Phil was born on New Years Day, 1943 in his maternal grandparents’ home in the rural, unincorporated town of Pine Mountain Valley, Georgia, while his father was in the South Pacific theater of World War II.
Pine Mountain Valley is situated between two mountains of the Appalachian Mountain range; it is “twenty-five miles from anywhere,” as Phil puts it, with Warm Springs to the east, West Point to the west, LaGrange to the north and Columbus to the south. While Franklin D. Roosevelt was receiving treatment at Warm Springs, Georgia, he would ride to the top of Pine Mountain to enjoy the view. He had the idea of creating a community in the Valley below as a WPA project.
When Phil found his first arrowhead, he was hooked, The area had been the ancient home and hunting grounds of Native Americans, but they left little mark of their occupation. A few earthen mounds, potsherds and projectile points were the only evidence of an age past - that and the many place names that bear the influence of the Muscolgulge/Creek language.
He spent most of his free time roaming the banks of nearby creeks and rivers, and the valleys and plains between the mountains looking for the artifacts of these enigmatic people and trying to imagine the life they lived.
This story is the product of that imagination.