DARE Interview : Fort Myers, Florida; Primary Informant FL047

  • 1966
  • Informant Data:
  • FL047: White; male; age: 88 (old); education: grade school; community type: small city
  • Media Files:
  • Arthur the Rat. Speaker: FL047 (6:53)
  • Full Interview 1 (Tape 0281-S1).
  • Content:
  • 00:20 Homesteading with father in Ft. Myers, and doing odd jobs for Edison. Witnessing inspiration for underwater telephone
  • 06:35 Edison offers to help town with electric streetlights, town decides they will interfere with cattle
  • 10:15 Edison seeking bamboo, climate, and privacy in Florida. How Informant met Edison
  • 15:45 Major Evans finds people on his government land grant, much argument
  • 18:45 Lawsuit to recover father's land, end up with one-fourth of his original holding
  • 23:20 Going to business school, sent to Alaska to check up on an investment for the school
  • 29:00 Con man avoids going to Juneau, they stay for winter in LA with Informant's father. Teaching Sunday school
  • 34:50 Tape end
  • Full Interview 2 (Tape 0281-S2).
  • Content:
  • 00:10 Catching con man salting the claim, tried to bribe Informant but he wasn't for sale
  • 06:40 Living in Juneau for a winter, going prospecting up a river in the spring
  • 11:50 Finding a good vein and rushing to town to file a claim
  • 14:50 Brought in a mining engineer, company out East offered to buy claim for $180,000
  • 18:45 Had to go south to be with dying father, missed out on deal for mine when partner ran off
  • 23:05 Working in Idaho, getting fancy dinner from miners who struck it rich
  • 27:30 Railroad job in Idaho, then home to Florida. Helping would-be father-in-law harvest his tobacco
  • 33:35 Goes into stump-pulling business
  • 35:10 Tape end
  • Full Interview 3 (Tape 0282-S1).
  • Content:
  • 00:20 Family moving to Florida. Father and uncle had bakery in Germany, father went to Australia
  • 06:40 Left Australia to farm in Missouri, daughters were sickly and neighbor offensive, so they went to Florida
  • 11:00 Landing in Ft. Myers, trying to find homestead land that wouldn't flood
  • 16:10 Living in a tent, getting quick food crops going and raising bees. Raising pineapple
  • 22:25 Pineapple burned and then eaten by cattle. Friend growing coconuts did extremely well
  • 26:30 Running barge to Ft. Lauderdale, gets message to buy seeds and plants to grow coconuts. Goes to bank to borrow money from coconut-growing friend
  • 33:30 Tape end
  • Full Interview 4 (Tape 0282-S2).
  • Content:
  • 00:05 Almost losing a towed barge in a storm—roping it twice in rough water until they found a sheltered bay
  • 04:30 Alligators near homestead, almost stepping on a panther, shooting at a wildcat
  • 10:10 Shooting a panther at night by glitter of eyes. Thinking a bush was a bear while gathering turtle eggs
  • 16:00 Encountering a dying porpoise while running a coon trapline
  • 23:00 Shooting turkeys in front yard, encountering a gray sandhill crane
  • 27:30 Scaring fish into jumping into a skiff, and gathering swamp cabbage
  • 31:05 Edison's palm trees
  • 33:40 Tape end
  • Full Interview 5 (Tape 0283-S1). [Additional speakers: Adult female]
  • Content:
  • 00:15 Helping to move electric plant dynamo half mile from beach on rollers, working night shift at plant
  • 05:35 Blowing a fuse at plant, beating up the town bully
  • 10:45 Preventing people from stealing employer's oranges, beating off a man with a knife
  • 14:15 Doctor who ran a "religious community" and cheated people. Claims of alchemy
  • 18:55 Doctor's wastefulness, organization of his community
  • 22:35 Going to New York State to cure his asthma; talking to a Christian Scientist
  • 26:50 Special climate cured him; working on a boat and encountering other people there for a cure
  • 31:15 Riding the crest of the land boom
  • 33:30 Tape end
  • Full Interview 6 (Tape 0283-S2). [Additional speakers: Adult female]
  • Content:
  • 00:05 Buying land, splitting it into lots. Sold the swamp three times before a buyer kept it
  • 03:10 Retrieving house and lot from California buyers, buying it, and fixing it up
  • 08:15 Neighbor moved away, now have to lock everything to protect it from local kids
  • 11:15 Arthur the Rat
  • 18:30 Tape end
  1. Arthur the rat

  2. Full interview 1

  3. Full interview 2

  4. Full interview 3

  5. Full interview 4

  6. Full interview 5

  7. Full interview 6


Porter, Ruth
  • 1966
  • Dictionary of American Regional English
  • English
For Staff