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Thursday, November 01, 2012

On the Georgia Road 6 (#FridayFlash)

With some of the things my online friends up north are dealing with this week, I got in the mood to write another one of these.

Earlier installments in this series:

#1: the commuter
#2: interstate patrol
#3: lake property house-sitters
#4: Relocation Center
#5: college campus

“The State DNR’s Tourism division has announced that their third annual Fall Color Tour is scheduled for the week of November 8th. The day trips run all week, and wind through the north Georgia mountains. Buses leave the North Springs MARTA station at 10 a.m., and return by dusk. Lunch is included, and travelers are encouraged to bring a small cooler and snacks. The overnight trip leaves at 10 a.m. Saturday, includes accommodations at Amicalola Falls State Park, and returns to North Springs mid-afternoon on Sunday. All meals are included, and each passenger may bring an overnight bag. For details and reservations, see the DNR website at the bottom of your screen.

“The mountains are beautiful, but the people who live there aren’t watching the leaves—they’re getting ready for winter. In tonight’s segment of ‘On the Georgia Road,’ Sean McKinzie travels to White County, where local residents are busy this time of year. Sean?”

Cut to: Sean, exterior, woods. Chainsaws snarl in the background. Sean raises his voice to be heard above the noise. “Hi, Marcia! When you have to depend on your own resources to make energy, wood is the Number One choice! It literally grows on trees, after all!”

Cut to: exterior, people stacking firewood. Sean voiceover. “Residents tell me their first frost came early last week, and that’s lending a little urgency to the winter preparations. With gardening season officially over, the focus has mostly shifted from food to fuel.”

Cut to: exterior, local road. A large tree lies across the road. Man in foreground, talking to Sean; men and women in background sizing up the tree. Title: Johnny Long, local resident. “Our host, Johnny Long, put things in perspective for us.”

Fade to: Johnny Long, gesturing toward the fallen tree. “What do you see there?”

Sean: “A tree down, across the road.”

Johnny: “Yeah. Well, we see enough firewood to keep a house warm for half the winter. It’s blockin’ the road, too, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is we get this cut up and stacked.”

Sean: “Where do you get the fuel to run your saws?”

Johnny: “We got a little motor-sickle. We take it down to Gainesville and bring back groceries and a couple of five-gallon cans. That’s plenty for saws.”

Fade through: sequence of clips. Tree being cut up and removed, shrinking with time. Sean voiceover. “In less than two hours, a fallen tree became several stacks of firewood, plus a few large sections of trunk. While two people cut it up, others were hauling away cut pieces, splitting what needed to be split, and stacking the rest.” Cut to: Sean carrying an armload of cut wood. Continue voiceover. “We got pressed into service as well, and maybe we helped more than we got in the way.”

Cut to: interior, small barn or large shed. Women and men working at long tables, preparing food, setting up jars. Sean voiceover. “The focus is mostly on fuel, but there is still some food to put away.”

Cut to: interior, woman. Title: Sarah Adams. Sean voiceover: “This is a neighborhood cannery, and everyone pitches in. Sarah Adams explains what we’re looking at.”

Sarah: “Today, we’re doin’ the last of the apples and pears. Now that we’ve had a frost, the persimmons are sweet enough to use, so we’ve gathered a couple bushels for jam. We had a pretty good year with the scuppernongs—”

Sean: “What’s that word?”

Sarah, laughing: “Scuppernongs. They’re a domesticated muscadine. It’s a kind of grape. We’re doin’ those today, too.”

Cut to: baskets of fruit. Sean voiceover. “Ms. Adams says that a month ago, during the height of the garden harvest, the cannery was running full-tilt from morning into the night. Come winter, stews and soups will nearly always be on the dinner table in Unincorporated areas. Empty a few jars of meat and vegetables into a Dutch oven, and set it on the woodstove in the morning. By noon, you have a hot meal.”

Cut to: exterior, firepit made of concrete blocks. Rebar forms a grill across the top. Pots on the grill. Sean voiceover: “For safety’s sake, cooking and sterilizing happens outside. They burn pine in the firepit, saving the oak for heating the houses. Cooked food is taken back inside and put in jars, then the jars come back outside for final processing.”

Cut to: exterior, house. Solar panels on roof, windmill standing idle. Sean foreground. “Ms. Adams let me know that they were not self-sufficient, as far as food goes. Hunters might bring in game through the winter, but they don’t or can’t produce items such as flour, coffee, beans, citrus, and so on. So, they make grocery runs on occasion, and visit the library. There, they check out books, or load their readers with eBooks over the wifi, to keep them occupied through the winter.

Cut to: exterior, Sean close-up. “And so we learned that, with a little foresight and a lot of teamwork, it’s certainly possible to survive—even thrive—through a Georgia winter.” Camera zooms out. Sean holds an armload of firewood and several full quart jars. “On the Georgia Road, I’m Sean McKinzie.”


  1. I love these On the Georgia road pieces. You do post-apocalypse so well!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Larry, I love the atmosphere and the realism in the actions.As always agood read,my friend.(sorry for the multiple post.The first was too atrocious.)

  4. I love the relentlessly cheerful slant to the newscast -- plus ca change, plus ca reste meme.

  5. The episodes in this series remind me of the frontier people from way back, tough independent people, dealing with harsh conditions.

    I like the blend of old and modern in the stories.

  6. Love it! Lol ereaders and all that. . . Wonderful!

  7. Love it! Lol ereaders and all that. . . Wonderful!

  8. Thanks, Icy!

    No prob, EJ. Were you going to post a new one this week? I didn't see one this morning.

    Katherine, yup! Happy babble is the staple of evening news, no?

    Steve, they're definitely depending more on themselves than most.

    Sonia, why not eReaders? It doesn't take much to keep them charged. I have a 30W solar panel stuck in a sunny window, and it keeps my phone and Kindle charged pretty well.

  9. You do these news casts so well! It's like I'm watching them myself.


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