Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Remembering Swampy

It's over twenty years since Swampy was in the news but people still recognise the name. It came up in a conversation we were having with Matthew this morning. 

Swampy is particularly memorable to us because we once had a relationship-defining argument with Ailz's parents that turned personal after Dot said she'd like to throw him in a proper swamp and have the crocodiles eat him. I don't suppose ours was the only family he split. There was something archetypal about him- shades of Puck and the Green Man . Those who support the Sheriff of Nottingham to my right, those who support Robin to the left.

The man who carried the name has long since slipped out from under it. "Didn't he become a stockbroker?" said Ailz. No, he didn't. I checked. The last time the media took any notice of him he was living under his given name in a yurt in Wales. He hadn't renounced his principles, but his tree-climbing, tunnel-digging and column-writing days were over and he was doing little jobs for the Forestry Commission- like planting acorns. He had kids. He ran marathons. That was five years ago. He said he never meant to become a poster-boy for the movement and it seems he meant it. 

Sensible of him. It's burdensome to wear the mask of a god.
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