The Fort Brooke Record
|The "Fort Brooke Record" (FBR) is the monthly newsletter of the Capt. John T. Lesley Camp 1282, Inc, a Camp of the Florida Division, SCV and of the International Sons of Confederate Veterans. The FBR is provided free of charge to members of the Camp. Editorial comments in this publication are the expressed opinion of the editorial writer and not of the Camp. Paid advertisements can in no way be considered an endorsement by this camp. Locally, for inquiries and information on coming to events, the camp maintains a full-time access phone at (813) 661-7045.|
***Southern Heritage Month***
Without a doubt, for the true unapologetic traditionalist Southerner, April is a month of supreme emotional dissonance. Within the same thirty days are the anniversaries of the beginning of Southern military resistance to Yankee invasion (Fort Sumter, South Carolina) and the beginning of the end of hope for Southern independence (Appomattox). One scene exudes supreme confidence in the rightness of the Cause with a new president at the helm of a brand new nation. The other brings forth the greatest despair of what might have been.
Thanks to the ladies of the post-War South, namely Mrs. Charles J. Williams of Georgia, who in 1867 started the wonderful custom of decorating the graves of our Confederate heroes, we have a day and a month which is ours. From her heartfelt efforts, today we have Confederate Memorial Day (April 26) and from that, Southern Heritage Month (April).
Here in the Tampa Bay area the Lesley Camp will commemorate this month and this date in the manner that would be most appropriate. This is the month of Easter, of white Lilies, of the sweet aroma of orange
blossoms, in short, of new life and of Springtime. At the very time of the year as we forget the cold days of Winter and when we just feel good about being alive, this is the time and the month when we are struck with the timeless truth of our noble and incomparable heritage.
The four significant events of the month are as follows:
1. County presentation of Proclamation
2. Sabre and Rose Ball
3. Confederate Memorial Service
4. Confederate Honour Guard Duty @ the Monument
For a full description of these events, please see page 5. Also the insert concerning flowers included with this newsletter is a wonderful opportunity for all to be involved in making this the most memorable month.
***Southern Heritage Month***
On Wednesday at 9 AM on the 7th of April the Board of County Commissioners will present to the Lesley Camp their annual proclamation declaring April as Southern Heritage Month and April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day. This will occur on the 2nd floor in County Commission public meeting auditorium in the County Center on Pierce and Kennedy Streets in downtown Tampa. This will be the 6th year in a row that this has occurred and we usually have about two dozen well dressed folks there. That is where you come in:
We need you to come to represent yourself and the Southern community in the Bay area. Wouldnt it be grand if we were able to muster Three Dozen Well Dressed souls for this presentation. Perhaps we will not change any hearts but we will let the "powers that be" understand that our resolve only waxes stronger.
Unless we go out for coffee and doughnuts you will be gone and back to your normal daily routine by 10 AM.
Confederate Ball Scheduled
The annual Sabre and Rose Ball is scheduled to be held April 10, 1999, in St. Petersburg at the Museum of Fine Art located at 255 Beach Drive NE. Tickets for the event are 55 dollars. Entertainment will be provided by the Rebelaires with Dancemaster Tim Key calling the dances. There will be the presentation of the 1999 Southern Belle Debutante. Also this evening there will be horse drawn carriage service available. Waltz lessons and ballroom etiquette will be given prior to the event by Ms. Kay Holley. For further information on this event please contact Mrs. Shelly Jakes (286-2575) or Mrs. Pam Cosentino (920-9740).
Confederate Memorial Day Service
The 1999 Confederate Memorial Day Service will be conducted on Sunday, April 25 at 2 PM at the site of the Confederate War Memorial, located at the Hillsborough County Courthouse at Pierce and Madison streets in downtown Tampa. This years service will be a product of the planning and vision of Tampa Chapter 113 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
The monument around which this service will be conducted is the very impressive Italian marble piece which was first dedicated in 1911. It was cleaned and enhanced by the county in 1997. In that same year there was placed at the site with funding from Commander Jim Hayward, Chapter 113 and the Tampa Historical Society an impressive Historical Marker which describes to the passerby the history and significance of the monument.
Of note: The Tampa Chapter has taken to task the effort of refurbishing the landscape prior to and in preparation for this years April 25th service. On Saturday, March 27th several members of the Lesley Camp along with the ladies of Chapter 113 teamed up to prune, move shrubs, plant flowers, weed, and to spread numerous yards of cypress mulch. Tampa Chapter is figuratively "taking the bull by the horns" in this effort. By charging ahead with this effort and by funding this without the aid of the county, Tampa Chapter is literally laying its claim to this sacred ground. Let there be no doubt - we love our heritage and we consider these monuments sacred.
This memorial service will be attended officially by the Lesley Camp Colour Guard and the Rifle Honour Guard of Co K 7th Florida Volunteer Infantry. The monument will be surrounded, as every year, with lots of flowers. Refreshments will be served by the ladies after the service.
Confederate Honour Guard Duty
Monday, April 26
What a wonderful tradition! This will be the fifth year in a row that the Lesley Camp has participated in this marvelous occurrence.
Before sunrise on this Monday, we will have the flowers set up and the early morning guards will be completing the final set up and will be preparing to begin the solemn duty of walking their post at the monument. The guard duty begins at 6 AM and ends around 5 in the afternoon.
Every year the press has been there to report this event and invariably they have been good to us in their reports. Television, radio and the print media have all covered this event. We talk to hundreds of passerby's and pass out thousands of pieces of literature.
This year the flowers will be set up differently. Instead of being placed on the monument steps they will be displayed on a prepared stepped apparatus that will be constructed at the rear and south-side of the monument.
This will be a most impressive display. If you have time do come down to the courthouse on the 26th.
FLOWERS FOR A MONUMENT
Please see the attached insert for directions on how to materially assist us in the effort to make certain that our monument is covered with flowers and very photogenic on April 25 and 26. Without a doubt, each year the press is there with cameras rolling. This is our opportunity to share with Tampa Bay the significance of this month and this day. So please, do what you can and send along a contribution for this "Flowers For a Monument" effort.
Monday, April 19, 1999
Supper @ 6 PM
Susan & Lona
An invaluable member of the Lesley Camp has always been our own Lt. Cmdr. Sam Davis USNR (Ret). A modest man, born in the piney turpentine woods of Bay County in Northwest Florida, Sam is a decorated pilot and veteran of the Pacific theatre of action in World War II. Fortunate for us and by the grace of Almighty God, he survived some harrowing experiences and lived to return to Florida and to raise his family.
An integral part of that family he raised is his daughter, Mrs. Lona Spencer, born nine months and three days after his return from the war. A talented lady, Lona is the author of a biography of Sam titled Florida Roots Navy Wings. In this book, one comes to understand and to appreciate the fact that we really are fortunate to have Sam Davis today with us.
The facet of the talent that we are to experience during the program on the meeting night of Monday, April 19, are her musical abilities. Together with her long time friend, Susan M. Martin, Lona and Susan make up a duo called The Dueling Violins. For 25 years these two ladies have shared and honed the music that we are to experience this night.
This will be a fun evening of music in concert and in a sing-a-long format. They will bring the words of a selection of American 19th century songs - Confederate songs, gospel hymns and spirituals. In 1998 they began playing duets for parties and receptions. Their sets are typically of light classical, patriotic, Broadway show, and gospel music.
Lona is very aware and proud of her Southern roots. She and Sam are descendants of Private James Russell Hallam who, as a lad of 15, joined Co K of the 2nd Mounted Kentucky Infantry. That unit was a part of the command of General John Hunt Morgan.
For an evening of sweet music , do come and be with us on the evening of the 19th.
Zephryhills Founders Day Parade
reported by Ross Lamoreaux
In this season of heavy activity, the Lesley Camp once again carried the colours out into the public at the Zephryhills Founders Day Parade on March 6, 1999. Although not on the grand scale of the Strawberry Festival Parade, Zephryhills is always a fun place to get out and show the mixed bag of cheering Southerners and snowbirds what an awards winning Colour Guard looks like. The Camp contingent consisted of the Colour Guard commanded by Captain Mike Herring, with Sergeant Ross Lamoreaux and Corporals Mark Salter, Wayne Sweat, and Leroy Rogers. Cmdr. Jim Hayward followed with the horse carriage detachment and special guest (and new Legionnaire) Paula Nunnery ran point for the group waving to the crowds in her splendid uniform. After the parade, several members of the group had the chance to socialize and to educate some of the good townsfolk of Zephryhills at the downtown fish fry. A wonderful time was had by all who helped represent the camp.
The Ladies in Charge
On Saturday, March 27, our sister chapter, Tampa Chapter 113, UDC, with a little physical help from some Lesley Camp members, gave the landscape of the Confederate Monument at the county courthouse a major facelift. This effort was solely a result of the vision and determination of the ladies and is a wonderful start as we get ready for the memorial service that we will hold there on April 25. Perhaps the finest and surest import that comes from this is that simply, this monument is really ours. That is, it belongs really to the Southerners in the community, and that the government upon whose ground this memorial rests is only privileged to have it there.
Tampa Chapter spent over $300.00 on 8 yards of Cypress Mulch, 30 Boxwood plants, 50 bedding plants, and 6 Blue Phambago (sp?) plants. The workers this day brought many hand tools and used them to prune, transplant, plant, weed, and to mulch the extensive area of the monument. About 60 large bags of debris were accumulated.
From Tampa Chapter 113 were Elsie Hall, Shelly Jakes, Gail Crosby, Pam Cosentino, and Kris Armitage. From the C of C was Parker Jakes. From the Lesley Camp were Kirby Halbert, Dan Hall, Jim Harwell, Doug Howze and Jim Armitage. Also assisting were Matthew Armitage and Jerry Cosentino. Of special note, UDC member Stephany McClamma went over and beyond the call and provided food and drink for the workers on this fine work day.
March Fish Fry, and
A Raffle Winner
How lucky can we be! Perhaps it is not luck...perhaps Providence does look favourably upon our efforts. The weather was perfect and we had a good attendance for the March 20th Saturday fishfry. (Never has it rained upon a fishfry) And, as always, the food was superb. Jim Hayward went down to Lake Okeechobee and brought back the 110 pounds of catfish which we feasted upon.
Heather Bethune drew the name of Butch Casey as the winner of the 1861 Springfield rifled musket. Mr. Casey, a resident of Jacksonville, is a Special Education school teacher in Baker County, Florida. He bought his ticket at the Olustee reenactment where Mike Herring and Jake English set up a camp display and sold raffle tickets in February.
Scuttlebutt has it that we will have mullet at the next fish fry. This editor will keep you abreast of the latest news as this develops.
YARD SALE A SUCCESS!
The Yard Sale was a success. In total we netted around 400 dollars. This money is ear-marked for an enclosed camp (one or two axle) utility trailer which we desperately need to put our gear into. At present our "stuff" is spread between numerous houses. If anyone has knowledge of a enclosed utility trailer that might satisfy our need, please contact an officer of the camp.
The Florida Division Reunion
If you will notice on the calendar that the dates for the Florida Division Reunion in Pensacola is set for May 21-23. We have it from reliable sources that the Pensacola boys are going all out to make this a reunion not to be forgotten. Pensacola is just full of things to see. Their monument at Lee Square is the largest in the state of Florida and they have a flag perpetually flying over the grave of Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen R. Mallory. Then there is Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickins. Pensacola is known as the City of Five Flags and one of those flags is the Confederate Battleflag.
Unfortunately, Pensacola is an awfully long way from Tampa. But, by golly, we men of the Lesley Camp want to go. And we would like to go together. We got in touch with airlines and travel agents and the cheapest that we could fly up there and back is for over 240 dollars. Too much! We even thought about chartering a private plane. Again, too much!
If you have a thought or an idea of how we might make this happen please get in touch with Quartermaster Jake English. His number is 971-8153. We are about to run out of options. Our hope is to make arrangements such that any who desire to go will have an inexpensive opportunity.
Mr. Eugene Dake made a free will gift of $100.00 to the camp for use in the purchase of the 12 x 18 inch Confederate grave flags which we place so liberally at Confederate veteran graves throughout the area. Thank you, Mr. Dake!!!
Little League Sign
This is a repeat request for help in the funding of this youth involvement of the camp. If you are supportive of this effort please consider the following.
This will be the sixth year in a row that the Lesley Camp has paid for its Camp sign to be placed on the outfield fence of the girls softball field at the Interbay Little League field. The field is owned by the city of Tampa. The cost of this community youth outreach is $125.00.
If you would like to contribute to this effort, please call Marion Lambert at (813)839-5153.
April Living History at Wilson
to be Rescheduled
The Living History that was to take place at Wilson Middle School has been cancelled because of a scheduling conflict. This school truly regrets that they are not going to be able to experience this event this year.
At the Pink Tea at Gamble Mansion on March 7, Compatriot Mark Miller was awarded a medal as an Honorary Member of the Children of the Confederacy by the Florida Division C of C. He has assisted the children with their annual tea for five years.
Update: Branch Cemetery Flag Raising
The joint effort between the Temple Terrace Historical, Tampa Chapter 113, UDC, and the Lesley Camp of installing a 30 foot flagpole with accompanying black granite monument at the Branch Cemetery is scheduled for Sunday, June 20.
Of course, the description given above does no justice to the actual ceremony that accompanies this event. This occasion will be most impressive and will leave the spectator with a special lasting image of our heritage.
We will begin gearing up for this early Summer ceremony around the first of May. Expect to receive a letter in the mail at that time giving you the opportunity to be involved in funding this monument/flagpole. Florida Division Commander Robert Young will be flying in from Pensacola to give the keynote address. Mrs. Belinda Womack will do the singing.
An Appreciative Gift - Mary Harrison
Mrs. Mary Harrison, the widow of Jimmy Harrison, sent the camp a check for $100.00 and a note expressing gratitude for the efforts of the camp in providing a Colour Guard for Jimmys funeral. Mrs. Harrison wrote "We cant thank you enough for the lovely flowers and your welcome presence at Jimmys (funeral). I was so proud of the gallant SCV members who honoured him at the funeral home, church and cemetery." Ross Lamoreaux, Leroy Rogers and Gregg Chappell, all from the Lesley Camp formed the nucleus of the Colour Guard.
The inventory of the camp store continues to change. Please pay close attention to what is available. If you desire an item that is not apparent, Mike Herring will be the man to contact in order to procure those things and items that have a Southern Heritage flavour. Contact him at home (681-6922) or just come to the meetings and you will have an opportunity to see displayed what is available.
Some items currently available are as follows:
Editors note: The above article was taken from a write up from the pen of Marion Lambert, Chairman of the Tampa Bay Chapter of Preserving Our Heritage.
For the very latest information on the current status of the Denno case please skip to the last section of the write up titled Current Status.
Wayne Denno has for over four years been a cause which we have certainly understood. It took guts for then young Wayne to stand up to his high school authority figures who were telling him that his 4 inch "rebel flag" was an offensive symbol. But stand up Wayne did! He defined his flag properly to the school assistant principals, then to the press, and finally to us. In his words, "This flag is the flag of Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia."
And certainly Wayne paid the penalty. He was suspended for 9 days, recommended for permanent expulsion, and turned over to state authorities for criminal prosecution. All for his insistence and courage in defending this symbol of our South. Enter Preserving Our Heritage, Inc. (POH)! Through POH attorney, Frank Jakes, we "went to bat" for Wayne and eventually (Summer, 1996) entered a civil suit (Case No. 96-763-Civ-Orl-22) in the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division against the School Board of Volusia County, and the assistant principals Dennis Roberts and Robert Wallace.
THE BAD: In late April of 1998 after much pretrial movement and as we were nearing the actual court date for trial our case was summarily dismissed from the Federal District Court in Orlando on technicalities. Our attorney, Mr. Frank Jakes, had a suspicion that this court (the actual judge) was not looking favourably upon our case. That suspicion was finally confirmed when the judge totally ignored all of our motions and sided "lock, stock and barrel" with the defendants.
THE GOOD: Mr. Frank Jakes is not one to back away when he is convinced that he has sound and good arguments. The notice of appeal was filed on May 28, 1998, with the Federal appellate court in Atlanta. This is a process. The appeal begins with the "notice." The district court clerk soon sent up to Atlanta the certified copy of the "record." Then opposing briefs were submitted by the contending parties. After that, oral arguments are made before the court. Then it can take anywhere from 2-12 months to receive the written opinion of the appellate panel.
From the pen of Mr. Frank Jakes, here is the rationale for our appeal:
As you might comprehend, this contest to vindicate young Wayne Denno is anything but over. Our struggle to clear his good name and to send a clear message to these politically correct school systems continues. But the wonderful immediate effect of our efforts is that the very county where we are involved legally is one county that now is reversing itself and allowing our symbols on the campuses. We are sure that this is a direct result of the brave stand of the Dennos and the subsequent involvement of POH and of attorney Frank Jakes.
Frank Jakes flew up to Atlanta on Monday morning, March 8, to be present to make the oral argument for the Dennos at 1 PM before the Eleventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals in the case of Linda Denno, Appellant v. School Board of Volusia County, Florida, et. al. As mentioned earlier in this article the written judgement from this court takes anywhere from 2-12 months. Normally we would expect a decision to be handed down within three months. Therefore we are hoping to know of the courts decision by June.
If we get a favourable decision then the case will be rerouted back to the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division.
Goals & Philosophy
Although this legal process is very tedious and time consuming the rewards of a victory will be monumental. The lesson of an ultimate defeat would likewise be profound. Do remember, we are dealing in a federal court system established and ordained by a government which took pride and satisfaction in overturning constitutional authority in the South. So we are very aware that this is an uphill struggle and we entertain no false illusions.
God willing, when we do get our day in court, out case will be not unlike the trial that never happened, the post War trial of one Jefferson Davis. To read the written arguments of the opposing attorneys is to read a public and sweet defence of the Cause and, opposed to it, the damning accusations of Yankee myth. Our expert witnesses are to be Dr. Michael Hill and Dr. Marshall DeRosa.
From the Adjutants Desk
"FOR NEVER BEFORE DID SO FEW DO SO MUCH FOR SO MANY"
Our Camp is ever so grateful to several members and friends who have come forward to share their valuable skills and precious time. It seems that in this day in time we are constantly on the move with numerous conflicting obligations. Between children and parents, work to be done at our place of business or in the home, the continuous chores and errands that can never wait. Doctors appointments that may not be altered or abandoned.
To these selected FEW people in the camp that see to it that things get thought of, ordered, sold, picked-up, delivered, setup, taken down, moved, built, painted, written, folded, mailed and are able to contribute their time, we figuratively take off our hats, and salute you.
We are always in need of so MANY people to do all of the above, and originate new ideas to raise funds for our Camp. Please contact any of the Camp Officers listed on page (2) for direction of your help.
Thanks to all that participated in the Camp Fish Fry and Camp Yard Sale. A very special thank you to all those that donated items to the sale.
We are pleased to welcome as members to the John T. Lesley Camp Compatriot Danny W. Cason, and Legionnaires Paula D. Nunnery and Lauretta J. Groover.
If you have any questions concerning camp business as it relates to you or to process membership paperwork, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
Adjutant Dwight Tetrick