Friday, September 7, 2012

Me and Pa in Florida

Book cataloguing continues...  Among the interesting finds is a little volume published in 1925, Me and Pa in Florida, by Marcia Oral Clutter.  Our autographed copy is not in very good condition, but a quick perusal brought to light the fact that the foreward was written by our very own William. C. Hodges.  

It seems this book was very popular.  A 1935 Evening Independent newspaper article states that,
In a revision of her brochure entitled "Me and Pa in Florida" that has wide circulation in 15 states since the fifth edition was published a few weeks ago, Marcia Oral Clutter, Orlando author, impersonator and artist, tells with humor and appreciation of their further adventures and discoveries in tours of the state.  The 48-page booklet contains comments on thousands of points of interest throughout Florida and descriptions of the personal adventures and reactions of the author and her husband to localities and people they encounter. 
Me and Pa in New Togs
Skipping over the foreward for a moment to the opening lines:
Deer Folks:--Me and Pa onct upon a time wuz among them northern folk who talked bout Florida.  The lure of the southland inspired Me and Pas with a painful longin for "The Land of Flowers" what the hole world wuz interristed bout, and we thought proberly the state wood fell prouder if we wuz among em.  Always wantin to make folks happie, Me and Pa packed up our thermos bottle, Cummie, smellin salts and a few other necessarie articles and keep goin till we reached Jacksonville, the meetropoliain of Florida and the gate-way two.  Me and Pa hunted all over for that gate, and we aint found it yet--but just to reely know we wuz in this wonder Florida gave us a trill, and Me and Pa aint goin back north no more; jest goin on down the penadodolum what sticks out in the warm water bout 500 miles.
Senator Hodges' foreward is thankfully not written in hillbilly dialect!
To Those Who Come
Florida is a great empire bounded by rolling seas, decorated with palms and orange trees and blossoms.  Men come to it from many lands and look for health and gold and pleasure.  All can be found between the boundary lines of the north, and the seas on the east and west and south.  BUT TO THOSE WHO COME let me give you all this friendly warning--health anywhere depends on yourselves--the use of the open air; the exercise that makes the blood circulate; the taking of foods that help instead of harm:  Gold can be found between these boundary lines, also, but found as it is found everywhere by diligent work; sustained action along proper lines; honest conduct and intelligent thought; it is never found anywhere else in any other way, and Florida is no exception to the rule.  Pleasure is here--abundant pleasure for every purse and every desire, but it is to be used rightly or else health will fly away and leave you old before your time, and the gold you have managed to find by labor will be worse than dross.  LET ME AS A FRIEND TO THOSE WHO COME HERE, urge you to remember these things and then Florida will be home--and Home is close akin to Haven. 
(Signed) WM. C. HODGES
Senator 8th District--Florida
Written especially for "Me and Pa in Florida"--M. O. C. 

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