Saturday, March 20, 2010


Skwoosh makes a “big splash” in the Everglades

Eclipsed by the Oscars and spring training, the ‘DUNKING” of Megan Hoolihan, an 18 year old senior at Golden Gate High School and the 2009 - 2010 Swamp Buggy Queen, almost went unnoticed. Megan was officially dunked on Sunday, March 7, at the Swamp Buggy Spring Championship which was held at the Florida Sports Park in East Naples Florida. Never heard of a Swamp Buggy let alone the Swamp Buggy Races? I wonder why.
Here’s a little history:
It all started with farming, fishing, hunting, and hunting buggies. During the development of Collier County (encompassing a major part of the Everglades in S.W. Florida) strange looking vehicles featuring huge balloon tires, gun racks, and sporting catchy names like “Dirt Dobber” or Tumblebug” began to emerge. There were no developed roads so the only way to penetrate the vast boggy mire of the Everglades was the “Swamp Buggy”. Back then, before Skwoosh gel cushions, kayak seats or waterproof kayak fishing seat backs, the Everglades was a perfect place for kayak fishing, camping and hiking. Swamp Buggies were built primarily as vehicles for hunting but soon they were being used for everything from Sunday afternoon outings to hunting expeditions in the Everglades. Prior to the opening of the hunting season many of the “Crackers” would gather and spend a week preparing their Buggies for the “season” by camouflaging, stocking up with fuel, food and ammunition. They waterproofed their Buggies and layed in at least a one week supply of their favorite home brewed beverage. After all, they were going into the murky Florida swamps for a week or two of gators, snakes and panthers. Now just imagine the comfort these harty South West Floridians could have experienced if they had a waterproof gel Therapy cushion to help support their backs and improve their swamp driving posture. They wouldn't have needed their home brewed buverage to kill their pain.
The first races started around 1943, featuring a dozen or so local hunters racing only for the pride of finishing ahead of their neighbors. By the late forties, 30 to 40 would-be racers would gather the week before hunting season to race for valued prizes, usually a new shotgun donated by local merchants.
On November 12, 1949, with a field of almost 50 competitors, these awkward, determined vehicles motored their way into history.
As the popularity of the sport grew, so did the rewards. Cash prizes began to replace the turkeys and shotguns of the past. With purses of several thousand dollars, the incentives to go faster grew. Buggies were now being constructed for racing only. The newer designs were too fast and too loud to be used for hunting and an engraved trophy replaced the at-a-boys and the trophy deer. It was during this era that several important traditions were born. The most popular and colorful, is the legendary "Swamp Buggy Queen's Annual Mud bath!" The Swamp Buggy Queen Pageant is held every April, and a Queen is chosen. The "Dunking" tradition began in 1957 when race winner H.W. McCurry, in a state of exuberant celebration, grabbed the Queen, gown, fancy hair-do and all and dunked her in the deepest and muckiest part of the "Mile 'O Mud" oval race track. This grimy, slimy, hilarious tradition lives on today and is the final act of every race weekend. Let’s say the weekend closes with a great big “mud splash”.
Now you ask “how could the Oscar’s and Spring training eclipse a major activity like the Spring Championship Swamp Buggy Races”? We don’t know the answer to that question but we are pondering the strategy Skwoosh will use to promote our swamp kayak paddling gel seat. How does “travel to the Swamp Buggy Races on a Skwoosh gel travel cushion” sound? Do you think we might be able to offer the 2010 Swamp Buggy Office gel Cushion? If Skwoosh is successful in winning a grant for the construction of bleacher and stadium seats for the Swamp Buggy Races we could see sales of Bleacher gel seats and Stadium gel seats skyrocket. Come to think of it, Skwoosh can be dunked all day long. Each and every Skwoosh gel cushion is WATERPROOF and unaffected by “mud dunking”, you know.

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