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PCR #153  (Vol. 4, No. 9)  This edition is for the week of February 24--March 2, 2003.
La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
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Florida Tidbits

Don't Let Florida's Past Be Erased
As the Governor has basically called for a war on this State's history by moving to dismantle the State Library and the State's Historical Museums in a cost cutting effort to remedy a record $4,000,000,000.00 budget deficit, it is tantamount that the citizens mount an even stronger counter offensive by signing an e-mail petition at http://www.floridahistory.info/petition/index.php3 demanding that this move not be undertaken.

As a columnist in the Saturday February 22, 2003 edition of the Tampa Tribune pointed out, shutting down the State Library is an equivalent of dismantling the Library of Congress--think real hard about that implication. This grievous excess of misjudgment on behalf of Governor Bush cannot be allowed to stand. Please get involved and let the Governor know that we care about our State and its history. I will feature this e-mail address each week until this vital issue has been decided upon.

"Those Dazzling Florida Hotels"
Florida Folk Hero and Tampa Tribune History Writer Leland Hawes had an excellent article on the three opulent resort hotels built in the Tampa Bay area by nineteenth century railroad magnate Henry Bradley Plant.

In addition to the beautiful Moorish architecture of the Tampa Bay Hotel, which still exists as Plant Hall at the University of Tampa on Kennedy Avenue next to the Hillsborough River (known best for its minarets), and the Belleview, one of the largest wooden structures in the world, now known as the Belleview Biltmore located in Pinellas County in Belleair, there used to be an opulent Plant hotel in our own part of town known as The Inn at Port Tampa. The Inn was a wooden set of two structures that jutted 2,000 feet into Old Tampa Bay on a wharf that whisked patrons directly by train to the hotel. Patrons could fish from their rooms and bring their catch to the hotel cook to be prepared for breakfast or dinner.

Strangely, no one can seem to properly recall what happened to the Inn at Port Tampa. Some old time Port Tampa residents believe it was destroyed in the October 1921 hurricane--another longtime Port Tampa resident told my wife, who was doing a thesis on Picnic Island Park for her University of Florida Landscape architecture course, that the Inn was destroyed by fire. Regretably, there was not yet a web link to this fine article as of Sunday the 23rd.

More on the subject of Florida's opulent railroad resort hotels can be gleaned by reading the book by Susan R. Braden called "The Architecture of Leisure: The Florida Resort Hotels of Henry Flagler and Henry Plant.

Dan Allison Book Signing
Florida Folk Hero and author of two Florida-based novels, Dan Allison, will sign his recently published beach mystery "On the Whispering Wind" Friday, March 7, 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Small Adventures Book Shop, (at the Gulfport Artwalk ) 3107 Beach Boulevard, Gulfport Beach, FL / 727-347-8732. Allison is also the author of "All the Little Birdies", the first novel to feature Treasure Island cabbie character Jake Murdoch.

Don't Forget Floridana Fest and MegaCon
Both events this upcoming this weekend! Link to http://www.megaconvention.com/ for the Mega Con and http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGA4MAUJ8CD.html for an article about Floridana Fest.

Tim Dorsey Book Signing
On the other side of the Bay, other Florida Folk Hero and author Tim Dorsey will have a book signing for his newest novel "The Stingray Shuffle" at the Borders Books at 909 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa at 12 noon, and at the Borders Books at 12500 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Carrollwood at 2 P.M. for more info link to http://www.timdorsey.com/road5.htm

And then there's this......
It Was Iraq, Not Jeb, Who Wanted To Shut Down The State Library and History Museums I n the most lame denial for his own irresponsible actions to date, Governor Jeb Bush stated on Tuesday February 25, 2003, that the prospect of war in Iraq helped justify the elimination of Florida's State Library and history museums-- yeah, right...

For more on this, click on to an article in the Metro Section of the Wednesday, February 26, 2003 edition of the Tampa Tribune by Joe Follick titled "Iraq Shares Blame for Plan to Shrink Library, Bush Says" (http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGAK0QRQMCD.html).

We all just know that Iraq dictator and madman Saddam Hussein has spent countless hours plotting the ultimate destruction of the country's morale by eliminating the State of Florida's State Library and history museums.

In the article it points out how Jeb whined and pouted about how he was "offended" by those critical of his transparent plan to dismantle government institutions and leave the State's history into the hands of profit-driven corporations (who don't truly give a rat's ass about it.)

Don't forget to send in your e-mail petition against Saddam's-- I mean Jeb's-- plan to dismantle Florida's State Library and history museums.

Top Ten TV Shows
We're a little more than half way through the season and my Top Ten Picks are down to about four:

   Tie for #1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (UPN) and Smallville (WB).
   2. The Twilight Zone (UPN).
   3. Good Morning Miami (whenever NBC gets around to showing it).

"La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.