“Old Florida Heritage Highway,” Dedication, Paynes Prairie, Oct. 7, 2001

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“Old Florida Heritage Highway,” Dedication, Paynes Prairie, Oct. 7, 2001
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Burt, Al
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University of Florida
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IL ak Florida's Roving Reporter and Miami Herald
Columnist

"Old Florida Heritage Highway"
Dedication of Old Florida Heritage Highway,
Paynes Prairie, Gainesville, Florida, October 7,
2001

T today is a big day for places like Waccahoota
and Tuscawilla and Micanopy and Lochloosa
as well as some smaller places. It's a big day
for all of us, because we recognize and give
S new attention to a network of roads that
We";5 hsframe a natural theater for encouraging study
.of Florida's small miracles. This new road
l makes Florida's natural wonders more easily
accessible and more understandable to casual visitors, and at the same time, it also encourages an
appreciation and enthusiasm for preserving them. It would be nice to think that this kind of creative and
enriching energy would overflow from this county into others.

You could not have picked a better place to hold this dedication right in the middle of one of the best
patches of natural Florida left. Here we have scenes so genuinely Florida that they all but speak to you of
heritage lakes, prairies, old homesteads with tin-roofed Cracker houses, sandhill communities and
huge stands of forests.

And we have this network of roads that winds among them, offering God's own vision of the world
before Disney and the like took over. We have access to such irreplaceable, visible bits of history which
become an educational force that blow away the classroom, and explain Florida in a way no library can
match. Such a place of beauty could never be totally captured by an art gallery.

We have these wondrously dimensioned flatlands that include such a mountainous variety and range of
life. We have memories passed on of steamboats and citrus groves, of disappearing lakes and
beleaguered Native Americans, of buffaloes and panthers and a thousand other things.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite stories which I heard many years ago, back when it was a major
event for the University of Florida football team to score a touchdown, much less win a game. It told
how the Gator fans would go wild when even one touchdown was scored and that there was an old
bull gator somewhere south of the campus who would hear that noise and reply; he would roar back at
them. For an event like today he ought be roaring once again.


Al Burt Papers


University of Florida Libraries










Beyond all that, we have the sensitive interpretations left by the artistry of writers like Archie Carr and
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. And we have the ghosts of thousands of University of Florida students and
faculty who have prowled and inspected these natural wonders and left stacks of manuscripts describing
and explaining them. It's rich stuff and we are so lucky to have it.

U.S. 441 follows a long trail out of the Blue Ridge mountains and down into Florida. Archie Carr once
wrote that Paynes Prairie represented the best two miles of that entire route, "Everybody with any
sense is crazy about the prairie," he said." There is no telling the things you see on the prairie. To a taste
not too dependent upon towns, there is always something, if only a new set of shades in the grass and
sky or a round- tail muskrat bouncing across the asphalt or a teal running low with the clouds in front of
the winter wind."

"The prairie," Carr wrote, "is a solid thing to hold to in a world all broken out with man. There is peace
out there, and quiet enough to hear rails call and cranes bugle ...."

Archie Carr is the poet-scientist of your new creation. If we had his eyes and his mind and his curiosity
we could find similar wonders all through this area enclosed by the new heritage highway. Maybe this
highway will encourage discovery of other such

The other literary legacy for this newly recognized area is that of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' and her
romantic accounts of Cross Creek a place she saw as a Cracker Camelot. What Archie Carr saw with his
scientific eye at Paynes Prairie, Rawlings, with her poetic insights, saw in other forms at Cross Creek. The
two of them marvelously identify this area

This highway approaches one of Florida's greatest needs. Most of us common folk in Florida, I think, see
our state as a place struggling to stay true to itself struggling to maintain an honest identity. We want
Florida to remain Florida, and not become a franchised facade of some other place.

We also want to promote understanding of this state not only to deepen our own understanding, but
to evangelize for better understanding among others, especially among newcomers. We feel that those
who understand Florida very likely will love and defend it. This project this Old Florida Heritage
Highway represents a government response to meet that need, and we cheer for it as it goes to the
heart of the things of Florida.


2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.
Acceptable Use. Coovrieht. and Disclaimer Statement.




Full Text
















Florida's Roving Reporter and Miami Herald Columnist

"Old Florida Heritage Highway"

Dedication of Old Florida Heritage Highway, Paynes Prairie, Gainesville, Florida, October 7, 2001

Today is a big day for places like Waccahoota and Tuscawilla and Micanopy and Lochloosa as
well as some smaller places. It's a big day for all of us, because we recognize and give new attention to a
network of roads that frame a natural theater for encouraging study of Florida's small miracles. This
new road makes Florida's natural wonders more easily accessible and more understandable to casual
visitors, and at the same time, it also encourages an appreciation and enthusiasm for preserving them. It
would be nice to think that this kind of creative and enriching energy would overflow from this county
into others.

You could not have picked a better place to hold this dedication right in the middle of one of
the best patches of natural Florida left. Here we have scenes so genuinely Florida that they all but speak
to you of heritage lakes, prairies, old homesteads with tin-roofed Cracker houses, sandhill communities
and huge stands of forests.

And we have this network of roads that winds among them, offering God's own vision of the
world before Disney and the like took over. We have access to such irreplaceable, visible bits of history
which become an educational force that blow away the classroom, and explain Florida in a way no
library can match. Such a place of beauty could never be totally captured by an art gallery.

We have these wondrously dimensioned flatlands that include such a mountainous variety and
range of life. We have memories passed on of steamboats and citrus groves, of disappearing lakes and
beleaguered Native Americans, of buffaloes and panthers and a thousand other things.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite stories which I heard many years ago, back when it was a
major event for the University of Florida football team to score a touchdown, much less win a game. It
told how the Gator fans would go wild when even one touchdown was scored and that there was an
old bull gator somewhere south of the campus who would hear that noise and reply; he would roar back
at them. For an event like today he ought be roaring once again.

Beyond all that, we have the sensitive interpretations left by the artistry of writers like Archie
Carr and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. And we have the ghosts of thousands of University of Florida
students and faculty who have prowled and inspected these natural wonders and left stacks of
manuscripts describing and explaining them. It's rich stuff and we are so lucky to have it.


Al Burt Papers


University of Florida Libraries





PAGE 1

Florida s Roving Reporter and Miami Herald Columnist Dedication of Old Florida Heritage Highway Paynes Prairie, Gainesville, Florida, Oct ober 7, 2001 T oday is a big day for places like Waccahoota and Tuscawilla and Mic anopy and Lochloosa as well as some smaller places. It s a big day for all of us, because we recognize and give new attention to a network of roads that frame a natural theater for encouraging study of Florida s small miracles. This new road makes Flori da s natural wonders more easily accessible and more understandable to casual visitors, and at the same time, it also encourages an appreciation and enthusiasm for preserving them. It would be nice to think that this kind of creative and enriching energy w ould overflow from this county into others. You could not have picked a better place to hold this dedication right in the middle of one of the best patches of natural Florida left. Here we have scenes so genuinely Florida that they all but speak to you of heritage lakes, prairies, old homesteads with tin roofed Cracker houses, sandhill communities and huge stands of forests. And we have this network of roads that winds among them, offering God s own vision of the world before Disney and the like took over. We have access to such irreplaceable, visible bits of history which become an educational force that blow away the classroom, and explain Florida in a way no library can match. Such a place of beauty could never be totally captured by an art gallery. We have these wondrously dimensioned flatlands that include such a mountainous variety and range of life. We have memories passed on of steamboats and citrus groves, of disappearing lakes and beleaguered Native Americans, of buffaloes and panthers and a thousand other things. I m reminded of one of my favorite stories which I heard many years ago, back when it was a major event for the University of Florida football team to score a touchdown, much less win a game. It told how the Gator fans would go wild when even one touchdown was scored and that there was an old bull gator somewhere south of the campus who would hear that noise and reply; he would roar back at them. For an event like today he ought be roaring on c e again. Al Burt Papers University of Florida Libraries

PAGE 2

Beyond all that, we have the sensitive interpretations left by the artistry of writers like Archie Carr and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. And we have the ghosts of thousands of University of Florida students and faculty who have prowled and inspected these natural wonders and left stacks of manuscripts describing and explaining them. It s rich stuff and we are so lucky to have it. U.S. 441 follows a long trail out of the Blue Ridge mountains and down into Florida. Archie Carr once wrote that Paynes Prairie represented the best two miles o f that entire route, Everybody with any sense is crazy about the prairie, he said. There is no telling th e things you see on the prairie. To a taste not too dependent upon towns, there is always something, if only a new set of shades in the grass and s ky or a round tail muskrat bouncing across the asphalt or a teal running low with the clouds in front of the winter wind. The prairie, Carr wrote, is a solid thing to hold to in a world all broken out with man. There is peace out there, and quiet eno ugh to hear rails call and cranes bugle .... Archie Carr is the poet scientist of your new creation. If we had his eyes and his mind and his curiosity we could find similar wonders all through this area enclosed by the new heritage highway. Maybe this hi ghway will encourage discovery of other such The other literary legacy for this newly recognized area is that of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her romantic accounts of Cross Creek a place she saw as a Cracker Camelot. What Archie Carr saw with his scie ntific eye at Paynes Prairie, Rawlings, with her poetic insights, saw in other forms at Cross Creek. The two of them marvelously identify this area This highway approaches one of Florida s greatest needs. Most of us common folk in Florida, I think, see ou r state as a place struggling to stay true to itself struggling to maintain an honest identity. We want Florida to remain Florida, and not become a franchised facade of some other place. We also want to promote understanding of this state not only to deepen our own understanding, but to evangelize for better understanding among others, especially among newcomers. We feel that those who understand Florida very likely will love and defend it. This project this Old Florida Heritage Highway represents a government response to meet that need, and we cheer for it as it goes to the heart of the things of Florida. 2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. All rights reserved. Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement.









U.S. 441 follows a long trail out of the Blue Ridge mountains and down into Florida. Archie Carr
once wrote that Paynes Prairie represented the best two miles of that entire route, "Everybody with any
sense is crazy about the prairie," he said." There is no telling the things you see on the prairie. To a taste
not too dependent upon towns, there is always something, if only a new set of shades in the grass and
sky or a round- tail muskrat bouncing across the asphalt or a teal running low with the clouds in front of
the winter wind."

"The prairie," Carr wrote, "is a solid thing to hold to in a world all broken out with man. There is
peace out there, and quiet enough to hear rails call and cranes bugle ...."

Archie Carr is the poet-scientist of your new creation. If we had his eyes and his mind and his
curiosity we could find similar wonders all through this area enclosed by the new heritage highway.
Maybe this highway will encourage discovery of other such

The other literary legacy for this newly recognized area is that of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' and
her romantic accounts of Cross Creek a place she saw as a Cracker Camelot. What Archie Carr saw with
his scientific eye at Paynes Prairie, Rawlings, with her poetic insights, saw in other forms at Cross Creek.
The two of them marvelously identify this area

This highway approaches one of Florida's greatest needs. Most of us common folk in Florida, I
think, see our state as a place struggling to stay true to itself struggling to maintain an honest identity.
We want Florida to remain Florida, and not become a franchised facade of some other place.

We also want to promote understanding of this state not only to deepen our own
understanding, but to evangelize for better understanding among others, especially among newcomers.
We feel that those who understand Florida very likely will love and defend it. This project this Old
Florida Heritage Highway represents a government response to meet that need, and we cheer for it as
it goes to the heart of the things of Florida.


() 2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.
Acceptable Use. Coovrieht. and Disclaimer Statement.





PAGE 1

Florida s Roving Reporter and Miami Herald Columnist Dedication of Old Florida Heritage Highway Paynes Prairie, Gainesville, Florida, Oct ober 7, 2001 Today is a big day for places like Waccahoota and Tuscawilla and Micanopy and Lochloosa as well as some smaller places. It s a big day for all of us, because we recognize and give new attention to a network of roads that frame a natural theater for encou raging study of Florida s small miracles. This new road makes Florida s natural wonders more easily accessible and more understandable to casual visitors, and at the same time, it also encourages an appreciation and enthusiasm for preserving them. It woul d be nice to think that this kind of creative and enriching energy would overflow from this county into others. You could not have picked a better place to hold this dedication right in the middle of one of the best patches of natural Florida left. Here we have scenes so genuinely Florida that they all but speak to you of heritage lakes, prairies, old homesteads with tin roofed Cracker houses, sandhill communities and huge stands of forests. And we have this network of roads that winds among them, off ering God s own vision of the world before Disney and the like took over. We have access to such irreplaceable, visible bits of history which become an educational force that blow away the classroom, and explain Florida in a way no library can match. Such a place of beauty could never be totally captured by an art gallery. We have these wondrously dimensioned flatlands that include such a mountainous variety and range of life. We have memories passed on of steamboats and citrus groves, of disappearing lake s and beleaguered Native Americans, of buffaloes and panthers and a thousand other things. I m reminded of one of my favorite stories which I heard many years ago, back when it was a major event for the University of Florida football team to score a touch down, much less win a game. It told how the Gator fans would go wild when even one touchdown was scored and that there was an old bull gator somewhere south of the campus who would hear that noise and reply; he would roar back at them. For an event like today he ought be roaring on c e again. Beyond all that, we have the sensitive interpretations left by the artistry of writers like Archie Carr and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. And we have the ghosts of thousands of University of Florida students and faculty w ho have prowled and inspected these natural wonders and left stacks of manuscripts describing and explaining them. It s rich stuff and we are so lucky to have it. Al Burt Papers University of Florida Libraries

PAGE 2

U.S. 441 follows a long trail out of the Blue Ridge mountains and down into Florida. Archie Carr once wrote that Paynes Prairie represented the best two miles of that entire route, Everybody with any sense is crazy about the prairie, he said. There is no telling th e things you see on the prairie. To a taste not too dependent upon towns, there is always something, if only a new set of shades in the grass and sky or a round tail muskrat bouncing across the asphalt or a teal running low with the clouds in front of the winter wind. The prairie, Carr wrote, is a solid thing to hold to in a world all broken out with man. There is peace out there, and quiet enough to hear rails call and cranes bugle .... Archie Carr is the poet scientist of your new creation. If we had his eyes and his mind and his curiosity we could find similar wonders all through this area enclosed by the new heritage highway. Maybe this highway will encourage discovery of other such The other literary legacy for this newly recognized area is that of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and her romantic accounts of Cross Creek a place she saw as a Cracker Camelot. What Archie Carr saw with his scientific eye at Paynes Prairie, Rawlings, with he r poetic insights, saw in other forms at Cross Creek. The two of them marvelously identify this area This highway approaches one of Florida s greatest needs. Most of us common folk in Florida, I think, see our state as a place struggling to stay true to i tself struggling to maintain an honest identity. We want Florida to remain Florida, and not become a franchised facade of some other place. We also want to promote understanding of this state not only to deepen our own understanding, but to evangelize for better understanding among others, especially among newcomers. We feel that those who understand Florida very likely will love and defend it. This project this Old Florida Heritage Highway represents a government response to meet that need, and we cheer for it as it goes to the heart of the things of Florida. 2011 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. All rights reserved. Accep table Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement.