I like to think Florida is a magical place — and here’s more evidence. This story about Gary Revell and how he harvests earthworms for his bait business is in my book “Alligators in B-Flat.’’ And here’s Maurice Rivenbark’s wonderful video that went along with it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Rube Allyn’s Dictionary of Fishes was the first book with which I fell head over heels in love.
I discovered it at the same time I discovered a passion for fishing in 1956. As a curious first-grader, I was determined to learn the names of all the pan-sized fish I caught a few blocks away from home in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Allyn’s humble paperback, despite the crude drawings and fanciful text, became at least one barefoot Florida boy’s Bible.
In 2004, I wrote a column about my favorite Florida books. Dictionary of Fishes was the guilty pleasure on a list with a dozen serious offerings that included Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
Eventually I took my book list on the road and lectured in Florida cities south and north. At virtually every stop someone with graying hair would stand, stare me balefully in the eye and ask, “So where’s The Lion’s Paw?”
“Never heard of it.”