January 23, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Unhappy Resident

To Heard County Citizens:

There have been so many nights when I came close to writing this letter after being awakened for the 3rd or 4th time, and I should have done so long ago.  For two years, I have been targeted with a very aggressive and intentional effort to smoke me out of my home in Heard County.

I’ve been unable to heat and cool my house during much of this time because of 24/7 smoke and meat stench, and grease that has actually stuck on my roofs and buildings, all coming from a property owned by the family of a Heard County employee.

The bulk of this is being directed right into my house and across my back yard in an apparent effort to keep it out of the highway, and so those responsible don’t have to breathe it in their house.

Try to imagine living (and trying to sleep) with strong smoke and the stinking smell of hog-meat IN your house 24 hours a day, SEVEN days a week. If I set foot out in my own yard for even a couple of minutes, my clothes often reek of smoke for hours. Meat grease has actually stuck on my face and clothes on many an occasion and my hands smell like it after touching my exterior door knobs.

I have spent the last two years unable to open my windows, air out my house after a plumbing leak, leave my door open long enough to bring the groceries in, or enjoy my own yard and porches.  The worst part is living in a state of constant siege with this holding my life hostage.  I have to live my life around their smoke.

The entire purpose seems to be keeping my property covered with smoke as much of the time as possible.  Until they got caught, they were even burning trash at night on top of the meat.

Breathing smoke is not healthy even in small quantities, let alone 24/7 for two years!  I am now showing symptoms of long-term, low-level carbon monoxide poisoning. And my CO detector has actually sounded warning chirps in my home at least 4 times in the past year, as this model is designed to do when levels start to get too high. 

But I am also being tormented with something else that is more dangerous than smoke.  You know you are breathing something harmful when the lung area in your chest sometimes remains sore-feeling with each breath you draw for 24 hours after inhaling chemical fumes that are drifting into your house from outdoors.

A few nights ago, I just gave up trying to sleep at 2:00 AM after being awakened three times by tightness in my chest because of strong Coleman lantern fuel vapors. When I got woke up the third time, I was having difficulty breathing. The chemicals vary, but similar episodes occur night after night after night. These fumes are much stronger out in my yard and often in the surrounding roads than what seeps inside my house.

This letter is being posted out of sheer desperation to protect my health and safety. Exposure is what a situation like this requires. I am especially desperate because hot weather is returning and I CANNOT endure another summer with my air conditioning turned off much of the time!

The A/C units draw all this inside, especially at night with my house situated in a low spot where it settles. Each of those extremely cold or icy nights we had in recent months were seized upon as opportunities to intentionally torment me with FAR worse smoke and meat stench than usual. That prevented me from running my electric heat pump.

Though it’s obvious where the very visible smoke is coming from, the source and the purpose of the chemicals are unknown because my repeated complaints and requests for investigation have been outright IGNORED.

I have actually been taunted by county personnel that their lack of response is retaliation for me filing suit against the Heard County Water Authority in 2007. I’ve been told to my face that I should have thought about how I “might need to call 911 someday before you sued the county!”  (As if a citizen’s right to call on public emergency services is contingent upon whether they are in good favor with the crowd running the county.)

Another excuse I’ve been given is that some in Franklin “just don’t like” me. Well, who cares? I responded thathigh school is over and it’s time for them to grow up. Since when is somebody’s opinion and what they “like” more important than the rights of other citizens, let alone their health and safety? 

Besides such excuses, there has been a single-minded determination to use this smoke and the chemicals to manufacture some bizarre, sexist case that I “imagine smelling things.”

Well, how interesting that the very same lie was also pulled out of the hat and used to ‘call off’ people when I came forward and tried to report the Water Authority’s vibration and leaking damage in 2006 and 2007.

Even more ‘interesting,’ it was just exactly when the Water Authority’s damage to my property finally backed off, that these efforts to smoke me out began. The Water Authority didn’t succeed at shaking my house down and running me off, so it looks like somebody let in to smoke me out of it.

There have even been identical efforts to set me up and falsely criminalize me for complaining about this smoke, etc. that are just exactly like the vendetta the Heard government launched in retaliation when I filed suit.

So I cannot help but wonder if maintaining the Heard County Water Authority’s cover-up of the disaster they created on my property (and trying to drive me off of my property in order to keep it covered up) aren’t a major motive behind this despicable smoke.

As a result of my lawsuit, the Water Authority’s incompetence got exposed to state and federal agencies and to other utilities, despite them still claiming to this day that I just “imagined” all the damage to my buildings. Nothing would help the old boys save face more than being able to convince everybody that I go around smelling things that don’t exist, now would it?

It’s also curious that in recent months, a brand new round of damaging shock waves coming from the Water Authority’s pipeline in my front yard has begun. Keep in mind that nothing has ever been fixed. My situation got better only because the HCWA’s side water sale to somebody in Alabama was stopped.

Another reason I am posting this letter is to expose the fact that heavy thrusts against the foundation of my house during several of these recent new episodes have reached alarming severity, and additional damage is now being done to my home. Back in 2006, the Water Authority’s mayhem reached such intensity that propane leaks were triggered underneath my house.

And what was their response? To try conning the public that I was “crazy” and had taken to firing at motorists on the state highway – so they could keep it covered up. No utility, especially a public one, has a right to place citizens in danger or to damage their home.

I am trying to determine if this latest round of damage is because the worn-out water main in my yard is approaching total failure, or due to new pumping activity. Any information would be appreciated.  Above all, I deserve to be able to get on with my life SOMETIME.

Marie Meacham

Franklin, GA


  1. Brandi Hannah says

    In my opinion if you own a piece of property anywhere you should be able to do what you would like with it. Whether it be smoking meat or something else. I do not see how the smoke bothers you when you came here for the smog of California.

  2. Ms. Meacham, you’ve been making the same complaints from the same spot for more than a decade. If you are so truly unhappy there, MOVE!

  3. Victoria Farmer says

    It’s absolutely atrocious how some people just burn without caring what the smoke does to the environment or the lungs of those around them. I do agree that Franklin runs on the ‘good ole boy’ system. I’ve witnessed it be applied to other people as well as myself.

    Perhaps, Marie, you should try writing to someone above heard county government, perhaps the governor or maybe a more widely subscribed to newspaper? Perhaps even with the name(s) of the person(s) responsible for the smoke and the HCWA stuff?

    I mean, to be honest, the HCWA stuff is slander and it’s something you can sue for. I would take action if it’s truly gone this far and disregard anyone else who may say you have no right to complain about it, your health is your concern and you should speak out about it.

  4. Wow is all I can say!!!! I’ve never meet this lady…. But I can draw a conclusion from the writing on the wall!!!! Holy smoke

  5. Someone seems to have a little too much time on their hands! LOL Get a hobby or something. House vibrating, grease on your face????? Paranoid much? “Paranoid schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having delusions and hearing things that aren’t real.” I think you’d be a much happier person if you stop focusing on everyone around you and make yourself happy for a change. Your miserable NOT because of what others are doing to you, but what you are doing to yourself. Walk around that grease stain on the floor and head to a mirror and look at yourself and make a decision to focus on YOU. I read your blog, http://heardcounty.blogspot.com/ and anyone with that amount of energy should be able to find something better to do with their time!
    And Russ, stop feeding into this delusion. Your as bad as her sometimes.

    • Russ Massa says

      HeardCitizen.com accepts all Letters to the Editor that meet our guidelines which include signing your name to them. We would always welcome your feedback as well Mr. or Mrs. “LOL” if you would like to stand behind your views publicly…

  6. You can say whatever you want to Russ but I know that to be absolutely FALSE! I’ve commented on several letters and articles on your site that you have CHOSEN not to approve to be seen(posted) for the public. Your media Russ. You pick and choose based on what you want to people to hear and see. The comments I have posted were all clean in language but just were not what you wanted the public to see or hear. I understand. You and YOU alone are the one who screens and chooses who gets heard and who doesn’t. I mean no one would know if you didn’t approve the comments. Your persona is a little more important to you than the truth. The above article is used to drive people to your site, with no thought to what your helping feed in her life(paranoia). But that’s cool, to each his own right?

    • Russ Massa says

      As I said if you are willing to sign your name to a Letter to the Editor then it will be posted… unsigned comments are indeed screened more carefully… Thanks for reading!

  7. Tim Massa says

    Dear Mr. or Mrs. LOL, you evidently already have your own preconceived idea about Russ and his paper. The reason I can say that with such certainty is that in just responses he made to you Mr. or Mrs. LOL here concerning your responses to a letter written by a citizen of Heard County. Of which you may agree, disagree, feel something else entirely. The lady who wrote her feelings was given a free and open local forum to express her views. But unlike you Mr. or Mrs. LOL , Russ has already told you 2-times what I’m about to tell you for the 3-rd time in this one article and comment section, she put her JOHN HANCOCK, to the article. In other words in case it still has not registered with you Mr. or Mrs. LOL, you have a forum here on the Heard Citizen to express any idea, opinion, thought, feeling, fishing story, hunting trip story, Ladies sewing round table stories, etc. If only 2 rules are followed. 1-SIGN YOUR REAL NAME. 2-KEEP IT CLEAN. Here’s how it’s done. I Tim Massa wrote this response. See how easy. Have a good day. And Russ thanks for giving Heard Countians an open forum to share ideas and thoughts. Oh yea as long as you sign YOUR REAL NAME. That’s not to much to ask is it? Mr. or Mrs. LOL

  8. Tesia McCormick says

    I really feel that this pitiful lady DOES HAS SOME MENTAL ISSUES & DESPERATELY NEEDS SOME HELP !!! To you Mrs. Meacham, if you are SO VERY UNHAPPY HERE IN GOOD OLE HEAD COUNTY, MOVE !!! It`s not that hard. Maybe you can then enjoy you life, open your windows & doors & be happy. By the way I have been by your house MANY, MANY TIMES, by way of car & horse, I have NEVER SMELLED ANY THING ODD,OR HAD GREASE ON MY FACE OR CLOTHING !!!
    From a Happy Real Heard Countian,

    Tesia McCormick

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