However, the hard work I did this past week alone in getting the elements of my Christmas 2011 page I feel paid off. This year I am featuring two locations in St. Petersburg and one location in Plant City. The two locations in St. Petersburg are over at North Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg as well as the mega-Christmas display located at 2719 Oakdale Street South and the one location in Plant City – a town 20 miles east of Tampa on Interstate 4 and is well known for being the home of the annual Strawberry Festival – is in McCall Park in downtown Plant City.
What makes Plant City so special besides the Strawberry Festival is that it is the intersection of two important CSX Railroad lines, the A Line which runs from Tampa eastward towards Lakeland, Orlando, Jacksonville and points north and the S Line which runs from Tampa northward towards Dade City, Wildwood, Ocala and turning northeast towards the town of Callahan located northwest of Jacksonville where it joins up with the A Line.
Do you know why these railroad lines are identified as the A and S lines? There’s a lot of history to it: The A Line used to belong to the Atlantic Coast Line while the S Line used to belong to the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. Both lines merged in 1967 to become the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad which evolved into today’s CSX in the 1980’s after a series of railroad acquisitions.
So, I am dedicating my Plant City section of my Christmas 2011 page to all the railfans out there, especially those railfans that I either subscribe to or subscribe to my channel out there on YouTube!
What are you waiting for? Head on over to my Christmas 2011 page today!
Breaking News from the Anti-Christmas and Anti-Holiday Season front
A few blog entries ago I reported on the ever increasing Anti-American holiday sentiment, especially around the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays. More and more school principals – and school districts – are alarmingly shunning Christmas in one way or another. Sound scary, isn’t it?
Just a few days before Christmas, the Anti-American holiday spirit has struck again – this time, right here in our back yard. As this St. Petersburg Times article from staff writer Tony Marrero indicates, the superintendent of the Hernando County School District, Bryan Blavatt, banned all instances of Christmas from all Hernando County public schools. The reason, according to the article? “To preserve precious teaching time”. Bay News 9 also has a similar article as well.
Yeah, right. It is to preserve precious teaching time all right – after all, teachers cannot teach an effective class and are instead ordered to do nothing more than drill and practice for the all important FCAT test; nothing more than teach the FCAT test here. No matter why your children in Florida do not get an education in our public schools!
Further on in the St. Petersburg Times article, there is one principal in the Hernando County School District that Bryan Blavatt does not have to worry about when he issued his no-Christmas edict: Susan Duval, who happens to be the principal of Springstead High School in Spring Hill. After all, Ms. Duval discourages all forms of Christmas at her school by discouraging anything having to do with Christmas including Christmas parties and the like.
After all, Susan Duval is no stranger to controversy surrounding the operation of her school as principal of Springstead High. In 2005, she gave a commencement speech to the graduating class of that year utilizing words taken from other sources and passing them off as if they were her own. The punishment? A letter of reprimand and a one day suspension courtesy of the Hernando County School District, a slap on the wrist so to speak. Despite that punishment, wouldn’t you think that Susan Duval is still doing this to every graduation commencement ceremony? That unfortunately I do not know the answer to. I wrote a blurb on Susan Duval and her involvement in the 2005 graduation commencement controversy which you can find over at my copyright topic.
With Hernando County Schools Superintendent Bryan Blavatt and Springstead High’s Susan Duval apparently taking on an anti-Christmas stance, perhaps a study abroad program in the summer in a country where human rights and civil liberties are grossly violated as well as where the celebration of Christmas is illegal would be appropriate. After all, as long as there is an United States of America in existence Christmas as well as the other American traditional holidays will be around, so get used to it.
End of Breaking News from the Anti-Christmas and Anti-Holiday Season front
In closing, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! In Spanish, ¡Feliz Navidad! In Slovenian, Vesel božič! And in German, Frohe Weihnachten!