Brocken Spectre, II

Steven was young, but smart. On the heels of graduating from High School with honors, he was already enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at the Community College across the street for summer. Not really being sure of what the next step was, like every kid growing up around here, he had the presence of mind to listen to others and “test the waters” in Community College before blowing the money on a four year school, if in case he turned out like many and forgo the studies for women and beer.

9am, already hot, humid, and pouring sweat. Nothing like getting up hay in a Carolina summer.

“You see that riot last night?”  Steven asked, straining under throwing a bale up on the trailer. They were packed tight today, a little bit wet, and heavy as a bag of concrete. What my football coach used to call “the summertime Linebacker program.”

“Yeah, hard not to. Like a dumpster fire, everyone wants to see just how high the flames go I guess.” Looks like there’s no avoiding this topic. So much for talk about loose women and huntin while I sweat my ass off.

“Man, those people are crazy. What the hell are they so upset about, anyway? I mean that guy the cops shot, he probably had it coming…”

“Yeah he did. But it’s an excuse to get free stuff other people worked for I reckon.”

“I say the hell with em, all of em, they wanna riot over anything and everything these days, cut their asses down and get it over with.” George shouted down from the top of the haystack on the trailer. “Funny thing is nobody tries that shit around here.”

“That’s cause people work for their money around here.” I calmly replied, before tossing another bale up to him.

“Yeah, I reckon.” George was a mountain of a man, at only  17 years old. Six foot three and 230lbs of muscle, meeting every stereotype of a jock; safe to say he was not a scholar. A standout outside Linebacker, he probably would’ve really went somewhere had he been at a  bigger high school, had better trainers, or just the right people to cultivate that talent. But then, had he had all that, he wouldn’t be here, catching bales, helping us and the old man put up hay.

It’s funny too, I watched these kids grow up, while I was growing up myself. They were just little guys a decade ago, when I was in their shoes, working my butt off in the summer fields, enamored with bad women, bad beer, and bad grades in college, and wanting that action in life that all men want at that age. I got my chance and then some. They want theirs. Not unlike the handful of young men I had under my charge, not that long ago.

“Shit, the way some folks look at you downtown you’d think they’re ready around here now.” He added, straining to place the bale in line.The trailer was nearly topped off.

“Yeah, that’s why I stay outta town as much as I can these days. Either poor gutter trash or rich gutter trash, still running in the same sewer.”

“Like my old hippie teacher at school the other day, talkin bout how they’ve always been put down and they deserve to riot…”

“Well Steven, you’ll learn, a commie will justify anything their side does as long as it satisfies the end goal. Funny he left out all the protesters trucked in, huh.”

“That makes sense. It’s a cold day in hell before you’d see his goofy ass fighting though. Let other folks do it for him so he don’t get his hands dirty. Sounds about right. If he ever got in a real fight he’d probably kill over and die.”


“President don’t help matters…sonofabitch…” Steven said, trailing off.

“Lenny, I think we’re about full.” I shouted into the cab of the truck. Lenny damn near had a heatstroke yesterday, doing more than his ability. William told him to drive today.

“Hop in boys, let’s go to the shed.”

William Anderson was waiting, just up the hill outside the hay shed, sitting on his tractor after wrapping up the last of the baling. A bon-a-fide badass in my mind, William had been a Long Range Patrol Platoon Leader in Vietnam. An UNC grad, he could’ve went far in a career, but like many, myself even, an Army at war proves to be quite different from an Army in garrison, and soldiers accustomed to one style usually develop little patience for the other. He quit as a Captain, disillusioned from poor decisions in a war out of his hands. God, did I know the feeling. Since then, he spent his life as a farmer, intermittently having run-ins with the law, having to learn the consequences of booze and pent up anger that only warriors having wars lost for them can render. I spent my early to teenage years hunting with him; all of us out here had, as part of a much larger hunting club. And I was out here helping him today because he needed the help, and I respected him enough to give it. At 70 years old he was still working- the only way to be. Maybe I’ll look that hard and mean at his age, if I make it that far.

“Y’all take a little break” he said once we pulled up. “It’s hot today…whew…sounds like it might get hotter…” He said, looking down at the steering wheel of the tractor.

“Sounds like?” I asked, a little puzzled. Of course it’s hot. But William is a master of cryptic thought.

“I was listening to the radio just a minute ago…strange stuff going on these days. And I lived through the 60s.”

“You talking about those riots last night?”

“Nah, that’s not exactly odd. They seem more violent and quick to get violent these days…but the President, wanting to work with Cuba and those other communists in Venezuela and Argentina calling it the “new special relationship”…strange. Real strange.” William knew them when he saw them.

“I don’t disagree.”

“Might be time to clean your rifles. Hate to talk like that at home, but its startin to look that way.”

“That’s why I bought a AR15…I’m ready…” Steven jumped in, a little over eager, but characteristically like a young Joe.

“I had enough of that thing in Vietnam…get a ayy kay forty seven if you want a real gun…” William cut him off, more serious than when he started. “Look around, you ain’t got more than a couple hundred yards shots at best with all the hills and trees. AK is a whole lot like a 30-30, and that puts people and deer down pretty easy. Plus the only time you should be shooting is when you know you got ’em…it ain’t exactly hunting deer…in Vietnam I only ambushed right on top of em.”

“Caleb here used both.” He added, pointing at me. I had kept quiet…firearms debates are not something I get into much. They’re kinda pointless, like talking about hammers. “Which one you like?” asking with a bit of humor in his voice.

“Yeah, I like the AK, it works. Punches through brush pretty good. Accurate enough for around here.”

“I saw that one you got, with the red dot on it…” George cut in. He had been waiting to give his input. George likes guns as much as he does girls. All the boys were looking at me and William with a curious gaze, with glossy stares seeming to be frozen in time.

“It’s fast, I set it up for three gun matches, just to be a little different.”

“Caleb, we need to go to the range sometime soon. Huntin season might come early.”

“We will. I hate to think like that, but it might be.”

William glanced at me and added, “I bet. Took me a long time just to be able to deal with people after Vietnam. As bad as it was then, I couldn’t imagine three years of war.”

“It wasn’t that bad, William.”

“I hear a whole lotta boys say that. I probably said that too at the time.” He said, snaking a grin. He always seemed to do that.

“Y’all get the hay off here, and we’ll call it a day. I think it’s gonna storm later.”


13 thoughts on “Brocken Spectre, II

  1. 55six

    Conversations like this happening all over the country in rural areas. As a proud central NC farm boy who has got up his share of wheat straw I appreciate the scene. This seemed like some conversations I have had personally of late. Trouble is coming, and it is a terrible and horrific thing to engage on your home ground.

    There is nothing that can stop it, we best be talking about what will replace this republic because you can bet that “they” are. -55six

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Regardless of what “they are deciding” what replaces this republic, the only viable option is the operational reality with the primary goal being permanent multi-generational cultural preservation.

        I think also there is a dynamic which underlies not a little of this republic. It warrants a good think too considering it’s scope and character. It is pretty remarkable.
        Recently we have witnessed the poison fruit of the “they”, who decided to act on their darkest hate. They crossed the threshold into action and through just as hateful dark proxies murdered cops for the purpose of political advantage.
        It was a sort of cultural marxist amerikan Tet Offensive. It was intended not only as crisis as means, it was like many of the human extinction movements agenda in action, to create a catalyst for a firestorm of violent radicalism. Yet if anything, it exposed not only how hateful and despicable “they” are, how misbegotten and pitiful their proxies are, it proved in my mind and heart at least, the character and tolerance of a vast amount of dirt people.
        Some would say this republic is comprised of sheeple, something for nothing’s, and a corporate slave class and it’s Nomenklaturer ruling class, but the truth of what holds this here republic together, even on the precipice of its demolition by the aforementioned, lies someplace rarely recognized. The dirt people.
        It is the dirt people who have always saved the world from itself time and time again, who have ever effected change for the good and the better. Dirt people by nature, and culture are always everyone else’s villain, tied to the political whipping post and flogged to exhaustion, and they always find that last bit of resolve, the virtue faith and principles to never quit no matter what.
        And in some very unique and special way of dirt people, dirt people make all the difference. It is the difference between heaven and hell.
        When liberty and primal freedoms, the spirit of self determination runs through your blood you become indomitable. It is nothing overt or loud, it is the subtlest of things. It’s the quiet men among us. Maybe that is our savings grace, that it is something that is the truth of us, bonds us. Is it culture? Like you say NCS, history is circular, and the human terrain is always on top.
        I look at the war of northern aggression, and I see why, in its many manifestations, right to this very moment the marxists have never stopped waging it. They never won. Them damned yankees didn’t beat the South because southerners never where beaten at what being a Southerner is.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. mtnforge

      I hear you 55six. Up around the ridges I run along it’s quiet resolve between many gonna be, among other things which are manifest and provincial, killing times coming. It’s that connection and roots to the dirt and tribe, all there ever was in these mountains really. An indomitable thing. The fools and outsiders don’t grok that kin with the earthly mortal coil and connection to faith and the great creators savings grace… I say that is as it should be, rightfully so, providence and the whole armor of God. It’s time anyways for protecting and fighting for what matters most.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “Summer linebacker program”
    I spent every summer from 11 years old till I was 18 baling hay,stacking bales on trailers,on flatbed trucks,one year we stacked bales
    in loft of barn we had finished just in time to store hay.
    Also mucked out my share of stalls,milked cows,learned to weld,learned to repair tractors balers,conveyors,string barbed wire,mend fences,castrate hogs,butcher cows and hogs make apple cider and apple butter,can veggies etc,etc.
    That was done at my uncles 320 acre farm in a little town outside of Washington Pa. and my great grandparents 800 acre plus farm in the W.Va. mountains.
    I’m sure there’s similar conversations taking place all over farm country no matter what state.
    One of my customers is having me build her athell of a lot of new shelving-and claims all the food and supplies she’s been storing up are because of me and the list of blogs/websites I sent her last summer.
    Seems there’s a lot more people waking up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daniel

    I’m putting this here because the thread on water storage is long closed. I wanted to say THANKS for that motivation to double my rain water storage capacity. Got the new tank in before a rain heavy enough to fill and test it. Then it didn’t rain again for six weeks. The extra saved the garden. I wanted you to know what you do here matters.


    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes it is. Anyone supporting socialized medicine should look into their bare pharmacy shelves. Of course the Marxists attribute this to the former US embargo, when the truth is, as usual, quite different.

        My Spanish Teacher in High School fled the Castro regime as a child with her parents. She had some stories, and some very good friends down in Miami. I got my keen taste for expresso from her.

        Liked by 1 person

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