Adversity and difficulties sometimes expose qualities in folks that might surprise you, usually, I’m happy to say, in a good way. That has certainly been the case in all the hot weather we’ve been having in White Springs lately, especially at the Florida Folk Festival! The weather did not deter any of the volunteers, many of them senior citizens, from showing up early and staying late to do their share of the work, and then some. I even know someone who spent the night in the hospital with dehydration issues and two days later still showed up to do her assigned tasks at the festival. She’s my hero! I got to know friends and coworkers better as we worked together to share duties, serving the folks who lined up at the Folk Festival Beer Garden to get a cool beverage. It’s fun volunteering when it’s easy, but it is somehow even more rewarding when it is difficult and challenging. Everybody survived, and raised thousands of dollars for the Stephen Foster Citizen Support Organization in the process of meeting the heat-related challenges of working to serve the public. Now don’t get me wrong, it was still a lot of fun for volunteers and festival goers alike, and everybody had a good time, enjoying this annual reunion of all the people in Florida who come together to celebrate their heritage, history and cultures. Asking people where they were from revealed that they literally came from all over the state, and quite a few were from out of state as well, while the Folklife Stage featured Florida residents that came to settle in Florida from all around the world. The Florida Trail Association was there doing outreach work for three days, talking to festival goers about the trail and soaking in the hundreds of musical performances, folklife, and crafts. The trail crosses through the State Park and one of the music stages even sits directly on the trail! One thing amongst many that all these folks had in common was that they were all happy to be here, heat or no heat. Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Yes sir, it is hot, but there are plenty of air conditioned activities to pursue at area libraries. The White Springs Library’s SUMMER PROGRAM 2019 will be going strong from June 12 through July 25. Join them for crafts, makerspace activities, books, ecology adventures & more. Kids, bring your bookmarks in with days checked off that you have read, and be entered into a drawing for prizes. Adults, read, fill out a book review form, and place it in the Book House box for a drawing for prizes. From June 10 to July 25, 2019; Mondays, Free Lunch 12:30-1 p.m.; Tuesdays, Free Lunch 12:30-1 p.m., Rock-it Teens 3-5 p.m.; Wednesdays, Free Lunch 12:30-1 p.m., Makerspace 1:30-2:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Pre-K Story Time 10:30-11 a.m. and School Age Program 12:30-1:30 p.m. No meals will be served July 2-5. Call the White Springs Library at 386-387-1309 for more information.

I was pleased to hear that this column’s recent coverage of the White Springs STEM summer program for kids resulted in Milt Hayes of Live Oak donating a first class quality, high-powered telescope to the program. Thank you Mr. Hayes! It’s good to know that we have some readers in Live Oak!

Well, once again I’ve said enough but, as always, I do want to remind you that if you have news you want to share, you should let “Life in White Springs” help. We’re always glad to hear about goings on in the community and will be glad to share anything that is appropriate for this column. Just contact Walter McKenzie at I am thankful that we truly are all connected, and I hope that we can continue to feel proud of who we are and where we’re headed, and that we all appreciate how White Springs and its surrounding region is a very special place, to be honored and protected. As always, I look forward to seeing you out and about, enjoying your community and your life in White Springs.

Walter McKenzie


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