Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Janet asks....

It's Tuesday again, and Janet's asking questions... She's already gotten a couple of responses over at www.theartofgettingby.com, so check them out after you read mine!

Janet writes:
My question to you today is...

If they were making a Hall of Fame for your state, who would you think should make the list and why?

Florida is one of the fastest growing states in this country - it has been a fact ever since the rest of the world discovered our beaches, our lack of state income tax, our amazing natural beauty, and the laid-back lifestyle of living somewhere hot and humid. But Florida also sends out an amazing number of people into the world. And for the most part, the world sits up and takes notice. From political figures to entertainment personalities to well-known authors, Florida has given its best and some of its worst.

Political people:
Janet Reno - First female Attorney General
LeRoy Collins - Governor, strong civil rights activist
Claude Pepper - Governor, healthcare advocate
CORRECTION: Claude KIRK was the governor, Claude PEPPER was a long-time senator. He was narrowly beaten, finally by Smathers, who counted on the ignorance of his constituency by accusing Pepper of practicing CELIBACY before he was married and having a sister who was a THESPIAN! Unfortunately, ignorance of the language by the good people of Florida handed Smathers a victory. However, in a list of Great Floridians, Claude Pepper's name ALWAYS appears - and Smathers' name never does....
Jeb Bush - brother of president, strong comforting presence during worst hurricane season
Allen Morris - Clerk of the House and prolific writer (and my Grandmother's boss!!!)

Environmentalists:
John James Audubon - widely known for his bird paintings and identifications
Marjory Stoneman Douglas - champion of the Everglades

Writers:
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - The Yearling and Crosscreek
Ernest Hemmingway - serious writer, big game hunter, alcoholic
Carl Hiassen - Miami columnist turned polical satire novelist (VERY funny)
Harriet Beecher Stowe - Uncle Tom's Cabin and civil rights activist
Zora Neale Hurston - African and Caribbean folklore writer

Entertainers:
Jim Morrison - FSU film student, and popular singer with serious drug problems
John Ringling - Can you say "circus"?
Cannonball Adderly - Jazz musician
Ray Charles - Singer/songwriter
Jimmy Buffett - a true "Florida" talent
Pat Boone - singer
Faye Dunaway - was in the drama club at my highschool!
Butterfly McQueen - Don't know about birthin' babies, but a great actress
Sidney Poitier - can come to dinner at my house anytime
Ben Vereen - dancer

Bad Guys that Make National Headlines:
Ted Bundy - Admitted to killing 73 women (5 of them across the street from my then-job)
Harold Rolling - killing spree in Gainesville, decapitating his victims and arranging the scene
Aileen Wurenos - Prostitute who began killing her customers
Gary Spinkelink - killer was first person put to death when the death penalty was re-instated
(Note: ALL of these "famous" people have been executed)

I could spend all day making lists. Most of the names here are self-explanatory. If you live in Florida, the political names mean more to you, but if you are a citizen of the world, the rest of the names will ring a bell as well.

I am proud to say that I am from Florida - and maybe, just maybe, I'll be on someone's list of "Floridians Who Made a Difference" someday in the future.

5 comments:

S William said...

Wow, Wisconsin's notorious include many serial killers.

Gein...Dahmer...

Yikes...

And Tommy Thompson...

Yah, der hey.

Sayre said...

Oh? I thought Tommy Thompson lived across the street from me... Must be a different guy!

...at least I hope so.

Natsthename said...

Tom Petty is from Gainsville and Burt Reynolds is from..well..somewhere in FL! Your list was fun...hey, I used to live in FL for 9 years...

Apple said...

Great list. You had several I wouldn't have associated with Florida.

Janet said...

I planned on breaking it up into a list, too. It's hard to not define them by category. There are just too many reasons to be famous...or infamous, as the case may be!:)