A nickel and a dime could get you a

MoonPie and an ice-cold bottle of

Nehi Orange at Tucker's Store over on

Dry Valley Road. It was a special treat

provided by the good Lord above, and

those delicacies awaited us just a

slight stretch of walking distance away

from our houses back in the summer

of 1967. A winding half a mile jaunt

along one of the curviest roads in the

county. A journey made more exciting by

way of a shortcut through old man

Williamson's front yard and then pushing

through a thick cluster of honeysuckle

bushes. Past the bushes was a large

gathering of pines and oak trees that we

were sure stretched all the way to the sea.

Over the years, the trees seemed to have

conspired to create a dark trail that surely

sunlight nor any other humans had visited

since back in the Civil War, or so we imagined.

For an eight-year-old and his buddies, this was an adventure far better than any ride that

Lake Winnie, with its merry-go-rounds and roller coasters, had to offer. So, with fifteen cents in our

pocket and rambling fever in our bones, we would

set out like explorers of old seeking treasure in a

far-off land.