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Synopsis: Redheaded Tommie Camilla Stephens migrated from Georgia to Florida, with her parents, by covered wagon, train and sail boat at the turn of the last century. Being the oldest girl of the family, although only eight, she gained self-reliance, initiative, and responsibility, the mark of a true pioneer. In 1901, the Stephens' family made their home in Caxambas, an isolated settlement on the south-end of Marco Island on the "mangrove coast." Conflict arises when she won't marry Jim Barfield because of her responsibilities at home (her mother having babies; her crippled sister her father gone hunting and trapping all the time). Jim, an entrepreneur businessman, farmer, and eligible bachelor courts Tommie for 5 years. He helps extricate Tommie from family dependency in a unique but satisfying way and finally convinces her to marry him. She is 18 to his 39. Tommie, a remarkable woman for any period; runs a small hotel, post office, mercantile store, and establishes an apiary and kitchen jam and jelly factory while raising her three girls and her 3 year-old niece, Kappy. Struggling against primitive conditions, she begins attending Lee County Commission meetings in Fort Myers to lobby for roads, ferries and schools. At one of the meetings Tommie meets millionaire Barron Gift Collier who is buying up a million acres in Florida and plans to develop it with roads, highways, steamship lines and railroads. Impressed with her, Collier comes to her home and recruits Tommie as his agent to help him build his empire. He said he admired her "tactics, strategy and tenacity." She believes in his dream of opening up the whole of Southwest Florida. Bill No. 305 before the state legislators pits Tommie against 25 members of the opposition the evening of May 8, 1923. These men, the short-sited politicians and self-seeking private interests she has battled on the county level for 10 years, pull a dirty trick hoping to embarrass her at the state capitol. It backfires on themselves. The heart-warming story of Tommie Barfield has never been told.
About the Author: About Elizabeth (Betsy) Perdichizzi
Betsy wrote and performed a first person interpretation of Tommie Barfield lady pioneer for large audiences in Marco Island and Naples and students of Tommie Barfield Elementary School prior to writing the book about Tommie. Her admiration for Tommie Camilla Barfield led to voluminous research material and her acquaintance with Tommie's niece Kappy and Tommie's sister Hazel Stephens Higdon. "I just had to write it down to share. Tommie is my heroine, the more I find out about her, the more there is to admire." Betsy and her husband Bill have lived on Marco Island since 1989.
Recipient of the 1999 YMCA Community Leader Award and the Citizens Community Leadership Award, Betsy is a founding member and past president of the Marco Island Historical Society. She established the society's quarterly newsletter and has served as editor since 1994. She is serving a second term as Vice President of The Southwest Florida Archaeological Society, and is a ten-year-volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce. Since being on the Island she has served one term as President of "Newcomers" and two terms as President of the "Marco Island Historical Society" and served as a committee member of Marco Island's Boy Scout Troop 234.
Her historical and archaeological interests led her to become involved in the loan of the Key Marco Cat from the Smithsonian Institution in 1995 for its 100th anniversary and again in 2000 for the millennium celebration.
Betsy raised 4 children Tami Sue, John Patrick and Laurie Marlana McCardle and William Lee Perdichizzi after her marriage to husband Bill. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, she taught elementary school.
Betsy acquired a touch of grease pain in her hometown of Duncan, Oklahoma where she was a member of the Duncan Little Theatre. She performed in: "Death Takes a Holiday", "The Importance of Being Earnest", "Auntie Mame", and directed the play "Dial M For Murder."
About Katherine (Kappy) Kirk, Kappy Stephens Kirk, born in Caxambas, Marco Island March 10, 1917, is a life long resident of the island, now residing in Goodland. She lives in the same house that was brought from Caxambas to Goodland in the historic house move of 1949 that established Goodland Point into the village of Goodland. Niece and legal ward, she was raised as a daughter by Aunt Tommie Barfield when Kappy was only three years old.
Kappy became her aunt's helper, confident, friend and keeper of family stories, pictures and documents. She followed Aunt Tommie's footsteps into the post office and served as Post Master retiring after 32 years. Her daughter Tommie Dee, named for Aunt Tommie, is current Post Master in Goodland. In February 23, 1941, Kappy married Arthur Perry "Bud Kirk" and raised three children Tommie Dee Kirk Moss, Damas Kirk and Kare Kirk DeMartino. Bud Kirk was the real historian in the family according to Kappy. He worked with such notables as Charlton Tebeau, D. Graham Copeland and collaborated with the author who wrote and directed the late 50's movie "Wind Across the Everglades" starring Christopher Plummer and Burl Ives. Bud Kirk died in 1997 before being able to put his memories into a published account. In collaborating for the book, "A Girl Called Tommie, " when memory failed, Kappy would muse to Betsy, "I'll go ask Bud."
Book Condition: New
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. First Edition. Small 4to 9" - 11" tall; 176 pages; Map endapers, many b&w photographs. "The Queen of Marco Island arrived here from Georgia as a teenager. She was a member of a large family, and there were many trials along the trail to Marco. Plantation owner, hotel manager, postmistress, superintendent of education, lobbyist, politician, beekeeper, exporter of citrus candy, honey, fruit and other provender. No other woman has ever had such an impact on Marco Island." Offered By: Member of FABA (Fl Antiquarian Booksellers' Assoc) ISBN: 0967728169. ISBN/EAN: 9780967728162. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 6916. Seller Inventory # 6916
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Soft cover. Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Signed by Author. Map endapers, many b&w photographs. "The Queen of Marco Island arrived here from Georgia as a teenager. She was a member of a large family, and there were many trials along the trail to Marco. Plantation owner, hotel manager, postmistress, superintendant of education, lobbyist, politician, beekeeper, exporter of citrus candy, honey, fruit and other provender. No other woman has ever had such an im pact on Marco Island." Offered By: Member of FABA (Fl Antiquarian Booksellers' Assoc) Size: Sm 4to (9-11 inches tall). 176 pp. Signed by Author. ISBN: 0967728169. ISBN/EAN: 9780967728162. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 8242. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 8242
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0967728169-2-4
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0967728169
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P020967728169
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110967728169
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0967728169
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0967728169
Book Description Caxambas Publishing, 1999. Paperback. Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0967728169