Joy Wallace Dickinson
October 26, 2014
At Halloween or any time, ghosts seem to be big business. Walking tours follow Florida's spirits from Pensacola to Key West, and volumes of spooky legends abound. In one, Jack Powell's "Haunting Sunshine," I read that Arthur, the spirit of an Irish tenor, is said to frequent the Cassadaga Hotel, leaving behind aromatic traces of gin and cigars.
October 19, 2014
A dip into the Flashback mailbag finds letters about the Orlando Youth Center, the 1935 Labor Day hurricane (and some good that came from it for one Orlando family), and the mom-and-pop motel days of the Orange Blossom Trail.
October 12, 2014
It's not even mid-October, but these days Halloween seems to begin in August, and Christmas starts soon after. Thanksgiving is in danger of become "the day before Black Friday."
October 5, 2014
When I first saw "Gone With the Wind" in 1961, Orlando's Beacham Theater was packed, and I my friends and I had to squeeze right under the screen. Scarlett O'Hara, fist raised, towered above us at the dramatic end of the movie's first half.
September 28, 2014
Peering into the Loch Haven Community Center, I recently saw an interior that looks unchanged from 1960: the same terrazzo floors, the same swath of glass overlooking Lake Formosa and the same kind of mirrored ball suspended from the ceiling that once cast light on teens dancing to tunes by Roy Orbison and Brenda Lee.
September 21, 2014
I was happy to read recently that Orlando's Amtrak station is getting a $2.1 million spruce-up. Over the years, when I've indulged in dark worries about beloved historic sites and which might inspire me to chain myself to a bulldozer if destruction threatened, that station loomed large.
September 14, 2014
A recent "Flashback" about Tupperware icon Brownie Wise brought letters from readers bearing memories, while others wrote about a Florida link to John Steinbeck's friend Ed Ricketts and the history of a 1924 house now prominent in the landscape of Lake Eola Park.
September 7, 2014
Nowadays, we routinely make deposits to our savings accounts from home with a few keyboard clicks, but when Orlando's Round Building debuted in 1963, a savings deposit could mean a visit to an elegant, ultra-modern environment on a Friday evening downtown.
September 2, 2014
From the time before hurricanes had names, the words "Labor Day" in Florida bear echoes of the storm that swept into the Keys and the record books on this end-of-summer holiday in 1935.
August 24, 2014
About halfway through her 30-year tenure as a guardian of Central Florida's history, Sara Van Arsdel thought her dreams might go up in smoke, literally.
August 17, 2014
As decades roll by, events seem to move closer together in the telescope of time. While the 150th anniversary of the Civil War continues, historians remind us it's been a century since the beginning — on July 28, 1914 — of World War I, also called the Great War in history's pages.
August 10, 2014
"What a lady," Sentinel columnist Don Boyett wrote when Tupperware legend Brownie Wise died in 1992 at age 79. Boyett remembered the time, in the 1950s, when "Brownie" was a household name in Central Florida.
August 3, 2014
Each week, "Florida Flashback" celebrates our area's past and its preservation. When we travel, we take that love of history along, of course. So here's a vacation postcard from a recent visit to the other west coast — to Monterey Bay in California, where a rich historic site survives amid the tourist hubbub of Cannery Row.
October 27, 2013
We're moved into prime day-trip weather, when cooler temperatures brighten the prospect of strolling historic streets, and none are more historic than St. Augustine's.
September 22, 2013
I skipped the recent "Lone Ranger" movie, even though nothing thrilled me more in childhood than the cry of "Hi Ho Silver" on the radio. I'm fascinated by the idea of Johnny Depp as Tonto — and that crow on his head. But these days, I'm fascinated even more by the historical headgear of Florida's Seminoles — those exotic fabric turbans — and by so much more about our state's Native American heritage.
April 14, 2012
Strolling behind tour leader Scott Deitche through Tampa's Ybor City on a spring evening, I found my feet in the present but my brain back in a dark past — say, Nov. 10, 1936.
December 30, 2011
Residents of tourism meccas often trade stories of the surprising things visitors can do or say.
December 26, 2011
"The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway." We may seldom hear those introductory lines to Irving Berlin's holiday anthem "White Christmas," but that's how the song begins.
October 28, 2011
Folks who write or talk about Central Florida's past have often quipped that our area has a fascinating history "B.D."—Before Disney.
March 29, 2009
Seminole: The word is everywhere in Florida, from college jerseys to gambling casinos.
October 28, 2007
For decades, Orlando-area folks have taken a drive to visit the remarkable Volusia County community of Cassadaga, which scholars deem the oldest active religious community of its kind in the Southeast.
October 7, 2007
Folks "seeking health and wealth" couldn't find a better home than Maitland, Florida, an enterprising copywriter wrote about 1890.
September 16, 2007
Last week, we started a fresh year on the Jewish calendar, when the HighHoly Days started at sundown Wednesday with Rosh Hashana, the New Year of5768.