The Drive to Fish Creek

A few months ago I was invited by Trevor Fry to visit the Fish Creek mounds near Pollock, Louisiana.  The stars finally aligned yesterday and I headed down to watch archaeologist Jeff Girard, Steve Smith, from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Trevor begin to map the site.

I very rarely drive south on Hwy 165 but as a child we used to do it often.  I had a sister who lived in south Louisiana and we drove the old 2-lane highway frequently to visit her.  As I drove down to Fish Creek I felt myself passing over old memories even though the road is now a 4-lane and so many remembered places are gone.  I couldn’t help but think about the 30+ years that have passed between then and now, how the childhood version of myself could never have imagined my interest in ancient mound sites nor all the directions my life has gone during that time.

The old, haunting Alan Parsons Project song, Time, came on the radio and I really felt myself drift in and out of the past and present.  Thirty years is such a long time.  So how can I possibly imagine the thousands of years that have passed between my time and the moundbuilders?

Did they ever leave these sites for extended periods and then return to find things so changed?  Trails overgrown.  Lowlands flooded.  Thick woods burned by fire.  Their once pristine homes covered by brush.  Relatives they left behind, gone.  Maybe even newcomers taking their place.

What traces do we leave behind in these tangled places?  Not just physical remnants but what do we leave behind of ourselves that gets resurrected in future generations?  What of those moundbuilders is still alive inside of me?  Anything?  Nothing?  Something  must seep up from the land and enter our souls, if we are still.  And listen for it.

Time, flowing like a river.
Time, beckoning me.
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever.
But time, keeps flowing like a river.
To the sea.

More on the Fish Creek site … soon.

About Jenny Ellerbe

I am a photographer living, and working, in northeastern Louisiana.
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2 Responses to The Drive to Fish Creek

  1. Larry Bryant says:

    Jenny,
    Trevor Fry sent me the link to your article. When I hear or read articles about Fish Creek, Georgetown, Pollock, Lincecum Baptist Church, Camp Hartdner, the Iron Bridge (now concrete) and Little River my mind goes to those great places and my heart longs to live there. I spent most of my childhood summers, Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations with my mothers parents (Ernest and Bessie Rambo Sr.) on their farm. I was born and lived in Monroe until I graduated from NLU and entered the Army in 1977. I have since retired and live near Fort Polk, LA. I try to get back to Fish Creek and the farm as often as I can. I look forward to reading more of your articles concerning the Fish Creek site.

  2. Thanks for writing Larry. I really don’t know much about the area around Fish Creek but am anxious to do more exploring down there. I graduated from NLU a few years behind you.

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