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in this issue




MEMORIALS AND MONUMENTS ACROSS THE SUNSHINE STATE Throughout the state, hundreds of monuments and memorials can be found dotting the streets. Each commemorates an important, time period, person or location that contributed to Florida’s vast heritage.

our florida heritage


BEACH: A NOVELIST WITH A GROWING PASSION 8 REX Rex Beach found praise with his writing career but earned a greater recognition for his contributions to the state’s agricultural industry. FLORIDA 42 VANISHING Most of the popular citrus stands of yesteryear are gone, yet some still


weather the storm and continue to market fresh Florida fruits.

florida living


WATCHING WILDLIFE Visit Boca Ciega Millennium Park, learn about mangroves and create beautiful landscapes on the waterfront.


FLORIDA FESTIVALS AND EVENTS 46th Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts Juried Festival & Competition, Walk MS, Brevard Art Museum’s Annual Fundraiser & Gala: Imagine VII, 2nd Annual Lower Keys Reggae Fest, 49th Apopka Art & Foliage Festival, and much more are listed in this month’s calendar.


FLORIDA DINING GUIDE From barbecue to Italian, the state’s array of dining establishments offer fabulous Florida fare.


IN THE FLORIDA KITCHEN Cook up some summer squash with Chef Justin Timineri.


STATE OF MINE Florida Book Reviews, This Month in Florida History


IN THE FLORIDA GARDEN Learn how to grow beautiful cacti and succulents throughout the year.


NATURAL FLORIDA Ravine Gardens State Park attracts thousands of visitors a year and holds an abundance of beautiful foliage.


travel florida highways®


DISCOVER NORTHWEST FLORIDA’S GULF COAST…WALTON COUNTY Find the beach community that suits your style at the Beaches of South Walton.


more information @ about the cover— 30

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Lifeguards stand at attention along the beautiful Beaches of South Walton.


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42 florida monthly april 2010

inside florida

Founder John Paul Jones, Jr. 1912-2001

(407) 816-9596 • ___________________________________________________________ Executive Editor/General Manager Kristen Cifers Office Manager Susan Hagler ___________________________________________________________

raveling in cold weather has very little appeal to me. Needless to say, February and March were cold months this year. But, there were a couple of events we couldn't miss and hope you didn't either. We attended the Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo last month and the Houston Astros - New York Yankees baseball game in Kissimmee. Interestingly, both events had sell-out crowds. Spring Training is always a real treat and Arcadia's rodeo is as good as it gets.The challenge now is to find other things for entertainment, recreation and enjoyment. Our writers and editors have some great stories, festivals & events, and heritage features for you in this issue and at Florida has a rich history, which is documented across the state with monuments and memorials. We thought you might find interest in some of these commemorative shrines. If you were asked about Rex Beach, would you think of water gently rolling ashore? Or, would you think of an author who grew celery? Alice Luckhardt tells us the story of Rex Beach in this issue. Chef Justin Timineri is "In The Florida Kitchen" this month cooking up some Florida squash; State of Mine has new book reviews for your Florida reading enjoyment; Watching Wildlife takes us to Boca Ciega Millennium Park for a lesson on Mangrroves and waterfront landscaping; and, this issue and feature even more. By the way, the digital edition of Florida Monthly is 108 pages this month. With more than 2,800 festivals & events this month, there is something of interest for every member of the family. So, turn the page or visit and enjoy Florida. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Gibaldi Managing Editor Maria Orem Special Projects Manager George Lane Calendar/Research Editor Katie Harding Graphic Designers Valeria Crisafi Michelle Matteson Contributors James O. Born, Justin Timineri, Fred Dean, Sandy Rutland, Diane McDilda, Josie Gulliksen, Donna Singer, Michael Wisenbaker, Andy Boyd, Apryl Chapman-Thomas, Dr. Marina D’Abreau, Ethel Yari Photographer Dennis Burns ___________________________________________________________ Circulation Manager Mary Lou Crane ___________________________________________________________ Director of Sales Chris Silveira Regional Sales Managers Michelle Westberry Judy Medley Claire Naumann Betty Westberry Patty Knowles National Sales National Country Market The Weiss Group __________________________________________________________ Publisher Doug Cifers Assistants to the Publisher Britney Cifers, Cristian Cifers ___________________________________________________________ Florida Monthly Magazine ISSN 1535-7155 is published monthly by Florida Media, Inc., 999 Douglas Avenue, Suite 3301, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714. Subscriptions are $21.95 per year. Association membership rate is $7.98 per year in the Continental US. Foreign rates are $67.95 per year. Copyright by Florida Media, Inc., 2010. Reproduction in part or whole without publisher’s written permission is prohibited. Periodicals postage paid at Altamonte Springs, Florida, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to 999 Douglas Avenue, Suite 3301, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714. USPS (0758-270). Proudly made in Florida using vegetable-based ink and post-consumer content paper. Florida Monthly incorporates the Guide to North Florida Living & Florida Living.

PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. _______________________________________________________

Friends of Florida State Parks, Inc.

florida monthly april 2010

Family Friendly Magazine

Doug Cifers, President Florida Media, Inc. The Douglas Center 999 Douglas Ave. • Suite 3301 • Altamonte Springs, FL • 32714 Phone (407) 816-9596 • Fax (407) 816-9373


natural florida


Wild Places Boca Ciega Millennium Park



Ready for a springtime interlude? Pack a picnic lunch, binoculars and a camera and prepare to slip away from the bustle of urban life with a visit to Boca Ciega Millennium Park, a Pinellas County gem located on Boca Ciega Bay. This hardworking 184-acre park protects mangrove-lined shoreline, cleanses and stores stormwater, provides wildlife habitat and viewing opportunities, and offers walking and bicycling trails, picnic facilities, fishing access to the bay, and a canoe launch. The park is a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail (, and the bird list includes 171 species. The variety of habitats within the park creates outstanding scenic vistas and productive wildlife viewing. Most visitors head first to the boardwalks that wind through the mangroves and a narrow fringe of coastal oak hammock. Climb the two-level, 35-foot-tall observation tower that overlooks the bay and mangrove wetlands. The tidal shallows attract feeding and loafing birds, including reddish egrets, wood storks and shorebirds. On the boardwalk, the shady oasis of oak and cedar is an ideal place for a slow, quiet stroll with binoculars in hand and a chance to see a host of migrating warblers that may pause here during their seasonal migrations. From the park’s main road, numerous parking areas and picnic

shelters provide access to trails that showcase the ponds and areas of pines and shrubby wetlands. The larger ponds are located along the entrance road. Pull into the first parking area and walk or bicycle back to them along the paved trail that parallels the road. Depending on the season, you may spot coots, grebes, common moorhens and ducks, as well as great blue herons, great egrets, and congregations of white ibis and wood storks. Keep your distance from these flocks to avoid

disturbing them. The ponds also host alligators, turtles and the occasional otter. While important for wildlife, these ponds help store and cleanse stormwater before it enters the bay. Paddlers can launch canoes and kayaks near the entrance to the boardwalks and observation tower. Depending on water levels, a short portage may be necessary. For more information, call (727) 582-2100 or visit florida monthly april 2010

Species Spotlight


mangroves are the most threatened marine habitat in Florida. Mangroves are protected by Florida’s “Mangrove Trimming and Preservation Act.”If they grow on your property, check with your local county extension service or Department of Environmental Protection office for regulations before you trim.

In Your Own Backyard On the Waterfront If you’re lucky enough to own waterfront property in the state, you’re well aware of the benefits and challenges of such a privilege. Here are a few tips to help you ensure that Florida’s fragile shorelines enjoy a long and healthy future: Protect your native shoreline plants—Never remove or prune mangroves or other native vegetation without first checking permits and guidelines. Maintain a Florida-Friendly Yard—Learn how easy it is to create a beautiful landscape that thrives with minimal maintenance. Resources available at Reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Plan for a 10-30 foot buffer zone between your lawn and the shoreline. Keep this a chemical-free zone and plant it with Florida natives.


Mangroves are survivors, flourishing in a salty environment usually hostile to woody plants. Three species fringe the Florida coastline—red, black and white—mostly south of Cedar Key on Florida’s West Coast and south of Cape Canaveral on the East. A fourth species—buttonwood—is not a true mangrove, but often grows with the three mangrove species in the higher elevation areas. Mangrove wetlands are most concentrated in the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands regions of South Florida. Mangroves are more than just survivors. They protect and stabilize the shoreline from damaging waves, currents and winds, and they improve water quality by filtering out pollutants. Mangrove wetlands function as feeding, breeding and nursery grounds for a great variety of fish, shellfish, birds and other wildlife. About 95 percent of all commercially important fish in South Florida spend parts of their life cycles in mangroves. Historically, mangroves have been removed for development, ditched for mosquito control and severely trimmed to provide coastal views. Mature

April Natural Occurrences • Indigo buntings, grosbeaks, warblers, tanagers, orioles and thrushes begin returning to North America. • Watch for hummingbirds at feeders and on blooms of columbine and buckeye. • Common loons head north from their Florida wintering grounds. • Alligators begin moving about, seeking new territories and mates. • Migratory warblers concentrate on coasts after cold fronts. • Florida softshell turtles lay eggs now through July. • Carolina anoles breed.

Maintain your septic tank—Check for leaks and have the tank pumped out every three to five years. Remove invasive nonnative plants from your yard and shoreline.

florida monthly april 2010


our florida heritage®


in an


Building with patients in secured terraces at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, 1945

by Ethel Yari


photo courtesy Florida State Archives

n 1956, 48-year-old Kenneth Donaldson, educated and intelligent, told his elderly parents that someone tried to poison him. Thinking he was insane, they had him arrested. No lawyer or doctor examined Donaldson while he sat in the Pinellas County jail for five weeks. Nevertheless, the judge sent him to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee for a few weeks in order to get him medication. Those few weeks lasted 15 years. Donaldson’s problems began when he was 35, married with three children, and steadily accumulating family medical bills. He worked in a GE defense plant in Syracuse. When he increased his production on the job, the foreman warned him not to create trouble with his union co-workers. It was then that Donaldson overheard his co-workers threaten to beat him up. That evening he awoke from unconsciousness 8

in the parking lot. After that, Donaldson refused to go back to the plant. Believing someone put medicine in his food at a restaurant. he went to a doctor for blood tests. Results showed— inexplicably —that he had codeine in his blood. His wife thought he was crazy, and committed him to Marcy Hospital in Syracuse. The doctors gave him 23 electroshock treatments in four months and then let him go. The shocks temporarily destroyed his memory, and his wife soon after divorced him. For the next 13 years, Donaldson traveled around the country, working at different jobs. At the advice of Travelers Aid, he took psychological and psychiatric tests at Philadelphia General Hospital’s Psychiatric Clinic. Eight doctors gave him a clean bill of health. florida monthly april 2010

His elderly parents wrote, asking him to do some work on their trailer home in Largo. While visiting them, he started writing a book about his experiences. His mention of being poisoned led to his commitment to Chattahoochee on December 10, 1956. Florida’s first mental hospital opened its doors in 1876, as the Asylum for the Insane. The building in Chattahoochee had been an arsenal during the second Seminole War, and turned into a prison two years later. When officials moved the prison to Raiford, the state converted the antiquated structure into an insane asylum. For 71 years, it was Florida’s only hospital for the insane. Violent criminals convicted for rape and murder shared crowded wards with innocent inmates. Juvenile delinquents, psychopaths, homosexuals and child molesters all were bunched together without regard for age or mental condition. Beds were so close together that patients had to scrape sideways between the rows to reach their own. There were few trained nurses, and patients seldom saw a physician. In one section, only two doctors cared for 1,000 patients. Many hospital attendants were illiterate and afraid of losing their jobs. They knew little about first-aid or caring for the sick. At Chattahoochee, their only responsibility was to control patients’ behavior. Each ward held between 89 and 180 inmates, with one person in charge. To control the patients, attendants gave them massive doses of medication, put them in straitjackets or solitary, or beat them. The attendants teased the patients and stole their packages and letters, as well as any money enclosed inside them. Guards used smaller wards or the linen closet to crack skulls and break arms. They choked several patients to death.

When questioned, the guilty attendant’s alibi was that the patient was violent. Once committed, staff psychiatrist doctor J. B. O’Connor diagnosed Donaldson as schizophrenic and paranoid, then gave him electroshock treatments. Donaldson gave O’Connor the four-page report from Philadelphia, saying he was in good mental health, but the doctor was not interested. Donaldson started writing letters to the Attorney General, governor, Florida Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court and newspapers, exposing the hospital’s conditions. He wrote short stories and worked on his book, writing on brown newspaper wrappers, torn and folded to size. A Saturday Evening Post editor expressed interest in publishing excerpts prior to publication. Hoping to spark fear, Donaldson once told O’Connor about his book.“You’re not sick,”admitted the doctor. O’Connor offered to transfer him out of state, if he had a friend who would closely supervise him. Donaldson turned down the offer. He wanted unconditional freedom; he was sane and believed in American justice. In 1957, Donaldson told an attendant, Dr. Adair, that he was not sick and refused to take medicine. When told that his mother wanted him to have more electroshocks, Donaldson protested. He had a choice, said Adair: electroshocks or the General Wards. Donaldson chose the latter. The attendant led him up 50 feet of rickety stairs, through a screen door to a windowless area, then up one step to the splintered floors of the White Males General Ward. Bent and shriveled men milled around aimlessly. At noon every day, a hundred patients jammed down the swaying stairs. Men who fell were beaten and kicked. Once in the cafeteria, 1,100 men sat on benches at long wooden tables. Guards yelled at one another and cursed the patients,

Interior of Florida State Hospital dormitory, circa 1950s; photo courtesy Florida State Archives

florida monthly april 2010


occasionally rapping one on the head with an aluminum pitcher. At the serving table, huge spots of mold went through several slices of bread. The elderly patient who, with unclean hands, cut and served the butter, came from the tuberculosis ward. The menu sent to Tallahassee said roast beef, however they ate waxy, bad-smelling gravy with bits of bone 10 times a week. Donaldson’s bed was in a locked room in the middle of 60 beds all squeezed together, with a view of the shock machine next door. His typical two-minute visit with a staff doctor would consist of three questions:“What ward are you in?” “Are you taking any medications?”“Are you working someplace?”That was all. He sneaked letters through the grapevine to friends, relatives and former employers, begging for help. An old college friend, John Lembcke, a certified public accountant in New York, said he would try to get him out. When actions were made, O’Connor told Lembcke that Donaldson had severe loss of mental capacity and needed more treatment. Newspapers and magazines he subscribed to came to him weeks late, well thumbed and spotted with grease and crumbs. When Donaldson reacted angrily, the doctors interpreted his anger as“schizophrenia.” Chattahoochee deducted $80 for his maintenance from Donaldson’s $101 monthly Social Security check.

In time, court officials answered Donaldson’s letters, with offers to help. Doctors read the offers and responded to the courts with fraudulent statements, such as: “This man is dangerous. If you let him out, we will not be responsible.” The courts never questioned the doctors’ judgment. Donaldson was expectant when his parents came to visit, asking if they’ll sign him out. “Oh, we can’t do that,” said his father. “He says you need … more shock treatments.” As the days wore on, there were small improvements in the hospital. TVs were installed that had been lying in a warehouse for a year. Entertained by the TVs, the attendants stopped agitating the patients. After two years, Donaldson was allowed to go outdoors, and with his first breath of fresh air he tried to escape. Taking some money he had saved, he ran into the woods. As he hitchhiked along the highway, the hospital wagon picked him up and returned him to Chattahoochee. He worked as a houseman in Ward 9, where the noises, smells and confusion were overpowering. Patients dirtied themselves and their beds daily, while attendants scrubbed patients with floor brooms. Attendants and patients had easy access to any kind of pills or antidepressants. It was easy to keep inmates under control—attendants simply put anti-psychotics into their food in the mess hall. At the steam table, where trays moved on the inside, a server could drop powder in food. Aides could spike beverages in the back room.

In the ward, guards kept disturbed men awake all night, withheld their medication, revealed contents of letters they never received, and threw chicken and bread on the floor, which patients had to pick up or go hungry. Some died of starvation; others, from infected bedsores.

Donaldson kept powdered milk and Postum in containers near his bed. When he was not present, an attendant would sometimes mix medicine into his containers. From this, he experienced many side effects, such as high fever, swollen glands that would eventually shrink tight, swelled breasts, shortness of breath and pain under the breastbone.

Donaldson wrote petitions on behalf of other inmates as well as his own. Many patients were released as a result. Hospital staff evaluated only five or six patients a year, and about half passed. For two years, Donaldson did not see a psychologist. When he finally did see one, Donaldson asked the doctor to name one way in which he was sick.“I can’t,”the physician, Dr. Char—who did not have a medical degree—simply replied. Dr. Char’s report stated, “Just because he ate well, sleep good, is not violent, he believes he should be released.” 10

In 1959, an Arizona lawyer Donaldson had contacted, wrote:“I have been trying to reach you for a year. I received each of your numbered letters, but I know that you did not get my replies. I must advise you … get a lawyer down there.” A facility doctor, John Gumanis, wrote back: “…patient still delusional and paranoid...refuses to take any type of medication…judgment and insight grossly impaired…. He says he wrote a book and sent it to the Saturday Evening Post. Psychological tests suggest he is actively psychotic.… Continue custodial care.” A New Jersey Congressman tried to get Donaldson transferred. Doctors rejected the idea, repeating:“schizophrenic ... potentially dangerous to others.” Donaldson and another inmate collected signed statements from each patient who had been tortured and sent them to the governor, hoping to have Chattahoochee investigated. They bombarded the Tampa Tribune with their letters. A reporter visited a ward and wrote of“the stench of urine,”the lack of equipment, and the shortage of nurses. Yet, nothing was done. florida monthly april 2010

After reading an article about inmates held unjustly in mental prisons published in The NewYork Times by Brooklyn attorney Dr. Morton Birnbaum, Donaldson wrote him asking for help. Birnbaum advised him to apply for a writ of habeas corpus to the Florida Supreme Court. In 1960, Dr. O’Connor answered the court: “he has a mental disorder … chronic … very severe … delusional content continues. Two doctors and a deputy sheriff examined Donaldson physically and mentally in the Pinellas County jail. They found him to be schizophrenic, paranoiac and possibly dangerous to the people of the state.” O’Connor’s answers were the basis for 15 court rejections of Donaldson’s case. His hospital file grew thicker and thicker. Not giving up, Donaldson hired a Miami lawyer. In 1963, the lawyer wrote: “You told me you did not have an attorney, and were not examined by a doctor before you were committed.… The state’s brief says the opposite.”He withdrew from the case. The State investigated Donaldson’s claim of out-of-state citizenship by asking the hospital to conduct the investigation. Hospital staff answered: ”He has been a resident of Florida for four years.… He will require hospital care for an indefinite time.” In 1965, Dr. Gumanis wrote:“No changes in his mental condition. He spends most of his time writing to prominent individuals, courts and attorneys. His writs have been denied. He is writing a book about his experiences. He says he was illegally committed. He remains mentally ill and mentally incompetent. His release …. is not recommended.”

florida monthly april 2010

Criminals were released more readily. One man had killed five of his girlfriend’s relatives and then had given himself up. After his family hired a third lawyer, O’Connor and Gumanis discharged him. After Donaldson’s 12 petition to the courts, with copies to lawyers interested in his case, only Brooklyn attorney Dr. Morton Birnbaum responded. At the time, Birnbaum represented a man who had been locked up for 20 years. With Donaldson’s approval, Birnbaum would work both cases together. A reporter for the St.Petersburg Times spent two hours with O’Connor, then interviewed Donaldson. Two weeks later, the reporter said he could not print the story until he had evidence of what happened in the Philadelphia clinic. For the previous six years, Donaldson had been trying unsuccessfully to get his medical records from Philadelphia. Donaldson’s friend John Lembcke asked O’Connor to transfer him to New York; Lembcke had a job for him in his office. Gumanis said Donaldson would first have to pass staff evaluation. Knowing how the staff evaluated him during the previous nine years, Donaldson refused.“They let lots of other guys go out of state without staff,”he said. “O’Connor says it’s up to Gumanis. Gumanis says it’s up to O’Connor. I won’t try it again,”Donaldson decided. (Later, Lembcke would say that“The hospital thought [Donaldson] was dangerous, because he would write and say things about them after his discharge.”) In 1966, his mother wrote him, saying that they would sign the papers for his release. Nothing happened.


Dr. Haneson, sole doctor for 1,350 patients, conducted Donaldson’s two-minute interview.“What day is this? I see you are nervous. I will put you on a maintenance dose of medication. What do you prefer—liquid, tablets or the needle?” Donaldson was forced to take a 50-mg tablet of Thorazine three times a day. When he tried to spit it out, the aide threatened him with the needle. After three days, purple rings covered his eyes and a spot on his nostril. He went to sickbay, and they discontinued the medicine. Several days later, the doctor put him on Mellaril. His reactions included a fever, pounding in the ears, numbness around his head, tiredness and an inability to sleep at night. Three days later, the doctor stopped the medication. In July 1967, after the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit turned down attorney Birnbaum’s petitions, he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Birnbaum suggested Donaldson write an article for the Georgetown Law Journal on what a right to treatment would have meant to him and his fellow inmates during the past 11 years. The Journal published his article. Birnbaum asked for $100,000 in damages from the hospital doctors. The American Civil Liberties Union joined the case in a class-action suit.


In 1971, O’Connor and Gumanis, anticipating legal action, released Kenneth Donaldson, now 63. His parents had died, but he was reunited with his children and grandchildren. It took two years of eating fresh vegetables, lean meat, wheat germ, yogurt, and massive doses of vitamins to regain his physical health. In 1974, the United States Supreme Court considered his case. O’Connor testified that Donaldson had never committed any dangerous acts toward others, was never suicidal or susceptible to injuring himself. No evidence was submitted that he had ever been dangerous in his entire life. On June 26, 1975, by a vote of 9 to 0, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision: ”O’Connor violated Donaldson’s constitutional right to freedom.” A court jury awarded him $22,000 against O’Connor and $16,500 against Gumanis. In 1959, Florida State Hospital held 6,689 patients, and today it holds 1,042. Just two of the original buildings have survived. In recent years, the hospital received national recognition in 2000 for “Excellence in Healthcare Risk Management,”plus numerous other awards.

florida monthly april 2010

this month in


state of mine April 22, 1880

April 16, 1934

April 5, 1894 The Melbourne Times was founded.

Jacksonville University was founded.

Ormond Beach was incorporated.

April 7, 1973

April 20, 1929

April 28, 1917

The last of 348 flights bringing refugees from Cuba landed in Miami.

More than 2,000 alligator hides were shipped north from Arcadia. The hides, selling for $2.50 each, will be manufactured into shoes, belts, and purses.

Flagler County was created by the Florida Legislature. The county is named in honor of railroad entrepreneur Henry Flagler.

Insider’s Guide: Key West in Your Pocket: Your Guide to an Hour, a Day, or a Weekend in Key West

Florida Gardening on the Go

By Nancy Toppino 120 pages, $10.95 hardcover

The perfect book for busy gardeners, Florida Gardening on the Go offers tested techniques that’ll help any garden look its best. Utilizing her background in gardening, Lynette L. Walther offers this time-saving gardening guide to anyone who’s ever wanted to create a beautiful landscape, but lacks time, space or expertise. Each page offers tips and tricks, photographs, and detailed information on the plants and gardening conditions. There’s also a guide listing which plants are best to plant each month, as well as techniques to try throughout the year. Learn how to make a decorative window box, pick plants that attract butterflies, and even learn how to garden with children. Full color photographs are included, as well as a detailed glossary and list of gardening associations. 5642

This pocket-sized guide to Key West is perfect for someone who’s never been. Two small pop-up maps are included at the beginning and end of the book to help visitors get around without lugging around a large resource. Learn about accommodations, restaurants, attractions, outdoor recreation, arts and culture, nightlife and entertainment, and more. Each listing includes the venue’s address, phone number, brief overview and price range. Beautiful pictures are included to get any traveler ready for the Key West lifestyle. 5639

Globetrotter Travel Pack - Florida: Including Walt Disney World By Liz Booth 128 pages, $14.95 softcover For those who’ve never been to Florida before, or those wishing to discover more of it, Globetrotter Travel Pack – Florida: Including Walt Disney World is an excellent book. Providing detailed information on every county, including popular museums, attractions, restaurants, hotels and more, it’ll help every traveler find their way around. A large, detailed, full-color map is included, as well as small maps at the beginning of each county’s chapter. Additional helpful tidbits include advice such as best times to visit, how to get to each county, how to get around, useful contacts and more. Information encompasses every county, every city. An essential guide for a any traveler. 5640

Thunder on the River: The Civil War in Northeast Florida By Daniel L. Schafer 348 pages, $29.95 hardcover Thunder on the River highlights the city of Jacksonville, as well as its fast surrounding countryside, during the tumultuous Civil War. Chronologically narrating the story of the war, along with its impact on the area, the book transverses time, going from the Missouri Compromise to Reconstruction, and detailing how the residents, both white and black—as well as supporters of the Union and the Confederate—dealt with the ongoing onslaught and opposition. This fast-paced narrative provides an inclusive look at the time period, showing how the war effected not only the city, but its residents. Schafer provides a detailed account, noting the dynamics of race and culture, as well as the importance of this often captured, extremely contested city. 5641

By Lynette L. Walther 183 pages, $22.95 softcover

Guy LaBree: Barefoot Artist of the Florida Seminoles By Carol Mahler 178 pages, $34.95 hardcover In her new book, Carol Mahler tells the story of Guy LaBree, the man who came to be known as A Bosh CheWill A Tee Chee, or The Barefoot Artist of the Seminoles. LaBree, growing up in the 1940s, lived near the Dania (now Hollywood) reservation, where many Seminole Tribe members lived. A friendship started, but it wasn’t until the 1970s when that friendship became a partnership. Encouraged by his former classmates, he started to produce beautiful paintings, as a way of creating a permanent representation for future generations, depicting notable teachings about the Seminole culture, customs, history and more. Today, two of his images hang in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian. Mahler’s book tells the story behind the artist and includes 42 selections of his more than 1,000 beautiful paintings. 5643

Great Year-Round Grilling in the Southeast: The Flavors * The Culinary Traditions * The Techniques By Ellen Brown 134 pages, $19.95 softcover What’s better than grilling, Ellen Brown asks in her new cookbook, which celebrates America’s favorite pastime. The book provides more than 100 recipes to try, including everything from main courses to deserts, and 50 beautiful images that’ll wet anyone’s appetite. There are traditional regional recipes, as well as international specialties, all for the grill. Easy-to-follow recipes and step-by-step hints and techniques fill the pages, providing excellent grilling information. Brown makes grilling easy with her new, complete and concise cookbook. 5644

To Order, Call toll-free 1-888-352-5484 or go to 14

Major Credit Cards, Checks and Money Orders Accepted • (Shipping & handling charges $6.00 per book. Florida Residents, please add 7% sales tax. Please allow 1-3 weeks for delivery.) Florida Media, Inc. • 999 Douglas Avenue Suite 3301 • Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

florida monthly april 2010

state of mine


Archaeology Month As a way to encourage residents and visitors to learn about the rich history and prehistory of the state, and to preserve Florida's cultural resources every March is considered Florida Archaeology Month. This year’s celebration offers plenty of things to see and do across the state. The focus for this year’s celebration is Indian Mound sites - large hills containing soil, rock, shells, bones and other materials. They were used at one time for spiritual rituals and ceremonies. For more information on the events or locations, visit

NORTHWEST REGION THINGS TO DO— March 5: Public Lecture, "Civil War Earthen Fortifications in Florida: An Archaeologist's Perspective." Bay County Public Library, Panama City March 27: Celebration Event: Help celebrate Florida Archaeology Month, bring the whole family out to experience hands-on activities, participate in rough sorting of artifacts, explore Destination Archaeology!, and much more. 207 East Main Street, Pensacola

PLACE TO SEE— Fort Walton Temple Mound Built as a ceremonial and political center between 8001400 AD, the Fort Walton Temple Mound stands 12 feet tall and measures 223 feet across its base. An estimated 200,000 basket loads of earth were used to create this earthen structure. The Indian Temple Mound Museum, located beside the mound, houses interpretative exhibits depicting 12,000 years of Native American occupation. Over 6,000 artifacts of stone, bone, clay, and shell are displayed, as well as one of the 16

finest collections of prehistoric ceramics in the Southeastern United States. Additional exhibits include artifacts from European explorers, Civil War soldiers, and early settlers of Northwest Florida. Fort Walton Beach. (850) 833-9595

NORTH CENTRAL REGION PLACE TO SEE— Lake Jackson Mounds The site is a large ceremonial center dating back to the Fort Walton period of Florida's history (1200-1500 A.D.) and is composed of six earthen temple mounds. A society that could develop a site of this type is believed to have had a well-organized political system with tribal leaders residing in regional centers like the Lake Jackson site. The remains of important tribal members have been found at the site with a rich array of burial objects, including elaborate items such as copper breast plates, shell beaded necklaces, bracelets, anklets and cloaks still in place. These exotic artifacts indicate religious and trading ties with other large, pre-historic Indian ceremonial centers in the florida monthly april 2010

southeastern United States. Tallahassee. (850) 922-6007

NORTHEAST REGION THINGS TO DO— March 17 to March 20: Northeast Florida Symposium on Maritime Archaeology. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum March 21-22: A Walk Back in Time. Florida Agricultural Museum

PLACE TO SEE— Turtle Mound Turtle Mound is the highest shell midden in the nation. This two-acre site contains over 35,000 cubic yards of oyster shell, extends more than six hundred feet along the Indian River shoreline, and stands about fifty feet tall.Visible for miles offshore, the mound has been used as a navigational landmark since the early days of Spanish exploration. In 1605, Spanish explorer Alvaro Mexia visited the site, called Surruque, and reported natives launching their dugout canoes at the mound's base. Over the years, this huge feature began to take the form of a turtle--hence its name. Today, the National Park Service offers a fun and educational boardwalk to the top of Turtle Mound, with interpretive signs along the way. From the peak, visitors can see the great estuaries used by native people during the late-St. Johns period. The panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, Merritt Island, the Indian River, and Mosquito Lagoon is spectacular, and one which was surely enjoyed by the prehistoric inhabitants of the area. Titusville.

CENTRAL REGION THINGS TO DO— March 26: Moon Over the Mounds. Crystal River Archaeological State Park April 23-25: Crystal River Boat Bash: Small Traditional Wooden Boat Building and Sailing, Civil War-themed event, including reenactors, traditional boating craft from the area, and educational booths. Crystal River Preserve State Park

PLACE TO SEE— Crystal River Preserve State Park This pre-Columbian, Native American site has burial mounds, temple/platform mounds, a plaza area, and a substantial midden. The six-mound complex is one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Florida. For 1,600 years, the site served as an imposing ceremonial center for Native Americans. People traveled to the complex from great distances to bury their dead and conduct trade. It is estimated that as many as 7,500 Native Americans may have visited the complex every year. Crystal River. (352) 795-3817

EAST CENTRAL REGION PLACE TO SEE— Jupiter Inlet Historic & Archaeological Site & Dubois Park Dubois Park contains the remains of a village and shell midden occupied by the Jobe and their predecessors from florida monthly april 2010

1,000 years ago. Jonathan Dickinson, a Quaker merchant whose family and crew were shipwrecked in 1696, is thought to have been held captive at this site. Jupiter. (561) 747-8380.

WEST CENTRAL REGION PLACE TO SEE— Madira Bickel Mounds The first in Florida to be designated a State Archaeological Site, Karl and Madira Bickel donated the mound and surrounding property to the state in 1948. The flat-topped ceremonial mound is composed of sand, shell, and ephemeral footprints, some of which date back 2,000 years. Climb the mound to its top and see the many native trees and bushes. Or, cruise the sideways and byways of the serene island and view the mixture of charming historic and vinyl-sided houses. Ellenton. (941) 723-4536

SOUTHEAST REGION THINGS TO DO— March 13: Archaeology Day. Anne Kolb Nature Center. April 25: Passport to the Past - Talks and activities about the history and prehistory of Florida. Gumbo Limbo

PLACE TO SEE— Indian Mound Park Located within this small park overlooking the Intracoastal waterway is a prehistoric Native American burial mound. The mound has a well-marked trail with informative signage relating to the Native American occupation of the site. In the 1930s and 40s, many professional and amateur archaeological investigations took place here. Through these investigations, archaeologists determined that the mound was constructed around the year 1300 A.D. as a place for ceremonial burials. It is thought that the builders of the mound were ancestors of a tribe known as the Tequesta Indians. The Tequesta built the mound by carrying baskets of sand from the beach back to this site. Before burial, the bodies of the Tequesta dead were taken to a special house and allowed to decompose. The bones were then cleaned, bundled together, and taken to the mound to be buried. The mound is about 16 feet high. A walking path winds through the park and up to the very top of the mound, allowing guests to stand where the Tequesta did nearly a thousand years ago. Pompano Beach. (954) 786-4111

SOUTHWEST REGION PLACE TO SEE— Mound House Experience old Florida at Mound House, where Estero Island's oldest standing structure sits atop an ancient Calusa Indian Mound. Through archaeology and history, 2,000 years of island life are revealed in a variety of tours and educational programs. Fort Myers Beach. (239) 765-0865. 17

state of mine


By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

BLACK BEAR Festival The city of Umatilla will celebrate the annual Florida Black Bear Festival Saturday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The focus of this event is to celebrate this Florida icon, but more importantly to inform residents and community leaders how to live in bear country. Exhibits will feature a variety of information for adults and children. Hear experts talk about bear behavior, what bears like to eat, what to do if when encountering a bear and other exciting information. Visitors also have the opportunity to experience a black bear’s natural habitat by taking guided field trips into the Ocala National Forest. Hands on activities for children also will be a part of this fun, educational day. Activities include a scavenger hunt, plaster cast making, arts and crafts, a circle of life bear activity, and much more. The Florida Black Bear Festival is presented through a partnership of the City of Umatilla, Umatilla Chamber of Commerce, Defenders of Wildlife, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the United States Forest Service. Umatilla is located in Lake County on SR-19, just south of the Ocala National Forest. For more information about the festival please visit

This past May, the Central Florida Zoo opened up a new area of their facility. The Zoom Air adventure park lets children and adults see the park from the animals’ point of view. As the state’s most unique eco-adventure, Zoom Air lets families enjoy an aerial look while swinging and zipping among the trees. Now, the park has added a new feature: Zoom Air Adventure After Dark.This nocturnal adventures lets guests enjoy the Zoom Air adventures at night time, right under the moonlight. Guests may participate in either Moon ZOOms or Night Flights. Moon ZOOms occur on nights when a full moon is present and there is no minimum amount of participants. Starting at 6 p.m., it will run March 28-30, April 27-29 and May 26-28. Night Flights are arranged every night for groups of eight or more from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Reservations at least two days in advance are required. Both activities cost $45 plus tax. In order to participate, guests must be 54”tall. For those who are under the height limit, there are nighttime excursions on the kids courses as well.A minimum of six people is needed to participate and the cost is $25 per child. Adults must accompany children.Training and equipment is provided before each escapade. Moon ZOOms and Night Flights are a great way to bring out the adventure seeker in everyone. Scale through the trees and participate in numerous games, hopping off podiums and bridges. Fly high overhead and feel just like the birds in the sky. Just don’t look down. For more information, call (407) 330-0767 or visit Zoom Air is located within the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Sanford. 18

Through the Air By Lauren Gibaldi

florida monthly april 2010



“What Will You Celebrate?” Disney is all about celebration, as their latest venture,“Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” has already taken off and the reception has been enormous. The program is simple—Disney wishes to inspire one million people to volunteer for a day of community service.Their reward? One free pass to a Disney theme park of their choice. Going to any of the Disney theme parks is always a celebration, which is why they ask“What will you celebrate?”Currently, Disney is celebrating the hard work of volunteers across the country. To participate in the program, sign up at the Disney website and pick a participating HandsOn volunteer program. After completing the day, volunteers can print a voucher redeemable for a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket, or they may donate the ticket to a charitable organization. In the six weeks the program has been running, already 600,000 people have committed to volunteering. The past two days, Disney has been celebrating some these volunteers.Yesterday, they invited volunteers from each state to Epcot, where they were greeted with animated applause. Walt Disney World Ambassador Clay Shoemaker welcomed them, and informed the crowd of an exciting surprise. Behind stacked balloons, the largest sculpture (as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records) made solely of canned food was waiting. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host, Ty Pennington, revealed the dazzling display of 115,000 cans of food, enough to create 70,000 meals. For the rest of the day, volunteers, as well as notable celebrities, such as fresh Disney faces like Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato, helped plant trees and pack the canned food in trucks in order for it to be distributed to shelters. Representatives Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy led the brigade. Disney doesn’t stop there; they have quite a bit more up their sleeves. Aside from their volunteer program, the year 2010 will bring a lot of excitement to the Orlando theme parks and resorts. New attractions, such as the American Idol Experience—where guests can compete to audition for the TV show American Idol by singing to the crowd—and The Hall of Presidents featuring Barack Obama have been well received. This summer, the parks will feature Summer Nighttastic!, which will bring back the ever popular Main Street Electrical Parade, premier a new fireworks spectacular, and add special effects and new elevator drops to the Tower of Terror. Most excitingly, the largest renovation in Walt Disney World will happen in Fantasyland, where they’re adding a princess village, allowing kids to visit and interact with their favorite Disney Princesses, such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and Ariel. The famed Dumbo ride will also be expanded, having two tracks and an indoor circus where those waiting can engage in carnival games. Aside from that, there will be new places to stay within the Disney resorts this year, including treehouse villas at Saratoga Springs Resort, and new places to eat, such as Kouzzina at Disney’s Boardwalk, specializing in Mediterranean dishes. Two new cruises will come in the following years, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Modeled after an early 1900s ocean liner, the cruise ships will host all of the favorite attractions, but add virtual portholes to inside rooms, interactive kids rooms, and new restaurants. The Disney Dream will have the Aquaduck water coaster, a clear tube water slide that will actually veer off the boat, so those sliding can see the water down below as they zip around a corner. At their island, Castaway Key, there will now be rental cabanas and the Pelican Plunge water park. Disney offers a lot of reasons to celebrate this year. Whether it’s a birthday (when those celebrating get in free) or a volunteer effort, there’s always a reason to visit a Disney theme park. florida monthly april 2010


travel florida Madison County

by Lauren Gibaldi

On the north side of the state, nestled between Hamilton and Jefferson, sits Madison County— a little town with a lot to offer. With natural springs and plenty of walking trails, the area is quaint and comfortable, a perfect nook in the Panhandle. HISTORY Founded in 1827, Madison County was named in honor of the founding father James Madison. At that time, before Florida was admitted to the Union, it was considered the state’s largest county. Originally extending from the Aucilla River to the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers, as well as from the Georgia border to the Gulf of Mexico, it has since then given up land, which is now Taylor, Lafayette and Dixie counties. Land surrender aside, it still holds 716 square miles of roads, forests, rivers and lakes. Not to be confused, the city of Madison’s namesake is quite different. Named after Madison C. Livingston, who donated the first block of land to create the city on May 2, 1838, the name is still a remembrance of the city’s past. Livingston Street navigates through Madison’s Historic District. 20

Designated as one of the“Best Little Towns in Florida,” Madison is home to North Florida Community College and an out-campus for St. Leo University. The downtown district offers independently owned gift shops, bed & breakfasts, antique stores, art galleries, and local eateries. The buildings are roughly 150 to 200 years old, each complete with its own story, its own history. Aside from Madison, many other small cities make up the county, including Greenville and Lee (nicknamed“Little, But Proud”), which each have less than 1,000 residents.The homegrown, old Florida feel resonates through the remaining cities of Pinetta, Cherry Lake, Hamburg, Lovett, New Home, Sirmans and Eridu. Although some towns have faded away with time, small reminders are strewn about. Old cemeteries, churches and houses, markers from the late 1600s and early 1700s, can still be seen. florida monthly april 2010



Madison Blue Springs State Park, sitting alongside the west bank of the Withlacoochee River, offers scenic woodlands, plenty of fishing and crystal clear waters for swimming. Ten miles east of Madison, it’s a first-magnitude spring and has opportunities for picnicking, canoeing, wildlife viewing and cave diving throughout the underwater caves. Cherry Lake has 600 acres of clear water in which to paddle, water-ski, knee-board, swim or sail. There are ample fishing opportunities, with a plethora of largemouth bass. The country park sits on the side, offering restrooms, picnic tables and a boat ramp. Boaters can find ramps alongside most of Madison’s rivers. The Aucilla, Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers all wind along the county, creating a delicate web of water. Each summer, children are invited to 4-H Camp Cherry Lake for summer camp activities. Children can expect to enjoy meals, make friends, participate in games, engage in a variety of hands-on activities, spend time in the water, learn about nature and the environment, watch wildlife, create a variety of crafts, and more. It’s an excellent opportunity to encourage growth and leadership. Aside from acting as a summer camp retreat, 4-H Camp Cherry Lake is open year round for school field trips, retreats, reunions, meetings, trainings, weddings and more. Among the live oak trees and the rustic cabins is an open-air pavilion and dining hall.

As one of the most popular camping grounds, Madison’s Jellystone Park offers guests an exciting and different way to experience nature, as well as the town.This RV park and campground lets guests get back to the basics, with campgrounds and cottages (both rustic and deluxe) available. Camping is extremely affordable, and there are plenty amenities available to keep the whole family happy, including a waterslide, miniature golf, paddle boats, kayaks and a skateboarding area. There are themed weekends (March’s being Spring Break at Jellystone Park Camp-Resort) and plenty of opportunities to meetYogi Bear himself. Jellystone is a beautiful park that lets families enjoy nature in a safe and fun way. If camping doesn’t sound enticing, there are plenty of traditional hotels and motels, as well as classic bed & breakfasts in Queen AnneVictorian houses.These old manors offer Southern hospitality and a quaint place to rest.

florida monthly april 2010

With plenty of places to shop, an entire historic district and nature quite literally all around, Madison County is a wonderful place to visit or live. It’s a little bit of home and, as they say, its “attraction is only natural.” For more information about Madison County, visit or call (850) 973-2788 or (877) 272-3642.


travel florida Levy County


Canoe & Kayak Race by Lauren Gibaldi


florida monthly april 2010

very April citizens of Levy County come together for the annual Wild Hog Canoe & Kayak Race. Now in its 33rd year, the event welcomes anyone willing to paddle their way down the Waccasassa River, over obstacles big and small—all in the name of charity. The event was originally started in 1977 by local contractor Frank Couch and his wife. Every April they, along with their friends, would race 15 miles down the Waccassassa River in canoes, finishing it off with a barbeque on the banks of the river. As word

florida monthly april 2010


spread, participation grew. By 1982, the event started to garner a profit, so the decision was made to donate all funds to a local organization. After little debate, the Levy Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC) became the chosen charity, and the group has receiving donations every year since. LARC was started in 1976. The group strives to provide programs and services for the mentally ill to help them sustain a healthy lifestyle, as well as achieve their goals and realize their strengths. Last year, the event donated $10,500, earned through registration fees, sponsorships, raffles, donations and food sales.This year, the event organizers hope to provide more. Although the race originally just featured canoes, eventually kayaks were incorporated, as well as classes for those willing to learn about the aquatic activities. Today, the Wild Hog Canoe & Kayak Race features six canoe classes and two kayak classes. The challenge starts on April 17, when participants arrive at the Waccassassa River Bridge, two miles east of Otter Creek.The course is long and hard, but challenging and thrilling all in one. “The Wild Hog Canoe & Kayak Race is not for the faint of heart,”said Toni Collins, member of the LARC Board of Directors.“The course of the river bends and cuts back as it winds through rocks, high banks and over


florida monthly april 2010

downed trees. If the weather has been dry for several weeks prior to the race, participants can expect to do a lot of portaging. Some years the weather has been so wet, the canoes and kayaks literally skim over the obstacles in the riverbed.” U.S. 19/98, two miles north of Gulf Hammock, marks the finish line, where spectators cheering for their favorite participant will be waiting. A celebration is also thrown, featuring food, music and entertainment. Awards, a shortened version of a paddle and bragging rights are given to the first, second- and third-place winners in each category. The Bronson AMVets Post #88 have been hosting the event since 2006, and will once again this year. The event, although tough, is considered exciting and rewarding by past participants. “Whether you are a racer or a speculator, there is one thing everyone agrees on,”Collins said.“Wild Hog Race day is filled with fun.”

For more information, visit

travel florida Polk County When the hustle and bustle of city life

A View of

Auburndale Located 50 miles southwest of Orlando and 45 miles northeast of Tampa, Auburndale is a city with a small town atmosphere and a large helping of community spirit. The city’s history and its activity-filled downtown district come together to make Auburndale a true Florida Main Street.

A Look Back Auburndale’s history began in 1873 when John Ledue settled on Lake Ariana. Approximately 11 years later in July of 1884, the first house was built in Auburndale, four months after the completion of the railroad through the area. In that same month, Auburndale received its official name. The civil engineer in charge of laying out the downtown area, Major Louis McClain, was describing the area to a friend, the editor of the Boston Herald. When the editor’s wife said that the description reminded her of her hometown of Auburndale, Massachusetts, the city found its name. By 1900, Auburndale had begun to grow, with an economy based largely on agriculture. Setbacks to the city’s growth occurred on the evening of Nov. 23, 1913, when a fire destroyed the entire downtown area. In 1915, fire struck again, damaging several structures. Then in the 1920s, Auburndale was incorporated. A Spanish-style structure was built to house city services. The fire and police departments were once housed in what is now the city hall. Auburndale has grown considerably since its first settler in 1873.Today, the population of Auburndale is just over 11,000 and is steadily growing. 26

becomes too much, many Floridians turn to small towns and cities for an answer. If they’re in Central Florida, Auburndale is the answer.

A Day Downtown When visiting Auburndale, the place to be is the heart and soul of the city—the downtown district. Here visitors can spend the day relaxing with friends and family. The area hosts a number of retail stores, both independently owned boutiques and chain locations. There’s something for everyone, from clothing to jewelry, books to antiques. The downtown area also houses a large number of recreational facilities, including 18 shuffleboard courts, six covered and four outside racquetball courts, eight tennis courts with a pro shop, six basketball half courts, baseball and softball fields, and soccer and football fields. For those looking to enjoy a lighter activity, there are parks and lakes to visit. In addition to the main City Park, there is also Lake Myrtle Park, where visitors can enjoy a range of activities from a picnic to reading a good book. Lake Stella and Lake Ariana are also splendid sites for taking casual walks or brisk jogs. Lake Ariana also features a boat landing. With the nostalgic feeling visitors get as they travel downtown and all there is to do, Auburndale is living up to its title as a Florida Main Street, which it was given in 1992.This program, established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, serves to preserve historical architecture and stimulate and revitalize the downtown area. For more information on Auburndale, visit For information on Polk County, visit florida monthly april 2010

Florida Monthly April 2010  

Florida Monthly April 2010

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