|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 “No two sunsets are alike” was originally published in the Feb. 4, 1982 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)
I suppose that very few people living today enjoy the outdoors as much as I do. I suppose if someone analyzed my life, put it under a microscope as one would some kind of bug, he might find that I was born out of my time.
I know that history is full of instances when someone or something shows up way out of place. Some of our great leaders are believed to have lived before in earlier times and under other circumstances. Persons today quite often tell a story of someone relaying the events of an earlier life.
I won’t bother my readers with my beliefs about this subject, other than the fact that I seem to be drawn always as though a very powerful magnetic force keeps pulling me toward the high hills in the northern part of the county.
Very few days pass that I don’t go into the hills, if only for a short time. When a day goes by and I am not able to visit one of my special places atop a high hill, I feel as though I have been deprived of something special. And each day that I stay away, I feel that unseen force pulling me even harder toward those places where peace and contentment awaits.
And when the moment comes when I can break away from the toils of our society, I hurry as fast as I can to that special place, if only for a moment.
How many of you who read this know what it’s like to stand atop a high hill and watch the last rays of the setting sun sweep across the evening sky? Or feel the gentle breeze against our cheek while the same wind whispers through the pines in the distance?
Who has watched the storm clouds gather as though great armies were positioning themselves for battle? And heard the thunder clash as if the hooves of 10,000 horses raced across the skies, drawing their chariots for the final charge? Or on a cold, dreary day, watched the world around you in its moment of silence?
I know that I have seen a thousand or more sunsets, but I have never seen two alike. The wind sounds different – maybe not very different, but never the same. Each time that I stand and marvel at the greatness of God’s creation, I feel as though I have witnessed a greatness that I can’t explain.
And then I realize how small and fragile I am when surrounded by the vastness around me. And then I look up and know that I am not alone, and I feel refreshed and the worry and bother of the day falls from my shoulders.
As I leave my special place I feel that life is wonderful, all the cares and worries are behind me and everything is again fresh and beautiful.
I know that I will return again at my earliest opportunity and feel the wind in my face and see the sunset and hear the pine trees whisper, again and again – as long as I can, when time stands still, if only for a moment.
(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.)