tampabay.com

These people, they are Brooksville

By MICHAEL KRUSE
Published October 13, 2006


There are people in Brooksville, in their 70s, 80s and 90s, who have lived here for all or most of their lives and grew up without electricity or running water or a phone. Many people talk a lot about how much Florida has changed. These people have lived it. The Times talked to some of them to mark the town's 150th anniversary. This, then, is the story of a place - then and now. Their story. Their words.

My people? "They been here all the time, I reckon. Ever since there was a Brooksville."

-- Pittman Jernigan

"I am a fourth-generation Hernando Countian, fifth-generation Floridian."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Born May the 23rd, 1918, within 1,600 feet of where I'm sitting now ... at the same house where my granddaddy was born, and where my daddy was born."

-- B.A. Crum

"The Law family were one of the older families here. They came down from Georgia, and my grandmothers came from Kentucky, and they were married here, and my grandparents had seven boys and no girls."

-- Neil Law

"My grandfather ... of course his father was a slave. He was a slave."

-- Nathaniel Brown Mayo

"My great-grandfather, whose name was Moody Timmons, he was born in Brooksville, and I understand from his daughter - well, time frame will also tell you that he was born as a slave in 1857. He married and had 12 children. One of those was my grandmother."

-- Hazel Land

"My mother and father were dirt farmer people from south Georgia, uneducated. I don't really know how we got to Brooksville. They moved here to Brooksville. Brooksville was a very small place at that time."

-- Thomas J. Deen Jr.

Way back when

"I think I knew just about everybody in town."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"The law enforcement during that time period consisted of one policeman in the city of Brooksville and one sheriff who might have a deputy every once in a while. The police here in Brooksville - you know, they just, they were part of the same social structure that you had in that day and time. Unless you were extremely out of order there wasn't any arrests or anything made. If a kid got in trouble they'd take him home and let his parents handle it, take him home and tell 'em that he's down there doing something wrong and usually you got your fanny worn out and you didn't do that anymore."

-- Gene Manuel

"When I first started in the elementary school they had two outhouses. One for the girls, one for the boys. And they had a cistern and it had a hand pump on it and a bucket. And when I was in the first, second and third grade, the teacher would send somebody out to get water from that and bring back and it had one dipper. There was no reason at all - if anybody had a disease, everybody got it."

-- Bobby Snow

"We was married June the 10th, 1939, and August the fourth we was in one room. And you could see the dirt at the corner looking down through and the other corner had the kitchen part. That's how we moved in."

-- B. A. Crum

"I remember dialing the old telephone that was on the wall at home, the old crank-style telephone, and the operator came on, and Daddy's number was 48, so all I had to do was say 48 and Daddy came on."

-- Myra Varn

"Now, in Lake Lindsey, marbles was the big thing, and marbles was the big thing anywhere you went, and when you wanted something for Christmas or a birthday or something you wanted marbles because you'd lose them. That's what everybody was playing was marbles."

-- Bobby Snow

"We jump-roped. Little girls jump-roped when they were little, and used to like to jump the board. I don't know that children know about jumping the board anymore but you put a board and I could jump way high into the sky." -- --

-- Frances Lingle Seibert

"I remember - I have a distinct memory of a Jack Dempsey fight, and back then a heavyweight championship fight, back in the '20s and the early '30s, was like the Super Bowl today. They talked about it a long time and then it was a big event. ... I remember Daddy putting the radio over by the window, and there'd be 15 to 20 men, black and white, out in our yard, and be four or five in the house, listening to the fight. And it was very thrilling the way that guy would describe it."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"When you went to Brooksville, the courthouse square had benches, and they had little old tables around and there'd be a lot of people playing checkers. That was a big thing at the courthouse square back then. There'd be people from Spring Lake playing friends from the Hammock or Lake Lindsey."

-- Bobby Snow

"Going to Tampa wasn't a very easy deal because ... in the early age it was quite a long distance. After we got older we went to Tampa probably at least two or three times a month. We shopped and bought different things in stores in Tampa, supplies and all, and to doctors we didn't have here."

-- Neil Law

 Moonshinin'

"Course, none of my families did it, but there was a lot of moonshine made here in Hernando County when I was a kid. I shouldn't say it, but my old daddy, he used to nip a little bit. He'd buy 'shine in a five-gallon demijohn - a five-gallon jug, you know, buy 'shine. Course back then there was no tax on it. And of course it was cheap. Homemade. I know my mother busted one of them one time. Said enough's enough. You ain't gonna bring that stuff back in the house no more."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Out here in the Hammock there was a lot of stills."

-- Thomas J. Deen Jr.

"They were all located out in the areas around Brooksville. They were like out east of here and some out in the Hammock and different places they were making 'shine and everything."

Law

In the welding shop downtown, "my dad and I, we used to work on a few stills around, you know. I never did get in it, moonshine, but my dad did. Where were the stills? They were stuck around different places around the county in the woods. You never did know where they were. They'd generally bring a still in the shop and you'd work on it in the shop and then they'd go back out." Payment came in 'shine.

-- Troy Scarborough

Coping with the Depression

"Everybody lived at the same level during the Depression."

-- Bobby Snow

"Everybody was poor. But we didn't know it. And we didn't have a government telling us we were."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"My mama and them used to quilt and they would take them in the wintertime and nail them up to keep the cold air from coming in. During that time we had wood stoves, wood heaters and all like that - we didn't have gas and stuff like that."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

"Daddy was working building (U.S.) 19. He put a dump body on his truck and went out there and stayed out there with those convicts all week and he would come home on Saturday night and bring the groceries that he had bought in Brooksville. And he'd get in late Saturday night and leave before I got up Monday morning. ... When he didn't have a flat bed on it hauling fruit he had a dump body on it hauling dirt."

-- Pittman Jernigan

"Way back, during the '30s, my mother, and Dad, too, were somewhat concerned to always be careful about hoboes. You did have some men that migrated through. And they'd come around the street begging for food. I've seen my mother feed them out of the back door - men that were really hungry, really destitute."

-- Leland McKeown

"George Maillis, who ran the store, was one of the finest people I ever knew. He carried a lot of people's credit that I don't think ever got paid for. But he'd always help people out. Back then they had four cinnamon rolls in a package and these hobos come through and George would always give them a pack of cinnamon rolls and a cold drink. Now, that might not have been the best food in the world, but it'd fill them up. I guess word got out among the hobos and a lot of them came through and George Maillis always gave them something."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"George Maillis, who had the grocery, probably, to me, might've been the most important man that ever lived in Brooksville. During the Depression people had no money and they did trading. When he closed his stores the people owed him over millions of dollars. He never beefed the first time. Never made an issue."

-- Bobby Snow

A little competition

"Baseball was real big back in the '30s. Football hadn't really come into its own then, especially pro football, but baseball was big-time. And we had a city baseball team. ... Every town of any size at all had a baseball team."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"There was a lot of competition between small towns then, between Bushnell, Inverness, Brooksville, Dade City, Crystal River. The athletic teams were very competitive back then. In 1938 we had an undefeated football team at Hernando High School. About midway through the year we played Bushnell and they were undefeated at the time we each had won five games and we were playing here in Brooksville and we scored, they scored, and toward the end of the game they were leading 13-12, and we got a drive going, went down and scored, put us ahead. But there was still about two minutes to go in the game but somebody from Bushnell raced out on the field and took a swing at the referee. And somebody from Brooksville met him - Dewey Ross was one of them - and for about five minutes the sidelines met at midfield and went at it for about five minutes. And all of a sudden they just quit. The referees awarded us the game. It was too hot to try to keep playing. But I'll say this: Not a single player got in the fight, from either team. It was all spectators. The mayor of the town, one of the real fine, sophisticated gentlemen - he was a lawyer - he had a cane. He was whacking about as many people from Brooksville as he was from Bushnell out in the middle of that squabble."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"The next week we were playing Tarpon Springs here and Sheriff Law deputized about 20 or 30 men."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"You did not lose to Pasco. You did not lose to Dade City. You might as well leave town if you were a jock football player especially and you got beat by Dade City."

-- Thomas J. Deen Jr.

"You knew people on the other team. And you know competitively you'd rather beat your friends than somebody you don't know. It was just competitive. And a lot of these people were betting on the games."

-- Eddie McIntyre
 

WWII begins

 "We were at home and a first cousin of mine was staying with us. Some of the family came by the house ... they came and told us that Germany had invaded Poland in 1939. And I can remember us as kids going out and getting onto the back of Daddy's little old cut-down pickup and trying to hear the guns that was firing in that war. I remember that very well. And when the Second World War started, on that Sunday when the news was brought to us, we didn't know as a child what to expect. They said they invaded Hawaii. And we didn't know what Hawaii was. Hawaii wasn't a resort back then as we knew about it around here. A resort around here was going to the Withlacoochee River and having a picnic or something."

-- Bobby Snow

"I'll tell you how I heard about Pearl Harbor. I was already in the service. I was in Montgomery, Ala., at Gunter Field. I was playing on the baseball team. Having a great time. About all we did was play baseball. ... But anyhow me and a couple of my baseball buddies went to a picture show in Montgomery, Ala. ... We were in there watching the show and all of a sudden ... the screen went blank, and a note came up on there, said Pearl Harbor had been bombed and 350 people were killed. That was the first we heard of it. Of course, that shook us all up. ... Anyhow we stayed and pretty soon another flash came up and said Roosevelt has called a special session of Congress for tonight and then a few minutes later the lights came on and a note came up says all soldiers report back to your base immediately."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"In 1941, Dec. 7, you know, that's when the war started, and there was a big change in life. My stepfather went into the service. And a lot of our young men, of course, left, and a lot of our teachers left, and then we brought teachers in that had been retired for years to teach us, and then a lot of preachers ended up teaching at the high school. I was in the seventh grade, I think, when the war broke out. And then there was only three gallons of gas a week for the average family."

-- Barbara McKeown

Effects felt at home

"For some reason (there) was a shortage of chocolate, and I drank hot chocolate in the morning for breakfast. But during the war it was so hard to get. Daddy always had coffee on the table for some reason and that's when I started drinking coffee."

-- Myra Varn

"Cigarettes had been wrapped in tinfoil, and tinfoil disappeared. Lucky Strike green is gone to war. They had to take green out of the packages of cigarettes for Lucky Strike because that was camouflage colors."

-- Gene Manuel

"You had to paint the top part of your headlights so it wouldn't shine up so the German submarines couldn't see us, couldn't see the reflection. I don't know whether it did any good but we all had the top of our headlights painted black."

-- Troy Scarborough

 "We bombed several places in the South Pacific and we bombed the Saigon rail yards. In fact, July the 12th, I was on a bombing raid ... bombing oil storage tanks and oil depots, and my wife was in Ocala giving birth to our son. Same time. In fact I didn't see my son till he was almost a year old."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"Young boys like Leland, 12-year-old boys, they were airplane spotters. They'd get up on top of the roof on the courthouse and they would spot airplanes. And he would know every airplane that came over. He could tell you what they were - even as a kid. See? So we were all involved. We had rubber drives. You saved everything. We had stamps."

-- Barbara McKeown

"We had food stamps."

-- Leland McKeown

"Food stamps that were made for . . . ."

-- Barbara McKeown

"Well, you had to have a stamp for sugar - so many things."

-- Leland McKeown

"They rationed it out. They were rationed."

-- Barbara McKeown

"You had shoe stamps."

-- Leland McKeown

"We got three pairs of shoes a year."

-- Barbara McKeown

"That was the max."

-- Leland McKeown

"If we saw anything in the sky that looked unusual, even a flash of light or anything, then we were to call in, and our code name was Hotel Papa. How they came up with that I don't know. But that was the code we used."

-- Myra Varn

"We got electricity in 1948, just before my last year of school, and we got telephone about 1950."

-- Bobby Snow

A social structure

"I believe it was in 1948 when they passed the no-fence law. But up till then cattle just ran - my father out here had cattle that just roamed everywhere. ... A lot of your prominent people just didn't pay it any attention whatsoever."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Back then, I know, a woman would cross the street rather than walk by the front of a barbershop, afraid she was going to hear some foul language or something coming out of the barbershop. Women didn't smoke. Women didn't drink. You had very few loose women in the community."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Back then, when a girl got pregnant, she just disappeared. She went off - I don't mean she died or anything - she went off and lived with Aunt Boo or Grandma or she got out of town. Put it that way."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"You wanted to marry a virgin. That's just the way it was."

-- Thomas J. Deen Jr.

"At first there were not too many children who played with me because my mother was divorced. And a divorced person in those days - there was only two kinds of people who were divorced. Would be movie stars and trash. There was no in-between. And so I guess they felt like my mother was trash because she certainly wasn't a movie star although she was quite pretty. And she had myself and a brother. My brother was five years younger. But when my mother married Varney West, who was local - he was a manager of the local ice plant; in those days we had a nice ice plant - and life seemed to open up for me. I became very popular. I had friends. Girls and boys. Friends. Just friends. And when we moved to another section of town - we moved over to where we were near Leland - and then I guess I got involved in the local church, the Methodist church, and I just seemed to have playmates overnight that I never had before. People accepted us, I would say. And it wasn't because they weren't friendly in the beginning. It was that they just didn't accept the situation I was in. And I guess they wondered what kind of people we were."

-- Barbara McKeown

"Well, I'll tell you, when we was coming up as kids in the area, we had to respect everybody. We couldn't disrespect - if you were older than we were, you know, we couldn't disrespect. You had to call people Miss."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

"Dorothy McKethan was a social studies teacher and I, for some reason, missed a test - an exam - and I was supposed to make it up one afternoon, but hard-headed me, I went and put on my football uniform and went out to practice. She walked out on the edge of that practice field, got a hold of my shirt, and she said, you will - and I was supposed to make it up that afternoon - she said you will take that test. I said yes ma'am. Here I was about a head taller than her and I went up in the room in my uniform and I took the test. That's a dedicated teacher. She just wouldn't let me - she wouldn't let me fail."

-- Eddie McIntrye

"One day my brother threw a rock at me and it hit me and I decked him. And my mother wanted to whip me for it and I wouldn't let her whip me because I didn't think I deserved it. My father come home, and he was very quiet, I never heard him cuss - he come in and he says I understand you sassed your mother today. And I said, sir I didn't think - and he says, well, bend over, and he gave me a pretty good whuppin'. He says, you don't sass your mother, so ... about two months later, for some reason I did the same thing, and this time he beat the living hell out of me and I mean this time it hurt. That ended that."

-- Thomas J. Deen Jr.

Time for work

"There was just a lot of hard work to do. Which they don't have today. I worked one summer at Mr. Hathaway's dairy. I think they did all the milking by hand. And it was a family dairy out the road here. And Mr. Hathaway, he was in our church, and he went to sleep every Sunday. But the man was wore out. You'd get up about 5 o'clock and the family dairy did the whole operation: You milked the cows, you bottled the milk, and you delivered the milk. People would leave milk bottles on their front steps. You dropped the milk off and pick up the bottles and they'd leave the money in there about once a week or whatever it was. And if you churned butter you did the same thing. ... The work never ended. You know, my job at the dairy, I didn't milk, was shoveling - and you know what I was shoveling - fixing fences, washing bottles, and that sort of thing, and you never had any time off. If you ever had a break you went to work on the fences. There was always fences to work on. It was tough. It was about 10 hours a day for probably a buck and a half or something."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"I started in about the eighth grade helping my dad in that welding shop and I would get out of school in the afternoon and go down and get right into the welding shop and help him. ... So I didn't have too much fun when I was growing up. I was working most of the time."

-- Troy Scarborough

"We looked forward so much to being with our dad 'cause he worked 12 hours a day, from seven in the morning till seven at night, seven days a week almost."

-- Leland McKeown

"My mother never did go and work in the white people's houses but she washed and ironed for them. And she told me she'd wash and iron but she would not come in their house and clean."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

"When I got 18 and finished high school, well, most of the time I would babysit for the white people."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

 But still time for play

 "The main source of swimming was Weeki Wachee and we'd all get together and go to - and you had to have somebody who had a car and you could get a little gas together. Mainly it was Leland, and he'd go down with a whole raft of kids in the car - matter of fact, they'd even be on the running board - but it was up and down, like this, all the way out. There was no 50. It was Weeki Wachee Road in those days. And it went like a washboard going up and down and then from Weeki Wachee to Bayport there was great big potholes in the road."

-- Barbara McKeown

"You could saddle a horse down where the school is now. That's where the little pasture was and the stable. I could put a saddle on a horse down there and ride from there to Weeki Wachee and never see a house or a person or a fence or anything."

-- Gene Manuel

 "It was a beautiful, beautiful wild river."

-- Troy Scarborough

"You could go underwater with a mask on, actually goggles or a mask, and you could see all the way across the springs and you could see it just clear as anything all the way across. That water was just as clear as it could be. The grass, the natural grasses that were in the spring ...waved in the water as the water came out of the opening in the bottom of the spring."

-- Gene Manuel

"Some of us boys in high school back during those days, we had a habit of skipping whenever we decided to. Hunting season came along, why, usually half the boys in high school would take off to go hunting."

-- John Mason

"All I wanted to do was ride the woods, cow-hunt or hog-hunt. And I mean stay in the woods at night. We'd take a backpack and be gone three or four days."

-- B.A. Crum

A jumpin' downtown

"Back then, on Saturday, Brooksville was wall-to-wall people, believe it or not."

-- Bobby Snow

"In Brooksville everybody went to town on Saturday. In fact, 7 o'clock on Saturday night, you couldn't stir the people with a stick all over downtown."

-- John Mason

"It was a social thing. They'd literally visit and stay in town till midnight. Everything stayed open till 11 or 12 o'clock."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Well you had Rogers' department store, which was up just north of where the SunTrust bank is. Next to them you had Hope's drugstore. Next one was Friday's jewelry store. SunTrust - or Hernando State Bank - was on the corner. And on the Jefferson Street side of that was Coogler's drug store, L&L furniture company and S. Whitehurst law offices. Across the street on Main Street there, on the north corner, you had Moody's grocery store, had Dominguez jewelry, Weeks hardware, then you had the A&P grocery store, then you had Bacon's dime store. And right across from Hernando State Bank was Bacon's drugstore. Down in the block, right across from the courthouse, you had Lingle's department store, you had City Market, which was a grocery store, you had Surasky's dry goods store, you had Rush's dime store, and there on the corner was originally the First National Bank building, which later became the post office for many years. That post office building is now Browning insurance agency. On the south side of the courthouse, on the corner you had Florida Cafe for many years, and then there was Maillis groceries, and then there was a barbershop, and then there was Coogler Chevrolet - McKeown motor company in that building for many years - and then Murphy's drugstore and the old Tamiami Cafe was right down where Snow insurance agency is now."

-- John Mason

"We had a midnight show in Brooksville on Saturday night back in those days at the old Dixie Theatre."

-- Leland McKeown

"The movies, Saturday night Western ... they usually had double features. I think it was 9 cents to get in and you got a coke for a nickel and a bag of popcorn for probably a nickel. For a quarter you had enough money to go to Murphy's after the movie and get a milk shake or something. ... They had a good theater manager. Name was Howard Smith. He was a great man for young people. ... He knew who could afford to go in by ticket price and who couldn't and that was always taken care of, too. There wasn't anybody denied going to a movie because of lack of money."

-- Bobby Snow

"If they had a double feature and a cartoon you really hit the jackpot."

-- Gene Manuel

"I was asked years later: 'Did you ever go to town without money?' And I said: 'I never had any money.' 'Well, how did you know that you wouldn't need some money to do something?' I said: 'Well, I'd just go into Mr. Rogers, Rogers' department store, and tell him I needed a nickel, and he'd give it to me.' "

-- Barbara McKeown

"We used to hang out some at Murphy's. They had a soda fountain. Coogler's didn't have a soda fountain. Hope's had a soda fountain and Bacon's had a soda fountain. ... They had vanilla Cokes, cherry Cokes, root beers, they had ice cream sundaes, they had milk shakes, they had a little of everything."

-- John Mason

"At Pete's hamburger stand you could get a good hamburger for 10 cents and an RC cola for a nickel and it would fill you up."

-- Eddie McIntrye

 Getting to know you

"During election time they'd have a rally every Saturday at places like Istachatta, Masaryktown and different places like that for about five weeks before election. And the final Saturday before election day, they'd have a big rally in Brooksville to present the candidates. Other than newspapers and some radio - not very much - that's the way you got to know the candidates. And it was - they were competitive running for office."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"Everybody looked out for everybody. You didn't dare get in trouble or do something bad because your mother would know about it before you could get home."

-- Leland McKeown

"If a stranger came to town, everybody knew there was a stranger around here. I don't mean somebody who stopped in to get gasoline. Somebody who came downtown and walked around. Pretty soon: Who's that? Who's that? You just didn't - you knew everyone. You knew every family."

-- Gene Manuel

Segregation

"The blacks couldn't drink out of the same water fountain. What could be worse than that?"

-- Nathaniel Brown Mayo

"The Dixie Theater used to have a place downstairs for the whites and upstairs for the blacks."

-- Hazel Land

"You couldn't eat in the same restaurant."

-- Nathaniel Brown Mayo

"We had a good relationship with the blacks in the community. We didn't have any problems or animosity between the races."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Many of them were helpers and everything in those days, domestic help and harvesters and things like that, and you just got to know them through the years. In fact, many of them worked for the same people their fathers had worked for."

-- John Mason

"If you're in your right mind you couldn't love that kind of, that way of life - being treated, and mistreated, and knowing about various things. And a lot of times we learned about things that happened to our foreparents. You'd hear that talked about and how they were beat; some were - well, I didn't have any relatives - I didn't know of any relatives that were hung. But I imagine some was because my mom had a brother, oldest brother, they didn't know yet today what happened to him. He just disappeared. Nothing."

--Hazel  Land

"If your daddy was caught with me, wouldn't nothing be said about it. But if my brother was caught with your sister, they'd liable come in the woods and kill him or hang him or do whatever they desire to do."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

"The people say a lot of people were hung in that tree up there on the corner of Daniel and Hale. It's still there, the tree is, by the way. Oak tree."

-- Hazel Land

"Sometimes you'd go in the drugstore and get things that you had to carry out. But we weren't allowed to sit on the stools and have a hamburger or a milk shake or anything like that. You could get it and take it out but you couldn't eat it there."

-- Hazel Land

"Those times, especially us, our color, we would have to go to the back to get our food and stuff, to eat."

-- Irene Wells

"You got white in the front, white sign, white, then colored in the back."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

 The industrial side

 "It was a nice, sleepy, rural atmosphere."

-- Murray Grubbs

"The county was mostly agricultural then. There was no industry here other than a few of the rock mines." Manuel

"After the war, the rock mine business blossomed out big. They had the rock business before, but it was small-scale. And the state of Florida started spending a lot of money on building new highways and all that. ... They were just starting building roads and most of the road material came from Hernando County." Snow

"Mostly everybody dug it out the dirt."

-- Murray Grubbs

"Citrus and farming basically was the industry here in Hernando County when I was a kid. And land was cheap."

-- Murray Grubbs

"There used to be groves all the way from here to Dade City."

-- Sarah Lee Williams

The city booms

"People have found Florida. People found Florida during World War II when all the servicemen came down to places like the Brooksville airport. And they saw Florida and saw the climate and the potential and after the war they started coming and they're still coming."

-- Murray Grubbs

"You had your real change in Brooksville start in the late '50s. That's when it started growing, and it really, really started mushrooming after that. Ever since then it hasn't slowed down."

-- John Mason

"Television came on the scene back in the - what? - the '50s. A lot - more and more people started staying at home and watching television."

-- Gene Manuel

"The Vietnam War started. They put it in your living room. You know, TV changed so much of everything - now computers are changing it still further. But people didn't - they listened to the radio in World War II, and - but it didn't get as close to them as it does today. You don't see soldiers being buried, and well you don't see them being blown up - well, you know what you see on TV."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"It hadn't changed to the extent that it did after the Mackle brothers came in and built Spring Hill. That's when the real change came about. It was still pretty good hunting and so forth around here until that came in. And once Spring Hill got started, man, it hasn't stopped."

-- Troy Scarborough

"Brooksville was right there in one little clump when I was growing up. Everything was centered around the courthouse. Now it's spread out all over the place."

-- Myra Nell Rogers Register

"There are no more places on the Gulf. Land in Florida, it breaks your heart - and it breaks your heart that we're not going to have any woods anymore. The people are just flocking down here. They've all found it."

-- Frances Lingle Seibert

 Changed forever

"We never locked our doors. Nobody ever did. Never, ever, ever do I ever remember anybody taking the key out of their car. And now I have to lock my car when I go into the grocery store, which just seems ... Another thing that really gets me is having to pull out your identification to get a check cashed, in a town that I've been in - what? - 70 years. And I got to pull out this identification to get my check cashed? You know? They should know you so well."

-- Barbara McKeown

"When I go into town I see a bunch of strangers."

-- Eddie McIntyre

"Everybody's in a hurry now."

-- John Mason

"Hernando County has changed forever. Florida has changed forever."

-- Murray Grubbs

"And I can't imagine what Hernando County is going to be 50 years from now. I guess we'll be another Pinellas County. Be houses stacked upon houses."

-- Murray Grubbs

"You know how many Wal-Marts you got now in the county? You got three. Have you been to the one on 19 yet? That's a big store, isn't it?"

-- Nathaniel Brown Mayo

"My people are all buried either at Townsend House Cemetery down at the edge of Pasco County on my mother's side, or at Spring Lake Cemetery, all my father's people buried out there at Lake Lindsey. I think my great-grandfather Grubbs was about the sixth person buried out there at Lake Lindsey. And I go out to Lake Lindsey Cemetery occasionally and walk through it and just see - well, a whole lot of them are my people." Grubbs

"You knew everybody, and hopefully you were friends, and you had good times with them and you enjoyed them. Now you have so many Northern people and people from other counties that come in that you don't know the people, and you feel like you're in a strange area now that nobody knows you, or what you were, or what you did." -- Neil Law