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Dear Friends:

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 tree.

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 headquarters.

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…


The Moss Portfolio
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©P. Buckley Moss 2005


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