Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 312; Big Cypress National Preserve, Architect Carl Abbott, Musician George Carroll
The following is a special presentation of w. we do YOU Tampa St. Petersburg Sarasota. Big band of music isn't dead if you know where to look it is still play. We'll celebrate the body of work from really cold the famous Sarasota School of Architecture. Again. We're about to. Are there any bunk about. This. Production is exclusively brought through a generous grant from the Gold Coast Community Foundation a. Strong unity leadership partnership and lander.
Dear Journal here amid the beauties of Oscar Sherif state park one gets thinking about how peculiar it is that we who live in what we like to call paradise. Still every now and then you get the urge to go someplace else. I guess it's human nature. Even if that place that we're going to has snakes and gators. Many folks pass at 70 miles an hour snubbing. It's swampy camp exterior. But near this southern stretch of the Tamiami Trail hidden in the heart of the Everglades is a secret. Those harried travelers may never know. It's not those big things that jump out and grab you like they grant. You. It's. Everything your hair is very subtle very small. The subtle being.
Seven hundred and twenty thousand acres of subtle beauty. Embraced by wetlands Sawgrass sprawling Cypress hammocks the area known as Big Cypress National Preserve. A more reserved National Park and it's mountainous and cavernous sisters. You're. You're. You're. Here you've got ferns you've got orchids governmental you've got ponds get swamp apples you've got pop ash trees you get all these different things and growing all different directions and it's just you can tell it's just it's working to nature has worked it out. Nicely. It's unpretentious nature is the reason. Photographer Clyde butcher calls it home. It's so important to actually connect with this one. You can go an airboat you know a swamp buggy unless you're physically connected to it. You just don't get it. So once a year on Labor Day weekend Clyde and his wife Nicky welcome visitors to their
wild backyard to get to know the swamp from the inside out. That was finance workers health insurance can I help you. This would be Jan McSweeney's first time but shooting at her orderly desk. The idea of sloshing around in a place where gators and snakes have homefield advantage seems seems crazy. I'm a little anxious I've told the guys here that I think I'm going to buy some hip waders because I just don't like the idea of putting my foot down on something that I can't see. And they've all laughed at me and said oh that's not necessary. She had a troupe of work colleagues are making the trek 3 ourselves to Big Cypress expecting the unexpected. I think this is going to give us an opportunity to see. Each other on a completely different level. The professionalism the suits the ties everything they're going to be left behind we're going to be sliding around all sneakers up in mud
and muck. And I'm really curious to see what it you know the colors that actually show. Real colors are what artist Russell Woody hopes to find. I used to do very realistic work and it became pretty boring here and has become a studio. Russell prepares for this his third swamp walk. Over the years he's taken dozens of photographs but has yet to capture the essence of the Everglades on canvas. Sometimes you can do a painting in a day. And it's perfect and the next time it will take two years to do I've worked on some paintings for two years. I'm painting a concept and feeling and the idea here as opposed to literally translating it into an idealized version of an image will muck about number three be a charm.
What are extras. Basically less than 1 percent of the people who have ever seen the Everglades see it in a way that they're about to see. So what do you expect. Park rangers and volunteers are the driving force behind a successful swamp lore. It's very different here. It's a very subtle beauty here and the only possible way you can learn to appreciate it is like you're going to do today. It's Bill Lewis's fourth year as a volunteer guy. Each year he travels from Sarasota to pay homage to Big Cypress human disturbances have been limited and mitigated. And so you can in the Bahamas you get at the Grand Canyon. Oh wow is at Glacier National Park. You get here in Big Cypress but it takes a sensitive person someone who's appreciates the subtleties of what the creation is here and the way it all plays together.
How many people is it this is the first time. To go out oh wow wow ok under the canopy titles formalities and suit jackets are quickly lost for Jan McSwain. This is the clean slate on which to write. I say we start I journey what do you think. If the water rises. Fear and anxiety is all I want but I am. It's. Nothing I've. Ever. Done. This is. Shown Russia Woody is reminded why. People. Come into. Great. Britain. I think what most people think of us think that this is going to be black dirty water and
red up ahead of me. But you can actually see the bottom you can see the park ranger Lisa Andrews has given hundreds of want to miss is so pretty and here. None taken for granted. It's just beautiful. All around nature's understated beauty is overwhelming. Eggs from the. Apple snail. And they lay these little clusters of eggs there an aquatic snail so they have to come out of the water and climb up this. Leaf and lay their cluster of eggs above the waterline. Right. But if. It does rain it's it's really beautiful out here because all the. Droplets. Stay on. The cypress. Hills And. Diamonds throughout the city. That's. Right.
It's all fresh rain water. The falls here into the north of us. That's flowing south westerly down to meet the Gulf of Mexico and the anger of just. Hearing kind of a mixed prairie a lot of Sawgrass other grasses and sedge is out here and I've got these short little trees a lot of people think these are young trees. But they could be just as old as the big ones that were going to go into in just a minute. Let's head into the bigger strand and big diverse ecosystems coexist as next door neighbors. It's getting a lot. If you know how much more cool the water is here. The trees are getting bigger. Tiny treasures hidden in plain sight. If you choose to see the little tree frog.
You can see how many things were walking by. We don't see and unless you really get into it like we're doing today and get wet get out here in the middle the swamp. You can't really appreciate what's out here. We're kind of in the middle of a dome here cleared in there deeper water. Kind of a little pond in there. Everything will come there for food and water and that'll be just like a smorgasbord for the alligator. But on this day visitors are not part of the menu. A group like this. They hear you coming I feel these ripples on the water. And they don't want anything to do with. Twenty pairs of feet coming at them. An hour later the return to limited civilization fear replaced with exhilaration. Mystery with Marvel. We have people come out here in a paranoid and scared. They come out smiling on the other end. I mean you can't tell you how many happy faces you see.
So that's given them a connection with Florida. They'll never get in the way. The journey gives Jan a new perspective take home and reflect upon. Water while Randall graduate. Thank you. Ah that was just like Charlie to look honestly upon the sorest is just so primordial and he had us through like a silent section of walking and all you could hear your footsteps and then when you really got into the how much noise you were making like really got quiet with the living tree and you could just hear it just it felt like it was like it was alive around. Us that. Just failed. Well Russell another Welcome back to my nature. When you're in the water and then late. The. Old.
It is completely different. It's you know as I would said one time that people say OK I've been to the swap. That's it. Been there done that. It's not that. Different people from different walks of life sharing one man's passionate walk of life. I want them to walk away with the feeling that Florida is special. That this maybe is the most beautiful place on earth I've ever seen. It is important to say because you go back here it's like being back in dinosaurs. I mean this is. One of the few areas for that still. And when I I can tell a prairie when it's very chaotic. It when you see something chaotic it's usually biologically correct. If you see something really organized a man's been here Mr. Brown. So. This gives them a feeling of the chaos. That is the natural part of
war. Jan McSwain upon returning from her swap experience wrote this. Dear Journal. Having returned to the grind of every day employment I catch myself repeatedly drifting back to our swamps. Last Saturday I've relive the experience over and over trying to recapture the way it made me feel. And I know I must try to put into words the impact that brief encounter has had on me. Within seconds of stepping into the water I became calm. And felt more than heard. The quiet that ruled this environment. I was being stripped of the persona I had created for myself. The facade I project at work and with friends and family. I was someone else now and I knew instinctively that this new me was the real natural me. I felt accepted. No more or less important than the cypress I was passing or the water through which I waited. I was merely another element that belonged here.
And in that acceptance I understood that it was not on my terms. There was something much greater offering me except once on its terms. Call it the spirit of the swamp or Nature herself. Her message in the quietude was simple. Witnessed me be part of me protect me. It was nature's golden rule made tangible. Treat me as your wish for me to treat you. I'll return each Labor Day to take part in this extraordinary opportunity to strip down to me. If only everyone did the same. Perhaps you want me to fight so hard for that which ultimately will sustain us. We often hear addressed various art forms along the Gulf Coast but there is one art
form that for some reason or other we've never gotten around to addressing and we should because it's an art form for which this region is renowned. Architecture. Geometry in motion. The fine art of architecture in the hands of Karl Abbot. Everett's illustrious career spans 40 years in Sarasota a history that is quite modern. The work I do clearly in the work Rudolph that I who I followed and studied under is very definitely modern but it always has its title to show architecture. I came to Sarasota specifically because of Paul Rudolph's work and wanting to know more about it. Paul Rudolph was one of the founders of what became known as the Sarasota School of Architecture. Dynamic modern architecture changed the look and the feel of the city. Abbott is the only one from that revolutionary group still designing.
Two places in the world the two philosophies of modern architecture meld and it was here and in Los Angeles those philosophies are the Frank Lloyd Wright school that everything we build with comes from the earth. The other approach was out of the Val House International Style in everything we've build with has been affected by the machine. And in Sarasota two philosophies melded. That melding created quite a stir. I'm not a cook but I've been told it's a bit like cooking but all the ingredients and I hope it will rise a certain way. The Moderns were glamorous and hip. They were the darlings of architecture worldwide. Now four decades later nearly half have been bulldozed or remodeled beyond recognition. The driving force in the push to preserve these historical homes is Marty Lieberman. Passionated So it's my hobby it's my vocation. I. Bought.
Four of them myself and restored two so far I'm in the process of restoring to two more right now I mean I believe in it. A leisurely drive through Lido shores reveals a living museum of modern architecture. There's a carload of it down there at the end of the road. You're. On the other side. Like an open like a rock a geode that you crack open and all lights and glass from the other side. Fantastic. Carl Abbott's impact on Sarasota is amazing. His body of work is amazing. He has helped put Sarasota on the map. He has helped bring to light the architectural legacy of Sarasota and I admire that about him so much. Used to be a modern here but on the Gulf and again the pressure on the land is why it was knocked down and there was no one around. To purchase the. The modern It was sitting there and it was not sold as a modern It was sold as a piece of land.
The price for a piece of this land is over a million dollars so the million dollar question is can the original moderns compete with these new contemporaries. They're sort of prides itself as being an arts community and it would be the same. As if. Shutting down our symphony. Or perhaps closing the Ringling Museum. It's important as citizens of Sarasota who are aware of this and they want to be preserved as much as possible at least the good ones. Or the most beloved of Abbots many award winning buildings was the romantic summer house restaurant Siesta Key. The community came out when it was Were be destroyed the community came out and said we don't want it destroyed. And it is going to become a clubhouse for condominiums. It will be available. I think it's a thousand times something like that a year and that's forever. So it's not cut out from the public at all. And this is that big growth of trees that we're saving right here collaborating with his
protege architect Julian Norman Webb. They are now working on a huge townhome complex for Habitat for Humanity. This case will be doing many of these units for the home to us so that's not unusual around the room for 1000 middle income residents Abbotts more than 400 designs are as varied as his long list of clients. At 70 years old Carl Abbot stands alone as a modern Mycock. And innovator whose designs reflect and remind us of the glorious heyday of the Sarasota School of Art. From architecture we move to the architecture of sound not what pathetically passes for music today but the carefully sculpted sounds of yesterday
born today. Got to run a story said. George Carroll is a man on a mission multi talented singer composer and bandleader is a regular at musical events on the Gulf Coast. Well I come from a musical heritage. My grandmother was English and she was an opera singer. But she was well trained and I guess it's in the blood line. My dad also played reeds and sang and composed. George grew up in Massachusetts studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and Salem University in Salem. It's a musical foundation that has served him well. It had a big band for about 11 years in Boston and enjoyed it. It had a lot of. People that have gone on to better things as a result of having the band. And I've had many a jazz trio quartet and quintet in the
Boston area. George Carol big band plays all along the Gulf Coast. Featuring some of the best musicians in central Florida. The 17 piece group is popular with jazz enthusiastic and has a number of CDs. When I retired here to the Florida area I got back into it because I realized how much I missed it particularly the big band. I love that it's my passion that in symphony ocracy is what you're saying as well. On this particular night the big band is playing for the spats Continental public dance showcasing young ballroom dancers from the manatee school for the arch teacher Pam calendar says the students learn a lot from dancing and from big band music. Some of the essays that I have children write I have to do with how has
ballroom dancing changed their life. And so many of them will talk about how they listen to music differently. And that their appreciation for music has definitely increased and widened to their use of music. They never would think to learn to listen. A timeless classic appealing to all ages. A lot of people old people who really remember it and maybe had been there love it and you know are glad when when there is a big benefit. You know I think the young kids you know there's a lot of retro. Younger kids who are doing swing dance. You're my shining star. George just performed with the Florida west coast symphony in Sarasota as well as the hill your symphony and Salem. Memorized every kiss. Not so true.
Over 50000 people celebrated July 4th at the Massachusetts Independence Day concert. It doesn't get any better than singing with a seven trusts a lot of fun. It's my dream which I'm hopefully beginning to realize. Talk about marching to the beat of a different kind of retirement as long as the music keeps playing. I reckon so will George Howell. Our postcard with which we close this month's volume of the Gulf Coast Journal is another dip into the Glades very well.
It's that very clear and very. Nice. Everything out here has a natural fear of people. It's when they become used to people like alligators Bobcats racoons when people fed them that's when they become dangerous. The snakes will try to get out in a way they want to be stepped on. So no problem.
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- Contributing Organization
- WEDU (Tampa, Florida)
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- The first segment is about Big Cypress National Preserve, a national park in southern Florida that attracts both artists and tourists. The second segment features Carl Abbott, a Sarasota-based architect who designs in the Modernist style of Paul Rudolph. The third segment profiles singer and big band leaders George Carroll, whose 17-piece band tours along the Gulf Coast.
- "Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins is an Emmy award-winning monthly magazine, which highlights the communities of Florida's west central coast. "
- Copyright 2006 WEDU-TV
- Media type
- Moving Image
Executive Producer: Conely, Jack
Host: Perkins, Jack
Interviewee: Abbott, Carl
Interviewee: Carroll, George
Producer: Noble, Jen
Producing Organization: WEDU
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
WEDU Florida Public Media
Identifier: GCJ000312 (unknown)
Format: Digital Betacam
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- Chicago: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 312; Big Cypress National Preserve, Architect Carl Abbott, Musician George Carroll,” 2006-12-28, WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 16, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_322-40ksn4b8.
- MLA: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 312; Big Cypress National Preserve, Architect Carl Abbott, Musician George Carroll.” 2006-12-28. WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 16, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_322-40ksn4b8>.
- APA: Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 312; Big Cypress National Preserve, Architect Carl Abbott, Musician George Carroll. Boston, MA: WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_322-40ksn4b8