Page Turn Episode 048

Hello and welcome to Episode Forty Eight of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Forty Eight is Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist. If you like the sound of Tripping Arcadia you should also check out: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss, Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth, and The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas.

Bonus segment my personal favorite Goodreads list Tripping Arcadia is on is 2022 Releases I Might Read

Happy Reading Everyone

Today’s Library Tidbit is a history tidbit! More specifically a very brief history of Largo ending with a brief history of the land the current library building sits on.

Largo is on the unseeded lands of the Tocoboga and Seminole people. When the Spanish landed in the 1500s at first the traded with the Native population and then proceeded to commit genocide in the name of conquest. By the 1700s the Tocoboga had been virtually annihilated as a people, leaving the Seminole people as the remaining dominate tribe in the area. However, due to war against the Spanish and the English and White Americans the Seminole people were never able to firmly establish in Pinellas County. You can go back to listen to episode 28 of Page Turn to learn more!

During the Seminole Wars white settlers came to Pinellas County and began homesteading. Some names you may recognize include McMullen, Lowe, Belcher, and Taylor. Several of their houses have been moved to Heritage Village to preserve the history of the county. The families that settled mid-Pinellas all came to farm the land. Discovering an area that could sustain citrus crops, cattle, as well as, provided ample fish and other meat through hunting.

The railroad arrived in Pinellas County in 1888. Prior to this the area had been called Luluville, so named after a 500-acre lake called Lake Tolulu. This lake was believed to have been named by John Gideon Blitch after his daughter Lulu. However, this is possibly apocryphal as I can find few sources, and much is on hearsay. This lake was only known as Lake Tolulu for a few years as it had been renamed Lake Largo by 1888. Once the railroad arrived this area was named Largo after the lake.

With the railroad arriving Largo and the surrounding areas increased in size. While St. Pete grew into an urban city attracting tourists to its hotels and beach, Largo focused on farming and citrus packing. Largo continued to increase in population fairly steadily through the years. Leading to more demand for land.

Leading to, in the early 1900s, a major push in the state of Florida to drain away all the fresh water in the entire state, who needs that right? Most people in Florida will know of the push to drain the Everglades lead by Jennings and Broward, but that push can also be felt in Pinellas County.

Between 1915 and 1917 canals and drainage ditches were dug to drain Lake Largo. And they succeeded! What was once a major source of freshwater, not only for the human population but also for farming and fishing, had been drained into the bayou. What was left behind was great farming land. As the Largo Sentinel said in 1918:

“While it was a pleasing picture before the drainage work … it is now a much more pleasing picture when one looks out over the hammock lands now in cultivation. … This large tract of reclaimed land shows what drainage is worth to (the acreage east of Largo) which has always been considered practically worthless.”

My favorite part of this decision? By the late 1940s, less than 30 years later, residents of the area had realized that turning all of their freshwater to saltwater had been a mistake and created Lake Seminole to replace Lake Largo.

The land the lake was drained for was used as crop lands for some time. However, as Largo began to develop beyond citrus farming, the land was developed into housing and strip malls. Additionally, a portion of the land was used to house the Pinellas County Fairgrounds where the Renaissance Fair used to come through every year.

Some of you may know this land as the land the current library stands on!

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler(/strong>. My name is Victor and I am a librarian here at the Largo Public Library. Today I am going to talk to you about a book that we have in the Spanish collection, titled We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sánchez

Summary: Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride.

And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they’ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.

Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life–if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

Opinion: This harrowing story is inspired by current events such as the thousands of women, men, and children from Central America seeking refuge in the United States. When the novel begins, teenagers Pulga, Chico and Pequeña live in a very violent city in Guatemala. Pulga is 15 years old and dreams of becoming a musician like his father and is already planning his escape. Chico, a shy boy going through a difficult time, comes to live with Pulga’s family after the murder of his mother, who was shot when he was 11 years old. Pequeña is a 17-year-old girl who was impregnated by Rey, a member of a gang. After Pulga and Chico see the murder of a local shoe salesman by Rey’s gang, they know that reporting the murder means their imminent death, but what they didn’t know is that keeping quiet means they were destined to join the gang. After Pequeña gives birth to her child, Rey tells her that she will become her wife, something she swears will never happen. Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña then decide to leave Guatemala, leaving their family behind and Pequeña’s newborn. Their journey is more terrifying than they could have imagined. They spend days without food, hiding from kidnappers, walking for miles, sometimes through the desert, until they meet trains headed for the United States, where they join men, women and children clinging to their lives. It is a thought-provoking book about the horrors so many families go through trying to reach safety and escape violence.

Outro: That’s all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Bye.

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
May 2nd Teen Paint Night at 5pm in the Teen Program Room
May 3rd Junior Astrologers at 6pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
May 6th Family Trivia Night: Fun Facts at 4pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
May 10th Maps in Genealogy Research Part II at 1pm in the Local History Room
May 12th Tween Time: Llama Sewing and Sand Art at 4pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
May 13th Teen D&D at 3pm in the Teen Program Room
May 14th Advanced Genetic Genealogy Discussion at 1pm Online Zoom Event
-Registration is Required
May 16th Chill Out & Make Ice Cream at 6pm Online Program
-Registration is Required
May 18th Teen Crafternoon at 3pm in the Teen Program Room
May 19th Sew a Zero Waste Top at 3pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is Required
May 23rd Stuffed Animal Sleepover Part 1 at 6pm in the Children’s Program Room
May 24th Animal Crossing with the Library for Children at 6pm on the Library’s Animal Crossing Island
-Registration is Required
May 24th Stuffed Animal Sleepover Part 2 at 6pm in the Children’s Program Room
May 25th Evaluating Information at 2pm in the Adult Program Room
-Registration is Required
May 26th Walking in Their Footsteps at 1pm in the Local History and Online Zoom Event
-Registration is Required for Zoom participants only
May 31st Melt Bead Mania at 12pm in the Children’s Program Room

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.