Wednesday, October 5, 2011


To paraphrase the old Ray Charles song....I've had Georgia on my mind.   I really don't know why. 

Some background....I was stationed on the USS Canopus (AS-34) from September 1992 thru November 1994.  It was homeported at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, GA.   It was officially decommissioned in late November 1994, I transferred to the USS Abe Lincoln (CVN-72) and I haven't been back there since.

I was a fortunate one who lived off base in a horribly dumpy little apartment whose bedroom window overlooked the perimeter road of the base.  Every night at 10:30 PM, base security drove that road and their lights shined in my window.   I turned 21 there.  A small group of friends joined me in a toga party to celebrate both my first divorce (final a week before) and the fact I was legal to drink!

I have a scar on my right knee from exploring the Tabby Sugar Mill Ruins.  The thick walls were made of stuff with oyster shells in it and when I stepped over what was apparently a window sill, I wasn't expecting the inside floor to be lower than the outside.  So I gashed my knee pretty good on it.

Crooked River State Park had some nice walking trails but HUGE freakin' spiders that apparently thought the trails were a nice place to build webs.

Historic St. Mary's was the town there.  It was beautiful.  Gorgeous old homes, big old trees dripping in Spanish moss.  Cobble stone streets.  Just wow.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge wasn't too far away.  There was a raised walkway back into the swamp where you could see snakes & alligators.

Cumberland Island where there are ruins to a mansion & wild horses.

Oak Grove Cemetery.  Just wow again.   It is so old that there was a white person section and a black person section.  It is so old that either records weren't kept as to where people were buried, or the records said stuff like "Joe Bob was buried under the camellia bush".  Tough to find exactly which camellia bush Uncle Joe Bob is under, tho!   There are also mass graves due to a yellow fever outbreak in the early 1800s.  I remember one in particular.  It was an above ground crypt, about the size of a modern day casket.  The epitaph covered the entire top!  I thought it was odd, since it listed a woman first.  Then her young son.  Then her father.  Then I think her brother.  Then an uncle. 

Someday I'd like to go back.  And take my camera, dammit!!

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