|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 “Beauty of Flat Creek spoiled,” was originally published in the Jan. 17, 1985 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)
To the ones who have traveled down Flat Creek by small boat or canoe, it would be a waste of time to try and describe the raw and primitive beauty that abounds there. But to the ones who have never made the journey, time is running out.
The quiet, scenic surroundings are fast being turned into a floating garbage dump. Some among us have decided that Flat Creek is the place to throw their filth and garbage.
The last thing I would ever want would be to get involved in a dispute about the garbage situation, but I feel that I must bring this to the attention of the citizens who still love nature and enjoy its beauty.
Picture yourself floating down this beautiful stream on a lazy afternoon, as I have, fishing a little hear and there. But mostly floating along, moving in and out of the deep, clear water, casting over its edges, not really caring whether you get a strike from a big, beautiful trout or not.
You slowly round a bend in the creek, and there is a drift of logs in the water. This is commonplace, but you don’t understand the huge, bloated white and yellow garbage bags that fill the creek. The rotten garbage reeks a terrible odor. There are paper and filth floating over the water. The beauty and peace that were witnessed a short time earlier have come to a sudden stop.
The primitive surroundings have ceased to be. Modern man has begun his war here against nature and the environment. How sad when we cannot live in harmony with nature! What is wrong when the human race has to deface and destroy that which God has made so beautiful for all to enjoy?
Where there was beauty and peace, there is now filth and decay. Where once wild flowers and the smell of ferns filled the air, now there is the odor of rotten filth, the mark of man and his stupidity.
We must not forget that our days on this planet earth are numbered. Man does not control nature. One day nature will rebel, and man will be the most helpless of all creatures.
Our waste and filth will spread across the land like a killer plague, along with all the chemicals that we have foolishly used in the name of progress.
What a pity that it must all end with only a few caring. Sickness and death will cover the land, and a cup of pure, clean water will be worth its weight in gold. Filth and decay will greet us on every turn, and the smell of rotten waste will ride the winds always. The words of a little-known poet will take on new meanings:
Let me taste the wind,
O Creator of all the universe.
Let me feel the warmth of
The golden sun on my weary body.
Let me rest my soul
By the side of the rippling stream.
Let me look upon Thy wonders
At the close of a perfect day.
Let me be for a time atop a high
Hill, and feel Your presence.
Let my restless spirit reach beyond
The sunset, where the air is pure,
And the sky is forever blue.
(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.)