John Yow’s “Armchair Birder”

http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/browse/book_detail?title_id=1619

Maisy Miller Barnette In the News

Baby Doll

O.Victor Miller
So last Monday I’m snorkeling up the edge of Radium Golf Course rapids looking for river glass and space-drifting, Derek, Cochise and Will walking around on the rocks. Because of the injured back State Farm won’t pay to have treated (see “Chicanery” ovictormiller.com), I’m more comfortable staying in the water where gravity is slack. So I’m pulling myself upstream through the shallows, hand walking the limestone rocks, thinking about that first body my treble hooks snagged up from the Kinchafoonee with Alex Walker and Sea Scouts around 1957; the two Tallahassee divers Moose Fountain, Jerry Lindsey and I recovered from Radium Cave in 1960; the 400 lb teacher in a polka dot dress I thought I’d found and hadn’t and the bodies over the last 50 years I looked for and didn’t find.

Ned Newcomb knows when you’re feeling around on the bottom of a dark river for a body, the very last thing you want is to actually find one, which may account for why divers don’t recover as many as you’d think they would. I’m blowing spume out the snorkel and wondering how I ever got mixed up with recovery in the first place, though before the fire departments and police got divers, the few kids with tanks got drafted into body and evidence recovery before we’d learned to tell adults in uniform to kiss off.

The worst case scenario then and now is a lost child. The unbearable urgency, the intense dread and deep sadness of the enterprise–such sadness. I’ve always had a horror about finding drowned children and all the epidemic emptiness a vanished child causes– and I didn’t mean to get into all this, but that’s what I was thinking when I came up on the muddy hank of curly wires flagging from something buried under rubble and sand.

When I grab a fistful of the stuff and pull. In an explosions of silt a small pallid face with closed eyelids and naked shoulders appears with the shocking recognition that I have a handful of blanched hair the texture of steel wool. I find myself standing in knee-deep water with no memory of struggling to my feet, my fist unable to turn this horrible thing a-loose, screaming until my back buckles and sits me back down.
Fellow glass gleaners get curious enough to wander over. “What’s wrong with you now?”

“Nothing,” I wheeze, throwing the dripping thing up the bank. “I just got excited about finding this baby doll for Derek’s river collage is all.”
(end)

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.Vic MillerDouglas Kaliher: You rascal! Come see me! High’s yo mama’n’em? Sydney and Cappy came by–I hadn’t seen Cappy since she was around 9. She knocked me over. Saw your grandma going in Publics–didn’t get a chance to speak but she looks great. Ain’t seen Bill since he used to jump out of trees on the guests of Rusty’s and my birthday parties.
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Douglas Kaliher I’m doing well. Mom is living in Athens, Ga. and doing well. I saw Sydney and Kappy about three months ago for a Kaliher reunion. My dad (Bill) is living in Swainsboro, Ga. rising horses. He has about 17 of them and yes for my grandmother to be almost 93 years young and still drives, she looks great. If I ever get to Albany I’ll look you up.
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.Vic MillerAmy Elizabeth Dupuy: Hey kid, how you been? I see Kim from time to time and her young’uns. Y’all get prettier every year.
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Amy Elizabeth Dupuy thanks Vic! all is well, getting married in the fall. where are u now? still in the south? talking about u the other day. my cousin was laughing about how he came home from college one summer. he took a class from u but had to drop it bc he kept goofing off. never forget when u brought a snake to class and told us to write about it. u were a great teacher.
23 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Write a comment….
.Vic Miller God’s not finished with me yet. Maybe She hasn’t even started, but I’m going to try to learn how to invert the order of these maddening little rectangles. Until then, please know that Facebook communiications (and almost everything else) is presented ass-backwards, ironically appropriate since old farts spend most of their time looking back.
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Rose Hancock Kemp, Kristen Taylor and Gayla Weaver Catrett like this..
.Keith Strickland You’ve paid your dues Vick. Do what you want.
Yesterday at 10:42am · LikeUnlike · .Vic Miller Thanks Keith, but damn the dues. I should’ve started doing it at nine. We all spend too much time dancing to somebody else’s drum. I know I should’ve told more college administrators than I did to kiss off. Heartbeat’s the only rhythm anybody needs. If you find yourself in a moving crowd, turn around and go the other way.
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See 4 more posts from Vic.Vic Miller
.Flint River by Clint
12 new photos
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Megan Ketchum likes this..
.Clint Elliott thanks vic! im the one that took your amatuer profile picture john. hehe
11 hours ago · LikeUnlike · .Vic Miller Clint’s talented, John, but like you he’s immature and unsure of himself, carries a goddamn cell phone on the river, which I guarantee won’t get him out of half the trouble I can get him in.
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.Vic Miller Check out the amazing artwork of the lovely and talented Catherine “Ursula” Edgerton.
Album Art | S.C. Edgerton
livinontheedgerton.com
Lanterns / Midtown Dickens Oh Yell / Midtown Dickens Duck Kee Sessions / Schooner..on Friday · Friends Only · Comment ·LikeUnlike · Share

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Please consider joining the ranks of Camo Coalition – it isn’t what it sounds like, not some redneck hunting group. They are very much invested in environmental issues, and being a member (free) gets you info on current issues and ways to take action.
Camo Coalition Action Network
http://www.camocoalition.com
Camo Members, If you are having trouble receiving our alerts, make sure your spam block allows mail from camocoalition@gwf.org.