The introspective humdrum life of an eccentric hexagenarian.

Visit my other blogs: "Elderberry Bike Rides of Delaware
," organized bicycle rides for families, senior citizens, and anyone interested in getting back into biking; and "Cloister Voices," the collected thoughts of modern and ancient hermits, eccentrics, solitaires, wanderers, mystics, and others who inhabit the monastery within.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Meme Eccentrics

Meme? I didn't know what it was either but Trulyana's post cleared things up.

Meme Challenge: Describe your first encounter with a hermit, mystic, or an unusually eccentric person. Those I've tagged are listed below.

Ches McCartney, The Goat Man, lay fallow in my memory as my own personal property. Prone to extravagant thoughts and debatable visions in childhood, I was never quite sure if the Goat Man was real.

He seemed real enough with his small junk-laden wagon pulled by goats when he took up temporary residence in an empty lot across from my home in central Florida in 1959. The odor of his clothing was real enough, stringent and potent. The smile that crinkled his eyes under his railroad cap was real enough.

I was thirteen, my father had just died, my mother and I were living on the outskirts of poverty, so is it any wonder that I was profoundly moved by the freedom of this wandering Goat Man who spent a lifetime moving on. Forever moving away quickly enough that pain could not settle around him.

I hung out behind a crepe myrtle bus for several days before gathering the nerve to speak to him and learn his secret of how to escape the world. I clutched the last box of Brownie Scout cookies under my arm, a gift, a token of exchange for the Goat Man to tell me his secrets.

He refused to accept the gift and insisted upon a barter. The cookies in exchange for a postcard of him traveling down the road. There were other terms too. I had to agree to eat the cookies with him.

Was it goat milk that he served with the cookies? I don't remember. It tasted of garlic and was on the verge of curdling. The cookies were stale but sweet.

We sat silent and watched the sun go down behind the centuries old live oak tree that was as gnarled as his hands and as lightning-struck as my heart.

In the morning, he was gone.


I'm tagging the following people to tell us about their first encounter with a hermit, mystic, or an unusually eccentric person.

If you name is not on the list, it should have been. I welcome your participation.


  1. This is my first time to be tagged for a meme, and I sure don't want to mess it up. Anyway, because my louie-louie blog is used exclusively to cover Thomas Merton and contemplative life, I have posted my response on my more eclectic blog: Quotes and Musings ...

  2. Excellent Beth! I will rush right over and read it. BTW, you can't mess up a least not one of my memes. There aren't any rules!

    I will try to gather the responses and post them on my Cloister Voices blog at (with the authors permission of course!)


  3. This is one of the better memes I've seen -- so interesting! It may take me a while to participate (today is my first day of dedicated writing time in a couple of weeks and I have a lot to get out of my system), but I absolutely will and will drop a note by when that happens.

    Lots to catch up on after being off schedule ...

  4. Hi Caroline,

    I've add the meme to my todo pile. It's even on top. oops! I just knocked the pile over, but I'll find it and put it back on top.

    Now I've just got to wrap my mind around this meme thing. This internet jargon just keeps growing.

    ~ jeff.

  5. Howdy Jeff--
    I have knocked the "to-do" pile over onto the floor about six times today. I consider this a passive reorganization method since they are never in the same order again.
    I'm not big on internet games (like the silly lists of 10 odd things about me) that circulates; but I do like the more unusual challenges to offer unique people such as yourself.
    Thanks for moving it to the top of the pile!

  6. Hello Pardes,

    Beautiful Meme. I enjoyed your experience very much. I have been thinking of an experience for this since you posted this, as I have met so many different and wonderful people, that I do not know who to mention in order of remembrance, especially since I was a child. I think clarity comes in in my teens the most, and as that is where I met the most mystic people. Though to me, I didn't find nothing mystic about them, as many would say the same thing about me. When I was a child, I communicated with plenty of animals. For me these encounters are the most memorable as I connected with them the most, and during later childhood I attracted certain kinds of people, that brought about my communication with them. I think I'll have plenty to talk about already. Thank you. lol :) Great Meme, and thanks for tagging back.

  7. Thanks Ana!
    I would DEARLY love to hear a story from you about animal communication as an unusual character. But you decide, I'm sure any of your ideas will be great!

  8. OK Pardes, IT'S DONE!

    BTW - I enjoyed what you shared about The Goat Man, and think this was a fun idea.

    Please excuse me while I go spend some time in a cave.

    ~ jeff.

  9. This is beautiful Pardes, I'm glad to have found your meme - very powerful ending.

  10. Thank you Jean-Jacques. Isn't it astonishing the things we can write in ten minutes, without any editing, when we are in the groove? It's the high of that experience that keeps us writing and waiting for the next time it happens.


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