Tuesday, January 5, 2010



This story I posted on my other blog in June 2008
Here is Part I of III 


The year 1966 is one which lives in my memory, mainly for the events here described. I had come to Florida two years before, to 'be a hermit'. For my vacation during the summer of '66, I determined to get a taste of the hermitage. So, for my two weeks in the sun and fun, I chose to get myself planted on a small spit of an island south of Marco Island--the objective, to 'play hermit' for a week or so...I think it was ten days.

I rented a tent, and all the equipment which could fit on a small boat, and hired a fellow to float me down to this 'sugar loaf' spit of sand in the Gulf of Mexico. And of course, it goes without saying that I loaded onto that little runabout several cases of beer, one case (12 quart bottles) of my favorite (the cheapest) vodka of the day and six quarts of Bourbon (to compensate for my bland vodka dietary choice). Ice, two dozen cans of tuna, one dozen boiled eggs, heck I don't know what else, it didn't matter. Ants got to the food before me, since I mostly drank the first couple days.

As soon as this man dropped me, and helped to unload my gear (don't break the glass!), he sped away, maybe glad to be rid of me--with the promise that in ten days he'd return. Well, at last alone, I was ecstatic!

This was HEAVEN! I ran around like a crazed child, alone on his private playground. Me, the hermit! My dream of thirty years had come true, at least in "trial" form. I cavorted (yes, cavorted) in the water, bare-footed, and bare-ass'd. I really thought maybe the water there was contaminated, because it had a certain foreboding red color, all around me was this red-tinted water. THEN it happened that reality set in. I had been running around like a crazy child with no shoes, on an old oyster bed, and the "red" was my own blood. Yep, my (by now!) VERY sore feet bottoms were shredded. Looking at my feet bottoms I was shocked to see all the cuts, some rather deep--and the blood, MY blood all in the water and on the beige sand. 44 years later, thoughts of this night's events make me cringe.

Now I became concerned...no doctor, no medicine, no First Aid kit...so first-things-first, I took a huge pull from a vodka bottle, and knew that I was going to soon be wasting some of the precious liquid on my FEET. If whoever reading this is an alcoholic, they will immediately know what absolute TRAUMA it was for me to pour vodka, AND Early Times (forgot to mention the Whiskey!) onto my feet. Oh! How then I cried. Not for the burning or painful feet, but OH! the wasted booze, Oh! Woe is me!

So, for the next days (daze!) I walked about wearing a tee shirt wrapped around each foot, using a driftwood cane for support. I did not know God at that time very well, I mean He and I were at odds, at least I was.

But, again, to that first night. On the radio--about dusk--it was announced that a Tropical Depression had formed over Everglades City, about 10 miles from where I sat, painfully nursing myself with the only anesthesia I knew, in the darkness of a warm, June night. Well, that storm came thundering full blast at my island, the water kept rising, I'd check it every half hour, and moved my tent several times that night, walking on two bloody stubs. I stayed very drunk, but could not avoid the dangerous situation which was before me. There was nowhere to go, no hills, and the water kept rising. In a drunken stupor I fell fast asleep.

You'd think my 'First-Night' story might end here. Wrong! Since this blog has become waaay out of length-bounds for a simple daily log reading, the "rest of this story" will be on tomorrow's posting, that's Wednesday night. It's much more interesting than today's, so don't miss it. I promise a good story!



That Gal Kiki said...

I can't wait!!!


emilyism.com said...

Me either! What a cool story, maybe not cool to go through then, but super cool to tell later! I am sooo excited too read the rest! E

clean and crazy said...

your work just gets better and better every time i stop by!!

Annie said...

My goodness! That sounds both funny and scary.

Anonymous said...

It's turning into a hell of a camping trip so far!

Kim A. said...

You went to an island. I went to the Jax beaches when I was 18 just because I had never been to Florida. No money, no sense, only a curiosity that seemed more important than job, school, family or facing my problems.

Anxiously awaiting part II


Nevine said...

And I'm waiting to find out the rest!!! Oh, Steve, what have you NOT done?

Syd said...

This reminds me of a Carl Hiaasen book and the character Skink. If you've not read some of his novels, I think that you would enjoy them. Skink is a kind of hermit who goes naked most of the time and eats road kill--interesting guy. He was also the former governor of Florida.

JStar said...

Ouch, my feet are hurting...This sounds like that movie with Tom Hanks lol

Fireblossom said...

1966 was the year my mother bought her "new" living room furniture, which she still had as of a couple years ago when she moved into assisted living. Her existing living room furniture was all wedding presents in 1939. She still had lots of that, too. Wild woman, my mother.

Funny what we wished for in drinking days. The things i thought would be paradise, then, I would run to avoid, now.


FB :-)

Shadow said...

oh i do remember this. i kinda snagged me and i've been hooked to your blog ever since...

Ed G. said...

Wow. I had something similar happen to me (What's that weird red in the water?) but not in isolation like you describe.

I can't wait to see if you survive this!!!

Blessings and aloha...

Steve E said...

GAL KIKI: It's coming, but meanwhile, do something--take a nap, eat, go shopping --grin!

EMILY: Calm down, girl, this happened long before you were born--grin!

CLEAN AND CRAZY: You are SO nice to me. Thanks!

ANNIE: Scary...yes. Was NOT so funny!

SECRETIA: Yeah! There's MORE...

KIM A: Yes that was ME...more or less on a whim, left wife and child to be alone...how's that for societal living?

NEVINE: NOT done? When ya lived as long as me, if ya haven't done it...well, FORGET it!

SYD: Yep, I heard of Skink. Didn't we used to call him Stinky Skinky? LOL

JSTAR: Thanks for visiting and comment
I sure enjoyed YOUR place while I was there (blog!).

FIREBLOSSOM: You GOT it! THAT'S what I've learned these past 35 years...Run from Paradise--big grin!

SHADOW: You're excused from class for three more days. You passed your tests here (ALL of them!) 18 months ago!

ED G Yep I survived--however, some body parts are missing--no I will NOT tell you which ones!!!

Skip O said...

Your shopping list reminds me of a cartoon I once saw:
Three hunters are standing at the open rear hatch of an SUV. The caption reads, "Ten cases of beer, a case of bourbon, a case of scotch, a case of gin and a loaf of bread. What are we going to do with all of that bread?"

It was funny when I first saw it. Today, I am sober and it is even funnier, but in that different way

Dulce said...

This seems taken out from Robinson Crusoe. I can hardly believe you did that and you were like that...

I was only one year old babeee then...
Hey- where are the photos which prove you were there? (grin)
(...Or where are the photos from you at that age?)

Does it mean I can go back 18 months to your blog and find the rest of the story?

Nope! I'll wait for tomorrow's part

REALLY interesting Hermit Steve.


Manon Doyle said...

What a start to a *camping trip*! Looking forward to reading more.... I think...lol!
Thanks for your comment on my blog today..... you made me laugh.... yes... you did!
I won't make my comment *blong*...lol!

Anonymous said...

This story is one of the first things that I associate with you. I remember you writing about this and it has stayed with me.

I will tune back in tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Carol said...

Woww, how amazing it gets. And it's all around the corner waiting for us if we get too far from program.

Tall Kay said...

And I thought you were just going to run out of booze...almost as scary and painful! Looking forward to what happens next!