There is a lot to look at as I wind down Scott River Road on my four mile run.  The run is especially nice now that the road is getting re-graded.  Currently only loose stone is applied and cars using the road are helping to push it into the base of asphalt or something like it.   I wonder if this was how it felt to run on cinder, the old low tech surface.


There are stoic cows, marked in the ears electronically or not, stating who they are, where they will go.  Branded.  I used to think they looked cute and silly with earrings, but these symbols are so much about their future.  Uneasy about this.

Cows love jazz. 

Cows like to look nice and wear earrings.  They are curious and non-judgmental.  Often, I am running by as they cross Scott River Road.  They have their minds on that destination of new green grass across the road,  and are mot much interested in me.  They are huge and very tolerant beings.  The babies are wobbly.  One day, all crossed the road but one cow.  My friend was closing the gate and I asked why she didn’t come.  She had just dropped a baby, just then.  I had the feeling that if it had been even an hour before, that baby would be walking across the road too.


Over the road, often I see enormous cargo planes that seem to be just over my head.  It is always strange to see them.  They are so big that your mind tells you that they are much closer than they are.  Strangers to the area get upset that the planes are getting too close and are moving way too slow.  These planes are from a so-called “secret” air base at North, SC, very near here.  When Strom Thurmond was still alive and  pushing his power, there would always be three cargo planes doing maneuvers in the sky, then the base closings started in the 80s? 90s?, and the planes would only travel in twos.  Now only one at a time.

The image above is a still from a video of a cargo plane crashing.  However it records exactly the feeling one gets when running or driving around here.  About five years ago, maybe ten miles of US 321 was widened to four plus lanes near North, leading to here.  Some say this is for emergencies related to the (secret) North air base.  My daughter had a science teacher who told her it was planned to be an auxiliary landing site for the shuttle.  Strom Thurmond/the Senator/ Columbia?  It was after Columbia, SC that that  shuttle was named.

This is new on my route.


In a field that has always had cotton, this year peanuts were planted.   Don’t know if this is normal crop change so as to not delete the soil too heavily from any one nutrient, or if this is change related to our wet spring and summer.    They are turned out on the ground now, laying like this.  I have wondered about peanut farming ever since Jimmy Carter was elected.

Way back when, my stepfather, Sidney, was flying by air from St. Louis to NYC.  The man next to him said to him,  “Hello, my name is Jimmy Carter and I’m running for President”!


7 thoughts on “COWS AND EARRINGS

  1. In the early ’80’s cinder tracks were still popular – particularly at schools because cinders were cheap and made a pleasant running surface. If you fell on them it was like falling onto a huge sheet of coarse sandpaper; it would leave you with slide burns on your elbows, hands, knees, etc.
    The newer rubber granule surfaces provide better traction and less injury.
    Enjoyed your comments about peanuts and Jimmy Carter. I have some peanut jewelry around here somewhere…a relic of the Carter election. We drank our Billy Beer years ago.

  2. you know harry, i think this new surface for the road is really tearing up my shoes. and now one ankle is hurting because my soles are uneven. *sigh*. how did the billy beer stand the test of time?

  3. Those peanuts look exactly like the ones my dad grew. They always were ready to pick about this time of the year. We called them “goobers”. Sure wish I had some.

    We were always told that the air base at North was maintained strictly for he Air Force pilots to practice landing and take off. They never really landed there and stayed. Most times they did not even stop–just took off again. That is why no one was stationed there.

  4. “google” the north air base. there are some interesting things there; some kind of scavenger-type company (never knew these existed) has some commentary. first page

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