by Bargis Tryhol on 15/01/13 at 7:20 am
Blountstown, Florida – (SatireWorld.com)
The last thing 44 year old Van Pebbles thought he’d ever be was rich and famous, but a short walk across a familiar stream changed his life last September.
“I was walking Spookie my pet golden retriver when we decided to cross Parker’s Creek at the wade. It was Spookie who actually found it,” said Peebles as he lifted a four ounce gold nugget for cameras.
According to Florida State geologist, Professor Herman Fine, “gold strikes of any sort are extremely rare in Florida, but the one Mr. Peebles found on part of his 120 acre farm has stunned locals and started a feverish gold rush to the north Florida panhandle.”
Fine added, “a simple walk in a shallow stream bed has unearthed what some of us experts are calling a ‘motherlode’ of gold with prelimiminary estimates of a half-billion dollar windfall for Mr. Pebbles.”
Peebles kept the find secret until he could excavate the source of the gold which turned out to be an underground spring that directly feeds into Parker’s Creek. The narrow creek runs directly through the middle of his 120 acre farm. Peebles recalled that on the first week of panning he plucked almost $345,000 dollars from the creek. Peebles claims he’s walked the stream ‘a thousand times’ since he bought the land in 1988.
“A layer of leaves always covers the bottom of that stream which normally runs pretty sluggish, so I never noticed anything but a brownish color on the bottom. It was only when Spookie slipped and pushed away the leaf matter from the bottom that I noticed the gold.”
While chatting with an old friend, Peebles recalls that first week of gold mining…”I had no clue to what I was doing and actually had to go watch TV and check out that TV reality show ‘Gold Rush’ to see how to pan for gold! But there was so much gold, all I had to do was to just swirl the stuff around in the pan!”
Peebles immediately bought the nearby Holmstead Farm, which bordered Parker’s Creek. In two weeks of panning the farm yielded enough gold worth almost three times the Peeble’s purchase price. Ex-owner Leo Holmstead says, “I feel cheated! I thought Peebles was a nice neighbor, but he only gave me $167,000 in cash for my 27 acre spread, now he has millions!”
Land values in this usually sleepy northwest panhandle county have skyrocked once news of the massive gold strike leaked out. It’s not uncommon for land values quadrupling or more overnight. Shortages of many common things have caused concerns to locals since prices have risen too on normal things like gasoline, groceries, motel rooms, hip boots, and mining supplies.
Historically, early Spanish explorers like Ponce DeLeon and DeSoto looked for Florida gold after hearing reports that native Seminole Indians had ‘secret sources’ for raw gold and other precious minerals and stones, but no early explorer ever reported finding the exact sources.
Lifetime residents of Blountstown are mixed in their feelings about the current gold rush. Ida May Johnston, who’s lived in the county all her life, isn’t all that pleased with the influx of new resident, ” Lordy! Some of them are pretty rangey-looking and not very polite. You know, city slicker types and they keep messin’ with my Mexcan workers!”
Thaddeus Moore, who owns a spinach farm a half mile from the Pebbles farm, says he’s had to sew all the pockets up on his Mexican farm workers so they wouldn’t steal any nuggets from his field. “Yes, once I heard of the gold strike I started looking and did find me a few chunks in my fields, but it didn’t amount to all that much anyway, but I’ll still keep looking!”
So how does a simple country boy like Pebbles take to all of his sudden wealth? Well, according to Pebbles he’s just going to fix his roof, buy the wife a few doo-dads, and get the trampoline his twin sons have been asking for.
As the press conference wrapped up and cameras began to be packed into containers for the trip back home, Peebles smiled and waved to reporters as he and Spookie headed back to Peebles Mine in his brand new Nissan pick-up truck.