Just Checking In, Quickly.

Rich Engle

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Hello, All!

Well, the first thing I was greeted with was a new look for OL, and it is very, very good!

The purposes of this writing are slightly varied. First off, it is not important to me, ego-wise, but I owe an explanation for my possibly conspicuous non-presence, as of late. Most importantly, it has nothing to do with the nature of, or any issues with OL; far from it.

I have had to concentrate my efforts on writing a book. This, in the end (or beginning, depending how one looks upon it) began to involve travel in Florida. My Ukranian violinist, Oksana, her sister and nephew came here for 5 days: it was their first-ever trip to anywhere tropical, never seen the ocean, and no vay-kay for 8 years. Also, we had not seen one another since we were in the studio together completing the On The Air album "TV Glare."

These are disciplined people, and they wanted to pack in as much as they could (though they eventually decompressed, and sort of got onto "Southern Time").

We went on travel. The Thomas Edison/Henry Ford Estates, many beaches, fireworks on the 4th, and lots more.

This created a travel bug in me. My next trip (7/30) is to the Everglades, then to Key West to see the Hemingway house, then through some other places, back around, and maybe an hour at Miami Beach, before cutting west cross-state back home. This is, ostensibly at least, a business trip, as my writing partner and I are journalling heavily, in the process of framing our book out, framing of which has changed radically, mainly due to the fragrant, raw beauty of Florida, in short.

I am preparing one essay, involving real-life angels (the allegory, possibility of such) that I will put out here on OL, but I have to use my keystrokes, and time, of course, to write the work. That is a fulltime job, but a fun one. I will not, at this time, be able to participate on forums. Some will find great relief in this.

But for sure, I am simply using my time wisely, and joyously.

Best to All,


Florida writer, for what that is worth.

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Excellent. So who is Lewis and who is Clark?

I am half way through the Dalai Lama book you suggested and it is a superior read. Thanks. As you travel West into the other Florida and the Panhandle, put DeFuniak Springs on your list.

Fantastic bookstore right by the RR tracks in the heart of town. The owners are a mother and son. Mom was lifetime teacher and very active in the School and the community. The son was one of the folks who were tried in Chicago 7 or 8 trial. Smart folks.

The natural circular lake (check out the Google view of it amazing) is surrounded by some 100 or so homes on the National Historic Registry and here is the History of the town from Wiki:

The town was founded by the officers of the Pensacola & Atlantic Railroad, a subsidiary of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The P&A Railway was organized to connect the terminus of the L&N near Pensacola to the western terminus of the Seaboard Railroad at River Junction—now Chattahoochee -- in the 1880s. It was named after Frederick R. deFuniak, the president of the L&N. Like much of Northwest Florida, DeFuniak Springs was settled mainly by Scots from Virginia and the Carolinas.

DeFuniak Springs was established as a final-destination resort, and the developers enlisted the cooperation and aid of the Chautauqua Movement. The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, an auditorium seating 4,000, was constructed on Lake De Funiak in the center of town. Seminars, classes, and the like were held in the Hall of Brotherhood building for people on vacation. The auditorium of the building was severely damaged by Hurricane Eloise in 1975 and razed. However, a charitable foundation, The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood Foundation, Inc., has undertaken a capital campaign for the historic restoration of the building. [4] The Westerly portion of the building facing Circle Drive is still in use.

As part of the intellectual atmosphere of the town, a college and a private high school (named Palmer College and Palmer Academy, respectively), as well as a technical school (Thomas Industrial Institute) and a teacher training school (Florida Normal College) were established in the 19th century. Florida Normal College was incorporated into Florida State University, while the other schools closed during the Great Depression. There remains a College Avenue that once led to Palmer College.

As demonstrated through the Chautauqua movement, many residents of DeFuniak Springs have always had an active hand in education. In 1886, the town held an important meeting that forever changed the course of public education in Florida. At this meeting, teachers around the state formed the Florida Education Association (FEA). This teacher's union remains the state's predominant voice for educators and is affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

The town also contains various other historically significant landmarks. Near the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood building is the Walton County Library on Circle Drive, the oldest extant library in the state of Florida. The library contains an interesting assortment of antiquities, including an impressive medieval weapon collection and many first-edition books. First Presbyterian Church is the only private structure in the Lake Yard, the park surrounding the lake. Also situated on Circle Drive is the Walton County Heritage Museum, housed in the former L&N railroad depot, and St. Agatha's Episcopal Church, built in 1895-1896. Although Walton County was opposed to secession, the first monument to the Confederate war dead constructed in Florida is located on the lawn of the Walton County Courthouse.


Good travels.


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Thanks, MSK and Selene...I will mention that to my partner.

Ah, the differences between FL and OH writers. The first one has a pulse, the other one is always defrosting. It has entirely re-made me. Bottom line: concentrate on raw imagery and action. That's about it.


Dang, it's purty down hyeah and smells fine as well...

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