Poetic Injustices

Wild Man of The Okefenokee!

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by Braswell D. Deen, Jr.

It was about the year l935; I was barely alive, ten years, of age.

I grew up in deep South Georgia, Bacon County. Alma, was the town,

Where I first began to develop a lifetime love affair, and passion

For origins, just where do we come from? A question most profound!

Alma lies just about 35 miles north of the great Okefenokee Swamp.

With an Indian name, it is known as the land of “Trembling Earth.”

Who, would ever think that my hometown, would become famous, as

The site of a 20th century origins hoax, a pretext, a Piltdown rebirth?


An Alma  dentist, Doctor John R. Dedge, killed several goats before

He then methodically, selected a choice pair, of these goat horns,

And surgically implanted and fitted them on a low-browed Black Man

And, put him in a cage with bars, pulled by his car while adorned.


Dr. Dedge with his good friend caged, the "Wild Man Of Okefenokee"

Toured  America as a museum attraction. They collected, much money.

Purporting to be Evolution's Exhibit A of half man and half beast,

Many who paid to view the freak, thought it weird, but also funny.


The dentist, and, the wild man, going, from city to city, were as,

Happy as they could be, until they arrived, at Evanston, Illinois.

The Humane Society raised a row, making him dehorn his money-maker

Which broke the wild man's heart and put a crimp in the Dr.'s joy!


Eminent surgeons from all over the country, had carefully examined

This horned blackman, now a wild man, without finding any sutures.

Experts were unable to detect how Dr. Dedge had inserted and made,

And fitted the goat horns. Was he a plastic surgeon of the future?


This is all a true story, arousing then, my young curiosity. It is

All documented in the Baxley News, at Baxley, Ga., of June 9, l938.

A news article, entitled, "An Interesting Family, in Old Appling,"

Was written by distinguished journalist George D. Lowe, this date.


This bizarre story originating in Alma, Bacon County was recounted

By the local Historical Society, in one of Alma's good newspapers.

Perry Streat, donated the space to the local society in the paper,

And Historical Director, Mrs. Bonnie T. Baker, recorded the caper!


From the d'Edge family, over in France, came one Isaac Dedge; then

A distinguished son Captain Joseph Gore Dedge of the Civil War era

Then his son  the dentist and surgeon John R. Dedge; the latter two

Are buried in the same plot in Alma's municipal Rosehill Cemetery.


When as a student in 1948, at the University of Georgia in Athens,

A visiting Ph.D. scientist, came to our campus, urging all of us,

To study hard and learn more about our ape ancestry animal past as

This would enhance our education, and, would add up as a big plus!


Later, a lawyer friend discussed this subject, in detail, with me.

He was sincere when he suggested that we had all come from a fish;

That's about when I decided I'd had enough of this kinda talk and,

Would do my own research as to all sides, before buying that dish.


After reading several hundred science books, on Abrupt Appearance,

Devolution, and (slow and quick) Evolution, the picture was clear.

What we do know, data, evidence, and logic all stack up, about 99%

Favoring an Abrupt Appearance; the other two bringing up the rear.


But the real issue raising its ugly head, is the short changing of

Differing views in the textbooks, used by students in the schools,

Where, only data supposedly supporting the sacred cow of evolution

Appears; non-ape ancestry notions, are disallowed. An unfair rule?


A London man was once court awarded, some 30,000 pounds in damages

When a local newspaper publisher labeled him, of a different race.

What about authors and publishers of textbooks, with only, the ape

Ancestry theory? A libel of your family pedigree? Is this, a case?


A grocery man, selling underweight butter, or, using false scales,

Or, advertising adulterated foodstuffs, in the courts, has to pay.

How stands all the Elite Educational Establishment publishers, and

Professionals, who slant and suppress?  A one-sided science today?


Truth in lending, truth in advertising and truth in honest weights

And measures, are today by legislation set forth and are required.

Surely students in the marketplace of ideas, in schools, colleges,

And such are entitled to no less! This much is as always, desired!


My home community of Alma, has now become widely known, for Beauty

Queens, Blueberries, Better Hometown Champions, a real Model City,

And, for hard-working, progressive people So, when considering the

"Wild Man of Okefenokee", episode, please just have a little pity!


Also remember the rest of the pattern, picture puzzle, a Pandora's

Box, and what some refer to, as a Nebraska Man, "pig in the poke,"

And, the missing link, "Java Man", (a mishmash of orangutan bones,

Discovered by Dr. Eugene Dubois). Man's forerunner, or a big joke?


A lawyer, named Charles Dawson produced mythical Piltdown Man (now

Acknowledged a fraud), from some chimpanzee jaw fragments of bone.

A monument, was built to him. His assistant, a Dr. Smith Woodward,

Attained knighthood. We ask where in the world has the truth gone?


Peking Man's claim for fame, today the bones have all disappeared.

The Scopes Trial, exhibit, Nebraska Man drawings, based on a tooth

Of a pig; maybe, it's the first time, a pig ever made a monkey out

Of a man; but all these documented examples, are really the truth!

Thus, goes the, true story, of this, "The Wild Man of Okefenokee!"

And, another example, of hot air evolution, hokum, for all to see!

Braswell Deen