Florida Spectacular

Florida Spectacular

Take a weekly trip across Florida with author Cathy Salustri and discover a side of Florida you never knew existed. From the scallops in Panhandle bays to the Hemingway cats in Key West, every week's a Florida adventure.

Episodes

January 25, 2022 32 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes back Bill DeYoung, author of many books, most recently "Vintage St. Pete Volume II: Legends, Locations, Lifestyles." 

Even people who don't live in St. Pete will appreciate this picturesque history of the area, told through some of the city's more interesting people and places throughout history. In this week's Florida Spectacular, Bill and Cathy talk about the St. Pete ...

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This week The Florida Spectacular talks with Ben Kirby, who worked alongside St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as the Communications Director for Kriseman's two-term tenure, which ended earlier this year. Cathy and Ben talk about Kriseman's famous "no Trumps allowed" tweet, the challenges facing a Florida community recovering from a Jim Crow South, and the way Florida government – St. Petersburg in particular – all...

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January 11, 2022 42 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes Bill DeYoung, a St. Petersburg native, veteran journalist, and author of "Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down." Bill and Cathy talk about the Skyway Bridge disaster of 1980, the (untrue and harmful) rumors about Captain Lerro's role in the disaster and, most notably, his play, "Mayday: Captain Lerro and the Skyway Bridg...

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January 4, 2022 37 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes Tara Lush, author of the Coffee Lover's Mystery Series, talks about writing cozy mysteries, using Florida as a backdrop, her love of coffee, and other Florida cozy writers. 

Connect with her on Twitter (@tamaralush) or Facebook, or come see her at the Gabber Book Club in Gulfport on Jan. 12. 

Links we mentioned: 

St. Petersburg Coffee Tour

"Arya Winters and the Tiramisu of Death...

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This week, The Florida Spectacular welcomes John Fleming, author of "The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman." Host Cathy Salustri and John talk about the actual Barefoot Mailman, his book about what may have happened to Ed Hamilton, and why Cathy thinks his next book about the Lewis & Clark expedition should talk about Florida.

John's a creative writing professor at the University of South Florida, the founder of Saw Pal...

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November 30, 2021 33 min

This week Cathy Salustri welcomes Dr. Saundra TenBroeck, an associate professor and state extension horse specialist for the University of Florida's Extension Service, to The Florida Spectacular. Dr. TenBroeck works with kids and adults... and horses.

They chat about Florida's horse industry, which has an annual $6.8 billion economic impact on Florida. They also talk about Florida research on horse health and performance.

M...

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November 12, 2021 35 min

This week The Florida Spectacular chats with John Pendygraft, a longtime journalist with a forthcoming book, "Lost Storytellers: The Information Apocalypse in the Modern Newsroom." John and Cathy talk about journalism, and its future in Florida. 

Want more Florida? Subscribe to The Florida Spectacular newsletter, and keep up with Cathy's travels at greatfloridaroadtrip.com.

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This week, The Florida Spectacular welcomes John Fleming, author of "Fearsome Creatures of Florida." Host Cathy Salustri and John talk about the Skunk Ape, were-panthers and a host of other fearsome creatures of Florida – some real, some maybe not so real.

John's a creative writing professor at the University of South Florida, the founder of Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art magazine, and the author of "The Legen...

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Today host Cathy Salustri welcomes Colette Bancroft, book editor for the Tampa Bay Times. Listen in as they talk about the Tampa Bay Times annual Festival of Reading (the Festival takes place over seven days this year, via Zoom, Nov. 8-14), why Florida has so many writers, and which book in this year's lineup will make you remove your mindfulness app from your phone. 

About Colette: Colette Bancroft grew up in Tampa and has been...

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October 18, 2021 27 min

This week the Florida Spectacular welcomes Holly Abeels, to talk about Florida fishing and how to find a fishing guide who will help you make your next fishing trip exciting – and sustainable. 

Links we mentioned:

• Choosing a Florida-friendly fishing guide

• What is Florida Sea Grant?

Want more Florida? Subscribe to The Florida Spectacular newsletter, and keep up with Cathy's travels at greatfloridaroadtrip.com.

Support the show (h...
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This week the Florida Spectacular welcomes back Jamie Rich, founder and publisher of Flamingo Magazine. With the new issue just days away from subscribers' mailboxes, Cathy and Jamie talk about what to expect under the cover, the Fresh Squeezed newsletter, why Carlton Ward's work makes the magazine even more amazing, and the upcoming Florida gift guide.

Want more Florida? Subscribe to The Florida Spectacular newsletter, and ...

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October 4, 2021 35 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes back historian Brad Bertelli, who talks about his historical (mostly) fiction book, "The Florida Keys Skunk Ape Files: Island Cryptids, Histories & Mysteries" and whether or not he believes in the Skunk Ape. Take a listen to hear his stories and learn about the Southernmost Skunk Ape (that's a bigfoot, for those of you who didn't grow up in Florida.)

Here's some of t...

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September 27, 2021 24 min

Today The Florida Spectacular welcomes Lu Vickers, author of – among others – "Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions." Lu and Florida Spectacular host Cathy Salustri talk about the Weeki Wachee Mermaids

No matter where you are, you can always see Weeki Wachee mermaids on film and in photos at the Florida Memory Project, part of the State Archives of Florida. 

Looking for...

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September 20, 2021 23 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes Joey Vars, the historian at the Belleview Inn (formerly Henry Plant’s Belleview Biltmore) as well as the Curator of the Gulfport Historical Society. He’s also a masters student in the USFSP Florida Studies Program. 

Host Cathy Salustri and Joe talk about the Plant empire, the urban legends about Morton Plant hospital, and whether or not there was an actual moat around the Biltmore. 

Connect ...

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September 13, 2021 39 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes Alex Freeze, who talks about the Florida Wildlife Corridor. As a sixth-generation Floridian, Alex's passion for the Corridor – and all of wild Florida – comes through in this episode, co-hosted by Cathy Salustri and James Chapin.

Connect with Alex – and the Corridor – at the links below.

The Last Green Thread film

Hidden Wild film

The Forgotten Coast trailer

Instagram and Twitter

alexfreeze....

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Today the Florida Spectacular welcomes Craig Pittman, Florida environmental reporter, columnist, and author of many books – most recently, The State You're In.  

Get Craig's book for a discounted price – $20 – plus free shipping when you order from upress.ufl.edu or call 800-226-3822 and use the code FLMAN. Valid through September 30, 2021.

Stories from Craig mentioned in this episode:
Hunting Pythons with the Ladies of the Gl...

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August 30, 2021 45 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes Lara Milligan and Shannon Carnevale, and Cathy chats with them about their podcast, Naturally Florida, which delves into natural Florida and the things that live here. They also talk about Cuban tree frogs and other exotic invasives, fireflies (yes, we have them here!) and green anoles (you may call them geckos, but you'd be wrong.

Lara's the Natural Resources Agent for UF/IFAS Ext...

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August 23, 2021 45 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes John Bisney and J.L. Pickering, the co-authors of Picturing the Space Shuttle: The Early Years. On the podcast they chat about the space shuttle, but not only that – you'll learn about I Dream of Jeannie's connection and the nude beach by Cape Canaveral. 

John Bisney, a retired journalist who covered the space program for more than 30 years for CNN, the Discovery Science Channel, an...

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August 16, 2021 41 min

This week The Florida Spectacular welcomes Holley Short, an Audubon Florida Shorebird Program Manager in the Tampa Bay Area. Holley works closely with cities, counties, and landowners to project nesting shorebirds and seabirds.

Check out the Florida Audubon Society's website, flbeachbirds.org and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Also, check out one of Holley's favorite birds, the Snowy Plover.

Find your Audubon...

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August 9, 2021 38 min

This week the Florida Spectacular welcomes Ray Bodrey of UF/IFAS Extension Gulf County. Ray's the County Extension Director and Florida Sea Grant Agent. Today we're talking about scallops in Franklin, Gulf, and Bay County. Ray talks about bay scallops and the volunteer scallop sitter program. 

Links we mentioned:

Find the Gulf County Extension on Facebook

Register to become a scallop sitter

Learn about the scallop rodeo

More inf...

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