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PCR #164  (Vol. 4, No. 20)  This edition is for the week of May 11--18, 2003.
La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
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Florida Folk Hero Doyle E. Conner Jr. Dead at 80
Florida Folk Hero and premiere cattle farmer Doyle E. Conner Jr. died of an inoperable brain tumor at his Wauchula home at the age of 80. Conner was a sixth generation Floridian whose father was the State's Governor from 1929 to 1933. Conner Jr. was known for his courageous stand concerning desegregation in Florida, and his innumerable contributions to the State's agricultural community.

In a failed 1960 bid for Florida Governor against fellow Democrat Ferris Bryant, Conner said a reporter from the Tampa Tribune asked, 'If the public schools were integrated, would you withdraw your child?' His [Bryant's] answer was 'Yes.' Mine was 'No, I'd be governor for all the people.' After I answered, some of my friends said, 'You just lost the election.'"

He lost the election, but we all won in the long run due to his life and its accomplishments. For more in-depth coverage on this Florida Legend, please link to the Monday May 12, 2003 edition of the Tampa Tribune at http://www.tampatrib.com/News/MGAD9XZZLFD.html

Jeb Vader and his Legislative Cronies in Hot Water over the Everglades
In contrast to Florida Folk Hero, and true Floridian and gentleman Doyle Conner Jr., we now have pin striped thugs like Jeb Vader, a Texas transplant, at the lead helm of running our fair State. Vader continues to demonstrate that he is a world-class jackass who is running our State into its deepest financial debt ever and is content to engineer its ecological ruin. His latest departure from sanity is his and his Legislature's defiance to meet Federal mandates that need to be followed in order for the State to obtain funding for the clean up of Florida's most prized natural treasure, the Everglades (Marjorie Stoneman Douglas must be rolling over in her grave). Thankfully, the Feds ain't too happy Jeb's Big Sugar outlook. A federal judge on Friday May 9, 2003 ordered the appointment of a special master to oversee compliance with Everglades cleanup deadlines and said he intends to enforce the current agreement, even if Gov. Vader signs a bill that some say could stall restoration and threaten $4 billion in aid. For more on this story, link to the Saturday May 10, 2003 edition of the Tampa Tribune at http://tampatrib.com/floridametronews/MGAK97A4JFD.html

Also campaigning against Vader's lousy proposal is Florida Folk Hero and Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher. Link to his exploits at http://clydebutcher.com/emarket2//home.cfm?emailid=48 as well as some incredible comments and insights from Butcher himself on Vader's "Wheneverglades Bill" at http://www.clydebutcher.com/evgrest.htm

Stand up and be counted! Go to Vader's President brother's web site and state your outrage at this latest assault on the Glades by Vader, his Legislative lackeys and Big Sugar!

Solomon's Castle Revisited
Just when you thought old, weird and eccentric Florida was dead, the Tampa Tribune Wednesday May 14, 2003 edition ran a story on one of the neatest and weirdest structures in the State, "Solomon's Castle".

Built back in 1972 in Hardee County outside of Ona, by Howard Solomon, now 67, the entire exterior of his house is decked out in aluminum printers plates. The sixty foot high walls hold within them his eccentric home which has strange hand crafted statues, ala Swettsville (see last year's La Floridiana Colorado trip for that story), and even a restaurant for those who come to visit his strange kingdom.

For more on this story, link to http://www.tampatrib.com/FloridaMetro/MGANX5MQOFD.html

IN MEMORIUM____________

Jimi Hendrix Experience Bassist Noel Redding Dead at 57
Jimi Hendrix Eperience bassist Noel Redding passed away at the age of 57 in Ireland from natural causes. His body was found in his home by County Cork authorities on sunday May 11, 2003. For more on the story, link to:


Actor Robert Stack Dead at 84
Veteran actor Robert Stack, famous for his role as Eliott Ness in the 1950's crime drama, for his hosting of the 1980's and early 1990's NBC series "Unsolved Mysteries" died of a heart attack at the age of 84 at his Los Angeles, Calafornia home on Wednesday May 14, 2003. For more on the story, link to:


June Carter Cash Dead at 73
Country and western singer June Carter Cash, wife of country artist Johnny Cash, and a Nashville legend in her own right, passed away at the age of 73 from complications during heart surgery. For more on the story, link to:


"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.