Monday, May 20, 2019

SNAKE!

Watch out it's a snake, he's wearing denim, he's shooting venom
you can find him in the back seat of your car
you can find him in the neighborhood bar

Partial Lyrics from Rickey Godrey's song The Snake, from the album Let The Big Dog Eat

That brings back some pleasant memories of time well spent messing about with music. I had Rickey's album on vinyl in the 80's at my then home in South Carolina. Rickey and I hail from the same hometown. Matter of fact we grew up just blocks apart but we didn't become friends until we were young adults. I had heard of him as a teenager because he fought mightily with the South Carolina school system for a right to an education (a battle I later had to fight for myself, for different reasons.)

Rickey had been schooled at  the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. He wanted to attend the local high school. The SC education system wanted him to stay put. Finally he won over and was able to enter the high school where he met my brother (now deceased). They used to battle wills over a chess board. The high school was in awe of this young blind man who spent his weekends playing in bands, most notably Garfield Ruff which was picked up by Capital Records.

Speed forward a few years... at that time my career in the states had me working around assorted businesses that were connected by music and musicians. I was tired of a long commute and had bought a home near my office.

Rickey and other musicians  would often visit and play music at my house. In those days I had a piano, a guitar, microphones, speakers and the ubiquitous stereo with a turntable.

I was trying to remember the words to his snake song, so I decided to call him up. I figured I would get his voice mail, he's a very busy musician, always on the go.   But he answered and I was doubly surprised. We were both almost talking at once, where are you? I'm in Nashville, where are you, I'm in a tiny town way out in the country in Florida, somewhere between Orlando and Tampa. 

We were so busy yacking it up that um well, I forgot to get the lyrics to The Snake. Ooops!

So to make a short story even longer... this morning I was trying to get ready to go ride my bicycle and take the garbage to the dumpster. 

When SNAKE!

I do not like snakes. So I am always startled when I encounter one. I tend to say something like "agggggggggg" at the top of my lungs and typically run the other direction. 

I had already stuck a small grocery bag of garbage in my rear bicycle basket. I had walked back inside to go get water when I realized my water bottle was still on the bike from last evening. As I reached over the front basket to grab the bottle I wondered why there was a big rope dangling there then I realized there should not be a rope there, but I was inches away from a very long rat snake's head!

SNAKE!

AGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!




When I moved here to this little lot in the middle of nowhere in Florida,  I threw up this  bicycle shelter after hurricane Irma, with a little help from a friend and some judicious dumpster diving. I found the gray tent tarp in a dumpster at Wickham Park in Melbourne, Florida a few years back. It looked brand new. Folded up it took scant room in my motorhome and was just one of those useful things riding around with me. It sure did come in handy making this little bicycle shelter. Even though my lot came with a shed, the bicycle does not fit inside the shed very well at all. The way the lot is laid out and the way the shed is located with the door and so on, it's just not workable to put the bike inside the shed sad to say.

My bicycle cover had become wore out from the sunshine and was no longer waterproof or weatherproof since it was ripped and more or less dry rotted from tons of use. I had taped it up when I was sitting in North Georgia after running from hurricane Irma (fall of 2017). However Irma sent torrential rains to north Georgia (I was camping near Helen, Georgia, the little town converted to look like a place in the Bavarian alps.) and knocked down a lot of trees which took out the power, cable, internet and water since the camp was on well water pump. Those pesky pumps like elec-tricky to run. Afterwards, I discovered my bicycle cover was not exactly waterproof. In those days in my motorhome, I traveled with the bicycle on the back of the RV on a homemade bike rack.

Returning to Florida and my RV lot home, I wanted something to help protect my bicycle from the elements.

I did go get help but I managed to snap a blurry picture of the snake. My hands were shaking!

He was LONG and the man who helped me says he was a rat snake and somehow in the removal the snake escaped and ran for cover down a hole under the shed.

Which is how I came to be sitting here trying to remember the lyrics to

Watch out it's a snake, he's wearing denim, he's shooting venom
you can find him in the back seat of your car
you can find him in the neighborhood bar...

That song is of course about a different kind of snake...