Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 is the 4th day of summer. 90 days remain. It is the day of the Gopher. I think.

I observed a furry mammal living in a crumbling brick gateway at the corner of Western and Seaway Drive. The wild creature had rubbed all the fur off its back, and maybe he rubbed it off his back to keep cool. I have no certainty that this four footed rodent could be described as a gopher. It didn't have the brushy hair of a hedgehog. It wasn't swimming in the water or banging the ground with a flat tail. It was too big to be a groundhog. Didn't have the pointed nose of a possum. He didn't have the black bands of a raccoon.

I was riding on my bike, so I swung back to look closer at his fur for identifying signs. I had hoped to take a picture, but he wasn't posing. I had no certainty that he was a male gopher, either. So I decided to call it a gopher. The gopher had ducked into the hollows in the ruined gate, and I could see it huddling in a concrete hollow. I hope he has a long residency in that brick and concrete gate. He might be evicted by vector control because that gateway leads to a field where motorcyclists camp for Muskegon Bike Week. The field has room for a thousand cars, and cars need it for Fourth of July fireworks, Rockstock and the Michigan Irish Music Festival, all held at nearby Heritage Landing

More than a month ago, I met a man living near by in the complex of buildings around the Red Lotus Gallery. I have looked for confirmation that a large roller rink there had housed music concerts, Muskegon's Grande Ballroom, hosting Aretha Franklin. I have heard Ted Nugent mentioned too. He had been discovered living in his unheated workshop, without shower and sanitation facilities, and the City of Muskegon had ordered him evicted. He bounced pretty well, sold off a collection of welding equipment for deposit money, and rented a home and garage at the southern foot of Beidler Avenue, not far from the West Side Inn. He had a shaggy head of hair, and an untrimmed beard, a hell-bent motorcycle racer who tuned up motorbikes, and he had found another home, hopefully for longer than a month or two. 

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