Just a little something to ponder as we enter the peak of the hurricane season, here in 2022.
Pensacola was the scene of a massive hurricane that changed the history of North America forever, illustrating the pivotal role that such storms played and continue to play in human affairs. A weeks-old settlement of over 1000 people, who had begun to clear land and even plat out residential lots, lost
The best kind of history? First-hand from people who lived it. You get a feeling for the times, see events through borrowed eyes, and have the opportunity to experience what life back then was like for those who lived through it. And the interviewers, who took the time and effort to create a slide show with photographs and other memorabilia, made these oral histories entertaining and enlightening. Enjoy
Love local history? Get into it up to your elbows, suggests Marsha Fottler, President of the Historical Society.
When important documents and artifacts are donated to the Historical Society of Sarasota County, we bring them to the History Center, where professionals can conserve and store them. Why? Because we do not have the proper security, climate control, or storage space to professionally archive these heritage things. At the History Center many items are digitalized and all are categorized and preserved in a way that the public can have access to them for personal or academic research. Many members of the Historical Society enjoy volunteering at the History Center and click here for some areas that could have appeal. Volunteering at the History Center is a way of learning more about the history of Sarasota County and you’ll meet new friends who feel the same way.
You can’t get more Florida Pioneer than making some pilau (pronounced “per-loo”) for dinner, supper, or a get-together potluck.
So what, you might well ask, is pilau? It’s really any meat and rice dish, and here’s what some historic figures have to say about it:
In the 18th century, naturalist William Bartram wrote of eating squab “made in pilloe with rice” while he was traveling through South Carolina. Of course he hadn’t gotten to Florida yet, but I daresay there were more cooks in South Carolina than in Florida at that time. And all that good Southrn cooking found a welcome home in Florida!
“Pilaus,” wrote Florida author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in 1942, “are almost a sacred Florida dish. No Florida church supper, no large rural gathering, is without it. It is blessed among dishes for such a purpose, or for a large family, for meat goes farther in a pilau than prepared in any other way.”
Pilau is truly an international dish just as Florida is the place where all nations meet: there are Ugandan, Kenyan, Indian recipes readily available online or in your favorite cookbook. What’s so wonderful about it, besides stretching the meat as Rawlings mentioned, is that you can make it your own. Some folks call it pilaf (well, I admit I did before I got to Florida), and some folks use poultry (see Bartram’s remark above), some use beef, sausage, pork.
1842 – The Armed Occupation Act was passed by Congress on this date. Each settler who would settle and cultivate five acres or more of land in eastern and southern Florida for a period of five years would receive 160 acres of land and one year’s rations from the Federal government. Settlers were expected also to provide militia service, if needed, to control the activities of the warring Seminole Indians. This was the prelude to the official declaration of the end of the Second Seminole War on August 14, 1842.
We keep finding local history-related things for you to do. (Here’s thefirst installment, andPart Two…) It’s too hot to go traipsing about graveyards and boardwalks right now, but it’s always cool to learn a bit more about our local area.
Up at the top there’s gotta be a breeze!
One of our favorite supporters, Liz Coursen, is giving a talk at Gulf Gate Library on Florida Lighthouses. Info here. You probably have visited this one. If not, do! We’re sure Liz will give you directions.
Learn about some cool art
Take a peek into the art collection at the Van Wezel, our on-the-bay performance venue that folks are afraid will be history soon. The best way to show your love for local history is to participate. Here’s your chance, by joining the Art and Backstage Tour. The tour features features works from the Arts Advocates’ Sarasota Colony artist collection as well as noted Florida artists, including pieces by Robert Chase, William Hartman, Eugene White, Ben Stahl, Julio de Diego, Thornton Utz, Frank Colson, and Dean Mitchell, to name a few. The backstage tour provides a peek at the dressing rooms, green room, back hallway, and the Van Wezel stage.
Tours are offered to the public August 8 and September 12 from 1:30-3:00 pm. Tours begin in the Main Lobby and cost $15 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office or by calling (941) 263-6799. More info.
Prefer music and a cool beverage?
More the outdoors, drink and hum along type? Here’s another Van Wezel event you’ll love, and it’s free. The Friday Fest. Future dates for Friday Fest are August 12 and September 16.
Help create future art history
Or maybe you’d like to help fellow Sarasotans CREATE history? After all, history is not fixed in stone; it’s made every day by folks like you. Our tradition of art is strong here, and you can build on that to make art even stronger as time marches on. For example, by participating in and supporting local artists. Your grandchildren will thank you for becoming patrons of the arts in accessible venues like Creative Liberties, Ligon Arts, ArtUptown, and of course Art Center Sarasota.
A post from Facebook called “Walk down Memory Lane.”
Mergatroyd ? Do you remember that word? Would you believe the spell-checker did not recognize the word, Mergatroyd Heavens to Mergatroyd!
The other day a not so elderly (I say 75) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy; and he looked at her quizzically and said, “What the heck is a Jalopy?” He had never heard of the word jalopy! She knew she was old …But not that old.
Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory when you read this and chuckle.
About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology.
These phrases included: Don’t touch that dial; Carbon copy; You sound like a broken record; and Hung out to dry.
Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie . We’d put on our best bib and tucker, to straighten up and fly right. Heavens to Betsy! Gee willikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy Moley!
We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley; and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and pedal pushers.
Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.
We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” Or, “This is a fine kettle of fish!” We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent, as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.
Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone. Where have all those great phrases gone?
Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Wake up and smell the roses.
It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! (Carter’s Little Liver Pills are gone too!)
Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth. See ya later, alligator! Okidoki .
We’ve spent the last several years comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the 1918 Spanish flu* and people have been complaining about tearing down buildings since, well forever. (What was there before they built the Colosseum? Kew Gardens? The Great Wall of China?) Have we never had a boom/bust cycle before in the History of Mankind** and what will we learn about soaring land prices this time around?
“Your penny at work.” That’s the slogan of the campaign asking voters to approve, in November 2022, a continuation of the county 1% sales tax. Many wonderful things have been financed by this income since it was first authorized in 1989, but never before has the history of our county been addressed. Understandably, we history lovers would be thrilled if some of that tax income could give a state-of-the-art home to not just the actual history archives (which is part of the county library system), but public space for gatherings and perhaps even exhibits. While the vote is not on how the funds will be spent… we need to vote for the “penny tax” to be renewed so that funds are available. Continue reading for a message from the President of the Historical Society of Sarasota County:
A “Common Cents” initiative that all friends of history can endorse
Since 1989 when it was first adopted by voters of Sarasota County, the 1% sales tax has improved the quality of life for everyone. The tax has been used to invest in schools, libraries, parks, water, the environment and more.
The tax is up for a vote again in November of 2022 and all friends of history are excited about it because one of the priority investments is a new 30,000 square-foot History Center, which will be the repository for all our precious documents, maps, photographs and objects that are central to understanding and honoring the history of our county. This is the first time that our history has been directly addressed with the one-cent surtax.
At the Historical Society of Sarasota County, we say it’s about time. Anyone who has recently visited our center for archival material, realizes that it’s been too small for too long. It’s time we treated our history with the respect it has always deserved.
We support the extension of the one-cent surtax and are looking forward to a new History Center.
Marsha Fottler, President
For complete information from the county government on the penny surtax and how it could be spent, including FAQs and other projects being considered, see https://www.sarasotacountysurtax.net/
It’s still too hot to do anything. If you visited our earlier post on brushing up on, or learning new things about, local history, we know you had a cool time. Here’s some more things that’ll keep you entertained and not all sweaty.
The romance of ports. Tampa Bay History Center’s virtual event
It’s on Tuesday July 12 at 2pm, and you do have to register for it, so get out your captain’s hat and enjoy The History of Tampa’s Ports. Can’t make the event? Click the photo above to read some Tampa port history.
Next up, we offer you:
Not just citrus and cattle, they follow the times!