Author Archives: thegumbodiaries

About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!

What? No Souvenirs?

I wish I’d bought souvenirs along the way.  Of course, I have photos, but I traveled back and forth from Apalachicola to Bay St. Louis for two years, and all I have to show are pictures, business cards, maps, tourist … Continue reading

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A Memorial Day Read:  Military Brats Sound Off Now!

They called themselves “military brats.”  New kids in my hometown were usually children of Navy officers working on defense contracts with Ingalls Shipbuilding. When they arrived at Pascagoula High School, they were bright, worldly, and a threat to my grade … Continue reading

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Spreading the Wildest, Best Kept Government Secrets — NERRs

Three of the federal government’s best kept secrets are within driving distance from my house. I found all three of these hideaways because of a single book – Mark Childress’ V for Victor. I wanted to know more about Weeks … Continue reading

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Cozy Beach Mysteries Offer Lively Spring Break Reads

I recently discovered two cozy mystery series set along the Emerald Coast, near where I live in Northwest Florida. The Florida Panhandle is 680 miles from Miami yet only a stone’s throw from Alabama. Sometimes folks call it “LA” (for … Continue reading

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The Six-Degree, Circuitous Road to the World’s Smallest Library

With just a few fact-checks left before publishing my book, I headed to Point Clear, Alabama, with my friend from Texas. It would be a short daytrip – visit the Grand Hotel and zip back home.  I had already researched … Continue reading

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Cooking the past: footsteps, foodways, foodsteps –

Watching Michael W. Twitty’s Master Class opened my culinary eyes. I’m teaching a “Memories to Memoir” class at the senior center and continually look for inspiring, unique writing prompts to spark memories.  In the class, culinary historian Twitty, author of … Continue reading

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Mobile’s “Secret” Garden in Oakleigh

Whimsical, beautiful, inspirational, meditative, serene–a secret garden off bustling Government Street in Mobile–just 80 feet of frontage, but enough to sneak your car into the quiet parking lot by the two-story brick house and enter the gates to Cornerstone Garden. … Continue reading

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A Christmas Tree Shrine on the Highway of the Dead

Each Christmas season someone decorates a pine sapling as a Christmas tree along a stretch of Highway 98 in the Naval Live Oaks, a federally protected forest near my home. I’ve watched the sapling double in size the last few … Continue reading

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Small museum inspires writers and warriors

Not every road trip produces an entry for my upcoming book A Literary Traveler’s Guide to the Gulf South. A November jaunt to the U.S. Air Force Armament Museum on Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach was one … Continue reading

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Legendary UFO Sightings Earn Gulf Coast Towns “Historic” Recognition UFOs at the historical society? Why not? As my cousin Susan Pierce pointed out, UFOs are part of the legend of a community. I had discounted including the books written about … Continue reading

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