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Letters to the Editors

She waded through the flood of '79


© St. Petersburg Times
published January 2, 2002

Re: This old creek, Dec. 23.

Your article on Joe's Creek brought back fond memories to this former country girl, now retired and age 80.

At the time of the 1979 flood, resulting in 17 inches of rain dumped on us in 24 hours, I lived near the corner of 38th Avenue and 64th Street and worked 2 miles away at the Pinellas County Juvenile Welfare Board, then at 4140 49th St. N.

I often drove home to lunch and walked along the creek. On the day of the flooding, we were dismissed from work at 2 p.m. and I didn't get home till 7 that night.

As I drove past Dixie Hollins High School, my car started to act up in the high water. I knew the car was going to conk out, so I got up on someone's (flooded) lawn before it sputtered and died.

I got out of my car and was going to wade home across Joe's Creek, a ways up the street. There was no one else out, but one man came wading along and said, "Where are you going, love?" I said I was going to wade home to my apartment on 64th Street.

"Oh," he said. "You don't want to do that. Joe's Creek has flooded over its banks and you'll be washed away."

He then waded me back to the home of his friends, saying that he had been a deputy and involved with juvenile delinquents in another city.

His friends were a nice, retired couple who took me in, dried my clothes, and fed me a supper of pancakes and sausage.

A while later I stopped at the welcoming couple's house with a bouquet for their kindness. And I do recall news reports that at least one woman and a child had been washed away in the creek.
-- Mary S. Gill, Largo

Shame on Heritage Village auditors

Re: Audit faults management of Heritage Village museum, Dec. 19.

Oh, my gosh! Heritage Village had a party for the volunteers. Not only that, they sent flowers to sick volunteers. How horrible!

The bureaucratic auditors need to be ashamed of themselves. Maybe the Times should take some of the blame for writing this story.

The leadership of past director Ken Ford and Connie Mudano made the park what it is today. But don't forget the many volunteers and thousands of hours they contributed toward the village's success.

This park is first class. The 160,000 visitors to the park each year come not in search of sunshine but history. From the artifacts in the central museum building to the early Pinellas period homes and other structures to the natural landscaping, this park deserves positive comments, not the nitpicking brought out in this article.
-- Lew Zerfas, Clearwater

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