My Return to Paradise - A Remembrance
Monday, May 14 2012 @ 11:51 PM EDT
Contributed by: Rougegorge
This past week, I visited my homeland...Florida...the sands from which I arose on this planet, not too long ago. I was very blessed to visit almost all of my very best friends that I made while living in Fort Myers, including the esteemed prestidigitator of this Web site. Southwest Florida holds a very dear place in my heart. It certainly felt like a homecoming! My travels have taken me away from southwest Florida, but only physically, I noticed.
I visited Manatee Park, where I once was fortunate to work with the remarkable Ms. Nancy Kilmartin, who still brings joy to countless children, local adults and tourists through her nature tours and educational programs at Lee County Parks and Recreation. I visited my old second home, The Fort Myers News-Press, and the dozens upon dozens of tireless journalists who labor thanklessly there or have moved on to other pastures. I stayed with my friend Eileen and visited my adoptive parents Jimmy and Dee, who are the best of the best of the best! I even saw my former partner and closest friend, Mike Murphy, thank God, because he sadly, tragically, left this planet just days after I returned home from Florida.
Many remember Mike Murphy for his unique music that he played around Fort Myers and Cape Coral for many years. He wrote and performed much of his on music, usually on his favored Martin 6-string, sometimes on his Martin 12-string or Tacoma 6-string. One of his most beloved songs was "Gertrude," about a hooker who took his virginity in New Orleans. This scrawny Texan with the reddish-gray beard was also fond of playing John Prine, Jimmy Buffett, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. His "Blackbird" and "Mr. Bojangles" were also favorites. I enjoyed singing with him on "Angel from Montgomery" and "In Spite of Ourselves." He even put one of the poems I wrote him to music, which is probably the highest honor I've every received. It was a poem about our love, which began eons ago, at the beginning of time.
So you see, that trip was timed perfectly. I only wish I could see him one more time. Fortunately, this Western girl will visit many Florida friends again when I return. I may be back soon, for Mike's memorial, the date of which has not been determined. In addition, I look forward to many happy returns.
Thanks for letting me vent!
Editor's Note: We are pleased as punch to have our long-time site member and F/T Colorado resident, Robyn M., contribute this month's Paradise Pondering!