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Sunday, January 3, 2016


   We blew up Pogo on New Year's Eve. Did you see the bright red explosion on Biscayne Bay 'roun 7:30?  

 That was us, led by "Mr. Fun Time", Justin Long. 

Justin is the Miami-based performance artist known for burying limousines, giving shopping cart thrill rides, and shooting big timber with a ten-foot crossbow.  When we went out to Stiltsville Thursday night, he carried a small boat he had made. He told me "We are giving Pogo a viking funeral".  When I replied, "Lucky dog", Justin corrected me. Pogo was a human.

    Richard "Pogo" Evans was a family friend who died four years ago after a long illness.  The  builder of motorcycles and boats and avid ocean racer wanted to go out with a bang, hence the boat under Justin's arm.
Being dead, Pogo wasn't in a hurry to return to the ocean he had loved.
     Surrounded by the curious, Mr. Fun Time opened his boat's hatch and stuffed half of the hull with Pogo's ashes.  In the other half was a package of gunpowder from which emerged a nine-foot fuse.
     Justin's brother set it in the water, lit the cord, and we watched it drift off on the outgoing tide.
The fuse instructions had read, "burns at one-foot per minute" so we counted down until someone said, "This is taking too long. Can someone just tell us when there's ten seconds left".
       Three minutes later Pogo's ashes -and his boat- were blasted into oblivion. 
It was dark. Presumably Pogo either rose to heaven or returned to the salty waters that had loved. I like to think he did both.

1 comment:

  1. How timely. We just sent our mother to sea in November in a scale model Viking ship my brother meticulously crafted from balsa wood. He weighted the hull so it would eventually sink, piled her ashes in a slight paper back on the deck, doused it with lighter fluid and set it ablaze while we read selected passages from the Bible, Rachel Carson and two poets (both of whose names momentarily allude me). All the readings had to do with the sea. We threw blossoms gathered from one sister's back yard; two other sisters eventually scuttled the boat to disperse the ashes into Biscayne Bay. (Our father had been scattered out in the Gulf Stream 45 years earlier.)
    The whole memorial service (Mom died in June) was taped by one sister and a sister-in-law, Exhibit A, I suppose, should any or all of us be charged with littering or some such nonsense.
    Anyone who ever had any contact with Mom would immediately agree that a Viking funeral was exactly the send off she would have wanted.