Sun Hunting: winter comes to the land of flowers

Interesting dude Kenneth Roberts – who was at various points a best-selling novelist, a booster for the (disatrous) Florida real estate boom of the twenties and a water dowsing huckster – wrote three books about the Good Life in Florida: Sun Hunting (1922), Florida Loafing (1925) and Florida (1926). He later disavowed them. They were generally regarded as unscrupulous acts which directly promoted his own large investments in the boom, and ultimately, uninteresting schlock. When he listed his works in chronological order later on in life these books were usually omitted, a palimpsestic metaphor for the fleetingness which defines the life and times of our great palm-bowered state.

He did, however, have a penetrating word or two to say about Florida’s most wonderful time of the year:

When an old Florida resident talks about the climate, he has in mind a temperature that will permit one to run around in the sun without feeling at all hot and at the same time to ride around hatless and coatless in an automobile without feeling at all chilly. Since this is a difficult combination to get, the Floridian – like the Californian – spends a great deal of valuable time explaining to strangers that he doesn’t know what to make of this weather; that he can’t remember when there has been any weather like this; that one might come down here every year for a thousand years without finding it as hot as this – or as cold as this, or as dry as this, or as rainy as this or as windy as this.

This is the great failing of the Florida climate. If the old residents would only stop talking about it, over ninety percent of the climate-hounds would soon wake up to the fact that a Florida winter is like a Maine August – fairly warm at times, fairly cool at times, and occasionally fairly rotten but on the whole a very excellent spell of weather.

Florida Loafing pp. 3-4

To all the “summertime soldiers and sunshine patriots” out there: Happy winter!

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