Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Readers defend Sunshine State

        Bizarre Florida and old cemeteries were on readers' minds last week.

        My memories of Broward County drew instant feedback from the land of confusing ballots.

        “So you're really going to thumb your nose up at every single person in Florida because of a few moron voters and a few bad incidents you experienced, like bad things and stupid people don't exist in Ohio?! ...

        “I just moved from Cincinnati to near Fort Myers, and in general, I find people much friendlier and more hospitable down here than so many people in Cincinnati, who are stuffy, rude and inconsiderate. I won't stereotype everyone in Ohio, because that wouldn't be right.” — Laurie Emmons, Cape Romano, Fla.

        Louis Boudot said he could relate to my experiences in Broward, having lived in neighboring Dade County. But he defended other parts of Florida.

        “I was lured to Charlotte County by close friends who had moved there and insisted that, in the interest of fairness, I check it out. They were right! I was amazed. ... All the old-time, traditional Florida charm, none of the hassle and aggravation like Miami. ... We have everything here. Super malls, great entertainment, Edison College and all without the constant fear and anxiety of the Dade and Broward people.” — Louis Boudot, Punta Gorda, Fla.

        Nevertheless, one Kentuckian writes that she “can't understand these lemmings who run off to Florida.” She prefers the change of seasons.

        “Besides, Florida's horrible heat evidently destroys the brain and DNA. Checking the encyclopedia, I could find no Floridians of historic note. However, Ohio has produced eight presidents, Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers and the Sherman brothers ... and many more.

        “Kentucky produced both Civil War presidents, Abe Lincoln and Jeff Davis. And going through the alphabet, other notable Kentuckians are Muhammad Ali, Alben Barkley, Daniel Boone, Justice Louis Brandeis, Happy Chandler, Henry Clay and on and on.

        “The only Floridians I read about are those who run their motorboats into manatees, killing or injuring them.” — Elizabeth Lemlich, Bellevue

Gung-ho for graves
               A column on Boone Countian Bob Weis' cemetery restoration struck a chord with genealogists.

        “My brother-in-law and I spent from July to November 1999 restoring the old Peterson Cemetery in Clinton County, Ohio. In our restoration efforts on this 54-grave cemetery, we discovered two additional graves not listed in the directory. The earliest grave was that of a man who had died in 1826. The last burial there was in 1901. It was a very unique experience, one of the most pleasant of my life.”

        — Charles Thomas, Xenia, Ohio

        Finally, a Washington resident says he's grateful to people like Mr. Weis.

        “Actual certification did not exist in Kentucky before 1912, so cemeteries, mortuaries, family Bibles and old folks' memories are all we have for critical evidence that our forefathers actually existed. The people who volunteer to make these historical sites readable and recognizable are to be commended and should be state-funded.”

        — Ron Thacker, Greenacres, Wash.

        E-mail ksamples@enquirer.com.


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