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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dent Meyers, The Wildman

In the sleepy little town of Kennesaw, GA lies one of the most controversial antique shops in the country:  Wildman's Civil War Surplus and Herb Shop. 

Now you may think, that Civil War Surplus and Herbs are an unusual combination, but this shop is run by a very unusual man.   Meet Dent Meyers.

Dent is a true enigma.  To some he is a beloved folk hero, to others he is nothing more then a disgusting racist.

Dent became known as a poster boy for a controversial law in Kennesaw that required citizens to own a gun.  Dent honors this law by keeping two loaded pistols in a holster at all times. 

Dent's prime focus is on the Confederacy.  Dent was told by a psychic that he was the reincarnation of Stonewall Jackson, and he believes it.  Dent states that he hasn't had a president in 150 years, since Ole Jefferson Davis was booted from power.

Dent's shop looks like an episode of "Hoarders".  There are piles old yellowing new clippings, racks and racks of clothing, piles and piles of dusty books and other indecipherable clutter.  There is a "museum" in the back with a 50 cent entrance fee, but its actually just more shop, where everything is for sale.  In the museum you will find a lot of old military stuff.

There is also a large selection of herbs.  Apparently, Dent has a distrust of doctors and western medication.

And standing right next to the herbs is this:

Sweet Jesus!  Let me out of here!

There are some very disturbing racist displays

So, its pretty cut and dry here.  Dent Meyers is a terrible evil racist Bastard.

But, Dent disagrees.  Dent states that he is not racist.  Dent states that his displays are either jokes or have historical significance.  Dent states he does not believe that any race is inferior to another.  Dent even claims to like black people.  He has a wall of photos of black people enjoying his shop to prove it.

There was actually an African American customer in the store at the same time as me.  His reaction: he laughed as if the store was the most hilarious thing he had ever seen.

Then you have Dent himself.   He comes off as a folksy old grandfather.  He is pleasant and loves to chat with customers.  Dent has been interviewed many times to find out what his "deal" is.  Dent refrains from saying anything horribly racist (nothing worse then you'd hear on fox news).  Dent simply claims loyalty to the southern "lost cause". 

His belief system is somewhat puzzling.  He seems to be big into any conspiracy theory he can find.  He has a great distrust of the United States Government, which he believes is controlled by the Illuminati.  He claims Pearl Harbor and 911 were inside jobs.  He believes car seats were designed to train children to be accustomed to being confined, so the government can control them.

Meyers was a big believer in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse to the point where he went ahead and had a giant tombstone erected in the local cemetery marking his death year as 2012.  It is the largest stone in the cemetery and has his life mask plastered to it.

I have to imagine he is somewhat disappointed.

So what is there to say about Dent?  Is his store racist?  Yes.  Is Dent racist?  Probably.  Still, he is a fascinating southern character study.  That is something that can't be denied. 

The Carpetbagger

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  1. Definitely, definitely puzzling. I have a lot to say but can't even put it into words! <--for once

    1. Yeah, this entry was hard to write. I don't know what to make out of this man. I think he interests me, because we want to put people in boxes, but the world is so much more complicated then that.

  2. I know Dent Myers personally...he is opinionated for sure. He is also intelligent, disorganized and rustic. He has been called many things, but He IS Wildman. I respect him. I am also proud to call him friend.
    Elaine McElroy

    1. That's a good description. The man is fascinating indeed.

  3. I certainly don't disagree that he's intelligent. He's obviously capitalized on the publicity he's recieved. As for me, I recently visited his shop, and had been planning on making a significant purchase. His racist displays were troubling when I walked in, but as the article suggests, had historic value. However, the deciding factor for me was when I overheard him discussing "niggers" with a local friend. Despite his public representations, it appears to me that Mr. Myers may in fact actually believe in the propaganda he collects. I do not support racism, and he lost my business as a result of my observations.

  4. I grew up in Kennesaw, and visited Wildman's once in the early 90s... There was a massive amount of Confederate, Nazi, anti-Semite, and anti-Black "memorabilia"... On the way out, he handed me and my friends copies of a propaganda paper called Racial Loyalty. The sick bastard is as racist as they come.

    1. I can definitely see that being true

    2. I knew Dent quite well in the 70s - he was always a character! You just can't believe everything put before you...

    3. People rarely have just one dimension

    4. This man who I call " Uncle " has always treated my family and I with respect. He has been a friend of mine since I was a kid, and I'm 50 now. My father introduced me to him when I was 7. They grew up together in Kennesaw. Every time I visit it's like walking back in the past. He has never said anything racist in front of me, ever. It's always good to see him. He has a heart of gold and would not hesitate to stand up for his friends and family.

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