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.
I quote Santa Anna – “He who chooses to ignore history is doomed to live it again.” I believe we can learn so much from things we have done right and from our failures.
This day is one of those days that we should look back and listen to what history is screaming. Look at the pictures on this blog and understand what they mean. Each body lying on the beach was someone’s loved one. That corpse gave its life for all of us. It did this so we can have the freedoms we should enjoy and savor. They were purchased at such a high cost.
Today, there are many humans that do not value the sacrifices made and are perfectly willing to sacrifice freedoms for their particular political thought. Inflexibility and ignorance and siblings and some see their view of the world as the only correct one. How sad. If something doesn’t affect them in the here and now they devalue it.
Let’s see if we can add that worth back. Look at the picture below. It’s the body of a brave man who died alone. In all probability his death was painful. No one was there to comfort him. Now, look at him a little differently. His unseen face is your brother, your son, your uncle, your father. The price of his sacrifice has just gone up. We should accord all those nameless, faceless heroes the same honor and esteem we would for those of our blood.
Today, June 6th, 2018, say a prayer and give thanks to all those who fought, who fought and died, and who fought and were forever changed. In actuality, they are all our blood relatives.
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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One football helmet. Used. Scared. Priceless!
Yesterday, my wife found a package that had been delivered by UPS. We evidently weren’t home when it was delivered for the delivery man placed it in a place where it would be safe from the weather. It was in plain sight, nestled in a group of boxes of similar size and shape. Obviously, it went undetected for a few days. In the box were Christmas presents sent from my daughter and her family.
My daughter is a busy sales executive (V.P.), but she manages to take the time each Christmas to find a gift that transcends the obligatory … her gifts are personal. I’ve come to expect and look forward to their arrival. But this year … this year, I received a priceless gift in that plain brown corrugated box. However, it was not from her.
You see it pictured above. It is a football helmet, one worn by my Grandson Brad. With it was a note, a note I choose to selfishly keep as one of those objects that is of the “heart,” private. It is for me to savor and for me alone. That’s one of the things that makes it so special. As we age we appreciate life landmarks more; we know life’s important issues because we have lived it.
As a grandparent of four marvelous young adults, I have been blessed. Like all grandparents, I want to do what I can to make each one successful and, most importantly, happy. When I looked at my inventory of items I might share with Brad, my experience coaching football was something I believed would help him. He was an eager learner. He never lost the flex in his knees, kept his toes in so he could start quickly in any direction, kept his power line low, and never let a blocker get to his outside leg when he played outside linebacker. He was a very good player.
As satisfying as seeing him play successfully was, receiving the helmet is an indication that he learned things that transcend the physical skills he was taught. The greater values a sport teaches us are values that are retained and used as we go through our lives. Brad values our relationship on a deep level; it is one of those lessons. The value of team work, personal sacrifices required to attain a goal, embracing hard work, learning that we are a victim if we choose to remain one, and the concept of loyalty to ideas, to organizations, and to people are notches on a person’s character belt. Thanks for a priceless gift, Brad. I’ll sleep well tonight.
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