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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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What is bugging you?
By Times staff
Published September 7, 2007
Recently we asked readers to share their biting bugs stories and/or remedies:
My, what fine scent you have
I have found that Skin So Soft is very effective for repelling mosquitoes. And with the no-see-ums, they seem to smother in the Skin So Soft. I normally keep a mixture of water and Skin So Soft in a plastic bottle and then I soak a washcloth with the solution and keep the cloth in a ziplock bag. I also like to keep the bag on ice so when I put more of the solution on my body it helps cool me down. Go home and shower after the trip or people will wonder why you smell like you do.
John Gregory, Tampa
No-see-ums (midges) squeeze through our pool screen enclosure and feast on the occupants. I put Skin So Soft into an empty nasal inhaler that pumps a very fine mist.
To use, point the device straight up while holding it directly over your head; give it a squirt or two. The fine mist settles to lightly coat you with a very small amount of non-oily-feeling mist. This works extremely well, but cover your beverage. If it's windy, go inside to spray.
Eli S. Jenkins, St. Petersburg
Penny is a thought
Got an e-mail about two months ago about this. "They" said to put a penny on the bite. Tape it on and the sting or itch will go away. It has something to do with the copper in the penny. I tried it and it worked! This is for bee stings along with mosquito bites.
Pearl Steffen, Sun City Center
Oil 'em up
Mosquitoes hide during the day in shaded cool, damp dark places. This is the time to attack, when they are all together. Stick a dark green or black trash can in this shaded area. They will be flying just above the top of the can during the day. Then bring out the low-cost secret weapon: WD-40.
Spray slightly above where the mosquitoes are flying and oil will fall and coat their wings and they will drop to the ground. The ants will eat them.
Peter Ritchie, Largo
Up and eat 'em
Ask any Marine who went to Boot Camp at Parris Island, and they will tell you that the bugs at Elliot's Beach while on bivouac were meat-eaters! Absolutely no comparison to any others. I was there July 1968, the 100-degree heat did not bother you.
Jack Brown, St. Petersburg
On a solo kayak trip from St. Pete to Key West, I camped on Turkey Key in the 10,000 Islands.
The next morning when I stepped out of my tent onto the succulent beach ground cover, the grass exploded with a cloud of "black fire." My exposed body parts felt as if they had been plunged into boiling water. Millions of no-see-ums! I dived back into the tent, put on all my long clothes, jumped back out, ripped up the tent with all my gear in it and dashed with my kayak into the shallows. I shoved the soggy mess into the hatches and paddled off with my skin still burning.
George Stovall, St. Petersburg
The skeeters were fierce at a PAL camp out and one inner-city kid complained to a baseball coach.
Since putting any medication on kids without permission was prohibited, a coach told him to "smear on some mustard. It'll keep the mosquitoes away."
Next morning the coach asked the youngster how the mustard cure had worked.
"It didn't keep away the bugs," the camper responded, "but I sure smell like a hot dog."
Rick Rutan, St. Petersburg, who "wrote this story in my column in the Evening Independent many years ago."