Saturday, November 12, 2016

Singleton describes the many sides and facets of the autumn season

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 “Master Painter chooses autumn as time to create” was originally published in the Nov. 10, 1988 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Autumn is the time of year when all things come together. A time when all the colors of the universe are blended together once again in all the beauty and splendor that the Master Painter chooses to create.

Autumn is a quiet evening beside a rippling stream, listening to the gentle sounds of the many leaves falling and fluttering on their way to their final resting place. When each finds its place there on the ground, it joins the others to form the gold and purple and yellow blanket spread so beautifully with special care and detail.

Autumn is looking across the river where the brown and gold, purple and yellow colors stand out as a giant mural that stretches endlessly along the opposite bank.

Autumn is the roaring sound of a jet airplane, streaking across the sky at treetop level, reminding one that peace and beauty are only temporary; that man has within his capabilities to forever erase all that is beautiful from the face of this earth.

Autumn is the sound of the wind whispering through the treetops as though trying to hum a lullaby that will rock you to sleep and bring peace of mind.

Autumn is a peaceful night’s sleep under the full moon while wrapped snugly and securely in a warm sleeping bag under the protective branches of the mighty oaks that grow near the river. And autumn is waking up to a breakfast cooked over an open fire with the smell of coffee boiling in an open pot.

Autumn is a visit to an old, abandoned cemetery, walking among the old and faded headstones, trying to visualize some of the happiness and heartaches that those who sleep here encountered during their short stay on this earth. Autumn, too, is brushing the fallen leaves that cover the markers like a golden snowfall, to try and read the names and epitaphs of those who sleep and wait for the final roll of eternity.

Autumn is a time of reckoning. A time when one must put together that which is foremost in life and make plans for the winter days before him. Autumn is also the time when one should look at himself, and cast from his soul that which is not good. Then, with a time of meditation, replace all that has been cast aside with that which is worldly and pleasing in the sight of the Creator.

Then, finally, autumn is the time to slip away to that special place – a place only you and the Great Spirit himself know about. A place where the high hill reaches above all others within eye’s view. A place where one can stand with arms outstretched and reach towards the heavens. A place where one can talk with the one who holds the destiny of everything from the smallest grain of sand to the mightiest tides of the oceans in the palm of his hands.

And when the talk is over, remember to thank him, the Creator, that you have been allowed to be a small part of his creation. When this is done, life will take on new meaning. The dreary days of winter will become a challenge. The troubles that confront you will be minor. And your soul will sing with joy, and complete happiness will be at your fingertips.

But they that wait upon the Lord
Shall renew their strength; they shall
Mount up with wings as eagles; the shall
Run, and not be weary; and they shall walk
And not faint…

(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, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County in June 1964 (some sources say 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. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” 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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