Thursday, November 18, 2010

Live oaks

I was born and lived part of my life in a place called Brunswick, Georgia. It's hard to be completely objective about that town, but by and large I can think of very damned precious little about it that is positive. To say it's a pest-hole would not be a stretch. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to live there, and I cannot figure out why anyone who does live there would stay if they had any kind of chance of leaving it at the first opportunity.

Once upon a time there were some heavy industries there that provided relatively decent wages and secure employment. But over the years many of those businesses closed down or went belly-up. And many of those industries left behind a legacy of poison and toxic waste which will have to be dealt with over the decades, if not actually for centuries.

On my subsequent visits to Brunswick I have searched in vain for a "nice" section of town. Somewhere the houses are pretty and the lawns in good order and the streets are well kept. Such neighborhoods seem to be completely absent from Brunswick. I suppose all those who could afford such dwellings lived on Saint Simons Island or Sea Island or Jekyll Island or points north or south or east of Brunswick. Preferably upwind of the poisonous lands where chemical companies and pulp mills dumped their stenches into the air and water and earth.

Strangely, the one place in town where even the most bitter of inhabitants could view genuine beauty were the grounds of the county courthouse. This place where one had to go for licenses of every type, where one would be arraigned, where the business of everything legal (and corrupt) went down. The town apparently collectively knew how hideous Brunswick was (and is), and so somehow some effort was made to ensure that the one square block of county courthouse property was absolutely draw-droppingly gorgeous. It always was, and remains, the Stupefyin' Jones of courthouse grounds. I challenge any town to prove its courthouse environs are more pretty to behold.

We took a very slight detour on the way home so that I could stop at the courthouse and take a few photographs before we headed on to Charlotte. It was worth the side trip and the half hour we spent.

I was reminded of a line from a Karl Edward Wagner novel:

" an onyx in a maggot pile..."

Click to enlarge this composite stitched photo of the courthouse grounds.

Meself standing beside one of the many live oaks on the property.

Another stitched photo standing beside one of the huge live oaks.

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