places of peace…




florida scene

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I think back in 1970 when I got into that old Ford station wagon belonging to someone I did not know-I think in some ways the door was opened by angels.
I had met the driver of the Ford at a going away party-a party for him…and learning he was leaving that night for Florida I quickly asked if I could ride along.
Earlier that day I had been interviewed by some police officers and the security officer at the department store I was working at in the maintainence division. A man I was working with was strong arming me into stealing for him-and sometimes with him….but always ‘for him’ as I never got anything out of it but scared. The police wanted to offer me something in exchange for offering up this guy and I denied everything and went home scared to death. These men were talkng about jail and I was’nt going to go through life in hell again knowing I was unable to defend myself and the weakness in me would make me crumble-and there I’d be like in barracks D.
Angels opened that door and got me a ride in that Ford. We drove all night and got to Jacksonville in the middle of the morning the following day. There a snag hit my personal plan…a plan I did not have. This guy was going to stay with family and I had no where to go. Somehow Gainesville Forida stuck in my head-I think because of the university and remebered talking to the education officer on the USS Vulcan about it as a college to choose ( the education officer had suggested I try for one of these schools that would offer an education in nuclear-which the navy was getting men learned in the field and I was offered a program that would have given me junior officer status and an education-the U of F had been mentioned as a school for this…)
So….I ended up in Gainesville and was dropped off on the corner of University Avenue and Waldo Road and never saw the fellow in the Ford again.
I spent my first day in the Jewish Cemetery on the corner there. It remains to this day one of my peaceful places. It was my first place of tranquility in Florida….and alone! Alone in a place of peace for the first time in my life right there in that grave yard. It was a very secluded spot even though it was on a busy corner…yet in there under the oaks it was as if nothing existed. It helps to understand…I also had taken a hit of LSD given as a going away gift from my driver….”we are leaving you here…so here’s a hit of acid”,and I took it and spent the most wonderful day with the privacy of this special place of rest.
Later in the evening after the LSD quit its charms I made a call to a man I knew from a church in DC who by another angels doing had a brother in a town shortly south of Gainesville-a town called Micanopy. It became my first home in Florida-the land of conception for my sons and a place where I bought my own place of rest…the historic Micanopy Cemetery , another great place of peace.
When I asked to be buried there the commitee had to vote on it and I had a mayor of the town speak up for me and was accepted so when the old ladies of the commitee met me to show me the availble spots I said I wanted to lay down on a few to see if I enjoyed the view…they laughed-but I was serious,so under a huge live oak and between two huge azealea’s I set my stone….on it it says that “they that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles and renew thier strength” which is taken from Isaiah in the old testiment of the Bible.
It seems fitting some how to be buried alone and seperated from the rest of my family…just like in life-but more final and to the point.

2 Responses to “places of peace…”

  1. Mike E Says:

    Awesome story, like all along you knew what you needed — a place to rest?

    Anyway keep on with this! I bet money you write a book about it all before you wind up in that Jewish cemetary for good…

  2. foxymommylady Says:

    Yes, indeed, Mr. Jay…perhaps a book????

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