I’ve been out in this 100+ degree heat cutting grass and this is when I can do a lot of thinking. A lot of people know I love the Satilla River but I was pondering on maybe I should go in detail a little more on what this dark water river really means to me. Since I was a little boy and would stand beside daddy in his old truck as he would say “lets go to the river” I can remember the joy of those words. We would usually swing by daddy’s uncles (Kenny, Hugh, Gerald, Arnie, Elton & Glendin) to see what they had caught and most of the time they had just been fishing, were going or were doing it when we found them. Usually they had a mess of catfish, bream or bass. Each uncle seemed to have their own choice of fish and in their own way were very good at catching what they liked.
In 1970 my granny and grandaddy were camping on the bluff at 301 bridge. Something happened during the night and granny fell in the river and the Satilla claimed her life. I was 6 years old at the time. Both of my kids have been baptized at the boat ramp near where granny passed away.
My uncle Charlie passed away about a year ago and his request was to scatter his ashes over the Satilla River.
The year 2012 marks the 450th anniversary of Jean Ribault discovering the Satilla River and saying it was the “fairest, fruitfullest and most pleasantest of all the world.”
Soon after I had my heart trouble in 1999 and was fishing with Ralph Gurley we talked about how beautiful the Satilla was and lots of people that cross it every day don’t even have a clue what beauty this natural resource has. I made up my mind then that I was going to learn how to make pictures and show the rest of the world. One thing that I still will not do is doctor a picture using any photo editing software. I believe this river is beautiful just the way it is and does not need any help. I just need to be in the right place at the right time and capture it.
I feel like I have been blessed, lucky or just fortunate to catch some of the things I’ve been able to see through my camera lens: two owls together on a tree, woodpecker feeding babies, two otter playing, blue herons, egrets, fox, deer, raccoon, squirrels, ducks and lots of trees. Some of the notables that have my river pictures are former President Jimmy Carter, Sonny Perdue, Jack Kingston and the head of the DNR Mark Williams will have one on their meeting room wall as soon as I bring it to north Georgia.
I hope this has given a little more insight as to why I love this river so.