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Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Olaf's Swimming Hole

(this is my last post for a while, I am going on vacation to Pawleys Island and will be back on the 17th, I am going to try a audio post while i am there if i can figure out how to make it work. Have fun)

My great grandfather (Olaf Snagley) was a farmer in Cedar Town Georgia.
He owned a big farm about 1200 acres. Part of it was a wood lot with a picturesque creek that meandered picturesquely through the countryside. It was dammed up each summer by the local kids who swam in the creek to cool off in the spring fed waters of Snagley’s Creek. The water was about 63 degrees year round so it was an awesome place to cool off. My Great grandmother died at an early age and left Olaf to raise 4 kids. He saw each one through college and on to the good life. Olaf remained on the farm.

He had the reputation for being quite the eccentric and a generally likeable guy if not a nut, but as I have explained before crazy people are by far the most interesting. But I digress. It was the summer of 1962 and it was hot, damn hot. Olaf went on about life all his kids were out of college and working. His crops were in the ground and he was waiting on rain. This left some time for him to practice his crazy. He got into his pickup and drove to town to harass the locals. He went by the feed store and drank their coffee and told the same old jokes and ate their peanuts. Then he got his weekly haircut and teased the shoeshine boy about shining his boots. Then gave the kid a quarter for his good nature. He went to the 5 and dime and flirted with the clerk for sport then hopped into his truck and headed home.

It so happened that a group of schoolteachers were taking part in a summer program of nature hikes as continued education as required by the school system at the time. They were all in their mid twenties, and were following the Picturesque creek that meandered picturesquely through the countryside of Snagley’s Creek. When they got to the swimming hole they dared each other and finally stripped down and skinny-dipped in the cold 63-degree water.

Olaf saw the teachers VW van as he rounded the bend back to the farm. He new the teachers well they often brought students to the farm for field trips. He figured he would make some coffee and wait for the ladies to come by the farmhouse and talk for a while. When he pulled up he could see the swimming hole and realized that they were swimming. He figured this was their plan all along and did not for a moment think that they would be skinny-dipping. So he started walking along the edge of the trees to the swimming hole. When he got within about 40 yards of the hold he saw their clothes on the branches of trees and then realized that they were naked in the swimming hole. He grinned, it was his evil grin.

The teachers were starting to shiver in the cold water. 63 degree water will sap the warmth out of your body at a rapid rate leaving your on the verge of hypothermia quickly. Especially when it is 102 degrees in the shade. They were ready to get out of the water and head back to town. But then they heard a voice.

Olaf was talking they recognized his voice. He said out loud. “Go ahead kids and go swimming, heck you don’t have to ask me”. “Just head down to the swimming hole, I believe that some of your teachers are down there now taking a dip”. The teachers froze momentarily then they started really moving. They all jumped out of the water and grabbed their clothes and started running through the woods naked, headed for their van.

Olaf heard the commotion saw the teachers running with their clothes in their hands, and saw a few behinds, blue from the cold water, and laughed himself silly. Then he looked up and oddly enough coming up the driveway was the preacher’s wife and four old ladies from the church with some cookies to try to lure Olaf back to church.

They said Olaf we just saw some women running down the road, must be one of those hippie cults, they were all wearing pale blue leotards and were running to beat the band they trailing what looked like flags or rags or something. When we drove by them they all jumped onto the ground face down in your cornfield in front of a van. We figure they were worshiping the van, crazy hippies. Olaf you really ought to out up some no trespassing signs. Olaf said if he did things would get too boring.