The Developersí Party

A Tribute To Bobby Hicks

 

Well the developers can finally have their party.

 

They can celebrate a grand holiday where they all can stop their developing for one day and gather all their fellow developers, condo makers, river killers, smokestack bandits and assorted friends, families, mistresses and poodles together and order up a couple tons of Canadian booze and little Japanese hot dogs stabbed with toothpicks made in China, plates of gravied Swedish meatballs and some kind of nasty bagel and ham brulee they only eat up north and gather in celebration at the big Hulk Hogan-sized house at the end of Armand Hammer Lane and drink toast after toast to the falling of yet another huge barrier to their dirty plans to cut down every tree, steal the Suwannee Riverís water, defecate traffic jams across the peninsulas and completely pave over every last strand of forest, wild land, sandy beach, cypress dome and swimminí hole in the godforsaken Sunshine State.

Bobby Hicks is dead. The great Florida troubadour is gone. He left us yesterday (Dec. 19, 2007) around 4 a.m. in the morning with his wife and son at his side. Now, the developers wonít have to worry about the doorbell ringing. They wonít have to worry about the wife of the house answering the door and confronting a tall salt-and-pepper haired man in a motorcycle jacket, his shovelhead Harley pushed right up onto the front porch, his face all maniacal in a deep furrowed frown over a shiite-eating grin, the front of his shirt bulging from seven sticks of nitroglycerin dissolved in nitrocelluose and ketone. wrapped in hard paper 20 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters in diameter, all connected tothe hairs of his chest with wires and coat hangers and medical tape to an electric blasting cap connected by a short 7 Ĺ inch Smith and Wesson ignition string to Bobby Hicksí knobby but steady right hand.

They donít have to worry about the gruff voice of Bobby Hicks, like a grizzly bear roaring at Sonny Barger beating hell out of James Earl Jones, yelling ďAvon callingĒ and pulling that ignition string with a fist to the exploding sky. Itís safe now to gloat and be greedy and brag about having the last live oak tree in Collier County in the back yard next to the Olympic sized pool, then hand out invitations to all the party guests for the ďCut Down The Last TreeĒ party the next weekend. Oh, are the developers gonna have some fun now.

What a wonderful world it is today. Itís safe now to even play golf where the panther once roamed and ride jet skis through the manatees, put up Wal Marts in the wetlands and carve out moonscape mines where God himself planted precious forests of longleaf pines without any worry of an arrow coming from nowhere to pierce the heart of a multi-million dollar plan to rip off the taxpayers and their most important legacy, the Florida sand. Bring on the landfills. Bobby Hicks is gone. Itís safe to litter again without worrying about some crazy guy on a bike shooting derringer bullets into the trunk of your car.

And you crooked politicians, youíre all invited to the party. Admit it, you cowardly bastards. Youíve all just started drinking this morning when I announced that Bobby was gone. I can hear the corks popping from Brandon to Gulfport, all the way to Tallahassee. Cancer, damned cancer brought down what no lyiní judge or city manager or county land planner could ever take down. Hey why donít you go out and change the state song, get rid of the English language, make prayer a crime and pass your laws to allow growth without infrastructure and to force Granny to buy a license to fish in her canal.

Yes, Bobby Hicks is gone I am so sorry to report. I canít believe it. Itís hard for me to accept right now. Iíll never get over this one. He was one of the best friends Iíve ever had. You can almost hear the revelry from the pointy headed progenitors of pavemented progress. Yahoo!. Bobbyís gone. The wicked bitch is dead. Finally the developers can have that party, put lamp shades on their heads, make old people homeless by tearing down their trailer parks, put mom and pop out of business, get rich off the crackerís misery and tear down, tear down, keep tearing down the old Florida ways.

How I wish, how I wish, I could turn the clocks back. Before industrial parks with their factory stacks. Before they mined the damn phosphate and her waters turned black. In the Suwannee that flows deep in our hearts. What have we left for our sons and our daughters. Take lots of pictures but donít drink the water, Big business calls it progress, but the crackers call it slaughter of the Suwannee that flows deep in our hearts.

Bobby Hicks, my old friend. Rest in peace with the knowledge that your music will live on forever. It will remind us, guide us and kick our asses the rest of our lives. Bobby, you were Florida. No need to say more. Ė Pete Gallagher, Dec. 20, 2007.