Monday, May 19, 2008

Florida

by Capt. Fogg

A place where life is a long summer afternoon of the smells of cut grass and jasmine and new rain drops on dusty hot sidewalks and the feel of bicycle tires on dirt roads and the mysterious newness of old things and memories.

A parallel but separate plane perhaps as is the Florida of the arrivalists who see a clean slate for writing a new story in the old iconography of stucco and concrete and mink coats and champaign and Cadillacs and imported palm trees and grass lawns and condominiums and malls and money.

That shell shop has been here since the 30's and that restaurant -- see where the tourist cabins used to be when there was nothing but sand and pine scrub for miles along the Federal Highway that took you from Maine to Key West, mostly at 35 mph. That little grocery now cut off from the main road, the old, black woman smiling behind the counter who inherited it from her grandmother who ran the only store for miles back when segregation had a long future. That Thai restaurant used to be a fish camp long, long before the new bridge where people would come up from Palm Beach and from way up North to fish in the St lucie.

Nobody tries to grow pineapples out on Hutchinson Island any more, unless it's in the tailored garden of some big house. Most of it has gone back to the impenetrable wetland it used to be when there were bears here, and the Loxahatchee is still a wild and scenic river lined with cypress and oak and filled with alligators. It's still a good place to stop counting the days and to live them as you did when you thought they were endless. There's enough of it still here. Empty beaches still run for miles and miles and people still live in pink houses in charming towns where a cup of coffee is still called a cup of coffee and the restaurants aren't national brands and the fish isn't frozen and sometimes you have to put the engines in neutral to let the dolphins cross the channel and Miami Beach is still a hundred miles away.
















White mangroves on Hutchinson Island


















The Loxahatchee















Nothing but wilderness
















Picturesque Stewart, by the St. Lucie estuary















Dolphin, riding my wake















The Blue Moon and her Captain

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7 Comments:

Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Oh Fogg. That was just lovely. It makes me want to live there.

6:40:00 PM  
OpenID expatbrian said...

Great video post Fogg. I assume you found out what a pain in the rear it is posting a photo series on blogger. Question. Is that Mrs Fogg in the wilderness picture?

I might suggest that you reduce the size of the pics before posting so that when we click on them, the enlarged pic is no bigger than the screen.

I love that mangrove area and your descriptions are typically eloquent.

6:51:00 PM  
Blogger rockync said...

Ahh, a lovely piece capturing old Florida; both its raw beauty and its unique quirkiness. Great photo accompaniment.
And Libby, geez, you want to live everywhere!

8:15:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I guess the pics are a little large - sorry. Yes, that's Elaine.

8:21:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

The pics are perfect Fogg. The Blue Moon and your wife are beautiful.

5:29:00 PM  
Blogger expatbrian said...

You do have a lovely wife. Like Pearl, she appears to be Asian though it's hard to tell with the shades. Japanese ancestry, perhaps? Are we both so lucky?

1:08:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

She was born in Minnesota of Chinese immigrant parents. Yes, I attribute it to luck -- like everything good in my life.

4:10:00 PM  

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