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Mermaids & Watermelon Queens – The Story of U.S. 19

Posted By LocalShops1, Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy Hour with the Historian – the St. Petersburg Museum of History’s lecture series that features an evening of wine, words and wisdom – returns Thursday, July 9, 2015, with U.S. 19 – A Story of Watermelon Queens, Manatee and Mermaids.

In the late 1930s, Zora Neale Hurston and Stetson Kennedy traveled across Florida to create a tour book for the Sunshine State. The book – The Guide to the Southernmost State – offers a glimpse of pre-World War II Florida.

More than 70 years later, writer and Florida-phile Cathy Salustri climbed into a camper van and followed those original tours.

Come hear Cathy talk about the journey down Florida’s backroads. This presentation relives her experience of taking “the ultimate Florida road trip.” Cathy will discuss the high (and low!) points of her 5,000-mile journey with a focus on her experiences with "U.S. 19: Watermelon Queens, Manatees and Mermaids."

Cathy Salustri, a freelance writer, graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a master's in Florida Studies. She is a frequent contributor to LocalShops1's magazine, Live Local!

Happy Hour with the Historian doors open at 6:30 pm and the $5 suggested donation includes viewing of the museum’s exhibits after the speaker. The museum is at 335 Second Avenue NE on the approach to The Pier. For information, call 727.894.1052 or visit



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