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July - September 2013     VOLUME 17 ISSUE 3
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Viva Florida 500

The following list reflects the Viva Florida 500 Programs being offered:

Tuesday, June 18th @ 2 p.m. Leesburg Public Library ~ Legendary Locals of Lake County. Authors Doris Bloodsworth and Connie Fleetwood will present their new book,Legendary Locals of Lake County, including historical information about our own "Indiana Jones" Edgar Banks. Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.
Wednesday, June 26th @ 1:00 p.m. W. T. Bland Public Library ~ Strangers

Wednesday, June 26th @ 1:00 p.m. W. T. Bland Public Library ~ Strangers.  Award winning author Mary Anna Evans will speak on Strangers, her sixth novel in the Faye Longchamp mystery series. On the strength of Faye's newly minted Ph.D., Faye and Joe have founded an archaeological consulting firm...just in time for the economy to tank. But neither of them is known for throwing up their hands and giving up, so they've landed their first big project at a historic home in St. Augustine, Florida. America's oldest city is the perfect place for archaeologists to dig up the past, but four centuries is long enough for the city to have accumulated some skeletons that should probably stay buried and some ghosts that can't be exorcised. Sponsored by the Mount Dora Library Association. Books will be available for purchase from Raintree Books.

Tuesday, July 16th @ 2 p.m. Leesburg Public Library ~ Mote-Morris House History and Dig. Learn about the history of this local landmark, and the archaeological dig that was done on the property after the house was moved to its present location. Featured speakers are local historian Glorianne Fahs and educator Karen West.

Wednesday, July 31 @ 2 p.m. W. T. Bland Public Library ~ Florida Flavors: 500 Years of Eating Locally.  Julie England’s Florida food heritage program will present information on historical foods from early Floridians including Native Americans and Spaniards through current times. Ms. England will also demonstrate seasonal dishes. Julie is a Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with University of Florida/IFAS Lake County Extension office in Tavares. Julie presents a wide variety of educational programs, with topics including health, nutrition and financial management. She earned Bachelor’s degrees in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida and Environmental Studies from Rollins College and a Master’s degree from the University of Florida in Extension Education and Communication.

Saturday, September 28 @ 2 p.m. Leesburg Public Library ~ The Immortal Fountain: The Fountain of Youth in Florida’s History, Mythology and Art. Dr. Mallory O’Connor explores the connection between the fabled Fountain of Youth and the development of Florida as a land where dreams come true and people can reinvent themselves. Works of art—both traditional and popular—provide the framework for an intriguing look into the heart of Florida’s self-image.

Mallory O’Connor is a Professor Emerita of Art History at Santa Fe College. She has been involved in numerous exhibits on Florida, including: Florida Before Columbus, Opening the Door to a New World: Mark Catesby in La Florida, and The Great Alachua Savanna: A Visual History of Paynes Prairie. Currently, she is working on a book and an art exhibition focusing on the Fountain of Youth in Florida history, mythology and art.

This program is brought to you by the Florida Humanities Council and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.

Friday, October 4th @ 2 p.m. W. T. Bland Public Library~ Clash of Cultures with Don Juan Ponce de Leon by famed re-enactor Carlos M Bicho.  The American public has many great voids in knowledge of the European mindset and culture of the time and, when combined with the stereotypic thoughts on the native peoples, it makes for an eye-opening description of the issues that started then, but have lingered on into present day. The Clash of Cultures resulted from the strongest resistance to date by the natives of the Florida Peninsula in general, and the Calusa and Appalache in particular. While history has certainly viewed Spanish explorers with a gracious glamour and mystique, truth is completely indifferent of myths and legends and indicates that hunger, hardship and death were the only treasures found by most of them. Brought to you by the Mount Dora Library Association and Lake County Department of Economic Development and Tourism's Wings & Wildflowers Festival.

Saturday, October 5th @ 2:30 pm. in the Leesburg Public Library ~ Having Fun, Wish You Were Here with Liz Coursen  This program on the history of Florida postcards, provides visual support for Florida's history and culture. The presentation by Elizabeth Coursen, Sarasota author and self-publisher, will give a sense of how Florida developed from a place where alligators reigned, where wealthy tourists wintered and the less affluent found exciting ways to enjoy the climate and beauty of our state. Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the national Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Saturday, November 16th @ 10 a.m. Leesburg Public Library ~ Patrick Smith's A Land Remembered: A Multimedia Presentation. Smith's son, Rick Smith, will share a multi-media presentation of this award-winning Florida classic that has been suggested as required reading for native and new Floridians. Few if any books have captured the spirit and colorful history of Florida as has Patrick Smith’s beloved novel. This program is a sensory delight, incorporating video clips, photos, paintings, music and sound effects to transport you to another place and time.

Friday, November 16th @ 9:00-11:00 a.m. Ferndale Preserve ~ Dr. Jason Moser, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Walk in the Footsteps of the First Floridians. Dr. Jason Moser, will give a walking tour of Ferndale Preserve in Lake County, Florida. The tour will feature discussions of some of Florida's earliest inhabitants as well as later inhabitants of the Lake Apopka region. Dr. Moser will discuss the archaeology of Ferndale Preserve and demonstrate some of the ancient tools and technology used by the First Floridians. Finally, he will discuss the early history of the area and its settlement. The walking tour will meet at the Preserve parking lot and will take approximately an hour and a half. The topography is very hilly and sandy. Please wear appropriate foot gear.

For updates and ongoing opportunities, please go to