2004-07-07 - 3:30 p.m.PICTURE THIS
I was out for a run early one morning a couple of weekends ago while I was at my parents’ mountain house. They have this beautiful five and a half acre lot in western North Carolina with national forest on three sides and a view of Wayah Bald in front. It’s especially picturesque on summer mornings with rolled bales of hay sitting in the pastures waiting to be stored in old barns with rusted tin roofs.
As I ran along the road below their property, I heard the stream that meanders along one side of the road and glanced down to a clearing below. There was the stream (looking chock full of brookies and rainbows) with a lawn chair set up next to its bank. It looked weathered like it was a permanent fixture. Behind the chair was a little house that really looked more like a fish camp than a home, although it definitely was someone’s permanent residence. That was when the whole scene was shattered by a sight I will never forget.
An old Camaro with weeds growing under it stood next to the house, and behind that was a second shack nearly the same size as the house filled with car parts and other junk. Mounted on the side of the shack was – are you ready for this? – a gigantic rebel flag with a larger-than-life image of the bearded, sunglassed, cowboy-hatted head of Hank Williams Jr. smack dab in the middle of it grinning like a Cheshire cat.
Of course, I proceeded to construct a whole story around that little site and its inhabitants. Big Seth’s three legged possum, pa’s shotgun, and a mysterious drifter in Dillard cave thoroughly entertained me for the remainder of my run.
The pastures didn’t even score a close second to that one.
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