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May 30, 2013 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Beached. Vacation Scram.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Simply looking for a good time.

A real knack for picking up the wrong dame.

1930's Beach acrobatics (Hendry? Sam Hood.NSWales State Library,Australia/ FLickr/Public domain:expired copyright(ACC)/

Just head over heels.
(1930’s Hendry?/Sam Hood.NSWales State Library,Australia/Flickr/Public domain:expired copyright(ACC)/

The official start of summer: Memorial Day

Head to the beach, right?

Especially after a depressing week of sloshing through storms.

Nothing like being forced to travel in the rain.

Some cosmic joke? Didn’t appreciate the irony.

Sun, sand, surf, and seagulls: “Come on down. Bermuda Beach awaits”.

Didn’t take much prodding.

Galveston, ahhhhhh. 

The food! Mario’s Ristorante.

Event their motto made him hungry

“We speak very little English…But we make the best pizza.”

He could use a few pounds. Traveling fast kept him lean.

Not worried about anyone kicking sand in his face.

At almost 6 foot, he was pretty imposing.

Practiced broad grin

A little swagger

Nails manicured nicely. (Women notice stuff like that.)

1922 Gals hitting the beach - looking for trouble?  (Potomac Tidal Basin beach.National Photo Co. press release/ Library of Congress.US public domain/

1922 Gals hitting the beach. Looking for trouble?
(Potomac Tidal Basin beach.National Photo Co. press release/ Library of Congress.US public domain/

Nonchalant. He swam along the shore.

Back and forth.

So they could see him.

And he could see them.

That laughing group with the loud music and rich looking towels.

In particular, that little brunette picking up shells and splashing along in the waters’ edge.

Time to casually saunter over.

You don't think dad will find out... (Publicity photo 1917-1924 Mack Sennett Comedies Original/ US Public domain: expired copyright/date of publication/

You don’t think daddy will find out…
(Publicity photo 1917-1924 Mack Sennett Comedies Original/ US Public domain: expired copyright/date of publication/

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Where did he go wrong?

He searched his memory.

Nope, nothing said.

No breach of etiquette  – that he could he remember

But it had been so hot.


Between the sun, heat, and salt water?

Muddled his brain?

He’d plead that.

Right now he felt pretty itchy from the salt on his skin.

Wish they’d let him rinse off.

The ropes were chaffing.

 (1929 Bermuda Beach.Inherited photo/

Hey, cutie! (1929 Bermuda Beach.Inherited photo/

Misunderstood those coy looks?

They definitely looked interested.

Playing hard to get. Seemed cute.

Maybe they were mob wives? 

That would explain it.

Jealous husbands sent bodyguards.

Out of nowhere he was jumped, tied up, blindfolded, and tossed in the back of a truck.

Mob wives, yes.

Looking hot. (and wool is so itchy) (1919 E. Berger 1857-1919.US public domain: reprod of PD art/publication date/artist life+70/

Looking hot. (Wool is so itchy)
(1919 E. Berger 1857-1919.US public domain: reprod of PD art/publication date/artist life+70/

Or worse, a daughter. That brunette.

Everyone said bad judgement would get him in deep water sooner or later.

The thugs had said something about “Swimming with the fishes…”

No idea where they were headed.

Better conserve some strength for a fight later.

 Tough guys all look the same? (1928 Mugshot mobster Bugsy Siegel. NYPD.US public domain: publication date/No copyright notice/

Tough guy. Not smart to mess with him.
(1928 Mugshot mobster Bugsy Siegel. NYPD.US public domain: publication date/No copyright notice/

“Swimming with the fishes”….He was getting hungry.

Sure would appreciate a little gator aid and assistance.

Free transport to a new spot to wet his whistle?

Where he might join in with a frog chorus later?

Time to cry a few crocodile tears?

Plead youthful indiscretion.

Ignorance of the local Families.

Sincere promise not to return.

Witless protection.


 Maybe the weekend wouldn’t be a total loss if he could slip this noose.

Local gals always find the guy from out of town intriguing.

Still time to impress.

This time one who preferred unsalted water and didn’t have chaperones.

No scales here. (1920.SOL postcard series1832/US public domain: expired copyright/publication date/

No scales here.
(1920.SOL postcard series1832/US public domain: expired copyright/publication date/

Yes – it’s another gator’s tale.

The recent floods in central Texas have washed gators downstream. This one ended up swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. He got to shore and started walking home, but the Parks and Wildlife guys offered him a lift. Tired, hot, and hungry, he took them up on the offer. The story and some pictures here and here.

Brazos Bend State Park is currently training law enforcement officers in neighborhood gator management. Over 34 far too friendly gators were relocated from one subdivision last year. No gators were harmed in these stories.

If you build in wetlands or build those attractive lakes, they will come!

Opening the door carefully,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

More gator stories: click “alligators” tag in the sidebar

Ready to go (1932 Ad/Nederlands. Public domain:expired copyright/life of artist+70/

Summer’s here. Ready to go
(1932 Ad/Nederlands. Public domain:expired copyright/life of artist+70/


  1. Liz Gray / May 30 2013 3:53 pm

    Fantastic! You are one of my absolute fave bloggers! LOVE THE PICS! Love the story! Will fwd it to my mom born in 1925. She’ll love it! Thanks for this


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 30 2013 4:42 pm

      Awash in your kind words. Thanks. Glad you jumped in to swim along.(The pictures are wonderful, aren’t they?)


  2. PiedType / May 30 2013 4:33 pm

    I’m all for public beaches being public, but there’s a limit to my open-mindedness.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 30 2013 4:47 pm

      No open-toed shoes either! It’s pretty unusual to have a gator swimming along the shore in Galveston. Parks people said the flooding in Central TX/San Antonio area is flushing gators down the rivers and out of backwaters…and it is mating season. A little creepy…sharks, jelly fish, gators – oh my! Thanks for making a splash


  3. dogear6 / May 30 2013 5:02 pm

    I traveled to Florida a lot years ago (for business) and the alligators often followed the canals up to the homes, businesses, etc. You had to be much more careful about their presence than you’d expect.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 30 2013 5:41 pm

      Houston used to be drained by a system of bayous – many of them are still around and make great waterways for the gators. The newer subdivisions are build ing “lakes”/retention ponds to prevent flooding – and to look pretty. Gators seem to be pretty pleased with that. But it’s very unusual for gators to be found swimming in the gulf’s salt water. Not quite the holiday vacation treat people were expecting. Thanks for paddling over!


  4. Fearless Leader / May 30 2013 5:56 pm

    I have lived in both Houston and Galveston and did just fine without ever seeing a gator one. I just hope the gators don’t try to cross I-45!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 30 2013 8:33 pm

      Never saw one? Oh, everyone was looking at the stars then.
      Remember the little lake at the back of Nassau Bay, over in Armand Bayou, down Pine Gully? Gator country forever…they are just really shy…except this time of year. One hung out in a apartment swimming pool area (on the south side of the lake) for several weeks until it wandered off. We just keep an eye out and the dog on a leash.
      Thanks for carefully swimming over!


      • Fearless Leader / May 30 2013 8:57 pm

        I lived over in Woodville for a few years and saw gators every time I went fishing at Dam B (B A Steinhagen Lake) and the Angelina River.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 2:54 pm

          Now that’s gator country. Not sure I’d want to be in a small boat in some places….images of jaws…(have a nice weekend!)


  5. D / May 30 2013 7:25 pm

    Ah! Here, down by shore, the wonders never cease 🙂
    It’s Galveston, a’ait!


  6. Beth / May 30 2013 11:30 pm

    Maybe he was cleaning up to get ready for a little Father’s Day surprise. Why should Mother’s get all the special attention? Surely, he could have found the right porch to snap “SURPRISE!” on the special day. Next time he’ll need to remember to lie low – no sense in showing off this early.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 2:56 pm

      Perhaps you are right…checking out possible spots to spend the day with the family…he’s seen all the beach billboards – and found a short cut to avoid traffic. Now he’s exploring the gator friendly resort of Brazos Bend. Thanks for figuring that out!


  7. jmmcdowell / May 30 2013 11:40 pm

    Swimming in the Tidal Basin? Hmm, even today, heavy rains will send storm and sanitary sewer overflow into the Potomac…. No self-respecting alligator would want to hang out there, I think.

    You can’t blame this poor guy for just wanting to get back home. But he’s lucky this isn’t the “old days” when someone might have passed on the niceties and shot him outright!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 2:52 pm

      HA! I was wondering if you’d see that – it was just too great a pix to pass up. There was a popular beach there?
      Heard the rain is keeping things damp there.
      Hope your weekend is gator free!


      • jmmcdowell / May 31 2013 4:28 pm

        I did some research, and apparently there was a beach that was closed in 1924—due to pollution. Can you imagine how bad it must have been for that to be the reason for closing it back then?!

        There’s a great photo at of the “bathing suit police” in 1922. Bet this guy loved his job!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 4:32 pm

          ICK! Must have been like swimming in sludge…wonder how many ended up in the hospital?
          thanks for finding that picture! (did it remind you of high school? Or did yours do that?)


          • jmmcdowell / May 31 2013 5:06 pm

            By the time I hit high school, the 60s and early 70s had come and gone. The rule for our swim classes was that we wore the school’s suits, not our own. They were ugly, but not overly confining. 😉


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 6:04 pm

            Ewww. School issued swim suits? We had mandated one piece cotton white “uniforms”/gyms suits the snapped up the front, elastic “bloomer” legs, and set in waist band with attached D-ring self belt….Bloomer – made worse since your mom bought them large in the fall so you wouldn’t outgrow them during the year. Puffalumps is the word.


  8. Kourtney Heintz / May 31 2013 12:29 am

    LOL. Gators. I love the twist at the end. What a terrible thing to share your Memorial Day beach with. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 2:49 pm

      It was quite a surprise to the holiday crowd – but hey what a tale to tell – and some were on TV! The gator now lives in the perfect gator home state park not far from here…if he’ll just be happy and not try to walk back to his home river. Gators just keep smiling – have to like them. Thanks for jogging over


  9. Ally Bean / May 31 2013 2:29 pm

    Delightful tale of intrigue + adore those photos. Very charming.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 2:43 pm

      Poor gator! Not a salt water taffy fan. He’s more comfortable with root beer and tubing down a river, no doubt. Thanks for swimming along


  10. EllaDee / May 31 2013 9:18 pm

    The Gator News version… Storm damage and flooding washes hundreds of gator residents from their homes and into dangerous territories where they are being forced into temporary accommodation arrangements. Warning – stay away from populated areas and shiny blue pools of water. Watch out for humans, trucks, nets and guns 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 31 2013 9:30 pm

      You are so good.
      Ropes and grey duct tape are the biggest threats to gators here. The wildlife guys are pretty busy relocating ones that simply won’t stay off the porches. Maybe the gators think it’s a dating service? Pretty soon they’ll all sink down and go back to sleep.
      Thanks for the gators’ alert message!


  11. heretherebespiders / Jun 2 2013 8:22 pm

    Ah, my beloved alligator! Poor wee things just trying to have a normal swampy life and suddenly found themselves in awful bitter salt water. Happy to see relocation efforts were made. Been here thousands of years before humans, so a bit of respect is nice to see.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 2 2013 11:00 pm

      Poor gator guy! It’s difficult enough to pick up a date when just old enough – and to be suddenly transported to strange inhospitable place. Hope he was able to get to the dance before too late. Thanks for sloshing along


  12. roughseasinthemed / Jun 3 2013 7:42 am

    This reminded me of a similar post you did, except it was a her not a him, if I remember correctly, so I had a good idea where you – and he – were going. As one of your commenters said, good that he isn’t shot on sight and gets moved to a nice safe home. Have you seen Phil Lanou’s blog? Comments on mine sometimes, lots of gator pix, think he is in the Carolinas.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 3 2013 2:01 pm

      Will have to head over and pick up Phil Lanou’s blog location. It’s just gator mating season – and they are showing up everywhere. Last year at the pool, this year actually swimming in salt water at the beach on a holiday. These gators don’t really like salt water, so it was rare. The flooding in central TX has sent water rushing down the rivers and washing gators along with it…sure he was glad for the lift to the park. Shoot a gator without the wildlife dept’s rare permission and you’ll be chatting with a judge. People grumble, but gators are pretty shy..right now though there’s the daily pictures of one being pulled like a dog on a leash back to their water. Soon they’ll all go back to sleep…it’s getting hot again. Thanks for causing a splash


  13. jannatwrites / Jun 3 2013 6:37 pm

    I feel kind of bad for the poor guy. I’m glad he was caught and released rather than turned into a purse and shoes, though. When we creep into nature’s land, I think visitors can be expected 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 4 2013 2:38 pm

      Gators here don’t swim around in the salt water of the Gulf. He was probably dehydrated and very confuse after being washed downstream and finding himself at the beach. Sure the parks and wildlife guys found him the perfect spot in Brazos Bend Park. Thanks for splashing along


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