Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Friday, January 24, 2014


In early 1963--Robert Roy (Rob-Roy) Ozmer (1899-1969) was the hermit I flew to Florida to visit. After a $15 boat ride, and swinging a bottle of Bacardi Rum, he allowed the guide and me to step on his island. We spent the day...it was when I entertained the notion of joining him, about three islands away. My wife (deceased now) and I moved from Cincinnati Ohio to Florida the following year

Rob Roy Ozmer (1899-1969)


Family, friends, home, 
job, boat, bike, violin
all left behind
I sat on edge
of one water-lapped shore
ten thousand sand-mounds
rising above salted spray,
called by natives--eye-lands"

only me...and God!
an adult playing "hermit game"
NOT really odd
many others try the same
and never return.

dropped off in
uninhabited place,
to stay ten days.
friends scoffed
I lost face

unbridled happiness!
I ran, frolicked in surf.
immediate unfathomable
pain.  Water, bright red 
stain.  I had been romping

on "razorblades"
in Everglades (ha!)
on long-dead
oyster bed.

no medicine. very risky.
feet bottoms cut to ribbons.
wasted quart of good whiskey
(meant for use--internal)
on throbbing cuts.

hurt like the dickens

AM local radio announced

Tropical Depression near, 
water level rode up slanted beach
and rain torrents tore away my tent.
all proving true my greatest fear...

3 AM: 
awakened from my usual coma
to flurry of excitment, sounds.
accompanying strangest aroma,
another uncharted storm 
invaded my sacred hermitage
brought with it horrors unbelievable!

head the size of your own--
with wide beak, like newborn bird. 
eyes tearing, screams pierced my
solitary Universe...
hallucination it was not!

A giant sea turtle was begging 
me to leave her special nest
--where for several hundred years
in that same spot
she'd been laying, covering
her eggs. 
I saw her flailed legs,
mine, failed.
I...falling, falling,
all became still.


story is true, summer of 1967.
I spent ten days as hermit.
although the First was Worst...
NEVER again!

--steve elsaesser, aka steveroni
come visit dVerse Poets Pub


  1. oh steve that made me smile... such a cool story.. loved the part with the sea turtle especially... it is not easy to leave civilization behind with all the things that make life comfortable but i bet you missed your violin most.. smiles... i have read a story recently of a couple that met on the internet and then decided to make a trip through europe with just the clothes they would wear and she with the things that fit in her small handbag and he with the things that fit in his jeans pocket... i would love to do something like that one day..ha...smiles

  2. Love this, some are made for solitude some are not, time is just relentless and each of us just fill the moments.

  3. What a story Steve ~ You are brave and good for you to see that sea turtle ~ Some things in life we just have to experience and say, well it wasn't made for me ~ Have a good day ~

    1. Thanks for the lovely comments on my blog Steve ~ Its my daily affirmation as well ~ Have a good weekend ~

  4. Good that you tried out the life of a hermit. I have had thoughts at some times in my life of going off somewhere in nature & living in solitude communing with nature. I think I would be like you though and return soon enough. I think if I were a hermit where you were in FL I would be afraid of hurricanes. No protection there. An interesting TRUE tale - thank you.

  5. ha. pretty cool on the turtle...i was aftraid it was going to be a gator wanting a steve leg for dinner....smiles...was it one of the big ones? turtles are cool...went to a farm in mexico once....playing hermit...you know that has a bit of allure to it, some days....smiles.

  6. Ha.. loved the sea-turtle.. remember waking up by the tent being violently shaking... in the Swedish mountains... I did the only thing I could and roared like a bear (yes Björn means bear)... and from the sound of the feet running away I understood it was only a reindeer... probably trying to shaving skin of his antlers on our tent... nothing worse than being awakened by surprise like that.. hmm should I set this story in verse..?

  7. YUP! Put it out there. What do we say? "Truth is stranger than fiction?"

  8. Loved your story ! and his hut pictured above looks just like the hut I built for my summer cape home !
    sorry for your feet- OUCH- and yikes for mother turtle!

    1. Izzy, I was young (32 or 33) when I stepped onto Ozmer's "private" island. (Had seen him on a TV show--wrote the producers, and they suggested I bring a couple bottles of rum, as passage to hid "province" HAHA! NO PROBLEM!

      OH! How I envied his way of life, no taxes, no insurance, no bills, no grass to mow, no timetables, no this and no that! What was left? FREEDOM!

      Who, at age 32, thinks of "no doctors, no market to buy liquor and beer--OR MONEY TO BUY THEM!
      Other parts of this story I like also, but it's difficult to pare them down to blog size..

      PEACE and LIGHT, Izzy

  9. A great story Steve and how what we often dream as perfect never quite works out that way.

  10. Wow!!! You are so interesting., but I already knew that, just did not know this part.

  11. I think that you told this story years ago and it made an impression then. The hermit you visited reminds me of Skink in Carl Hiaasen's books.