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Published Articles by Doris Weatherford

Jargon, Branding, Verbiage, and Other Substitutes For Thought

I was enjoying our lovely November weather, sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie, when I opened the New York Times to this headline:  "On the Left, a New Scramble over the Right Words to Say."  The first paragraph featured a college freshman describing his Latino friends, and a female student interrupted with:  "We say Latinx here because we respect trans people."  Read More 

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"Your Call Is Being Recorded…"

When robots tell you that "your call is being recorded for quality assurance," does that recording start then?  Does anyone hear me shouting that I want to talk to a person?  This is typical with most businesses these days, but the current target of my ire is the USF Credit Union.  I've had an account there since 1972 (!), but I spent a full hour trying to straighten out the most recent error.  Read More 

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Climate Change and More

I'm home from a ten-day trip to the Ozarks.  I went mostly because of a family funeral, but also because I wanted to see autumn leaves.  In my childhood there, one could be sure that trees would color by mid-October, but all was green this year.  Indeed, it was over 90 degrees until a thunderstorm (not a big one by Florida standards) dropped temperatures down to a more comfortable level.  Still, I never needed a sweater, and except for autumnal decorations, it did not feel at all like autumn. Read More 

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Unachieved Goals

Every fall, I regret that I have not led a campaign with friends who specialize in PR.  I would call this educational effort "Be Bright at Night," and it would come out at the autumnal equinox, when short days begin in September.  Until the winter solstice in December, our nights will be longer than our days, and therefore late afternoons and evenings – after the school day -- become more dangerous.  They used to teach this sort of thing when I was a kid, but now it seems that many people do not understand that they should make extra efforts to be visible at night.  Read More 

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Glorious Gloria

 

         A few years back, I was asked to speak at the downtown library on what turned out to be a very cold January morning.  Few people came, but one who walked from her Methodist Place home turned out to be a real asset to Tampa.  Gloria Jean Royster had moved here from Chicago, and she took up historical causes, especially that of Madame Fortune Taylor.  You may know that the Civil War's Freedman Bureau made reparations to some former slaves in the form of land, and in 1875, Fortune Taylor was granted a homestead at the north end of what then was downtown Tampa.  Read More 

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Florida Women's Hall Of Fame

Back in ancient history, when Democrat Bob Graham was governor, he created a Florida Women's Hall of Fame.  His two terms ended with the 1986 election, and Bob Martinez -- former head of the Tampa teachers' union -- switched from Democrat to Republican, resigned as mayor, and was elected governor.  His administration took down the plaques for the Women's Hall of Fame (WHOF) that had been displayed in the governor's office, and they were lost until several years later -- when they turned up on a high shelf in a broom closet.  Read More 

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Thank You And Good Wishes

This column is devoted to current events in their historical context, but you know that I can get personal, too.  This is one of those times.  My emotional self wants to put some things in print about the memorial for my late husband that my daughter and I held on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.  I was especially heartened by the strength of family, as almost two dozen kinfolks came from out of state.  All but one were younger than I, and I felt complimented by this attention from young people.  Read More 

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"Beer is the Answer"

The title of one of Hubby's books that I removed and then replaced on his shelves is "Beer is the Answer:  I Don't Remember the Question."  I probably bought it for him, but never read it until recently.  Its bartender jokes reflect the sexism of bars, and there's just one that I want to share with you.  That is because it is from the unelected president who occupied the White House after Richard Nixon threw his vice president, Spiro Agnew, to the wolves, and Gerald Ford replaced Agnew.  When Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment, Ford, a Republican, became president.  He narrowly lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976. Read More 

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An Inspiration

This is in remembrance of Thalia Lunsford Potter, who died recently at age 96.  She moved to Florida's east coast at age 90 to be near her only surviving child, but for eight decades, she was a child of Tampa.  Her father was a prominent attorney, and the family lived on then-fashionable Nebraska Avenue in a house called "Belvedere."  Their parents considered rural life desirable for children, though, and they moved to a Valrico farm, where the last of eight children was born.  But when the Roaring Twenties plunged Florida into the Great Depression earlier than most of the nation, they lost the farm and moved back to Tampa, living in Ballast Point. Read More 

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At Last, a Possible Peace Dividend

I remember talking with the late and great Congressman Sam Gibbons soon after the Vietnam War ended.  We were hopeful that the huge amount of public funds spent on that futile adventure now could be used domestically.  Sam – who had parachuted into Nazi-occupied Normandy during World War II -- was a true patriot and a true promoter of education.  He was not only the father of our now prestigious University of South Florida, he also was the nationwide father of Head Start --- a project that worked and that needs investment again. Read More 

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