Tuesday, November 9, 2010



         By Doc Lawrence

“Travis McGee's still in Cedar Key
That's what ol' John MacDonald said
My rendezvous's so long overdue
With all of the things I've sung and I've read
They still apply to me
They all make sense in time.”
                Jimmy Buffett, Incommunicado

Foster Thomason Casts Into The Gulf For Family Dinner

CEDAR KEY, FL. The Big Bend on Florida’s Gulf Coast remains a lockbox overflowing with priceless treasures from the sea, countless crystal springs and legendary rivers with mysterious names like Wakulla and Steinhatchee plus some famous ones like the mighty Suwannee. Much of the area has been suffering economically, a tragedy that began with familiar destructive events that I only know from television coverage.

The region is where many of my happiest memories were made and when asked to visit, I accepted. I love the area and the people. It’s what Cross Creek’s Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote about: Florida’s indigenous Cracker culture with roots that extend back to ancient Spain. For generations, kids-including me- were first introduced to life-changing culinary experiences like raw oysters, smoked mullet, fried grouper sandwiches and even stone crabs.

This little village is genuine Florida. It’s known for clams, artists, expatriates and once supplied cedar for pencils. John D. MacDonald wrote his Travis McGee books about Cedar Key. Detective McGee became America’s version of James Bond. Instead of a luxury Aston-Martin, Travis McGee traveled and lived on a beaten-down boat called the “Busted Flush.” According to Miami novelist Carl Hiassen, Travis McGee is making a big comeback.

This is where I go to fish, meditate, drink when I please, eat what I like and dream. Here, for a few days, peace and tranquility reign over discord and troubles. Returning allows me look and listen, to tell some stories that need telling. About good, resilient people, part of America’s bedrock who created an enviable lifestyle. Should paradise be so fragile?

1 comment:

  1. Great article - Although I have happily called Cedar Key home for the last year, I wasn't aware of some of the facts/trivia you shared! Thank you.