A few days ago I scoured the mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina on safari. Passing by lumbering black bears and the garbage-fattened raccoons, my quarry remained elusive. How could this be in the United States?
The places my quarry always dwelled were void of its presence, without a hint of its flushing past. Yes, the shelves were empty and no toilet paper could be found.
Even on the darkest of days one can find amusement and a smile in Matlacha Island, Florida, USA.
I have found little amusements around the world. In Portland, Oregon, “Voodoo Donut” contributes to “America’s Capital of Weird” and in Panhans, Lower Austria, “Nude in the Sauna” creates a totally unexpected surprise.
Recently, I have written about Coconut Pete and the Turtle Races which also provides a lot of laughs on Saturday evenings at Bert’s Bar and Grill in Matlacha, Florida.
Yesterday, I ventured to Bert’s to once more watch the turtle races only to find they had been cancelled because across the street the “Parade of Mermaids” was taking place.
This story is about the fun, annual costume contest featuring contestants as well as onlookers in Matlacha.
As a youngster growing up in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, seeing “critters” in the backyard such as rabbits, squirrels and occasionally a deer was commonplace. It just seemed to me that almost everyone had critters of some sort in their backyard.
Having traveled many places in the world and observing different animals, I developed an appreciation for the diversity of wildlife on every continent. Few animals are the same around the world. But they certainly are interesting. Everywhere there are new critters to discover and enjoy. This story is about discovering the Cape Coral Burrowing Owl.
In the 1960’s there was a popular television series called TheBeverly Hillbillies. In it Uncle Jed, a poor mountaineer, lived a peaceful, mediocre life in the mountains before striking it rich one day. That day was when “Texas Tea” bubbled up from his ground when he was shootin’ at some food. On moving to “Californy”, he and his family found a whole new world of swimmin’ pools and movie stars.
Similar to the Hillbillies, my good friend “Coconut Pete” moved to Florida where he found a whole new life in which he could go back in time to a simpler way of living the way Florida used to be.
One of his favorite hangouts is “Bert’s Bar and Grill” in Matlacha where every Saturday evening turtle races are held. This is my story about Coconut Pete’s favorite saying “enjoying mediocrity” and the turtle races at Bert’s.
Several months ago I began my ongoing tale about the exploits of my brother and several of his neighbors to grow giant pumpkins in their North Carolina neighborhood. This blog story is the final one in the series about the adventures of the pumpkin growers and their gourds.
During the past five years I have blogged about my adventures and observations of places, people and their cultures. To my surprise, my stories have been read by people in 73 countries around the world!
The worker statue in Mijas Pueblo in Spain reminds me that most of my stories sprang from adventures and explorations. These adventures began on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Spain.
This story, my 100th, is like a fireworks display… lighting up the sky with brilliant flashes with loud blasts! It commemorates those stories that I find most enjoyable.
This story is dedicated to those who have encouraged and inspired me to write and to those who read what I have written.