Tag Archive | Events

Has WordPress turned into Wordpucky or is it ME … I wish I knew

 I’m back. I think I am. I’m not sure. The reason you haven’t seen any posts on this blog is I haven’t been able to gain access to it to write something. Dealing with any of these Internet colossus organizations is frustrating. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The Geezer is just as frustrated as I am. He has his own blog and he’s suffering the same fate. We finally found a tortuous method of getting a post on our own blogs. It isn’t right, but…. The worst thing is we can’t get in touch with anybody to find out if it’s us or them. It happened around the time of one of the up-date “improvements” these organizations do when THEY see fit. Several of them I use have improved the “system” (jokingly stated) to the point I just about can’t use them anymore. Is anybody else frustrated?

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.

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 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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Go see the Geezer tomorrow! Learn some Florida history.


One of the pioneer houses at the Crowley Museum built in the “Florida’s Forgotten Years” That period is his topic for his appearance at Sandman Book Company tomorrow.

I thought I’d give you a last minute shout!  The Geezer is presenting one of his historical programs tomorrow at the Sandman Book Company near Punta Gorda, FL. It’s located at 16480 Burnt Store Road. He’ll be speaking at 11:00 AM and will be signing his latest novel, The Bait Man.

His talk will be about Florida’s history in the period from the end of the Civil War to World War I. It’s full of interesting information about the people and events that still impact us today. Winds will be to high to fish and the Derby isn’t until after five. It’s a short ride for folks living in Lee or Charlotte Counties. Go visit him – he’d love to see you.


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Help me. Tell the Geezer to let me get my paws on the computer.



"Open Minds - Open Books"

He believes readers are thinkers!

The Geezer is in the middle of a stretch where he is busier than a one armed paper hanger! It means he’s gone a lot and the lap top goes with him. I had a chance to get my paws on it for a few minutes this morning, so I took this opportunity to communicate to all of you. You can help me. He’ll be speaking at The Copperfish Bookstore in Punta Gorda, Florida, Tuesday afternoon, November 24, at 6:00 PM. Go see him (the Geezer is also known as DL Havlin) and tell him to let me get a chance to spend some time on line. You might want to stay and hear him talk. He’ll be speaking about his newest novel, Bully Route Home. If you like history delivered in an entertaining style he’s worth seeing. His book, Bully Route Home deals with bullying and race relations and he calls it, “The past’s portrait of today’s problems.”


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Has the Geezer gone cannibal?

Waiting for the crowd

Waiting for the crowd

Yum-Yum!  Mullet on the grill

Yum-Yum! Mullet on the grill

Last weekend the Geezer, Bo…a close family friend… and Mrs. G disappeared early Saturday morning. They were in too much of a hurry to give me anything but a quick trip to the grass, certainly not my normal morning walk. Mrs. G tossed my breakfast in my bowl with not so much as head pat. I watched the Geezer pack a set of knives and other items one would expect to go on a picnic. “Good,” I thought, “I’ll get a romp in the woods today.”

When they headed for the door, I accompanied them, expecting a nice long ride to the Florida wild. Instead, the Geezer stopped me short at the door. “Sorry girl, you can’t go on this one.”

“Why not?” I asked, shocked that I wasn’t welcome to accompany them. They usually want me to go everywhere. Humans depend on our superior canine intellect and tend to become bumbling incompetents without our guidance.

“We’re doing a Calusa tasting today. I’ll be too busy swinging these knives and serving people who are there to experiment with something different.” The Geezer grinned, “This is one of those rare times you can’t come with us.”

Now that shocked me! A Calusa tasting? The Calusa were an Indian tribe I thought had disappeared hundreds of years ago. I knew better, but it just came out. “You aren’t going cannibal on me, are you?”

All three of them laughed as they exited. “I’ll fill you in latter, Sandy,” the Geezer said.”  With that, they left like a Mexican hairless who backed up to close to a prickly-pear cactus to do his job.

When they returned, the Geezer told me that Calusa Tastings were part of Calusa Heritage Day. Calusa Heritage Day is held by the University of Florida’s Randell Research Center on Pine Island, Florida. Yep, I know there are multiple Pine Islands in the Sunshine State. This one is located near Fort Myers and Sanibel. The event derives its name from the Indian tribe that dominated the southern portion of Florida for nearly 2000 years. It’s a celebration of their civilization. The Geezer said, “Today’s humans living in the US often overlook the complexity and achievements of our native American fore-bearers. The Randell Research Center, a fifty-four acre archaeological site, provides ample proof that discounting those people’s achievements is a major error. The Randell family donated the land and the public at large owes this family a large thank you. It takes far-sighted, generous individuals to donate bay-front property in the center of one of the most desirable retirement and playground areas in the state.”

I knew how special this site is from talking about it with the Geezer previously. The dig is unique in that it is right on the water and the sandy soil permits salt water intrusion. This results in the preservation of materials that would normally succumb to oxidation and other forces time exerts on wood, seeds, etc. For example, it was widely believed the Spanish imported the papaya to Florida. Thanks to the conditions at Randell, 1900 year old papaya seeds have been found in the middens (mounds). There weren’t  any Conquistidores spreading seeds back then. The Calusa were sea-faring, mound-building folk that lived by fishing and gathering. For this reason, they kept their villages in close proximity to the water. Because the Gulf of Mexico’s level has changed six feet in the last 2000 years, the settlements yo-yoed back and forth. Dropped and buried items were preserved. (The Gulf of Mexico has been four feet higher and two feet lower than it is today during that time period.)

The Calusa had a highly efficient military establishment, very evolved spiritual beliefs, and were first-class engineers. Their engineering prowess is exemplified by a two-and-a-half mile canal they constructed across the island that was eight feet deep, thirty feet wide and featured recharge ponds… built so they didn’t have to paddle their canoes around the eighteen mile long island. They did this with shell tools!

He told me Calusa Heritage Day celebrates this society. Speakers led by UF’s Dr. Bill Marquardt, the sites director, Dr. Karen Walker, and many other noted historians and scientists that share their knowledge with the people that attend. The Geezer said, “My small part in the celebration is the “Calusa Tastings.” We prepare the foods that the Calusa ate over open fires. Those attending get the opportunity to slurp an oyster, savor a clam, munch on a mullet, pop in a mouthful of papaya, chomp on chili peppers, or enjoy some heart of palm.”

You can visit the Randell Research Center all year round, enjoying artifacts displayed there and tours either guided… or by making the site path’s circuit, reading the explanations on display podiums. It’s a “do not miss” for all visitors to southwest Florida and all that’s required to enjoy this is a small donation that makes it affordable to everyone.

For more info Google “Randell Research Center” or visit  http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/rrc/.

visit my web site at  http://www.dlhavlin.com

AND come visit me in person at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival this Saturday, March 16th from 10 AM until 4 PM at the Riverside Event Center in downtown Ft. Myers.


January 22 – Brrrr! Puttin’ off the cold.

       Brrrr!  I wanted to know what cold felt like.  That’s proof I’m young and my naivete is showing.  When the Geezer slipped into a coat before my 7:00 AM potty call, I scoffed.  The scoff turned to shivers.  Our thermometer said 38 degrees.  That’s not cold for  humans and canines used to living in a refrigerator, but for me that’s, brrrr!
       One of those shivers came right as I made my (as Geezer calls it) “used coffee disposal break.”  He laughed at me!  I said, “Ahhh, Geezer, give a girl a break.”
       “Hey, I saw your smirk  when I put my coat on.  Remember, I don’t have a golden fur coat for cold weather protection.  So, who needs a break, you or me?” 
       When we got back inside, the Geezer grinned and said, “My guess is we can agree we’ll fore-go our trip to the dock this morning, right?”
       “Either way is okay with me.”  I decided I’d let him chicken out.
       “If you want to go out, I can layer a couple shirts under my jacket.”  The Geezer looked at me as he inched toward his bedroom and additional insulation.  When it comes to tests of will, I don’t bluff easy.  I got up on all fours and pranced toward the porch door.  Much to my chagrin, the old boy smiled and disappeared into his room.  After a few minutes he reemerged looking like a half-inflated balloon.  It was evident he intended to brave the elements.
        “Geezer, you look uncomfortable.  I don’t have to go out.  I’ll be fine staying inside.  I don’t want to see you miserable.”  I thought my weasel wording would work.
       “No, I’ll be fine.  With the additional shirts I have on, I’ll keep me as warm as fresh toast.”  He picked up my leash from the table.
       “What about from the waist down?  Do you think you need another pair of socks?  Those loafers don’t look very warm, think you should change them?”  I laid back down on the floor and curled into a ball.  Hint made.
       “My jeans are plenty warm, the socks are wool, and the loafers are lined leather.  Ready?”  It wasn’t like the Geezer to volunteer for time on the rack or in the iron maiden.  When I didn’t get up, he said, “You coming?” 
       I slowly struggled to a sitting position and hesitated.  I needed time for my steel trap mind to spring into action.  Suddenly – inspiration.  “Geezer, I don’t think you should go down and sit on that cold concrete seawall.  Your arthritis will act up.  I’ll gladly forfeit this morning’s trip for you.”  I was sure I had him.
       “I’ll grab a blanket to sit on.”
       “Geezer, the cold will seep right through that cloth from the concrete.  Your hip joints might freeze.”
       The Geezer thought about my warning.  “Maybe your right.  I’ll take one of the camping chairs to sit in.”  He fingered the leash feeling for the clip.
        Panic was setting in.  I laid back down trying to buy time.  I was thinking and talking…no…talking then thinking.  “Ah…Ah…Ah, that’s not gonna be good.  Ah…Ah, the wind.”  I swallowed hard.  “The wind blows.  Ah, it’ll blow under the chair.  Everything on you will stiffen up.  We shouldn’t go out.”
       “Hummm.  Mrs. Gator will like that.  But, you do have a point.”  He nodded his head, a serious look on his face.  “I’d better drape a blanket around me and the chair.  That wind is cold and I know I don’t have a fur coat like yours.” 
       I contemplated leaving my nice warm spot on the rug and sitting on that frigid cement with icy winds whipping through my hair.  The vision made me shudder and shake.  I blurted out, “I don’t want to go down there, Geezer!”
       He smiled.  I could see he had something else in his mind, but was keeping it to himself.  I fought the urge to ask, but eventually my curiosity won.  I said, “What?”  My tone was as sarcastic as I could make it.
       He’d gotten his victory.  The Geezer grinned and said, “You reminded me of an old melody just now, but with different words.”
       “Dare I ask?  Will you sing it for me?”  I knew nothing on earth could keep him from rubbing it in.
       The Geezer cleared his throat and crooned in his best waltz time, “It was Pro- cras-ti-na-tion, I know.”



June 30 – A rose by any other name

       This morning the Geezer Gator and I watched a bird circling above a school of mullet lazily lolling on the canal’s surface.  The wings twitched and it made a talon first free fall, reaching into the water, and grasping an unlucky fish.  It quickly ascended, headed to a dead tree, and had its mullet breakfast, devouring the flesh with great gusto.  I said, “That fish eagle is an impressive raptor, Geezer.”
      “You’re right Sandy.  Ospreys are efficient preditors.”
      I canted my head, averted my eyes, and fluttered my golden lashes at the old boy.  “Geezer, why do you humans have so many names for the same thing?  You have a rough time communicating without complicating it more.  Why not pick “fish eagle” or “Osprey” and let it go at that?”
      “That’s so we can talk about the same thing, but mean something different.”  He grinned.  “We humans are devious creatures.  Some words carry a meaning that’s coupled with a human feeling or reaction and people use that word as a weapon or as camofluage.”
       “I don’t understand– give me some examples.”  Knowing Geezer’s propensity to over verbalize I added, “Two or three will suffice.”
       The old Gator tugged at his nose and rubbed his mustache.  I assume that improves his cranial activity because he does that when asked to provide answers requiring thought process.  After several seconds he said, “Okay I have two.  The first is using the words Progressive or Liberal to describe a person’s political agenda.  Both mean the person’s beliefs lean towards socialism/communism and lower standards of human social behavior.  Progressive makes that agenda sound good and forward moving rather than blessing retrograde sexual behavior, the loss of individual freedoms, etc., that it’s taken civilization thousands of years to evolve from.”
       I nodded, not wishing to get into a right versus left discussion.  “Another please.”
       “Here’s one you’ve asked about.  Populist versus Democracy.  They both mean the majority of the population supports an idea or policy.  If the topic is one a politician or commentator agrees with, the peoples view-point is democracy in action.  However, if they disagree they call it a populist idea, indicatiing it’s popular with the majority of the misguided, uninformed public.”
       “Like what, Geezer?”
       “Illegal immigration.”