Friday, December 30, 2011

Somewhere in Tennessee, the Day After Christmas

A .69 (the monster), a Williams "Cleaner" and a cut-off bullet. Creepy.
December 26, 2011

Look, I had to sleep in, so I told Cheryl and Doug to start w/o me. Got a good, solid 8 hours and it was sublime. Up around 8:30 and was on the road by 10 ish, heading for a small town west of Nashville.

Pulled into the parking lot in the deserted little downtown and waited until D and C met me. They'd been … somewhere, I never quite learned where – down by the RR tracks. Doug made me drool with jealousy with his two 1910 dimes and super old nickel. He said he'd gotten them all, but I'm not so sure.

We all piled into D's car and after a few twists and turns, ended up at a tiny cemetery. We walked thru, looking at the stones of little babies and old people, long ago people. Sad.

Found a place where the barbed wire fence was broken down and walked into some woods on a bluff high up over a river. So pretty. A gray, silent day. The day after Christmas. Water flowing quietly below us.

We split up and got started. It was hard going, as the brush was fairly thick. Couldn't swing easily, but we did our best. Must have dug one place for 20 minutes and never found it. Found a bullet that a soldier had cut the top off of. “They were bored out of their minds,” explained Doug, later, as to why a soldier would do that.

My best find there was a big, fat, .69 bullet. A real monster. I hate bullets. Fuckers.

We regrouped, then drove out of town about ½ mile and parked. Had an amusing time trying to climb up the RR embankment with our gear, then, once across, up a rocky incline to a hill where, 150 years ago, there was an encampment, possibly a fort. Stayed there about 90 minutes, but didn't find much. I pulled out what Doug said was a “curry comb.” Sure looked like trash to me. Walked out of there with some RR ephemera that I hope to turn into candlesticks. Someday.

Not much else. Some modern shotgun shells and rifle thingies.

Back at the car, we ran into a retired schoolteacher who owns the farm x the road. He gave us permission to search the foundation of an old building on his property. I have high hopes for that.

Doug went home and C and I went to a little bar, had Diet Cokes and Christmas cookies and talked to the owner and an elderly couple while the man played old timey songs on an out-of-tune piano. I strummed along on a guitar. Much fun.

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