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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our fifth calendar year
    PCR #243  (Vol. 5, No. 47)  This edition is for the week of November 15--21, 2004.

What’s In A Name? Conclusion: A Look at the Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties U to Z......Musings on the new "Miami Vice" and "Dukes of Hazzard" movies
 by Will Moriaty
"The Spongebob Squarepants Movie"
 by Mike Smith
Battle of the Herky-Jerkies! "That's Incredibles" vs. "The Polar Bear Express"....Live Aid Debuts on DVD
 by Andy Lalino
The Wide World of Sports is Really Screwed Up....As Hollywood Turns Will The Fanboys Cry....Animated Films Update
 by Brandon Jones
Monday Nite Football....Famous Monsters #238
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Hypocrites....Live Aid Is Here....Love Those Burgers....Passing On....10 of 500....Meet The Beatles, Part 43
 by Mike Smith
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What’s In A Name? A Look at the Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties U to Z

"La Floridiana" now completes its tireless mission to provide you, our valued reader, just what those Florida town and county names mean....

UMATILLA (Town of): Established in 1862, this Lake County town derived its name from William A. Whitcome who had correspondence with some people in Umatilla, Oregon. The name is Indian meaning "water rippling over sand".

UNION (County of): Florida's sixty-first county was established May 20, 1921 and named for the Union of the United States.

VERO BEACH (Town of): Located in Indian River County, this town was established in 1882 and may have derived its name either from Verona in Italy, or as a derivation of the Latin word "verities" meaning "truth". The word "Beach" was added on. Vero Beach is the county seat of Indian River County.

WABASSO (Town of): Located in Indian River County, this town was named by settlers from the state of Georgia in a very unusual manner. It is the backward spelling of their hometown of Ossabawa!

WAKULLA (County of): Florida's thirty-third county was established on March 11, 1843 and is thought to be derived from the Indian word meaning "mystery", referring to the famous spring located in this county. Another possible meaning is that of the word Indian word meaning "loon", as the county has two species of loons that migrate there for the winter.

WALTON (County of): Florida's eighth county was established on December 29, 1824 was named in honor of Colonel George Walton, who was Secretary of West Florida during the Governorship of Andrew Jackson, 1821-1822, and East-West Florida territory 1822-1826. Walton was the son of George Walton, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Georgia.

WASHINGTON (County of): Established on December 29, 1829, Florida's twelfth county was named after the first President of the United States, George Washington.

WEBSTER (Town of): Located in Sumter County, this town was originally known as "Orange Home". The postmaster there in the 1850's found out there was already a town called "Orange Home" and changed the name to Webster in honor of Daniel Webster.

WEST PALM BEACH (Town of): Located in Palm Beach County, the name was chosen as it where workers were housed that were building the Palm Beach resort across from Lake Worth.

WIMAUMA (Town of): Located in Hillsborough County, the named was formed from the first letters of daughters Wilma, Maud and Mary by the town's first postmaster, Captain Davis.

WINTER PARK (Town of): Located in Orange County, the site was settled in 1836 by Alachua County resident David Mizell. It was originally known as "Lakeview", and then renamed "Osceola". In 1882 Loring A. Chase and Oliver E. Chapman laid the town out in a fashion similar to their New England heritage and named the town its current name.

YANKEETOWN (Town of): Located in Levy County, the town was originally known as "Knotts" in honor of its founders in the 1920's. Judge Knott had laid out Gary, Indiana, much to the chagrin of native southerners, foremost amongst them Hugh Coleman, who called Knotts enterprise "Yankeetown" Established in 1925, a section of the town is known as "Crackertown"! "Yankee" is a corruption of a Massachusetts Indian word meaning "English".

ZEPHYRHILLS (Town of): Located in Pasco County, the town was originally known as Abbott's Station, then renamed in 1915 to its present name describing breezes that blow over the hills of the town.

ZOLFO SPRINGS (Town of): Located in Hardee County, the town's name was derived from Italian laborers who named it after the large number of sulphur springs found in the area. "Zolfo" is an Italian prefix for the word sulphur.

Musings on "Miami Vice" the movie and the new "Dukes of Hazzard" movie
Well, now that the remakes of 1960s to mid-'70s classic TV shows into movies seem to have prayerfully run their course, Hollywood is now rushing headlong into remaking some classic late 1970's to early 1980's TV shows into feature movies.

Like Andy Lalino and many other contributors to this publication, my personal favorite era of living in the good old U.S. of A. was the time between 1973 to 1987. Although I believe that the pop culture of 1960's was more ground-breaking, the '70s and '80s refined the new ground that the '60s brought us and took pop culture to its zenith.

Being both a Southerner and a native Floridian, two Friday night shows on two different TV networks ended up being series that I would discuss with friends after watching each new episode ,and ended up cherishing in later life. Those series were "The Dukes of Hazzard", which debuted on CBS in 1979, and "Miami Vice", which debuted on NBC in 1984.

"The Dukes of Hazzard" was a tale of two Southern good old boys, Bo and Luke Duke, (played by actors John Schneider and Tom Wopat) who raced through the red clay back roads of Hazzard County thinking of new ways to outsmart the scams, schemes and snares of the irascible "Boss" Hogg (played by the late actor Sorrell Booke), the overlord of the County who was committed to "puttin' them Duke boys behind bahs!", most often because they were onto Hogg's attempts to constantly fleece the public.

Hogg typically used his position to commission his brother-in-law, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane (played by actor James Best) to give "hot pursuit" of the Duke boys, which lead to the many racing and wrecking scenes throughout the show. But the real star of this show was the Duke boys' orange 1969 Dodge Charger called the "General Lee". Hoping to one day enter the stock-car racing circuit, the Dukes modified the car to NASCAR standards and painted the number "01" on the doors, along with a Confederate flag and the words "General Lee" on the car's roof. The wild ride through the hills and dales of Hazzard came to a halt when the series was cancelled in 1985.

"Dukes of Hazzard", the movie
Ah yes, now we enter the new millennium, the era of extremist dumbed-down thinking and knee-jerk reacting (or, "re-acting!" in the case of these movies) in our formerly great Republic.

Did y'all see the "Lost in Space" movie a few years back.?

I don't know about you, but within the first fifteen minutes of that turkey I was prayin' that the late '90s "Dysfunctional Space Family Robinson" in that abhorrent flick would be flattened like hot chewing gum on the Interstate against some errant asteroid. Lord have Mercy what disgusting whiny creatures (save Heather Graham and Matt LeBlanc) those space travelers had become over a three-decade span!

Well, rumor has it that like the remake of "Lost in Space", the Hollywood bean counters, in their less than valiant efforts to offend no one and be politically correct, have elected to remove the Stars and Bars off of the "General Lee" in order to ensure that the movie, ahem, a movie about two Southern rubes and their car, will not elicit any enflamed viewer reaction or public controversy in this mindless era we now live in.

Who on earth do these bean counters think comprise the core demographics who will watch this movie? It sure ain't gonna be somebody goin' to a P Diddy concert! And if these same Left Coast kooks think the Confederate flag is no longer "pertinent", I've got a news flash - - out where I live, you can't swing a dead cat without hittin' one!

Hollywood tried to sweeten the deal by adding two legendary Southern figures that I love to the line-up - - Burt Reynolds as "Boss" Jefferson Davis Hogg, and Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse Duke - - but I ain't buyin'.

Although I can not and will not deny that the Confederate flag has been used as a tool of hatred, I find the movement to revise and ignore history, as well as the suppression of free speech to presumably spare the sensitivities of others even more unsettling.

I don't plan to see the movie, but I'm sure that Mike Smith, God Bless him, will give us a great review on it.

"Miami Vice" the movie
Several years ago in this column I broke the news that Michael Mann, the producer of the 1980's TV series "Miami Vice" was beginning a manuscript for a big screen version of that same show, which is my favorite series of all (next to "Kolchak the Night Stalker").

In a nutshell, "Miami Vice' was a detective series about two undercover vice cops, Sonny Crockett (played by actor Don Johnson) a gruff veteran Miami detective and former U of F football player, and Ricardo Tubbs, a recently transplanted African-American Bronx street cop played by Phillip Michael Thomas, and their battles against cocaine cowboys, Colombian drug lords, pimps, prostitutes and illegal weapons dealers.

A groundbreaking series, "Vice" featured rock music, typically from the 80's, throughout most episodes in order to enhance the incredibly lyrical and evocative imagery that made this such a noteworthy and artistic series. Mann made Miami the star of the show, highlighting its sensuous tropical character as reflected in his heavy use of pastels and white (hence, why Crockett was often seen in white outfits) to mimic sky, sea and sand. Mann was also fond of night scenes complete with neon and glass block.

After five years of run time, Tubbs and Crockett literally threw down their guns and quit the force after coming to the grim realization that the nation's "War on Drugs" is basically a scam. The series then died a dignified death in 1989.

As long as there is a Miami, and as long as there is vice, "Miami Vice" can still be a relevant and viable name for a movie or a TV series even today.

My biggest concern with Mann's effort to bring the series to the big screen twenty years later is that it's, well, twenty years later!

--The music is different.
--The dress styles are different.
--The thinking is different (and dumber)...

Let's face it, "Miami Vice" the TV series was the '80s!

The TV series should (like 'Lost in Space" the TV series and the "Wild, Wild West" TV series) remain in the era that it was conceived and died in, and not be remade in any way, shape or form with the same characters portrayed by others or the same formulas. Latest word is, however, that Mann intends to resurrect Tubbs and Crockett as the movie's main characters. with actors Jamie Foxx playing Tubbs and Colin Ferrell playing Crockett.

Sorry folks, there can only be one Tubbs and Crockett - - Phillip Michael Thomas and Don Johnson.

I concede that they are both too old to believably play vice cops, but surely a man of Mann's incredible intellect can bring us fresh blood, a la something like a "Karen Sisco"-like character to work out of the OCB again! For that matter, Mann could create a character for Brad Pitt or Antonio Banderas, but please don't call them Crockett or Tubbs!

Here's my own armchair quarterbacking recommendations to Mr. Mann so this movie doesn't end up being a badly revised nostalgia trip:

  1. Make the movie take place in 2004/5 in Miami with modern musical scores that even a Terence Nuzum type would know or appreciate.
  2. Have the characters dress in the latest fashion, speaking modern lingo.
  3. No one is to be named Tubbs and Crockett unless they are played by Thomas or Johnson. They could be used as senior MDPD staff who rejoined the force, or as P.I.'s, or retired staff checking up on their old alma matter and coaching the newbies.
  4. Attempt to bring back some of the original cast for some continuity- - i.e. have Saundra Santiago portray a modern day Miami-Dade Police Commissioner form of Gina Calabrese!
  5. Keep the movie focused on the fresh blood and how today's vice situations are different than that of twenty years ago.

If these demands cannot be met (and they won't), then I don't plan to see the movie, but I'm sure that Mike Smith, God Bless him, will give us a great review on it!

"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.