Nick’s Blog

Remittance Man

 Posted by at 12:11 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 072016

I’ve had several job titles in my life. Soldier, cop, entrepreneur, journalist, newspaper publisher, author, public speaker, and a couple I choose to forget. But I think that at 63 years of age, I have finally found my calling. I’m going to become a remittance man.

For those of you not familiar with the term, a remittance man was an emigrant supported by money from home. Sometimes he was sent to a new area to help develop family business interests or to find his own way in life. This might be a younger son who did not stand to inherit under 19th century European traditions.

But more often than not, the remittance man was the black sheep of the family who was paid to stay away. I guess it was cheaper to pay money to keep him at a distance than to have him back at home embarrassing the family and creating drama.

There are some in my family who would say that I was the black sheep, and maybe not without good cause. However, there may be a problem – since I’m the only surviving member of my direct family, if I want to be a successful remittance man I have to look farther afield for my funding. But as it turns out, I shouldn’t have to look very far.

When we were in Arizona a few weeks ago it was cold and miserable, and snow was more than halfway down the Catalina mountains outside of Tucson. People all over the Grand Canyon State were taking up a collection to send me to Florida. Well, now that we’re here in the Sunshine State, guess what? It has turned cold and wet and miserable. Very cold and wet and miserable. And I’ve heard from more than one source that funds are being solicited to send me somewhere else.

Yes indeed, if I play this right I may never have to work again. I will just spend the rest of my days wandering around the country, carefully avoiding those places who pay me to stay away. In fact, I might even arrange a bidding war to see who’s willing to pony up the most money to keep me at a distance. What do you think?

Friday night we attended a jam session here at the Escapees Sumter Oaks campground. There sure were a lot of talented people there, both musicians and singers. I didn’t get this woman’s name, but she was a real hit with the crowd, and when she sang Blue Bayou it was amazing. Move over Linda Ronstadt, you’ve got some serious competition!

Blue Bayou

Our buddy Al Hesselbart also stepped up to the microphone a couple of times, and it was an experience we won’t soon forget. Al, the retired historian for the RV Museum in Elkhart, Indiana has been wintering here in Bushnell for several years now and has become deeply involved with the jam sessions that happen at RV parks all over the area. He said he’s found a whole new community of friends who like to perform at the different events around here. Way to go, Al!

Al singing small

Yesterday we drove about 35 miles south to Zephyrhills to have lunch with our dear friends John and Kathy Huggins of Living the RV Dream. We have not seen them since last year, shortly before Kathy was stricken with a life-threatening illness. But a lot of prayers, an excellent medical team, and the love of her family, not to mention Kathy’s strong will to survive, pulled her through and she looks great. As often happens with RVers, after lunch we sat and talked for another two or three hours before it was time to go our separate ways. We look forward to seeing them again while we’re here in the area.

I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for today. The Super Bowl is on, but we have absolutely no interest in professional sports. After a lot of rain yesterday it’s supposed to be clear today but cloudy and windy, with temperatures in the mid-50s. We may just make it a stay-at-home day, or we may go and do some exploring. We’ll see how the day shapes up.

Today is your last chance to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Chesapeake 1880 by my friend Ken Rossignol, a tale of life in the Chesapeake Bay region as the industrial revolution changed the world forever. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.


Thought For The Day Your life is made up of two dates and a dash, Make the most of the dash.

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