Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hotty Toddy...What a Week for Ole Miss

As many who read my blog have known for sometime, I am a Native Floridian....BUT I did attend the University of Mississippi for college. People have often asked me why and I tell them 4 Ms. America's, why not hunt in a baited field.

This past Sat. marked a ballgame I dread, the Ole Miss/FL game. It was in the Swamp, Gators would supposed to devour us in short order and low and behold we won. Tap this on to the Debate that happened Friday night in Oxpatch and Ole Miss had a Great Week.

As Fellow Alum Shep Smith from FoxNews says,
Hotty Toddy We always
win the Party

Yours in the Bond

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Claudius Maximus....THE Gov. of Florida

In my ongoing series I guess on Florida Gov's, I have to list my favorite Gov of All Time in our State. My parents knew him, btw he is still alive and well living in Palm Beach, and said he was the Real Deal...The True Maverick.

Gov. Kirk once said after hearing of a Killing in a Nightclub in Quincy (the town of my birth)..."That's just another Sat. Night in Gadsden County"...Good Stuff.

As the article below will tell he was a Stud and a Great Promoter of Florida. They Don't make 'em like Claude anymore.

Yours in the Bond.

He was a playboy bachelor, the first Republican governor of Florida since Reconstruction and a promising candidate for the vice presidency. His name was Claude Kirk Jr.

Four decades later, the legend of Kirk endures. He was a Florida original, a pure character, a combination of Huey Long, P.T. Barnum and Jesse Ventura. At his inaugural ball in January 1967, the 41-year-old governor was accompanied by a ravishing, 33-year-old green-eyed blonde known only as "Madame X." If Charlie Crist weds Carole Rome, he will be the first governor to marry in office since the man the Miami Herald dubbed "Claudius Maximus" exchanged vows with Erika Mattfeld.

Born in California in 1926, Claude Roy Kirk was raised in a hardscrabble section of Montgomery, Ala. He joined the Marines at age 17 and fought in World War II and Korea. The GI Bill put him through Emory University and the University of Alabama law school. In 1956, Kirk founded American Heritage Life Insurance Co. in Jacksonville.

The 1960s transformed Florida and Kirk. He switched his political allegiance to the Republican Party in 1960 and chaired the "Floridians for Nixon" campaign. By the mid-1960s, the convulsive social and cultural change sweeping the country - free love, drugs, anti-war protests, black power, race riots, youthful rebellion and political alienation - convinced Kirk that a Republican could win Florida.

When he announced his candidacy for governor in 1966, few commentators noticed. Florida had not voted in a Republican governor since the election of Ossian B. Hart in 1872.

"I got elected," Kirk recalled, "because I could read numbers. I was a businessman, an insurance man."

It helped that the Democratic Party was imploding. Gov. Haydon Burns, a former five-term mayor of Jacksonville, fully expected to be renominated by his party in 1966. His term in office had been turbulent: He helped lure Walt Disney World to Orlando but had mishandled civil rights and, overall, was an ineffective leader. The conservative Burns was challenged by Lakeland businessman and populist Scott Kelly and Robert King High, the liberal mayor of Miami.

The May 1966 Democratic primary was hard fought, bitter and close. Only 40,000 votes separated the three candidates, with Burns and High qualifying for the runoff. In that primary, writes Kelly biographer Dorothy Smiljanich, "Governor Burns would make the mistake of his political life." Burns spread a malicious lie that Kelly was offering his political support to High for $500,000. Outraged, Kelly swore vengeance. He volunteered to help High for the pure pleasure of defeating Burns.

Kirk read the headlines and beamed. Precisely at the moment that Americans were becoming disillusioned with Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and questioning the wisdom of Florida Democrats, the party nominated High. Kirk could not have dreamed a better scenario for November.

Signs began to appear on lawns in Central and North Florida: "I'M A DEMOKIRK."

Kirk routed the hapless High in the fall election, carrying 56 of the state's 67 counties and winning by almost 160,000 votes. Kirk received 62 percent of the white vote. He and Winthrop A. Rockefeller of Arkansas, who also won in 1966, became the first Republican governors elected in the South since Reconstruction.

Kirk proved to be a better campaigner than governor. He faced a Democratic-controlled Legislature. Critics charged that the flamboyant governor was more interested in jet-setting to glamorous locales than governing. Faced with a rising crime rate, Kirk hired a private security firm to combat the problem.

The governor did have a sense of humor. When newspaper reporters discovered that a state commission had paid for his German honeymoon, Kirk quipped, "Very good reporting!" He then added, "Suppose a political enemy instead of the press had found it? That would have been terrible."

He was also a great salesman. At a 1967 Republican Governors' Conference, Kirk was a one-man show, giving dozens of interviews. When Time magazine accused him of "hogging the spotlight," he responded with a burst of candor, "I'm just sellin' orange juice. Sellin' juice, sellin' Kirk, sellin' Florida."

In January 1968, Brandon astrologer Teresa Maddux said the stars were aligned for new Tampa Mayor Dick Greco and the new governor.

By late July, it seemed that Kirk might become Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon's running mate. The Tampa Tribune was not impressed. In an editorial July 28, 1968, "Trying Harder Won't Put Kirk in No. 2 GOP Spot," the Tribune called the governor an overrated, "gallivanting chief executive."

Frustrated and fuming with the Legislature, local school boards and governor, Florida teachers did the unthinkable: They struck. In February 1968, thousands of teachers from kindergarten through high school walked off their jobs, closing down a third of Florida's schools. Floridians were furious. By the fall, 63 percent of Floridians disapproved of Kirk's performance in office.

Kirk, however, turned out to be a good environmental governor. He appointed Nathaniel Reed as his environmental adviser, and together they accomplished much.

It was President Johnson and other Democratic leaders who had authorized the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. It was to connect the Gulf of Mexico with the Atlantic Ocean, stretching from Palatka to the mouth of the Withlacoochee on the Gulf Coast. Environmentalists fought furiously to stop the project, fearing that the canal would slice through the aquifer. Kirk helped persuade President Nixon to stop construction in 1971.

Kirk lost his bid for a second term to Democrat Reubin Askew.

At age 81, Kirk remains active. He and Erika live at Bear Island in West Palm Beach.

Gary R. Mormino directs the Florida Studies Program at USF St. Petersburg. He would love to hear from teachers who remember the 1968 Florida teachers strike.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fuller not the bridge, the Gov.

Fellow Calhoun County resident and Gov...who once said when dedicating the Bridge from Btown to Bristol over the Apalachicola..."Finally the folks from Calhoun County can have a better way to go visit their relatives in Chattahoochee (State Mental Hosp.) and Starke (State Prison)....good stuff. I knew some family members and I wish I had a chance to meet him, but I was 6 when he died.

Yours in the Bond.

Fuller Warren (October 3, 1905 – September 23, 1973) was the 30th governor of the U.S. state of Florida.

Born in Blountstown, Florida, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville and was a member of the Tau Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity. While attending the university, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives at the age of 21 in 1927. Following graduation, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida and began practicing law. He served on the city council from 1931 until 1937 and returned to the Florida House in 1939. During World War II, he was a gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy. During the election for governor in 1948, the debate over whether Florida would become a "dry state" heated up. Warren has been held to have delivered a speech more often attributed to Noah S. Sweat, the famous "if-by-whiskey" remark:

"If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I'm against it. But if you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort little crippled children, then I'm for it. This is my position, and I will not compromise."

Fuller Warren won the election and assumed the office of governor on January 4, 1949. During his term, he set the foundations for the state's turnpike system, began the Florida reforestation program, quality control programs on Florida's citrus crops were instituted and new laws were established that forbade cattle to wander freely. After he left office on January 6, 1953 he moved to Miami, Florida and practiced law. He ran for governor again in 1956, but lost the election to LeRoy Collins. He died in Miami in 1973.

The Fuller Warren Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida is named for him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Red White and Boooooooooo.....

For those of you that watched it you know we had a great Ryder Cup Match this week up in KY. Our guys played stellar as did the Euro's. The one shining light this week was a Fellow Floridian from my neck of the woods, Boo Weekley. Boo is from the metropolis of Milton FL between Pensacola and Marianna where my people are from. Boo is a Good Ole Boy done good. He says Yes Sir and No Sir, calls people who interview him Mr and Mrs and is a hoot to answering questions. He has God given talent on the golf course, one of the best ball strikers you will ever see...this from a guy who got into golf on a whim when he was 14 yrs old.

This interview was done just prior to the Ryder Cup match and it illustrates how great Boo is...from his Mossy Oak Team Camo Hat that he wears on tour to his fishing pole in his golf bag...Boo is keeping it Real..

The last Video is from Boo from Last Year...Classic.


Yours in the Bond

Saturday, September 20, 2008

God Bless Dixie

My Alma Mater Ole Miss just installed the largest Jumbotron in the SEC....for those of you up north thats not the Sec. and Exchange Commission but Southeastern Conf...

After our victory against the Memphis Tigers a couple of weeks ago they played this video by the King...and everyone in the stadium stayed and sang and Cried...

Its a special Song to me as I had a Relative that just passed and this was her favorite song by Elvis..we would play it when I was a little boy every Christmas and we would have the same reaction.


Yours in the Bond

Friday, September 12, 2008

Speaks for itself.....

Good Bless You...Joe Cook

and yes this is Sarah and Piper.....

My VP Candidate looks hotter than your VP Candidate....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ok its official....we have surpassed Cali as the worst place to be..

Perhaps many of you have been reading and/or following the horrible story over near me in Orange County Florida about Caylee Anthony, the precious Missing 3 yr. old, whose mother Casey has been in and out of Jail, lie to the Police and Bounce checks around the town....

Well she is hold up in Home Confinement on Bail at her parents home, and it has turned into sort of a LA Court House for the OJ Simpson Trial spectacle..

Over the weekend there were fights between poor neighbors who are trying to take their street back from protesters, to George Anthony Pushing Protesters out of HIS driveway and finally today the one that struck a nerve...Loraine the Garbage Snoop took their Garbage to riffle through it for "clues"...oh yeah and Blog about it...

It's not the end of the World, but we can see it from here.

Yours in the Bond