Soul food and Coke

Tuesday 5th

Feeding the soul

Today we took a leisurely drive to see the “other side “of Florida and met many local inhabitants. We visited De Leon Springs State Park. This really was the antipode of Daytona and its preoccupation with mechanical speed. Centred on a natural spring that sends 20.000 gallons of water at 72degrees into the lake each day, it was a haven. Here the peace and quiet and the wildlife really did nourish our souls. A world away from roads, speed, trucks and the like, we took time to pause, stand and watch. The myriad of birds that allowed us to share their sunny afternoon were unknown to us, but nonetheless delightful. Some amazingly tame, others cautious, several just displaying their wings to dry. We watched silently as fish, mainly bream leapt high above the still waters and otters slid gracefully among the weeds. How I longed for an “I Spy” book of birds. We did spy an Osprey high in the trees, but sadly he didn’t choose to dine whilst we were there. Enjoy them as we did….

PS There were warning signs for Gators which just added an edge to the afternoon, all part of the wonderful circle of nature.

Wednesday 6th

Purely by chance last night we watched a documentary about the Root Family – no it didn’t mean much to us to start with. However, Mr.Root had bottling company back at the turn of the 19th century and he entered a national competition to design a bottle for the Coke Cola company and as they say the rest is history…literally. His bottle won and became the icon that we have come to know and “love”, by now the bottling business had relocated to Daytona. He diversified into bottling and distribution and so became inextricably linked with Coke Cola. He married and had 6 children, his wife was a lady after our own hearts girls, she liked to collect things – you know the things that the boys call “stuff or junk”. Funny how the contents of our garages/sheds never have that label!

 It began with collecting “family things” teddy bears, news cuttings about coke, racing mementoes (remember Daytona’s place in race history?) etc.etc. Eventually the family had amassed a vast collection in their own private museum. This has now been donated to the Arts and Science Museum in Daytona, how could we leave without a peek? It was certainly worth it; where else I wonder would you find the very earliest vending machines with bottles of coke at 5 cents. The delivery truck that he bought from his father for $15, the complete contents of an apocithary shop, even the railway carriage that was converted for exclusive use of the family on their travels. It was as they say “awesome”. The rest of the museum was pretty good too, though we were mindful of the time. We have moved south again, met up with Doug and we’re now just south of Canaveral and we await tomorrow’s night time launch.

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