LETTERS  PCR #266     (April 24--May 2, 2005)

  • Reader Offers Correction Re: George Plimpton (and Mike Smith's reply)
  • Reader Inquires About The Kapok Tree (and Will Moriaty's reply)
  • Enigmatic Letter Gets Reaction From Will (and Will Moriaty's reply)
  • Jason Liquori on Canadian Singer's Faux Pas

    Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


    I was just looking through your archives (I'm holed up in my apartment with a broken leg and BORED) and noticed that, even though it's a year and a half old, your obit about George Plimpton contains a major error.

    Martha Plimpton is NOT his granddaughter. He had four children, Medora and Taylor by his first wife and twins Laura and Olivia by his second.

    He has no relation to Martha Plimpton, just the same last name.

    Anyhow, in case you have the inclination to fix that...


    Cathy, thanks so much for writing, we always want to have the correct information if we can! After a little research, I discovered the article in question was from Mike's Rant, PCR #184 from 2003. I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding, and I've since removed the offending line. (The very last line of Mike's Plimpton obit used to read, "His Hollywood connection continues with his granddaughter, Martha Plimpton.") Thanks again and keep in touch! ---Nolan

    Thank you for the correction. Unfortunately at the time of George Plimpton's death I worked strange hours and usually composed my articles in the wee hours of the morning. You are indeed correct that Martha Plimpton and George Plimpton are not related. Plimpton uses her mother, Shelly's, last name as her stage name. Her father is actor Keith Carradine which would make her grandfather horror film legend John Carradine. I actually met both Keith Carradine and Martha Plimpton one evening in New York City and the three of us shared a laugh when someone remarked they couldn't believe "Keith Carradine is dating Martha Plimpton!" I apologize for not researching my story more and thank you for the correction. As readers of PCR know, I like to make sure a story is right. Ask any Buddy Holly fan!

    Sorry to hear about the broken bone. I broke my arm about a year ago so I know what it's like to be shut inside. I hope you continue to read the PCR and extend my best wishes for a quick recovery.


    Hi Will.
    I happened across your site because I was looking for information on what had become of Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater. I was wondering if perhaps you knew what was in it's place now. Is it still a record store? I heard that there was some sort of Historical land still in that area that had many of the grounds and fountains that were a part of Kapok Tree still on it. And what the heck was Baumgardners? I seem to remember the Kapok Tree Inn being a hotel and restaurant with many beautifully designed foreign-imported dining rooms. The reason I wanted to know is I went there as a child/teenager (as well as the one in Ft. Lauderdale which sadly has become nothing as yet though they plan on some sort of habitat restoration project on it at some point). I have great memories of the place and would travel there if there was actually anything to see that would be worth it. If you have any knowlege of what is there please get back to me.

    Michelle Kissel
    Chicago, Illinois

    Dear Ms. Kissel:
    Thank you for taking the time to write us and read our publication!

    The northern/indoor dining portion of the Kapok Tree is still currently a Sam Ash Music Store. The southern/outdoor gardens/kitchen portion is dedicated to the Players School of Music.

    Baumgardner's owned the Kapok Tree throughout the late '70s, '80s and into the early '90s. As a botanical aside, the gigantic tree growing alongside McMullen-Booth Road at the restaurant is not a Kapok Tree (Ceiba pentandra), but a Red Floss Silk Tree (Bombax malabaricum), which is nevertheless related to the true Kapok in the Bombax family (Bombacaceae or Malvaceae).

    You stirred up one of my favorite memories of my having brought one of my girlfriends with my sister and her husband for dinner in the Christmas of 1984!

    Thanks again for writing!
    --- Will


    Mr Davis wrote to me last year via e mail about his model of the Bonney Gull. I have tried contacting him but am not getting any response from the e mail address he provided.

    Ken Spooner

    Readers, I confess the above email made no sense to me whatsoever upon first reading, but I suspected it had something to do with "La Floridiana" whose visitors tend to write very stream-of-conscious-like. I replied to Mr. Spooner who confirmed it was La Floridiana but gave no clues beyond that (like what issue, etc.). I asked William Moriaty to look into it. ---Nolan


    Nolan received an intriguing e-mail from Mr. Ken Spooner at that was in reference to a letter by a Michael B. Davis of the Retention Team of North Central Florida that I shared with our readers in the March 14, 2005 edition of PCR Lettercol. Mr. Davis claimed to have early Florida aviator Leonard W. Bonney's original flight suit and a replica model of the "Bonney Gull", an experimental aircraft that claimed Mr. Bonney's life at age 42 in 1928.

    Mr. Spooner stated to Nolan that "Mr Davis wrote to me last year via e mail about his model of the Bonney Gull. I have tried contacting him but am not getting any response from the e mail address he provided."

    So Mr. Davis, if you're out there reading this message, please contact Mr. Spooner at knapphistory@spoonercentral.com ASAP!

    (P.S. Mr. Spooner's website on Dodi Knapp and Leonard Bonney's "Bonney Gull" is a fascinating read at http://www.spoonercentral.com/knapp/Bunny.html)



    I just read a short article on AOL News about the FRENCH CANADIAN singer who "embarrassed" herself by missing the lyrics to OUR National Anthem and then fell on the ice. The fact that she should have known the lyrics to a song she was singing publicly is a no brainer, but how does this become news? There is an ABC news clip to accompany it. Let's look at some facts.

    1. Why did we have to get a foreigner to sing the United States National Anthem in the first place?

    2. Who thought it was a good idea to ask someone who speaks English as a SECOND language.

    3. Raise your hand if you speak French. No, really. Three words don't count. Being able to ask for the bathroom and order a beer don't count. Joe, put your hand down. You have family there.

    4. She tried twice, gave up and admitted she needed a cheat sheet and then, not one of the men standing next to the ice had the brains or upbringing to hold her hand when she stepped back onto the ice. Where were these guys raised? Oh, right Canada.

    5. Sing the lyrics to Oh Canada. Name the National Anthem to three other countries. Come on, just the names. Don;t you watch the Olympics.

    I'm done except to say, that as Americans, who expect everyone in every country to speak English so we can enjoy ourselves when we visit, we need to cut this lady some slack. Also, maybe the little rug they use for standing on the ice should be replaced with a good pair of Cleats.

    I'll take a breath now.

    Jason L Liquori
    Hocus Focus Productions

    To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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