Marker 26

05:02
Doug Spears
2010-01-01
Doug Spears

Story

Bonnie Van Allen was a sculptor by training, raised in Miami, Florida. She taught art in the Miami Dade school system until her husband died young and unexpectedly. With her life turned upside down, her family and friends encouraged her to live out her life long dream of making a living from her art and moved north to New York. She spent years (and all of her savings) struggling as an artist in the Big Apple before her work began to get noticed and things began to turn around for her financially. She longed to escape the big city and return to her Florida roots so with what little money she managed to save she put a down payment on a small piece of property near Cedar Key jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico. She moved in with all of her inventory, equipment, supplies, etc. and for about 9 months things went well sending pieces north to New York galleries for sale. But one night in late 1993 an unnamed tropical storm swept through the Gulf striking Bonnie’s haven head on. Everything she owned was swept away in the wind and the water. Now later in life and no means by which to reestablish her art studio she remembered a complaint her father had about fishing – inevitably when the fish start to really bite you run out of bait and have to go all the way back in to get more. Bonnie found a derelict pontoon boat and some abandoned bait traps and with shear determination and desperation established herself as the only floating bait shop in Florida out among the fisherman at Marker 26 west of the mouth of the Homossassa River.

Lyrics

 

 

At the mouth of the river, sunrise to sundown, There's a beat up old pontoon boat with bait traps scattered ‘round Marker 26 it ain't Madison Avenue or Park Place, But that’s where Bonnie’s found her heart and a special kind of grace. Bonnie was a sculptor, a rising New York star, Just a poor south Florida teacher, who never dreamed she’d go far, But the New York life wore Bonnie thin and back to Cedar key she came, Then a storm blew through in ‘93 and swept it all away. Nothing left of her life’s work and too late to start again, So she turned her hands to a simple trade and set her soul to mend, She found herself in the sacrifice and she found herself in the fear, And she found herself in a courage that would dry away her tears. Now at the mouth of the river, sunrise to sundown, You'll find a beat up old pontoon boat with bait traps scattered ‘round Marker 26 sure ain't Madison Avenue or Park Place, But that’s where Bonnie’s found her heart and a special kind of grace. Life ain’t always easy and life ain’t always hard, It sure as hell ain’t always fair and you’re bound to get some scars, Bonnie’s surely had her share of tragedies and trials, And she’s learned its not how far you’ve come, its what you’ve done with the miles. So at the mouth of the river, sunrise to sundown, You’ll find that beat up old pontoon boat just hangin’ around, Marker 26 it ain't Madison Avenue or Park Place, But that’s where Bonnie’s found her heart and a special kind of grace. Island Bait at Marker 26, and Bonnie’s special kind of grace