We moved to Florida in 1949 when Sarasota was a bucolic paradise of white sand beaches, fragrant orange groves and acres of woods so far untouched by man. That was not to last.
I spent all my free
time walking in the
woods and weaving stories in my head. Naturally, I spoke all the dialogue aloud, leading my bewildered
parents to think I was crazy. And I was a bit strange.
The small wood sprite in the pictures represents me of course. I was happy in the woods--I was ecstatic if I was reading a beloved book in the woods while birds sang all around me. I would have slept there if I could in a small rustic cottage covered with vines, but there was no cottage. In the coming years those small patches of forest would be destroyed to make room for shopping centers and cramped, ugly cement block houses painted intense lime green or the brightest of pinks. Tacky motels sprouted neon signs on Highway 41, disturbing the snakes. But I did not know what was to come--and soon. I simply wandered through the majestic old trees, inhaling the stillness.