Bubil: Headlines tell story of another time


When historians Gary Mormino and Jeff LaHurd take the stage at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Crocker Church in Sarasota, discussing the impact World War II had on Sarasota, some fascinating tidbits of wartime history will be shared.

I’ll be up there, too, as a living example of how the war changed the state. Millions of soldiers and airmen, most from colder climes, trained here in the early 1940s, and when the war was over, they moved to Florida.

As did my uncle, who married a local girl. Some years later, he convinced my father to bring his family south. It was a story repeated countless times.

Mormino shared some wartime newspaper clippings with me over lunch recently. The headlines spoke volumes:
• “8 Killed, 2 Hurt as Plane From Local Base Crashes; Big Bomber Falls in Bay South of Whitfield Estates.” — Herald-Tribune, June 12, 1942.

It is my belief that the airport was located where it is today because rookie pilots could ditch their planes nearby in the shallow bay. Unfortunately, this incident did not turn out well.
• “Sarasota County school officials are working on a plan to permit the use of students in harvesting and packing that area’s principal crop — celery.” — Miami Herald, 1943.

How would that fly now?
• “Plan Party For Colored Men Of The Base.” — Herald-Tribune.

It was a different time.

Letters from our readers

“I enjoyed reading your article (Sarasota was influenced by the war, Nov. 3), as it held a personal interest for me. My husband was stationed here in 1943-45. He had studied radar in England for a year, and took cadres out in the countryside to teach.

“They then went on to the Pacific theater, and he had more to teach. We rented a nice house in Whitfield Estates, and loved our time in this area. The nearest military hospital was a converted building in Venice that belonged to a military school (Kentucky Military Institute) that couldn’t use it during the war years. My oldest son was born in that building in 1944.

“When my husband retired, we came back to this area because of our fond memories of sunny days and beautiful beaches.”

— Doris S. Jimison, Englewood

Model orientation

Regarding my comment that model homes should be built on the north side of the street so the front elevations are illuminated by the low winter sun:

“Hi Harold: Southern rear exposure is the most desirable for many buyers, especially snowbirds who want their pool in the sun and their private, back-of-the-house spaces bright and light.

“It is natural that builders would present a model oriented to appeal to buyers rather than photographers.”

— Regards, Ron

In response: I see your point, and it is a good one. But builders aren’t trying to sell the model per se. They want to sell copies of the model, which the buyers can orient any way they please. I say, put the model in its best light.


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 9, 2013
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