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    'A jewel between two giants'

    Readers say Oldsmar is more than just a small town. Here are their comments about the place many call home.

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published August 19, 2001


    I think of "forever" friends made in years teaching in the old elementary school, singing in the church choir and sitting in the bleachers at R.E. Olds Park cheering the Cards. I think of a place with no pretenses, a place as comfortable as a favorite pair of old shoes. -- Marjorie Knapp

    * * *

    I Love Oldsmar! It's more like a small town than a city. It's far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding cities, yet close enough to several to enjoy all the amenities they offer. We have location, shopping, good roads and an upscale community. FANTASTIC!!! -- Dee Wydnyk, Oldsmar

    * * *

    As a resident for 16 years I have seen the city grow tremendously. With all the residential and commercial building happening you would think increased tax dollars would allow upgraded road drainage and parks for teens. We are the New City on the Horizon, just not the improved. -- Debbie Watson

    I have lived in Oldsmar 35 years and my perception of our once-small town is it in some ways is getting too big. There are some things we need and too much we don't. I was raised here and I raise my kids here because I feel safe. I just wish they would slow down on some of the building. -- Terra Caudill, Oldsmar

    * * *

    I think of Sunday afternoons visiting the "Mightiest Flea Market in the South," weaving through row after row of vendor booths until I find the "mightiest" bargain of a lifetime. At least until next week! -- Pam Block, Palm Harbor

    * * *

    When we moved to Oldsmar 10 years ago, we knew then we had found a mecca nestled in between Tampa and Clearwater, with easy access to both. In a world of hustle and bustle, Oldsmar will remain a small community and never lose its identity. I believe the people want it that way! -- Bob and Pat Lacourse

    * * *

    I moved here 30 years ago. It was a small and homey town. It has really grown, but it's still a wonderful place to live. Now, if the St. Petersburg Times would let the people who live here decide who they want to run it and not mess in our politics, not write nasty editorials, we will be better off. We'll progress and grow and continue to be the best town in all of Pinellas County. -- Grace Robinson, Oldsmar

    * * *

    Oldsmar once was country living. The "back way" to Dunedin Beach was Tampa Road to Curlew Road with hardly any traffic. It has grown from the best little city to a city with streets hardly safe for a pedestrian to cross. I looked out my windows and saw trees and heard birds sing. The trees are gone to make room for housing and to widen country roads into super-speed, residential roadways. Singing birds have given way to loud car radios. -- Rhoda Holden, Oldsmar

    I think of the small town in which I grew up. Where everyone knew everyone else. Where we rode our bikes through dirt streets, hunted in the pine and palmetto woodlands and the Boy Scouts sold doughnuts door-to-door every Saturday. -- Bruce Mills, Clearwater

    * * *

    I think of memories. Memories of Tampa Bay, unpaved streets, a two-room school. I think of everyone knowing and saying "Hello" to each other. I think of making good friends of 40 years. Of watching the town grow to the busy place it has become, but still being able sit on the front porch of my 1920 house and love the town and people. -- Janet Harris

    * * *

    Oldsmar is half-way,

    In Florida, in a place called Tampa Bay.

    It's a place to fish

    Or find that old dish.

    Halfway

    in Tampa Bay.

    It has lots of character for a start,

    And it even has a flea mart.

    Half way in Tampa Bay.

    Lots of beautiful homes by the bay

    to brighten your day,

    And Oh! By the way,

    I think Oldsmar is a place to stay. -- Ida Laura Boles, Tampa

    * * *

    The hard fought battle of the (1980s) was to preserve Oldsmar as a city and continue to improve its quaintness as a jewel between two giants. Exempt Tampa Road from being over commercialized. Like the native Indian viewing new America "with tears in his eyes," I too have a tear in mine. -- Tom Pinta, former mayor

    * * *

    I think of peace and serenity. It's always so quiet and peaceful. It's like it used to be in the old days with neighbors who care. -- Perry Lopreato

    * * *

    Oldsmar is one of the greatest places I've lived in. Love all the friendly and caring people. We have great parks, a view of north Tampa Bay, an excellent library and city facilities. It's just the best place to call home. -- Jean Jorgenson, Oldsmar

    * * *

    A while back, I wrote Mayor (Jerry) Beverland about faded street signs and stop signs in our neighborhood. A few days later at my door stood a bearded man in western garb. He responded personally! That captures the heart of Oldsmar. Shortly thereafter the faded signs were replaced. -- Mary C. Burke, Oldsmar

    * * *

    Oldsmar has been my hometown for over 50 years, and I love it as much today as I did when the whole town would get together for picnics at Tommy Maltinos's empty lots on Shore Drive. We played donkey baseball (you hit the ball, then jump on a donkey and try your darndest to get the animal to run the bases). Everyone joined in three-legged races, potato sack races or, at dusk, made sand angels at the water's edge while watching the fireworks. Growing up, you knew everyone in town, which could be tough on the kids. If you ever did anything wrong, your parents knew before you could make it home to explain what really happened. It was a pretty town, then we went through a time when everything was ugly commercial buildings or gas stations on every corner. But thank goodness we have turned it all around and the city is looking like a pretty, small town once again. I am proud to live here and to have the third generation of our family attending the Oldsmar Elementary School, which has greatly changed from the two-room school it was waaay back when my sister and I attended it. -- Patricia Wagner, Oldsmar

    * * *

    I think of the good, the bad and the ugly: colorful mayors, shuttling sick children to our family doctor and running the annual Armadillo Run. I'll let YOU decide which is which! -- Jocelyn Zimmet

    Oldsmar late 1960s

    New in Florida

    New teacher

    Little old two-room school building

    Bused-in children

    Our love grew

    We bonded forever

    Twenty years later

    Moved back to Florida

    School grew

    Memories grew through love for this school

    Love for its children

    -- Louise McGinnis Hartzog, Tarpon Springs

    * * *

    We think of the many down to earth, friendly and helpful people we have met since moving our business here in July. This is an easy place to call home, due to the people we have met. With a town this beautiful, weather this beautiful, sunsets this beautiful, we think of Oldsmar as a great city to live in! -- Greg and Katie Ney

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