JULY 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

JULY 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue…

Mark your calendars for the SCC 4th of July Fun Day, read about an Important Update from the SCCCA Board, learn What’s New at the SCC library, cookout with the Multi-Cultural Heritage Club, Get Off The Couch with the Cloggersizers, create with the Lapidary Club, fly into the sky in Lee Lauderback’s historic P-51 Mustang, learn how the HCSO helps find missing persons, welcome our new HCSO Community Service Aide, plan for Hurricane Season, read A Caregiver’s Story, have some Summer Fun at Camp Bayou, and Adventure with Barbara Lee.

Then, be sure to check out the SCC Club News, Kings Point News, Military News, Sports, Arts, Faith & Service, and Community News sections to help you plan your month.

Read the July 2021 Issue of The News

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Info

Florida hospitals and county health departments have received hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses. More are coming. Learn how these will be distributed and get more information at the Florida Department of Health website, “floridahealth.gov.”

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a CenturyBy Diane M. Loeffler Do you know a local resident who is one hundred or older? Twenty-two Sun City Center Community Association members have reached or surpassed that number with one born in 1914, one in 1915, two in 1917,...

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo By Paula Lickfeldt The residents of Kings Point have had space near the back entrance, for garden plots since 1990.  The garden club has many members and boasts a lot of diversity in their membership. Kings...

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… The Photo Club members wow us once again, the SCCCA announces a very important Town Hall meeting; a local Club donates thousands for lifesaving equipment; we visit the reopened Tampa Theatre; make some local Family Connections;...

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Visit the Arcadia Rodeo, laugh and learn with Phoney Baloney, marvel at the blue Angels, enjoy Gazebo concerts, celebrate local volunteers, appreciate Andy Ledoux, take a Nature Break, join a grief support group, explore the...

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Hear from the newly elected SCCCA Board Members, see who helped SCC residents get their COVID-19 vaccine, get away for the day at Apollo Beach Preserve, mark your calendars for a very special livestream theater event, enjoy a...

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Get to know the SCC Beautification Corporation, discover who won the SCC Photo Club’s Best of the Best contest, get up to date on local infrastructure projects, stay on your toes with the Ballet Club, explore art and nature at...

“Thanks, Dad”

“Thanks, Dad”

“Thanks, Dad”

By E. Adam Porter

Editor, News of SCC & South County

There’s a picture on canvas, hanging over the stairwell to my bedroom. When I see it, I think, man, I look tired. And then I smile. Not because I look soggy, bedraggled, and thoroughly exhausted in the picture, but because of the other people in it with me: My boys.

We were at the end of a long, fun day at Rainbow Springs State Park: swimming, hiking, swimming again, picnicking, hiking some more, then swimming some more. I look exhausted, because I was, but the boys are grinning ear-to-ear. I love that photo for a lot of reasons. We don’t get the opportunity to get all four of us together much since the Big Kid re-enlisted. I’m proud of him, but it’s tough to be in family photos when you’re busy jumping out of perfectly good airplanes half a world away.

A love for exploring nature is something all four of us have in common, and that had been a great day. Taking advantage of those moments and capturing those memories is something I’m thinking about a lot as we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day in a few days. The celebration this year will be bittersweet for me. My father died last July, so this will be my first Father’s Day without the opportunity to talk to him. But we will talk about him. I’ll share his story so my boys will benefit from the lessons he learned through living.

Most of the day, though, will be about making memories with my boys.

I look forward to hearing from the Big Kid, learning more about his upcoming training assignment. For the two younger boys, Father’s Day is all about spending uninterrupted time with dad. We don’t get enough of that, and I’m not always the best at taking advantage of the opportunities when they’re presented. Maybe that’s something all dads deal with. I know I do, especially on days I’m working from home.

My home office has an open door policy. If the door is open, come on in. If it’s shut, Dad might be shooting a video, making a webinar, or doing a live consultation, so, unless it’s an emergency, wait. Sometimes, though, I get caught up in what I’m doing, and that open door is treated like it’s closed. That happened just a few days ago. My middle son ambled into my office holding a small stack of papers. “Dad,” he said, “Do you want to see my test scores?”

I knew he had just taken an achievement test to track his academic progress, but I thought that could certainly wait until I finished whatever Immensely Important Thing I was working on at the moment. Had I taken a second to glance at the stack of papers in his hand, I would have seen he was holding a lot more than test scores. I would have noticed the way he held them and seen the anticipation on his face.

But Dad was busy, so Dad was blind.

“Go put them on the dining table. I’ll look at them later.” I caught the hesitation as he, slowly and carefully, set the stack of papers on my desk. Now, I did look up, “B,” I said, using his preferred nickname, “I said the dining table. I don’t want those papers on my desk.”

This time, I saw the disappointment as he slowly retrieved the stack of papers and turned to leave. He made it three strides down the hall before my brain put all the pieces together. “Wait, bud, hang on.”

He stopped immediately, face writ with disappointment turning back to nervous anticipation. “I’m sorry, B. Did you want me to look at this stuff now?” He offered a small, hopeful nod.

I picked up the papers, scanned the bar graph indicating his results on the achievement test. He had done well in certain areas, needed to work on some others. Like the rest of us. I glanced over, saw his eagerness intensify. A thought tickled the back of my mind: there is no way this is about test scores. I flipped the page to find a note from the school, instructions about the last day. Nope, this wasn’t it. I flipped to the next page, and that’s when I understood.

The last page in the stack was a drawing.

Pen-and-ink on notebook paper. Science fiction fighter jets and fast-moving tanks. Rockets and missiles. Bunkers with a prominent acronym in giant block letters. Fairly common subject matter for an 11-year-old boy. Except, this drawing didn’t come from the mind of that 11-year-old boy. This drawing was a replica that came from his heart.

A few weeks ago, I’d been going through an old steamer trunk I keep in my closet. The trunk is filled with souvenirs and keepsakes, as well as a bunch of stuff from my school days. One of those things is an old, oversized sketch pad filled with drawings I made when I was B’s age. He had seen me going through the trunk and asked to look at the sketch pad. I handed it over and watched his eyes lit up. “You drew this?” I nodded, and he kept flipping pages filled with science fiction fighter jets, fast-moving tanks, bunkers chock full of rockets… and an acronym that made a lot of sense to a kid growing up during the Cold War.

What I held in my hand all these years later was a near-exact replica of one of those old drawings, which my son had completed at school during free time. This is what the stack of papers was all about. My boy was saying, “Look, Dad, I’m a chip off the ol’ block.”

I almost missed out on that moment because of some mundane chore.

I sat there staring at the drawing, and the longer I held it, the wider his smile grew. Finally, he asked, nervous, “What do you think, Dad?” I looked up, my smile matching his own, “This is amazing, B. Thank you for sharing it.” He stepped forward, threw his arms around me, and hugged me tight, said, “Thanks, Dad.”

Then he turned and bounded out of the room, forgetting the stack of papers now strewn across my desk. I took a moment to straighten them, tears in my eyes, whispered, “No, son. Thank you.”

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a CenturyBy Diane M. Loeffler Do you know a local resident who is one hundred or older? Twenty-two Sun City Center Community Association members have reached or surpassed that number with one born in 1914, one in 1915, two in 1917,...

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo By Paula Lickfeldt The residents of Kings Point have had space near the back entrance, for garden plots since 1990.  The garden club has many members and boasts a lot of diversity in their membership. Kings...

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… The Photo Club members wow us once again, the SCCCA announces a very important Town Hall meeting; a local Club donates thousands for lifesaving equipment; we visit the reopened Tampa Theatre; make some local Family Connections;...

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Visit the Arcadia Rodeo, laugh and learn with Phoney Baloney, marvel at the blue Angels, enjoy Gazebo concerts, celebrate local volunteers, appreciate Andy Ledoux, take a Nature Break, join a grief support group, explore the...

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Hear from the newly elected SCCCA Board Members, see who helped SCC residents get their COVID-19 vaccine, get away for the day at Apollo Beach Preserve, mark your calendars for a very special livestream theater event, enjoy a...

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Get to know the SCC Beautification Corporation, discover who won the SCC Photo Club’s Best of the Best contest, get up to date on local infrastructure projects, stay on your toes with the Ballet Club, explore art and nature at...

2021 Renaissance Festival Fun For All Ages

2021 Renaissance Festival Fun For All Ages

After COVID-19 restrictions forced the 2020 Bay Area Renaissance Festival to close early last season and shuttered many shows across the country for the past year, the theme for the 2021 Bay Area Renaissance Festival was, “We can’t wait to celebrate!”

This was a sentiment expressed by patrons, “playtrons,” vendors, and cast members alike, as many of the traveling cast sat home last year, waiting, hoping, and, indeed, praying for the pandemic threat to be mitigated.

Standing atop a neatly stacked tower of chairs, preparing to juggle fire, one of the fan-favorite returning performers, Ichabod Wainwright, daredevil master of the “Wheel of Death,” expressed that eager sentiment this way: “When there’s a pandemic happening, and your job description is ‘gather people close together in large groups and encourage them to scream,’ well… you’re fired.”

Wainwright was not the only Festival performer excited to be back on stage. It’s been more than a year since the color-coded tumblers Acrobellum performed their signature mix of slapstick humor and awe-inducing acrobatics for a live audience. The troupe was clearly excited to be back dazzling audiences with their feats of skill, strength, and agility.

All across the Festival grounds, guests browsed wares offered by more than 100 artisans; cheered brave knights and high-flying daredevils; tapped and clapped to live music; shared bawdy belly laughs with washerwomen, escape artists, and muddy thespians; met unicorns and mermaids; rode elephants, and indulged in the signature mix of fun, fantasy, artistic excellence, athletic prowess, and mead-flavored frivolity that makes a Renaissance Festival an annual must-go for millions across the country.

After last year’s program was cut short, this year’s Festival almost didn’t happen at all. To make good on that old theater truism, “The show must go on!”, organizers had to secure a new location, contract vendors and performers, then get the word out to faithful fans and new patrons alike. They did. Fans flocked to the temporary new digs at Withlacoochee River Park near Dade City. Sure, it looked and felt a little different, but the show did “go on,” and countless thousands were once again happily transported back in time to a magical, mystical, whimsical, and memorable rendering of the Renaissance.

PHOTOS

“Lady Rayka” (Rosalie Purvis) from the Equus Nobilis Joust company gallops into position to make another pass. (Photo by Adam Porter)

Acrobellum’s “Teal” and “Red” perform as “Pink” (and the audience) cheer them on. (Photo by Adam Porter)

A couple who came ready for Festival fun. Vendors and visitors alike wore outrageously colorful and imaginative costumes. (Photo by Bob Sanchez)

Everyone smiled at the Festival, including the pretty pickle purveyor. (Photo by Bob Sanchez)

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a CenturyBy Diane M. Loeffler Do you know a local resident who is one hundred or older? Twenty-two Sun City Center Community Association members have reached or surpassed that number with one born in 1914, one in 1915, two in 1917,...

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo By Paula Lickfeldt The residents of Kings Point have had space near the back entrance, for garden plots since 1990.  The garden club has many members and boasts a lot of diversity in their membership. Kings...

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… The Photo Club members wow us once again, the SCCCA announces a very important Town Hall meeting; a local Club donates thousands for lifesaving equipment; we visit the reopened Tampa Theatre; make some local Family Connections;...

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Visit the Arcadia Rodeo, laugh and learn with Phoney Baloney, marvel at the blue Angels, enjoy Gazebo concerts, celebrate local volunteers, appreciate Andy Ledoux, take a Nature Break, join a grief support group, explore the...

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Hear from the newly elected SCCCA Board Members, see who helped SCC residents get their COVID-19 vaccine, get away for the day at Apollo Beach Preserve, mark your calendars for a very special livestream theater event, enjoy a...

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Get to know the SCC Beautification Corporation, discover who won the SCC Photo Club’s Best of the Best contest, get up to date on local infrastructure projects, stay on your toes with the Ballet Club, explore art and nature at...

SCC Celebrates Earth Day

SCC Celebrates Earth Day

The Sun City Center Audubon Society celebrated the 51st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 at the SCC Community Association’s West Campus Nature Trails. The weather cooperated beautifully with clear skies, a light breeze, low humidity and temperatures in the upper seventies.

Sixty-seven individuals signed up at the trailhead. Most of the participants had not been on the trail before despite living here for some time. One couple, Brent and Brenda Green, just moved into the Community Association a week before. Barb Durant joined the Audubon Society just before the pandemic hit. She is excited about the society’s programs and trips resuming. 

At 10 a.m. master birder, Ray Webb led the Bird Lovers’ Walk. Webb says, “ I have been a birder all my life. I joined the Tampa Audubon Society in 1975 and then here in Sun City Center in 2004.” Webb says he has seen 105 species of birds in the West Campus Nature Trails area. He pointed out the osprey on its nest on an elevated platform near West Del Webb saying, “Ospreys have been coming to this spot for the last three years. Great horned owls nest every year near La Jolla and North Pebble Beach.”

Since the park and its trails are near homes, there have been no prescribed burns. Some plants, animals and birds require an environment that has recently been burned. One of these is the scrub jay. Webb says, “If you want to see scrub jays, go to Duette Preserve in Manatee County, a wide-open area these birds love.”

Webb likes to walk on the West Campus Nature Trails early in the morning.  He says, “The best time to see the birds is around 7:45 in the morning. They are at their most active then. The best place to see them is along the water.”

Melanie Higgins led the 10:30 Tree Huggers Walk. She says, “I am passionate about restoration.” She explained the various habitats we saw along the walk and which plants and creatures need specific environments. Higgins also pointed out examples of the phases trees progress through. Did you know that slash pines and longleaf pines go through a grass phase before looking anything like a tree?

John Lampkin put some Spanish Moss under a microscope so we could see its scales. Lampkin says, “Spanish Moss has a tremendous amount of surface area to absorb water.” Lampkin led the 11 a.m. Bugs and Blooms walk. Lampkin not only tells the names of the “bugs and blooms,” he also describes how they interact with each other and the environment. For example, the button plant— a very tiny plant with a small bloom—is visited by 37 different types of bugs.

Peter Aluotto Is the Chairman of Conservation for the local Audubon Society. This event was his inaugural project. Aluotto says, “We were going to do something like this last year but cancelled because of the pandemic. We hope that residents know about the trails and become familiar with them. If you look at Ideal Living magazine, trails have become a selling point for housing areas. This community is a pioneer in having nature trails.”

Mary Duncan has been the president of the Audubon Society for four years. She says, “ZOOM meetings have continued to take place during the pandemic.” Duncan says, “There used to be field trips every month.  We plan to resume them after things begin to reopen.”

Duncan says, “I love being out in nature. This club is enjoyable on all levels of interest and knowledge of nature and birds. We have a variety of speakers at our monthly meetings. We travel to many places such as the Bishop museum, boating trips and nature preserves.”

Currently, only the south side of the canal is available for walking. The Audubon Society has drawn up plans for developing the part of the preserve north of the canal at some point in time. Doing so would require approval from the board and funds for a bridge and boardwalks.

There is talk of another Earth Day Event possibly being held next April 22. In the meantime, tours are available the first Tuesday of every month at 9 a.m. Bug spray, closed toe shoes and hats are recommended. The trails are on the west side of West Del Webb just south of Vincennes and just north of Seton Hall. Cars can park along the road. Golf cart parking is available in the field or back under the trees.

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a CenturyBy Diane M. Loeffler Do you know a local resident who is one hundred or older? Twenty-two Sun City Center Community Association members have reached or surpassed that number with one born in 1914, one in 1915, two in 1917,...

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo By Paula Lickfeldt The residents of Kings Point have had space near the back entrance, for garden plots since 1990.  The garden club has many members and boasts a lot of diversity in their membership. Kings...

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… The Photo Club members wow us once again, the SCCCA announces a very important Town Hall meeting; a local Club donates thousands for lifesaving equipment; we visit the reopened Tampa Theatre; make some local Family Connections;...

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Visit the Arcadia Rodeo, laugh and learn with Phoney Baloney, marvel at the blue Angels, enjoy Gazebo concerts, celebrate local volunteers, appreciate Andy Ledoux, take a Nature Break, join a grief support group, explore the...

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Hear from the newly elected SCCCA Board Members, see who helped SCC residents get their COVID-19 vaccine, get away for the day at Apollo Beach Preserve, mark your calendars for a very special livestream theater event, enjoy a...

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Get to know the SCC Beautification Corporation, discover who won the SCC Photo Club’s Best of the Best contest, get up to date on local infrastructure projects, stay on your toes with the Ballet Club, explore art and nature at...

For the Birds?

For the Birds?

For the Birds?

Story by Ilona Merritt, Photography by Kai Rambow

Some information courtesy SCC History Society

 

When the greens of the North Courses were re-sodded in 1987-8, the chemicals used to fumigate the soil had been covered with plastic, but high winds and heavy rain washed the chemicals onto fairways and into lakes. The chain reaction was overwhelming.

Fairways were covered with dead mole crickets. Gulls flew in for the feasting, joined by Muscovy ducks and Mallards. Then there were dead gulls, ducks, fish, and turtles on the course and in the lakes in a few days. Who would clean this up? About 100 turkey vultures arrived to do the job while making the islands in the Middle Lake their new rookery. In 1990, a newly contracted company’s mistake of killing weeds in the North Course lakes created more food for the Vultures. The Island in Middle Lake had become a new rookery for about 100 vultures, the food that had attracted them was gone, but they decided to stay. They cruised the SCC community by day, perching on house roofs, church steeples, and porches. They would grab the asphalt tiles with their claws and create costly leakage problems. They attacked automobiles causing damage. Bacteria left by the birds could cause health problem… Something had to be done.

At the time, Richard Thompson, director of the Animal Damage Control Division of the US Department of Agriculture, suggested a solution. Shoot blanks to scare the birds away. Residents acquired state and a federal licenses. Everything they bought, used or shot, had to be recorded in great detail. Five residents on a silver pontoon boat sent stream sparks toward tall pines. The noise they made rivaled any Fourth of July celebration, sending black, hulking vultures soaring in every direction.

Fast forward to today, and the situation has taken a new turn. Many different species of birds have come to live on Egret Island in Middle Lake. There are still a few vultures, but the list of other birds that have made their nests on the island is long. Biologists who have visited the Island are amazed at the type of birds nesting near each other, because many would never get this close in the wild. Ibis, egrets, blue herons, tri-colored herons, anhinga, cormorants, and many more.

On a recent visit to a friend’s home, we sat in the back yard and watched wood ducks and cormorants guiding their young through the water, while a bald eagle perched high in a tree above. Yes, there are still vultures, and, yes, they can still be destructive. When some residents decided to bring back Mr. Thompson’s suggested solution, others pointed out that scaring those birds away would scare the other birds away, causing some adults to abandon their nests and their young. So, for now, the guns are packed away, and all the birds are free to hunt and fly and raise their young. Some residents would like to see Egret Island designated as a bird sanctuary. But, official or not, the nesting birds on Egret Island are just one more beautiful reason to love Sun City Center.

All Photos By Kai Rambow

Wood duck with 19 babies.  Wood ducks are very skittish and attempting to get a good photo is a real challenge.

Tri-color heron stepping away from the nest for a few moments right by the waterline.

This lone eagle likes to visit at Middle Lake perching on the highest tree.

Male wood ducks have amazing colors.

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a Century

Elmer Mack Celebrates a CenturyBy Diane M. Loeffler Do you know a local resident who is one hundred or older? Twenty-two Sun City Center Community Association members have reached or surpassed that number with one born in 1914, one in 1915, two in 1917,...

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

Kings Point Garden Club Celebrates Cinco de Mayo By Paula Lickfeldt The residents of Kings Point have had space near the back entrance, for garden plots since 1990.  The garden club has many members and boasts a lot of diversity in their membership. Kings...

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

May 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… The Photo Club members wow us once again, the SCCCA announces a very important Town Hall meeting; a local Club donates thousands for lifesaving equipment; we visit the reopened Tampa Theatre; make some local Family Connections;...

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Visit the Arcadia Rodeo, laugh and learn with Phoney Baloney, marvel at the blue Angels, enjoy Gazebo concerts, celebrate local volunteers, appreciate Andy Ledoux, take a Nature Break, join a grief support group, explore the...

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Hear from the newly elected SCCCA Board Members, see who helped SCC residents get their COVID-19 vaccine, get away for the day at Apollo Beach Preserve, mark your calendars for a very special livestream theater event, enjoy a...

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The February 2021 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Get to know the SCC Beautification Corporation, discover who won the SCC Photo Club’s Best of the Best contest, get up to date on local infrastructure projects, stay on your toes with the Ballet Club, explore art and nature at...