“Inspiring and compelling. These stories resonate with life lessons that we all should read and ponder: the importance of hard work, the value of rejection, and a genuine affection for the Sunshine State.”—Gary R. Mormino, author of Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida
“Levy has a penchant for asking provocative questions that reveal the fullness of his subjects—their personal struggles, their personalities, and their relationships to Florida. An enjoyable compilation of profiles that weaves a colorful human tapestry and illuminates the contemporary history of one of America’s most diverse and wondrous states. Made in Florida is a must-read.”—Lynn Waddell, author of Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles
“Reading these interviews is the armchair version of flitting from table to table at a dinner party filled with Florida’s most spectacular Floridians.”—Cathy Salustri, author of Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Florida
“Everyone in Florida who cares about the state’s modern history and culture needs to read this book. Art Levy is a masterful interviewer, and the people whose lives and thoughts he has chosen to highlight really come to life.”—Craig Pittman, author of Oh, Florida!: How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country
Discover some of Florida’s most fascinating personalities in this entertaining kaleidoscope of interviews. Made in Florida showcases a colorful lineup of notable people who got their start in the state and who have helped make it the unique, diverse place it is today. Hear from Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry about their weirdest writing inspirations. Discover why Shaquille O’Neal never complains. Find out what happens when Burt Reynolds goes to Costco. Listen to Theresa Manuel’s experiences as one of the first black women to compete in the Olympics. Learn about the lives of Seminole Tribe elder Louise Gopher, pop art painter Romero Britto, NASA senior executive JoAnn Morgan, circus daredevil Bello Nock, football coach Steve Spurrier, state CFO Alex Sink, and Muhammad Ali’s “fight doctor” Ferdie Pacheco. In addition to the widely celebrated, Art Levy introduces many unsung individuals. Meet innovative industrialists like “Chainsaw Al” and dedicated naturalists like “The Shark Lady.” Mingle with a legendary rancher, a civil rights historian, and a commercial fisherman. Marvel at an anticrime crusader, a space skydiver, and a snake-venom enthusiast.
These and other stars—many of whom rarely give such extensive interviews—talk family and work, joys and worries, failures and triumphs, dislikes and desires. Levy has thoughtfully selected their words from ten years of conversations. Each person tells a different story of Florida from a perspective all their own. Read on and get ready to laugh and lament, to be surprised and inspired.
Art Levy is an award-winning journalist. He is associate editor of Florida Trend magazine. He has also written for the St. Petersburg Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
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