Saturday, May 16, 2015

Singleton describes May 1986 trip to watch the sunset over the high hills

George 'Buster' Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Good morale booster: When all else fails – try a sunset” was originally published in the May 29, 1986 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

For quite some time lately, I have had very little time to do some of the things that I like to do. I have been here and there and have been kept quite busy. And to make matters worse, somewhere along the way I acquired a very congestive cold in my chest.

I am not one to go to the doctor, but after many nights and days of great discomfort, I decided to see my doctor. This was, by the way, a very delightful visit, first because he is a very good doctor and second because he tells me that he likes to read my articles in The Journal.

After the usual prescriptions, and the buckling down to taking about three different tablets four times a day, things began to get back to normal.

I still didn’t feel as good as I thought I should, so I decided to use one of my own remedies to help boost my morale and get things together again.

The great event

Last evening about an hour before sunset, I rode to my favorite spot where I have watched many a sunset, and settled down and awaited the great event that I knew would take place within a short time.

As all of us know, there are never two sunsets alike. So I knew that I would be seeing a first. I knew that the great Master Painter would not disappoint me, so I settled back against my favorite stump and waited. Soon the expected event would take place.

As I sat there with my back against the old stump, I thought of myself as being in some great entertainment hall or theater, waiting for the actors to enter on stage.

The first of the events was that the clouds began to take on a reddish, purple color. The colors seemed to come from the horizon. As the great ball of fire sank slowly into the clouds, it seemed that the main event was about to happen. The purple and red seemed to blend into each other as the clouds began to shoot up as giant steeples pushed their way into the heavens.

Deep orange sky

As the steeples rose higher and higher, the colors became brighter and brighter. As the colors became more distinct, all the sky began to take on the color of deep orange.

I was not aware that I had gotten to my feet, but now I was standing up, trying to see everything that there was to see.

Then, as I thought that what I was witnessing could not get any more beautiful, the golden rays of the sun pushed their way, just like huge, long bayonets, through the clouds toward the heavens.

I was standing up on my favorite stump and was raising my arms to the heavens as one might do at some type of sporting event, when an outstanding play had taken place. The beauty was breathtaking. I could not believe my eyes – all this seemed to be for me and no one else. To my amazement, I realized that I was applauding with all my might. The great finale would have received a standing ovation in any theater in the land.

Then, like great actors and actresses, the clouds began to depart slowly in the gathering darkness that had begun to settle across the high hills in the distance. The orange and purple colors slowly began to fade into the evening shadows, as though the stagehands were bringing down the curtain for the last time.

Audience files out

I sat down on the stump again and tried to picture within my mind what I had just seen. I was overwhelmed. I then realized that I was waiting as though I expected the crowd to leave the great hall. And I, in turn, was to file out along with the rest of the audience.

I gathered my thoughts together as I rode slowly home and awaited supper. I realized more and more just how small and fragile man was within this thing we define as a universe. He is but a grain of sand when he is compared to the vastness of creation. And his ability to align himself with this universe will determine whether he stays or whether he goes. The decision is ours. What will it be? We must decide…

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

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