Uncovered gems


In the Everglades area of Florida is Chokoloskee Island. Chokoloskee is a gem of a place, anchored by the quaint Everglades City just down the road, across the causeway. The island is small enough and welcoming enough that, during my January here so far, I’ve met the neighbors, and their dogs and cats, and even been invited to dinner. I’ve been up close and personal (carefully, respectfully) with alligators, and pelicans, and all manner of Everglades wildlife. I now know what a mullet is and where to find the best key lime pie. Several of us check out the way high osprey nest, as best we can, almost every day, and some days we’re treated to Mr. or Mrs. majestically climbing out to look around and check us out. Beautiful skies in great weather or foul are a given.

I sorta’ met the fisherman on the other side of the canal who is quite taciturn by nature, but was on a roll that one night regaling us across the narrow water. I’ve been privileged to meet a multitude of folks in the city too (population 450 maybe?) - the kids who own the coolest café (she’s from Brazil and we’ve compared accents :); the Wednesday mornings coffee ladies; the gals from the very impressive local museum; the artist from Boston who is just here to paint. I was so fortunate to meet the charming and very impressive publisher of the local paper, The Mullet Rapper, and her equally impressive number one, off the charts, fishing guide husband (no, I can’t help you get on his boat; he’s booked solid for eternity!) They saved the most interesting house in Everglades City, previously owned by the most interesting woman in Everglades City, and so a private tour and lunch there was beyond a treat.

When I’ve had to be absent for the book, folks have been interested in my whereabouts, thus they’ve been interested in “Hey, God? Yes, Charles.” The Mullet Rapper will be publishing a review in their next issue. I can’t wait to share that with you. In fact, I just can’t wait to see what happens next.

I came to Chokoloskee, I thought, as a simple base for the book tour in Florida. Little did I know what awaited. Life’s a trip, isn’t it?


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