Recs and Reads
By Anne McKay Garris
Whether you are an old-timer, a new resident, or a visitor to the area, you might want to know a bit about what the Pinellas Beaches were like in earlier years. If the day is too cold or rainy, or you are too sunburned to be on the beach, try stopping by the Clearwater Beach Library, located on Clearwater Bay, at the east end of Bay Esplanade. It's easy to find, just turn east at the intersection of Mandalay and Bay Esplanade, right beside the tennis courts. Library hours are in the afternoon.
A brief perusal of the bookshelves uncovered a variety on the Pinellas County islands. My favorite is the book about Caladesi Island, now a state park across from the northern end of Clearwater Beach. Called, Yesterday I lived In Paradise, the book is written by Myrtle Scharrer Betz, whose father owned the island, back in the early nineteen hundreds. It is not only a charming story about life on an island, but it gives you a picture of what life was like in this area, back when condominium was not even in the dictionary.
Tampa Bay's Gulf Beaches is mostly a picture book, showing Pinellas County beaches with excellent pictures of Heilman's Beachcomber Restaurant as it looked in 1954, and an early version of the Palm Pavilion, plus most of the piers and bridges that have been built since the 1920s.
And that's just the beginning of what you can discover about our local history at the Clearwater Beach Library. Just ask the nice ladies behind the desk. They'll help you find them.
The Friends of the Clearwater Beach Library and Recreation Center are making plans for a couple of sessions on learning about our local shells and making your own shell craft decorations or ornaments. We'll let you know as soon as the dates are set.
Meantime, check out the weight room where they now have personal trainers, and the computers available for you to use.
With our Recreation Center and Library available there's no excuse for anyone to be bored, or lonely, living here, or visiting.
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