May 17, 2011

The Last Harvest: A History and Tribute to the Life and Work of the Farmworkers on Lake Apopka

Filed under: Around Florida, Events — Tags: , — Administrator @ 9:48 am

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College has a new exhibit running through June 12th about Lake Apopka farmers:

The Last Harvest is a documentary project tracing the life of farmworkers who found their way of life was to rapidly come to an end. In 1997 the Florida legislature purchased the land surrounding Lake Apopka and declared that Lake Apopka was to be flooded. This land was farmed by men and women economically struggling; they were left jobless. The state cited their end goal was to balance the eco-system of the notoriously polluted lake, but as a result a culture of farmworkers was threatened.

The Farmworkers Association of Florida implored various organizations to help document their fading why of life. From this request came the The Last Harvest Photographic project. The history of the farmworkers and their families were gathered, written down, and powerfully photographed. Through these images, the project captures the finality of the harvest. Additional research was gathered on the history of the farms, the people, and the effect the flooding of Lake Apopka would have on the community at large.

The documentary photographs were taken by students at the Crealdé School of Art under the guidance of documentary photographers Faith Amon and Crealdé Executive Director Peter Schreyer. Admission is $5.00 for the public and free to CFAM members, children, Rollins College faculty and staff, and college students with a valid ID.

Visit for more information.

May 11, 2011

Flamingo Party – Tampa – Hillsborough County

Filed under: Around Florida — Tags: , , — Administrator @ 9:00 am

This past weekend, our Asst. Managing Editor caught this moment on her cell phone. Talk about a flamingo party!

May 10, 2011

Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Award

Filed under: Fun Floridians — Administrator @ 3:18 pm

Thursday, April 14, the Florida State University College of Business announced the winners of the second Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Award. The award, the only one of its kind of the state of Florida, honors two individuals – one in the private sector and one best known for service in the public sector – who have demonstrated a deep commitment to integrity, ethical behavior and principled leadership.

Talbot “Sandy” D’Elemberte, President Emeritus of Florida State University, was the public-sector winner, while the private-sector recipient was Steven L. Evans, entrepreneur and retired IBM executive.

D’Elemberte is well known throughout the state for his work. He has served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, dean of the Florida State College of Law, and president of Florida State University. In addition, he’s served on numerous boards, won an array of awards an honors, and chaired many committees, including the Florida Commission on Ethics from 1974-1975. He earned his juris doctor in 1962 and served as the president of the American Bar Association from 1991-1992. D’Elemberte chaired the first American Bar Association committee on modern dispute resolution.

Evans had a solid 30 year career with IBM, serving as the vice president of sales for the company’s North American Education Division, vice president of the Midwest Public Sector, Health and Pharmaceutical business, and the senior state executive of IBM’s Florida operations. He also served as the COO and senior advisor to the Florida TaxWatch Research Institute and interim CEO of Brandt Information services. After retirement, Evans became an entrepreneur and mentor, assisting more than 200 people and numerous organizations and becoming a board member of The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. Evans has been recognized with the Servant Leadership Award and the Advocate of the Year Award, and was appointed to the State of Florida Government Efficiency Council.

D’Elemberte and Evans join last year’s inaugural winners: former Florida Governor Reubin O’D. Askew for the public sector and Jeffrey Bartel, corporate executive and entrepreneur, for the private sector.

“We are proud to be continuing a tradition of honoring the very deserving Floridians who are dedicated to the core principle of business — ethical behaviors,” said Caryn L. Beck Dudley, dean of the FSU College of Business, in a press release. According to Dudley, the two winners “live what they preach and embody the ethical principles we expect.”

Recipients of the Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Award are selected by Florida State University’s Ethics Roundtable. The award recipients are selected based upon their dedication to ethics throughout their lives, including both professional and personal responsibilities, contributions to the public wellbeing, industry and statewide leadership, and their sterling reputations.

The Sunshine State Ethics in Leadership Award was co-founded by The Florida State University College of Business, Ron Sachs Communications and Florida Monthly magazine, and sponsored this year by The Foundation for the Associated Industries of Florida.

April 19, 2011

St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park Has New Residents

Filed under: Around Florida — Tags: , , , , — Administrator @ 10:22 am

Photo Courtesy the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

An Indian Gharial has laid eggs at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Thirty-nine eggs to be exact. What makes these eggs so special is that they are the FIRST Indian gharial eggs laid in the United States. Exciting!

From the park:

Indian gharials are a critically endangered species of crocodilian native to central Asia. The males can grow to over 20 feet in length and develop a bulbous “ghara” at the top of the nostril pad which the species is named for. Indian gharials live and build their nests along the sandy banks of fast flowing, deep rivers. Habitat loss due to sand mining and political instability in their native range has negatively affected their reproduction in the wild.

Open since 1893, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is still one of Florida’s most treasured attractions. Located on Anastasia Island, it features natural exhibits, wildlife shows and educational demonstrations. Designated a U.S. Historic District, it is the only place in the world where every species of alligator, crocodile, caiman and gharial is represented.

For more information, visit

April 18, 2011

30th Anniversary of Flamingo Garden’s Orchid Show

Filed under: Around Florida — Tags: , , , — Administrator @ 10:31 am

Its been 30 years since Flamingo Gardens held its first Orchid Show and Sale on Easter of 1981 and they’re celebrating. The 30th anniversary Orchid Show & Sale features rare and exotic orchids and bromeliads on display and for sale, along with orchid supplies, classes, and demonstrations, plus food and music.

While there, check out Grace Greenberg’s photo exhibit “Blossoms of Note” in the Gallery, or enjoy tea time at Flamingo Cafe. It’s Easter weekend so bring the kids to meet the bunny and decorate an old-fashioned Easter eggs using the Lipstick Plant.

The Orchid Show & Sale is 9:30am to 4:30pm April 23-24, 2011. Admission to Festival is $17 ages 12 and up, $8.50 ages 4-11, and free for children 3 or younger and Members of Flamingo Gardens. Admission includes Flamingo Garden’s 60 acre Botanical Gardens, Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, the Wildlife Encounter shows, and tours of the historic Wray Home. Narrated Tram Tours through the park are additional.

Flamingo Gardens is located at 3750 South Flamingo Road in Davie, FL. For more information, times and schedules, and a special $5 off adult entry coupon, visit or call 954-473-2955.

April 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Jefferson County Courthouse (Monticello)

Filed under: Around Florida — Tags: , , , — Administrator @ 9:28 am

Today is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. To celebrate, why not highlight Florida’s own Jefferson County?

Originally part of Leon County, Jefferson County was established as its own territory on January 6, 1827. It was named after Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States of America. Monticello, named after Jefferson’s Virginia home, became the county seat. To this day, it’s the only incorporated city within the county. The above courthouse is noted landmark within the city.

April 12, 2011

Florida’s Part in the Civil War

Filed under: Around Florida, Looking Back — Tags: , — Administrator @ 9:32 am

On April 12, 1861 – 150 years ago – the Battle of Fort Sumter was fought in South Carolina, thus starting the American Civil War. At that same time, the First Florida Regiment arrived in Pensacola, trying to drive thee Northern troops out of Fort Pickens.

While much of the war was not fought within Florida, the state still made a big impact on the event. Democrat John Milton was elected Florida’s governor (yet didn’t take office until October 7, 1861). As a supporter of secession, he and current governor Madison S. Perry held regular meetings in Tallahassee to discuss the state’s stance (the first being January 3, 1861). Seven days later, the state voted to adopt an Ordinance of Secession and withdraw Florida from the United States. The following months, representatives from six Southern states met in Montgomery, Alabama to organize The Confederate States of America.

On October 9, the first major battle was fought in Florida. Confederate troops went to Santa Rosa Island to attack Union soldiers stationed outside Fort Pickens. The Confederates had to retreat, and suffered 87 casualties. On November 22, another battle broke out between Union soldiers at Fort Pickens and the surrounding Confederate batteries.

In early 1862, most Confederate troops were withdrawn from Florida, and sent to Tennessee. On March 4, however, due to unguarded lands, Northern troops occupied Fernandina. Seven days later, the Union overtook St. Augustine and Jacksonville as well. While St. Augustine remained occupied by the Union for the remainder of the war, Jacksonville switched hands four times. October 1-3 brought another Union force to the St. Johns River south of Jacksonville, forcing the Confederates at St. Johns Bluff to leave.

January 1, 1863 brought President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the south. In May, the Confederate gunboat Chattahoochee, which had been guarding the Apalachicola River basin, exploded, killing 16 sailors. Meanwhile, Florida soldiers were heavily involved in northern battles, including the July 1-3 Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Towards the end of the year, Florida started losing its most important commodity: salt. Salt was used mostly in preserving foods, which was essential at the time. On December 2-15, Union warships destroyed many Confederate saltworks at Lake Ocala and West Bay.

On February 7, 1864, Union ships arrived in Jacksonville, planning to gain control of East Florida. On the 20th, Floridians fought in the Battle of Olustee in Lake City. It was the largest Civil War battle within Florida, with more than 5,000 men fighting on each side. Confederate soldiers stopped the Union’s encroaching, driving them back to Jacksonville.

With a new-found hope, Confederates continued battling. A mine in the St. Johns River sunk Maple Leaf, a Northern ship. Then, on September 27, the Battle of Marianna was fought. The bloody battle, which left part of the city burned down, was won by the Union.

As 1865 arrived, the war waged on. On February 21, the Battle of Fort Myers took place, with Confederates unsuccessfully trying to take over the Union-held Fort Myers. It’s thought to be the Civil War’s southernmost battle.

On March 6, the Confederates were once again beat at the Battle of Natural Bridge. As the war drew to a close, and the Confederacy was almost defeated, Governor Milton was worn down. He left office for his Marianna plantation and committed suicide on April 1. Abraham K. Allison, the president of the Florida senate, was sworn in as governor later that day. Eight days later, General Robert E. Lee surrendered in Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant. The last major surrender came later that month on April 26 in North Carolina. On May 10, Union General E. M. McCook accepted the formal surrender of Confederate troops in Tallahassee.

For more information of Florida’s part in the Civil War, including photos, diary entries, and letters, visit Florida Memory.

April 11, 2011

Baroque Paintings in Tallahassee

Filed under: Around Florida — Tags: , , , — Administrator @ 9:49 am

Now on display at the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science in Tallahassee are 50 never before seen Baroque paintings from the Pinacoteca di Brera Museum in Milan, Italy. These stunning paintings from the 16th and 17th century have been taken from the Italian museum’s basement, where they had been kept for the past 400 years,  and put on display for the first time ever. Each painting masterfully represents the time period’s artwork.

The exhibit, Baroque – Painting in Lombardy from the Pinacoteca de Brera will be on display through July 24.

For a fun Florida connection, Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera Museum was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte, uncle to mayor of Tallahassee Prince Charles Louis Napoleon Archille Murat. After leaving Europe, Murat moved to Tallahassee and married Catherine Willis Gray, the great-grandniece of George Washington. Both are buried in Tallahassee’s St. Johns Episcopal Church Cemetery.

For more information, visit

April 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Hawks Harbor Osprey, Sarasota

Filed under: Around Florida — Tags: , , — Administrator @ 9:33 am

Photo by Susan Sheahan DMD

Check out this amazing photo one of our readers sent us. Said Susan Sheahan, “What a wonderful state that we live in that we can enjoy so much wildlife!”

We wholeheartedly agree!

If ospreys could speak, what do you think this guy would say?

April 5, 2011

Cannonball Adderley

Filed under: Fun Floridians — Administrator @ 9:57 am

Every now and then, the Florida Monthly blog likes to honor historic Floridians. Today, we’re discussing Cannonball Adderley. For more intriguing Floridians, check out the magazine!

Born September 15, 1928, Julian “Cannonball” Edwin Adderley had a voracious appetite for music, life and food. Originally nicknamed Cannibal due to his constant hunger, it was mispronounced once, which led to his ongoing nickname of Cannonball. The new name was more fitting, as his musical styles commonly soared through audiences, landing with an enormous explosion of applause.

Adderley was born into a musical family in Tampa. There, he quickly grasped the saxaphone and took music classes at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. He moved to Tallahassee when his parents took jobs with Florida A&M University. Later, he went there as well, and became a member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Infoporated, the largest and oldest music fraternity in America. While there, in the 1940s, he regularly played music around town with his brother, Nat Adderley. They were accompanied by Ray Charles, while he was in town.

In 1950, Adderley was drafted into the army and became the lader of the 36th Army Dance Band. he also led his own band while studying music at the U.S. Naval Academy, and led an army band at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Wanting to further pursue music, he left the army and moved to New York City in 1955. It was there that his musical asperiations truly took the stage.

While visiting the Café Bohemia one night to see Oscar Pettiford’s band, Adderley got his big break. The saxophonist of the band was late, so, seeing Adderley with a saxophone (as he was too afraid to leave it in his car), the band asked to use it. Adderley strongly said that no one plays his instrument other then him.

Instead of turning him away, the band encouraged Adderley to play with him. Irritated by Adderley’s refusal to revoke the instrucment, band leader Oscar Pettiford had his band play a fast and furious tempo. Adderley easily kept up, and even added his own solo during “Bohemia After Dark.” Musicals loved him, calling him the next Charlie Parker. Practically overnight, he became a sensation.

Adderley’s jazz style was creatly influenced by Charlie Parker and Benny Carter. He quickly became an influence on the hard-bop genre, creating fast tempos and also soulful ballads on his saxophone. He was skilled at improvising musical numbers, and helped promote soul jazz and bop.

From 1956 through 1957 he led an ensemble with his brother, cornetist Nat Adderley, as well as pianist Junior Mance and bassist Sam Jones. He left the group after being scouted by trumpeter Miles Davis, with whom he played with from 1957-1959. The group expanded to a sextent when saxophonist John Coltrate joined.

In his autobiography, Davis reflected, “I felt that Cannonball’s blues-rooted alto sax up against Trane’s harmonic, chordal way of playing, his more free-form approach, would create a new kind of feeling,”

During that time, Adderley recorded some of his best work, appearing on albums such as Milestones and Kind of Blue. He created his own record in 1958, which featured a guest appearance by Miles Davis, as well as many other musicians.

Adderley left the ensemble and formed his own quintet in 1959 with his brother, as well as Sam Jones, pianist bobby Timmons and drummer Louis hayes. In 1962, they added Usef Lateef. By 1973, Adderley had recorded 60 albums, and was featured on more than 120.

Some of his most famous songs that topped the charts include “This Here,” The Jive Samba,” “Work Song,” “Walk Tall,” and “Mercy, Mercy Mercy.” Two years later, after a rich and fulfilling life, Adderley died on August 8 from a stroke. He was buried in Tallahassee.

Adderley’s influences in music are still found today, from his improvisational tunes, to his gospel harmonies. He created a soundtrack for his generation, and was quite aptly a cannonball of sound.

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