When my sister first moved to Pass-a-Grille, Florida, she wondered about the identity of the homeless guy riding his bicycle up and down Gulf Way. One day while speculating out loud, a waitress at The Hurricane finally tipped her off. “Honey. That’s no vagrant. That’s Evander.” Florida has a reputation for producing colorful characters; the state has proudly sheltered pirates, housed Ernest Hemingway and his six-toed cats, and nurtured generations of gator wrestlers. I think it’s fair to say that only Florida could produce Evander Preston, a jewelry craftsman, brewer, art collector, and chef who resembles a refugee from the Hell’s Angels. Continue reading
“Country auction tomorrow night. Interested?” The text was a simple invitation from my sister-in-law Lynn. Interested? She had me at country.
It was Christmas in July when Dad brought home the silver Plymouth Fury station wagon. It meant that my brother, sister and I no longer had to fight over who had to sit in the middle of the back seat with their feet on the hump (where the drive shaft used to be). Someone got to ride in the rear-facing third seat, stretched out on the luxurious naugahyde, like Cleopatra on her chaise, napping or making faces at the passengers in the car behind us. This was a huge deal because summer meant vacation and vacation meant road trip. I was the oldest. I was the loudest. I got that back seat. Continue reading