Does The Past Change

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DOES THE PAST CHANGE?

There has been all kind of scientific quantum physics studies over the decades as it relates to time traveling forward and the idea of a time machine bordering on science fiction of which is the stuff movies are made of, but does the past really change?

From my unscientific view point and with the aid of semantics, the past does not change, especially in our minds.  We live in a very dynamic and changing World and most places do change over time but times and places from the past are still imprinted in our brain as they were at that particular moment in time of their imprint as does any photographic image of the past.  Time is simply frozen at that nanosecond to live on as long as the medium of storage survives unaltered.  Over the decades, our memories from the past does tend to get cloudy, photographs fade, hard drives and other storage devices wear out, however our brain is the organ of the body which processes our thoughts and creates reasoning, while mind is the consciousness of having a particular thought.  Our memories from the past will remain in clear focus in our brain in what we would classify a “normal state”, without some type of degenerative disease such as Alzheimer that effects the area of stored memories such as the hippocampus which processes new memories into long term storage and the temporal lobe of the brain controls these processes, whereas the normal brain will preserve certain events and things that have occurred in our lives because of some traumatic or euphoric event or something that was able to create a mental file tag in the brain for us to easily access those events which can be helpful or destructive depending on the event itself.  This is the same thing as saving a file on the computer with a file name or tag where you can easily retrieve that file however one is done with mechanical and electrical devices whereas the brain processes information in a much more complex electrochemical process. The usage of mental memory aids helps amplify the long term data storage and retrieval of data stored in our brain.  Example:  What year did Columbus discover the New World?  In 1492 Columbus sailed the blue.  How to remember the names of the Great Lakes?  HOMES:  Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.  Now we simply Google on the IPhone, IPad, Laptop, etc. but before the invention of the integrated circuit, we used our brain for thinking and some serious data storage that we needed to recall.  Now, we don't have to memorize telephone numbers,  etc., just a few finger touches and the call is made and/or speak what you want; voice recognition.  Machines aka technology is doing the thinking for us!

What prompted this impromptu short story today was a book that I received from Amazon titled, The Corey Ford Sporting Treasury by Willow Creek Press which are a collection of Corey Ford’s articles Minutes of the “Lower Forty” and other treasured fictional stories and places of which the Minutes of the Lower Forty were published in Field and Stream Magazine throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  My uncle Douglas Ross Coley who was a brick mason by trade subscribed to several hunting magazines and I had the opportunity to read and reread each issue and those stories were imbedded in my brain.  I am sure that helped plant the seed for my love of the outdoors; hunting, fishing, trapping and keeping wild animals and birds of several species and that love of the outdoors is very much present today.  Reading those short stories today was as if time had suddenly gone back to the middle 1950s when I was a young lad of nine (9) years old and continued to read them while I was in the US Navy from 1964 thru 1968.

Above pix of Bill Porter in Morocco, Africa  November 1966.  My bride loves this pix which has a letter from home (probably from her), cup of coffee and one of my favorite magazines, Fur Fish Game.  I kept a collection of those Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Fur Fish Game magazines until we moved to our current home in 1989; either giving them away or they went to the landfill.  My favorite writers were Corey Ford, Joe Brooks, Jack O'Connor and Grits Gresham, all deceased.  Favorite wildlife photographer is Leonard Lee Rue III.

I vividly remember the early 1960s when I was serious about trapping, however there were not many furbearing animals left in the immediate area that I hunted and started trapping the streams and creeks that was within walking distance.  One of the serious character flaws that I had and continue to have today, is to do something in what I call an overkill or go to the extreme and some times place the cart before the horse and I  will try and describe.  After getting my steel jawed traps of various sizes, I made enough wooden fur stretcher boards that could easily handle a couple dozen hides at a time which is very unlikely to happen where I was trapping.  I made and installed a large fleshing wooden beam in one of our old barns that was converted into a club house.  A beam of that type would be used if one was on a full production job of fleshing the meat from animal hides.....are you getting the picture now of the overkill?  I had my number one goal set to catch a mink and the only mink sign was about 4 or 5 miles on a small branch near the Anson County Airport but being young, what is a 4 or 5 mile daily hike in the woods when you are enjoying and taking in and absorbing everything that nature has to offer.  The little branch, creek or small stream as some might call it was very narrow in places with high banks and the water ran pretty clear most of the time unless there was a very heavy rain that mudded the water up.

I had plenty of reference sources and my main trapping magazine was Fur Fish Game which detailed the various types of sets that would capture mink and other furbearers and studied those detailed sets as much as possible.  Of course, I purchased enough trapping manuals to stock our local library with ease.  There were no trappers that I knew of except a couple brothers in Burnsville, NC that had trapped many years earlier and I believe they still trapped off and on some.  Bee Thomas was one of the brothers and when I got a chance to visit my Aunt Molly and Uncle Baxter Bowers in Burnsville, NC and their family, I tried to make it over to the Thomas home place for some trapping pointers which were very helpful but it is not the same as getting some one on one personal experience while on the creek.

I continued to trap the first season without success catching various types of small game but no mink.  I remember catching a rabbit in one of the sets and a mink came along and had itself a free meal.  I didn’t really have enough experience to know that a mink will either wring his foot off in the trap or just chew it off to escape from the trap.  I had to learn the hard way that if I was to catch a mink, I had to use a drowning set which is a more humane way of trapping them without them getting loose from the trap.  Many of the mink or muskrat simply pulled their small foot loose from the trap and I would see hairs left indicating what the species the furbearer was.

Finally, on the second trapping season, I found a log that had fallen across the branch/creek by the creek erosion that was frequented by mink regularly that were eating crawfish as evidenced by the discarded shells and skeletons on the large log.  The water underneath the log was two or three feet deep and would be an ideal place to set a trap.  I used my hatchet and cut out a flat recess for the trap to rest and placed some mud and moss on the cut-out to help conceal the trap.  I further placed a step stick at each end of the trap so the mink would have to step over the stick onto the trap.  Earlier in the summer, I had a rabbit cut up and placed in a sealed quart Mason jar and left outside to get the contents really marinated and by winter’s trapping season the smell would knock your socks off when the lid was removed.  This was my mink lure and I placed the lure on the log to help get a mink onto the log to further investigate.

After setting the trap on the log and getting everything just right with a drowning wire attached from the end of the trap chain anchored to a rock in the deep water, I felt confident that this set was going to get me a mink.  I checked the traps a few times and nothing had been disturbed but within a few days upon approaching the log trap set, I can still see very vividly in my mind’s eye that the trap was missing from the log and barely see the tip of the mink’s tail floating under the water. That was no doubt the highlight of my trapping experience even to this date.  I believe Bee Thomas sold the mink pelt for me and I received 6 dollars.  That was the only mink I ever trapped, yet that experience was totally exhilarating; therefore, the past does not change in this case, does it?

I trapped very regular back in the late 1970s and a few years into the 1980s when furbearers were bringing some high prices here in North Carolina.  Before purchasing our present home, I trapped a small creek behind our home and accessed the creek from one street over where my Father-in-Law Henry Adcock and his wife Nellie lived.  Pix of the the creek I trapped:

I caught a good many raccoon that brought around 25 dollars per pelt and caught a couple otter that sold for 50 dollars each.   Pix of one of the otters trapped on Culpepper Creek:

A road kill opossum would fetch 5 bucks too.  I also trapped Blewett Falls Lake, Pee Dee River in Anson County with limited amount of success….....some professional trappers worked my trap line ahead of me but I still enjoyed getting out on the lake in the early morning hours after day break watching the fog and mist lift and the water would have a silvery color reflection especially when the wind was calm.  The sun coming up over the tree line on the Richmond County side with it's golden rays of light piercing through the fog was absolutely gorgeous.  Back then a pair of Bald Eagles would be seen fishing on the river for their daily meals seemingly flying effortless using the thermal uplifting air currents to their advantage and Ospreys were plentiful working the upper end of the lake at the shoals near Smith's Lake catching fish with good success.

During my travels up Blewett Falls Lake, I would stop by a limestone spring on the property of Jerry Ingram of which the crystal clear cold water flowed 24/7 and some of the best tasting water to be had. Current bottled water doesn’t compare with that fresh spring fed limestone water.  There was a very large yellow poplar tree not too far from the limestone spring that had a hollow about 30 feet off the ground and I harvested many raccoons from that hollow with a High Standard .22 caliber Supermatic Trophy pistol that had a Bushnell Phantom .1X scope mounted on it.  That pistol was accurate enough to shoot a hole in a hole at 10 to 15 yards and reach out further with great accuracy.   Below is pix showing the large field we looked for Native American artifacts and the spring is located about middle of the picture where the tree line comes out to a point.  There was a path that led down to the Limestone spring from the field and one from the edge of the river leading up to the spring. 



Above the fresh water limestone spring is a large 40 acre plus field where our entire family during our seasonal camping outings would walk and find Native American artifacts;  arrow heads and spear points, etc. and with each find, I could visualize the early Native American that had either made and/or shot the arrow tipped with the stone handmade point from his bow or either threw the spear yielding the spear stone point and hopefully harvesting a big game animal such as a deer to transform into food and buckskin for clothing and moccasins.  The field is currently cultivated by different methods that have changed over the decades with sod planting instead of plowing, disking and tilling the ground up to plant a crop which doesn’t bring those ancient lost artifacts up to the surface anymore.  The Native Americans are long gone from the fields and adjacent land where they farmed, hunted and fished the river centuries before the arrival of the White Man which changed their culture forever and in many cases their total demise.  Those Native Americans were only trying to survive and it is my hope and prayer that God's Grace and Mercy is extended to them because they certainly believed in a higher being than themselves although Christianity was unknown to them.   The only remnants that remain of their culture in this area are the pieces of broken pottery at the waters edge in specific locations where they had their camp sites or pottery kilns which are now under water due to the increased water level after the construction of Blewett Falls Dam in 1912.  Those artifacts can only be found when the water level is 6 or 8 feet below normal when repairs to the dam are taking place, however the past hasn’t changed.

I have referenced Blewett Falls Lake many times throughout this website under various Short Stories such as Camping and on various recipes and although the water rights have changed over the decades from Carolina Power and Light to Progress Energy Carolinas and now Duke Power Progress of which camping is no longer permitted; however those memories of the past has not changed.  Anyone of my age can remember exactly where they were at when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 23, 1963; that infamous moment in time will live on forever

One doesn’t necessarily live or dwell in the past but reflections of the past is a good thing, especially if those reflections are positive and worthwhile!  To quote Marcus Garvey, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

It appears that current history books are intentionally leaving out facts and events and distorting the facts from the past to suit the PC (Politically Correct) crowd and views, but history and the past does not change no matter how hard ones tries to do so.  The Holocaust is just one example and the perpetrators want to deny that it ever happened!

My bride of forty-five (45) years has plenty of stories to tell about me since it was love at first sight back in the 6th grade of school.  I still remember the day the Adcock family entered the Wadesboro Church of God on August 8, 1957 and I spotted this beautiful girl with a dark brown complexion with a couple braided pig tails and she was wearing a yellow dress.  We both were eleven (11) years old, however, I was dumb as a fence post not realizing that this was my bride to be but she knew it right off and hung in there and didn't give up.  I remember during the Christmas holidays at school during the 6th grade, one of the dare devil boys in my class dared me to kiss her and I "sneaked" up on her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and ran like a scalded dog.  She said she knew it was me because my face was red as a fire engine.  We both have plenty of stories to tell but had better keep most of them concealed from public view....grin if you must!  I have a few of them posted on my Pistol Packing Momma short story page.  She is still the love of my life.  Pix of my bride to be and myself with the Wadesboro Church of God Youth Group at Morrow Mt. State Park.  Pix top below from left to right; T.G. Martin, Sue Adcock, Peggy Cope, Ralph Coble, Mickey Porter and Johnny Coble:

Bottom pix in the foreground:  Ralph Coble, T.G. Martin, Johnny Coble and my bride to be, Joyce Adcock.  Background on table front; Ronnie Burr and Alex Driggers and Sue Adcock to the right.

I showed my bride this pix and she said "she chased me around all day".........like I said, "I was dumb as a fence post!"

Many famous quotes about the past are too negative in my humble opinion.  I guess my own personal past hasn’t been that traumatic to imprint those views but I have never been one to follow the normal drum beat of others.  I remember a decision I made many years back while working with the NCDOC aka NCDPS to remove some excess workload to better attend to my own areas of responsibility by getting rid of my CDL driver’s license. The Assistant Superintendent of Custody called me into his office and asked "why I had gotten rid of my CDLs" and I replied, “I heard we were going to a new TEAM concept and decided to get rid of them” and he replied,  “That doesn’t sound like being part of the team” and I replied, “There is no I in team.”

In SUMMATION, Corey Ford’s writings did bring back vivid reflections from the past in full focus as it relates to my youth, love for nature, the outdoors and other memorable events that was imprinted on my brain and definitely in my mind’s eyeThe Past Does Not Change!

My favorite one liner:  "Two of the Great Ships That Ever Sailed; Friendship and Fellowship."

Leaving on a Spiritual note and always giving God the praise, honor and glory in all things.

Romans 8:31 KJV  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  Amen to that!

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter 06-04-13.

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