Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Chattooga River

The river was used as a setting to film "Deliverance" based on the fictional Cahulawassee River in the book "Deliverance" by James Dickey. They shot one of the rapids we went down from three different camera angles to make it appear to be a much longer swim for Burt Reynolds.

Swim faster, I hear banjo music.

The river is classified as a "wild and scenic" river. As a result, no development,, including roads of any kind, are allowed by the U.S. Forest Service within 1/4 mile of a 39.8 mile section of the river. If you go rafting there you carry your equipment at least the last 1/4 mile in and out.

James Dickey was born in 1923 and died in 1997 from complications related to alcoholism. He was a radar operator on a night fighter in WWII and earned several degrees from Vanderbilt before returning to the USAF to serve in Korea. He is known primarily as a strange and tortured poet (I don't understand anything more complicated than Emily Dickinson) but I have enjoyed several of his novels including: "Deliverance". "Alnilam" and "To the White Sea". Dickey was the 16th U.S. poet laureate and spoke at Jimmy Carter's inauguration.

According to Wikipedia:
"From 1950 to 1954, Dickey taught at Rice University in Houston. While teaching freshman composition at Rice, Dickey returned for a two-year air force stint in Korea, then went back to teaching. He then worked for several years in advertising, most notably writing copy and helping direct creative work on the Coca-Cola and Lay'sPotato Chips campaign. He once said he embarked on his advertising career in order to "make some bucks." Dickey also said "I was selling my soul to the devil all day... and trying to buy it back at night." He was ultimately fired for shirking his work responsibilities. His discontent with his work and his firing are portrayed in his novel Deliverance where the narrator who runs a design agency tells the story of an employee who could only think of producing great art and scorned all those around him in the agency".

Alnilam, one of Dickey's novels, is the central star in the belt of Orion. Yesterday at 5 AM Orion was just up in the east, followed by Sirius, Orion's Dog Star. Homer describes Orion rising in late summer in the Iliad:

Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,

Orion's Dog they call it, brightest

Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat

And fevers to suffering humanity.

The Egyptians identified Sirius with the Goddess Isis. The Romans would sacrifice a dog along with wine, incense and a sheep to mark the beginning of the 70 day period when Sirius is completely absent from the night sky (it is bright enough to be visible during that interval  in the daytime when not too close to the Sun).

We've been here before with Kenny and his friend and neighbor James. It was 1983 or thereabout.

This time I only went overboard accidentally once.

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