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Monday, August 24, 2009

Camak Stone, border marker between Tennessee and Georgia, is missing

click to enlarge The Camak Stone, seen here in an undated photograph, was swiped from Tennessee over the weeked
  • The Camak Stone, seen here in an undated photograph, was swiped from Tennessee over the weeked

Hark! The Camak Stone, a 14,000-year-old relic placed upon the invisible line separating Georgia from our fellow apes in Tennessee, hath gone missingeth!

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that a volunteer for nearby State Line Cemetery, Freddie McCulley, noticed the [Camak Stone] was gone after discovering some vandalism at the cemetery.

A surveyor placed the Camak Stone in 1826 at what he thought was the 35th parallel marking the border between Tennessee and Georgia. The marker has become a source of controversy between the two states in a battle for water rights in the Tennessee River.

Georgia lawmakers have argued off and on since 1818 that the state's border was actually a couple of clicks farther to the north — which would mean we'd have dibs on the Tennessee River and it bounteous flows. In 2008, some bills were introduced and a commission to discuss the matter was supposed to convene. But from what we've heard, there hasn't been much movement on the issue.

But something strange is afoot.

One state lawmaker asked by CL about this mysterious occurrence said they "[imagined] God nudged it back to the 35th parallel — a line draw by His own finger that no man shall cast asunder."

We're more inclined to believe that the Mighty Camak, Ruler of Malthusia, awoke from his slumber in the pits of Xibalba to reclaim his supernatural kidney stone, which he placed upon the Earth to remind us that we are simply His fodder. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sorry about that. Gov. Sonny Perdue says he's not behind the stone's disappearance. Tennessee officials tell the Associated Press that Georgia needs to think about land-use and water conservation instead of dipping its straw in Tennessee's water.

What's interesting, and a whole other topic of discussion, is that this argument, as Jay Bookman aptly put it in an Aug, 4 column, is more about prosperity than a natural resource. Proponents of moving the border say that the Volunteer State draws all its water upstream from the spot where Georgia "touches" the Tennessee River. If Georgia tapped the potential water source, we'd actually be "downstream" from our neighbors. They'd get first dibs on withdrawing water. They could build a ton of reservoirs to store it, much like our state lawmakers are proposing, and we

In the meantime, all hail Camak.

(2001 screenshot from MovieImage)

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