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The Chris Chandler Show

  • I Dreamed I saw St Augustine (Florida)/Swimming to the other side

    We all live neath this great big dipper

    We are washed by the very same rain

    We are swimming this stream together

    some in power and some in pain

    We can worship this ground we walk on

    cherishing the beings we live beside

    loving spirits will live forever

    we're all swimming to the other side

    It was somewhere between the beginning of time and Well the end of time (a little closer to the end, I think, though I cant really say for sure.)

    Ya see I have been to St Augustine, Florida. And, I have drunk from the Fountain of Youth. I did. I stood in line for over an hour and paid eleven bucks for the experience and that was with the Triple A discount.

    The water from the Fountain of Youth was served to me in a disposable cup by a well-tanned teenager dressed in a red and gold conquistador outfit.

    I didn't think much of it until afterwards, later that afternoon. I was at my friend's place in the suburbs - and I found myself sitting by his pool - and there was that same kid the well tanned teenager still wearing his red and gold conquistador outfit - sunning himself in the water. He was held buoyant by a U shaped flotation device - a life-sized inflatable alligator - actually. The tail wrapped around one side of him, the mouth around the other. In its snout was a yellow beer coozy maintaining an ice-cold Corona.

    I am alone and I am searching

    Hungering for answers in my time

    I am balanced at the brink of wisdom

    I'm impatient to receive a sign

    I move forward with my senses open

    Imperfection it be my crime

    In humility I will listen

    We're all swimmin to the other side

    This kid seemed to be one of those people who never get off work... as if he actually enjoyed being employed by the chamber of commerce as if he had posted his list of hobbies to monster dot com, it matched him up with a conquistador suit and he recognized this as his true destiny.

    "Welcome to St Augustine," he said, with the voice had the snide self confidence of a camp counselor announcing a snipe hunt.

    "The oldest City in the Western Hemisphere It was here that Ponce de Leon and I looked for the Fountain of Youth I was only 19 years old at the time."

    Good Morning America How are you?

    "This guy has taken his character a little too far," I thought.

    Don't you know me I'm your native son?

    "Like George Bush thinking he really is the president."

    "I know most people think the Fountain of Youth to be just some foolish Indian myth."

    "I don't," I thought. "why else would they buy all those ads for Minoxydil, Viagra, and silicone breasts implants but that's another story."

    As for me, I keep my viagra right to my Prozac, and, ya know, if either one of them worked I wouldn't need the other.

    "There must have been some language barrier because the Calusa weren't talking about a a fountain of youth that could melt away cellulite or prevent gingivitis. They were talking about the youth of the species not the individual."

    I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

    "It is why — when the Spanish came here — in search of decent Indian food and most importantly gold and fresh slaves - all the free black sailors that came over with them started putting two and two together — that hostile Indians who knew the terrain better than they did — did not make such good slaves and they might just become the slaves the Spanish were in search of. They built a fort for their own protection.

    "Yes, the first American slaves were not black nor were the first blacks to settle in America slaves. This was well before Plymouth Rock landed on the Indians. Mention that the next time you meet some Boston blue blood boasting of how long ago their ancestors on the May Flower landed here."

    "There seems to be something in the water here," he said leisurely paddling across the swimming pool.

    We all live neath this great big dipper

    Those African Slaves I mentioned before knew this too.

    We are washed by the very same rain

    They adopted Christian stories about crossing the river of eternal life.

    We are swimming this stream together

    Or at least crossing the rivers between slave territories into free ones.

    some in power and some in pain

    It is kind of ironic that the mythology of their captors helped the slaves to escape the well, the mythology of their captors."

    We can worship this ground we walk on

    cherishing the beings we live beside

    loving spirits will live forever

    we're all swimming to the other side

    "The Seminole took these former slaves in, gave them room and board, gave them jobs in their casinos. The Indian cultures and the African cultures mixed. Together they invented menthol cigarettes."

    "Le me tell you when Col. Sanders settling just north of here heard about free blacks living in their own community, he tried to put a stop to it by hiring Andrew Jackson. But Col. Sanders' faithful family retainers Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima teamed up with the Florida State Simonole--Andrew Jackson surrendered, while slinking back to Washington, D.C., to declare victory and become president. It's not the only time defeat in Florida has led to becoming President — but that is a different story."

    "As for the Seminole, they remain unconquered to this day. Think about that the next time you go down to Hollywood, Florida and feed a picture of Andrew Jackson into a slot machine. Perhaps the Casinos are the Indians way of paying white people back for bringing them the 40 ouncer."

    I wonder why he didn't tell us all this back at that tourist trap.

    On this journey through through thoughts and feelings

    Binding intuition my head my heart

    I am gathering the tools together

    I'm preparing to do my part

    All of those who have gone before me

    Band together and be my guide

    Loving lessons that I will follow

    We're all swimming to the other side

    "And I won't bore you," he continued. "With all the history about the first slaves to be freed by the emancipation Proclamation — or the first big race riot that eventually led to the end of segregation all happening right here — I'll just tell you that it happened

    and that in the end A man named Martin Luther had a dream that came true."

    "That's not to say he was the only one to have this dream, nor that the present is particularly auspicious. In fact, today many of the descendants of those former slaves are working minimum wage jobs using the water from the fountain of youth to water the emerald lawns of the Raddison, Ponce de Leon Golf and Conference Center."

    It's a glass half empty, half full question really to which, I say, get a smaller glass.

    And when we get there we'll discover

    There are millions of problems in this world,

    All of the gifts we've been given to share

    a million of them right here, right now.

    Have been with us since life's beginning

    But that means there are also a million answers,

    And we never noticed they were there

    A million voices and a million dreams.

    We can balance at the brink of wisdom

    and every dream comes true

    Never recognizing that we've arrived

    It's just all in the way you interpret it.

    Loving spirits will live together

    We're all swimming to the other side

    Ponce de Leon, too had a dream he just didn't interpret it right, and his quest in the wrong pursuit wound up getting him killed, about a hundred miles south of St Augustine.

    And last night, a hundred miles south of St Augustine, in a place now known as cape Canaveral the roosters said it best.

    They were confused.

    They began crowing, as roosters do - but the thing is - the dawn was not yet upon us. Yet, the whole horizon bloomed at once. A misty blue light filled our lungs as the horizon hurled yellow rage across the water's edge. Thousands of miles an hour - a blue grey ribbon suddenly streaked toward the open arms of heaven. The air rumbled. Canada Geese honked across the water, befuddled.

    Then - a long trail of god's own cigar smoke was all that remained. The sky went dark again.

    It seems the Hubbell Telescope was again in need of repair. Our pictures of the universe had become blurry. The space shuttle was making a house call this morning. Three astronauts with a bottle of Windex had been deployed to clean her mirrors. The infinite is smaller somehow. Yes, I said. Get a smaller glass.

    We all live neath this great big dipper

    We are washed by the very same rain

    We are swimming this stream together

    some in power and some in pain

    From up there - Florida might look like the a giant limp tally-whacker hanging flaccid from that beast now known as The United States. But if ya think about it from that drooping penis man kind ejaculates into the cosmos - shooting the seeds of the fountain of youth to swim the heavens in search of eternal creation.

    We can worship this ground we walk on

    We have walked on the moon,

    cherishing the beings we live beside

    satellites do probe the galaxies.

    loving spirits will live forever

    There is a Fountain of Youth —

    we're all swimming to the other side

    which has nothing to do with Monoxadil, or Viagra or silicone breasts.

    And as I thought about that, (the Fountain of youth, not the silicone breasts) I found myself drifting back into consciousness,

    Loving spirits will live together

    held buoyant by an inflatable alligator

    We're all swimming to the other side

    in a swimming pool in St Augustine Florida —

    my Corona no longer ice cold - wondering how do I interpret this dream

    Chris Chandler, Lisa Stolarski/Pat Humphries