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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
   Now in our ninth calendar year
    PCR #435  (Vol. 9, No. 30)  This edition is for the week of July 21--27, 2008.

Snooty Turns 60!  by William Moriaty
"Step Brothers"  by Mike Smith
The Yellow Submarine Chronicles Part Four: It’s All In The Mind Y’Know!  by ED Tucker
DVD Grindhouse: "The Exterminator" (1980) by Andy Lalino
Lebron Guarantees Gold .... Bonds In Pinstripes? .... Favre Saga Continues… .... WNBA: Now Hiring Grandmas .... Say Hello To The New Stadium, Again .... Arenabowl XXII  by Chris Munger
The FM Dilemma: Answering Andy  by Matt Drinnenberg
 by Mike Smith
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Snooty Turns 60!

Monday July 21, 2008 marked a very special occasion, for on that day the only non-human Florida Folk Hero celebrated its 60th birthday!

Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity turned the big six-oh at its home in the Parker Manatee Aquarium of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

Fond Memories
I had the opportunity to see Snooty many, many years back when I went to see a show on unidentified flying objects at the Museum's Bishop Planetarium back in early November 1973 (see PCR #172). Like myself, Snooty was much younger then, his having turned 25 that July 21st. He was circling around in a glorified kid's pool back then, so I am pleased to hear that he, along with manatees being rehabilitated and released, are now in a full-blown large aquarium.

A Miami Boy
Snooty was born on July 21, 1948 at the Miami Seaquarium to Lady, an injured manatee. Snooty's trainer, Sam Stout, taught Lady and her calf Snooty to perform tricks. By April of 1949, Stout found himself in trouble with the law for having two manatees instead of just one as shown on his wildlife permit, so he donated Snooty to Manatee County. The calf was then relocated to a 3,000-gallon tank at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

By 1965 the Museum expanded and Snooty found himself in a larger tank, this one being 7,000-gallons. On the year that Snooty turned 30, in 1978, Florida finally came to legally recognize the importance of these gentle giants when the Legislature declared the entire state a manatee sanctuary.

Inspired by a visit to Snooty during his college spring break in the late 1960's, Patrick Rose was later inspired to establish, along with entertainer Jimmy Buffett, the Save the Manatee Club in 1981. The club tried unsuccessfully to move Snooty ten years later to Homosassa Springs State Park to mate with females, but Manatee County officials successfully opposed the loss of their county's mascot.

By 1993 Snooty finally had room to move more freely in as a 60,000-gallon pool had been completed for his habitation.

Snooty is not only a Florida Folk Hero but a close up poster child who underscores the importance of making efforts at every level possible to save these creatures from extinction.

Happy Birthday Snooty!

The West Indian Manatee
Manatees inhabit shallow brackish, fresh or salt water coastal marshes, estuaries and rivers in tropical parts of the world. The West Indian Manatee (Trichechrus manatus) inhabits the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean up to Florida and seasonally as far north as Virginia. The Amazonian Manatee (Trichecrus inunguis) inhabits the Amazon basin and the West African Manatee (Trichecrus senegalensis) inhabits the west coast of Africa.

Snooty is a West Indian Manatee. For more information on these aquatic mammalians, also known as Sea Cows, link to the Save the Manatee Club's "Manatee Info" web page at http://www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts.htm

"La Floridiana" is ©2008 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 ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.