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TALES OF THE TAMIAMI TRAIL is a story of floods and hurricanes in the Everglades, of people who lived through them, or died there-and especially the story of a strange young woman born in the eye of a hurricane. Some say she was a saint, some say a devil or a witch with the body of a beautiful woman and a soul born of the winds. Our story follows the life of this girl, Cindy, from hurried birth in the shelter of an old wooden church with a bell that rang in the wind, to a trip across the Everglades on a raft in the hurricane flood in 1928. A fascinating narrative unfolds as she and her young friend, James McCloud, struggle to cross the great endless river of grass, never before crossed by man, to safety on a distant island in the Glades. They learn to eat wild things from the water, to protect themselves from the sun with woven grass. They fight alligators, snakes and a great hungry Florida crocodile. Woven in with their life on this island, as they become loves, marriage partners, and parents, are facts and descriptions of Florida's birds, animals, plants and flowers. Giant prehistoric animals no longer crashed through the tangled forest but the same trees, vines and flowers were there, from seeds and roots planted in the cooling of the earth's crust by a whim of nature or the hand of God. Like Kipling's celestial masterpiece they must have been created with a brush of comet's hair in the sky and came to earth with the wind and rain to grow forever in the rich muck land of the Glades. Several related stories are told about people coming to sunny Florida who are trapped by the hurricane, each finding shelter in the same little church: The story of a seaman whose ship is wrecked on the beach; The story of a gangster who finds his machine gun useless against the wind; The story of a tourist family who race a hurricane across the endless Everglades and are saved from certain death by a Seminole Indian boy; The story of an Indian Chief who wanted to marry the daughter of a Hurricane God so his sons would be as strong as a hurricane wind, and of a boy and a girl who rode a great white horse along the levee in the storm; The discovery of Spanish gold in an old Indian mound, and a sudden plane crash in the Everglades.
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When Will Horne came to Florida as a boy, his first experience was to cross the Everglades with his family in a model T touring car in the teeth of a hurricane which killed or drowned more than 2,000 people in a few hours. If this did not make a write out of him at such an early age at least it put something in his mind to write about. After grade school in Virginia, Miami, Tampa and Hillsborough High, he went to Tampa's new university with the express idea of learning how to write, where Dr. E.B. Hinckley of the English department convinced him that creative writing was his field and imagination his first asset. So, immediately he found himself caught up in the great American rat race of falling in love, making a living, raising a family and waging a war. He worked as a machinist for the Navy until the war was over and tried to start a chicken farm in Florida's flat woods. If the chickens had been ducks they might have lived through it. He invented a simplified concrete block machine which sold for enough money to put himself into the home building business this he learned by building ten houses with his two hands, and found it creative and good use of American freedom and enterprise; but he still wanted to write and did so as a relaxation and hobby. When his father, aged Master of the County Court, left this world, he found himself forced to stop thinking about how to make a buck for about two weeks, and the memories came flooding back. He discovered that he had much more to write about than he had as a student. A young man can create, an old man can remember. When he is halfway in between he can do a little of both. Add a moderate amount of research and romance to this, as in Tales of the Tamiami Trail, and you have quite a story. The horns are from North Florida but happened to be in Georgia when Will was born which he says gives him a chance to appreciate both fine states. Add ten years in the foot hills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, before Florida, and you have a man who really appreciates the great outdoors. I think you will agree that Mr. Horne has one of the most entertaining, dramatic and creative styles that has appeared among American writers for some time.
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Book Description Xlibris Corp, 2000. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. 1. Seller Inventory # SONG073882545X