Bubil: How war influenced Sarasota


In 2005 I was given a signed copy of “Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: a Social History of Modern Florida,” by USF history professor Gary Mormino.

History geek that I am, Mormino became an instant hero to me, especially because he wrote in my book, after being told that I have lived here since 1958, “To Harold, who lived the dream. The dream lives on.”

True on both counts. The dream is of an increasingly better state, and that has come to pass in the recent half-century-plus. Whether it is still happening is debatable.

Still, Mormino and I are among the millions who just love the place and are fascinated by its diversity and history.

So it is a special treat for me that I will be sharing the stage with Mormino and Jeff LaHurd, the Royal Scribe of Sarasota’s history (seeing that Karl Grismer is deceased) for the next installment in the “Conversations at the Crocker” discussion series, presented by The Historical Society of Sarasota County.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Crocker Memorial Church at Pioneer Park, 1260 12th St., Sarasota. Society members are admitted free; tickets are $10. For information, call Linda Garcia at (941) 364-9076.

Mormino’s topic is “Up in Arms: Sarasota During World War II,” focusing on how Sarasota was forever changed by The War. Mormino and LaHurd will talk about the economic, social and cultural impact that local training bases had on the state, and specifically on the Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton areas.

I will add what insight I can, based on the fact I would not be in Sarasota were it not for World War II. (Details forthcoming at the event.)

In preparation, I interviewed Mormino recently at a tony Sarasota restaurant that would have been overrun by airmen looking for girls on a Saturday night had it existed in 1942. (Hint: My uncle found one.) For a transcript, go online to realestate.heraldtribune.com.

Builders know more about model homes than I do, but . . . just wondering:

Why do they put model homes on the south side of the street so the vitally important front elevation is backlit all winter?

And when the home shopper walks in, the view, also, is backlit.

If you are a photographer, even an amateur one, you know that if you DON’T want to see your subject’s face, place them so that their back is to a low winter sun.

Put the house on the north side of the street, though, and the colors, details and landscaping pop. The idea is to get people to take notice and come inside, right?

Then when the shopper goes inside, he can see the view of the lake with the forest or golf course in the background, all lit up by the sun.

Of course, some models face east or west, and in that case, it doesn’t matter. They will have their time in the sun.

Again, just wondering.

Builder feedback is welcome at harold.bubil@heraldtribune.com.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: November 2, 2013
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