Big Golf Course Community To Be Built In And Over Plunker Caverns!
Even though Developer T. Earl Gerbley is wearing an ankle bracelet while awaiting sentencing on Federal racketeering charges; and, his Golf course development, Persimmon Spires at Poking Buffalo Lake - on sacred Chockasoutauk Tribal land - has been locked down by the Feds, Golf course development continues throughout our area. This week, another Luxury Golf Course Community is on the agenda for the Traylor County Planning and Zoning Commission. The site of the proposed community is west of the incorporated city limits of Persimmon Pines near the entrance to Plunker Caverns State Park.
Developer Winn Lousome, says his company, WinnSome Homes will build 341 luxury homes, 900 condominium units and an 18 hole Golf Course on the 500 acre parcel of land recently purchased from the Estate of the late Chockasoutauk Indian Chief, Barking Eagle. The new development will be called Traylor Park Estates. “We did a lot of research,” says Lousome. “The name Traylor Park Estates seems to pop to the top of every focus group. Plus, we already own the name traylorparkestates.com. So, it was kind of a no-brainer.”
Architect, Spack Limbly, Conceptual Planner with the firm Chalky and Dryer, says the development will have several unique features. “First, because we’re building right on top of the Plunker Caverns cave system - the largest natural cave network in this part of the world - we’ll be able to give some homeowners a basement that opens into the caverns themselves! This has never been done before...unless you count cavemen.”
But, luxury homeowners won’t be the only ones with one-of-a-kind amenities. Lousome says he’s planning a Golf Course that will be unlike any other in the world. “We have found a way to use the interior of Plunker Caverns for two holes of our course.”
Mr. Lousome pulled out a tattered blueprint and unrolled it on the floor. At the top left of the layout, the name of the new course is revealed: The Country Club at Plunkwater Trail. The Developer points to spot in the center. “Our clubhouse will be very near one of the Cavern entrances. It’s big; so big, we won’t have to use a lot of explosives to make it bigger. The Ninth and 18th holes will be played almost entirely inside the cave. And, I think it’s safe to say the 18th hole will be the hardest, darkest, most impossibly spectacular 600 yard par 5 in the history of Golf. It’s the first par five in history that requires you to hit it into a hole on your first shot. And, after players get inside the cave, we’ll make a fortune selling night vision goggles.”
Enthusiasm aside, three imposing forces are rallying against Traylor Park Estates and The Country Club at Plunkwater Trail. The environmental group, People Against Cool Things, the State Department of Parks and Recreation - and the County Planning and Zoning Commission have all stepped forward to voice objections and concerns about the plan.
Julene Huffaton, spokesperson for People Against Cool Things says “PACT stands four- square against the plan because it’s so cool it could literally destroy one of the great natural wonders in the world...or, at least Traylor County.” When asked what, specifically would change, Huffaton explained: “Well, when you blow a hole in a natural wonder, that’s going to change things.” When pressed for more, the spokesperson said, “Let’s not forget that Plunker Caverns is home to the Persimmon Flea-Back Bat. This is a unique creature which lives its entire adult life with its little back covered in fleas. If that bat disappears - what happens to the fleas?”
For his part, Developer Lousome says there is no proof that the Persimmon Flea-Back Bat will be endangered by the alterations that Traylor Park Estates would necessitate in Plunker Caverns. “The proof is in the pudding,” says Lousome as he sprays flea and tick repellant on his head. “Let me build this magnificent Golf Course development - and let’s see what happens. Isn’t that fair? Pick up that fly swatter and slap my head a few times.”
Gary DeRath, Chairman of the County P&Z says he expects fireworks to erupt as soon as he gavels the meeting to order. “And,” says DeRath, “I’d like to remind everyone that we have an ordinance in the County that makes indoor fireworks illegal.”
This reporter called State Parks and Rec Commissioner, Jumbo Leggins for a comment. He says he is “officially against the development of the interior parts of this irreplaceable natural treasure, because it would break several very old state laws. However,” said the former star running back for U. State, “the laws ARE old. If there’s a little somethin’ somethin’ in the kitty for the State Treasury, I imagine we can figure this out in a way where everyone benefits. Uh, this is off the record. Right?”
Record or not, there will be some loud voices in opposition to the plans. One of those is Purple Rayne Dibbledick, daughter of the late Chief Barking Eagle (who always preferred to be known as B. Eagle). “We sold my father’s land because we wanted money. But, we didn’t want this! We aren’t going to give the money back. But, we’d rather they develop something that would be meaningful to the community.” Dibbledick, wife of Proudfood Dibbledick, himself a Native American and Instructor of Natural History at Traylor Community College says, among the suggestions she has for Lousome: “A buffalo skinning area, a TeePee village made with Legos or maybe just don’t do anything. But, we won’t give the money back.”
Lousome says he’s not concerned. “I came here to Traylor County to try to make it a better place. If I can’t do that, I’ll do the best I can to make it a different place. And, if I can’t do that, I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that the folks who live here never forget my name.”
Larry Caringer has been writing humor for broadcast for a long time. Now, he's writing it for you. The stories, here, are from a collection of short stories from his book "Golf Beat: A Year in the Life of Persimmon Pines."