I just finished "Enjoyment of the Same." What a magnificent piece of work! Also, extraordinary scholarship.
I learned more about our SWFL neighborhood from this book than from all
your and others' previous books! I really don't know how you do it, all
that research. It would take a journalist like me, if I were much
younger, a couple of years to gather all those facts and write such a
tome. You seem to miss nothing. I like the way it was organized by
district and territory, each with its own history and stories.
Perhaps it should have been called "The Rape of Southwest Florida."
However, despite all the bad news, the positive story comes through.
Lands HAVE been saved and preserved, and while the fight goes on, no one
can turn back the clock. Many devoted people saved what we had left,
just in time.
Florida seems to have a unique history of land development. I can't
think of anything like it in other states, and certainly no place I know
has had families as powerful as the Colliers, except for a few oil men
and railroad tycoons in the West. Someone needs to tell the Collier's
convoluted and controversial story, but probably no one ever will. I
tried to promote the idea to a couple of Rolling Stone and New Yorker
writers (a local writer wouldn't dare to it), but no one thought that
exposing a founding family for whom the largest county East of the
Mississippi is named for, who still holds tremendous power, was all that
interesting. But, as your book points out, they are the centerpiece of
everything and few people know anything about them and their impact on
the last undeveloped lands in Florida for over a century.
BTW, what happend to the Rosen Bros.? If still alive, they should be
charged with crimes against nature; if dead, may they rot in hell.
I do hope the book sells well and that you are getting it into the hands
of people who need to read it (Like the BCC and CCPC -- ha). It's a
timeless book, and should have ongoing marketing and publicity. It
should be required reading at all Florida universities and colleges. I
hope Barnes & Noble has it; they should feature it.
Thanks for putting in all the incredible effort to get this done. It is
a huge public service.
Neville Williams, Journalist