Everything Matters

Everything Matters
Zim's Bottling of Strawn

Friday, December 19, 2014

Eastland County Museum Blockbuster coming January 28

Please help us spread the word of this national exhibit coming to Eastland, Texas January 28 - March 14, 2015.

Here is a trailer produced for us by the Art and Media Graphics department at Tarleton University. They are also producing a documentary of interviews with area Veterans, some of which are included in the trailer.

More info here: olos.info

More detailed information will be released soon!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Council Bluffs...a foggy message earlier today

Council Bluffs stirs to life this morning, wanting to spin out a second story…

Heavy ghostly fog moves stealthily like a thief through its valley before sunrise today, through the trees, across its quiet running waters.

Witness trees…perhaps spirits, perhaps the Great Spirit Himself, Herself, seductively whispering…

Two new friends of mine find an arrowhead, a “tip”, a name aptly double-entendre’ed (sp?) this go round.

A tip.

Over a year ago they find this half, a fragment, nothing more, abandoned in a field.

They file it away.

Not knowing.

Faithful, if not explicitly realizing their role.

A year later, same place, save spirit time has rolled forward and changed the landscape, replaced their next clue, they walk down into their valley, the bustling place of tee pees, women and children camping, warriors coming in only at night after the days’ hard hunt. Dog soldiers coming down from the high bluff’s signal fires, hallucinogens, marker trees, council fires, holy spirits.

Looking down to the ground beneath their feet, these post-modern time travelers find another half an arrowhead…fine, detailed, delicate. Something that much time and Native care went into…the nurturing of a fine jewel from a flake of rock so rough its polished result is a surprise every time.

Not from here, are you?

This new tip fits the first one. A perfect match. God’s will be done.

The flat field by the creek has been plowed at least three times between tip one and tip two finally being reunited, what, from its breakup 300 to 10,000 years ago. No one, save the Great Spirit walking these woods could’ve predicted that outcome. “A God sent miracle,” a recently departed older brother would say.

A medicine man, himself.

One piece, useless alone.

Another piece. Where, hiding, lost, without function.


No one knew the long circle, the hundreds or thousands of years circle of loneliness and want, that these new friends brought back together, least of all the broken pieces themselves.

Who was the warrior who lost that tip?

What did its finding, its reuniting mean?

More than random.

More whispers.

More delusions.

Another message, this foggy morning…

I like most the God of resurrection, of healing. Brokenness as message. As a destiny. That’s a tough case to preach to the Penetekah camping far to our north, methinks, but this morning seems like I should try.

I hope they are well.

Delusion in these woods, in this country, though a path through the tangle to the treasure starts to become clear.

A beautiful point, arrowhead, Once Upon a Time, the Happily Ever After put back together. 
Reunited. Miraculous. Ready finally, and again, for its original purpose.

Its original, whispered lesson.
Native spirits speak.

Native Spirits listen.

Stay tuned…


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Carleton, Texas Historic Photos

Historic structures spotted in Carleton, Texas (Hamilton County, Just South of Stephenville/Alexander). If anyone has any historic info or more photos, please email me jeffclarktexas@gmail.com.

Kenneth Ray Farabee

Kenneth Ray Farabee passed from this life November 22 at his home in Austin. His mother was Annie Lee Sneed Farabee. A sister to Maude Sneed Falls.

The William M. Sneed family was living in Eastland county before 1900. Ray's obituary can be found online  From the Times Record News, Wichita Falls,Tx. or The Austin Statesman. 

Mr. Farabee lived a full and colorful life...he was of late a contributor to the Merriman Cemetery restoration...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Homestead - Eastland-Erath County Line

Visited yesterday, beside a stream we had to cross, between the protection of tall mountains, a flat fertile field, once cleared, now covered with upstart mesquite and cedar, a debris field of brown rough rock stones that could've held the log cabin, a well, stacked rock walls behind, from clearing that field, keeping in the livestock. The old road, the one on the treasure map, finally found through cleared trees to the east, crossing the stream once, maybe twice. Did he, they, the family move on...their old home, this dry stack of rocks standing vertical over 100 years, sleeping in rough country that has to date been silent to the next generations?

Farther east, seeking a second homesite, a neighbor once, according to the map, X marks the spot, another road, easily visible here and there, up wrapping the tall hill, still visible mostly, a strange place for a cabin really, not much in the way of flat but a million-dollar view, maybe a pioneer who needed lead time should visitors show up, connecting to this road, the one that led to this first homestead. We didn't find much or really anything left behind from this second cabin...some old felled tree stumps, a couple of "don't belong" holes, like ones to the east at the neighbor's, cisterns or cellars or where tree root balls fell, laughing later at our rich imaginations.

A good morning. November 28, 2014. The first homestead, undated, late 1800s based on another neighbor, an almost twin I've seen above six miles away. On a survey named after a man whose homestead this is not. His farther west, up on the rise, also still there, mocking the pavement who slithers nearby, in a hurry, with a purpose, unaware.

Same story, another frontier chapter...I hope they made it where they were going. Or were happy here, somehow, an equal then growing mystery.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

B-17F Crashes and Burns Four Miles South of Mineral Wells

B-17F Crashes and Burns
Four Miles South of Mineral Wells
By Jeff Clark

            “Thank you for your request. Attached is a copy of the accident report covering the loss of B-17F, s/n 42-5719, at Mineral Wells TX on 11 March 1943…We hope this information is of value to you.”

            I’m staring at a faded copy of a “War Department – U.S. Army Air Forces Report of Aircraft Accident.” The men flying that plane are no longer around to interview. This sheaf of papers will have to tell their story.
            First Lieutenant Jack A. Nilsson; 2nd Lieutenant William F. Pitts of March Field, California; 2nd Lieutenant Morgan A. Regan; Staff Sergeant James F. Deaver of Bluff Dale, Texas; Sergeant Jamieson P. Ware of Dallas; William R. Thaman of Ohio; Corporal Olen G. Diggs of Lubbock and Private Joseph F. Yonack of Dallas are recorded on the Personnel Listing.
            Nilsson was Pilot Instructor for the training mission, with Pitts and Regan on board as student pilots. Five enlisted men rounded out their crew. All were stationed at the Army Air Forces Advanced Flying School, members of the 955th School Squadron, Hobbs Field, New Mexico.
            There is an extensive listing of damage, of what investigators found smoldering on the ground. By the time you read this, this plane crash’s anniversary will be two weeks away.

            The men’s B-17F is known as a “flying fortress” four-engine heavy bomber, developed in the 1930s, a high-flying aircraft able to suffer massive combat damage and still stay in the air. The B-17 dropped more bombs than any other aircraft type during WWII.
            This fated plane took off from Hobbs Army Air base on a navigational training flight March 11, 1943 at about 1500 hours. The crew received clearance to fly at 8,500 feet to Amarillo, then Tulsa, Shreveport, turning east to Dallas and then on to Fort Worth, where they were to RON (remain over night), returning to Hobbs the following day.

            Nilsson writes, “I knew the weather was bad at Fort Worth…We had approximately 2,500 gallons of gasoline aboard and only a 6 ½ hour flight to make.” They pushed along at 180 mph for the first two hours, hoping to beat worsening weather developing around Cowtown.
            Nilsson recalculated fuel consumption. “I discovered we were consuming it at an extravagant rate”. They throttled back to 1,850 RPMs. Speed dropped to 160 mph.
            As they approached Amarillo around 1615 hours, transmitter trouble prevented them from making radio contact until they were 40 miles east. They were told to proceed to Tulsa. About 60 miles southeast of Tulsa, electrical storms prevented them from keeping radio contact with Shreveport. Nilsson relates “the static was so severe that we couldn’t hear the S. P. Range. We climbed to 14,000 feet in order to get on top of the overcast.” They finally reestablished radio contact.
The report states that except for “excessive fuel consumption and increasingly bad weather,” the flight was normal until the plane left Shreveport. It began to pick up ice. The pitot tube froze (used to measure air speed), but pilot heat was turned on and the instrument came back online. The pilot lifted the plane to escape icing and to maintain radio contact. Student Pilot Pitts said, “My radio would go out when I got into the clouds. We got over Shreveport so we could follow the beam and this side of Shreveport we ran into an electrical storm…When I got into the overcast, the radio wouldn’t work at all.” Rounding Shreveport, the plane turned east toward Dallas.
            Cruising at 14,000 feet on the way to Dallas, they ran into large build ups of clouds and again started to pick up ice. They had to climb to 18,000 feet to get above the icing and retain radio contact.
            As they approached Dallas, they dropped down into the overcast at 14,000 feet. They maintained radio contact this time. When they were over Dallas Radio Station at 2030 CWT, the ceiling in Fort Worth was reported at 800 feet.
“Contact Fort Worth for further instructions.”

            Fort Worth told them to descend to 3,000 feet. The crew began going through their landing checklist while waiting clearance to make a procedure let down into Tarrant Field (later Carswell AFB).
            Fort Worth reported a ceiling of 300 feet. “No go on your landing.” Climb to 8,000 feet and head for Abilene. The ceiling there was supposed to be 1,000 feet.
            Pilot Pitts remembered, “As we came into Fort Worth and went on out the north leg for procedure let down, the ceiling dropped to 300 feet and in a very little while it was down to 100 feet and he told us to go to Abilene. As I was going around to make a 180 degree turn to come back onto the beam, my No. 1 engine went out….we were at 3,000 feet then.” The three-bladed prop fell silent.
Nilsson reached down between his student pilot and copilot and pushed the feathering button to reduce drag. The oil pressure slowly dropped to 30 lbs. They were advised there was an airliner coming in underneath them somewhere.
The crippled plane managed to climb to 8,000 feet on their three remaining engines. They only had 600 gallons remaining, enough for two more hours of flight. Nilsson transferred the gas from their silent No. 1 engine to the remaining three engines. He believed he could make it all the way back to Hobbs if he had to.
“The co-pilot and I trimmed ship as fast as possible, with full right rudder,” Pitts said. “Both of us were standing on the rudder. At the same time we were trying to maintain altitude.”
The weather outside continued to worsen.
About that time the No. 2 engine went out. It would not feather. Pitts called for full power on the remaining two engines. He called out that he needed help controlling the aircraft. Co-pilot Lt. Regan “gave all the help he could to the pilot by helping him hold full right rudder and setting the trim tabs in an effort to keep the airplane flying straight and level.” It made two complete turns to the left.
The left side of the plane was silent.
The right side rumbled and screamed aloud under full power.
Pitts wrote, “I was watching the flying instruments at the time but I knew No. 2 was out when I felt the plane lurch.” The left wing lowered. They were fighting to keep their aircraft level.
            Pitts lets us look over his shoulder. “We asked (Fort Worth) for emergency landing fields and they wanted to know where we were. We couldn’t give our exact location because we were going around in circles with little fuel left and a 100 foot ceiling all around.”
            They only had 500 gallons of fuel left.
            Nilsson attempted to contact Abilene by radio, but couldn’t. Regan tells us, “We continued to try to get the Abilene beam. Lt. Nilsson had tried several times to set the radio but we could only get “jumble”. We reported this fact to the Fort Worth radio and asked for instructions but didn’t get any.”
            The men were alone.
            The pilot and copilot were unable to control the plane. They were going down. Air speed fell to 115 mph. They couldn’t keep a compass heading. Nilsson estimated they were 50 miles from Fort Worth with a ceiling no more than 600 – 800 feet.
            “I decided to abandon the airplane,” Nilsson said. He told the engineer to get the crew into their parachutes and to stand by for his command to jump.
            “I pulled the emergency release and opened the bomb bay doors and dropped the bomb bay tanks.” The plane had fallen to 6,000 feet.
            Nilsson signaled Lt. Regan to “tell pilot Lt. Pitts to cut the switch and then jump through the bomb bay. Lt. Pitts forgot to cut the switch before jumping.” Nilsson was the last to leave the doomed aircraft.
            He floated down, finally getting below the overcast. He could see the lights of Mineral Wells off to the north. He hit the ground hard, spraining his ankle and left foot. “I hobbled to a highway and a car stopped who had already picked up Lt. Pitts. By this time the Fire Department and the Highway Patrol had arrived. I gave them the names of the crew so they could be found and picked up. The airplane crashed three or four hundred yards from where I landed.”
Four miles south of Mineral Wells their downed B-17F warbird lay aflame in a scrub oak pasture. The Engineering Section at Patterson Field, Ohio later examined the power plants and diagnosed the cause of the crash as “dust”.

I’m still reading the report, my fingers gripping the 68-year-old report a little too hard. “First Lt. Jack A. Nilsson is to be highly commended for the coolness displayed in this emergency, and for evacuating his crew in sufficient time to prevent loss of life.”
            Regan later tells that this plane had made a previous trip to Santa Ana where their No 4 engine went out. They were able to feather it and land at Williams Field. I was thankful this crew survived their trial in the skies above Mineral Wells.
            Researching this story I began to find that mechanical failures and a “just make it work” mindset was SOP back then. We were at war. Get in the air. Get in the fight.

            2nd Lt. Pitts later became Lt. General William F. Pitts. He retired in 1975 with a staggering list of accomplishments including Commander of the Fifteenth Air Force, Strategic Air Command headquartered at March Air Force Base, CA. Their mixed force of recon aircraft and bombers, along with missiles, conducted operations across the Western U.S. and Alaska.
General Pitts was born at March Field, now March Air Force Base, CA in 1919. He was chief of the Senate Liaison Office for Secretary of Air Force. He commanded the 327th Air Division in Taiwan, was chief of the Air Force Section of the Military Advisory Group to the Republic of China, was Commander of Third Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, stationed in England. He led the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force Commander in Turkey. General Pitts received many decorations and awards.
Back in the final months of WWII, Pitts went to Tinian Island in the Marianas with his squadron where he flew 25 missions against Japan as lead crew commander in B-29s. Pitts’ training commander from that Mineral Wells crash landing Capt. Jack A. Nilsson also flew B-29 missions from the Marianas. Surely the two men saw each other there.
            Mission 181 was destined to scramble the largest number of B-29s into the air that ever participated together on a single mission during WWII. During the night of May 23-24, 1945, 562 B-29s were sent to bomb urban-industrial targets in Tokyo, south of the Imperial Palace, along the west side of the Tokyo Harbor.
            Nilsson’s crew number 41 plane that night was tagged T46. Its roster included, Capt. Jack A. Nilsson, Pilot 1st Lt. Adolph C Zastara, Navigator 1st Lt. Eric Schlecht, Bombardier Capt. Loyd R Turk, Flight Engineer 2nd Lt. Daniel J Murphy, Radio Operator S/Sgt Eugene P Florio, CFC Gunner T/Sgt Faud J. Smith, Left Gunner T/Sgt. Robert Starevich, Right Gunner Sgt.  Joe McQuade, Radar Operator S/Sgt.            Norbert H Springman, and Tail Gunner S/Sgt. John C. DeVaney.
            “All aircraft bombed the primary target visually with good results.”
Nilsson’s plane came under heavy fire, crashing during their bombing run against the City of Toukyou on May 24, 1945, one kilometer off the east coast district of Oomori, Tokyo Haneda. Nilsson was thought to be the pilot at the time. His plane was one of 17 B-29s lost that day on Mission 181. His body was never recovered.
Germany had surrendered 17 days earlier. B-29s dropped atomic bombs on Japan August 6th and again on August 9th. Japan surrendered August 14, 1945.

            One man who walked out of that 1943 Mineral Wells pasture went on to lead thousands in the defense of this nation for over four decades, all over the world. Another gave his life over the skies of Tokyo 6,410 miles west of Palo Pinto County. Heroes walked among us.

Special thanks to O. B. “Butter” Bridier, to the Department of the Air Force, Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to Richard “Doc” Warner, Civ, USAF 7th Bomb Wing Curator/Historian (Dyess AFB), Rae Wooten, Michael Manelis, and to Paul G. Ross, whose father James S. Ross was shot down the same night as Capt. Nilsson. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter’s Coming to Council Bluff

Winter’s Coming to Council Bluff

Eastland County has added greatly to the archeology and paleontology epics spanning back beyond the dawn of man, at least in this part of the Americas. Newcomers have a hard time believing that Clovis tips and mastodon skulls were found here.
            This late in civilization, it’s rare for a seeker to be invited to a place and find most of the clues just as the People left them. Marker trees are still pointing. Massive volumes of tips, arrowheads lie about where they fell, though covered in some cases by the several feet of soil that time has placed atop them.
            A location I’ve begun calling Council Bluffs is such a place.
            In Eastland County.
            Go figure.

            Holding all of the puzzle pieces the Penetekah Comanches required for their societal affairs, this quiet chapter setting has been undisturbed by savaging Anglo collectors.

            I’ve waited many months to write this, to keep Council Bluff’s location safe.
            Or maybe last night, its whispers finally called me back to its mystery.

            With winter finally coming, I hope to go back and let the Native story speak to me, in the wild, where it happened.
            Let truth have its turn.
            Winter’s coming. The Comanche council fires will burn soon.
            Smoke will clear the trees, and lead me back finally to The People before first snow.

            There are Comanche marker trees, two for sure, two more probably, tips, arrowheads, spearpoints recovered that range from Penetekah back to Caddo and beyond Clovis. Our friends at Mansker were wanderers, it turns out.
            Caveman seems crass. Prehistoric peoples.

There’s the high lookout site, along the ridge, for smokes and surveillance, a place from which a known network node (Jameson Peak) can be seen. These folks, through four more southern-leading peak’s smoke relays could’ve talked to headquarters on the mount above Santa Anna.

            Below the lookout there’s a protected valley, walled in on three sides, towering native pecans along the back-then flowing water way. Several hundred could’ve wintered here.

            We are a 15 minute war horse ride from Old Owl’s main camp.
            Maybe Council Bluff was a retreat, or a camp, before or after our pantaloon-wearing friend stopped and stayed a little farther to the north. It is chilling, thinking of the blood-thirsty Comanches, then later Anglos, who surely knew this place.

What could’ve happened here?
Given the tips, so many, it was a place for hunters or warriors or men in charge of making life come true for their people.

            We are, if my information is correct, just up the hill from the old Comanche Road.
            It was later traveled by the Frontier Brigade, that road, though most of it is dim or lost now, save at the water crossings, or the one not far from this place. The one Carter Hart found something Spanish, Conquistadors, back beyond our first Great Depression.

            Given the sheer volume of archeological findings around our feet, we are at a crossroads, a Troy or Pompeii that held life, and a story that we long to get to.
            I took my younger daughter that first trip. Our guide was walking ahead, said excitedly, Come Here. We did. She pointed down. A tip, see the photo, was laying right where it had long-ago fallen. If we believed in such things, the DNA covering it would’ve been 11,000 years old, more or less.

            I saw that happen, as did my little girl.


            I hope I get invited back.
            I’ve attached some photos.

            Winter’s coming.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Baby Died, Was Lost, Forgotten, Then Remembered, Taken Back By the Family…Loved, In Heaven and on Earth…You Gotta Read This Slowly, Like Walking, Remembering

We got there as quick as we could. Cold, rainy then windy, then a taste of light sleet coming in from the north. We’re standing alone, five of us, in a pasture not-enough-miles away from Ranger Camp Valley, from Rattlesnake Mountain’s old wagon trail that led us here.

That ended here.


Strangers or family or it doesn’t really matter stand together under a tall swaying sprawling regal pecan tree, bigger around than five full grown men where its trunk meets the too-cold Eastland County sanded black dirt. Leaves fall flutter float into the sad sand muted muddy soil.

The posted letter we received back east was scrawled but specific. That letter kept secret more than it told. “Little Luther’s sick, not good, not good at all. The doctor, he rode two days and one night, out from over near to the Stephensville road.” Doc Evans, or another. We don’t remember. Can’t remember. Not from here. Listen and wait but can’t call the man’s name, riding hard as his horse would travel across that far long ago.

God bless him, whoever he was.

“Please to come to our aid. Our neighbors’ children too sick for them to help. Church closed till whatever this is passes from our community. Fear lives here, sleeping in our cabins, though sleep escapes all but a few. Please to the Lord save our little baby, so sick, crying, come quick, sad we are, our little boy, nothing to do but pray, though Lord forgive me, that didn’t work for the Blackwell’s babe, one place south, one place west. They lost him just before dawn, yesterday morning.”

The letter trails off to nothing, but gets posted. It takes too long, a century till we’re all gathered around the place. Uncomfortable. After all that late frontier family must of gone through, riding down, circling round, trying to figure it all out, what else could we have done? Will they be there when we arrive?

The day before we rode out for Texas, a second scribbled note joined the first. One line, scratched hard into the tattered scrap of paper:

“Little Luther’s gone.”

No signature.

The longest letter I’ve ever read.

This Texas frontier’s scattered with hundreds maybe thousands of lost and forgotten graves. Stories that led into stories that birthed later tales that nurtured and struggled and survived and finally became people or places you yourself probably know about. But we that still walk these woods, pass these places every day, not knowing, not hearing the triumphs and tragedies that came before. Healing us, the silence, or God knows we couldn’t take much more.

Baby Luther Davenport was born then shortly died back in 1901, his family’s log cabin or box-framed home yards from a towering now-invisible native Texas pecan that shades where his family laid their baby to his final rest. One still-here man’s grandmother told Luther’s tale within this man’s hearing when he was a boy, decades ago, and that boy, now that man, never forgot. Though I guess it was Luther’s parents’ tale just as much, back then.

We five, more than five, did indeed go looking for Luther, found him, the family gone, he too quiet but still out there. We did get a posse rounded up and out there finally in person and in spirit, marked his grave, thought deeply of Luther, of the lives of our hard-wrought Texas ancestors lived. We left quietly a little richer, Luther having been born and died beneath this sprawling witness hard-shell pecan. His short story so powerful, so emblematic of where Texas came from.

Leonard and Florence had seven more kids, several of which made it to adulthood then parenthood then into lives out past that brave pecan and out beyond that hard rocky place in that family’s trail to their future. They left their shaking signature in Eastland County, beneath that lonely pecan tree. Then moved north. By the time we finally got to the pasture, they were gone, the old house was gone, the cistern or well or tank or however they got their water was gone. The wind blew, the pecan swayed. Only Luther’s story remained.

Winter clouds gathered.

Luther’s daddy was 33 when the baby died. Luther’s momma 26 when their boy succumbed to the Spanish influenza or smallpox or pneumonia or one from the hundred other diseased predators out running hunting through the woods back then. Leonard and Florence stayed together, but had to have left behind more than most can believe or retrieve from their own life’s story.

All we know for sure is that Luther’s gone. And we’re still here. Though that too is a mystery.

There’s beautiful new carved granite marking Luther’s story now, beneath his pecan, that carved rock the same rich red-pink color as gilds our Texan’s state capital farther south down Austin way. I hope he likes it.

We remember Luther. And hardship. And Texas. How we got here. Pray that we all get past it. This country is still hard. Pray and hope that our children will get to their Promised Land, someday, somehow, walking tall across this hallowed state and hard work and memory and whatever lies beyond.

Luther Davenport
Eastland County, Texas

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Monuments to our south

A new friend led me down an invisible path into the woods below a hill, below a plateau, to see what, I didn't yet know. In those woods, to the south of here, I'll leave it at that, we pushed through these woods, then brush, then finally this old cistern sprang into view.

"I knew you'd want to see this," he said. I like a friend like that.

His two dogs thankfully scouted for snakes. Rattlesnakes, coral snakes, we don't care.

We hate snakes.

The hand-laid rock work was pristine, the capstone finely hewn, of the kind before the turn of the century, maybe the 1860s or 1870s, based on the craft I saw, based upon where it was found.

Context...Perspective's oh-so-desirable second cousin.

Looking down the hole one finds the expanding bell-shaped cavity below we've found in Eastland County, to lessen evaporation. The man-dug cavern below the small-opened capstone would've held a lot of water. In a year like the last several, one has to wonder what this pioneer family would've done. No rain, no water for the cistern, nothing for the kids to drink. Ground water wasn't here or wasn't shallow enough to hand dig, but in either case, no rain, no water collected into the cistern.

If my dates are close, there would've been no stock tanks. The nearby seasonal creek wouldn't have run. A tough life on the rolling scrubbed-hard hills might have become untenable. These stacked rocks tell us incomplete stories.

Perhaps they are remains.

Perhaps instead, they are ruins.

There's a line of foundation stones running north along the ground, rough and uneven like kicked-in brown-yellow teeth, running away from this cistern. The roof of a now-gone log or box-frame cabin or shed or barn sluiced water into this cistern.

Or that was the plan.

There's a caved in rock-walled cellar, again well-built, a rusting beat-up, bangled-all-to-hell headboard lays puzzlingly fallow against the cellar's north wall. A barrel stave rests quietly under foot. One senses an outburst, a frustration that sent this iron-headboard carrier of procreation and frontier lust high into the air, damn-it-all, coming to rest in this rock-lined hole in the ground, built to store vegetables and protect from storms.

Perhaps that very lack of storms did that man's family in. Or caused 'em to hitch up, and move on.

This place would've looked down on a fairly flat rolling fine fertile piece of land that could've grazed their stock, could've provided a little warning should the Penetekah get too curious. 

If my guessed dates are right.

Those Natives called a bayou not too far from here home, the People did. You start to wonder about the soaring levels of faith these folks had, unbelievable now, add in smallpox and snakebites and getting a small cut that turns into infection that turns into death. Our generation whines about opportunity. About getting "what is mine". Waiting for some unearned check in the mail.

No honor.

This homestead on this day in these woods is not sympathetic.

May God bless these souls, wherever they hopefully got off to, whatever hardworking heirs they hopefully birthed into a future prosperity. May those that are left behind be thankful.

May those that are left behind learn. And find work. And be grateful.