At a recent Circle S Rodeo in the Myakka City area, I was able to photograph the pro bull riding event where participants are assigned a bull to ride and are rewarded points for the number of seconds they are able to stay on the back of that bull. This cowboy was able to ride his bull for almost the entire allotted time and had one of the highest scores for the night. However, that bull should have been given points for being one of the most effective “bouncers”!
On Veterans’ Day, we visited the Traveling Wall which was brought to the small park next to the Senior Friendship Center in Sarasota. It is a representation of The Wall in Washington D.C., a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Originally, it had 58,195 names indicating those involved in the Vietnam War and were either KIA (Killed In Action) or MIA (Missing In Action). The names are listed chronologically from 1959 to 1968 and, as of May 2011, there are 58,272 names. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs uses May 7, 1975 as the official end date for the Vietnam era. On May 15, 1975, eighteen U.S. servicemen were killed on the final day of a rescue operation. These appear as the last names listed on the timeline.
It is really quite an experience to see. Many who knew or had lost loved ones named on “The Wall” have left “An Expression of Love” in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Major Michael Davis O’Donnell (who was KIA 2/7/1978) wrote this:
“If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own.
And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.”
During a photo shoot at Sarasota, I spied this great looking low-slung beauty, the Varedo model of the Isorivolta racing car. From the Internet, I learned it was the last Maserati to be designed by Ercole Spada, a veteran designer from Carrozzeria. As chief designer and stylist, he wanted a pure performance car and chose a fiberglass body. Equipped with a 325 horsepower engine and ZF 5-speed transmission, it was a hit as it debuted at the Torino Auto Show around 1972. It was later found to be a great handling vehicle during testing at the Monza Race Track. Not too long after this, the Rivolta family sold their interest in the company. The project died without the Varedo ever being introduced as a production model.
Too bad! It would have been such a great car to drive.
At the Manatee Village Historical Park there is a prime example of a house built in the “Cracker Gothic” style of architecture. Originally built and owned by the Stephens family, who lived in Hardee County, it was constructed of pine timber and heart pine blocks that were cut on the homestead. A fireplace supplied heating for the family. By raising the house about 2 1/2 feet, air circulated from under the house into the interior through cracks in the floor. Porches on three sides of the house cooled the breezes as they entered the house. A high-ceiling, central front hallway (called the “dog trot”) channeled the cooled air through the house. The pitcher pump on the back porch supplied water for the occupants.
This type of house was typical of a rural Florida home between the 1870′s and WWI.
Front entrance looking into the long “dog trot” hall.
North porch of Stephens’ house.
Front porch is shown complete with rocking chair and swing. The bunting seen on front porch is part of a Halloween party the sponsoring group was having.
What strange-looking birds these are — the Hooded Lapwings. They reside at the Lowry Park Zoo and were quite compliant about having their picture taken. It seemed as though they were presenting the front and rear views! At first, I could not find their identifications on any accompanying signs and so I called the Aviary at the Lowry Park Zoo. After supplying them with the photo, they promptly replied with the name of the birds.