thumbnail of Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 211; 
     Manisota Theater Organ Society, "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing,"
    Tuskegee Airmen Veterans, Babcock Wilderness Ranch
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Is. A special presentation of WMD you Tampa-St. Petersburg Sarasota. A fishing school with the difference for women. A visit to a still unspoiled peaceable Florida but I'm spoiled for how long. And the great sums of that most magnificent of instruments the pipe organ till the next volume of a Gulf Coast Journal. This WTU production is exclusively brought to you through a generous grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of is envisioning a region known for endowed philanthropy by non-profit community. The ability to address
emerging issues. Dear Journal. We're here at Codders on the Ringling mansion in Sarasota thinking about music. We love doing stories about music about people coming together with all of their instruments to make great music. But at the moment we're not thinking about all of those instruments we're thinking about just one instrument that one instrument that is more complex and versatile than all the rest put together. We're having. A. Great.
Sunday morning at Sarasota Grace Baptist Church familiar chords that speak simply to the soul. But when church is over and the clock strikes to. Slip back into the pew for a very different sort of sound. This honored church members take center stage and manifest what it was fully born to be a Mighty Wurlitzer theater organ. Vintage 1927 with a sound quite unlike anything else. Every third Sunday of the month a group of friends gather to enjoy the instrument that time forgot. They are the Minnesota Theatre Organ Society bound
together by the music and the desire to preserve. The fact that it just gets into your body and whether it's a very light sound. Or something that just just shakes your innards if you will. It's that sort being surrounded by sound that's captivating. This day. Bill Vlasic delights the crowd with old showtunes and clashing melodies. But the theater organ of course was actually meant for something entirely different. It was the voice of the silent film era designed to be a sort of surrogate orchestra complete with all the attendant instruments from forms to percussion. And with all the power films whatever the story might be wrong.
Rosa Rio is among the great theater organ legends who wrote and performed music during the silent film era often in spectacular theater palaces in New York and New Orleans. She still plays today at the Tampa theater. You. Go to the movies today and they tell you why we tell you to laugh. Enjoy. Yes I love that couple. Falling in love. And Rose loves hearing the tradition of the music carrying on. Boil it down it's it's just a collection of whistles. And yet this collection of whistles can create the most unique and magnificent musical sounds. It's just incredible. You see for theater organ lovers it's not just about the music it's about the
machine. We go up the ship's ladder in the upper rooms of Grace Baptist. A rare glimpse of the organs beating heart. I'm now in the solo chamber of the organ and this is where a number of the louder pipes. Are housed. More than 2000 pipes tuned to provide more money. Make sure it's when you get into one of these chambers and start working. There are so many complexities and a lot of art to it. Almost like you're working with an actual living being. An instrument reborn with the organ society as midwife this Wurlitzer has been the project of their lives thousands of hours of work more than six years old to create one make a difference and voice. Into the percussion room. Go. For your company of sounds.
Even horses whose norms just has to find. It. Was a big. Big project. But it was it was worth it. It's open Konsole time when members take a turn on the keyboards and resurrect their own sweet memory. When. This was when the group's first project it all began down the road a bit of the former Charles Ringley mentioned no part of New College. OK let me put on my glasses and one of the great rooms sits a softer spoken cousins about the same vintage. This one an alien or you get a bond there that you never get to any other. Experience. It's a wonderful experience. I'm worried that if you don't share this music someday it'll just.
Resurrect and historic jewel. To give voice to an instrument whose time has passed but whose memory endures. With help from a few friends. The pipe organ lays off. OK you live in Florida. Congratulations. And that means probably that you either fish or play golf or both. Or. Maybe you're a woman who never learned how to fish. And maybe your boyfriend or husband doesn't have the patience to take you out fishing and try to teach you. Problem. Solution. And that's where your part can come if you surely will push it forward. From casting
and cash. For that. Matter. You can get on. A boat driving the boat back and you're just going to turn the key just like a car. This is not your typical fishing cleaning. Beautiful. Wow. You're the first one that got your first job. Welcome to ladies let's go fishing. An organization dedicated to attracting women to the sport of fiction. The reason I found it ladies let's go fishing is that I know there were millions of ladies out there just like me who won the large fishing that we needed to learn hands on over the years the program has earned an affectionate nickname from his students were known fondly as the no yelling school of fishing. And if you wonder what inspired Betty to start ladies let's go fishing and. Meet. Chuck. Baldwin. I'm the better half of Betty Baumann. I'm her husband. My husband is a yeller. I'm not a yeller. I get excited.
And he will yell at me if you take me out of the picture and he takes a whole bunch of ladies on the boat. He'll spend all day and be patient and explain things to them before you ask them how to do it. And he's just kind of the nature of the beast yelling thing is when you really start yelling at somebody for a stupid thing I've done. So it's not yelling it's not more yelling. Being excited. Just watch your fish go. If he goes left to right it's excitable. Guys like chalk that have kept Bettie's statewide seminars filled to the gills husbands boyfriends. It's usually happens from male to female but it also happens and their hands and experience. You don't have to turn the wheel that much. It's why Susan Whitehurst and Hashi Peters signed up they have patience. Yes. Right. They don't show us. Step by step. They say this is how it's done and that's it. Right. We just do it because they already know and they just assume that we know in other when other women have more patience than
your husband or your son or other guys you guys have or the teachers right. Here's my take one for not but impatient men aren't the only reason women are lured to the program. Lori Clements grew up in a fishing family and was looking for camaraderie. Most of my girlfriends they don't fash. So I thought there might be some ladies in the area that I had. To get with in and fish all my time off. The hands on classes cater to different skill levels. But the general consensus is women possess a flair for fishing that their male counterparts don't. Women usually have a better feel for nature a better feel for the task or are able to adapt more readily. And the most important thing of all they listen to instructions. Is Always start your classroom down here. Ironically the instructors are mostly men. A lot of the guys had mentoring when they were growing up. They fished with their friends so they have that building knowledge as they're growing through the fishing sport. A lot of the ladies
never had that kind of mentoring. After a day of land fishing. The ladies put their newfound knowledge to the test on the water. Too. Early on. I'm certain. But it doesn't take long before hesitation is replaced with terminations. No way. That's what I'm talking about. Oh. Boy. Yeah. Smile for the camera. Believe me. Sometimes they come in Tim and like mice and they go out roaring like lions and they're ready to tackle this Fourth of just then all we can.
Nice. That's a very nice offshore on the open water there is a time when it's acceptable and even encouraged to fail. I think. It's. Worth. Puking over. The highlight reels. Eric James on the ride back to shore. The catch of the day is comaraderie. Fish are merely the. Frozen. Moment. When I called my face to face. I got. This. Moment. Not only do I need. The. Most important I think is confidence. I did it once I can do it again even if I forget how I now know how to go into a
tackle shop. I had to ask others to help me refresh at the end of the day the students of ladies let's go fishing have accomplished their mission a mission they will take with them many trips to come in the lesson. Speak softly and carry a big. Fish. What is it in our busy lives in our parlous times that keeps drawing some people back to memories of a war that happened 60 years ago. Memories that for some just won't let go. At home in Sarasota. Eighty one year old man's big when is enjoying a good life is a town car. That's their. And he is certain that it has everything to do with a pair of wings. I wish I could explain tell you how happy I was how satisfied I was how much of a victory was for me
to get these wings after nine months of more than really training. But that nine months of training plus the segregation obstacles that we had Hopoate more than 60 years ago in the heart of deep south Mazz be when was another fresh face with sky high. Dreams of serving his country as a pilot. But maybe be and the others who assembled at the Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama were unlike any World War Two flight cadets of segregated America had ever seen. They were black. The nine hundred and ninety two black pilots who made it through the rigorous training came to be known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Such fighting with distinction in the skies over Europe the achievements of aviators like B-25 pilot Mesabi when are credited with striking a blow against hate and prejudice back home. It true that we were. We were normal we were human beings we would just as any other. And I feel
good that I was part of it that I not only participated in doing something to equalize. They hate black Americans and veterans like Nesby when still lived with the ugliness of racism. After the war. But gradually times changed for the balance ultimately though for Tuskegee Airman like John with with me who also lives in Sarasota. It always comes back to flying. Upstream but I know what happened today is that it doesn't because any of this intensity is so exhilarating and so exciting to feel the full on that stick. Whitney flew 34 missions in a P-51 Mustang escorting bombers over Austria and Germany. Tuskegee fighter pilots hold the distinction of never having lost a single bomber to enter the aircraft.
Is that what it sounds like. After the war then went on to graduate from MIT. He worked as an aeronautical engineer as well as a teacher at a mission in Cameroon West Africa. With World War 2 vets now getting on in age the number of distinguishment still alive has dwindled to fewer than 200. Each year they hold a reunion to relive their special memory. Nesby wasn't able to attend this year's reunion but he joyfully relives the 1999 reunion that's when he got back into the cockpit of a vintage B-25. After 10 or 15 minutes and going over the controls I had a ball under the watchful eye of the plane's owner. Seventy five year old Nazmi flew left seat as command pilot. The excitement came up again to the top level but me it goes all to
your body. Oh this is exciting. You don't worry about anything happening you know that this has been tried over and over and over again. The Wright brothers are good. And these things are improved upon now. So you just sit there and say I've got the whole sky to make an. Energized by even the thought of flying this retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve was soon out the door and headed to a favorite destination the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. With. No crime why. He would be on vacation. So. That we can do it. We want to bring you here. That's right. We'll take care of everything. Oh my deputy Steve Wellman is a helicopter pilot for the Manatee County Sheriff's Department. Since Nesby is a former New York cop as well as a Flyer a visit with Steve is the best of both worlds. Tell me why the wise I'm ready to go.
Well from thousand feet we can read a license plate. No flight time today but sometimes it's enough just enough for an old aviator to come out to an airfield sit in a cockpit and share that special place up there with a friend. I saw him down here and pilot meeting one night at the school and he was sitting with his hat on. I said you a Tuskegee airman. He said Yes I am. And I said thank you. Nesby when earned his wings more than 60 years ago under some very trying conditions. I think we can make it. These days. His feet may spend more time on the ground but his heart. Is still up there in the club. One of the great overarching struggles in the state of Florida these days of course is a struggle over land where open land still exists. What shall be done with it. One of the
focuses of this struggle is a place we thought it might be a good idea to visit now while it's still is what it is before either developers develop or conservationists conserve come along. Talk about off the beaten path. Welcome to the Badcock wilderness race. Babcock wilderness is one of the very few places that you can see what Florida look like many many years ago. Nestled in Punta Gorda the ranch is a refreshing reminder that not all of Florida is comprised of condos and concrete. We see alligators living in their natural habitat. We have two beautiful Southern cougars. Often we see Turkey deer and hawks.
The wildlife share the land with a working cattle ranch and a sod operation on this ninety one thousand acre ranch. Six times the size of Manhattan Island New York and twice the size of Washington D.C.. To experience all Badcock wilderness has to offer. Visitors can climb aboard a buggy for a 90 minute to. Discuss this guy. The. Guy. Sorry. No bricks or mortars in sight. Just a sprawling cornucopia of prairie oak hammocks Flatwoods swamp. Find. Over 900. Reasons. Why. It was here underneath the swaying pines that the Babcock family business took root in 1914 the bad cop came down here to start a longer distance. Along these pine and cypress trees.
Over the years it developed into cattle mining. So there are many different operations that exist here a. Couple of sandhill cranes to to ignore the load bro but you. See. ALL THE DATA. Bases. Of course you're going to see the little babies out there. You. Can go slow here. These are suicides. Now. I want to run right now from. This. Story. Here. These abandoned Wild Hogs adopted the cracker cannibal as their family. They even nurse from the cattle. Go. Down the dirt path resides the most exotic of the Babcock's wildlife. Mr. emu. I. By. My. Cowboys found him
wandering near a busy road. Rescued him and brought him back to the ranch. Not too far from mysterium you know the ranchers most feared them. They are all over here on the right. This is called. Oliver. Swamp. Was named after the all. That may. Be. As much as 10 degrees cooler in the swamp. Great place for the wildlife itself. Back in the Flatwoods. A rare and beautiful sight. To Southern cougars. They were abandoned. It's just one of the attractions we have always had on the tour to try to educate people. About the Florida panther the Florida panther and the Southern cougar. Are the same species just different things. Like that.
When people walk off the buggy I don't want them to say it was a nice tour. I want to say that was fabulous. And that's usually what we get. That was a great thing. I do it. Peace serenity breathtaking beauty simple traits can always be found in the city or suburbs. Babcock Ranch might be off the beaten path but it's worth the trip. We're very close. This month's volume of the Gulf Coast journal hoping you'll join us next time and let us close this time with a few more glimpses of that beautifully spoiled Babcock Ranch.
Where. You can order this or any other volume of a Gulf Coast journal with Jack Perkins on high quality DVD format for just 1999 plus shipping and handling. Call 1 800 3 5 4 9 23:8 or visit our website at. W we do. This w you production has been exclusively brought to you through a generous grant from the Gulf Coast communities foundation of menis envisioning a region known
Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins
Episode Number
Manisota Theater Organ Society, "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing," Tuskegee Airmen Veterans, Babcock Wilderness Ranch
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
WEDU (Tampa, Florida)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/322-02q574d2).
Episode Description
This first segment features the Manisota Theater Organ Society, a group of organ enthusiasts who worked to restore a 1927 Wurlitzter theater organ and hosts concerts. The second segment is about a group called "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing," an organization dedicated to teaching women how to fish and operate boats; this segment includes an interview with founder Betty Bauman. The third segment features Nasby Wynn and Yenwith Whitney, veterans of Tuskegee Airmen currently based in Sarasota, Florida. Tuskegee Airmen, who were trained in Tuskegee, Alabama and fought in World War II, were the country's first black military airmen. The fourth segment is about Babcock Wilderness Ranch, a 90,000-acre ranch and wildlife preserve in Punta Gorda, Florida.
Series Description
"Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins is an Emmy award-winning monthly magazine, which highlights the communities of Florida's west central coast. "
Broadcast Date
Local Communities
Copyright 2005 Florida West Coast Public Broadasting, Inc.
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Executive Producer: Grove, Paul
Host: Perkins, Jack
Interviewee: Bauman, Betty
Interviewee: Wynn, Nasby
Interviewee: Whitney, Yenwith
Producer: Noble, Jen
Producing Organization: WEDU
AAPB Contributor Holdings
WEDU Florida Public Media
Identifier: GCJ000211 (unknown)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:26:46
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 211; Manisota Theater Organ Society, "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing," Tuskegee Airmen Veterans, Babcock Wilderness Ranch ,” 2005-11-24, WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 22, 2023,
MLA: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 211; Manisota Theater Organ Society, "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing," Tuskegee Airmen Veterans, Babcock Wilderness Ranch .” 2005-11-24. WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 22, 2023. <>.
APA: Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 211; Manisota Theater Organ Society, "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing," Tuskegee Airmen Veterans, Babcock Wilderness Ranch . Boston, MA: WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from