The good ole summertime or dog days, which is it? People dread it or love it! Some of that depends on the location of your doghouse. If you’re in the mountains of North Carolina or along the Montana – Canadian border, it’s like Hammerstein’s lyrics from Porky and Bess, “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Not so if you’re sweltering in the desert southwest or in Florida’s everglades. Give it six months – those songs will change 180°. I like the summer for another reason. My humans are home more, and when they do travel, they’re much more likely to take me along.
Example, I went up into the cool mountain air a couple of weeks ago. The Geezer’s best friend was celebrating a special birthday in the beautiful town of Burnsville, NC. Ah! The mountains! Plenty of deer to chase. Flowers to sniff in the mountain meadows. Crystal waters to drink from spring fed “branches.” The luxury of watching time rock by. What a trip for relieving the tension created by the tortuous times we live in.
The difference in the two summers was driven home to me when we were returning. Driving south on Interstate 26, we stopped at a rest area, still in the Hendersonville mountain area, so I could sprinkle the grass. The temperature was pleasant, the humidity low. An hour-and-a-half later Mrs. G needed to find a used coffee disposal device (that’s a Geezerism). Hopping out of the car was like jumping into a Swedish sauna with palmettos and pines as decor.
Summer is baby manatee season – Mama & offspring relax in our canal
Summer is when life renews itself. The proof is in our back yard … in the canal and bushes behind it. Two exhibits are placed in evidence. Matilda the Manatee is shown here with her latest young ‘un. Our resident night herons have had their nests in full operation. The next squadron is already flying. Our canal’s air traffic rivals O’hare at times.
I get to go to more of the Geezer’s book events and presentations in the summer. One thing about this season is the drastic difference in outdoor and indoor events. He has two coming up in the next couple weeks. The Geezer will be presenting programs for Master the Possibilities this fall. He’ll be in Ocala for a kick-off meet and greet at 8415 SW 80th Street, in Ocala, FL this coming Friday the 24th at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. It’s in the Cypress and Live Oak’s AC. He’ll also be at Englewood Florida’s Pioneer Days in Pioneer Park on Dearborn Street, September 2nd & 3rd where he’ll be doing some MCing of the program and signing books. It’s outside … it is hot, but it’s fun!
Don’t forget to check out “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference at http://www.southwestfloridawritersconference.com . This is going to be a premier conference. If you want to improve your skills, determine if writing is for you, or GET THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE NEW YORK AGENTS & EDITORS VIEW YOUR WORK you need to be there!
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The Geezer took me to an early 4th of July parade. I always ask lots of questions. Watching the parade pass prompted many. Our conversation, part of it, was as follows:
I asked, “Geezer, are fire engines painted red because that’s the color of fire?
The Geezer 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 reason I think makes more sense was that most 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 their trucks red, a color not used on cars back then.
That was good info for my next trivia contest. I decided to ask a question I knew the answer to just to hear the old boy pontificate, “Geezer, why do you humans have fire-engines in a parade, play all that Souza music, and set off fireworks, and wave all those flags, on the 4th of July?”
Geezer grinned and said, “The 4th of July is our country’s birthday so we Americans celebrate it just like we celebrate your birthday on January 18th. But, you knew that, Sandy.”
I complained, “It’s different. My birthday only rates a bluegrass band and the parade consists of Mr. Smith’s pickup and boat trailer.” A band came around the corner, all with flags attached to their hats. “Wow, there are a lot of flags. Why do you humans have flags, anyway?”
Geezer 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.”
“Why do we have the stars and stripes for America?” I asked.
The Geezer thought for a few seconds and then answered, “Sandy, 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 as important. I see those stripes as stairs that our country offers to all its citizens, who are willing to do the work to climb them, to reach the stars above.
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For information on the “Possibilities! The Hudson comes to the Peace” writers conference, go to http://www.abc-artisansofbooks.com or https://southwestfloridawritersconference.godaddysites.com .
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The Geezer always quotes Santa Anna – “He who chooses to ignore history is doomed to live it again.” I hope those are the right words. Geezer believes we can learn so much from things our species has done right and from its failures. Being canine and observing, I believe he is correct. Humans are a very slow learning species.
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 are siblings. 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.
That’s where he’ll be this weekend. The #Crowley Museum is one of those places that few human folks know about and that lots of human 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. I love that kind of place, but unfortunately, I’m on guard duty this weekend. He’s listed by his author name on their program – DL Havlin, instead of his more descriptive title – Geezer.
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.” One reason I’m not going is all the farm animals. Chasing is irresistible.
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. The Geezer will 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. He’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 the old boy will stick around to answer questions and chat afterwards. He loves that. The Geezer (DL Havlin) will 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 him this weekend!
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Wow! The event I attended over the weekend gets a five bone award on a five bone scale. It had something that all who attended could enjoy. Woof-woof for the “Lemon Bay Historical Society Cracker Fair.” Everything from demonstrations of pioneer living, to the wildlife that Florida’s early settlers had for neighbors entertained and educated. You couldn’t help but be impressed by the folks who made up the very large crowd. I spoke to men and women from nine different countries. (Count ’em – England, Canada, India, France, Denmark, Germany, Columbia, Switzerland, and South Africa.) Like you’d expect, many canines took their humans to the cultural event. I had a chance to bark with breeds from – Boxers to Yorkies – with Chihuahuas, Bull dogs, German Sheperds, and many others mixed in. Of course, other Goldens were well represented. I distributed my canine cookie recipe to so many, I almost ran out of the cards it’s printed on. Below are some interesting pics from the fair.
There wasn’t a negative about the fair. The result on the Geezer … that’s another thing. It will take a month for the swelling to go down. He was the featured speaker during the town’s history week at Charlotte/Englewood library a few days before and many people stopped by to tell him they really enjoyed his presentation. (At that point, an air-compressor hose was attached to his cranium) A couple individuals asked him to speak to their organizations. If that wasn’t bad enough, four people who have read his books stopped by to buy more and tell him how much they loved his stuff. That last part, the loved his stuff, was bad! The compressor fired off. Putt, putt, putt, putt……… Next, two placed orders for a book he’s in the process of finishing. Compressor. Faster. Buttabuttabuttabutta……….. Finally, one person left her name with a standing order for each new book when it comes out. Compressor. Race. Bbbbrrrruuuummmmmmmm………. The old turkey will be hard to live with for a while. If I can find a large pin, I’ll puncture that balloon – that is if I can find a way to shelter from the gush of hot air that will rush out at hurricane force.
The Geezer loves history and the culture of ALL of our past. He believes that choosing to ignore history insures the same mistakes will be relived. Ignoring or “deleting” what’s happened won’t change one thing and only drastically increases the probability of an instant replay.
The Cracker Fair is all about history. Some intrepid re-enactors sweated and sweltered in the Florida sun so the visitors could get the flavor of the times. Below are a couple of gentlemen who were walking, talking history books. They added mystic and ambiance besides answering questions about the time period.
Worse, the Geezer will be speaking at the Helen B. Hoffman Library, located at 501 N Fig Tree Lane, in Plantation, Florida, Monday 2/12 at 10 AM. He’ll be speaking about “The loyal 14th colony: Florida in the Revolutionary War.”
I may need a blimp tender to hold him down after that.
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I finally was able to get to the computer to write a post! The Geezer has been so busy he’s hogged the keyboard ever since Christmas. The old boy is finishing two books. He’s doing a final edit on one and completing the last chapters on the other. The months of December through April are Snow Bird season so that means he’s busy on the speaker’s circuit. Most “events” are held during that period because there are up to a third more folks that can attend.
It’s also the season he gets to enjoy seeing his long-lost schoolmates and friends. The old boy really loves that. He’s had three visits in the last four weeks.
You’d think this would give me more, not less, opportunity to blog. Nope. Two things have occurred to keep this from happening. First, because he’s been so busy, he has switched to a lap top and takes it with him. Second, and this one I can’t even complain about, he has been able to take me with him on a lot of events lately. If I complain about that, all the moaning and grousing about being left at home will have been wasted.
My two favorite friends in the neighborhood are away on trips. Manny, the Chichichua is off on a cruise through the Panama canal. It will be a while before he or Sarge comes back. Sarge is my German Shepard friend who is visiting relatives in Colorado for a month of skiing. I can see his humans on skis, but even though Sarge is an athlete that vision is a bit much. That leaves Fifi and Lucy. Fifi is the typical conceded Poodle who knows everything and has done everything better than you and Lucy the Cocker Spaniel owns a mouth that may be the first perpetual motion machine ever invented. It is tough spending time with them. I try, but boredom is better.
Being careful to avoid complaining about all the travelling, I told the Geezer, “Geezer I’m bored. Can’t you find a way to let me get some computer time? I’m tired of doing nothing.”
“Why are you unhappy? Seems to me you have it very good. All you have to do is watch the Osprey’s nest across the street, see the mullet jump in the canal, sleep on your cushions, and ride with me when I go to speak. You like all those things, don’t you?”
The old boy had me boxed in and he knew it. “So, you should be happy, right?”
You know, sometimes I’m so happy I could just s _ _ t!
Note: Come see the Geezer and me at Pioneer Park in Englewood, Florida tomorrow. He’ll be there all day.
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