Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1944 - 1948 Tampa, Florida Research Project

My latest fictional work, "Miss Ellie's Orange Tree," begins in Tampa, FL in 2014. The third chapter moves the action to mid-June of 1944, where the bulk of the story takes place.
Researching this time period has been both exciting and fascinating. Here are a few newsy items I discovered:
  1. The Gandy Bridge once had a toll and a draw bridge.
  2. A B-17 crashed into a house in Abdella Street in May. Only one casualty came of this incident because the neighbors rushed in to rescue the airmen. They didn't know the term "first responder" back then.
  3. A ham sandwich at Newberry's lunch counter cost 10 cents.
  4. Clark Gable and John Garfield both came to Tampa to film wartime movies and documentaries.
  5. A hurricane crossed the bottom portion of the state in October.
  6. Tampa had a network of streetcars.
  7. The Tampa Theatre had air conditioning!
  8. Kennedy Boulevard was Grand Central. Interesting note: had they not changed the name I would be known as a SOGCS instead of a SOKS (South Of Kennedy Snob). But in those days, not much was north of Grand Central.
  9. Tampa U was a two-year junior college.
Times were difficult back then. They sacrificed for the war effort, unlike today. No one asked IF you went to church, but WHERE did you attend. Perhaps their faith in a living and loving God gave them the strength to live through and win a world war.

If you have any tidbits of newsy items from 1944 - 1948 in Tampa, FL, feel free to post a comment.

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