That is such a classic house that it got me to wondering when window screens were invented. I saw that the first patent dates back to 1868 and it was for screens for railway cars to prevent sparks and cinders from flying in. Window screens for houses were never patented (somebody could have made a fortune!). The United States, Canada and Australia are the only countries that make massive use of them.
I have read a large number of trip reports from North American tourists either amazed or shocked that European windows do not have screens, and I'm sure that Europeans writing about the screen countries are just as amazed.
When I grew up, apart from the screen doors, we never really thought about screens because we got air conditioning when I was about 5 years old and the windows were never opened again. When the house was enlarged, the new windows did not have screens.
Some interesting thoughts, Kerouac. We did not have air conditioning in the homes I lived in up to the age of twelve, but even after moving into the last of my parents' homes we only used the air conditioning sparingly. Mosquitoes were so bad at times, had we not had screens we would have been totally miserable. In thinking also of all the lizards and geckos that dance on my screens chasing after those mosquitoes, plus the snakes and roaches that would be an issue, too, I'd hate to have any of them in my house and am certainly thankful for screens because I keep my windows open as much as possible.
Here's a little map of the state of Florida. Note the city of Gainesville in the north. By car, we are an hour from the Gulf of Mexico, an hour and fifteen minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, and two hours north of the city of Orlando.
Since this is a big college football town and tomorrow is the first game of the season, the talk all around the city has turned to the "Gators." At many work places employees traditionally dress down a bit on Fridays, so many will be sporting their orange and blue colors. Traffic this afternoon will become even heavier than usual around the university campus, and heaven help anyone who might need a last minute hotel reservation. Typically, on game weekends all the rooms are taken and reserved for the required two-night minimum. Some of the faithful even have motor homes specifically for enjoying their Gator football weekends while parked in one of the large university commuter lots. From my perspective, it's a good weekend to get out of town. ;-)
Kerouac, I'm sure you would find it interesting from an anthropological/sociological point of view, not to mention the outstanding photographic opportunities. Both college and professional football are definitely big business in the U.S. and share many comparisons with other entertainment industries.
I have studiously avoided the game day crowds for the past several years. While I have no plans to attend a game this fall, I am trying to convince myself to get closer to some of the pre-game sights and sounds just so I can report back here. It will truly be a personal sacrifice.
In comparison, our first exhibition hockey game will be on Monday night! I should take a few photos and report back as well.
We have only had to use the air conditioning perhaps half a dozen times at the house this summer, but at our condo in town at least double that amount. With the amount of black flies and mosquitos we had this year it would have been unbearable without screens for us. I do remember my first trip to France and being quite surprised that they had no screens.
Gainesville is an attractive city and I do enjoy red brick buildings and homes, which seem plentiful in your area.
Do you plan to spend half your year in Gainesville and the other in the DC area once your retire htmb?
I have certainly enjoyed my visits to France, and could see staying a little longer in Europe to visit other countries as well. Unless I was also doing something that would ultimately generate some income I think the 90 day Schengen maximum would be sufficient for me. While I have never considered actually living in France an option, I am aware of the rules and the requirements for getting a longer visa. I have worked all my adult life, so even once I've retired from my current job, I want to find something that allows me lots of flexibility to travel while also generating at least a little income. Basically, I want to work for me and not for someone else.
So, how early do college football fans set up for the big game anyway? Apparently 11 hours ahead of time is not too early. I was on the university campus from 8:00 to 9:00 this morning and fans were already setting up for all day "tailgating."
I figure these guys were either the losers of a bet, or obsessive compulsive. They will be joined by their masses of friends as the day progresses.
The building construction lawn had plenty of room for more cars and tents when I arrived, but an hour later this spot will be packed with orange and blue.
Lots of tents were already up on the Plaza of the Americas.
And a friendly game was in play.
The university police were looking forward to a very long day.
And many of the colleges were setting up tents to cater to the alumni as a fundraising "development" strategy.
It is so strange to see all of that ambience again after living for so long in a country where university sports are only played on an amateur level and with absolutely no media coverage. Of course the fact that yearly tuition for undergraduate studies in France is 184€ or 256€ for a masters degree kind of ensures that there is no such thing as a sports scholarship.
In just a few hours the north lawn will be filled with RVs.
This lot to the west awaits paying fans, as well.
It takes hundreds of people to orchestrate an event of this size.
The young people manning the parking barricades on the left side of the next photo are members of a student crew hired to work large events. I talked to one at another location who told me he'd be working today for about 16 hours.
I failed to mention that the University of Florida plays Idaho today in the season opener, so this game won't be as frenzied an affair as those with close rivals from Southeastern Conference schools. I'll try to revisit the area closer to game time on a future date.
I love seeing all of that, but I'm sure it is more a phenomenon of small towns with big universities, and that makes it all the more interesting. Going to USC, situated in the heart of Los Angeles, I never saw any of that, probably because there is no way to do all of that in a huge city. I am not even sure if tailgating had even been invented in those ancient times, but of course I had no reason to visit the parking lots around the Los Angeles Coliseum, which seats about 90,000, so I presume that it has some pretty big parking lots (this was back in the days of little or no public transportation in LA).
Actually, the main thing this part of the thread is doing to me is to make me want to go to a barbecue.
That stadium was built for the Olympics, wasn't it? I've actually attended a game there and have also tailgated in one of the parking lots, though it was after both our undergraduate days.
You are right in that college football in smaller towns such as Gainesville, Baton Rouge, LA, Athens, GA, and Auburn, AL is certainly different from events held in large cities. The atmosphere is very different and, like it or not, the whole town can be involved in one way or another. If I were to go to Publix to do grocery shopping during the game I can be assured the broadcast would be playing through the store speakers so I wouldn't miss any of the action.
Yeah, the Coliseum was built for the 1932 Olympics, but since it is next door to USC (a 5 minute walk), obviously it became the college stadium. Of course there is the slight complication that it is also used by UCLA, so the home and away games of each university have to be planned accordingly (except for the game where they play each other). I always kind of felt sorry for UCLA because the Coliseum is quite far from their campus and situated in a part of the city that most people hate, and not just because USC is there.
Actually, the game I attended in that stadium was an LA Rams professional football game and not college ball, probably in 1975. I've only been to Las Angeles a few times, but it held no attraction for me whatsoever.
See, we've had some SERIOUS storms for the past several weeks! Last night was a doozy with several hours of brutal and very dangerous lightening and then torrential rain along with the lightening. It was a horrible night to try to play a football game. Earlier in the weekend two of the high school teams had to postpone their game after it was interrupted by storms part way through. They tried playing the rest of the game the next day, until two of the officials began to suffer from heat exhaustion and they ended the game.
I rented a condo at Cedar Key this time last year - Labor Day weekend - and it was so hot, humid and stormy I didn't want to even go outside. This year I'm saving my money instead.
Htmb, I have been dipping in & out of this great thread since you began it, but just now leisurely enjoyed it from the beginning and am looking forward to your additions over time.
I love the way you keep double & even triple timelines going in parts -- everything from the history of the university to the way your personal history ties in to local involvement in political history. It really adds to the feeling of getting a personal walking tour. Of course many photos made me homesick, but in a nice way -- the myrtles and magnolias, the homey cottage, the lushness born of humidity.
You truly make it clear why Gainesville is a desirable place to live in terms of its ties to the university and I can't wait to see more of the town itself.
A question: when I saw the building named for Marjorie Rawlings, I remembered that in another thread you talked about her relationship to your part of Florida. Can you jog my memory on that, please?
I'll have to think, Bixa. I don't immediately recall writing about MKR in another thread, but I did mention in this one that my college dormitory was named after her. The author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings lived in the area of Cross Creek for several years where she wrote many books, including "The Yearling," which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1939 and was also made into a movie. Cross Creek is about twenty miles away from Gainesville, located in between Orange Lake and Lake Lochloosa, and is to the south east of Paynes Prairie. MKR's home and 76 acre orange grove have become a state park and are open to visitors, though I haven't been there in over 30 years.
As mentioned earlier, many people in the city of Gainesville are consumed by football in the fall, so the university calendar affects other local events. Since there was not a UF football game this Saturday, many organizations picked the date to host non-football related events. There was some sort of a walk in one of the large parks on the west side of town, a huge plant sale at the botanical gardens, the Friends of the Library group was hosting the semi-annual book sale, and at a high school north of town there was a band festival lasting from early morning into the night. Downtown Gainesville parking was super crazy due to an early morning walk to cure breast cancer, plus early voting was in full swing at the county administration building.