys toiling away in the Southern humidity didn’t appear to be enjoying themselves. 

Now I know there are snowflakes who’d complain making inmates do manual labor is egregiously cruel.

Please stay with me here: They have committed a crime or crimes, which by default makes them “criminals.” 

And get this: In my circle (and probably in yours, too), I don’t know any criminals, unless you can count guys who lie about fishing or cheat at golf.

I’ve always maintained that if Cumming was good enough for a guy like Junior Samples (who got all those pennies from his driveway?), it’s plenty good enough for me.

We began our Georgia journey in Woodstock. I had to convince people it wasn’t “that” Woodstock. I had to stress that I was nowhere near Max Yazgur’s farm. No state thruway had ever been closed and I’d only heard Jimi Hendrix play the national anthem on an LP.

It was a sleepy town that simply exploded. When it got too big, it was time to move on. 

I came to Cumming because it was beautiful, and the traffic was minimal. If someone honked at you, they were saying hello. We waved at one another. We pulled to the side of the rode to let funeral processions pass on their way to the cemetery.

Through the years, I have felt increasingly blessed to be afforded membership in this fraternity/community.

Many years ago, I wrote in a column on the Sunday sale of alcohol. I needed steaks and went into the old Kroger in search of ribeyes. Being a responsible new resident, I sought out the store manager.

I was worried because all the lights in the beer aisle seemed to have burned out. 

I’ll never forget his reply: “You’re not from around here, are you?”

No, but I am now.

Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday. Comments can be sent to He is also on Facebook.