Saturday, March 01, 2008

History and bargains

One morning of my visit to Florida involved the Punta Gorda flea market and some local history.

I spent several minutes at the flea market talking about newspaper sales with Chuck, an independent contractor promoting the Charlotte Sun. He has been at it six years. Chuck says November and January are his best months, though February was unusually strong.
Punta Gorda features a historic, restored railroad depot that also houses an antique mall. Restored in the early 1990s, the facility sustained damage during Hurricane Charley in August 2004. Punta Gorda is where Charley made landfall. The back side of the depot is still in need of some repair.
In the interest of historical authenticity, the entrances to the "separate-but-equal" ticket windows and waiting rooms retain their designation. According to local officials, the decision to repaint the signs over the doorways involved leaders in the African-American community.
The area behind the ticket window is maintained as a local historical museum.

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