Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where to Start....

Okay, there is so much to tell about Country Time that I think I will start with some geography.  Country Time is in a little, isolated pocket of the US.  The nearest interstate is about an hour away and the state highway that runs through here is nothing but farms, swampland and canals for the 30 minutes or so it takes to get to the nearest town.  It was settled prior to the Revolutionary War and I would say about 45% of the families here trace their routes back that far.  We are the last "big" city (I'm using that word sarcastically) before you hit the barrier islands.

There is a dialect here that is found nowhere else in the US.  The closer to the barrier islands you go, the stronger it gets.  I have lived in many southern cities and encountered many different accents, but this one is by far the hardest to understand. 

For the first several months I noticed a strange phenomenon here that I thought I was just imagining.  The locals' body shape was different from any I have ever encountered.  The people here are shorter than I am use to and have long, bulky thighs and legs, but very short torsoes.  I discovered two reasons for that this week.  Before I type them, you have to know I am not making a judgment about them, I am just stating the facts.  One, dwarfism is common here due to inherited family bloodlines.  Two, marriage to your first cousin is not only legal here, but accepted and normal.  I am sure the marriage issue is due to the fact that we are so isolated that the chances of finding a non-related spouse were slim even as little as 20 years ago.  So while this explains the dwarfism, I also wonder if it is the reason so much weirdness prevails here.

I live two blocks away from the river.  Just around the corner from me is the old hospital building, now turned into apartments.  It sits on possibly the most beautiful piece of land around.  It is incredibly peaceful to just go and sit on its old lawn and watch the water.  But the hospital holds some dark secrets.  A while back I told you about the old house that had been turned into a typhoid hospital.  I found out last night why typhoid was so rampant.  Apparently the hospital had nothing to do with its medical waste.  It would routinely dump the waste into the river.  I'm not talking bedpans and pee cups, I'm talking sawed off arms and legs, bloody bandages, needles, EVERYTHING.  One day when the lunar tide and a tropical storm had lineup just right to pull all the water from the harbor I walked over to the hospital to see 40-50 feet of shore where there was normally water.  All I can think now is how many body parts lay just beneath the silt and sand?  The dumping of the hospital waste was the secret everyone knew, but no one talked about.  There's a lot of secrets like that here.

Tomorrow:  the supersecret CIA base and the people who could tell you but then have to kill you...seriously!

3 comments:

FreeDragon said...

Yuck! I would have just freaked if I had seen something laying in the sand...

Anonymous said...

If you don't write a book . . . the tales you could tell, based on fact but rearranged could end up making you a tidy profit. Think about it.

Charlitan said...

I'm with Anon! Publish!

I understand why you don't feel you can, but there has to be a way around all of that. I have not only read the stories here but I know them in real life and I would TOTALLY buy your book!

I would buy two.