Monday, March 21, 2005

Land Of The Trembling Earth, Part 1

Though my wife was born in Georgia, she lived and grew up in Alabama. Close enough to Georgia that the county is on Eastern Time, even though it's officially Central Time. I mean, all the banks, the cable company, even BellSouth show Eastern Time on all their stuff. So Georgia isn't foreign territory to her. But she hadn't spent much time in Southeast Georgia. That changed after she met me.

I grew up in Southeast Georgia. And it's different there than in other parts of the state. For one thing, it's flat. And by flat, I mean flat. Just like it sounds. Oh, you'll run into a hill every so often. But not very often. You can see the horizon. It's flat.

In fact, a long time ago, longer ago than I can remember, the whole area used to be under water. You see, when dinosaurs went to the beach, they'd park about where Macon is. Which put Southeast Georgia under water.

It's still a low-lying area. The paperwork on the radio station where I used to work in my hometown includes information like longitude, latitude, and elevation. That's the number of feet above sea level. It's 47 feet. Which means if the Atlantic rose 50 feet, you'd be nearly waist-deep in the ocean if you were standing next to the radio tower.

The water level is pretty high there, as you could imagine. I remember there used to be what was called a "flowing well" on the road between my home town and Ludowici. I got some Ludowici stories I can tell, but that's for later. Oh, and it's pronounced "loo-doh-WISS-ee" -- at least it's prounounced like that by me.

Anyway, this flowing well was there beside the road and it looked to me like a pipe that was driven into the ground and water spewing from the top. Folks set a rock on it to cap it. And people could -- and did -- stop and get a drink of water. Didn't cost nothing. Just remove the rock, drink, and put the rock back. I remember stopping there one time. I drank the water. That was my first experience with sulfer-water. If you haven't tasted sulfer-water, don't. It tastes like you'd think it tastes. And smells like old people farts.

Anyway, lots of water for the having. Comes from being on the north edge of this little thing called the Okefenokee Swamp.

My wife thought she had heard of the Okefenokee, but wasn't sure. I think she hadn't, but didn't want to admit it. Anyway, if you haven't, it's the place where Pogo Possum lives. He was in the funny papers a while back. Actually, he's there again, but that comic strip is not as big as he used to be.

More on Pogo, and on the wife's first visit to the Okefenokee later. There are man-eating critters involved!


  1. old people farts eh? I've had sulfer water and that about sums it up!

  2. There are folks that love the stuff. I guess if you grew up drinking it, it's what you're used to. I heard all the stuff: "Ooooo! That's good!" So I tasted it. I knew right then there were folks in my family that were crazy.

  3. The Big Sister (who's 5'4")March 22, 2005 at 1:13 PM

    The GOOD water was off of Lanes Bridge Road. It bubbled up in a little pool and was refreshingly cold. At least that's how I remember it...

  4. Yes, I remember going to that spring. To me, that was water, not that rotten-egg-smelling stuff off of 301.

  5. The Mean Sister (who is 5'6")March 22, 2005 at 3:05 PM

    What about that smelly fountain on the way to St. Mary's...PUKE!!!

  6. Now, I didn't mess up and get confused on where that nasty "flowing well" was, did I?

  7. The Big Sister (who's 5'4")March 23, 2005 at 2:45 AM

    Y'all often remember lots more than I do. I don't remember any of the wells except the one on Lanes Bridge Road and the one on the way to St. Mary's. Oh, was SOOOOOOO bad. Now, exactly where it was, I don't know. I just remember us all having to take a turn drinking it. YECH!
    I want to know what you're gonna say about Ludowici.

  8. Heck, maybe I've told this thing wrong. It was a long time ago. But it seemed to me to be on the road to Ludowici, not St. Marys. But, if it was heading south instead of north, then that's where it was. I may have to update the post to correct things.

    As for Ludowici stories, how much you think I ought to tell? Lester, for sure. But not sure how much else ought to be told.

    Besides, you have an author account. Tell some.


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