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Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Last Call At The Chickee: A Poem By The Daddy

Last time, we spoke of developers ("empty suits") tearing down the Vanderbilt Hotel and a popular bar set on Naples Beach called Chickee On The Beach. They built condominiums on it, but no they now sit empty, because, due to a downturn in the economy, people are no longer buying condominiums at 3 to 4 million a unit.

The daddy was there for the closing of The Chickee, and wrote this poem:

Last Call At The Chickee
by Mac Walton, aka MacDaddy







Sunset at The Chickee

Once pat
rons from states far and near, countries familiar, dear,
emerged from The Vanderbilt* each January to unite, to sing at the bar,
to sing in their native tongue and wave beer glasses in good cheer.

Now,
empty suits huddle and whisper low
so the bartender won’t hear,
the one with blank eyes, no place to go.

(2)

Once families took refuge from a blazing sun,
sat under
wide umbrellas and calmly chatted the noon away.

Now,
large men with protruding stomachs and muscled biceps
chomp on chili dogs and gulp down tap beer like
water from a fountain, waiting for an empty suit to
give the signal to bulldoze it all.

(3)

Once patrons eagerly embraced bartenders and smiled goodbyes
at the day’s sunset, vowing to return to this sunny bar, this
breezy ocean, this soft and warm white sand.

Now,
an eerie silence sings verses beneath a wailing wind,
dances across bar stools, patio tables and chairs, saying
time and time again, “Yes, this is the end.”

(4)

It’s sunset at The Chickee, a bow to a developer’s refrain,
"Condos are good for Naples," when even gentle winds
and sweet tradition lose out in the end.

(5)

Now,
Before giving signal, an empty suit yells “Another round”
preempting a final bow to "progress" long underway
amid a swirling wind, above a bartender's cry below,
the one with blank eyes, with no place to go.

“Last call!”

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Mr. MacDaddy,

This is a wonderful story and it has your touch of providing the reader/me with a mental picture of the Chickee and the Florida beach.

You have also painted a clear picture of how intentions to improve an area or attempt to increase one’s financial situation can impact a gift such as the Chickee.

Thank goodness for MEMORIES and thank you for letting me have a touch of the Chickee by sharing this story.

Evelyn

judy said...

i'm glad you posted the poem. i was curious. it's really powerful to see it here - the prose and poetry of it, the enormous sense of history and loss. great writing, daddy. sad story.

rainywalker said...

daddyBstrong,
The tears on the bar, the sweat on the rail. In your mind we have touched them forever.
rainy

Anonymous said...

Love the poem, MacDaddy.

I want to write a poem using race horses as a metaphor for business / greed types. Snorting and single-minded, conditioned to win, and to obey their jock's admonishments to run faster, make more money, etc.
etc.

Verna

Solomon said...

Great poem MacDaddy,

It is always hard to look back and remember something like the Chickee, and try to fathom what the suits are thinking when the tear out a piece of history for their own gain, not really caring what happens, as long as they get theirs. We sometimes things just don't work out as planned for the empty suits.

In rememberance of the Chickee I say "Don't count your chickens before they hatch!"

MacDaddy said...

Evelyn: As a person who works in housing and as an advocate for residents, this poem may have been of special interest to you. Thanks for taking the time to read and digest it.

Judy: Welcome and thanks for the kind words. I don't know if you've visited before. Hey, sign up as a follower on my sidebar and come back. Blessings.

Rainy: Yes!...The people in the neighborhood walk on the beach and see this eyesore each. Life is full of unintended consequences and ironies.

Verna: Thanks and the poem idea sounds great.

Solomon: Welcome and thanks. Your first visit to the blog? Hope you sign up as a follower on my sidebar, come back and share your own stories. The blog is not just about me. It's about you as well. Blessings.

Nun in the Hood said...

Dear MacDaddy,
This poem and the previous story are proof positive that the very best writing comes out of one's LIVED experience.......

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

Poignant poem . . .

So many bulldozed buildings in my town with huge plans for shopping centers and high-priced housing forgotten or put on hold because of the economic downturn. . . makes it look so ghostly. An eyesore, indeed.

They always talk about "improving" but the money and "improvements" only benefit a handful while the rest of us deal with the mess, the loss or both.

Revvy Rev said...

So much we have lost in the chasing of dollars. So much it has cost. So much we have given, only to receive so little. Your somber but great poem says it all.

MacDaddy said...

Chi-Chi: There can be no better example of our distressed economy than the one you gave. And why continue to build a shopping mall if people no longer have money to shop there? Thanks.

Rev: You say it so well. I got you linked.