Time capsule: This is a recurring Floridian magazine feature that allows readers to re-experience some of the Tampa Bay Times' best stories with the wisdom of hindsight.
I was 4 years old when I started racing. … I remember going out on the track for my first time and, like, just going around, like, really slow. …
Living in Florida is an adventure, and not just because of the hurricanes, lightning, sinkholes, shark attacks and nudist resorts. A big part of what makes living here so — interesting? is that the right word? — is knowing that much of what you see isn't real.
Shannon Michael, 29, Palm Beach | body suspension artist
I n January 1975, Mickey Mouse donned a space suit to herald the newest attraction in Disney's Tomorrowland, the first roller coaster on Earth to be controlled by a computer.
Imagine yourself, feet planted in the soil, staring into the night sky. Your eyes focus on one bright dot, a shining star. It seems brighter than most others. And it looks bluish.
In 1979, when I was in college, the Florida Legislature did something totally ridiculous. (I hope you're not too shocked.)
LEALMAN — In July, the Tampa Bay Times ran a story about a woman struggling with food addiction. Cheryl Dixon, 44, shared how she sometimes ate 14 times a day and struggled to stop herself from topping 300 pounds.
From the first days of middle school, the bullies at John Hopkins in St. Petersburg were cruel.
It's late, and their day jobs are done, and here they are, just like every other night, baking cookies. Their kitchen is a tight fit, but they move around each other as if choreographed, this husband and wife, rolling dough, cutting shapes, watching the oven. In a side business they never foresaw, Bill and …
Time capsule: This is a recurring Floridian magazine feature that allows readers to re-experience some of the Tampa Bay Times' best stories with the wisdom of hindsight. This one provides an intimate glimpse into what wound up being one of Eddie Compass' last days as police chief of New Orleans. Two weeks …
It was a quiet Saturday morning until Cyrus, a German shorthaired pointer, escaped out the kitchen door. I reached into my son's car and started honking the horn.
It would be easy to drive past Okeechobee Battlefield Historic State Park. Nestled in the sleepy town of Taylor Creek, a few hundred yards from the northern shore of Lake Okeechobee, this National Historic Landmark has no signs at its main entrance. On nearby U.S. 98-441, a marker points observant drivers in the right …
Over the years, a lot of people have suggested that Florida's shape resembles various objects: a frying pan, a chin, a uvula (look it up.) A handgun has become the most common comparison, which is apt because we have so many guns that some people call us "The Gunshine State."
KEY WEST — There are many scary stories that start with a dark and stormy night, but this isn't one of them. It is the third day of summer in this island city, with its feral chickens and lemon-hued houses and women woohoo-ing by on rented motorcycles. Every bicycle has a basket, every mailbox is a manatee.
I read a lot of paperback thrillers, especially in the summer. Sometimes I think it's because of something in my DNA.
We watched our yellow labrador, Hendrix, die in slow motion.
Travelers stream from the covered asphalt lots to the main terminal, fussing with their luggage and monitoring check-in times on their iPhones, hardly noticing the two men.
It's maddening. One state has too much moisture. Another too little.
Maria Isabel Carabano watches from the stands as her husband, Juan Guerra, helplessly paces the sideline during the Rowdies' season opener. His mood gets darker with every tick of the game clock.
A couple of years ago, a real estate blog called Estately announced that, according to its highly scientific calculations, the scariest state in the union is Florida.
HIROSHIMA, Japan — Reminders come, if she lets them, as Leslie Wier walks to school.
I watched from the second-to-last basement stair, which was covered in the original short-pile marigold carpet from 1959.
When the Tampa Bay Rays and President Barack Obama made their historic trip to Cuba this spring, the Tampa Bay Times sent photographer Will Vragovic to cover the event. The challenge before him? Try to satisfy an international audience with photos focused on sports, politics and travel. Photos for the …
Florida has a lot of symbols: a state animal (the panther), a state reptile (the alligator), even a state sand (Myakka fine) and a state pie (key lime, of course). I've got no complaints about those.
In the morning, after driving her kids to school, after twisting silk flowers into her strawberry hair, Sheri Kendrick slides a memory card into her camera and heads to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
Since 1949, Florida prisoners have been stamping the words "Sunshine State" on our license plates, despite most of our cities getting more annual rainfall than famously gloomy Seattle.
BRADENTON — He hadn't heard from her in hours, which was unusual. Even if she was upset, even if she was high, Angel never ignored a text message.
His last one to her lingered.
Robert Valdez is 71 years old and mentally ill. He's never had much trouble with the law — until he set a neighbor's shed on fire in 2014. Something was going on inside his head.
If you drive in Florida, you're familiar with Traffic Jam Season, which is what other parts of the country call fall and winter. This is the time of year when, instead of leaves turning color or snowflakes tumbling out of the sky, we see a sudden influx of Bob's Barricades and paving crews languidly waving you along.
Super Tuesday is when voters in a dozen states and one U.S. territory hold their nominating contests for the presidential candidates.
SNEADS — Lee Wollard's life slowly spirals away, following the trail of the gunshot he fired into a wall.
For reasons no one can know now, Nancy loves to sit on the porch of her mobile home and listen to her dozen wind chimes tinkling.
Paige McDaniel thought she knew the Suwannee.
He stands in the tunnel that leads to the field, the fingers on his left hand opening and closing into a nervous fist.
Five minutes until halftime.
Everyone at Manatee Lanes had long since quit what they were doing and gathered behind the boy bowling on Lanes 9 and 10. This was a Saturday morning, Halloween.
The white windowless box surrounded by heat-cracked asphalt gives nothing away. There's a discreet sign: Uriah's Urban Farms.
SARASOTA — When the police pulled 5-year-old Pok-nam Shin out of school, the little girl who now goes by Holly Hoyle O'Brien asked the only question that mattered: Where's my daddy?
You're reading this, which means you know Florida, which means you know Florida has a legendary case of the crazies. As with all good legends, over time, it can be tough to sort the myths from the truth.
The True Florida Quiz is here to help.
Ingrid Ricci's view of Cuba is a complex one, formed during three different periods over more than half a century.
Foreign invaders are decimating Florida avocados.