I remember dreaming of a Florida Christmas. At the time, I was sixteen years old and living in Clinton, South Carolina. The nearest thing to my being in Florida was that I had gone to Florida Street Elementary School. In high school, my classmates and I were fascinated when we had a new student entering our class. His name was Philip Roddy, and he was from St. Petersburg, Florida. To me, he was a fascinating person from “outer space.” I was sure that he must have cried his eyeballs out when his folks told him they were moving from St. Petersburg to Clinton. He must have been terribly upset, having lived his life in “paradise.” Now, it is Christmas, and I am living in St. Petersburg and have been living here since 1965. Surprisingly, I have been to the beaches only rarely. St. Pete is tropical, but it is not exactly paradise, especially when the temperature dips into the 60s. Before you think I don’t like living here in west-central Florida, I must reassure you that I have never regretted moving to St. Petersburg.
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