Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ohio - Cradle of the American Presidents

New Philadelphia, Ohio, nestled along the swollen Tuscarawas River, enjoyed a sunny and warm afternoon. I had a great audience tonight, a mix of college students, seniors and families. A young girl who sat in the front row went home with a teddy bear.

A week ago, I was performing in Captiva, Florida, a beautiful island betwixt the Gulf of Mexico and Roosevelt Channel, off shore from Ft. Myers. Wife, Jenny and daughter, Sam went along. In late March, 1917, T.R. had his last great hunting adventure on and about Captiva. With his host, J. Russell Coles of Danville, Virginia, T.R. harpooned devil fish, giant manta rays, in the Gulf waters. Weeks later, the United States was entering World War I, and T.R. would be busy in the war effort until the time of his passing, in January 1919.

Sam joined me in Vero Beach and Sebastian, Florida, where we enjoyed the people and the critters at the Pelican Island Wildlife Festival, a fantastic celebration of T.R.’s naming Pelican Island our first federal bird sanctuary in 1903. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service employees, with the support of local volunteers, do a wonderful job in an amazing ecosystem.

Between Sunday noon and Tuesday afternoon, I made the long trip from Vero Beach to Sewanee, Tennessee and on up here to South Central Eastern Ohio. Tomorrow, I’m going to see some of the beautiful countryside hereabout.

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