Monthly Archives: June 2014

Gregg entertains hundreds for Memorial Day under the Old Oak Tree

Gregg Russell plays his guitar and sings folk and children’s songs to hundreds of young and old under one of the largest and oldest oak trees in Harbour Town, Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island. The Memorial Day concert has been free during the entire time of Gregg’s 26-year run. The youngest toddlers sit on the stage with Gregg, clapping their hands and singing some of their favorite songs, Memorial Day 2013.

Gregg Russell entertains hundreds at Hilton Head his 26th Year

Under the big Oak Tree at the Lighthouse Marina, Gregg Russell entertains young and old with family-style folk songs and folk tales.

Under the big Oak Tree at the Lighthouse Marina, Gregg Russell entertains young and old with family-style folk songs and folk tales.

Russell entertains old and young alike with children and folk songs under the gargantuan old Oak Tree in front of a string of small boutiques, clothing stores, and restaurants. It’s at Lighthouse Marina, in Sea Pines Plantation. The smallest children sit on the stage at Russell’s feet, often singing along with Russell. It’s nice to see entertainers who can entertain without resulting to vulgarities.

Sir Sandford Fleming

Chief engineer of the Canadian and Pacific Railway, Sir Sandford Fleming was also the designer of Canada’s first adhesive postage stamps. In 1892 Fleming and his son, Sandford H. Fleming, as well as several other Canadians became interested in the inland waterway being dredged along the east coast of Florida.  In a matter of time, Sir Sandford became the largest investor in the affiliated Boston & Florida land company.

But by 1912, Fleming and his Canadian colleagues had become disenchanted with the enterprise. No dividends had yet been paid on their stock. In a few short years, the Fleming group would soon reap dividends as high as 16% annually on their investment after completion of the Florida waterway and the sales of lands abutting the waterway and Flagler’s railway.

Florida gray Ibis.

The Florida gray Ibis in its wet,marshy habitat.

It consumes the smallest sea animals, mollusks, and sea grasses.
In turn, larger predators like snakes and alligators occasionally find sustenance in consuming the Ibis. In the early 1900’s, Florida women leaders like Ivy Stranahan led the fight in stopping the hunting of water birds solely for their plumes, making it a criminal offense.

Turnstyle Bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway at Fort Lauderdale

Turnstyle Bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway

At Fort Lauderdale, the first bridge to the beachside was a short wooden bridge across what then known as the private Florida East Coast Canal ca. 1910. Located on the north side of the land was a small wooden house occupied by the bridge-tender and his family. Upon the approach of a small boat or light draft barge, the tender would exit his house and turn the bridge ninety degrees with a long pole inserted like a ‘key’ in the middle of the bridge roadway.

Some years after 1929, the Army Corps of Engineers widened the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)  to at least 125 feet, removing the turnstyle bridge, the spit of land in the middle of the Waterway and the fixed bridge west of it. My best guess of the date the photo was taken is in the 1930s.

In the mid-1950s, a double-bascule bridge replaced the fixed bridge, the small island, and the old turnstyle bridge, connecting the mainland to the beaches. It was dedicated in memory of Dwight Laing Rogers, Sr., M.C., who died unexpectedly in 1954. As a Florida state representative, Rogers authored the homestead exemption saving many residences of the head of a household from seizure and sale for non-payment of property taxes during the Depression. Courtesy, Bridge-tender’s daughter, Jeri Burrie Howard.


The ubiquitous panda

After escaping from Panda prison in China for having too many babies, Panda crossed the Bering Straits, making her way down the California coast to Tinsel-town, where she made three 3-D movies with Jim Carrey; a career in movies seeming much too dull and unrewarding, Panda again escaped to San Diego to a peaceful, carefree life of eating bamboo sprouts. Most entertaining is looking at hundreds of thousands of funny people with cellphones taking photos of themselves. Don’t they know who they are? Or do they forget what they look like?