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We stood waiting for the parade of sorts, it was it was the passing of the traveling Vietnam War Memorial.

Children love parades. It is not novel, as it is akin to a screen, in which the viewer stands as the center of attention makes moves around them. Many parades in some towns have become a thing of the past, a minor annoyance, tying up traffic.

It seems in Apopka parades are common, a memorial to the past. A mixture of old and new. On the morning after a bittersweet election for many Americans, we stood at the curb to honor the memory of those who had passed and things that were past.

Leaving later at school, I stopped at Kit Land Nelson Park, the center of so many Apopka events, to see the traveling memorial. It is over fifty years ago. Two of my uncles served in the Green Berets, for several tours. Both are gone, neither suffered injury. One hit by a car, the other suffering the effects of cancer.

A year or two, one way or the other, became a life and death issue. In a war where 19 years was the average age, a few years younger might make a difference if you served, perhaps, if you lived. It was a divisive war, the first rifts of the great divide we have crossed over into.  The replica, from the Maya Lin memorial, is a testament to all those who lost their lives. Even on a smaller scale it is breathtaking.

The site of the memorial is both well done and sobering. I pass a man on my way out, he nods at me. I do not know him, and I wonder if he served, or if he had a brother who had fallen. There is an unspoken camaraderie, as we are within the bounds of the same age. A shared memory of the past, of being human.


With thanks. . .


“I was very happy to receive an Orange County’s Top Talent Arts Education Grant presented by The Foundation for Orange County Public Schools. As a new teacher to Apopka, the grant will allow me to pursue work with my students, I may not have had the funds for. I would like to thank Cindy Williams for her work with the Foundation. I would also like to thank Twanna Scroggins for all her help during the grant writing process. ”  -2014

It is kind of nice, that there is somewhere to go in our county where we, as teachers, can get pet projects funded. Principal’s are often maxed out, no fault of their own.

The grant allowed me to fund projects for my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. The kids, and I, truly appreciated the honor.


Christmas comes to Apopka

ap 1The most beloved  holiday comes to the pleasant little Orange County city.

Unlike the charm of Winter Park, which has the history of Leu Gardens to remember the yesteryear Christmases, or the commercial 21st century look of Altamonte Springs, its neighbor east, Apopka retains a small town charm. People sat on porches and waved as I tried to get shots in the rain on Christmas eve. Others joined us in the Kit Land Nelson Park.

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ap kitKit Land Nelson Park, except vertical left, which was a great pole tree done by a resident.

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My favorite part was City Hall, in which some of the lights were out, which gave a strange asymmetry to the placement of the figures.

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