A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Plain of Dura’

Cottonton, Dawson, Cuthbert and Plains, Georgia

Posted by graywacke on December 11, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2380; A Landing A Day blog post number 814.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (31o 57.222’N, 84o 50.817’W) puts me in southwest Georgia:

My local landing map shows the usual VP* of small towns:

*veritable plethora

Here’s my local streams-only map:

I landed in the watershed of good ol’ Stream Perennial; on to the Briar Branch; on to Pataula Creek.  Zooming back, Pataula Creek discharges into the dammed-up Chattahoochee River (3rd hit):

Zooming back even further, the Chattahoochee flows to the Apalachicola (10th hit) before making its way across the Florida Panhandle, into the gulf:

I’d like my readers to linger a bit on the preceding sentence, being sure to savor the poetic pronunciation of the two rivers:  “The Chattahoochee flows to the Apalachicola.”

And then, I’d like to head back to Pataula Creek.  Am I the only one who instantly thought of Petula Clark?  Probably.  But she takes me back in a rush to early 1965, with her hit song “Downtown.”  I was 14, and really getting into popular music.  I had been doodling around on the piano for years, including two years of lessons.  I had the ability to play simple tunes by ear (I remember playing the theme to the TV show Bonanza), but hadn’t yet figured out any Top 40 hits on the piano.  Until Downtown.

I loved the song, and began to pick out a halfway-decent arrangement on the piano.  I threw myself into it, and ended up with a version I liked (and play occasionally to this day).  I remember sitting in school (9th grade), aching for the day to end so I could rush home and play Downtown on the piano.  My poor mother heard the song dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

So, here’s Petula:

 

A quick side note:  Just now, as I listened, I realized that there’s a very distinctive piano introduction that I never played!  Of course, I sat right down and banged it out.

Even though I sounded a little arrogant in the preceding sentence, I am very aware of how lucky I am to have innate musical abilities.  As far as I’m concerned, it was jut something I was born with . . .

Let’s move right along to Google Earth (GE), and take a look at my landing:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

And nearby, there’s a view of Briar Branch:

And here ‘tis:

I’ll be moving to my first featured town, but by way of introduction, I’ll start with a Bible story.  I can imagine that my regular readers are already thinking “Say what?  A Bible story??” 

So, class.  Today’s Bible story is about Nebuchadnezzar.  I’ll do it Greg-style (bulleted):

  • Nebuchadnezzar was King of Babylonia from 605 BC to 562 BC.  Babylonia was centered on what is today Iraq.  The City of Babylon was along the Euphrates River, south of today’s Baghdad.
  • He is considered the greatest ruler of Babylonia; creator of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (more about them in a bit).
  • He is mentioned by name 90 times in the Bible, and is a main character in the book of Daniel.
  • In Daniel, the story is told of Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Judah (an ancient kingdom that includes the southern portion of today’s Israel; Judah’s capital was Jerusalem.)
  • Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Judah at the very beginning of his reign, but Judah had rebelled twice. Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t happy:  he destroyed the temple and most of Jerusalem in 597 BC, and deported most residents as slaves to Babylon.
  • According to the Bible, Nebuchadnezzar was God’s instrument of justice, punishing Judah for its idolatry, unfaithfulness and disobedience.
  • Daniel was an advisor to Nebuchadnezzar, held in high favor because of his ability to interpret one of Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams.
  • Nebuchadnezzar created a gold statue of himself, and required all of the people to bow down before it.
  • Three of Daniels friends – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – refused to bow down before the statue, citing their belief in the one true God; the King had them thrown into a blazing furnace.
  • Miraculously, God protected the three, and they walked out unharmed from the furnace.
  • This blew Nebuchadnezzar’s mind, and he quickly decided that the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was, in fact, the one true God.

I’d like my readers to linger a bit on the preceding sentence, being sure to savor the poetic pronunciation of the three friends of Daniel.

There’s more, but the above is the central nugget of the story.  So what does this all have to do with southwest Georgia?  Well, check out Daniel 3:1:

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits [90 feet] and its width six cubits [9 feet]; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.

It just so happens that about 2400 years after Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, a very small town in Georgia was named “Plains of Dura,” after the Babylonian region.  Why it became the plural “Plains” rather than the singular “plain” mentioned in the Bible is not known. 

After the Civil War, local Plains of Dura businesses began to thrive.  However, the business leaders felt the name was awkward; they successfully petitioned the State Legislature to change the name of the town to simply “Plains.”

None of us would have ever heard of Plains, Georgia, if it weren’t for a local peanut farmer from Plains who gained national prominence:

Before moving on, here’s a quick word about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  From Wiki:

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a term given to it by ancient Hellenic culture. The Hanging Gardens were described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens containing a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. The gardens were said to have looked like a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

They were supposedly built by Nebuchadnezzar for one of his wives; however, there are no extemporaneous Babylonian texts describing the gardens, and no archeological evidence has been found – although it is possible that if remains of the gardens exist, they are buried under the Euphrates

From IslamiCity.org, here’s an artist’s rendition:

Time to move to Cuthbert.  Under Notable People, I saw that “Winfred Rembert, artist” was wiki-clickable.  So, wiki-click I did:

Winfred Rembert is an African-American artist who hand-tools and paints on leather canvases. Rembert grew up in Cuthbert, Georgia, where he spent much of his childhood laboring in the cotton fields. He was arrested during a 1960s civil rights march. As a prisoner, he learned to make tooled-leather wallets and design on leather.

Rembert stretches, stains, and etches on leather and creates scenes from the rural Southern town where he was born and raised.

An award-winning documentary film about his life, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, was released in 2011.

From the website for the movie:

With his intensely autobiographical paintings depicting the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South, Winfred Rembert has preserved an important, if often disturbing, chapter of American history.

His indelible images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, dancing in juke joints, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful, not just because he lived every moment, but because he experienced so much of the injustice and bigotry that is apparent in hi work.

Now in his sixties, Rembert has developed a growing following among collectors and connoisseurs, and enjoyed a number of tributes and exhibitions of his work. In “ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert,” the artist relives his turbulent life, abundantly visualized by his extensive paintings and, in a series of intimate reminiscences, shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful.

Here’s the trailer for the movie:

 

Here are some of his works; I’ll start with “All Me,” whereby Rembert painted every garbed inmate as if it were him; i.e., all me:

Dye on carved and tooled leather, 21 1/2 x 24 1/2

And a few others:

Time to move on to Dawson.  Under Notable People was one Otis Redding.

For my generation, “Sittin’ on the Dock o’ the Bay” is one of our most memorable songs.  It was recorded just three days before Otis died in a plane crash, en route from Cleveland to Madison. 

He never knew the success of the song.  From Wiki:

In early December 1967 Redding was working on a new song,  “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” which was written with guitarist and musical collaborator Steve Cropper.  At the time, they were staying with a friend on a houseboat in Sausalito [at the base of the Golden Gate bridge, across from San Francisco].

Redding was inspired by the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and tried to create a similar sound, against the wishes of Stax [his label].  His wife Zelma disliked its atypical melody. The Stax crew were married to a more traditional R&B format, and were also dissatisfied with the new sound.  However, Redding wanted to expand his musical style and thought it was his best song, correctly believing it would top the charts.

The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 weekly charts, and was ranked #4 for the year of 1968.

Here ‘tis:

 

Here’s my favorite verse:

Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same.

Of course, I noted that he “left home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay,” and that he traveled two thousand miles.  That always sounded a little on the short side to me.  It’s time for an ALAD fact check!

Well, by car it’s a little over 2500 miles (and 38 hours).  So, Otis must have been talking about the shortest straight-line distance, which is a little less than 2200 miles . . .

One other thing.  Otis wrote “Respect,” which was a minor hit for him.  But it was a huge hit for Aretha Franklin, becoming a Motown anthem:

 

What you want
Baby, I got
What you need
Do you know I got it?
All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Hey baby (just a little bit) when you get home
(just a little bit) mister (just a little bit)

I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone
Ain’t gonna do you wrong  ’cause I don’t wanna
All I’m askin’
Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit)
Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

I’m about to give you all of my money
And all I’m askin’ in return, honey
Is to give me my propers
When you get home (just a, just a, just a, just a)
Yeah baby (just a, just a, just a, just a)
When you get home (just a little bit)
Yeah (just a little bit)

[instrumental break]

Ooo, your kisses
Sweeter than honey
And guess what?
So is my money
All I want you to do for me
Is give it to me when you get home (re, re, re ,re)
Yeah baby (re, re, re ,re)
Whip it to me (respect, just a little bit)
When you get home, now (just a little bit)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB*

Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me)
Whoa, babe (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)
I get tired (just a little bit)
Keep on tryin’ (just a little bit)
You’re runnin’ out of foolin’ (just a little bit)
And I ain’t lyin’ (just a little bit)
(re, re, re, re) ‘spect
When you come home (re, re, re ,re)
Or you might walk in (respect, just a little bit)
And find out I’m gone (just a little bit)
I got to have (just a little bit)
A little respect (just a little bit)

*Taking Care of Busness

I’m going to close this post with a short visit to Cottonton.  Wiki has very little to say, but they did post a couple of back-in-the-day pictures.  First this, of a “well sweep:”

Here’s how it works.  The log with the chain on the end rocks up and down (teeter-totter style) on the fulcrum.  A bucket on the chain is lowered into the well, and then raised up using the sweep and emptied in the box.  The water then flows out of the box into the pipe at the bottom (headed towards the photographer). 

And the second Wiki picture is of an “old mule gin house,” which is a mule-powered cotton gin:

I found a working version of such a gin in North Carolina:

And here’s the mule doing his thing:

I’ll close with this Wiki shot (by Rivers Langley) from the town of Weston, about 14 miles east of my landing:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

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