1. Archive

Don't judge a season by the temperature

"I always look forward to October, and then I'm always so disappointed," said a Florida transplant sharing the elevator. Although the elevator was going up, the conversation was downhill from there. "It's so hot" and "When is it ever going to get cool?" and "How have you stood it here all your life?"

Just expect warm. Then you won't be disappointed. But truly, we do usually have two or three days in the 50s Oct. 12 through 14. And I've seen many a Halloween when the kids had to go out with coats over their costumes.

Why do you think we have no more Australian pines of any size anywhere in the area? And why do you think our mangroves have become so mixed with Brazilian peppers? The freeze of '62 took the pines, and the freezes of the mid-1980s burned most of the mangroves to water or ground level, and they don't come back as fast as the aggressive and obnoxious peppers. Cold weather happens in Florida. Remember the Christmas snow last year?

And take heart, newcomers, merchandisers with fall clothes and local wood yard operators. Just because winter, snow and all, was three days long last year, don't think it will always be so. It's just a swing of the weather pendulum.

"Lulu's back in town." Or she will be on Thursday. Lulu Riggs Bower, our local 106-year-old who does volunteer work for the Seminole Chamber of Commerce and was honored by the Museum of Fine Arts on Mother's Day last year, will fly here from Cincinnati where she has spent the summer. She will now spend the winter with daughter and son-in-law Jane and Bill Tench of North Redington Beach.

It has been an eventful summer for the centenarian. Among other honors and interviews, she was recognized in her native Kenton County, Ky., on its 150th birthday. "Mother was the oldest native there and had her picture taken with the youngest baby," said Mrs. Tench.

Mrs. Bower will be spotlighted on Channel 13's Eye of Tampa Bay at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 21.

"Band members work just as hard as football players, said Bunny Klase a band mom for the St. Petersburg High Band. She accompanied the band to Cape Coral this past weekend, where band director Dennis Laorenza reports the band won honors for small bands (bands of 60 to 70 members) in four areas. Members of the woodwinds, brass and percussion took first place in the bronze division, won best percussion, Lani Anderson and Sara Berrett were named best drum majors, and the band won a superior rating in general effect. The band was the only one in St. Petersburg competing in the "Pride of Florida Marching Band" contest that 15 bands from around the state took part in.

Ross Brightman University of South Florida doctoral candidate, won his second $6,000 fellowship at The Pier Aquarium. The fellowship is given by Bay Plaza Development Co. every six months to USF graduate students who work at the aquarium. Some of Brightman's duties have included designing displays, giving workshops for children, leading student tours, and handling the schedule of workers, volunteers and visitors. Bay Plaza has made a five-year $60,000 commitment to the fellowship plan, and this marks the half-way point in the program, said Kathy King, executive director of the aquarium.

Ms. King reports that the acrylic tubes for the first-floor aquarium display at The Pier have been ordered, tested and are being shipped to Arizona to be fitted with a habitat. These floor-to-ceiling tubes are cylinders with no vertical seam, so are superior to the last ones that broke, scattering fish over the first floor of The Pier. The new tubes are expected around the first of the year, Ms. King said.

Bonnie O'Rourke called to say that in our Oct. 20 story about Pinellas pioneer A.

P. Avery, we missed a very important fact: Avery was a champion of women's rights. As far as she knows, he was the first person locally to hire a woman teller, and this teller was her aunt, Olive Mae Phillips. He also hired a woman in the loan department, which she believes was another "first." That woman was Maude Sisco Mrs. O'Rourke remembers Avery as a kindly man who congratulated her and other children when they started savings accounts with their pennies. But she, too, as an 8-year-old, lost her $10 savings when the bank failed in 1930.