College Picks The Wrong Guy!

Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 09:25 AM.

That teaching gig is not as easy as it looks!

Those college guys were persistence. “We can’t pay you much, but then we’re not expecting a whole lot. Just talk about Gulf County and don’t embarrass the school.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement!

I meant to tell them “no”. I had “no” on my brain. I assimilated all the information, rolled it around in my head, weighed the pros and cons, and realized “no” was the only logical and intelligent decision. “Yes” came out of my mouth. The school hung up on me before I could take it back!

I immediately tried to think of somebody in Gulf County older than me. I needed some serious help. Why did George Core and Wesley Ramsey have to die! Those guys could have attended the Constitutional Convention held here in 1838. They certainly were walking encyclopedias on Gulf County history. I wish I’d paid more attention when they were discussing life, liberty and local stuff. Dr. Robert King came to mind. He probably held stock in The Lake Wimico & St. Joseph Canal and Railroad Company. It was too late to interview him now.

Paula Boyette leaped to the rescue. A former student, who actually listened to me on occasion, showed me through the Florida History and Genealogy Room in the local library. She brought out diaries and letters written during the Old St. Joseph period. I poured over Spanish maps and French fort plans. I studied Andrew Jackson’s movements during the First Seminole war. I viewed newspaper clippings covering parts of two hundred years pertaining to Gulf County. I read Jake Belin’s book on Ed Ball. I climbed up in a lighthouse.

None of this helped my nerves on the first day. It was scary to say the least. And daunting, with a little intimidation thrown in for good measure! Why couldn’t this be a class on Baseball Trivia in the 1950’s or early American Clock Making or World War II history. I’d have a chance.

I was hoping for six or seven interested folks so we could discuss this thing. Twenty-eight showed up. I was going to have to teach something!

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