Every Yankee Tourist is Worth a Bale of Cotton

by Mike Miller
(Mount Dora, Florida)

This postcard demonstrates what Florida has been about ever since I moved here many decades ago.

It's been all about tourism and growth, and that's how I've made my living until recently.

As a civil engineer and real estate broker, I've worked on several major theme parks and hundreds of real estate developments and infrastructure projects over the years.

The population of Florida has more than quadrupled since I moved here, from just under 5 million in 1960 to almost 22 million in 2019.

I can remember beautiful hardwood forests all across the state where shopping malls now stand, and thousands of acres of citrus groves with no subdivision in sight.

In Fort Lauderdale, I walked miles of pristine white sand beach that is now shaded by the massive condo towers of Galt Ocean Mile.

My memories include old Cracker fish camps and marinas that are now private condominiums.

I worked on the first high rise condo in Vero Beach, and on a mangrove laced barrier island that became the site of a nuclear power plant.

I remember the Kissimmee River when it was crooked, then straight, then crooked again. I remember when you could catch record bass in now polluted Lake Apopka.

This is why I take the time to look for Old Florida places and experiences that have not yet been over developed.

I want to share these places with you before they disappear along with me into the fog of time and the relentless tide of progress.


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