JUDY WARNOCK

Summer Memories

When is summer?  Our calendar says it is a certain day in June which gives us the most daylight and the shortest amount of night.  It depends on the earth's rotation and can happen sometime between June 20 and June 22.  Recently I got to thinking that summer was much simpler back in the mid-1960s when I was growing up. I wanted to share some of my memories.

The Myakka River

72 miles.  It makes quite a journey.  The Myakka River is not just a pretty body of water as it travels along.  It provides a home for all kinds of wildlife.  Its floodplain marshes are important and offer flood protection for surrounding communities.  Wide or shallow, the river moves south through three counties.  It starts in Manatee County, then moves south through Sarasota County, and finally to Charlotte County, where it meets the Gulf of Mexico.  Sarasota has declared it a Florida Wild and Scenic River and offered protection within its county bounda

Exploring the Forgotten Coast Part 2

We made three different day trips to nearby Apalachicola and fell in love with the small town.  They don't even have stoplights!  It is very foot friendly with many neat shops, restaurants, and bars within a short distance.  I had delicious seafood chowder and an oyster po boy sandwich at a restaurant called The Station, made out of a converted gas station.  Oysters are what the town is famous for.  Ninety percent of Florida's oyster production comes from Apalachicola Bay.  The waterfront is a big part of town.  You can stroll along it, sit in the park, t

Forgotten Coast Part 1

Camping in February!  What were we thinking?  But our friends wanted to go to north Florida so we were all for it.  Our destination was a small town called Carrabelle FL just east of Apalachicola.  I think I might have seen it in the blink of an eye on the way to Pensacola once.  It's a long part of the panhandle called "The Forgotten Coast," one of the last stretches of beautiful unspoiled beaches, and less developed.  It is not crowded with high rises or strip malls, just quiet towns along Hwy 98.  "The Forgotten Coast" to the east is noted by St.

Bridges over the Suwannee

In March we took a camping trip to White Springs, Fl.  This small town is near Live Oak and Lake City, about 150 miles north of Brooksville.  It is a straight shot north by car on I-75.  I wondered if 8 days was a bit too much in that area but was pleasantly surprised by what I could discover to do with a little online research.  I found several interesting bridges, now abandoned to cars, but open to foot or bicycle traffic.  They are still standing with beautiful views of the Suwannee and are a reminder of a simpler time when car travel was new and excit

A family farm's record books: Life recorded on a Masaryktown farm in the 1950s

I am a pretty good record keeper but I think my notes are nothing compared to my Dad. I treasure his three green farm record books.  They are a real trip back in time. They cover his early years as a poultry farmer from late 1950 to January 1953.  For that time period, my Dad kept meticulous records of his income and expenses, including details on building a house from scratch.  Flipping through the pages you see a month-by-month record of their new life as farmers in Masaryktown.  

Bok Tower: Nearly 100 years old and still looking good

Can you imagine being almost 100 years old and still looking good?  I am amazed that Bok Tower was dedicated back in 1929 when Calvin Coolidge was president of the United States!  I had a chance to visit the tower and gardens in Lake Wales.  It was mid-March, a perfect weather day, and the azaleas were at their peak.  However, it doesn't matter what time of year you visit because there will always be some color and something different to see.  Just the ponds and the tower are worth the drive!