Page 2 - February 02, 2012
‘The Ghost of Trapper ’ Cont. from Page 1
gunrunning. He spent time in a Mexican jail and was later released. Nelson later claimed his release was because he "wrecked their food budget."
After his release Nelson headed back east with 10 cents to his name. He made money for food by gambling with other road bums. They rode boxcars as hobos throughout the West until he made it to southern Florida, where he, his step brother Charles Nelson and friend John Dykas set up camp. It was here that he and his step- brother took on the shorter sur- name of Nelson.
Nelson and his partners settled on the beach by the Jupiter Inlet in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the late 1920s. Vince took over an abandoned hunter’s cabin and settled in, even plant- ing various fruit trees.
Trapping could only bring Nelson income seasonally, and as south Florida became a popu- lar tourist destination, he came up with a new way to earn money. After showing visitors around for free, in the late 1930s “Trapper,” as he came to be called, started charging admis-
Day Our Daily Chuckle
Give Us This This week, a compendium of wit,
wisdom and neat stuff you can tell at parties. Enjoy!
A Taxi in New York
A drunk woman, stark naked, jumped into a taxi in New York City.
The taxi driver, who hap- pened to be an old Jewish man, opened his eyes wide and stared at the woman. He made no attempt to start the cab.
She said to him, "What's wrong with you honey? Haven't you ever seen a naked woman before?"
The old man said "Lady, I'm
sion to Trapper Nelson’s Zoo and Jungle Garden and selling souvenirs.
Bessie DuBois, wife of John DuBois, recalled seeing him for the first time in 1927 or 1928. DuBoises owned a restaurant that Nelson would frequent, and Bessie made note of his eccentric eating habits: "He would order a pie—not a piece of pie, mind you, but a pie—and he'd eat the whole thing right in front of me" He ate ice cream by the half-gallon, and there were sto- ries that he once ate 18 eggs for breakfast.
Things did not stay peaceful for long. On December 17, 1931, Charles Nelson shot partner John Dykas in the back, killing him. Trapper Nelson, angered by his step-brother's actions, testified against him at the trial for Dykas' murder. Charles was given a 20-year sentence at Raiford Prison. Disillusioned with civilization, Nelson with- drew from the beach, settling deep in the woods on the Loxahatchee River that same December. Using what little money he had and money bor- rowed from his sister, he bought 800 acres.
Physically imposing at 6' 4" and 240 pounds, he lived by trap-
not staring at you, I am telling you, det vould not be proper vair I come from.
She said, "Well, if you're not staring at my boobs sweetie, what are you doing then?"
He said, "Vell, I am looking and I'm looking, and I am tin- king to myself, vair in da hell is dis lady keeping de money to pay for dis ride?"
• The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII
• We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop
• If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers
• Those who are too smart to engage in politics are pun- ished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato
ping, hunting, and fishing in what was then wild country.
In his early years, he made money by selling the furs of the animals he trapped, and ate the meat, starting rumors that he ate everything from possums to stray house cats.
Folks who came to see the zoo and jungle gardens would see the legendary Trapper, clad only in his customary shorts and pith helmet, as he handled poisonous snakes and wrestled alligators. Folks could buy sou- venirs, rent rowboats or stay overnight in one of Trapper's cabins. He had an interest in real estate and bought land at every opportunity until he owned over 800 acres of valu- able land including waterfront. When he needed money to pay his taxes, he sold two hundred acres to the Bessemer Corporation for $335,000, an area now known as Turtle Creek and Riverbend develop- ments. He acquired extensive land holdings, bidding on tax auctions during the Great Depression. He would on occa- sion bid against Judge C. E. Chillingworth, the judge who had handed down his step- brother's sentence, and the two eventually became friends. When Chillingworth was mur- dered in the 1950s, Charles
• Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev
• When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow
• Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your oppo- nents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown
• If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candi- dates. ~Jay Leno
• Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton
• Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer
• The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crab- grass on your lawn. The
Nelson was briefly considered a suspect.
His camp and zoo became pop- ular tourist attractions. Tours along the river from West Palm Beach would stop there for lunch and stretch breaks, and Nelson shared the profits with the boat captains. Locally prominent people and celebri- ties alike visited, including box- ing champion Gene Tunney and actor Gary Cooper, to see his animals, watch Nelson wres- tle alligators, and buy souvenirs.
With his new fame came notori- ety. He was known locally as the "Tarzan of the Loxahatchee, and cared for the locals' exotic pets. He would trap trouble- some wild animals, and provid- ed others for parties and events. Rumors were started about his handsomeness, his eating habits (Bessie DuBois denied he ate raw possum), and his romantic exploits. It was told that he courted heiresses and countesses from wealthy Palm Beach, and that one conquest was a direct descendant of President James Monroe.
Nelson accumulated 837 river- front acres over the years.
‘The Ghost of Trapper’ Cont. on Page 3
Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elect- ed and prove it. ~P.J. O'Rourke
• I offer my opponents a bar- gain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952
• A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~Texas Guinan
• Any American who is pre- pared to run for president should automatically, by defi- nition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~Gore Vidal
• I have come to the conclu- sion that politics is too seri- ous a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle
• Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson
• Don't vote, it only encour- ‘Chuckles’
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