219 Third Avenue, North,
St. Petersburg, Florida.,
April 8, 1925.
Here we go again--broadcasting! And it finds Fran and myself verging on our seventies, but still feeling young and active in the social and business welfare of our Sunshine City. This we do not attribute entirely to the fact that that we drink daily from the "Fountain of Youth", but to our daily plunge into the warm salt waters of the bay or gulf that surrounds us, and to the most wonderful climate all the year around that is known to man. Then I believe a fellow lives longer if he is content and happy. And why shouldn't we be, blessed as we are with our children and grandchildren, all pleasantly located close by us where they too, are enjoying health and the many blessings this wonderful climate gives?
Sister Kate and Lish have spent the winter here, and just recently moved into a nice new bungalow which they have been building this winter. Both are apparently as happy as a newly married couple just starting housekeeping. We certainly have enjoyed having them with us this winter. We are looking forward with much pleasure to the coming winter, for we shall have Sister Mary with us then too. Cousins Ed and Em Congdon were here this winter and we hope they liked liked so well that they will come again. This winter we organized here a little society called the "Cowanesque Circle", made up of those who have lived at some time during their life in the old Cowanesque Valley. We were surprised to find we had over sixty active members. At the last meeting there were reported fifteen more known eligibles.
The population of our city is now thirty-seven thousand. We entertained over one hundred thousand tourist this winter. We have one hundred miles of paving and two hundred miles of sidewalk1. Our streets are nearly all one hundred feet wide and lined with palms and other tropical foliage which is in bloom practically the whole year round. Our summers are warm, not hot, never above ninety-six degrees and seldom above ninety degrees, while a cool breeze from the bay or gulf at night makes sleeping very comfortable. One nearly always needs a light blanket over him at night. No one ever has a sunstroke in Florida, while they are numerous in almost every northern city.
1. Having paved roads and extensive sidewalks was something to brag about in 1925. As was having wide streets.
I think every known church society has a church here, and every known secret organization has a lodge here2. Nearly every known amusement is here. We have six large golf courses, boating and fishing that is the best in the world. Something like twenty tons of fresh fish in refrigeration is shipped from here daily to all points north. They get some big ones occasionally. These are usually hung up on the end of Municipal Pier for a few hours, when first caught, as an exhibition for the tourists. During the last week there have been two fish, each over twelve feet long, hung up for a few hours in the evening where thousands of autoloads pass around the end of the pier to view them.
Our winters are free from rain and full of sunshine. We have about two months of rainy weather in the summer; not steady rain, but several showers daily. The sun is out immediately afterward, and in a short time one wouldn't know it had rained in a week. There is no garden vegetable grown, that we do not have in abundance the year round. All food stuffs are as cheap as in the North except, possibly, milk, butter, cheese and eggs. Rents are simply nothing during the summer season, but extremely high during the winter. This is because we have to get a year's rental out of our property in five or six months. We just love it here and would not go back north to live if we were given the best home in the Cowanesque Valley.
We are only a couple of days ride3 from our New York and Pennsylvania friends. We often wonder why more of our friends and relatives do not come here for the winter, possibly adding a few more years to their lives. We extend to you all a most cordial invitation to come and drink from the "Fountain of Youth". Frank joins in sending our love to each of you.
2. It's clear what Tommie means. But the combo "known secret" sounds like a contradiction.
3. It was a couple of days ride by train. To drive took about twice as long.
Copyright © 2013, 2014 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.