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Archive for June, 2011

A Land Remembered

A hot cup of coffee, your favorite chair, no distractions and a good book. It doesn’t get any better than this. If you love a good book as I do, then you know what I am talking about. There is just something about a good story between a dust  jacket, that movies will never replace.

I’ve just finish “A Land Remembered” by Patrick Smith for the third time. The first time was in the early 1990’s. It was as good this time as the first. There is no other novel about my beloved Florida that I love better. There are many great novels about Florida and I’ve read most, but this novel tops them all. It is such an unique book that it has unified the Middle and High School at Fort  White Florida, who made it part of their curriculum.

This story of three generations of the MacIvey family as they migrate from Georgia to Florida just prior to the Civil War to the last land boom in the 1960’s will come alive in your hands. From a dirt poor Florida Cracker to a real estate tycoon, this book has it all. The birth of the cattle industry in Florida will have you dreaming of Spanish gold doubloons. I really loved that part of the novel, after having sat in Professor Joe Akerman’s class at North Florida Junior College and read his book “Florida Cowman.” The Florida Cowman was making cattle drives and having shootout’s with rustlers long before the west was cattle country.

Take an arm chair tour to Payne’s Prairie, Kissimmee, Olustee, Punta Rassa, Lake Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Everglades, Seminoles, Miami, with the MacIvey. I’m sure you will become a fan. You can find the used hard backs on line…

David

2011

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There is a time for everything and her time is now. After 36 years of preparing lessons plans and transferring that knowledge into eager little minds, the teacher has hung up her chalk and slate. Ciphering and arithmetic will no longer clog her mind.  But the memories of those years will ever be present, made more so when walking down an aisle in Planet Wal-Mart, and hearing “Hey Mrs. Butler.” Having taught thousands of children, their children, and even some of their grandchildren, the teacher has touched lives in ways that only her peers would understand. She has gone from chalkboards to whiteboards and ending with smartboards. The changes in education over those years have been staggering, some of which she endorsed, but most she just endured. Teaching public school in a nation of laws, you have to do just that. The worst change for her was having to take God out of the classroom. Then again she expected nothing different from a panel of nine men run amuck on the nation’s Supreme Court. However, the years she spent in private school taught her that all was not lost. God was still counted present.

The one thing that never changed, (and will be her legacy), was that she made a difference. The hundreds of nights spent preparing for her class the next day paid huge dividends. All the tears shed over “Her kids” were worth it. The thousands of prayers sent on their behalf were heard and answered in God’s own time and way. This talent that God has given her was put to good use, and has merited her, His “Well done.”

Unlike old soldiers she will not fade away. A new chapter in her life has started, and knowing her, she will be anxious to get started, in which I wish her God Speed.

Barbara Jo Butler, having followed you on your journey from the beginning, I am proud to have been a part of your life.

David

2011

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