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(Click the pic for a larger view.)

Anyone who knew me as a kid knows it’s an astoundingly, flabbergasting, jaw-dropping, stupefying surprise that I’m a father. Sure, I had a future even a wrong turn could help back then, but it also was clear from the get-go that another planet was, in fact, my home. I lived spaced out most of the time.

Still, there has always been a Father in me.

A fishing Grandpa….who knew?


Basically, my kid-self was a walking brain dent.

School was torture, a work around looking to happen, though girls were annoyingly interesting. Sports became my ticket to skate by on in high school. Next came a spin as class VP.  I spent a zillion hello’s on friends passing in school halls like a pseudo-millionaire with no money.

The politician in me continued to thrive through my non-formative years of college.

As a sophomore, the college paper deemed me, Apple Gerry, with a front page picture that showed me ranting about student dorm rights. Soon, I was appointed by the graduating head of , Group X, to be this organization’s next President. Now, Group X had two major agendas. First, our group wanted , ‘open,’ dorms with visiting rights for both men and women 24/7. (Seems my younger interests stuck with me). Secondly, we wanted visiting rights for women in the men’s dorms.  I know, these two agendas seem the same, but agenda two left men out of female dorms. Underlying our two hot pulsing agenda’s were rumors I made sure spread that Group X would host off campus beer parties. It all worked great until those beer parties took effect which is why I don’t remember how long Group X survived and when or why it ended…

Not to be detoured, my free-fallin’, dancing, singing self landed me a membership pre-facto of Phi-Kappa-Phi since I refused to go thru hazing but was made an off-the-record member of the fraternity house anyway. It was a great, wild , short year of being reprimanded by the College Administration. Before our house knew it, women weren’t allowed in our second story where the beds were, so, yeah, we moved all the beds down to the basement and slept there and stuff. This pissed Admin off but it wasn’t until we held a beer-bed floating party in the basement with strippers from Baltimore as hosts that our house got shut down! I mean, completely closed for a year!!! Can you imagine?!?! Of course, I had very little to do with any of this that I remember.

My successful political days weren’t over, but it was time for those college days to fog into post college days of running naked in the Ocala National Forest, jumping naked off lime pits east of Gainesville with 300 hundred others on any given Saturday afternoon and strolling by police cars while at a nude block party on NE 1st street here in Gainesville.  I know, I know, you’re thinking I was a nudist but, no, I wore clothes to job interviews and stuff all the time.

(Clothes on! This is the site of many Bonaparte late night ,’Chunky-dunks,’ but we can’t beat Ireland’s recent Guinness book world record-breaking 2500 nude swimmers at once!)*

All that college,’Fog,’ cleared into pot smoke that guided my way for a few more zillion years as I grew older without growing up. There’s a pill to take for that, but I forget the color!

Next thing I knew, my ears pretty much got too long for my face and my children stole my hair.

I remember waking up one day and staring into the mirror realizing very little.

I’d set down my principles and forgotten where they were unless I tripped over them while changing diapers. It was nifty earning money that was really other people’s money if I made it to the power company on time to keep the lights on. I was consumed with successful failure without notice or care but for my family. I have to say, that bunch got my attention.

I suppose it’s true to say one baby led to another and then another which led to seven others—so far.

(Here’s five of them being still all at once!?!?!)

But through it all I maintained my hat wearing image with uniquely obtuse discernment, a finesse of in-depth leadership and control.

Clearly, this is not me , but a look-a-like! Aaron is, however, wearing my glasses!!! Have you ever noticed children love to wear glasses, but that’s never good for the glasses?

As it turns out, I like to grow things, whether it be debates on issues (have you noticed), babies, grand children, properties, gardens and wrinkles….

Click the pic to see the start of hat construction and the  wrinkle lines I spent hours, days, weeks, heck, years putting on my face!!

I’m not sure what ticket I would have been on if you told me back in high school that I’d end up a  paper bag hat wearing, wrinkled eared, laughing Grandpa. Maybe, the one to the fast train to Berkeley or the over-life sleeper to the deep woods of Canada.

Yep. Throughout the laughs there was a Father in me after all. Man, this is great; a nice surprise, indeed. Who knew I had a plan all along? Me!

(This is my brother-in-law and his wife and me with my wife standing in front of what we believe was the location of my wife’s ancestor’s home. They were hat makers in Denton, England. I was making leather hats in a barn in Gainesville in the 1970’s when my wife first moved in with me! See? That’s called a plan:-)



A spirited adventure to enliven your soul…..



Homegrown pineapples are heavenly


A romp in the swamp that will hook you…


gotta try on a few more hats…

The truth of the matter; it’s pure fat, er, fact…



I could hardly get a laugh in between push-ups

How to drink and enjoy it more—A Japanese bar…

download (1)

You can bathe men/ women or separated in Japan-up to you.


The whole country comes alive to the sight of the Sakura….

Our dog who died to live…do dogs have souls?

Cheers! Have a great weekend…





I can’t quite put my finger on it…

"Put your finger on your ear" story hour at the lake.

“Put your finger on your ear” story hour at the lake.

But as much as the Lake is about the people you see there, the Lake has a life of its own.

A perfectly normal gathering of family and relatives can tune south quickly around the lake....

A perfectly normal gathering of family and relatives can turn south quickly around the lake….

Just when you think things are under control, you’re using power tool while standing in the water. Maybe, even drinkin’

Zzzzzzzz sawing sounds....

Zzzzzzzz sawing sounds….

Hats are available, especially when working….this I learned at work

Hats and shirts

Hats and shirts

Hats work at work as well….

working it

working it

All of us-working…..

something about hats

something about hats keeps the ticker tickin’

or hats keep you head from fryin'

or hats keep you head from fryin’ (backyard pool zone in FL.) Title: Floating Heads.

And it's all about fishin', too

And it’s all about fishin’, too

Three fishin' fools make a basket full of brains-Einstein.

Three fishin’ fools make a basket full of brains-Einstein.

So, there’s dinner for five hundred biblical style…

You need the protein to get things done while watching family work...

You need the protein to get things done while watching family work…


The lake floats plenty of boats….

Lots of different types

Lots of different types

Funny, but I thought about this floating scene while floating down a river in Xcaret, Mexico with my wife a few months ago….BTW-a must do if you can

Rolling down the river

Rolling down the river

It's easy to think of the past when you're floating down a river...only one left, now.

It’s easy to think of the past when you’re floating down a river…only one above left, now.

Me? I'm still fishin'

Me? I’m still fishin’

We'll all come and go

We’ll all come and go and like John Lennon sang, “There are places I’ll remember…

some are gone or changed forever.

some are gone and some have changed.”

But the Lake will stay a treasure to those lucky enough to visit her shores.

But the Lake will stay a treasure to those lucky enough to visit her shores.

It’s a great time to be going to the lake; anytime is.

Good luck fishin', and I hope to see you cruising by

Good luck fishin’, and I hope to see you cruising by

Bye for now….off to the Lake…

gotta try on a few more hats...

gotta try on a few more hats…


Franque23—fun times ahead.

When I think about it, maybe I should just stay home and stick fish-hooks in my fingers instead of going north to do it.

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

There may be a healthy amount of iron in fish hooks?

Up north or down south, hooks hurt like any other. And why go through the trouble of driving 22 hours north to spill gas or oil on myself as the boat rocks? I do that servicing my lawn mower here at home.

 A body tune-up

A body tune-up

I can sun burn out back in our yard or slip on these steps here-who needs a dock. Sure, I don’t have 49 steps in Florida, but falling’s falling, peeling’s peeling.

Florida burns like any other.

Florida burns are like any other.

I have a choice: reel in weeds from the lake or pull them from my yard at home.  One hawk’s cry echoes any other, and my neighbors here shoot off guns from time to time with almost the same regularity as Fort Drum’s boomers shake the windows up north. Of course, the Lake has those magnificent jets flying around now and then, but Gainesville has an old twin prop plane that fly’s overhead occasionally.

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the's s-l-o-w..

I keep expecting this plane to drop from the sky…it’s s-l-o-w..

Traffic cops here; traffic cops there. The bugs are about the same. Used to be the beer brands were different up north, now, not so much. The traffic jams home give me time to think while New York State RT 3 is one long country road populated by drivers who wave as they go by. Oy Vey, the arm strain up north is almost as bad as the back pain you get from visiting Japan.

What is a stop sign?

What is a stop sign? NYS RT Three.

If that friendly clerk at the grocery store asks me one more time how I am….down here there’s no time for a polite hello; we’re all busy, in a hurry and completely bummed out by searing heat, too many lunatics and raging jobs. Crowds and one million fast food joints-that’s more like it!

Harrisville's version of a New York City deli.

Harrisville’s version of a New York City deli.

We have no internet connection and choose not to hook up our TV up north. Basically, there’s only morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night, one day after they other. Pesky, friendly neighbors say hello and every one smiles, plays cards, fails at puzzle making, swims, fishes, boats, floats, and laughs the time away. It’s a crap load of fun, day in and day out, always the same, tireless, never-ending, on and on, repeated mirrored days that reflect in the lake*.It's so easy to reflect upon the beauty of the world up at the Lake.l

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day-people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night...oh the fun!!!

My mom enjoys the quiet during one of her last years up at the lake. In her day people still prayed to make it home before leaving Beer Island at night…oh the fun!!!

The air itself, purified by the Adirondack trees and the lack of major industrial pollution, is much purer than the air found almost anywhere else on the planet-it’s work, breathing the fresh air in and out-improving health takes some adjustment. The energy you feel up at the lake is one big pain in the ass…who needs energy when they could’ve stayed home and melted into a couch while flipping TV channels.

Nothing comes free, and nap time up north cuts into daily pleasures. That’s pressure right there. You can catch people power napping all over the lake trying to hurry up the process so the day doesn’t slip by too fast. Even blinking seems a waste.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

Ho-hum, the day is done...

Ho-hum, the day is done…

So why go north when I can sweat at home? Hmmm,,,ya know, thinking about it all, maybe 22 hours driving with a wife, two grand kids and a dog isn’t really that long of a trip.

There might be a way to have a good time...

There might be a way to have a good time…

Maybe, I would survive the fun, live through the air-breathing task and haul in some fish with those weeds?!?!

Come to think of it, my bags are already packed, and why not? We leave for the lake in 108 hours and 14 minutes. The boat’s callin’…

Let's get a move on!!!

Let’s get a move on!!! The ears have it!

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them.....but that was long ago.

Times change, but I still think boats floated better with beer in them…..but that was long ago.



*Dale, my wife took these amazing shots of Bonaparte…

From the 1/2 way it's 30 more steps to the lake bottom---but what if I rolled down from here?

It’s 30 more steps from the 1/2 way dock down to the lake—but what if I rolled down the steps from here? Giant slides and elevators come to mind.



Arriving at the lake makes ya lucky.

Arriving at the lake means you got lucky.(click on the pics for bigger views)

The 22 plus hour drive from our Florida home up to the lake always means we count our blessing if we get in before sundown on the second day of the trip. Towing two grand children, 5 and 6, plus a year and one half old catahoula made the trip a bit longer… But no worries-out of the car, the bags stowed inside our camp and then a quick splash in the water made it all good.  Last summer’s first sundown was rated an average of 6 out of ten points…I gave it a five, since I’m spoiled rotten, but others pulled up the rating.

The next day was time to get the games out

The next day was time to get the games out

We were waiting for our boat to be delivered, so the whole day was a bust.

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

we had to spend time swimming -no one had fun

Oy Veyish, we had to wait a whole 5 hours for the boat to arrive….so I got the tackle ready while Dale worked hard to over turn the kid’s kayaks. What? I mean, this is the Lake. Who hasn’t been thrown in with all their clothes on? See a shrink if not; you have no true friends.

Dale's on the bottom right, making her move...

Dale’s on the bottom right, making her move…

Finally, after boring games, swimming, kayaking, swimming more, throwing a ball one hundred times for our puppy Shadow to retrieve in the Lake,,,,we got to go out, we got to answer the call of the fish, we got to prove the engine would start and put hooks in my fingers.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.

The trip was one worm after another, and sometimes fish.( about 80 in one hour-really) We had three stringers full.

I’m not sure what Isaiah had done to his brother so that he alone could be in this picture… Thing is, I’m certain I don’t want to know. On another note-I was thrilled to see some nice perch keepers come up…It’s been awhile since those tasty fish were on my plate. And, I see from FB shots that the Walleye have been caught lately, too…..very good indeed.

I discovered how to bait one hundred worms on moving, swerving, lookout duck! slap in my face hooks in less than one minute.

Bapa’s Epitaph should read: Survived teaching Grandchildren how to fish-for a pretty good length of time.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on hook holes.

More stupid games came out plus a good book while I hunted for antibiotic to put on my finger’s hook holes.

The early morning fishing trip was my revenge plan. The three of us went out early, way early, but in June, as Lake Bonapertian’s know, the sun only pretends to set at about 10 PM-it’s actually rising then but you don’t get to see it until just after 3:30 AM. Plus the AM trips lets us guys rev the motor to let everyone know we’re out and about. Good morning!

We allllmmmost beat the light.

We allllmmmost beat the light.

What my grandchildren didn’t know is this: what Bonaparte fish do best in the morning is sleep. Heck, they’ve been tearing one another up all night long. So it was a good laugh while we filled the boat full of nothing time and time again, and then headed back home in a glorious morning light. I couldn’t help but think of mom and dad who’d given us, their children, the camp.

.mom and dad with hummingbird…..(Claudia and Max Franquemont)

The cabin was a bit cool when we arrived back home; I lit a fire while the kids tried to forget about wanting to throw me over board the next time we went out-I hoped.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the kids would find some inner peace.

When it came time for breakfast, everyone had a face for the 4 AM fishing trip idea….



Okay, with 4 AM fishing trips put out on-a-line, it meant we had time to finish a very difficult puzzle. We gathered for a shot to celebrate two weeks of hard work, and the completion of a master piece-Bonaparte style…

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Completely done, and with an added brown overlay tinge for effect.

Trouble was, the sun kept rising and then the day vanishing before yet again another sunset had to be rated…We turned around, took one swim, a short nap and the dang vacation was over! Someone really needs to look into the time problem up at the Lake. I’ve got my buddy, Paul Doherty, hot on the case-He’ll fix this crap , I just know it.

There's just no way that was 14 days...Pllllease.

There’s just no way that was 17 days…Pllllease.

And since when does time speed up in Mud Lake worse than a Formula One X 2016 at the Daytona speedway?

Ya know-it's like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot...really--try it.

Ya know-it’s like impossible to take a photo of Paul without having a loon photo bomb the shot…really–try it.

Anyway, we watched our last sundown-

A most beautiful and untouched up photo--I had to think about the rating.....

A most beautiful and untouched up photo–I had to think about the rating…..(thanks Daley for the pic!)

I spent the next hour thinking of how I might fake falling down the cliff, break a few bones here and there, and get to stay a couple of extra weeks….None of it seemed likely.

I bet our visit put a smile on mom's we to leave, and in just

I bet our visit put a smile on mom’s face…

So we had to leave, and in just 11 and 1/2 weeks we’ll be back. That’s a mere one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two hours….a piece of cake. Actually, I think just under three months sounds better. Anyway, the whole crew is coming back, and I can’t wait for that next early morning fishin’ trip.(Gonna wear my life jacket this time.)


Franque23 loves the Lake.





(Two public meetings have been scheduled by county staff to present their response to the revised Plum Creek plan:

  • February 16, 2016
  • February 18, 2016
Both meetings start at 5:00 pm and will be at Eastside High School. There will be presentations by county staff and representatives of Plum Creek. There will be time for public comment.)
The stand by your group is fighting to retain our rights…..

Ha! Alachua County Forever , my ass. Right now, elected officials may be about to approve a building development  that flies in  the face of the Alachua County Forever agenda! This plan is one made in hell and disregards the will of the people of Alachua County and the entire state of Florida! It comes to us under the guise of, Envision Alachua, a new improved plan brought up just three months after voters fully backed Alachua Forever Amendment 1 at the voting booths. Thing is, developers couldn’t find a way to work around the Alachua Forever amendment so they’ve invented this Envision Alachua and they’re calling it  a “Community backed” program. Whahhah…maybe it is backed by a community of thieves hell-bent on circumventing the people’s will, but that’s about it.  Just last Nov. the people voted on Amendment 1 and that amendment won by over a 75% majority-an amendment that, in part, supported the green passageway in Florida and our state’s wet lands.  It is a blue print of how We the People want growth and development in Florida to be structured  right now and in the future—forever.

The plum creek development proposed site lands right on top of Florida’s green passageway

Developers hopw to counter Amendment  1 with something called-Envision Florida....WTH?

Developers hope to counter Amendment 1 with something called-Envision Alachua….WTH?


Contact these Alachua County Commissioners now and ask them to stop Plum Creek-You’ll get the big picture if you read Commissioner, Mike Byerly’s comments on the link below-he’s got it right,,,Commissioner, Hutchinson is oh so wrong…



And it even gets worse. The developer’s  requested to have waved  the required(by law prior to building) plans for road development and septic usage until AFTER the development is built! Why-oh-why does this all make me think of the Bio Mass plant scenario disaster our citizens of this county have had to endure ….oh, wait, I know why: it’s because this Plum Creek crap is the same sort of a load our elected officials pulled when the Bio plant was put into action.

Okay, why should we the citizens of Alachua County, Florida, and the entire US hate the Plum Creek building plans? Ha—amendment 1 just passed Nov 2015 by over 75%,,,an amendment put in place to stop just this sort of urban sprawl into our wet lands and intrusion of the green passageway for migrating animals from north to south Florida. In part, the protection of this passageway is what Alachua Forever is about. Now, within one year of the passages of amendment 1 back room deals and elected officials threaten to side step the will of the people by allowing this development…..Here’s a short list of those groups who supported amendment 1–and IF you or anyone you know is a member of any of these groups–please contact them and have them write Alachua county officials,,, and Cynthia Chestnut the current chair of he Democratic party for North Florida. The, no, THE list—-“Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Campaign attributes much of its success to the invaluable service of its volunteers and generous contributions of donors. If you are interested in supporting the Water and Land Conservation amendment, please visit FloridaWaterLandLegacy.orgto learn more.

Endorsing organizations (in alphabetical order) include:

1000 Friends of Florida
Alachua Conservation Trust
Allen Broussard Conservancy
Alliance of Florida Land Trusts
American Planning Association – Florida Chapter
American Rivers Southeast Region
Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy
Animal Rights Foundation of Florida
Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitor
Apalachee Land Conservancy
Apalachicola Riverkeeper
Archbold Biological Station
Around the Bend Nature Tours
Audubon Florida
Alachua Audubon Society
Apalachee Audubon Society
Bay County Audubon Society
Choctawhatchee Audubon Society
Citrus County Audubon Society
Clearwater Audubon Society
Collier County Audubon Society
Duval Audubon Society
Eagle Audubon Society
Audubon Society of the Everglades
Flagler Audubon Society
Four Rivers Audubon Society
Francis M. Weston Audubon Society
Halifax River Audubon Society
Hendry-Glades Audubon Society
Hernando Audubon Society
Highlands County Audubon Society
Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society
Lake Region Audubon Society
Manatee County Audubon Society
Marion County Audubon Society
Martin County Audubon Society
Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society
Orange Audubon Society
Peace River Audubon Society
Pelican Island Audubon Society
Ridge Audubon Society
Santa Fe Audubon Society
Sarasota Audubon Society
Seminole Audubon Society
South Florida Audubon Society
Southeast Volusia Audubon Society
Southwest Florida Audubon Society
Space Coast Audubon Society
St. Johns Audubon Society
St. Lucie Audubon Society
St. Petersburg Audubon Society
Tampa Audubon Society
Tropical Audubon Society
Venice Area Audubon Society
West Pasco Audubon Society
West Volusia Audubon Society
Barrier Island Parks Society
Bay County Conservancy
Blackwater Heritage State Trail Citizen Support Organization
Breckenridge Golf and Tennis Club
Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association (Riverwatch)
Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife
Carrabelle Cares and Waterfront Partnership
Citizens for an Engaged Electorate
Citrus County Council
City of Cedar Key
Clean Water Action
Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy
Collany Properties
Committee of the Islands on Sanibel
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast
Conservation Trust for Florida
Defenders of Wildlife
Democratic Club of Coral Gables Area
Democratic Club of Lake County
Democratic Club of North Broward
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida
Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida – Southwest Florida Chapter
Democratic Women’s Club of Hardee County
Democratic Women’s Club of Highlands County
Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River County
Democratic Women’s Club of Florida
Earth Ethics
EarthJustice Florida
East Coast Greenway Alliance
Emerald Coastkeeper
Endangered Species Coalition
Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida (ECOSWF)
Environmental Conservation Organization
Environmental Education Council of Broward County, Florida
Estero Council of Community Leaders
Everglades Coalition
Everglades Foundation
First Florida Frontiers
Florida Clean Water Network
Florida Conservation Alliance
Florida Conservation Coalition
Florida Consumer Action Network
Florida Defenders of the Environment
Florida Disabled Outdoors Association
Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
Florida Keys Citizens Coalition
Florida Native Plant Society
Florida Native Plant Society – Citrus Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Coccoloba Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Cocoplum Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Conradina Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Coontie Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Cuplet Fern Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Dade Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Hernando Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Ixia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Lake Beautyberry Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Lakelas Mint Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Longleaf Pine Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Lyonia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Magnolia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Mangrove Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Marion Big Scrub Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Nature Coast Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Palm Beach Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – PawPaw Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Paynes Prairie Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Pinellas Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sarracenia Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sea Oats Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Serenoa Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sparkleberry Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sumter Spiderwort Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Suncoast Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Sweetbay Chapter
Florida Native Plant Society – Tarflower Chapter
Florida Ornithological Society
Florida Outdoor Recreation Coalition
Florida Paddling Trails Association
Florida Panther Society
Florida Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism
Florida State University Environmental Services Program
Florida Trail Association
Florida Trail Association – Alligator Amblers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Apalachee Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Big Cypress Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Central Florida Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Choctawhatchee Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Fisheating Creek Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Florida Cracker Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Halifax-St. Johns Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Happy Hoofers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Heartland Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Indian River Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Loxahatchee Chapter
Florida Trail Association – North Florida Trail Blazers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Panhandle Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Suncoast Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Tropical Trekkers Chapter
Florida Trail Association – Western Gate Chapter
Florida Wildlife Federation
Florida’s Nature Coast Conservancy
Friends of Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of Perdido Bay
Friends of Pinellas Master Naturalists
Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves
Friends of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Friends of St. Sebastian River
Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge
Friends of the Miccosukee Greenway
Friends of the Wacissa
Friends of the Wekiva River
Friends of Wakulla Springs State Park
Golden Gate Civic Association
Green Horizon Land Trust
Green Party of Florida
Gulf Coast Conservancy
Halifax Heritage Byway
Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute
IDEAS for US (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions)
Indian River Land Trust
Indian Riverkeeper
League of Conservation Voters
Lemon Bay Conservancy
Leon Soil and Water Conservation District
Lighthouse Bay at the Brooks
Millstone Institute for Preservation
National Wildlife Federation
Nehrling Gardens
North American Butterfly Association – Citrus County
North American Native Fishes Association
North Florida Land Trust
Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail
Paddle Florida
Pine Ridge Sanctuary/Pine Ridge Orchids
Progress Florida
Protect our Watersheds
Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida
Putnam County Environmental Council
Putnam Land Conservancy
Rails to Trails Conservancy
Rainbow River Conservation
Redlands Citizens Association
Reef Relief
River of Grass Greenway
Rookery Pointe Homeowners Association
Sanibel – Captiva Conservation Foundation
Save Our Suwannee
Save the Manatee Club
Science Eye
Shadow Wood Community Association
Shady Historic and Scenic Trails Association
Sierra Club Florida Chapter
Sierra Club – Ancient Islands Group
Sierra Club – Broward Group
Sierra Club – Calusa Group
Sierra Club – Greater Charlotte Harbor Group
Sierra Club – Loxahatchee Group
Sierra Club – Nassau County Group
Sierra Club – Northeast Group
Sierra Club – Suwannee-St. Johns
Sierra Club – Tampa Bay Group
Sierra Club – Turtle Coast Group
Silver River Keeper Foundation
Silver Springs Alliance
Snook Foundation
South Florida Wildlands Association
Southern Trailriders Association
Southwest Florida Watershed Council
Space Coast Progressive Alliance
Spring Run Golf Club
St. Andrew Bay Resource Management Association
St. Johns River Alliance
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Students Advocating Sustainability at Stetson
Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light
Surfrider Foundation
Suwannee Bicycle Association
Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
Tallahassee Citizens Climate Lobby
Tampa Bay Conservancy
The Conservation Fund
The Nature Conservancy
The Villagers
Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation
Treasured Lands Foundation
Trust for Public Land
UCF College Democrats Environmental Caucus
Urban Environment League of Greater Miami
Urban Paradise Guild
UWF Student Environmental Action Society
Wakulla Springs Alliance
Wellington Preservation Coalition
Wildlands Conservation
Wildlife Society – Florida Chapter
Wildwood Preservation Society
Women for Wise Growth
Women’s History Coalition”

So, if you live in one of the other 64 countries where this glob of a blog is read, please contact these commissioners and tell them you can smell how rotten of a idea this Plum Creek development is from where you live. If you are a citizen of the US , or live in Alachua county, Florida…call or write this board ASAP.

I thank you,,,and our grandchildren will, too.


“I love the Lake!” How many Lake Bonaparte lovers have said those words?!?!? Scads, zillions, bunches of happy people. “Food taste sooo good up there!” Mouths stuffed with fresh fish, Croghan Baloney and New York Cheddar  smile to say the words.

I simply accepted the truism all my life that it felt great to be at Lake Bonaparte! There was never any question, and I didn’t need to ask my cousins about the fact, either.

a gargantuan family line up by Sherman's boat house rental!

A gargantuan family line up by Sherman’s boat house rental!(Porter’s Bay.)

Boom! Another year, another shot of a cyclopean family gathering at Lake Bonaparte.

Boom! Another year, another shot of a cyclopean family gathering at Lake Bonaparte.

But, after 66 years of visits my mind in a random way started wondering exactly why it felt so good to be at the lake. Of course, there’s the beauty of the place-enough to bulldoze any problem away in a sunset of a second.

From our half-way dock in Porter's Bay

From our half-way dock in Porter’s Bay

And, there’s the people-family, loved ones, friends. Plus, ya just can’t leave out the relaxed atmosphere it seems people hang out in most of the time while up at the lake.

Still, I needed something a bit more tangible-why was I so happy at the lake, so bouncy up and down our set of sixty steps from the cabin to the dock below? How did staying up to see the Northern lights and then getting up early to fish work? At home, I often crawl in and out of bed, but I’ve a lawn to mow, bushes to trim, toes nails to cut and light bulbs to change at home. Maybe all that work weighs down the days at home? But Wait! I’ve boat loads of work to do at the lake-lawns to mow, trees to chain saw, docks to clean and treat-heck, often an entire year’s maintenance for the lake house is crammed into a two-week visit! Of course, I’m not working at my job while at the lake, and vacation has a way of making a fella feel good. Nah, none of those calculations added up to fishing, boating, rowing and bounding up stairs-having that superman feeling I enjoy experiencing while up at the Lake..

I may have found one secret to Lake Bonaparte’s all invasive power, it’s lure, like a plug to a fish, one underlying undeniable truth about the lake’s energy. It’s all about…..the air.

Right, taking in the air at the lake is akin to  walking into an oxygen tent. Breathing in at Lake Bonaparte zings the body full of new life. Fact-the air at Lake Bonaparte has 95% less hazardous air pollutants than the national average air American’s breath day in , day out! It figures the air is filtered by the Adirondacks, the largest track of free range land America has left.

It all makes perfect sense: pure air leads to clear minds, better smelling, tasting, maybe thinking, more energy and a happy feeling.  Wow and whew, I couldn’t believe the stats on the air when I stumbled across these findings…Enjoy the figures-

These findings over a 365 day period.

Harrisville                              New York City                    National

Air quality index 31 43                               50
Pollution index 230,538 9,468,840            5,072,052

The Harrisville, NY air quality index is a median value which considers the most hazardous air pollutants. The Harrisville, NY air quality index is 27.5% less than the New York average and 37.6% less than the national average.

The Harrisville, NY pollution index is the sum of the most hazardous air pollutants displayed in pounds. The Harrisville, NY pollution index is 97.6% less than the New York average and 95.5% less than the national average.

Air Pollution Information for Lake Bonaparte/Harrisville area

Pollutant Total
Arsenic 0.000%
Benzene 0.004%
Carbon Tetrachloride 0.001%
Lead 0.000%
Mercury 0.000%

So it all adds up, but this is to take nothing away from all that is Lake Bonaparte! What a mind-blowing place!!!

the lake is an easy ride.

The lake is an easy ride for the mind and body, especially the lungs.*I’ve no idea who took this shot—-absolute credit goes to them…

Lake Bonapartre is a living , breathing mediation…

I just love Lach Franquemont's shot from our dock.

I just love Lach Franquemont’s shot from our dock.

ONe year I came back from the lake a whipped this board up at work. The idea came to me while fishing sundown in mud lake.....

This board had to go up a few years back just after returning from the lake . The idea came to me while fishing sundown in mud lake…..

There’s nothing like a breath of fresh air to do the soul some good.


Book one, Avatar Magic, and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now. Please enjoy this Sci-fi romance.

My wife and I planned to venture by plane up to our lake cabin for a week-long story hour with two grandsons, age six and seven. Simply, we’d not lost but forgotten sanity all together. The grandchildren slept over the night before to make the morning flight more manageable.

We took these two grandsons- pay no attention to the weirdo,,

We took these two grandsons- pay no attention to the weirdo,,

“Oh no!”

We were in the car and about 1/2 mile from the house on our way to the Gainesville airport when my wife uttered the words. I figured she’d forgotten something, maybe a purse, keys, money, laptop, certainly never her good looks, or maybe the tea kettle was left boiling. All that was doable; we had time to spare.(BTW-that’s never true.)

“My pants are on inside out!”

To date-this was a first, but it was all too true, the stitch line fringe giving my wife’s pant legs almost a disco seventies mod look. It was funny, and not at all worrying, even when a few days later she showed up on the dock with her swim suit on inside out-Madonna, eat your heart out.

I suspect having two grands around was both rewarding and a bit distracting.

I realize right off wiht my own children that using leashes was a bad idea since one day they'd use them on me.....see? Ya gotta think ahead.

I realized right off while raising our own children that using leashes was a bad idea since one day they’d use them on me…..see? Ya gotta think ahead…jus’ sayin’-

Meanwhile, why(as we were outside enjoying the lake this past week) people came into our lake house and relocated my keys, glasses, jackets, I understand the fishing license, but not eat the New York State cheddar or pop a root beer while invading our space is a mystery? I had to go on, find those misplaced items, snatch the worms out of our inside frig and place them in the outside one, remove the fishhooks from my fingers and  trip over toys before the day could ever get better.

Okay, I’m not forgetful, but I taped my name on my forehead for safe keeping?

I tried not to turn around in a room more than once at a time-per day. I checked the trash when something important went missing; if the coffee cream was not in the frig that meant it was already by my coffee mug where I’d just put it down. The good news-I still can count the number of times I’ve ever opened two beers at about the same time on my relative’s fingers….

the cousin line ups grew over the years...sometimes as many as sixty plus! That's 600 fingers, right?

The cousin line ups grew over the years(this one shot taken about 20 years ago)…sometimes as many as sixty plus cousins have lined up! That’s 600 fingers, right? So, I’m good on that double opened beer thingy.

It’d been a busy morning on departure day as we prepared to go back home, to leave a lake of endless wonder and beauty. We snuck in swimming, finessed in some kayaking, wiggled in worm fishing and carried everything up from the docks to store in place for the long winter months. It was time to depart with the camp walls still standing, our vacation from heaven over, the time gone by so fast.

How is it a week at the lake seems to pass as a day while the memory lasts forever.

The memories do last forever.

The memories do last forever…

and ever....

and ever….

Our songs still echo through the woodland.

Our songs still echo through the woodland.

The past never leaves the present.

This year we cuaght over 24 pan fish in under an hour-more than enough to have satisfied this guy's belly.....

This year we caught over 24 pan fish in under an hour-more than enough to have satisfied this guy’s belly…..(Mom’s catch in Porter’s Bay-about 1980.)

My wife shared a story during our car ride to the Syracuse airport…

“I was paddling the kayaks today when I spotted you going up our stairs to the camp from the docks. Since the kayaks weren’t in view, I figured you’d already miraculously carried them up the stairs !” Then, she paddled the kayak some more.

I was still laughing about my wife wondering where the kayak she was paddling had gone when I checked our plane tickets, the row and seat numbers,  while seated by the gate waiting to be called for boarding. I hated to leave the lake, but it was time to put one foot in front of the other. I looked for any wrappers the kids might have left around our seats to throw out along with my empty coffee cup and sandwich box. I sat back down and immediately hoped I could retrieve our tickets from the garbage can before too many others added to that trash. Digging through the trash looking for plane tickets-perfect.

This is why we’d played Clue with a grandson who knew we didn’t have one.

I never did finish the puzzle from hell I’d started that week, but maybe that’s best since life is a puzzle and I hope ours will go on for quite some time. And I’ll miss the lake, that’s something I never seem to forget-the missing, the views, smell, the sense of how endless the Northern lights prove our universe is, so way beyond the hook hole in my finger.

Paul, who'd owned birch Island for years, and I watched in a cove behind Round Island as a loon fed her baby(not this picture exactly, but this year.)

Paul, who’d owned Birch Island for years, and I watched in a cove behind Round Island as a loon fed her baby(not this picture exactly, but this year.)

The loons call to those who love Lake Bonaparte. We lake lovers call back with our laughter, sense of being and sincere hope that the future will always find this place whole, fulfilling, and as unique for those who will follow.  Heck, I even wish this for the guy who took my pen and paper pad from the cabin-I looked everywhere. Jeez!

A week at Lake  Bonaparte with two Grandchildren! That’s the long way to spell JOY.


Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Some say you’ve done a lot of good during your terms as President,others not so much. But, you are letting the world down now. Drilling in the Arctic has to be the worst possible scenario in terms of environmental conservation, and pointless to boot.* Of course, As President, you know the ins and outs of drilling in the Arctic, that the arctic gas and oil fields are the largest left on earth, but they also reside where cleanup is impossible, human response time to disasters slow, and economically and culturally important species will be put at risk by drilling.

It’s simply not true that America needs to process the Arctic waters for oil production. It’s simply not true that drilling in the arctic ocean will help secure American’s future, or make a difference in our over all supply and demand of oil. The entire world is turning toward solar power development, and wind and water power-alternative energy. Why enforce a bad decision now and lead America away from the future?

The gain is little and the risk of environmental damage high.

Even America’s own watch dog agency ,The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, stated that there was an 75% chance that the world will suffer an environmental disaster brought on by off shore Arctic drilling. And, there’s more- “The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Lease Sale 193 in the Chukchi Sea in Northwest Alaska. The federal government unlawfully sold the oil and gas lease to oil companies, including Shell, in 2008 when it underestimated the risks of a large oil spill. The revised analysis found a 75 percent chance that one or more large oil spills could occur and that many species of marine wildlife would face substantial injury and mortality in the face of an oil spill. Despite these risks, the federal government is prepared to offer 29.4 million acres, the entire Chukchi Sea Program Area, for oil and gas development. – See more at: Why then, Mr. President, are you willing to risk so much for so little?

Why would you risk so much.....

Why would you risk so much…..

Mr. President, if you closed your eyes today and envisioned the 400,000 people who attended your first inauguration, you’d see a huge crowd of cheering people. Thing is, you’d also be hard pressed to find one among that crowd who supports your decision to drill in the Arctic. How can you turn your back on the very people who gave birth to your power?

Money can’t be enough. We all know the situation is tenuous between the terrorists, Isis, and American’s need to remain as independent as possible from the rich oil-producing countries, but making huge environmental mistakes in this day and age is not a show of force, but folly.

Short term, risky goals and solutions will usher in nothing but old and new problems soon enough.

Mr. President, I’m asking, as so many, that you stand back from an earlier decision you made to allow drilling in the Arctic. I’m asking you to hear the hearts and minds of those who voted you into office, that you turn away from fear, from the what if’s and what could be, and see what is. There’s an urgent call from your supporters for you to stop the Shell arctic drilling that is currently in motion. You can do this.

Life as we know it and our environment are so much more important than any speculative policy decision. You have to stand up for us and do what we know is right.

Franque23 *

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:

Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

Bobcats catch sharks off the coast of Florida.

This makes perfect sense, but I'd never imagined it happening.

This makes perfect sense, but I’d never imagined it happening.

Deer occasionally eat rabbits and birds…delanoes03-06-07-S1541 The next time you see a really big deer-run away…..Have to laugh about Monty Python’s attacking rabbit…

Broccoli seeds grow in pods….and the bunch in my garden will/do have one bazillion seeds on it—

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

I let my broccoli go to flower,,,then came the pods.

The seeds are small.

The seeds are small.

I will never tire of swimming in Alexander Springs.

I wa slucky to have been in the park when it first opened-often only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

I was lucky to have been in the park when it first opened(1970ish)-only 6 to 7 people came there on any given day. We often saw gators like this one swimming below us as we snorkeled above.

Okay, it was more than a week ago when I mentioned to a son-in-law that I thought it was a bit odd that-generally speaking-most designer’s of women’s  apparel were, well, seemingly gay men.* I mean, they like men, right!?!?  He turned to me and answered, “If heterosexual men were the designers, all women would be naked.”

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Duh! That answer sorta rang the bell of truth.

Clothing’s appeal is completely situational-a product of the mind…**(this link to a neat blog on the history of sex and fashion.) A black bikini composed of a thong bottom and single strap wide top is acceptable at the beach, water play ground, rivers, lakes or springs, but outlandish on a sidewalk.

case in point.

case in point. A 1970’s shot.

Ho-hum, another day at the beach.....

Ho-hum, another day at the beach…..2015.

Learning can be fun! Franque23 * **

here are links for both of my books in the Avatar Magic Series:
Book one, Avatar Magic and book two, The Code of Avatar Magic are on kindle now.

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July 2020