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“I bring a turtle out of this pond, put him in another where he won’t do no violence.” It’s cold this late autumn morning when he’s out to show his stuff. He bit my butt and I was walking on water,” he says, laughing and pointing at his war-torn pants. His appearance at a Lincoln County family reunion is set up by his manager. Being a pharmacist, it seems, has nothing on being like this guy who gets to get filthy and rowdy and gross out Aunt Lynn, all at the same time.
And that’s good because the turtle has a fighting chance and the audience, whoever it is that gathers, likes a fair fight. It doesn’t take long for what The Turtle Man calls “live action” to ensue, when he’s slogging through waist-high mud and picking out turtles who think they’ve already camped in for the day or the season. The family seems a bit startled by the way he looks, first; his yell, second; and his special brand of entertainment, finally, when he rolls up in his truck, muddy from stem to stern, showing off the reptiles he’s already bagged that morning. “Another successful entertainment” for Ernie Brown Jr., aka The Turtle Man, who, it seems, is on some kind of a quest and learning all the while.
It is so rare – and, he imagines, so entertaining to watch – that he has his own superhero name, his own soon-to-be-working Web site, and his own imagination working on what he has to do to be famous. He has his own signature rebel yell and a “Snapper-licious” logo. Ornamental birds get bitten, and small pets get killed. And why the public has to understand what a rare and dying thing The Turtle Man is doing and what a rare and dying job he is preserving.
As silly and circus-themed as all that might seem, the point is, people need him. “I’m kind of like a warrior, like Robin Hood,” says The Turtle Man. The Turtle Man, like a traveling showman, moves on to the next waiting throng. Another family member wants to know if he is crazy. It is a fine afternoon in the waning days of 2008, and Philpot’s family has the forever memory of how 80-year-old Nana grabbed a clean handkerchief and held a freshly caught turtle and how 7-year-old Hunter rethought his career choice.
He was married at least twice, fathered a son and daughter, and had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Throughout his career, Jones found numerous famous mythological artifacts, including the Sankara Stones, the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and the Crystal Skull of Akator, which placed him in conflict with different groups across the globe.
Cleveland is usually depicted as exceedingly gentle and patient, and it is only on rare occasions that he has been known to lose his temper and resort to violence.
He works only with his hands, in a job few men in the world are equipped or willing to do. He’s already been seen on You Tube, and two disc jockeys on a Dallas radio station wrote a tune that The Turtle Man likes to play for anyone willing to listen.
They rallied to block construction, and declared its three – count ’em, not two but three – kitchens, terracotta warrior statues, grazing llamas, and lawn the size of some municipal airports distasteful.
In Island conversations, the Boch name became synonymous with excess. – part-time resident, master of promotion, sometimes rock star, and CEO of the fabulously lucrative Boch Automotive Enterprises – you’ll need to look elsewhere.
None of it deterred Boch, who made the Vineyard his year-round home until his death in 2003. Specifically, in an unassuming two-story Cape just down the street. Still, one can’t help asking: what the heck is Ernie Boch Jr. Relaxing, says Boch, leaning back in a seaside-motif upholstered chair.
That property, it turns out, is a lot harder to find, even if you know where to look. It’s just a house, a guest house, and a one-and-a-half-acre lawn rimmed by manicured hedges and hydrangeas. “The vibe in this house is really great, don’t you think?
Video by David Stephenson and Amy Wilson | Staff Story by Amy Wilson In a world without the Crocodile Hunter, there has been since 2006 a swashbuckling-swamp-hero fame vacuum waiting to be filled. Keep people liking you.” Entertainment is sometimes just that simple, he figures.