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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our fifth calendar year
    PCR #235  (Vol. 5, No. 39)  This edition is for the week of September 20--26, 2004.

Book Review: “Seasons of Real Florida” by Jeff Klinkenberg
 by Will Moriaty
"Mr.  3000"
 by Mike Smith
How Pop Culture Drives Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films
 by Andy Lalino
Fanzine Memoirs, Part 3....Advent #2 Memoirs by William Moriaty
  by Vinnie Blesi
It Begins In The Fifth Grade?....Andy Is Right....Coming Soon To A Message Board Near You
 by Brandon Jones
I'd "Rather" Not....Rodney, You Have My Respect....Top Ten Challenge
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Gabba Gabba Hey....Get Well....Thanks, Hugo....What The....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 35
 by Mike Smith
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Seasons of Real FloridaBook Review:
“Seasons of Real Florida”
by Jeff Klinkenberg
2004, University Press of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida, 259 pp.,

It is always a joy to see a book written about "real" Florida, and St. Petersburg Times columnist Jeff Klinkenberg's book "Seasons of Real Florida" is no exception.

With a Foreword by Florida-noir author and Florida Folk Hero Randy Wayne White, Klinkenberg introduces the reader to the roads less traveled in the Sunshine State where uniqueness, character and sense of place still prevail in one of the fastest growing states in the Nation.

Sporting a beautiful wrap-around cover with a photo by Florida photographer extraordinaire and Florida Folk hero Clyde Butcher, Klinkenberg details his stories based on the seasons in which he wrote or experienced them.

He begins his story telling in the Fall, as he correctly surmises that unlike the North, this is the season of rejuvenation as people and nature begin to recover from the ravages of heat, humidity and hurricane from our season of brutality, the summer.

He lovingly and with allot of heart describes the subtlety of Fall in Florida, how it is measured not in brilliant color of changing leaves, but in the arrival and departure of various species of birds, the changing swimming habits of Mullet and the arrival of Stone Crabs.

I measure fall in Florida by reduced temperatures and humidity, clear days, dark, starry nights and the arrival of the constellation Orion (along with college football of course!).

He next describes local color and flavor when discussing Peebles Bar-B-Que in Auburndale. He is gifted to experience a rare sighting of a Flamingo near a gypsum stack close to Tampa Bay. He outlines a fascinating history of an African-American cell prisoner in Orlando named Al Black, who is one of "Florida's Highwaymen". The "Highwaymen" were a group of black artists known for their breathtaking oil renditions of natural Florida landscapes.

He ventures southward to Ochopee to share some golden moments with photographer Clyde Butcher, plying his trade in the watery expanse called the Everglades. He visits the Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee (remember, in Crackerspeak, that's pronounced "CHUCK-A-LUS-KEE") , and in my own personal favorite story, visits Torreya State Park in Bristol with naturalist and author Gil Nelson. Here Klinkenberg finally gets a glimpse of leaves changing color in Florida's answer to the Appalachian. He then visits a haunted mansion in Micanopy and ends the season with an old friend of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in Crystal River.

Of course there are yet three more seasons of stories awaiting you in this fine collection of columns from one of Florida's most gifted writers. If you are a lover of real Florida like I am, you owe it to yourself to add this superb book to your collection.

"La Floridiana" is ©2004 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 ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.