BRASSTOWN, N.C., Dec. 30 — The lights are strung, the stage is set and Baby New Year is waiting in a cage, hissing.
Brasstown, once again, is ready for the Possum Drop.
few hundred people will huddle at a Citgo station in this little Appalachian town, wearing hunting jackets and hats with dangling ear flaps, to cheer the descent of one confused marsupial.
It started 13 years ago, when someone said to Clay Logan, owner of Brasstown's only gas station and vendor of kitschy possum products, "If New York City can drop a ball, why can't we drop a possum?"
Mr. Logan could think of no reason why not.
At midnight, as he lets a rope slip between his fingers, lowering a possum in a plexiglass cage from the roof of his gas station, Mr. Logan will call out, as he has every New Year's Eve since 1990, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1!"
Here's a Salon article on possums in Brasstown:
Brasstown made headlines for reasons other than opossums about three years ago when national media accused the town, and the region, of hiding Eric Rudolph, a prime suspect in the bombings of the 1996 Olympics and of abortion clinics in Atlanta. The neighboring community of Andrews was Rudolph's last known place of residence. His abandoned truck was found about three miles away from Clay's Corner, on Martin's Creek Road.