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

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Part I:Strangers From Amelia Island

Composer: george harold fulks/July 8, 2012



Strangers From Amelia Island

Mark I:

No love was evident there that day when three strangers visited The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge; none that either of them could sense. While there might have been love there, it was not intended that it be shared with the three strangers. The stranger named Jack could not feel it anyway; if there was any love at all. But there is and was a link of some intriguing kind there near The Swamp. Of that Jack had knowledge.

A distance of fourteen miles south of Folkston, Georgia lay, on that day, the east entrance to The Okefenokee Swamp and the miracles it contains. And one-quarter mile east of a boatdock and concessions was Camp Cornelia where Jack had lived and survived through seven years of his childhood. Revisiting the area was a significant life event for him.

Ida and her husband, Merc, had consented to drive Jack from a Jacksonville apartment to his habitat of long ago. And they arrived at precisely planned time for the excursion to begin.

The female of those strangers was Jack's Neice, Ida. She had knocked on Jack's door, gained entry, and she had stayed briefly. They hugged each other. There was love there. When Ida was a child, Jack and she had been close friends.

"Haw!!Haw!!Haw!!Haw!!Haw!" Jack proclaimed. That caused Ida to glance around Jack's apartment somewhat curiously as she responded with: "Are you ready, Uncle Jack?? It's really a delightful day, isn't it??"

"Let me grab my airline pack and secure the entrance door. Then I'll load up, and we'll be ready. Thank you so much, Ida. And yes, it is a splendid day. Haw!!Haw!!Haw!!Haw!!Haw!!!"

As the three strangers sped away cautiously, contently, confidently, and determined from Jacksonville en route to their destination, Jack entered into meditation. From a rear seat of Merc and Ida's station wagon, Jack's thoughts drifted and were accompanied by many images: mirages that might easily have emerged into realities.

The three travelers from Amelia Island went un-noticed by Callahan and Hillard, Florida on a pathway that would eventually lead to east entrance of The Okefenokee Swamp.

Jack especially noticed the growth, prosperity, and progress attained since his graduation from high school in Folkston_ some fifty-two years past.(May 1958)And commenting to Ida and Merc: "They've really done well here, haven't they? The people accomplished all of this without me. Things usually do well without me. I knew they'd progress. Maybe I should have spent my life here. I've done alright too. I just went to other places, but I could have survived here in this area. People would have assisted me. They always have.

Somewhere along that way, another stored image emerged Jack beyond a haze of age somewhere behind the pupils of Jack's eyes. He thought of Angie, a child he had tutored in developmental reading when she was a second and third grader. A model student, Angie was sweet and co-operative. And she had progressed in reading. Because it was lonely there in the back seats of Ida and Mer's vehicle, Jack wished that Angie could have been his company.

"Angie would enjoy such a thing as this," thought Jack. "Almost any child would."

Angie had trusted Jack as her teacher, and not once had he betrayed her with any inappropriate behavior. Angie's mother and several other parents had also trusted Jack. That made Jack feel good about his past as a public school teacher in The State Of Illinois.

Then Jack asked himself: "Am I somehow latently gay??No, I'd be with Lana, if I I could. I'm too old for her. Angie could be with us too. I despise most men."

End Part I

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