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Time to become a “Shady Lady”

Waiting for the Geezer IN THE SHADE

July is here! In Florida that means it’s hot, and humid, and hot, and buggy, and HOT! For the Geezer and me that means early morning walks. The sun isn’t at full broil at that time. We’re sure we leave the house just after the mosquitoes and sand flies have finished breakfast. Even at 9 AM the sun is beating down … it doesn’t take much time before I’m in full pant mode.

The Geezer says I become a “shady lady” this time of year. It has nothing to do with a break-down in my impeccable morals. It has to do with the route I choose when we take our walks. The Geezer chooses to walk along the road in a straight line. I, however, am smarter. I go from one patch of shade to the next. Yes, I zig and zag a lot, but I stay cooler! That’s just one more piece of evidence that canine’s are intellectually superior to humans.

Even though it is a hot walk during the summer months, the route we take is so relaxing and beautiful it makes the heat bearable. If there’s any breeze at all, we get it as we walk along the bay front. Bokeelia is an enclave of “old Florida,” a place resisting the encroachment of huge development. We love that. The picture below illustrates what our community is like.

 

Mainstreet – Bokeelia (literally)

One of the structures we pass is indicative of the place and its people. We have our own “Little Free Library.” If you have a book you want to share, you can place it there. If you need something to read, you can pick up a novel or a book on Florida’s history. The Geezer says “readers are thinkers” and that “open minds, open books.” The community, though small, reflects that profile. The lettering on our library’s gable says it all.

 

Our community “Little Free Library” in Bokeelia

 

Our library is representative of Bokeelia’s inhabitants prospective. We like to do it ourselves. We like to work together. We live within our means. We prefer the functional over the grandiose. We find a way to get it done. The picture of our library says it all.

 

Our library – little but mighty!

 

For all you writers! The Geezer is chairperson for a major writer’s conference to be held in April of 2019 here in SW Florida! You can learn more about it by visiting these sites:

https://southwestfloridawritersconference.godaddysites.com

http://www.abc-artisansofbooks.com

 

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Another way to look at our flag.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

 

A cool dip on the hot 4th!

Mrs. G getting ready for the parade.

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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Meet the Geezer

I reflect best as I ride

Hi all – A quick note to let you know as of two days ago I’m able to make posts, respond to comments … hooray!

Want to meet the Geezer? He’ll be speaking to a writers group, Gulf Coast Writers Association in Fort Myers, Florida this Saturday (June 16th). The meeting is held at Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL   33919. His topic will be “A writer’s covenant – gaining influence and the responsibility that goes with it.”

He will also be announcing the 2019 southwest Florida writers conference titled, “Possibilities, the Hudson comes to the Peace.” It will feature agents and editors from New York City.

 

 

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The Geezer deep in thought … or the best imitation of which he’s capable

A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember-1

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.

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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.

New Neighbors

There goes the new house. We have one in our neighborhood. Mrs. G and I have watched our new neighbors struggle to build their home. When I said “there goes their house,” I meant that literally. We have watched them build it piece by piece. Our new neighbors are a pair of Ospreys who have selected a dead pine tree directly across the street from our house.

The Geezer says our new two birds are intrepid builders. He’s watched them fend off another pair of Osprey and an outsized Bald Eagle that all decided that pine was where they wanted to live. The nest, mom, and dad are shown in the following picture. I mentioned the county noise ordinance, but they don’t pay any attention. They’re better than the morning alarm clock I understand how the “Screamin’ Eagles” got their name.

Osprey

These birds are my alarm clock EVERY morning

 

The Geezer is at the Crowley Museum this weekend.

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.

 

One of the structures at the Crowley Museum

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.

 

Museum Exhibit – Whip that gave birth to the term “Cracker.”

Transportation – 1880’s Florida style. One of a multitude of exhibits (as they were) at the Crowley Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cane Press

A place to think and stink back in the day.

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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A day at the fair …

Englewood Florida’s “Cracker Fair” was a great event. Heavily attended, its organizers deserve to take a bow.

 

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.

 

This hawk checked out the spectators. Old talons was part of the wildlife exhibit.

“Who dat?” The wise old owl asked about an admirer. Wildlife was there courtesy of a wildlife rescue/refuge group. They do great work!

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.

Infantryman Gene, a friendly fellow from the Florida militia, circa 1860s

Here comes the cavalry! An officer from the same period. One neat guy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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