Eustis and his Mountain Strange – J.D. Brayton

Eustis and his Mountain Strange

Camping in the Franklin, North Carolina ruby mines with the family when a stumpy pint-sized rather unwashed-and very (very) friendly Local peckerwood  generously offers to share his mountain shine with me; a 14-year old baby-faced hippie kid (with shoulder-length blonde hair in ‘1968) who bade me follow ‘Eustis’ to his ‘vurry own personal secret sapphire location’ to pan for jewels. Eustis stays drunk, but I am quite unused to pure ‘shine’, am  bandy-legged wasted from corn liquor and less wary than usual – considering the fact that we were in a simple rural setting my guard was down, (after all-I knew ‘the equipment’ I was born with), and hell—who doesn’t want a hefty buzz while panning for Carolina rubies? Eustis is getting mighty liberal with his personal hands-on approach to ‘Tourist-Aid’ when I feel the urge to pee – which, after some difficulty in standing, I unzip and issue forth, birth equipment in hand, against a handy Ponderosa Pine.  Eustis is dumb-struck, he hides his mountain-man secret boner with his hands and a look of utter embarrassment and biblical guilt when he realizes that I’m not a (by North Carolinian mountain inbred standards), a willing citified horny female who was looking for mountain strange (while on vacation).  Ol’ Eustis, being mortified beyond reckoning and blushing sunset colors as bright Fall foliage, pulls two small rubies out of his own personal jar, begs me to take them free of charge and starts praying to God for forgiveness as he carries me(literally)back to the campsite to my waiting parents, drunk off my ass. He refused the tip.

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