The wait is over…

For Charley,

 with love…

Book Cover

On the night of October 9, 1966 after a weekend of being placed on standby, Federal Treasury Agent Charley Covington received a call from ATTD higher-ups in Atlanta, Georgia releasing him from his stay in Valdosta, Georgia. According to accounts contained in the widow’s journal, several phone calls came in that day, most of them from people she didn’t know. One of them was from a known felon and snitch who reminded Charley about the illegal and clandestine activities out on the Clyattville-Nankin Road every Sunday night and another from a man about a car. Having spent the better part of the weekend arguing with his wife over a rumored affair, the lure of an evening’s ride away from home may have been just what the doctor ordered to clear his head. Before he left he put his six-year-old daughter to bed, hollered a weak goodbye to his son, and agreed to a cup of conciliatory coffee with his nearly estranged wife. When his wife confessed the pot was empty and that he would have to wait while she made a fresh one, he noted the time and promised he would be back shortly after it was brewed.

                Two and a half hours later he was found lying dead with two bullets to the head just before the Withlacoochee River on the Clyattville-Nankin Road outside of Valdosta. By the time his body was cold, the rumors were hot. For eighteen days federal and local agency officials danced around the purported scandal of the Federal Treasury agent like a herd of long-tailed cats at a Southern lawn party. Eventually they closed the case, declaring his death a suicide and its taint a blight upon their shared profession. Odd as it may seem, if Charley Covington hadn’t lost his life in the middle of the Clyattville-Nankin Road that rainy night in 1966, he could never have come back to save mine forty-four years later. I know this to be true because in the summer of 2009, I began to write his story and several chapters in I stopped.

As a professional writer I have learned that if a story refuses to write itself, there are but two reasons why. Either a story is not yet ready to be told, or a story is not yet ready to be heard. In the case of Charles Gordon Covington, both reasons appeared to ring true.  So I put down my pen and waited for further instructions from the cosmos as to what to do next.

Seven months later the cosmos finally answered…


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