Title: Interview with Dave Jones (May 18, 1967)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00006737/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Dave Jones (May 18, 1967)
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publication Date: May 18, 1967
Spatial Coverage: 12111
St. Lucie County (Fla.) -- History.
Funding: This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00006737
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location: This interview is part of the 'St. Lucie County' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: SL 15

Table of Contents
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Full Text

This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

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St. Lucie Tape #Ab/S.4 f/ 7/"
Dave Jones /
May 18, 1967
Page 1

I don't think I've been better introduced by a-'gentleman than Mr.

Elliot. Mr. Hellier. It's catching it way up. You've

got the volume set way up on it. As Mr. Hellier explained to you, we

do intend to make another trip across across the grave. We intend to

do that not from coast to coast but from coast to coast and from north

to south. Now some may ask the question why would anyone want to make

a trip across the everglades. Well I guess we have our reason and that

reason we feel is important. As I explained to the Audobon Society

some week ago it is to capture in this reality and in this beauty the

last final strand of what is left in Florida. The nature land, the natural

beauty the natural state of God's creation. We intend to do this, I'd

like to make this brief, in order to capture for the posterities of our

magnificent state the pictures the beauty, the panorama that exists

only here. Here and only here. In ten years this panorama and this

beauty will no longer exist because of man's surges, because of the

vulture, agriculture, that is ravaging, pillaging, destroying and

destructing the natural land of Florida. I don't think that I need

to go into this too deep. You can see the effects of what's happening

today. what has been happening for the last sixty days. The drought.

Floridians have been warned of this fifty years ago. Exactly what

you're undergoing today. The water problem. The diminishing game. The

diminishing wilderness, the diminishing natural beauty. They did not

heed to these warnings. If steps are not taken within the next five

years to alleviate this problem there will be no need to take any

steps. They cannot be alleviated. Agriculture has cut canals. ditches,

St. Lucie Tape #la1-^-

Page 2

they have bursted through the bedrock of Florida. Their natural

surface water is diminishing. It's gone. Without that natural surface

water Florida cannot exist. It will become a desert.At the moment they're

contemplating as I said, alleviating the problem by drilling deep water

wells. This would not alleviate the problem. It will only afford and supply

water to the agriculture enterprises and agriculture industries that

has removed the surface water. It will not replace the water that the

wild life and the natural land need upon which they thrive. I know

that agriculture is a necessity the same as you. But I am alwo wise

enough in my way to know that by destruction of the natural land,

of the nature itself that I nor you nor agriculture can survive here.

Deep water wells, water wells, the draining of Lake Ockeechobee will

be catastrophe. It will be the grand finale in the destruction of the

last final strand we have, the Everglades. They

from Lake Ockeechobee in the time when it is full the water

that we need and replace it when it is not. Where are they going to

get this water to replace it when it is not? The deep water wells

then, certainly, why are they not getting the water they need at this

moment from deep water wells rather than drain Lake Ockeechobee? I can

tell you why. Because of the expense it would require at this moment

to drill those wells hoping that tomorrow the rains will come and alleviate

this problem. They say, well, build the dikes higher and the levies

higher. Butthis will not happen. They will build them higher, but the

natural rainfall will not fill it. It never has and it is not

reasonable to believe that it wl "ever. Thus our state, our natural

state is being destroyed, slowly but surely and methodically. I say

St. Lucie Tape #1s/4

Page 3

methodically yet unmethodically. They don't intend to do it but they

are doing it. And the road to a very well known place is paved with good

intentions. In Florida is fast becoming a desert. It is in hopes that

I can capture within the next five years of my life, I've given twfty

of it, thus)' to study to capture)to understand the state in which I

live. I carry on a love affair with this state. Thirty five years

I've carried on that love affair. I know that the day is coming in

Florida when my posterities will go to a museum to see

possum. racoon. Sounds ridiculous, absurd, but it's true. But I

hope to capture it in some state so that they may view it leisurely in

some state a hundred years from now. But it really was. the magnificence

of it, the beauty of it, the splendor of it. This is my purpose and

my intent. And I will succeed. Beyond that I have no other reason.

I'm not an intrpenuer. I don't look to make money from this trip.

It's not my interest. Only to capture the beauty, the maginificence,

as I said the panorama that is Florida, that has been Florida. Much

of it, many of you here tonight remember it's not the same. I wish to

capture it before the rest is destroyed. Ten years will finish it now.

I'd like to conclude there on that part not only do I have an interest in

the conservation in the wildlife preservation standpoint, also an interest

historically. And I have very, there are many days in which to deliver

a message to each of you here. I see familiar faces among you. I feel

somewhat humiliated, if you'll pardon the use of that word, to stand

here so much younger and so much having to live so much less than so

many here. But htere is a message I wotld like to deliver to each of

you tonight. I feel is a very important message. Pardon me, I'll have

St. Lucie Tape #aS/4^

Page 4

to get these old scribble notes out. I would like each one of you

here tonight to here that message and ponder it seriously in your

spare time.

History is a song. In Florida's past, mesmerizing melody of

many strains. Each of you have not ventured along the shore of

yesteryears to reminise and splash a bit tide of time,

retracing your footprints in the sands of your tracked and bygone days

pausing to gather the driftwood of memories scattered along the way.

Ours is a song of many years. And in reflection one can capture

only by imagination the tinkle of ___ and ____, the

___________ ,sounding hooves of Jackson's calvary, the ring

of cyprus- the rumble of tom toms, the war drum thunder and the

chilling war cries of the Seminoles. Yet, less given to imagination

none the less of intrigue are the strains of a more recent an realistic:

part of the melody of our history. It is that part that began with you.

The bridge that links the fading symphony of yesteryears is a minuet

of today. You wrote the song and you should find among it all familiar

notes. Can you hear the clink of a wood stove lid? Or

Sthe crack of a mule skinner raw hide whip, or the creak of a

wagon wheel. Remember the wack of a timber ax and the split of a

Sthe call of a loon, a gun, or a riverboat

along the way. Can you still hearas though it were near, the drumming

of fishermen's oars, the thump of corks on the stern along a

peaceful shore. All were sounds of the living from history

heard in a dancer's song and the hiss of an iron horse. But a

song unsung is a song unheard and soon forgotten indeed. We should not

St. Lucie Tape #3a /a-

Page 5

mute the melody by failing to sing the lead that each of you wrote.

note no matter how small the part. Or keep it locked in

a memory vault selfishly in your heart. The song is you every note,

every sound. Sing it out I say. With the song of today like one

never ending round that we in the wake of tomorrow may hear it, know

it and carry it on. This song is you. Sing it loudly. Sing it

proudly lest it be forgotten. Thank you ladies and gentlemen.

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