Saturday, May 20, 2006

...That's Greek To Me


It's strange how fashions go through cycles about every 40 years. I've mentioned that before. Here we are in Tarpon Springs close to 40 years ago, and Shirley's hair, make-up, shades and top would fit right in on a young woman at Starbucks today! Tarpon Springs is a short drive north of Tampa/St. Petersburg on Florida's gulf coast. Originally settled by Greek immigrants who came because of the plentiful sponges in the nearby waters, the town had a distinctly Greek flavor.

There were shops selling real sponges, others full of souveniers, and loads of restaurants and bakeries. Delicious fresh baked breads, great salads, but best of all were the Greek pastries, sweet and dripping with honey. Shirley Rigby and I had driven up for the day from St. Petersburg where we were visiting our friend Erica Meyer, who worked at the St. Petersburg Times. Shirley wanted to visit Erica, and I wanted to do some fishing and shoot some stock pictures.

Shirley was British and came to the U.S. to work for the Atlanta Constitution with editor Sylvan Meyer. When he took over as executive editor of the Miami News Shirley came along. Erica was Sylvan's daughter. A few years later the Miami News folded. Afternoon papers in general were having a hard time, and while people were bemoaning the fact that Miami had become a "one paper town" the truth was we stayed a two paper town but one of them was a Spanish language daily, leaving the English speaking market to the Miami Herald.

Shirley then got a job working as a copy editor at Time Magazine. When I drove up to visit my family in Massachusettes every summer I'd spend a few days in Westport, Connecticut with my friend Jon Sinish, and usually meet up with Shirley, either in New York or at Jon's apt. Eventually we lost contact.

1 Comments:

Blogger shutterbug said...

I have visited Tarpon Springs many times. My mother had a condo there. Pappa's had the best Christmas dinners. You couldn't finish it all. Also, there was a little place that had the best fresh-from-the-sea oysters. We would each order two, sometimes three dozen and wash them down with beer. What a great place.

1:39 PM  

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