Coming downtown I trod across the 18th Street Park, located along French Avenue (US 17-92) which once in a different century ran along the cloisterd-by-towering-Live Oaks Park Avenue. Progress. But today’s sermon under-the-hill is about litter and leftover names for Sanford. Now, as hardly any of you may recall Bokey is a word in that portion of our local community, especially amongst long-term Black residents to denote Sanford, Florida. I suspect it may have some Gullah roots, but this is not an etymological pursuit. It’s just that this growing-closer acquaintance – he hain’t been her a double-decade yet, hence the longer spelling for friend – has evolved into what Dan Ping and his fellow founders call “Bokey Bike Mob,” a clutch of locals who bike about Sanford, mostly towndownishly and jinx highly in fun. This is aobut another Bokey. And it smells.
Seems a group at-best may be determined by the evidence left of football as enthusiasts left a Awful Un-Godly Mess after a Sunday game. It could have been those dastardly cricketeers, since the Coors bottle box stuffed with everything but Colorado’s Best with ample littering of water bottle plastic wrappers from a “cube,” and fast not-food sandwich bags and detritus not closely investigated all along the spray-painted sidelines suggests it was work(?) of some callow yooths who forgot to clean up their rumpus rooms when undergoing tykehood. The cricket crowd uses the other side of the pitch to park and they keep a real clean hand at the leftovers from their matches. Likewise the youth football crowd is pretty intolerant of litter. But this crowd seemed unaware that others who used this open space kept their trash picked and packed. And had owners of this nascent midden objected not a whit to such boorish behavior. I got six or so brand-new un-unscrewed upon pint water bottles out of it and as I had a full pack and not much time to get this – and other – screed onto pixels, I left the remains like a picked-over elephant’s skeleton, whey they lay. Al at the Civic/Senior Center got on the phone as I related the tale and he said someone from Parks was “on the way as we speak” Why I typed “sidelines” is that this crew – stay a moment I’ll get to Bokey in a bit – was they had spray-painted in white the outlines of a football field. Nice individual use lime, whose components calcium and carbon may act as soil amendment to any cricket pitch or football patch. Spray paint will fall away, eventually, as the grass overcomes artist, but the titanium – and do I smell a bit of vanadium? as well – and other components will leach into our soil, another gift from the hands of unintended. At the northern end of this Football Field – I did not measure and I suspect neither did they, nor did I explore the southern terminus, as I said I was in a rush. But spray painted behind the last stripe and an area designated end zone by football, rugby and I suspect in a different terminology, lacrosse, were the letters. B O K Y…I believe the E was off doing community service at the time.
For a brief time this exact venue of the venu – where some golfers get in their free swings as an impromptu Launchpad – and, yes I gather the forgotten for gifting purposes – was used for a local kickball gathering that had been chased about downtown for a few seasons. I think a nice, level, un- hilly and holely site closer to downtown, say, its old site at Fort Mellon Park, would be perfect for a croquet, badminton, grass-court volleyball and kickball location. And, while we are at it, send someone, City of Sanford, out Tavares-way to view their world class beach volleyball venue…absolutely EVERY REASON we should steal that idea and bring it home along the banks of Lake Monroe. But, where? That parking lot just across the street from the County Admin building and just East of The New Tribes Mission (formerly Mayfair, etc., Hotel, no? But back to the screed…
Now, Bokey – or Boky – carries no copyright, not does it signify anything sinister: unmannerly, a trifle crass and a definite nod to scofflawry and poor citizenship, in this particular case is a possiblility. The garbage cans located on this large mostly undeveloped park are, admittedly, a trek to take trash from a gamesite – one wonders if the beer box ever held beers or was just drafted for trash can duty? – so I guess I must excuse tender hearts for not taking the time to remove their rust. Well, guess again, Litterbreath! That shit stinks! The time it took to gather together that trash bespeaks something. What, I know not as with most human activities mixed signals get sent.
About this signal: be assured. I harbor no will about anyone using the term Bokey and wish them well of it. Just pick up your damn dirty socks off the livingroom floor, willya!