Just Dropping In
Pike County, Georgia is 50 minutes south of the world’s busiest airport, on the backside of nowhere, on the flight path to everywhere. It’s all rural farm land, mostly undeveloped and fenced off with barbed wire, with a population of 17,000 people and at least three times as many cows. We are what is known as a bedroom community – not in a red light district sense – but because folks who live here mainly come home to sleep. They get up and drive an hour to work in a larger city by day to return home and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of evenings and weekends in the country, where houses are so spread out that every man can pee right off his front porch.
That’s why I was stunned to see a parachuter circling down straight out of heaven with a bright yellow and purple chute as I drove down a remote highway making the 30 minute drive to the grocery store to pick up our Kroger ClickList order. No one just up and jumps out of a plane around here at supper time and lands in a pasture, so it kind of had me worried about whether the guy fell out prematurely or jumped on purpose thinking he was somewhere else. I broke the law to snap a picture while driving in case things ended badly, then turned the car around to see if the fellow needed a ride back to civilization. As I turned around, an oncoming pickup truck driver with a pinch of dip in his bottom lip and a mixed breed farm dog riding shotgun gave me the backwoods wave and the tip of his John Deere cap that means, “I got this….go ahead…. I’ll help this feller figure things out,” so I turned back around and continued on my way. But I still can’t help wondering what the story was, though. My hunger for answers was deeper than our need for food this week.