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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our sixth calendar year
    PCR #264  (Vol. 6, No. 15)  This edition is for the week of April 11--17, 2005.

Charlie Carlson’s "Weird Florida": Unleashed!!!! Book Release Party
 by William Moriaty
"The Amityville Horror"
 by Mike Smith
Debralee Scott Dies at 52...."Zombiethon" (1986)
 by Andy Lalino
Right To Die, Right To Live
 by Nicholas Rex
Conversations With Gorbly...."Sahara"
 by John Lewis
Bucco Focus....Stupid Is As Stupid Does
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Where's Matthew McConaughey?...Beautiful Noise....Passing On....Speaking Of Music....I'm A Star....Jaws: The Story, Part 14
 by Mike Smith
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Charlie Carlson’s "Weird Florida": Unleashed!!!! Book Release Party

While wrapping up last minute details on my own book, "William Moriaty's Florida" at artist-author Lisa Clardy's F-Bod Studios in Orlando, she handed me an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper that she picked up in Longwood, Florida sporting headlines touting a $10,000.00 reward for the capture of a live Florida Skunk Ape!

I was initially so busy admiring this beautifully quirky story of Bigfoot booty (a boon for hunters from Bithlo to Belle Glade) that I initially failed to notice the other side of this Weird Wanted Poster.

The Bigfoot capture is all a part of a book release party for Florida Folk Hero and "Florida's Own Man in Black", Charlie Carlson, author of a new book by Barnes and Noble publication called "Weird Florida" which debuts on May 1, 2005.Carlson also authored "Strange Florida: The Unexplained and the Unusual", a 1997 self-copyrighted 112-page book published by Luthers Publications. This book is available through Amazon.com.

This book release party is free to the public and will be held Saturday April 30, 2005 at 7:00 P.M. at the Blue Dahlia located at 112 E. First Street in downtown Sanford, Florida and is known as "Weird Florida: Unleashed!!!!!!!!"

As readers of this column know, in addition to writing about various facets of Florida history, one of my interests in particular has been the paranormal in Florida. Articles about the Florida Skunk Ape, ghosts and hauntings, unidentified flying objects, the Bermuda Triangle, sea monsters, and a mad necrophilliac scientist in Key West have all appeared in this column, particularly in and around the Halloween season. So needless to say I was elated to find out that someone other than myself still carries a torch for folk tales about the unexplained in the Sunshine State.

The conventions that I typically attend that are not a prerequisite for my day job of course reflect my personal interests - - the South Florida Airline Historic Association (commercial airlines in the South Florida community) in Miami is chief amongst them. Next comes the MegaCon (comic books and sci-fi and horror movies) in Orlando, Floridana Fest in Gulfport (Florida kitsch and trivia), and the more rare U.F.O. conventions (the last of which was in 1995 when I saw ufologist Bill Knell - - before that one it was one in 1974!). But this convention of sorts appears to have all things Florida and Weird!

The party will have food and drink available. Charlie Carlson will sign autographs and swap stories. Drawings for prizes begin at 10:00 P.M., and the Grand Prize is the actual map used by Carlson in his 2, 500 mile trek to uncover "Weird Florida". In addition, there will be members of the SpookHunters, a fifteen member paranormal investigation organization, and members of the Volusia Investigators of the Paranormal, which include a "medium extraordinaire" Ms. Susan Thompson. Both of these organizations have superb web sites outlining their history, members and work, and are worth the visit.

There will also be people featured in the book "Weird Florida" at this party, as well as T-Shirts, photos, weird memorabilia, free readings by a medium and free passes to ghost tours.

What else could be cooler?

For more information, link on to Charlie Carlson's exemplary Strange Florida web site at http://members.tripod.com/~UNX3/strange.html

"Greg", a skeptical member of SpookHunters' motto is "If I can't eat it, I don't believe it." Take a trip to Sanford on April 30th and decide for yourself after visiting "Weird Florida": Unleashed!!!!!!!

Oh and yes, "Skeptics and believers alike are welcome!"

"La Floridiana" is ©2005 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 ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.