I love parades! My daughter Becky, granddaughters Sofia and Michela,
and I enjoyed the parade in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s,
birthday on Monday. It was held in the park across the street from my
house, with the boats in St. Petersburg Harbor in the background. There
are many marchers and floats, but my favorite participants every year
are the students beating on their big, white plastic buckets. There
is something about their simplicity and honesty that makes me think
that Dr. King would have enjoyed them, too.
Pat watched the celebrations on Martin Luther King Day from the
park in front of her house in St. Petersburg, FL.
It’s good to have Becky and her family back with
me. They were here to see the New Year in and then left for a couple
weeks to do some sightseeing. For those of you who aren’t familiar
with my large family of six children and ten grandchildren, Becky lives
with her husband Roberto Ghezzi and their two daughters in Cortona,
Italy. How I envy Sofia and Michela their ability to speak both Italian
and English so fluently. I have always heard that it’s easier
to learn a second language when a very young child, but Sofia and Michela
grew up learning two at the same time!
Pat takes time out with Michela, Roberto and Sofia - in a banyan
Wednesday morning I went on another art tour at Raymond
James Financial’s International Headquarters here in St. Petersburg.
I go at least once a year with a group from the St. Petersburg Museum,
and last March I showed my work there and gave a talk as part of their
“Women in the Arts” program.
It’s so interesting to see the collection, 98% of which is owned
by Tom and Mary James. Tom James is the chairman of the board and CEO
of Raymond James Financial, and our group was so lucky to have him speak
to us before our tour. He told us that he’s thinking of building
a museum to house his art collection, instead of keeping it in the company
Raymond James Financial and the James family are long-time supporters
of the arts and are excellent community neighbors. In addition to sponsoring
the Raymond James Financial Gasparilla Festival of Arts in downtown
Tampa for several years, the company also sponsors programs for children.
I very much appreciate what they are doing for St. Petersburg, which
is becoming a real center for the arts and education. I’m proud
to live here part of my year.
The severe arctic blast that’s invading most of the country hasn’t
reached Florida yet, as you can tell from our wearing shorts in the
pictures. Please don’t hate me for being warm!
’Til next week…