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Paradise Lakes Nudist Colony

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  There are three or four Nudist Colonies north of Tampa, about 15 miles, near Land of Lakes. The largest one, Paradise Lakes was a customer of mine when we lived in Florida.  They had condos, mobile home park, apartments and RV camping. I supplied them with mattresses. The property manager had contacted me about 1995 and I went to talk to him about deliveries.  He insisted that price was important but he was more concerned about my delivery men.  He was adamant about their behavior and wanted them to be discreet, make the delivery, no gawking....and get out. I agreed that I, personally, would make all deliveries with one helper.   I got the job. I scheduled most of our deliveries on the day they had their Tennis Tournaments. I have a hundred stories...... but my favorite is this one: We had a delivery for the Condos, queen set....upstairs.   My oldest driver was with me, the residents put some clothes on and we soon discovered the box spring would not go up the stairs.  Our plan was t

Boices and Fort Amsterdam.

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Karl Otto Moreland Wittwer

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  John Peterson   GreatGreatGreatGrandson of Karl Otto Moreland Wittwer J u l y   3 0 ,   2 0 2 2     Tomorrow, we, the descendants of Karl Otto Moreland Wittwer will gather in the Swiss community of Berne, Indiana, to celebrate our Swiss heritage amongst fellow relatives. Karl's story: Karl, 39 and his wife Barbara, 38 departed LeHavre, France aboard the sailing ship "Germania". They had traveled from their home in Switzerland, probably by oxcart, 500 miles to reach the port in France. They had 4 children with them, ages 12, 9, 5, 1 and Barbara gave birth to another child 11 days after they arrived in New York. This is what I imagine to be Karl and Barbara's trip to be like: The Emigrant Travels to Le Havre Karl and his family likely booked their passage on a relatively small (197 passengers) sailing ship. Most passengers are listed as "Farmer" (many were probably landless day laborers) and the majority came from Prussia, although there were also travele

The Bluebirds of Happiness,

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I have always loved bluebirds but wherever we lived, my bluebird houses were always full of English Sparrows. Some believe the bluebird is a symbol of joy and hope, others that they bring happiness. We have been here now for two years, living next to a 180 acre farm/park/nature preserve. Salomon Park is a bluebird magnet! Hundreds of them, everywhere. A few weeks ago Linda and I saw about 25, joyously singing and flashing their brilliant blue around us. They congregate around our feeders and join me on my morning walk. I am not the only one who has noticed the blue birds. The adjacent Lutheran Church is going to construct a “Buebird Trail”. Dozens of houses will line the park and provide homes for the birds. Now, that’s a blessing I can approve.  

A Gift from George Wallace

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I was reading the newspaper one morning in 1992 and was intrigued with an article about George Wallace, former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate in 1968.  I was not a fan of George or his populist, segregationist view.  What I admired about most about him was his lifelong support for blue-collar workers, and common folk. George Wallace was shot and permanently paralyzed below the waist in an assignation attempt on May 15, 1972.  At the time he was a Democrat presidential candidate.  Most people did not know that George Wallace renounced his segregationist ideology in the 1980's.  He was reelected governor of Alabama in 1982 with substantial support of black voters.   He retired in 1987 and spent the remaining  years of his life raising money to send young people (both black and white) to his wife Lurleen's alma mater, Troy State University, in Troy Alabama. My daughter, Lisa, was in her first year of college at St. Petersburg Junior College.  I told her about the a

My Earl List.

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Yesterday we were on our daily afternoon walk.  It was Sunday. I was in front of Crash and Linda by about 15 feet, as usual. A young girl, perhaps in her thirties, was taking down her outdoor Christmas decorations.  She lived in the condos at the entrance to our addition.  We walk this route three or four times a week. I stopped, remarked to her that we enjoyed her decorations and that she had done a great job.  Her display was a delight to see and we always looked forward to it. At first,  I got the usual reaction when I go up to complete strangers, especially women, and start a  random conversation.  She shied away at first.....then......she got the biggest smile as both Linda and I talked to her.  We made a friend. This brings me back to my "Earl List".  I'm not going into detail about it.  I make a list every day of things I want to do.  Being nice to someone, every day, is important to me.   I told Linda that most people cannot recall any memory of trips to Disney, a

Tampa, Florida

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I first experienced Tampa, Florida in 1969. I was in the Navy and sent to Tampa to catch a destroyer going out on maneuvers in the Gulf of Mexico. I arrived early....rented a motel room on Bayshore Blvd in Tampa, about two blocks from the famous Henry Plant Hotel/Museum. I spent two days walking the city before reporting for duty. I had never been to Florida and was eager to drink in as much of it as I could. Thirteen years later, 1982, Linda, Lisa and I packed up and moved from Indiana to the Tampa Bay Area. I bought a small trucking company and usually delivered to Tampa a couple times a week. There is no city, that I have experienced, that has the smells of Tampa. The smell of Cuban coffee on Adamo Drive going into Tampa in the morning. The smell of the Florida State Fair...pronto pups and cotton candy. Cuban bread baking at the bakeries in Ybor City or Holsum Bakery on Hillsborough Avenue. Orange blossoms driving down Armenia Avenue when there were groves on both sides of t