Florida Transition. Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy.

The first time I visited Florida was in 1973. I was a 20 year old sophomore basketball player at Illinois State University, we had a game at Jacksonville. I was underwhelmed, but intrigued by the winter sunshine, warmth and palm trees. It was not until about 1980 that I became totally fascinated by "the Sunshine State" primarily because of my yearly visit to West Palm Beach to cover the spring training activities of the then Montreal Expos. Let me put it this way- Jacksonville is not West Palm Beach. Duval County was more like south Georgia, or South Carolina. Palm Beach County was more the tropical paradise of which I was subconsciously seeking.

I started thinking that perhaps this might be the kind of place I could one day call home. That day is inching closer and closer. My children all grown up and my career firmly located in my rearview mirror, the time is now to become a sun worshipping Floridian. The Tampa Bay area is where I will stake my twilight years claim. My only problem is I have yet to feel like an "old" person. I suppose that is a good problem to have. Since I still have important interests in Georgia, there will be an occasional trip up Interstate 75 to Atlanta, but those trips are happening less and less. What's next? I have no idea, but I look forward to finding out. In the meantime, my month of March short story writing project will center around caring for an elderly loved one. Whew, it has been the toughest thing I have ever done.

Ringling Brothers Museum-Sarasota

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