Well, sometimes you don’t even have to wait that long. That’s where campfires come in. There have been a lot of major inventions over the eons. The toaster. The comb. Just as seen on TV products. The list goes on. But has there ever been as good an invention as the campfire? Maybe the wheel. But that’s splitting hairs. The truth is that the there’s really no other antidote out there for what ails the soul than spending some quality time around a campfire. At least for my money. And campfire’s are usually free. That’s the best part.
What exactly is the NFM? It’s the feeling that wells up into our hearts and minds when we gather around a campfire — the crackle, the glow, the aroma and the strumming. Here at Firelight Radio, we’re campfire inspired and guitar guaranteed. You’re always gonna hear a little crackling and you’re always gonna a little strumming. It’s where we get back to what’s important in life.
On today’s episode, we talk to a tree.
Actually, it’s the tree that does most of the talking.
Stay on afterwards for the exclusive interview after the song
Specifically I’m thinking melaleuca in the Big Cypress Swamp, and even more specifically than that I’m thinking about a botanist named Tony Pernas. This Bobby Angel classic was written some 20 years back when Tony announced he was leaving Big Cypress National Preserve for the greener pastures of the Everglades and sung at his farewell party. Backstory: Tony had mentioned to me in passing that One More Cup of Coffee was his favorite Bob Dylan tune. Thus when it came time to write his farewell song, it only made sense to use the same chords.
More backstory: As is the case with all prodigal sons, Tony eventually returned — we call it “the missing 15 years” — and eventually went on to become the Resource Management Chief of Preserve. Fast forward the clock eight years later, and word just broke: After over 40 years of government service, Tony is retiring. Or “hanging up the ax” as exotic plant eradicators like to say. Not to worry: Tony will still be involved in a Phantom 2.0 type of way (i.e. filling swamp-rat extraordinaire Fred Dayhoff’s old shoes).
To say that Tony will be leaving behind a void is the understatement of the year. And by void, I mean all the melaleuca trees he cut down. Be sure to stay on for the interview after the song to hear Bobby Angel riff on comparisons to Bob Dylan, what makes Bob Dylan and Michael Jordan great, why he gave up guitar for 20 years, and why melaleuca is such a scourge.
Of the swamp’s most famous (and orneriest) WWI veteran.
Stay on after the song to hear the interview
Old Jim Dill was a friend of mine, a hermit who live at the end of the line. A man who didn’t have a lot to say. A man who died but never went away.
He kept his medals and he kept his gun, when returned at the end of World War I. But somehow things weren’t the same, so he left it all behind and he went away. Into the swamp to the end of the road, where he build him a cabin and called it home. ‘Coon and a gator he kept as a pet. Orneriest man you’ve ever met. Old Jim Dill was a friend of mine, a hermit who lived at the end of the line. Didn’t say much didn’t have a phone. Wonder if he ever felt alone.
Didn’t change at all and then it changed real fast, the new guard breaking away from the past. They chopped the trees and dug the earth, with not a care for what it was worth. Troubled by what he saw, but so goes the swamp under frontier law. Only thing them the didn’t want, was run-in with the hermit of the swamp. Old Jim Dill was a friend of mine, the hermit who lived at the end of the line.
Guarded his home with a gun and a horse, ‘til the day he was killed by a snake on his porch. Venom punctured through his hide, finally killed the pain inside. Comforted by a nurse at his bed who held his hand to the very end.
Old Jim Dill is a friend of mine, think about him when I pass the sign. Dead end then and a dead end to most, haunted by Jim Dill’s ghost.