A grandfather took his seven year old grandson to a parade on the 4th of July. Little Jimmy asks lots of questions. Watching the parade pass prompted many of them.
Jimmie asked, “Grandpa, are fire engines painted red because that’s the color of fire?
Grandpa answered. “No, but I’ve heard two reasons why fire-engines are painted red. One is that early firemen were proud of their trucks and so they painted them the most expensive color available in the late 1800’s. But … The one I think makes more sense was that most all of the early automobiles were painted black. Firemen in the late 1800’s wanted it to be easy for people to see them coming when they raced to a fire so they painted them red a color not used on cars back then.
Jimmie asked, “Grandpa, why do we have fire-engines in a parade, and set off fireworks, and wave all those flags, on the 4th of July?”
Grandpa answered, “The 4th of July is our country’s birthday so we Americans celebrate it just like we celebrate your birthday.”
Jimmie asked, “Wow, there are a lot of flags. Why do we have flags?”
Grandpa answered, “All people have flags as symbols of their country. We have the stars and stripes, Japan has a rising sun, Canada has a Maple leaf. Those symbols say something about their country.”
Jimmie asked, “Why do we have the stars and stripes for America?”
Grandpa thought for a few seconds and then answered, “Jimmie, most people will tell you the stars stand for each state we have in our nation and that thirteen stripes stand for the original thirteen colonies that declared their independence. That is true. But …… I’m going to give another reason, one that I believe is most important. It is one I want you to remember. I see those stripes as stairs our country offers to all its citizens, who are willing to do the work to climb them, to reach the stars above.
Has your life ever inspired you to write? Then come to check out the Gulf Coast Writers Association. Our guest speaker DL Havlin, will be letting us in on how he weaves reality into a world of fiction. The meeting will be held Saturday, June 16 at Zion Lutheran Church, Fort Myers 33919. First time guests are free. If you want more info please call 770-906-7885 or go to gulfwriters.org.
If you wondered why I suddenly stopped posting on this blog, the answer is simple. I couldn’t gain access to my own blog! The worst thing is we can’t get in touch with anybody to find out if it’s us or them. I don’t have the slightest. Mr. WordPress, can you please provide some reasonable and understandable way of contacting you for help? I guess you can chalk this post up to venting. It’s kind of like barking at the moon. You do it. You know it’s foolish and will accomplish nothing. But, you do it anyway. We’re back posting, but in a tortuous, round-about method.
Venting over! Many things are going on. My newest mystery/suspense book, “Turtle Point” is released. It is available on Amazon and Kindle. Pub folks always preach you should be able to describe your book in 20 words or less. Okay, here goes. “Can a good man literally bury a bad past event in his life?” Count them, that’s thirteen! #Turtle Point is set in Southwest Florida’s barrier islands, contains a lot of info about sea turtles, and introduces the heroine of my “Iron Lady” series, Harper Sturgis. (No shrinking violet she!)
For the many who have attended my historical presentations and bug me about the “Clayton’s Chronicles” series (Florida’s history in novel form – think “A Land Remembered”) the first book is complete, it’s edited, and it’s ready for the publisher. Fall of this year? Hopefully.
I’ll end with some TRULY GREAT NEWS for authors, writers, and writer-want-to-be’s in the southwest Florida area (That area from Sarasota to Marco Island and inland across the state.). ABC Books 4 Children and Adults is sponsoring a full-scale writers conference in April 2019 (Saturday the 13th). It’s titled, “The Hudson comes to the Peace” (Referring to rivers in each area) and will feature 16 of New York’s top agents and editors. The theme is “Possibilities”. That’s all the many ways you can improve your writing talent by working with newspapers, magazines, TV, electronic media and many more. It’s a full day of education that is available at a fraction of the cost of equivalent events in other venues.
The key I most frequently use
This has been an especially busy winter season for me. Most have been very good. Some … Well, there’s always some rain to make you appreciate beautiful sunny days.
As has to be apparent, one of those rainy day events has been my inability to post to this and my other blogs. To compound the problem, I found in the six week period of time between posts, WordPress decided to make everything I knew about getting into to post obsolete. It was changed, or gone, or I simply don’t know. I’m still not able to post, but this will be my first one when I finally can get some help from this organization.
Technology is a good thing? Certainly … in many respects it is. But, I sometimes wonder if many changes in technology are made for that sake alone. Some require us all to relearn what we do when the changes are unwanted and in lots of cases less than useless to many users. Hopefully this post will find its way to the I-net sooner than later.
As a friend once said, “Oh, I long for the days of the slate, chisel, and hammer.”
That’s where I’ll be this weekend. The #Crowley Museum is one of those places that few folks know about and that lots of people should. It’s a living photo of history within a two-and-a-half hour drive for those living in communities from Marco Island to Clearwater and into the center of south Florida.
The Crowley is a late 1800’s frontier town that’s been restored to preserve the area’s heritage. It even has some of the cattle breed the Spanish brought with them in the 1500s that was the foundation for Florida’s first important industry, “ranch herding.”
The event for this weekend is the Southwest Florida Heritage Festival. There will be all kinds of demonstrations like squeezing sugar cane and making syrup from the juice just like Florida Crackers did using draft animals and wood fires. Other exhibitions include spinning, whip making, bee keeping, noodle making, pioneer cooking and more! Here are a few pictures.
Irma was rough on this wonderful example of Florida history. It has just recently been reopened after the extensive work done to put it back as it was! I highly recommend you stop by and see this fascinating bit of Americana. I’ll be presenting two historical talks at the Crowley Learning Center. “The Loyal 14th Colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War” will presented Saturday (2/24) at 11:00 AM. I’ll talk about “Florida: The Forgotten Years – 1865 to 1920” on Sunday (2/25) also at 11:00 AM. Both presentations have power point programs with them and I’ll stick around to answer questions and chat afterwards. In fact, I’ll be there both days open to close. Instructions to get to the Learning Center are available on line and will be at the event.
The Crowley Museum is located very near Sarasota. Exit I-75 on to Fruitville Road East. Fruitville dead ends into Myakka Road. Turn right. The road twists and turns for a few miles to 16405 Myakka. That’s about 13 miles from the #210 exit off I-75. It’s on the left side of the road traveling east. There is a website with more info. It’s http://www.crowleyfl.org . GPS should get you there. Come see me this weekend!
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Just when you think you have control … control has you! A few days before Christmas I believed, erroneously, I had the next four months hog-tied, caged, and on the truck. January through April are a very busy time for me. Florida’s winter residents make it the time for all types of organizations to hold events. That means it gives me lots of opportunities to meet a lot of you, do my impersonation of a car salesman and sell books, and it makes my historical presentations, book readings, and writing classes a lot more frequent.
Wham! My publisher was ready with one of my books earlier than I anticipated and there were galleys to peruse. Bam! A writer’s club, one which I’m on the board of directors, decided to start work on a great project, but one that gobbles time. Allikizam! PR Lady (my publicist) received a lot of new opportunities for me speak, crowding my schedule. Yes, I still have to finish a book in February! Finally … Double WHAM! The damage caused to my seawall isn’t resolved. Insurance companies believe you pay them so they have money for their executive payrolls. What a mess!
All this has turned my smoothly oiled machine into rusted junk. At least as far as my time is concerned.
I’ve been speaking a lot at libraries, historical societies, book clubs and civic organizations and have been to a number of book festivals and signings. The most recent one (last Tuesday) was at the Englewood – Charlotte County Library as part of the city’s week-long historical celebration. My topic was about one of Florida’s most important figures from the 1800’s, Jake Summerlin. We had a “full house” of enthusiastic listeners. Two of them were descendants of old Jake himself. Both were embarrassingly complimentary of the talk. That’s quite an honor. Those two gentlemen’s pictures are highlighted at the beginning of this post. Below is a photo of the participants. Charlotte County’s library system and their Cultural Center are among the best we visit in the state. If you’re interested in having me speak to your group, go to my web page at http://www.dlhavlin.com and click on the presentation list on the right side.
If you are in the Englewood area tomorrow (2/10), I’ll be at Pioneer Park 10 to 4, meeting, greeting and yakking. The park is located at 301 Dearborn, Englewood, Florida. Come on out, I’d love to meet you!
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