song of hernando county

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song of hernando county, originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

from a book put out by the Hernando County YWCA

(by Edith Fulton?)

(“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from which cometh my strength”
–Psalm 121:1)

There may not be in all of earth
A region totally without lure,
Without a modicum of worth.
If man but labor and endure;
But living at its thrilling best
Is yours in such a land as this
Which nature lavishly has blessed
With ocean’s tang and sun’s gold kiss
Upon the dark and loamy soil
That folds the gift of seeds away
And by some swift and secret toil,
Brings forth their yield in sweet array.

Come down, ye seekers for a land
Of wondrous favor, bright with peace,
Where quickened heart and mind and hand
Reap harvests of untold increase!
The shining pines await you here,
And wooded hills are redolent
With pungent fragrance all the year;
When miles before you have been spent
And you have reached your journey’s end,
You’ll find delight indigenous,
And every citizen a friend
To welcome you as one of us.

it’s showtime

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, originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

Join Ten Miles Square and the work of Pat Padua and Jennifer Wade in Microscopy at Hounshell (1506 14th Street NW) this Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Padua and Wade take a closer look, literally and figuratively, at the minutiae of life. Padua’s photographs feature the quirky side of Americana that constantly seesaws between the oddly humorous and vaguely depressing — images like a shiny, bright red gumball machine encouraging us to enjoy hugs (and not drugs!), left to rot full of decaying, colorless candies, or a wide-shot of a packed bingo hall parking lot on a gorgeous day. Padua takes his microscope to a modern society that seems to have little interest in (or perhaps knowledge of) any world that exists outside the frame. Heavily influenced by Martin Parr, these images also document our strange relationships with consumerism and collectibles — Jesus and Mary figurines suffocate silently in plastic wrap waiting for the true believer to save them.

Jennifer Wade takes a more literal approach to her Microscopy. A scientist by trade, she uses a scanning electron microscope to turn every day items into the soaring patterns of mountains and sheer cliffs of a cracked ring, swirls of atoms on chunk of coral, or the rushing current of fibers on a cut piece of paper. Much like Padua’s photos, they remind the viewer that it’s possible to both lean closer and step way back, and encourage the viewers to find their own perspectives.

Hounshell is at 1506 14th Street. Head down Saturday night to also enjoy openings at Irvine Contemporary, Hemphill, Gallery Plan B, the Hamiltonian Gallery. Many thanks to the Pink Line Project for helping make Microscopy possible.

Image of “The Real Mount Dora” by Pat Padua.

up in the old hotel

up in the old hotel

When we passed through Lake Wales last fall we were taken by the Hotel Grand, formerly the Dixie Walesbit, an unoccupied ten-story structure in the middle of town. I made a few phone calls and the next time we passed through with permission to enter the premises. Many thanks to the City of Lake Wales, who owns the property, for their time and generosity in allowing us a look inside.

up in the old hotel

up in the old hotel

The hotel was built in 1926, near the end of what is known as the Great Florida Boom. Though the Boom passed, the hotel remained open until the 90’s, and passed through a series of commercial owners before the City of Lake Wales took over. Sadly, previous owners didn’t know what to do with the place – during our one-hour tour we saw that many original details had been ripped out, and at least one floor had been subject to vandals – though it wasn’t always clear if the vandals were destructive teens or destructive “renovators.” The hotel is now slated for multi-use development. After talking with city officials and the developer we were heartened to hear how much they care about the history of the old place and hope to restore it to as close as they can get to its old glory.

Note: When in Lake Wales, get the garlic bites at Norby’s Steakhouse. You’ll be glad you did!

the oldest profession

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the oldest profession, originally uploaded by a nameless yeast.

teepee town (I didn’t know it was called that until I googled it!), the old drug store in st augustine, was built on the site of an old indian burial ground. the place is loaded with displays of old medicine bottles, cosmetics, and other drugstore staples. it doesn’t appear to be a currently operating pharmacy, but rather a purveyor of the usual florida souvenir shop trinkets (sans smiley-faced oranges, which we couldn’t find *any*where) and lots and lots of crap. the thomas kinkade gallery was just down the street.