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Date: 30 November 2013. Fine Folks.


Since arriving in Carrabelle I have enjoyed the privilege of meeting many fine folks along the waterfront. This is a small town that to my eyes is laid out for the convenience of boaters. A couple of marinas and a working boatyard (Dockside is do-it-yourself and also has hired help available) are all good things. What I like best of all are the people.


It is wonderful to be able to row across the river and be within a short walk to all the amenities such groceries, thrift store, a library, the post office, a marine hardware store and more. There is even an old-time real hardware store, in addition to the ACE Hardware. The real place is called Gander's Hardware and it is a gem -- still run by the Gander family with that home-town friendly manner that used to be so prevalent in towns across America.



Write kindness in marble and write injuries in the dust. Persian Proverb.

Let me tell you a little about Gander's Hardware Store. This is the type of place that if you do not see it, ask. The item is probably there. Of course there is a great selection of stainless hardware, along with plumbing supplies, and more. The prices are good too.

I went into Gander's just before Thanksgiving. During the winter I use my lanterns more frequently because they give off heat which helps keep Seaweed warm. My supply of mineral spirits was running low. Yes, I could burn expensive lantern oil but I wouldd much rather spend $12 or so for a gallon versus $5 per quart.

I requested the mineral oil from Mr. Gander and he brought up to the counter a jug of Paint Thinner. Without my glasses I asked for confirmation that it was what I needed for the lanterns. Yes it was but the most surprising thing was Mr. Gander's suggestion that Kerosene was less money and would work too. How many places would do that? Instead of spending $11.39 plus tax for paint thinner I paid $9.69 for kerosene. Of course I will be back. Honest business men are a true treasure. That I was treated well as a transient was particularly heartwarming.

Also within wifi reach of the anchorage (with a booster) is the public library. The people running it are friendly and always willing to help. In addition to computers to use for web-surfing, they have one rack of books available for swapping, others for checkout, and a couple bookcases with movies (both VCRs and DVDs) along with books for a $1 donation per grocery bag. After a long stretch of not enough books, it was sheer pleasure to "shop" the shelves. Yes, I ended up bringing back most of which I read so they could sell them again. A lending library is a boon to me, and having books especially before the arrival of my Kindle was a true treat!


Within sight of the anchorage is also a post office. Miss Connie works there and could not be nicer. It is easy to receive mail c/o General Delivery, Carrabelle, FL  32322. I have been enjoying a good run of correspondence since arrival. After departure I will surely miss the convenience of being able to walk over and collect mail.

Finding a way to receive mail is problematic when in transit. Usually I have things sent to my daughter who every few months gathers a bundle and mails it on to me. I hate waiting for the good stuff.


This is Miss Connie. She is a gem.


Of course there is Amazon. Yes, I am weak especially with such easy mail pickup here in Carrabelle. Someone sent a gift certificate to me.  How nice is that?!? I purchased the best book ever. Okay, maybe not the best, but I had the original (published in 1980 as I recall) when I was home schooling my duo and now there is a Third Edition out. I have hankered for it for quite some time and finally a few days ago ordered same.

The book is The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. This is in my opinion a book all Americans ought to have. It is just plain interesting. What happened is this: Five Harvard professors got together and decided what an American high school graduate should know. E.D. Hirsch is credited primarily. In any event the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy has those items sorted by category. It is easy to move from item to item. If a listing refers to something else, the font changes so you will know there is more information.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

What is best however is that this book provides the critical details without the minutia. Children should all know dates (1066, 1492, 1865, etc.) and why they are important. We need to know what the Magna Carta is, to be able to recognize a Picasso, Monet, and a Renior, know who Henry Ford is, and The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy will teach all that and more. I am excited to be again have this book aboard.

Reading is incredibly important.


My copy of the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy was absconded by that child of mine though it was filled with her notes. I like that my kidlet and now the grand are fond of books. There is such a world open to those that read. At anchor it is especially relaxing to curl up with a good book, especially if the book is not about how to fix something that has broken on the boat!

My most used but least liked book is Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual.


For every complicated problem, there is a
simple solution... and it's probably wrong.

I am excited and hope to go to shore on Tuesday to check for my newest book and visit Jerry [http://justrightmarine.com] at Just Right Marine. He is my mechanic and we shall be placing the order for engine parts. Fortunately the company in England that has all we need will ship to the United States. Life is great in Carrabelle.


So, here I sit at anchor enjoying my time in Carrabelle and meeting the nice folks of this town. If a person has to sit out an engine swap, I suspect there are few places where it could be done in such comfort with conveniences so close by. Truly I am fortunate.

Is your home town small or large?
What is your favorite reference type book?

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2013, 2023

Categories: Books, Characters, Locations, Recommendations

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