Monday, June 8, 2015

I Find This Fascinating. You May Not

Because I have nothing to say you haven't heard one million times before (it's hot, I took a walk, hello, etc.) I want to share something I found on Facebook. It's from a post by Tim Robinson who has written a book called A Tropical Frontier, which you know is right up my alley.

I'd seen that picture before as it is the picture on the cover of one of my favorite Florida books, The Barefoot Mailman by Theodore Pratt.

Here's the bit which accompanied the picture on the FB post:

The murals, The Barefoot Mailman, by Stephen Dohanos. Here is Emily Bell of Fort Pierce: 

"Now my husband (Jim) got the mail contract to carry the mail from Titusville (to Lake Worth then, now Palm Beach). He made a trip every two weeks. …
He would start as early as the wind would be hard enough to fill the sail. Then he had to stop at Waveland with mail to the Baker family. They were an old and fine family, who came there for health, but I never knew them very well. He had to leave his boat at the [Jupiter] lighthouse and row across to the south side, then carry the mail bags on his back, walk eight miles to the postoffice. He carried it for six months, then gave out. He said someone sent an iron stove lid in the mail and some potatoes and seeds, so he stopped. I don’t remember who, but think it was Jim Russell who took it next.
When the tide was high the sand was so soft they could hardly get along. They only got $30 a month. He would have to carry a smudge pot with him, then he would rest one day and start again. [See Capron, John]"

Yep. That's how they did in the old days. I think about that when I'm walking on the beach sometimes. I wonder how far I could go with a bag of mail on my back along with the water I needed to drink, the food, whatever bedding I might require. 
Probably about fifty feet. 

Someone sent a stove lid? Potatoes?
Yeah, that's asking a bit much.


Hope all of you are fine. I am. Boys coming soon. Why does walking make me so hungry?

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. It hasn't rained in a week and 2 days! I actually had to get out there and water this morning. Today I am working with oil paints on my little peach flower sculpture. I'm determined to get this damn box finished.

  2. Titusville to Palm Beach, that is a long way for one person. I don't think I would have cut it in the old days. Gail

  3. Potatoes and an iron lid: No.
    My grandfather delivered mail around rural North Dakota via buckboard. I just cannot imagine the weather he encountered and not even so much as a tarp over his head. Well yes, I can imagine the weather because I lived there. There's a little about it in the short notes about his life that he left us. I should look it up. I love this kind of story. Thanks!

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  5. What amazing history lives all around us... I really like that picture, and the stove lid story fits right in with some of our local stories. We are having some of the rain we missed last month, so cool and green outside. My geese escape every day and I go fetch them from the road, they gleamed in the rain. I will try some buttermilk waffles next, thanks.

  6. Walking gets all appetites humming. Hello from Cali.

  7. Ellen Abbott- I, too, am wishing it would rain. You'll get that box finished. It will be beautiful.

    Gail- I know I wouldn't have.

    Andrea- It wasn't just Florida where the times were hard, where people did things as a matter of course that we can't even imagine.

    Big Mambird- My duck gleams too! Such beautiful birds.

    Angella- YOU MADE IT!

  8. People go to the gym these days to lift weights and walk on treadmills angled slightly uphill, but no one carries stove lids up the beach, which would be much more beautiful and much cheaper. Not saying that anyone should do that job, just that cars and machines have made it necessary to get exercising all weird like that. My arms have a nice tired feel after chopping the garden yesterday, much better than they ever felt after a visit to the gym.

  9. Oh, that poor guy. I can't imagine having to lug someone's iron stove lid and potatoes through the piney woods.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.