|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 “Nature at night reveals peace, God’s control” was originally published in the Jan. 8, 1976 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)
The warm, sunny weather that came with the first day of the new year was too great a temptation for anyone to stay indoors, so my youngest son and I headed for the deep woods.
We decided that the proper way to bring in the new year was to bring it in with a campout. We wanted to go as far from the hustle and noise of civilization as time would permit, so we headed for the wooded area along what is known as Bradley Ridge.
We went as far as we could travel over the little-used road and found a secluded spot where we could pitch our tent among the whispering pines.
Food tastes better
The next hour of so was spent setting up camp and gathering fire wood. As the evening sun slowly dropped toward the horizon, everything was made ready for the evening meal that was cooked over an open fire.
For reasons that I cannot explain, food that is cooked over an open fire seems to taste better than food cooked elsewhere.
Full stomachs and a warm fire that kept the coffee pot always ready brought on a time of story-telling and tale swapping as we lay on the soft pine needles enjoying the warmth from the red flames.
As darkness shadowed the land and as nature’s children began to prepare for the night to come, we sat and listened to the many sounds around us.
A giant play
Sitting there around the fire and listening to the sounds of the night, we felt as though we were witnessing a giant panorama or play being staged for our benefit.
The highlight of the evening was when three owls came and sat in the trees above us. They chatted and talked for almost two hours, scolding and hooting at each other in the language that only they could understand.
To lie under the stars and gaze at the vastness of the heavens is an experience that few ever have.
And to lie there among the slender pines and listen to the night winds sighing among the green needles gives one the feelings that whatever some people argue, God is still in control of the universe, and that in some place, total peace can still be found. Peace that is to be found through Him who maketh the clouds His chariot; and who walketh upon the wings of the wind.
(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.)