Saturday, January 30, 2016

Singleton tells of the 'natural phenomenon' of Double Branches near Monroeville

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 “Double Branches – nature’s phenomenon” was originally published in the Feb. 3, 1972 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Traveling west from Monroeville, on Highway 84, one crosses Double Branches. Little or no thought is given to this natural phenomenon other than it is the first bridge encountered after passing under the railroad trestle. However, one who crosses it often might notice that the stream never goes dry in summer, or that he is crossing two streams instead of one.

The impression is that Mother Nature couldn’t make her mind as to where she wanted this stream; so, after moving it back and forth several times, she finally gave up and divided the waters between the two, leaving them to go their separate ways, such as lovers after a quarrel.

There are times when the streams join together as though an agreement has been made between them, only to split again farther down stream as though they decided once again to go their chosen ways.

As I waded down these streams one hot day this past summer, the thought came to mind about the similarity to jealous lovers having a quarrel. As the streams joined and ran as one, it seemed that the lovers had agreed, and all was well. As I waded farther, it was as if they had argued and once again separated. So it was, on and on, until finally they joined for the last time, parting no more, until their waters emptied into Limestone Creek, on its long journey to the sea.

I have crossed Double Branches many times since that day last August. Each time I think of the lovers that this stream reminds me of. During the past few weeks when the rainfall was so heavy, I stood on the bridge overlooking the stream and watched the mighty waters wash onward as both streams had been brought together by the heavy rains and rising waters. The thought came to me of the difference that this made; being united, both as one.

Maybe Mother Nature had planned it this way after all. Maybe a lesson was to be learned from Double Branches. A lesson that the Grand Old Lady saw fit to leave to all that would see and take notice.

(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, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, moved to Monroe County in 1961 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. 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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