Trapper Nelson

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Personal / Stories / Others’ /
@ K. 2002 03 11

I put this story online, then I took it down. Wanted to check a fact or two. Now I put it back up as written without having any clearer sense of the facts. Last time’s last sentence tells why I put it back up: that one fact is clear to me.
I love Jonathan Dickensen State Park. Jonathan Dickensen State Park is directly responsible for my living in Florida. In 1982 or so I arrived in Florida for a long postponed business trip, was delayed along the way, had to go back to NY and start over again … I finally reached Miami a week or two after the business decision-makers I’d gone to see (without appointments, advance warning, as always) had gone north for the summer. It didn’t matter how masterful my salesmanship was, there was no one in Florida who could write me a check.
I vented my frustration by buying a bucket of balls at every golf driving range I noticed, then miserably shanked practically everything as my sweat ran down onto my club shaft, destroying any possibility of a grip. I hated Miami. I hated Fort Lauderdale. It was like being in New York without the exaltation of being at the hub; or like being on Long Island without the benefit of knowing you’re within a few miles of civilization. I had to make a sale in order to get gas in order to get back to Hilton Head Island where maybe I could do enough business to fill the gas tank and head home. To make matters worse, I had thousands of dollars worth of blown glass in the trunk, consigned to me by an artist from South America desperate to make some quick cash to send her son to Princeton, and the rotten roads had broken half of the glass before I’d gotten south of Richmond. I gave up, limped north, pulled into Jonathan Dickensen State Park to sleep, woke up in blessed shade. Shade, shade, shade … from the Australian pines the government had planted in WWII to conceal shoreline defences. I went back to sleep for three more days, make a sale in Daytona, and was at my girl friend’s on Hilton Head for supper.

Jonathan Dickensen State Park Australian pines
thanx bloomtender

When that woman too drove me crazy, I bolted south: the only way I could live and write without clothing or shelter: camped amid the Australian pine, close enough to somebody’s electric outlet to plug in the Smith Corona. In the 90s, safely ensconced in Sebring, I made a pilgrimage back over to Jonathan Dickensen State Park, rented a canoe, caught some salt water fish in the brackish river, and listened to the rangers talk about Trapper Nelson.
Trapper Nelson lived up the Loxahatchee. Turned over a little cash with exhibitions of his Robinson Crusoe style for the public: had a few raccoons in cages, a couple of snakes, wrestled an alligator or two.
The State closed him down.

Other web sites says that Nelson committed suicide. I remember hearing that he was murdered (the State being a known enemy).
Now the State turns over a little cash with exhibitions of Trapper Nelson’s Robinson Crusoe style for the public: has a few raccoons in cages, a couple of snakes, used to wrestle an alligator or two.

I phoned the park the other day hoping to get a ranger on the horn who could review the story for me real fast. I was told that the park service has nothing written down on the subject: no web site, no museum, no library: it’s all oral: the rangers are the source. bkMarcus’ researches quickly showed that to be in error.
Having researched stuff in Highlands Hammock State Park, knowing that HHSP has a little “library” stuck back in the woods where a few local histories are kept, I doubt that JDSP has no written records: that none are available to the public. I’m going to go back and use my wiles to try to locate such documents. Meantime, I’m sure of this fact: the State is doing what it harassed Nelson for doing.

Dig it? The state wants the monopoly on everything: from terror, to drugs, to school, to ‘gator wrestling. You run a few numbers, the state puts you in jail. Then the state opens a lottery and puts up two story billboards in the heart of the ghetto.
The state shut down horse racing, then opened it back up itself. I’ve never figured out how come to the state remains shy of overt prostitution. Wait a year and they’ll take over the cigarettes and the heroin too.

Stories by Age by Theme by Others

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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