In a small room at Palm Garden nursing home in Sun City Center, two souls draw closer.
The doctor waited in the emergency room for the crush of patients to come.
"I'm no Mary Poppins," Amy Slone says.
If Poppins was obsessive-compulsive about a holiday, it would be Christmas. Slone hates Christmas. She has self-diagnosed OHD — Obsessive Halloween Disorder. Months before Halloween, she begins turning her Gulfport home — front to back, top to bottom — into …
Merl Reagle was a breakfast guy.
Everybody thinks of him as a word guy, which he certainly was, but the word was coffee. Decaf. Merl didn't require artificial stimulants. His mind worked, near as I could tell, with the relentlessness of a hydroelectric dam. He transformed the torrent of modern culture into …
The ceilings were low. The carpet, yellow shag. The windows were outdated. But the house opened out to the water, and that was all that mattered.
All year, I watched our son plan his escape.
Movie endings aren't what they used to be.
The news jumped out at me from Twitter. I stared for several seconds in disbelief.
We went to brunch on Father's Day, me and my parents, who had driven over from West Palm Beach. We'd gone to a nicer restaurant than usual, and my father had let me order oysters even though he thinks they're gross.
It's so quiet in the van, rain is all we hear on the two-hour drive to Gainesville. My friend has let me tag along with her family to tour the University of Florida. No one is doing much to break the awkward silence.
"Cheetos?" my friend asks at one point.
A half-hour passes.
"We have granola bars, …
A worker struggles to lift the steel vault, then position it over a hole in the lawn behind a country church. • Three of us watch as he lowers the remains of Stewart Fletcher Currin, my closest childhood friend, into the ground. • My girlfriend takes my elbow. "Now you have closure," she …
Florida literature has a longer history than you may think.
"Literary" is probably not the first adjective that comes to mind when you think of Florida.
Fred Rogers' sweater is a hue Crayola might call Forest Green, or maybe Aquamarine, or maybe Illuminating Emerald. He sketches a simple rainbow on an easel in his modest TV living room, the one decorated like childhood, and turns to the camera.
Call them a creatively incestuous bunch of filmmakers, often working on each other's movies, sometimes helping each other to distribute their macabre artistry. Grisly loves company. Especially in Florida.
Spindly legs dangle from the frame of my glasses. A black body rappels down a silk filament, itsy-bitsy arachnid feet tickling my nose.
ICHETUCKNEE SPRINGS STATE PARK — In the summer of 1539, the conquistador Hernando de Soto and several hundred men lumbered up the Florida peninsula and stopped by this spring-fed river to rest.
With a job title of digital audience manager, I get paid to be better than most at being digitally connected.
Ernest Hemingway once described Key West as "the best place I've ever been anytime anywhere, flowers, tamarind trees, guava trees, coconut palms. ... Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks." That is a real, unedited quote. Although we might never know the result of that night of absinthe-induced …
Love is patient, love is kind. Love is on a brick down by the Hillsborough River, which your correspondent noticed on a stroll a few months ago.
My most important lesson in Japan cost ¥190, and it came from a convenience store.
One day in late November 2013, Nick Giovannucci was bored, playing on his iPhone. He was on Tinder, the dating app that matches your profile with eligible others based on shared interests and geography, then asks you to swipe right if you like what you see or left if you don't. If both parties swipe right, it's a …
"Gyrocopter" became a term of interest when Ruskin postal carrier Doug Hughes landed his on the U.S. Capitol lawn last month to deliver letters of protest about campaign finance reform. But the adventures of gyrocopters — specifically the Bensen Gyrocopter, named for Russian emigre Dr. Igor Bensen, …
When Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team was forced to forfeit the 2014 U.S. Championship for using ineligible players, people of a certain age couldn't help but think of the story of Danny Almonte.
The Brazilian soccer star known as Kaká stares down at the ball, seconds from the biggest kick in the newest chapter of his storied career. Wealthy and well-known, his place in the sport is well established, his number on the backs of fans around the world. // Kaká doesn't need this goal. But his …
Minor-league baseball can tolerate muggy Florida's open-air stadiums. If rain or lightning wipes out $1 Tuesday, who cares if average attendance slips from 1,300 to 900?
A single spotlight illuminated one end of an otherwise dark room at the Pinellas-Pasco County Medical Examiner's office. William Pellan sat behind a computer, eyes fixed to the image of a dead man. Everything I needed to know was on that screen, glowing on his face. But Florida law forbids non-family …
Editor's note: Warren Elly, who retired from WTVT-Ch. 13 in 2011, was diagnosed with cancer late last year and has spent every day since then chronicling his life in his blog, "The Way Forward." Elly granted the Tampa Bay Times permission to publish excerpts from his blog, and wrote this introduction: …
When the phone rang at my kitchen table, I had to follow the rumor wherever it led. I could never have imagined what would unfold next: That the star quarterback at Florida State University would wind up under investigation for rape. That Jameis Winston's accuser would be driven out of school. That a stream of national …
PUT TO THE TEST
The examined life
Mari Ebert worries.
She worries that, despite all their hard work, her sixth-graders won't do well on Florida's new annual exams, which start Monday.
Editor's note: The four-hour Red Tent Project session was recorded. The women's words have been edited for length and clarity.
Greg Baker stands in the Fodder & Shine kitchen explaining what will happen in a vast room full of gleaming ovens and prep counters when his phone rings for the fifth time. "And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate. Baby I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake. Shake it off." // Wife and business partner …
Lois Huyghue, who hates cold like cats hate getting wet, pulled into Coachman Park to run a marathon. At 5 a.m., it was 36 degrees. Wearing two coats, three T-shirts and two hats, she peered out of her car window at a park full of skinny people in shorts and tank tops.
None of them looked scared, …
Jot down every negative lawyer stereotype you can think of: greedy, arrogant, double-talking, backstabbing. Keep going, there's more.
FORT PIERCE — Bud Adams, slim and dressed in blue jeans and a blue button-down shirt and cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, drove his Ford Explorer around his ranch in western St. Lucie County, looking at his land and his cattle. His truck, with manure caked in the tires, jounced in the ruts of rough paths. He's been …
The fire-groomed forest — the tall, well-spaced longleaf pines, the floor of ferns and wire grass speckled with the last of the fall wildflowers — was proof that nature can thrive with a little help.
The Blueberry Patch experiment began July 7, 1977 — 7/7/77 — in the back yard of a man named Dallas Bohrer, who had strong beliefs about numerology, economics, sake, marijuana, and freedom of music, art and the written word. He believed that being an artist and living free are the hardest …