“Well, here we go, I thought,” as we headed out for another day’s walk. I grabbed a light jacket and a leash. My canine companion, Buddy, needs his morning walks. Buddy is a rescue, a 6 year old 75 pound American Staffordshire Terrier. You’ve seen the bumper stickers: “Who rescued Who”. It really is a good question. Oh, I’m Dave Jacobs, 65 and retired. (You might remember reading about me being involved with some idiots who shot up a local mall).
It was beautiful spring day here in Peachtree Corners, Ga. (Everything around here is Peachtree something.) Rather than just walking the neighborhood, Buddy and I head down through the woods to the Chattahoochee River. It flows down from the North Georgia Mountains by way of Lake Lanier. An old timer told me it was a slow catfish river back before they built the dam. However, the water coming out of the lake is cold year round so the river is not much over 50 degrees in the summer. Once the state started stocking it with trout, is become one of the top trout streams in the south east. It is such a resource that some 10,000 acres along the 45 mile stretch of river from Atlanta to the dam at Lake Lanier is park land. Of that, a little over 5,000 acres is National Park Land. The trail we were following would lead us through private lands into the Park before we reached the river.
We were walking on flat river bottom land beside a creek as it curved around a small granite outcrop. However, blocking the trail was a newly fallen tree, a large beech about three feet in diameter at the base. So, while I was standing there like an idiot looking for the best way around, over or under the thing Buddy was barking and pawing at the base of the tree. Forward motion was set aside as I went over to see what had him so interested. Interesting indeed, the fallen tree exposed a previously hidden cave. It didn’t appear to be more than five or six feet deep but the way it was turned and the tree roots were blocking the sun was dark as can be. But the darkness was quickly dispelled with the flashlight app on my cell phone. I carefully climbed through the roots so I can get a better look inside the cave.
I didn’t see anything on the floor of the cave other some scattered leaves. Crouching down I shined the light higher up around the walls and spotted a recessed area over to the side. Now, one thing you don’t want to do around here is stick your hand where you can’t see. Too many snakes think that may be a great place to hang out. With that in mind I broke one of the tree roots free and probed around the area. Since nothing came out, I figured it should be safe enough to hazard a look. So, being the genius I am, I started the video recorder on my phone and held it up to the recessed area. After a minute or so I brought the phone back where I could see and played back of the video. What I saw was a wooden handle of some sort and what looked like a couple of bags. Wondering what it was, I reached up and grasped the handle.
Woa, WTF. As soon as I touched the piece of wood I thought I was hallucinating. I could see several guys gathered around a table. Judging from the clothes and the scene in general, it was not a recent meeting. I quickly jerked my hand back and the scene went away. Slowly, I touched it again and sure enough the scene was back in my mind. As I was not in a comfortable position, I took the handle down from the shelf and laid it across my knees. When I let go of it, the scene disappeared again. With the object laying across my knees, I took the time to study it closely. It appeared to be an ornate club of some sort. I really wanted to check this thing closely. However, I was crouched uncomfortably, holding a mystic object in my lap. I realized that since I was on National Park land, it belonged to the government and I was supposed to turn it over to them. But first I wanted to see what it was. I did not want to start hallucinating again by touching it and I did not want to be seen carrying it. I shucked off my jacket and wrapped the club in it then headed for home.
Back at the house I fixed a cup of coffee from the single cup pod type coffee maker and carried it and the club into the sunroom. After placing both on the table, I added healthy slug of Jack Daniels. Heck, after the preview I thought I would need it. I sat down unwrapped the club, steadied my nerves, and grasped the club and waited for the movies begin. And it did, starting with the first scene I had seen earlier.
Again, it appeared to be a meeting of some sorts with six men setting at a table and another 12 or so standing around. The clothes were not of today’s style. Couple the clothes with the long clay pipes some were smoking and the tankards from which they drank, I guessed it was late 1700’s or early 1800’s. The discussion seemed to be pretty heated, like they were trying to come to a group agreement. After what seemed to be 20 or 30 minutes, six guys from the group who were standing came forward carrying what looked to be leather bags or saddle bags. They then placed the bags on the table and the men at the table opened the bags and proceeded to place the contents in front of themselves. Gold?? Some of it was carefully stacked coins and some was piles of nuggets and small bags tied off. At that point, I slumped back in my seat and closed my eyes. “Watching The Movie” had drained me completely. I guess my subconscious continued to process “The Movie” while I was asleep ‘cause I completely understood the thing when the noise of my wife coming in the front door woke me up.
“Hey, can you help with the groceries?” she asked.
“Yeah, be right there.”
It took a few minutes but soon the groceries were put away: cans in the pantry, bread on top of the fridge and frozen stuff in the freezer.
“What’s this?” asked my wife, after spotting the club on the table.
“I’ll tell you all about it over lunch. Just don’t touch it until after” I replied.
“I’m not about to touch the dirty thing. Get it off of the table while I get our sandwiches ready,” she replied.
I told her about my morning and the club over a couple of great Publix deli sandwiches and a cold beer. Of course, she believed every word I told her. NOT!
“Bullshit. Really, what is that thing and where did it come from and why was it on MY table?” she asked.
“O.K., I’ll show you. Just sit there while I clear the table,” I said.
So, I got up, cleared the table. Making sure I only touched the club where it was covered by my jacket, I laid the club on the table in front of her.
“Touch it,” I told her, “just be ready for “The Movie”.”
“I’m not touching that thing, it’s filthy,” she said.
“Of course it’s dirty. It’s been sitting in a cave for the last 200 years,” I replied. “You don’t believe me and the only way you’re gonna know for sure is to touch it. You can wash your hands later.”
“I’m not falling for this bunch of bull, but I’ll touch, it then you are going to tell me the truth,” she said.
So, she touched it with the tip of her index finger and after a few seconds, she jerked hand back as if she’d been shocked.
Looking at me like I was some kind of less than upstanding person, she demanded “How did you do that? You trying to give me a heart attack or something?”
“I’m not doing a thing. What happened?”
“I started seeing something other than what’s here.”
“OK, a bunch of men at a table? Not much light in the room”
“Yes. How did you know?” she asked.
“That’s the same thing I saw,” I answered. “Go ahead, get comfortable then grasp that thing and hold on. I’ll be right here.”
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