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Newsletter April 29, 2015

Published Wednesday, April 29, 2015
by Larry Kelleher

Drive By Gem

This interesting home is located east of Tuttle Avenue and undoubtedly, the oak tree is an outstanding example of how these trees can extend their branches near the ground and serve as a host for plant life. The whole scene reminds me of a Robinson Crusoe tree house, though at street level.


Pretty as a Picture

I always enjoy visits to The Ringling. I can’t decide if I prefer the museum over Ca’d’Zan. Though, I haven’t been there in a while, this image is a great example of what I like about the museum courtyard. Everything is well-placed and creates a sense of serenity. Sounds to me like I need to head out there since many of the seasonal visitors have returned home.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor: I lived in Sarasota from 1966 to 2002...  retired to the mountains of NC but I still have many friends there, and I really enjoy reading Sarasota History Alive-- brings back so many memories.

Do you remember a little shop on Main St. called the Sarasota Time Shop?  That was my dad's (Robert F. Jackson) business...  he sold and repaired clocks and watches.  It was right next to the Greek restaurant (on the corner of Orange and Main.)  He passed away in 1973. 

My mom (Martha Jackson) was a Realtor in Sarasota for many years too, and before that, she was a personal assistant to Herb Field, the founder of the original Colony Beach Club on Longboat Key. She died in 2002. As you can imagine, Sarasota has a very special place in my heart.

Sue Ellen Jackson,
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Ain't Life Grand?

Now, I am familiar with Two Men and a Truck (movers), but this looks like Three Guys and Truck on a hunting expedition in the woods. Well, the man on the right has a rifle, the youngster is the driver, and cheerleader guy in the background seems to be elated about something. Perhaps, not getting a “No Trespassing” citation is something to cheer about.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources, Lesa Kenny Collection)


Postcard of the Week

A “Whip Ray” catch – I thought they were called Devil Ray, or Manta Ray. I suppose there are many varieties. This one met the fate of a fisherman; personally, I really abhor the sight of destroying such a beautiful and graceful creature. They are not a threat to humans; in fact, I had one swim right by me one day near a sandbar at New Pass. What an exhilarating experience!

Theatre Theatrics or The Curtain Rises and Falls

While this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive history of Sarasota’s theaters (stage and/or screen), I hope you’ll enjoy a brief trip back through my early movie-going days when admission to the “RITZ” theater was 9¢ for a feature film, a western, a serial episode, plus previews and selected short subjects.

Years before my 1929 arrival, tent shows would set up and show non-talkies on the screen and sometimes risqué stage shows. Of course, 1920-1929 “risqué” would probably be rated “G” by year 2000 standards. As late as February 1936, Sally Rand (pictured), the famous Fan and Bubble dancer appeared on stage at the “EDWARDS” theatre. Part of her time was spent autographing subscription receipts for Sarasota Herald newspaper subscribers. Plus, each subscriber received a free ticket to her show! Just imagine, this promotion was sponsored by the newspaper founder, George David Lindsay, an ordained Presbyterian minister. But even that didn’t keep the “EDWARDS” open as it folded and re-opened later in 1936 as the “FLORIDA,” with new owners. Its life as a movie theater began in 1926 and lasted until 1970. It began its new life in 1979 and has been renovated and restored as the “SARASOTA OPERA HOUSE.” Today it is gorgeous and well-utilized. Read more...

(photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in 1929, Déjà vu. Florida marshals its forces against the dreaded Mediterranean fruit fly. Dr. J.R. Scully and Commissioner J.F. Miller traveled to Orlando to consult with Dr. Wilmon Newell, State Plan Commissioner. Thus far, no specimens have been found in Sarasota; however, to be on the safe side, measures were taken to prevent spreading of the blight by limiting shipments of bulk fruit and by burying any discarded fruit or vegetable produce. (By the way, the state was declared free of infection by August, 1930).

(photo credit: Wikipedia)


Who am I?

The winner of our last contest was Sue Ellen Jackson (see Letter-to-the-Editor). Congratulations!
Every now and then, I can be a little difficult. My original name was “El Toro,” but architect, Thomas Reed Martin did a really cool number on me, and transformed my box shape to something that was worthy of his talents. That took place in the 1920s and to this day I am such a great-looking building. Too bad, a developer wants to raze me for a condo. Your task is to give my name after Martin worked his magic. Who am I? That is your challenge this week – “Who am I?”

Click here to submit your answer, as well as view the correct answer to the last challenge.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)




Your award this week is the book, John Hamilton Gillespie - The Scot Who Saved Sarasota by Jeff LaHurd. The Friend's of the Sarasota County History Center generously provided this prize. Please consider becoming a member of the Friends; they have some exciting programs coming up soon. Visit them here.

If you would like to be a sponsor of our "Where Am I?" quiz, please call us at (941) 951-7727. It only cost $25 per week for us to set up your ad, and then you only have to provide a prize for the winner. What could be easier?



(The following is an example from Ringling's 1955 Press Book):

Roberto de Vasconcellos, Europe’s most exciting horseman, returns to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus this year to join John Ringling  North’s 1956 edition of The Greatest Show on Earth.

When the colossal tented organization comes to…………………………….circus goers will recall this colorful Portuguese caballero and his superb equestrianism.
Son of former King Manuel’s premier, Roberto, who seldom uses his title, Visconde Ponte da Barca, had as a boy achieved high rank as a mounted Portuguese matador. Then a bull gored him in a Lisbon arena. He was only 15 and soon recovered to become, almost overnight, one of the Continent’s stars of haute ecole and dressage horsemanship.

Roberto presents his act with a fresh horse at each performance so that spectators will see Vasconcellos only at his peak. That means high school and dressage horsemanship as only he can display it.

Roberto heads many new riding sensations, the most impressive offerings of their nature that The Greatest Show on Earth has assembled in many years.

Doors to the menagerie and the Big Top, the world’s largest tent, will open at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m., with performances scheduled to begin at 2:14 and 8:15 p.m.
(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)