We have a great library!
When I first moved to Tallahassee in 1969, we were a small city. With about 35,000 residents at the time, we had a library that was, in reality, inadequate even for that small town population. In the following years, it seemed that every part of Tallahassee become more of a big city than small town...except for the library. During that time frame, the Leon County library had a variety of architectural homes, including a downstairs floor at an abandoned shopping mall. It seemed that we'd never have a top-notch library.
Finally, in the mid to late 1980s, all the stars aligned, funding occurred and we produced the present-day building that houses the Leon County Library. The library itself was officially dedicated, upon opening, to former Florida Governor LeRoy Collins, a progressive Democrat who, back in the 1950s, had the audacity to support the notion that all peoples are equal with regard to their race. Governor Collins' stand made him a one-term governor, and earned him quite a few nasty nicknames at the time.
Thankfully, time showed that the guv was ahead of his time, and basically a very decent guy. Committed, among many other things, to reading and education, LeRoy Collins is an excellent person after whom to name our capital city library.
A footnote, I was...in my former healthcare position...able to meet former Governor Collins in the final years of his life. I spent about ten minutes talking with him in his hospital room one evening, and found him to be an infinitely compassionate and articulate fellow. I'm glad I had the chance to meet him. It was a great day when I first visited our brand new library building. It's truly a specatular edifice, featuring light woods and lots of Florida sunshine pouring in from windows everywhere. There are three floors and huge collections of all types of library materials. Additionally, the library offers free highspeed WiFi connectivity throughout the structure. I personally take advantage of this 3-4 times per week, working with my laptop at the library. The place I generally work (photo accompanies this tip) has a wonderful view of the Chamber of Commerce building next door. The COC is housed in an antebellum mansion called "The Columns", which dates to the 1850s.
Please enjoy our library when you visit. It's located downtown, bordered by Call Street on the north, Duval street on the east, Bronough on the west and Park Avenue on the north. And if you get there early, before opening, be advised that the free WiFi will work in the beautiful city park on Park Avenue right across from the library. It's weaker, but it works.
The slogan emblazoned on the library's front inside foyer wall sums it all up:
Good libraries are made by government. Great libraries are made by people.
FSU Baseball, America's pastime, college-style
Baseball is considered a lesser sport in the college ranks. Clearly, football and basketball are the main sports contested between America's universities. However, for those of you who LOVE baseball, and adore a relaxing afternoon at the old ball park, I heartily suggest you check out Florida State University baseball.
FSU has one of the better programs in the USA, and often finds their way to the annual College World Series championships. The kids you'll see playing on the diamond at FSU will include many future professional stars.
And besides the game, you'll enjoy the crowd - especially FSU's main student and alumni support group, known affectionately as the Section B Animals. These yoyos have been attending FSU baseball for years - in MY college days, I was an official Section B animal myself. They're knowledgeable fans, and they are funny too. They have some of THE most odd traditions, such as singing "O Canada" in between the visitor and home at bats in the fifth inning. Apparently, some of the Animals years ago started joking around about seeing them play "O Canada" at major league games, and by adding a few beers, a tradition was born. They even sing it a second time through in French. There are hundreds of small maple leaf flags waved, and there is usually a large Canadian flag being held among the crowd. And as silly as it sounds, FSU almost always has a big inning after the traditional singing of O Canada.
You can also learn all the local lingo, including such items as "Circus Shot" (meaning a home run hit so far that it hits the nearby FSU Flying High Circus tent - FSU is the only university in the world with its own circus), "11" meaning the longtime coach of FSU, Mike Martin (his uniform number is 11. Side note, Coach Martin was MY physical education coach when I was in 8th grade at Tallahassee's Cobb Junior High School. I'll admit, none of us really saw coach becoming the success he is today, but you never know, right?), "hotdog" which refers to the standing policy that anytime the FSU team records 8 strikeouts of the opposing team in a game, everyone in attendance gets a free hot dog. Soooo, when it reaches a point that there are seven strikeouts, and an FSU pitcher gets close to that magic 8th strikeout, the crowd chants "hot dog, hot dog" instead of "strike out, strike out".
Did I mention that the stadium is one of the best in college baseball, and it's a great place to soak up some afternoon Florida sun?
If you love baseball, you will enjoy a trip to the ballpark at FSU. Give it a try, and call me - I'll go with you.
NOTE : FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PICTURES, PLEASE SEE MY FSU BASEBALL/TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME TRAVELOGUE ON MY TALLAHASSEE PAGE.
in january i dinned with the "king of tally" VT member pchamlis at the chez pierre. fun french atmosphere. very good food and an interesting french/southern decor. they have a nice outdoor bar that accommodates smokers. pricey for tallahassee but in my opinion worth it.
Forget New York! (Just kidding) Go to Park Avenue in Tallahassee!
Seriously, it is a very pretty boulevard lined with restored Victorian buildings and great oaks with Spanish moss-covered branches.
Blend of Old and New
This picture shows the contrast between the Old Capitol of Florida built in 1845 and the newer highrise that now houses many of the state offices.
The blend of old and new in Tallahassee is part of its charm. It symbolizes Tallahassee to a T. Tallahassee is a blend of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, political beliefs and political parties.
As they sometimes say in Tally, despite any differences, "We'll be fine as frog's hair."