Dear Editor,

Sending this off to a few of you who have wondered about the status of the State Park on Cape San Bias. I was in the Post Office in Port St. Joe.

I happened to see the Park Ranger from the Park putting in his notification to forward mail. I stopped him to talk before we left and first asked him if there would be any study done on the effects of the new cut through of the Cape on St. Joseph's Bay. "Eventually," he said.

Then I asked him when the Park might be opening again.

"Well, he said the boat ramp might be done in about 6 months. The fishermen we're very anxious to be able to get their boats in the water, that boat ramp is the only put-in on the Bay side. The campground won't be open for maybe 5 or 6 years. I can't get to my house." he said sadly.

"Oh, yes," I told him, " I read about you. And I had been to a lecture you gave at the library."

"I gave lots of lectures at the library. They have transferred me to Grayton Beach; 27 years I had been on Cape San Blas."

There was great sadness in his voice now. I asked him where that was and later looked it up in my book of Florida State Parks. Out further on the Panhandle past Panama City.

"They could have sent me to Miami Beach or Sarasota." I gimaced as he said this.

"Well," I answered, "At least you still have a job and a roof over your head."

He's a sort of a child-at-heart white bearded gentleman with a twinkle in his eye.

Yes, he acknowledged that but there was also the sadness of missing his home of 27 years and all the friends in PSJ.

I wished him good luck and left the building about to break down in the flood of tears these hurricane stories bring me to. That was only one of several I heard but certainly the saddest.

Nature created a wonderful new venue for fishermen to get out to the Gulf quickly but left one dedicated Park Ranger without a home. I suspect he would have preferred to stay on the tip of Cape San Blas in a home only accessible by boat.

Hurricane Michael took another little piece of my heart.

Linda Shepherd

Port St. Joe