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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8
Because this subject will grow too large for the "Mythical Creatures" forum, I am giving it its own forum. Go back to Mythical Creatures to see the beginning of the discussion on painters.

Now, let's prowl.

(Also see article, attached below.)

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"Painter," like other regional words, has been dissed by upholders of standard speech. H.C. Knight, a writer about the South and West, stated, in 1818. “Some words are…used by the lower classes in society, pronounced very uncouthly, as…painter for panther.”

As it turns out, according the the Harvard Dictionary of American Regional English, “panther” is also a regionalism. When Europeans first came to America, they said, “panter.” Even spelled the other way, the “th” was pronounced “t,” as in “Thomas.”

In the summer of 1955, when I was nine years old, my family moved into a new house my dad had built in Dark Corner where we had property.  The place is in southwest Rutherford County.  The closest neighbor was  a mile away and there were no houses between us and the Broad River which was nearly two miles to the south.  As soon as the weather turned cold that fall, each night for several weeks, we heard a short blood curdling cry from a hill top not far from the house.  After this had gone on for a few nights we began to hear a response from a short distance below the mouth of Green River and from the side of Broad River nearest to our house.  The answering call was of longer duration  and sounded like a woman screaming in a very shrill voice.  For a few nights the screaming sound got closer in proximity to the original call.  After that, we  heard only the shrill scream about once or twice a night but from closer to our house.

My Grandfather Bradley knew a man in Madison County who had bear dogs that were supposed to be good at running Panthers away.  So, he borrowed three of the dogs and brought them to our place.  As soon as we heard the scream, he turned the dogs loose.  They took off in the direction of the scream at full bay.  The next morning two of the dogs came back, but one of them was cut all over with deep gashes that took many stitches to sew up.  The other dog never came back and the owner wouldn't let Grandpa pay for it.  He said that he thought his dog was too smart to let a Panther corner it.

We didn't hear the Panther anymore that year, and we moved back to our old homeplace about five miles away during the late summer of the following year.  Grandpa Bradley moved into the new house and lived there for several years.  He heard the shrill scream of a Panther each fall for two more years.  But noone has heard it since.


Both of my grandfathers shared personal Panther stories with me from their younger years.   But these will have to wait for another day.  



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