Exhibit A, so called, is the first piece of evidence in the mystery of the vanishing of Tingle Road. The Tingle Road, of course, of which I speak, is the one resting at the center of my Particular Tingle Territory, the one located at the upper or northern edge of Monroe County, GA, itself located midway between Atlanta and Macon off inter state 75. That’s the thing I most wanted to see, when I went in 1994 to visit my people in the South, not for the beauty of the spot, it being after all just a dirt road pretty much in the middle nowhere and not much to brag on, but to see if it actually existed, as family had suggested it did. Not that I doubted their word, but it was just one of those very, very few things in my life I have felt the need to see with my own eyes.
So when I was back there and had the chance, my wife and I drove down 75 and then took Route 42, at the center, as you the viewer will see, of Exhibit A, up to little known, because little populated, Blount, Georgia. There we found, as indicated in the yellow blotch in the middle of Exhibit A, the Paron Primitive Baptist Church, that had among its founders, in 1823, a number of ancestral Tingles, whose bones rested directly adjacent on the one side to the church, and was directly adjacent, as brought to my attention by elderly bent old woman, on the other side to Gregory road which, if I took that would take me a piece, over a little bridge, and right beyond that the entrance to the southern end of Tingle Road, though I should keep my eye peel it being somewhat overgrowed.
If the reader or viewer would take a moment to direct his or her attention to Exhibit A, he or she will see that things were just as the elderly lady, living repository of local history, had indicated. Though, the end of the road was not so overgrown, having only a few branches overlapping it, and once one got through those, the road stretched out pretty much open and straight ahead as pictured two entries ago and worth, I think, repeating here. I drove this stretched as far as I could in my rented car until my wife freaked out when we crested a little knoll and Tingle Road just ahead became a little boggish, no doubt from recent rains. I was still not quite deterred, and walk aways ahead to determine the depth of the water. When though I sunk up to my ankles in the red mud, I decided that we had reached the end of the road figuratively speaking.
I can’t say then that I have seen all of Tingle Road with my own eyes, for I failed to drive it end to end as I had wished, motivated by some strange irrational urge to see the whole damn thing. I don’t know how long the road is exactly, but as the alert viewer, reader will note in Exhibit A, Tingle Road runs on up to cross Route 42, past the Webb Cemetery, across Brownlee, and then runs on a bit more (not pictured here) to High Falls, acting for a way, as it goes, as marking the line between Monroe and Butts Counties. It terminates, rather abruptly at High Falls, I say abruptly because while the dirt road continues to run some ways, officially it’s called Country Road.
That’s how things were back in 1988 when the map of Monroe County was map, and when I visited in 94 and again in 98, but that’s not how it is today if current documentation is to be trusted.
To be continued…..