On this episode of DocuNauts, Josh and I take a trip below the Mason-Dixon and into the past to 1981, Vernon, Florida. This quirky doc is a series of interviews with the residents of Vernon who range from endearingly eccentric to downright strange.
Famous documentarian Errol Morris made this film as a follow up to his surprise hit “Gates of Heaven”, a documentary about the business of pet burials. Allegedly, his Vernon film was originally going to be entitled “Nub City” because the residents habitually amputated their own limbs to collect insurance payments (it is rumored Vernon accounted for 2/3 of all amputation insurance claims in the U.S. during the time). Morris claimed he changed titles and subject matter after receiving death threats from residents. Whether the tale is pure publicity stunt or the Bible truth, there is no denying that Vernon is a strange place.
Residents include a turkey farmer who says “gobble” with the sort of reverence normally reserved for a religious idol, a preacher who thinks the word ‘therefore’ is pretty confusing, a worm farmer who lost some of his wigglers when they orchestrated a cunning night time escape, a couple with a jar of sand that keeps growing, the Steve Irwin of Vernon who displays both a tortoise and an opossum, and a nonchalant police officer.
In this less-content-commentary more tangent episode, Josh and I discuss our small town experiences, our feelings about crawdads, the correct pronunciation of ‘creek’ and much more. Join us next week as we watch ‘Restrepo’, a documentary filmed while embedded with troops in the most combative region of Afghanistan.