St. Petersburg Times
Brandon Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times

Lane Ranger

Community clings to golf cart record

By JAY CRIDLIN
Published February 13, 2004

Don't believe the hype in Michigan and Hernando County. As of last week, the world record - the actual, physical record - is still in Sun City Center.

The record in question, of course, is that of the World's Longest Golf Cart Parade, which Sun City Center set in 2002 and broke in 2003.

Parade organizer Jim Cooper received the official Guinness certificate in the mail last week. He plans to have it put on the wall at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce, right next to last year's certificate.

It's a simple, unremarkable sheet of posterboard signed by Stewart Newport, Guinness' keeper of the records.

"A total of 306 golf carts took part in the Annual Holiday Kick-Off Parade at Sun City Center, Florida, USA, on 5 December 2003," it says. "The parade was organised by the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce."

If it seems like the Lane Ranger is unnaturally obsessed with Sun City Center's golf cart parade, well, he is.

How can you not be in times like these? An RV resort in Michigan says it broke the record with 404 carts this past July, and an adult community in Hernando County has set an otherworldly goal of 1,500 carts for a March 15 parade.

Cooper has heard whispers that the Villages, a retirement community north of Leesburg that stages golf cart parades on a regular basis, is planning a record attempt. Representatives from the Villages Chamber of Commerce could not confirm the rumor this week, but the community will hold a Fat Tuesday Parade and Celebration on Feb. 24.

It does not come as much of a surprise that things are a little hush-hush right now. In golf-cart-parade-record-breaking circles (they do exist), this is the Cold War. Arms are being stockpiled. Alliances are being formed. Electric batteries are being charged.

And trash, of course, is being talked.

"I don't believe anybody can repeat exactly all the elements that are in this parade," Cooper said.

Still, Cooper knows the day may come when Sun City Center has to relinquish its title. If so, he hopes it's to the Hernando County facility, Timber Pines.

"I'm more for it happening in Florida than I am somewhere else," he said. "We'd kind of like to keep things at home."

Cooper has March 15 circled on his calendar. He may drive up to watch Timber Pines' parade. No doubt, he'll keep a close eye on whether their organizers follow proper Guinness procedure chapter and verse.

If the record is broken, Cooper said, well, so be it.

"The number of carts is not what's important to me," Cooper said. "It's the whole parade. And we're proud of it."

THE LANE RANGER recently received a call from a reader wondering where one could locate a hard copy of all the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles laws, amendments and definitions.

The question seemed easy enough. After all, the Florida Statutes are available online at sites such as www.flsenate.gov and most libraries have access to law books.

But the reader was looking for a physical copy he could hold in his hands and, if needed, store in his glovebox.

Believe it or not, that sort of thing can be tough to track down, unless you're willing to pay an arm and a leg for a bound set of statutes similar to the ones you'd see lining a lawyer's bookshelf.

State DMV spokesman Robert Sanchez was stymied at first. But after a little digging, he directed the Ranger to GouldLaw, a publishing company that offers selected, specific state laws.

Among other books, the company's Web site (www.gouldlaw.com) offers a 460-page binder containing all of Florida's motor vehicle laws and selected traffic court rules for $17.95.

GouldLaw offers the 1,300-page Florida Criminal Law and Motor Vehicle Handbook for $25.95, and it has the 1,570-page Florida Crimes, Motor Vehicles, & Related Laws with Criminal Jury Instructions for $40.

So, if you've ever wondered how you can be the most knowledgeable cat on the road, there's your answer, provided you have $85 to spend and several days to weed through all 3,330 pages.

- The Lane Ranger is currently stuck in traffic. But he can be reached at cridlin@sptimes.com

[Last modified February 12, 2004, 12:52:02]

Brandon Times headlines

  • County gears up for 'smart growth'
  • Gordon Road problems to be discussed
  • He'll do anything for love

  • Community report
  • Brandon: Fundraiser brings out stargazers

  • Daytripper
  • Farm saddles up for rodeo

  • Farmer's Market
  • Pecks of love

  • Florida State Fair
  • Sensory overload

  • Gardening
  • There's much to consider when landscaping a yard

  • I Live Here
  • Brandon

  • Lane Ranger
  • Community clings to golf cart record

  • Lunch with Ernest
  • Marketer is now friend of manatees

  • Notebook
  • Truck routes stir up Sun City Center

  • Preps
  • Brandon-area athletes sign scholarships

  • Property values
  • New homes offer old style

  • Schools
  • Wise words from 3 teachers

  • Zoning
  • Neighbors oppose plans for apartments

  •  

      tampabay.com
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

     
     

    The Weather
    current temp: 82 °
    real feel: 89 °
    more
    Weather page