McIntyre quieter after Honey Boo Boo years

Life in McIntyre after reality show

It's hard to forget the imprint Honey Boo Boo left on pop culture.

The family lived in McIntyre while TLC filmed the reality show.

Now, Mama June is back in the spotlight with her own program and recent dramatic weight loss.

We visited with folks in Wilkinson County to reminisce about the past and find out why folks still go out of their way to get on Highway 441.

Alana Thompson skyrocketed to fame as Honey Boo Boo.

Eventually, the reality show highlighted the whole family as a cast of rural Georgia characters.

Anika Smith works at the Jet Foods in town.

"It was a little chaotic, a little chaotic," she recalled.

 Smith says her store has its own claim to fame.

"The fried chicken, she bragged.

She says Honey Boo Boo's father, Sugar Bear, who still lives in Central Georgia, pops in every now and then, but overall, Smith feels her job's gotten a little easier behind the counter.

"You don't have people coming in asking you where the Honey Boo Boos stay at," she chuckled. " And I don't have to tell them the stop sign to the right."

The train that carries kaolin from the main plant in town still passes by the tiny house that stood as a TV set, but things look a lot less lively, which means the town's police chief Wayne Amerson's is not as hectic.

"Every time I go somewhere and I say McIntyre, people always ask about Honey Boo Boo," he said.

 Amerson is the police chief in a town of about 650 people.

He says the national spotlight had his guys hopping.

"I kind of let out a breath and kicked back after it was all over because it was kind of tiring and a lot of work," he said.

He had to manage TV crews that even included us doing some filming with the family, and all that media brought fans to boot.

"Yeah, you could come out any given day and over there, the dirt road behind the Flash Foods, the road would be packed with out of state cars, out of town cars, people trying to get a glimpse of one of them coming outside and there was times that would go on all day," he remembered.

That kind of hoopla can get tiring, but Smith says, in retrospect, Honey Boo Boo and the family did a lot for Wilkinson County.

"They raised money for charities here, they took up toys and canned goods for people that was in need, they done a lot of good for the community. Everybody has their opinions, though, and some love them and some hate them, he admitted.

The crew seems to keep grabbing headlines, but one thing is for sure -- no matter what lies ahead for the pot of personalities, McIntyre will always have bragging rights to the Honey Boo Boo experience, even if it's the reruns.

Mama June did make a brief stop in McIntyre recently for her new show From Not to Hot, and while Suzanne was out filming, she ran into a couple that didn't want to go on camera but admitted they were there in town just to see the Honey Boo Boo house for themselves.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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