The Sunshine Skyway story

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans Tampa Bay, connecting Pinellas County to the north and Manatee County on the south side of the bay.

The bridge is a remarkable feat of construction that builds on a legacy of Tampa Bay bridge construction. Of the 5,000 or so bridges in Florida, the Sunshine Skyway is one of the most recognizable.

Authors Nevin Sitler and Ric Sitler have penned a book about more than the most recent bridge crossing Tampa Bay.  The pair tackle the fascinating history of the challenges and construction of various bridges and transportation efforts around the Bay.

From ferry boats to the very first scheduled “airline” flight Tampa Bay has presented bridge builders with considerable challenges from raising money to engineering challenges.

This is a good book. The authors do an excellent job of telling the history of Tampa Bay’s bridges in a coherent fashion. The story is more than the bridges; it is the story of the dreamers who found a way to get the bridges build.

The book is available in most ebook formats and from most booksellers. Highly recommended especially for those in the Tampa Bay area and drive the bridges regularly.

The St. Augustine experience

“Party like it’s 1565” seemed to be just about everywhere in St. Augustine. The catchy phrase showed up on T-shirts, bumper stickers and perhaps even tramp stamps. (I didn’t spend any time investigating the latter.)

Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine houses the Lightner Museum along with City Hall and various other shops . This 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine houses the Lightner Museum along with City Hall and various other shops . This 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The slogan refers to the Florida city’s founding, making it the oldest continuously occupied, European-settled cities on the North American continent. All of the conditionals are important because there are challengers to the claim. Let’s just say St. Augustine is old. But partying like it was 1565? That’s the unintended story of St. Augustine in a nutshell.

Those who know anything about history, understand that there really wasn’t much to party about in 1565. Ivan The Terrible was about to become terrible. England was still attempting to recover from Henry VIII. France and Spain were jostling for control of the New World. The Spanish would execute some 300 French soldiers and sailors in settling and defending St. Augustine.

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