I was irritated recently to learn that I did not nearly die in the Enoree River as I previously claimed in one of the entries here. I regret not only the historical inaccuracy but the time I spent trying to re-enact my near death experience in the wrong river. First my brother #2, attempting to assist me in the historical re-enactment, took considerable time, riding here and there, with his son to locate the spot on the wrong river that resembled what I had spoken of.
He called to say he believed he had located the spot at MusGrove Mill. The following absolutely sweltering day, my wife and I drove hither and thither through the countryside, through Enoree, the town proper, over hill and dale till we hit the interstate and driving back towards the historic town of Clinton, since every town there is now historic, saw a turn off to Musgrove Mill. Victory, I thought.
The turnoff took us to my surprise to a parking lot and located near it a new building created by the National Forest Service—or some government organization like that—intent upon preserving the area in its natural state since it too was historic, an important or perhaps relatively insignificant, Revolutionary war battle having been fought there at Musgrove ford. A helpful sign told us that fords were places of tactical importance since they allowed horses and people to ford the river relatively easily (that being by definition the nature of a ford) and thus holding this or that ford meant control over the movement of the Red Coats.
So we plodded in the sweltering heat through trees and brush down to the river proper so that I might find the precise location of my near death experience. I was certain I had found it near some concrete pilings. The wide expanse of the low river swept before me, and when I stepped into the water onto the stones beneath, my toes told me this was the place or very near it. Slipping and sliding on my creaky knees I waded out as far as I dared, for the water became dark, deep and swift towards the center.
For the purposes of the re-enactment I wanted to submerge myself and then pop my head out of the water as a symbolic manifestation of my having been saved. But I dared not do it, and so contented myself by standing knee deep and waving my arms about in a panic stricken manner as my wife snapped a photo. The photo did not turn out particular well since a still camera does not of course capture motion, and rather than looking panic stricken one might have surmised that, with both arms up in the air like that, I was being held up by bandits in mid-stream.
But all this was for naught because according to my mother I did not nearly die on the Enoree but on Warrior Creek, not far from the Enoree, but not the Enoree. I don’t know why you make such a big deal of that, she said. Why not, I said, a near death experience is a near death experience and not without significance, and besides, to set the record straight, the big deal really was that with her boo-hooings and goings on one might have felt she was the one who had nearly died. To which she had nothing to say.