Totch Brown was the name he went by; his real name was Loren G. Brown, and he was born on March 12, 1920 and died on May 8, 1996. He wrote only one book that enshrined him among the best Florida authors.
I never met Totch, but he represents the Florida Cracker I've come to know and love in the half century or so I've lived in Florida.
He wrote a book about his life that has become a classic since it was published by the University Press of Florida in 1993. I've given away so many copies of this book I don't even have one left in my personal library.
Totch's great-grandfather, John J. Brown, was one of the earliest settlers in the Chokoloskee Bay country of the 10,000 islands, so that would make Totch what we call a fourth generation Floridian.
His grandfather was C. G. McKinney, another early settler in this part of the Everglades.
Totch survived in the Everglades by hunting gators, fishing, trading with Indians, and a few other things that you will read about in his book, "Totch: A Life In The Everglades".
In Totch's own words:
At times my life in the Everglades was sustained by no more than what the Glades had to offer and the Everglades have never really let me down.
Despite many hardships while bogging across the Everglades for food or hides to sell, they always gave me a warm campfire and a place to lie my tired body down.
This makes the Everglades a very special and dear place to me.
Read the only book (other than a couple of spinoffs) that Totch ever wrote, and you will know more about the Everglades and this special kind of Florida Cracker than you did before.
You will see why he is highly regarded as one of our authentic Florida authors and storytellers.
You can buy Totch's book at Totch: A Life In The Everglades
You can also learn more about Totch Brown and the Everglades from the old and yellowed newspaper clippings displayed on the walls of the Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City.