("You'll never be a man, George. You'll always be just a little boy.")

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Choosing a primitive camp site off Lake Barkley in an area known as Craven's Bay, it had been one of my favorite fishing spots when I lived and worked in Western Kentucky. My last entry into that camping area was during late May and June of 1996. Having intentions of changing my residence , my 1986 pickup was loaded with most of the items needed to start a new life there in my dad's home-state. At the primitive camp site, I would live as a wild man and during the same vacation search for a home to purchase or rent.

Arriving and setting-up at that site required that I gather wood for a campfire, and plenty was available. Upon reaching my campsite, an hour or so of daylight remained. Including a good flashlight and needed food and water among my gear, I had long overcome childhood fear of darkness. Intending to allow a campfire to burn itself out until late into the night, one was needed for both warmth and light by which to see. Owning no tent, I then intended to enter into the cab of my pickup, wrap in a blanket and stay warm in that manner. Having an Amazon Red-winged parrot, " Jo-Jo" as a companion, my body heat would also serve to help keep him comfortable during the cool spring nights. That method worked satisfactorily during my primitive camping adventure at Craven's Bay.

Camping in that manner for several days, I enjoyed a degree of peace and solitude I'd come to expect in The Land Between The Lakes Recreation Area. Perhaps difficult for readers to comprehend is that several of the nights of May and early June are bonechilling with the temperature sinking into the 50's, but rising into the 80's and lower 90's during day. That climate, reminding me much of my eight weeks U.S. Army basic training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, Craven's Bay at that time of year might begin with a need for ones longjohns under his trousers and their removal by 9 A.M. Oh- how wonderful is the sun's warmth under those conditions.

On that first night and those that followed, darkness emerged on earth, and the fullmoon, visible planets, and their multitude of stars combined with my campfire caused a matching orange glow . By that time, I would have a great campfire burning and extra wood to sustain it until near midnight. Reflecting images of all those cellestial bodies and the forests, the water there in the bay against a campfire background changed that habitat into a world of magic. There was a paradise, but it would not last forever.

Trodding near the water's edge and sitting on an old piece of lumber balanced on two tree stumps, I found a perfect place to listen and to see. Yes- "life is a sensual experience." Listening to the screech owls answer each others calls and the scurrying of animals on each side and behind, I felt a sense of peace and solitude that cannot often be experienced. What was that sound from the deep woods to my rear? What are those eyes shining from behind a cluster of plant growth? And I perched there at that site without fear- knowing that none of those creatures were likely to do me harm. Those could see me. Yet only eyes were visible as stars moving from left to right. And from the grass and reeds along the shore of Craven's were dozens of tiny specks of evel intent. Something large was in their area. It was I.

Remaining at my chosen post there until past midnight, the campfire dwindled to coals. For as long as I wanted, I sat there near water's edge on a pine board balanced on two stumps. Having become tired and sleepy, I began to contemplate the warmth and security of the cab of my pickup and its warm blanket. Jo-Jo had been placed there before darkness had sit-in.

It was near that time that what was least expected occurred. It was a kind of thing that might have made someone runaway screaming in fear. But where was there to go? Into the forest that filled a hillside behind me? Into the trees,vines, and grass to the left of right of me?? Or dive into the water and swim into the direction of that which had arisen for me to view?? No- none of those actions were chosen. In a sense, I became hypnotized. Not a breath was lost nor did my heart skip a single beat in fear, so far as I know. At some time between darkness and its first three hours, a hint of fog rolled into the bay. Happening to glance back at my campfire, its crest beheld a beautiful and most perfect rainbow that reminded me very much of a crown placed upon the head of an angel.

Something incredible,something unexpected ocurred before my eyes. An oval shaped transluscence rose slowly from the water at no more than twenty-five yards to my left remaining empty for a brief interval. It was then that I noticed the figure of a human taking shape. And soon lay the full embodiment of a woman lying in a reclining position and draped in a long dress- a style common for ladies in the 1800's. In very rapid and confident manner, she stood erect, and glancing both left and right and forward, she began walking out of the water and headed for where I was seated.

Making no effort to communicate with me. the ghost disappeared into the orange haze of the firelight illuminating the area in every direction. Ten years later and some months have passed since my camping visit to Craven's Bay. That I ever held any credibility to support the existence of ghosts and apparitions changed as a result of that incident. I am a firm believer in the reality of ghosts and a spiritual world.

Would you like to accompany me? I prefer a blond, thin, female under thirty years of age.

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George Fulks

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