Archive for the ‘Postcards’ Category

Gone Surfing.jpg

Took this shot today in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Scott W. Smith

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Universal Orlando

I made a quick stop at Universal Orlando today and walked around the City Walk on a lunch break. Tried to take an interesting photo of Universal’s iconic (and well photographed) logo at the park’s entrance.

Scott W. Smith

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Postcard #146 (Hurricane Irma)

“Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.” 
Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree


Like a good antagonist there are many ways a hurricane can do damage. The above photo I took the day after Hurricane Irma hit Central Florida is one example.

There’s the powerful winds (including tornados tucked inside the hurricane) that can destroy trees and homes. The storm surge which brings a flood of water. There’s the threat of downed power lines. The loss of power in a sweltering climate that can’t be repaired for days or even weeks. There’s human mischief (like the ex-husband who killed his former wife in Houston right before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston).

There’s infrastructure problems (roadssewagecell phone service). There’s neglect (which may have caused the death of eight elderly people in a nursing home that had lost electricity and air conditioning). There are accidents (several people have died in Florida from carbon monoxide poisoning due to placing generators in garages). And—as if all that other stuff isn’t enough— snakebites.

The loss of homes, businesses, income, electricity and basic human needs takes it’s toll in a variety of ways; physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual.  Four days after the storm passed there are still people staying in shelters, others sleeping in cars, and millions in their homes but without power/air-conditioning (with daytime temperatures around 90 degrees).

You know the damage to the power grid is severe when the closest Walmart to me has been closed for four days. The St. Johns River has yet to crest causing additional damage to homes inland that have never had a problem with flooding. While many have said the damage could have been worse, this disruption—like what happened in Houston— will have a lasting impact for years.

But we’re already hearing stories of hope. Of things people did, and are doing, to help other people. And telling and retelling those stories is what’s been called medicine for the soul. We are people that need stories to survive.

Related posts:
Shelter from the Storm (Dylan)
Against the Wind

Scott W. Smith


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Postcard #145 (Hurricane Watch)


Boarded up, but open for business.

I took this photo today at John Craig Clothier on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Hurricane Irma is scheduled to hit Florida in two days.

Scott W. Smith


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Downtown Orlando 9/7/2017

This is the storm before the storm. I took the above photo of Irma Avenue after making a wrong turn in downtown Orlando today trying to work around heavier than normal traffic. (Those clouds are just a typical summer clouds…Hurricane Irma is still a few days away from hitting Central Florida.)

Interesting and sad times: Flooding in Houston and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey (with estimates of a billion dollars in damages), fires in California (“largest fire in Los Angeles history”), Oregon, Washington, Montana (“over 1 million acres burned”), earthquakes in Idaho (141 since last Saturday), an “unprecedented” drought in North Dakota/Montana, solar flares (largest in over a decade), and now a category 5 hurricane aiming for Florida. And that’s just mostly here in the U.S.—in the past week!

I’m not sure what it all means, but there’s a lot of unease in the air—and hardships on the ground.

A good reminder that it’s National Preparedness Month— with its theme “Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.”

Scott W. Smith

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When the Travel Channel listed the top ten bridges in the world it put the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at #3. (The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was #1, and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan was #2.)  At just over 4 miles long the Sunshine Skyway Bridge connects St. Petersburg and Terra Ceia.

The bridge was featured in the The Punisher (2004).

I took the still photo above just before I drove over the bridge on Monday. It made me think of the bridge it replaced after a tanker hit it in 1980. That accident resulted in 35 people plunging to their death as cars and a bus fell into Tampa Bay. The St. Petersburg Times ran a super article by Jean Heller on the 20th anniversary of accident— The Day the Skyway Fell. 


Scott W. Smith

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”I grew up an hour south of Tampa in a small town called Venice, which is mostly a retirement community. My parents are chiropractors and a pretty loving, normal family. I mean, you know, I hated my childhood but it was perfectly safe and privilege.”
Moonlight producer Adele Romanski
Meet the Moonlight producers who Meet in College by Carl Swanson


Here’s a quirky little photo of a seahorse (and a horse and monkey) that I took earlier in the week on during a quick trip to Sarasota, Florida. I believe it’s part of the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy.  It was early in the morning when I took this photo and everything was closed, but I was able to get this photo from the sidewalk at it faces the major road into town. (And the museum’s website says they are closed for the summer.)

Sarasota is a city steeped in the arts. It’s home to the Ringling College of Art and Design, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, a few art museums and galleries, and The Circus Arts Conservatory.

The Florida State University/ Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is also located in Sarasota. So there are some things happening on the West Coast…of Florida. And perhaps that foundation in the arts is part of the reason that two from the area where recently recognized  by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Science.

Adele Romanski won an Best Picture Oscar this year as one of the producers of Moonlight. She went to Pine View School (a public school for gifted students)  in Sarasota County, which has been ranked as one of the top schools in the nation.

Visual effects artist Steven Rosenbluth (Iron Man 2, Avatar) graduated from New College of Florida in Sarasota and earlier this year won a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his motion system used on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. 

And since we’re talking about Sarasota and quirky—and movies—I guess I should mention that Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) attended Sarasota High School where he was named president of the National Thespian Society. And he also did local theater in Sarasota and his road to to making Pee- wee’s Big Adventure. (See the post Your ‘Big But’ and New Year Dreams.) 

Here’s the trailer for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday on Netflix last year.

Scott W. Smith

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