Tag Archive | History

Summertime and the livin’ is easy … or is it?

Main Street, you have to love it!

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.

Time to watch the world rock by, IF you can keep awake. See me making Zs at the end of the line?

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.

The Herons return to raise a new generation!

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.

Outside is … outside. That’s hot and fun.

 

Inside is cooler and comfortable in summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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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Golden Buddy — Where does all your energy come from?

Me and my niece Remi. This younger generation makes me tired just watching them.

I’m recuperating. My muscles are sore, my joints are jingling, even my tail hurts. Keeping up with the relatives isn’t always a good idea, particularly if the relative is ten percent of your age. The Geezer and Mrs. G took me to visit my niece, Remi, this weekend. She lives in the Jacksonville area. She’s Golden. Yep, she’s a Golden Retriever, too. Remi is a little over one year old. I love her, but she makes Niagara Falls look inactive.

We’ve been together before and I new she was energetic, but I didn’t expect to step into a situation equivalent to a nuclear explosion. When the front  door closed behind me at her human’s house, the action began. In the twenty feet it took to get from the door to the living room, Remi had circled me four times, jumped over me three times and crawled under me once. She was as quick as the animation in one of those super-hero cartoon films. Maybe she thinks she’s The Golden Flash or something.

“Let’s play tug-o-war.” Remi bounded around and picked up a rope with handles on both ends. When I didn’t respond, she added, “Come on, live a little!” I rolled my eyes, but she didn’t receive the same message I was trying to send. “How about we do the tug thing and run and jump into the swimming pool at the same time. How’s that? Huh? Huh?”

I needed some excuse that wouldn’t admit I was at the age that a discussion about the literary classic “Lassie, Come Home,” or an in depth analysis of the pros and cons of dry foods versus canned was more to my liking than a serious romp in the park. The best I could come up with was, “My winter coat is coming in and I’m shedding very badly right now. I need to stay out of your humans pool.”

“OH! Okay! Lets play with a ball. I’ll go get one. We can play take away. I hold it my teeth and growl when I’m ready to begin. You grab it with your teeth and try to pull it away from me.”

I had to think of something. I lied —– “I have false teeth.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Lets play tag, instead of take away. I hold the ball and runaway until you catch me. Then I give you the ball and I chase you until I tag you. I’ll even give you a five second head-start.”

“Honest, Remi, I’m tired from my travel. Right now I’d have a rough time summoning up enough energy to chew my dinner.” I thought that would end the conversation.

“Poor Sandy! Those horrible false teeth. I’ll help! I’ll chew your food for you! You might lose some in the process, but it’s better than starving.”

I knew I was cooked. I said, “Let’s go play.” No other three words have caused me more misery.

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The Geezer had a successful visit to the Florida Heritage Book Festival on Saturday in St. Augustine. His publisher and a number of her authors attended to support this literary event. I’ve included a picture of his display and pictures of our visit to the Camp Blanding Museum on the way home. I’ll being speaking of both in future posts.

DL (The Geezer) in his taylor and Seale tee shirt talking to other T&S people at the Florida Heritage Book Festival

C-47 cargo plane with D-Day wing markings. Aircraft like this one were what our brave paratroops jumped out of to land in France.

Inside the Museum. A room like this was where GIs lived while they trained for combat.

 

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Happy 4th! … Bring the Cannoli and leave the Firecrackers!

I’m watching from the car as Mrs. G prepares for her ride in the 4th-of-July parade.

It was fun! I got to watch one of my humans participate in our community’s celebration of the birth of our nation. Mrs. G was in Pine Island’s Parade. With the sky-roof open the windows down and the AC running, I felt like an executive in a luxury box at a big-league stadium.

Mrs. G was a pirate. Aaarrggghhh! The boat-float’s slogan was “Give me freedom – or walk the plank.” It works …

The Geezer snapped these pictures before and during the parade. He tries, but he’d be better off writing about what he saw. He uses a camera as well as our cat Oreo swims … not very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the clown (literally) tossing firecrackers closer to me than I liked. The Geezer saw that ended quickly.

“Standing by the corner watching all the floats go by” The Geezer told me to write that. Mrs.G is in part of the boat he didn’t cut off.

It was fun! Now, I’m looking forward to one of those ribeyes I saw in the grocery bags. Grilling Beans, potato salad, and ice cream, YUM! Bring the Cannoli and leave the firecrackers. Happy 4th to you all!

 

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Saaaa-lute!

My salute to all U.S. veterans and our current military. To the living and especially to those who gave their all, God bless you!

 

Thank you!

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You!

Words aren’t always enough. We owe so much to those who have fought for our freedom, gained it and have protected it ever since. But since this is the best we can do … THANK YOU from my heart … and the Geezer’s.

 

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