Gladesmen: Gator Hunters, Moonshiners, and Skiffers [NOOK Book]

Overview

Few people today can claim a living memory of Florida's frontier Everglades. Glen Simmons, who has hunted alligators, camped on hammock-covered islands, and poled his skiff through the mangrove swamps of the glades since the 1920s, is one who can. Together with Laura Ogden, he tells the story of backcountry life in the southern Everglades from his youth until the establishment of the Everglades National Park in 1947.

During the economic bust of the late ‘20s, when many natives ...

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Gladesmen: Gator Hunters, Moonshiners, and Skiffers

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Overview

Few people today can claim a living memory of Florida's frontier Everglades. Glen Simmons, who has hunted alligators, camped on hammock-covered islands, and poled his skiff through the mangrove swamps of the glades since the 1920s, is one who can. Together with Laura Ogden, he tells the story of backcountry life in the southern Everglades from his youth until the establishment of the Everglades National Park in 1947.

During the economic bust of the late ‘20s, when many natives turned to the land to survive, Simmons began accompanying older local men into Everglades backcountry, the inhospitable prairie of soft muck and mosquitoes, of outlaws and moonshiners, that rings the southern part of the state. As Simmons recalls life in this community with humor and nostalgia, he also documents the forgotten lifestyles of south Florida gladesmen.

By necessity, they understood the natural features of the Everglades ecosystem. They observed the seasonal fluctuations of wildlife, fire, and water levels. Their knowledge of the mostly unmapped labyrinth of grassy water enabled them to serve as guides for visiting naturalists and scientists. Simmons reconstructs this world, providing not only fascinating stories of individual personalities, places, and events, but an account that is accurate, both scientifically and historically, of one of the least known and longest surviving portions of the American frontier.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It is difficult to believe, but there was a time when South Florida was not populated with Rust Belt retirees, packed with strip malls, and landscaped like the world's largest golf course. Florida has had a few economic booms and busts, and after the roaring Twenties, many Floridians survived only by hunting and fishing. Simmons, a lifelong gator hunter born in the swamps in 1916, teams up with anthropologist Ogden to document that time, only 70 years ago. Though Ogden's text is curiously similar to Steinbeck's Log from the Sea of Cortez, it is humorous and easy to read. This book is part of a series designed to preserve Florida's history, and Simmons contributes rather admirably. Lay readers will appreciate his work, but it will be of particular interest to ecologists, conservationists, and even hunters and fishers.Andrew Riccobono, Marymount Univ., Arlington, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813047058
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 9/5/2010
  • Series: Florida History and Culture
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 586,560
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Glen Simmons (1916–2009) lived in south Florida his entire life, spending much of it in the Everglades. In 1995 he was awarded a State of Florida Heritage Award for his unique contribution to Florida’s history and folk culture. Laura Ogden, a lifelong friend of Simmons, is an anthropologist and professor at Florida International University.

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