CHARLTON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL-PROMISES
January 23, 2011/George Harold Fulks
Dedicated to those fellow students who demonstrated love and compassion there in the Charlton County School System.
Enrollment of Mrs. Eleanor Saunder's former fifth graders into Charlton County High School was a source of the butterfly in stomach syndrome. Many people have experienced that
feeling of uneasiness accompanying opening of school each year. Comes the question of how
one will be treated, and many students were frightened of the principal. He'd put a whipping to anyone if they stepped out of line; even a little bit. He was a monster to be dreaded and
subject of quiet conversation among high school juniors and seniors; even from the football players. Whispering as they talked, one suspected they were trying to frighten we tiny freshmen.
On the school bus, there was talk of snipe hunting. That's when there's darkness. Victims are dropped off in some remote location and required to find their way back home alone. "What's a snipe hunt"? I recall asking. That senior explained it to me. Sitting quietly and bug-eyed, I hoped that nobody would do that to me. The area surrounding The Great Okefenokee Swamp was filled with
things that go bump in the night, animals that follow people, eyes shining in the dark,
growls from far away, and rustling in the brush. Nobody hunts raccoon at night-not even
the bravest of explorers. Owls and night birds might be frightening to children, but
I learned to camp-out with them and enjoy their sounds.
That same September day on a parallel Earth
"John Redding!" said Tanya, the girl John loved. "If you don't get your fingers out of my hair, I'm going to knock you down." That's exactly how the day had begun for John Redding. Those were the words Tanya chose. To John Redding, it made no difference.
Tanya was a beautiful, dark-eyed, long and black-haired girl. She'd begin talking to John and often say: "I don't look very good, John. My hair looks like a bunch of stringy black rope. Your fingers in my hair don't help. Stop tying my hair in knots!"
Then John Redding would console Tanya by saying: "Your're a fine looking girl, Tanya. I
wouldn't have anybody else but you. I get tired of hearing you run yourself down that
way. It makes me mad. You look very much like an Egyptian queen I've seen in a picture on the wall near a pyramid. You're beautiful, and you're just like her. That queen won the love, loyalty, and support of Caesar Constantine II. I'm not Caesar, but you've
won me the same way.
Then Tanya would say: "Would you shut-up, John Redding? You don't know how you make
me feel that way! After a hug and kiss, their time together would continue.