The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon

Jonathan Knott

Tracking History: Jonathan Knott, Host

A Short Hike

I discovered recently that one sometimes doesn’t have to travel far to run across interesting and unusual bits of the past that linger in out-of-the-way places. I live in Palmetto (a small town about 25 miles southwest of the Atlanta airport) and recently took a short hike just outside the city limits. I was with a small group of local folk, and our target was a large stone perched atop an outcropping of rock about a half-mile into some pretty thick woods. A little used trail allows a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get about halfway there; the rest must be accomplished on foot or by ATV. We loaded in the back of a truck and drove to a small stream (where we found this interesting “click-beetle” (one of our crew was a naturalist), then struck out the rest of the way on foot.

Sure enough, at the top of a steep climb we found the stone which, according to our local storyteller, was used by Native Americans to grind their corn.

What I did NOT bother taking photographs of was the evidence left behind that this place is also frequently used by more recent locals to hang out and make a mess. There were rusty lawn chairs, old mattresses, empty beer cans by the score and even an old microwave with the words “help me” written on top (one has to wonder where it would have been plugged in, out in the middle of nowhere).

However, this unexpected discovery was really more amusing than anything else and did not detract from the impulse to stand and look at the rock, imagining what the people who used it looked like, what language they spoke and what actions made up their everyday lives.

Copyright ©2007 Barbara Knott. All Rights Reserved.
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