The Quarry and the Death of a Rock Star

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how The Georgia Guidestones were built in 1980, just 40 miles from Athens, and I have never been there, much less heard of them. I want to go as soon as possible. Totally cool story!

Georgia’s granite is kind of interesting to me, too. I would love to see what Stone Mountain looked a thousand years ago, without the development around it, a dome of stone surrounded by forest. And then there’s the quarries. I have always found something very creepy about them. But one in particular, outside of Athens, was a destination for us as college kids. I can’t even remember now how you got there, but I know it was east of Athens, probably towards Elberton.

We would go out there when it was warm weather. You drove back on a wooded, deserted dirt or gravel road. I guess we were trespassing, but there was never anyone out there other than kids. There were actually at least two quarries (the pits themselves). There might have been more, but I don’t remember them. One was smaller, and had a sloped side to it at the time. We would lie in the sun, smoke and drink, and swim in the quarry. The water was cool and very clear in this pit, and the sides were not very far from the water. Everything about this smaller pool seemed blue and white and very bright.

The second one was VERY DEEP. The walls rose from the water, probably something like at least 50 feet. Maybe more? A hundred? The walls were a sheer drop, straight down. There were rickety old iron stairs or ladder running from the top down to the water. People would run off the edge and jump into the quarry. I never did it, as I am a big old wuss and very scared of heights. My friend and roommate Honey did it and my heart was in my throat the whole time. I thought she was one badass girl for doing it. I still think that she’s a badass.

There was also a huge crane there. I remember talking to a boy at a party one night in Athens. The next week, I heard that he had jumped from that crane to his death. I cannot remember his name.

The crane and the larger quarry, they seemed dark and foreboding. Awesome and ancient, even though they were man-made. I wonder if they look any different now – Seems that if they still use the quarry, it’s landscape would change between 1992 (or whenever it was we were out there) and today. Or maybe it looks as if no one has touched it. My God. 17 years.

This picture, found on Flickr, was taken in 2000. But the scene looks pretty much the same. I assume this is the same quarry.

Another photo to give you a feel of what it looked like, here.

One other reason i will never forget the quarry. I went there the day Kurt Cobain died. I was walking home from school. I am guessing it was March or April. I know it was spring. And i know it was still cool out, because I was wearing a coat. I was walking with Chris Bilheimer down the street in Athens, and we met a girl named Felicia. I don’t remember her last name. She worked with me at The Grill, and had a brother and sister. All three of them were nauseatingly beautiful people. She told us that Curt Cobain was dead. I remember being pretty stunned at first, but also thinking later that people got pretty upset over someone who wasn’t that great. Not that I didn’t love Nirvana, but come on. I never thought he was a complete God or anything.

I walked on home to my house off Pulaski. My roommate Scott was there, with Dave and Karen. I told them the news. We got in Karen’s jeep and drove out to the quarry. Someone took pictures, but it wasn’t me. Scott or Dave, if you read this and have the pictures, twould be AWESOME to see.

How is that for a cliched 90s story? And a totally disjointed blog post. Take this away from it: I want to go to these Guidestones. I want to go back in time and spend a day at the quarry with Ryan and Dave and Honey, Duke and Madison, or Scott and Dave and Karen. I still wouldn’t jump.

If you’re reading this and lived in Athens, did you go to the quarry? What do you remember about it? And where is it, exactly?


  3 comments for “The Quarry and the Death of a Rock Star

  1. September 16, 2009 at 11:37 am

    We were quarry-goers, yo. And my recollection of its location is just as vague as yours, I’m afraid.

    My college boyfriend of nearly 6 years, Jimmy, was in the Athens band Dayroom. The Dayroom boys and their girlfriends made semi-regular treks to the quarry. And for us, they often culminated in nude jumps, hands held protectively over private parts on the way down. I don’t know whose bright idea this was, but I do know once the ante had been upped, no one could remain clothed and stay respectable.

    I was way too big a wuss to jump off the big drop (I think it was about 60-75 feet), but one day Mike and I held hands and jumped off the smaller drop (about 30-40 feet, as I recall, and we were clothed this time).

    I hated every moment of that drop. I hated the launch, I hated the hang time, I hated the plunge, and I hated the landing. I am not one of those people who feels exhilarated after conquering fears. I just wanted to beat someone’s ass for daring me to do it in the first place. But damn, I loved me some cheap beer and quarry time.

  2. September 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve always thought that The Georgia Guidestones represent the sick and twisted paradigm of eugenics. The monument is totally creepy and the words behind it suggest a one world government. Completely reminiscent of what’s happening in politics today. Creeeepy.

  3. September 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Zach, agreed that the Eugenics portion is v. frightening, indeed. Still want to go see them. Have you been? And did you go to the quarry? Don’t think i ever went with you, but not sure.

    Courtney, i bet we have crossed paths. i remember that band and know that some of my friends were friends with them. (Natalie and Camille come to mind, i think.)

    Do we know each other? How did you come across my blog? Anyway, glad you dropped by. Love your description of the jump.

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