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Florida

Jean Shepherd's America - Season 1

1971

"...I MIGHT EVEN SNAG ONE FOR OLD AHAB HIMSELF" Americans everywhere can rest a bit easier now - Sea Weed Ernie has been found. It all happened quite accidentally, while Jean Shepherd was in Florida finding an America hardly anyone else knows. Sea Weed Ernie and a few more vital discoveries are on JEAN SHEPHERD'S AMERICA, Sea Weed Ernie was a complete surprise to everyone, including Shepherd. But that's not unusual for JEAN SHEPHERD'S AMERICA. Ernie lives in an old wrecked boat in the middle of a watery nowhere. He's a bay-side hermit, but he's friendly and human, and he has a lot to offer to the man who'll listen. Jean Shepherd listens. Jean Shepherd is also a fishing fanatic, so he can't resist a try at the fabled waters of Florida's Black Water Bay. Predictably, he comes up with no fish, but he's got a Shepherd fishing story instead. The story tells what happens when four Midwesterners try deep-sea fishing off the Florida coast. And Shepherd was there. Sea sickness aside, it is a heroic experience. Jean Shepherd feels one with such sea-going immortals as Ernest Hemingway and Captain Ahab. This is a part of Florida you might never get to see, except for JEAN SHEPHERD'S AMERICA.
[ Courtesy: Pete Delaney - 09-18-2016 ]
Jean Shepherd wants to remind us that there is another Florida, a different Florida, a Florida that's not just an extension of a Miami Beach nightclub floor. So he travels to Mosquito Key and Black Water Bay on the state's west coast and relishes in the stone crabs, the pelicans, the coral, the flame b:ees, the gators as well as memories of yet another fishing expedition. This time, he recalls when he and 3 Army buddies chartered a boat and discovered that as unsuccessful at catching fish, they were very successful at heaving over the side. But the highlight of the show is the interview with old Seaweed Ernie, a proud happy loner who lives in a wrecked boat near Mosquito Key, knows all the animals by name, paints pictures of movie stars on paper plates and bristles at the label "hermit". He's a friendly gent who has a lot to offer anyone who'll listen. "I have no diplomas and I am not a VIP, but I will say that I enjoy life. This is quite a contrast to Jean Shepherd's comment that "Fishermen are lonely, angry men." The show concludes with Ernie's beautiful description of a Florida nightfall.
Additional Comments:
Music used on the show: "People" Barbara Streisand "A Day In The Life Of A Fool " Muzak Cheap Guitar Music

Production Information:
Studio / Network: WGBH - Snow Pond Productions
Director: Fred Barzyk
Asst Director:
Producer: Olivia Tappan, Leigh Brown
Executive Producer:
Running Time:
Related Plots and Story Lines Used
Links to Further Information:
• Season 1 Press Kit