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Fresh Slices of Old Florida

OLD FLORIDA IS tan bare feet. Turquoise waters. Pink motels. On cool evenings, it’s sweet tea on the porch of a rusty-roofed cabin. The smell of citrus blossoms. Banjos, harmonicas and fiddles. On a lazy Sunday, it’s quiet country roads with tunnel-like canopies of centuries-old live oaks. Mom and Pop gift shops. Roadside produce stands with sweet corn and watermelon. Old Florida is manatees. Crystal clear springs. Rope swings. An aluminum boat. Night crawlers. Mostly, Old Florida is home.






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Bessie Coleman
On April 30, 1926 Coleman was in Jacksonville. She had recently purchased a Curtiss JN-4 (Jenny) in Dallas and had it flown to Jacksonville in preparation for an airshow. Her friends and family did not consider the aircraft safe and implored her not to fly it. Her mechanic and publicity agent, William Wills, was flying the plane with Coleman in the other seat. Coleman did not put on her seatbelt because she was planning a parachute jump for the next day and wanted to look over the cockpit sill to examine the terrain. About ten minutes into the flight, the plane did not pull out of a dive; instead it spun. Coleman was thrown from the plane at 2,000 ft (610 m) and died instantly when she hit the ground. William Wills was unable to gain control of the plane and it plummeted to the ground. Wills died upon impact and the plane burst into flames. Although the wreckage of the plane was badly burned, it was later discovered that a wrench used to service the engine had slid into the gearbox and jammed it. She was 34 years old.

Bessie Coleman

On April 30, 1926 Coleman was in Jacksonville. She had recently purchased a Curtiss JN-4 (Jenny) in Dallas and had it flown to Jacksonville in preparation for an airshow. Her friends and family did not consider the aircraft safe and implored her not to fly it. Her mechanic and publicity agent, William Wills, was flying the plane with Coleman in the other seat. Coleman did not put on her seatbelt because she was planning a parachute jump for the next day and wanted to look over the cockpit sill to examine the terrain. About ten minutes into the flight, the plane did not pull out of a dive; instead it spun. Coleman was thrown from the plane at 2,000 ft (610 m) and died instantly when she hit the ground. William Wills was unable to gain control of the plane and it plummeted to the ground. Wills died upon impact and the plane burst into flames. Although the wreckage of the plane was badly burned, it was later discovered that a wrench used to service the engine had slid into the gearbox and jammed it. She was 34 years old.


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5.6.2013 |
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