What an awful way to start 2004: Dropping Brasstown’s possum drop to please PETA.
Brasstown, N.C. — For the past 12 years, on New Year’s Eve, this Appalachian town has lowered a possum in a Plexiglas cage from the roof of a gas station at the stroke of midnight. It is called the Possum Drop, and hundreds of people pack downtown Brasstown to see it.
This time, Baby New Year was awfully still.
And as the crowd soon learned, this possum wasn’t just playing possum. It was roadkill.
With just hours to go before the festivities, Clay Logan, host of the Possum Drop, said he’d received a call from a national animal rights organization threatening to sue him for animal cruelty if he used a live possum.
“So I found me a dead one,” Logan said.
As fireworks popped and lovers kissed, the dead possum swung from a Citgo sign. And as the festivities ended, many revelers trudged away, saying their small town fun had been spoiled by big-city ways.
“Hell of a way to start the New Year, saluting a dead possum,” said Steve Barringer, a blacksmith.
Logan runs Clay’s Corner, which sells possum products. He can’t afford to hire lawyers to protect Brasstown’s possum lowering rites.
Update: A San Jose woman has turned her home into a possum hospital and care center. Possums “live for snacks and naps,” she says.