Sh*t my mom read: Yesteryear I Lived in Paradise: The Story of Caladesi Island

The story of Caladesi Island

This week, Cathy's mom reviews a locally published book.

Cathy's note: Pop was my mom's maternal grandfather and a wonderful, wonderful man.

This was great reading. It gives the reader a thorough insight into living from the 1800's through to the 1990's. There's a great history of parts of Pinellas County with some photos showing homes/shacks that were common living arrangements.

I enjoyed how Myrtle's father managed to raise her after her mother died. I didn't much like Myrtle's husband. I thought him to be a bit of a penny-pincher. Myrtle seems to always be the one doing chores.

The whole book made me think of how Pop's father managed to raise all his children without their mother, except for the temporary help of an Indian squaw. Many single fathers at that time would simply put their children with family or in orphanages.  Myrtle's father refused to let family raise her. Myrtle Ave. [in Clearwater] is named after her and her parents are both buried in the small Clearwater cemetery at the intersection of Myrtle and Lakeview.  

Several people put this book together based on Myrtle's precise and complete writings. 



Yesteryear I Lived In Paradise: The Story of Caladesi Island

Myrtle Sharrer Betz

Cover art, Christopher Still

UT Press

191 pages

1984

Read about it on Goodreads.

Cathy's mom retired and all she does now is shop and read. Since we're drowning in books over here, we thought, hey, why not? Because she's Cathy's mom, Cathy can't make her write long reviews, so don't expect involved character discussions. Instead, figure out quickly if you want to read the book.

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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