Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Cottages of Lake Worth presentation and a gift from the Town of Briny Breezes.

I have a highly interesting book given to me by Dorothy Mann McNeice titled, “Looking Back In Time”:
This is a story about my family travels and our life at Briny Breezes trailer park, Briny Breezes, Florida, located about 50 miles north of Miami on the east coast of Florida. In 1936. . .
Many of you know how to contact me, to borrow this delightful book and look it over let me know. Below is an image from the book you’ll find very interesting, I’m certain.

When I was asked to put together a historical presentation for The Cottages of Lake Worth group — which also delves into how the book came to be, the tours and other educational activities — the reaction it received was overwhelmingly positive. The presentation is informative and encapsulates many eras in a short period of time, about 40–45 minutes, and what it explains is this: how very unique the City of Lake Worth is and how we got here.

What I try to leave people with are things like this: How much the construction of I-95 changed the identity of this City and specifically not having an exit off the Interstate feeding traffic into our Downtown. Not having that Downtown exit choked off the City economically but had an unintended side effect: it saved many of its cottages and Downtown neighborhoods from the pressures of development 40 years ago.

And what the presentation also demonstrates is how big a difference one person can make, like Roger Hendrix (use this link to see a Palm Beach Post photo of Roger in front of a cottage). He came to this City with a fresh set of eyes and he couldn’t believe what he saw. Little houses and cottages all over, always part of our landscape for many decades, some from as far back as WWII and earlier.

There will be other presentations about The Cottages of Lake Worth coming up, so stay tuned.

The one held at the Boynton Beach Historical Society last January was standing-room-only. I arrived about one-half hour early and there was already a nice crowd. And people kept arriving. Then more. When the staff, excellent all, hurriedly scrambled to find more chairs it did cross my mind, “What did I get myself into.”

Everyone was very nice and eager to learn more about our City of Lake Worth and its long interesting history.

Following that event was given a book about the history of Boynton Beach written by M. Randall Gill in collaboration with the Boynton Beach City Library. Soon thereafter was contacted by the BBC (Briny Breezes Channel 8 TV) to do the presentation for their viewers. Following that was sent another book, the one mentioned earlier by Dorothy Mann McNeice:

Click on image to enlarge:
Page one inside the front cover, facing the back cover, historic 1939 photos of the “Briny Breezes Office” and “Mann Gift Shop and Service Station”.

What I’m seeing is a renewed and growing interest in our history, not just locally, but in our Central Palm Beach County region as well. But what’s most important now is getting more younger people involved, e.g., the Millennials.

If you have ideas or any suggestions how to do that, please let me know. And hope to see you at a future presentation on our very special and unique Cottages of Lake Worth.