I was sitting on the screened-in porch of my husband’s family old beach cottage in Grayton Beach, Florida and watching the nearby four-wheel drive vehicles trek across the soft sand near the house. As a pickup truck lumbered by, my brother in law remarked “There goes the parrot.” I wanted, of course, to know to what he was referring and he pointed out the live parrot on top of the luggage rack of the truck as it made its way to the beach. A short while later, we all made our way to the beach and I found the truck-riding parrot on the beach with her owner.
What Parrot Head isn’t drawn to a live parrot? I introduced myself to Judi Good, owner of Clarise the Macaw and her friend Neal Hill. Soon I learned the story of Clarise, the boogie board-riding blue and gold macaw. Judi worked in a major pet chain store years ago and met Clarise when the bird was only 6 months old. Clarise had a severe behavioral problem and was in danger of being put down by the store. Judi intervened and began training the misunderstood macaw, who was mean and angry. Before Judi officially adopted Clarise, she made sure that the chain never sold macaws again, nationwide.
Judi told me that she made the decision, after adopting Clarise, that there would be “no marriage, no kids and no other pets.” The macaw was going to demand a great deal of her attention from now on. Clarise is now 17 years old and a well-behaved, very talented bird, who loves attention, especially from women. Judi is a blonde, as am I, so Clarise happily hopped on my arm that I offered as Judi continued to tell me about the bird.
Judi relocated to the Grayton Beach, Florida area and Neal Hill has lived in the Grayton area for seven years now. He is responsible for building all of Clarise’s perches, which include the top of the truck, a boogie board perch, a bicycle perch and a perch affixed to a kayak. This is how Clarise is able to ride all of these conveyances and that has helped her become a celebrity in the Florida’s 30A (a nearby road) area.
And Clarise has quite the professional resume! She’s been in a wedding, in a jewelry advertisement in a local magazine and featured in a music video. There is a popular local singer/ songwriter named Brian Kennedy and she is featured in his music video of his song “Peace, Love and Bare Feet.” Clarise is also on YouTube, riding her boogie board and on the bicycle perch. Judi says that she is most talkative when she’s at the beach, although she loves to listen to conversations and “knows the secrets of Grayton!”