Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Written November 17, 2000 – 11:25 a.m.

11-15-2000  The Bamberger Ranch, somewhere between Blanco and Johnson City, Texas. It’s 5:30 in the morning, a roaring fire in the enormous fireplace built into a gargantuan limestone wall.

We left Pensacola about 8:30 Tuesday morning, only having arrived for our “winter migration” from the North Carolina mountains on Sunday night. A cold front had arrived, bringing bright sun and blue skies. I didn’t want to leave. And yet there is something about the drive that I like, especially crossing the 20 mile Atchafalaya Swamp Bridge. The Swamps, rivers and tidal water — I wouldn’t say humans are intruders here, but they do seem incidental. One could imagine bizarre interbreeding between species — a manigator, for example.

11-20 The Bamberger Ranch is in the heart of George W. Bush country. Bubba Ammens, the lead guide, is former Texas Governor John Connolly’s grandson, a fine, sweet, wistful 26 year old. A half circle of us stood in front of a fuzzy rabbit-ears TV picture this morning at 10 a.m. to hear a special news report on the disputed presidential election between Bush and Gore.

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