Crackers in the Glade
Life and Times in the Old Everglades

Rob Storter
Edited by Betty Savidge Briggs
Foreword by Peter Matthiessen

An abundant collection of memoirs, stories, and expressive watercolor illustrations offers a firsthand account of early-twentieth-century life on Florida's last frontier

Reviews

"A meaningful first hand account of attitudes among a part of American culture during a time and in a location that have received less attention than many other geographical regions of the country. All of it has a simple charm . . . poignant reading."
—NPR's Living on Earth

"A treasure . . . Folks who are folk art enthusiasts and collectors of Floridiana will want this book. . . . Storter's paintings are wonderful. . . .They have the sense of time and place about them that the best of the folk artists manage to incorporate in their deceptively simple images. . . . In his long life, Storter saw the degradation of the 'glades and thecoast, and he wrote of it in a way that is both matter-of-fact and deeply moving."
Florida Times-Union


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Description
Crackers in the Glade is a visually stunning account of bygone days in the Everglades. The largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the United States, the Everglades hold a unique place among all the world’s wetlands. Through his writings and illustrations, fisherman, guide, and self-taught artist Rob Storter transports us to the remote, half-wild frontier of southwest Florida in the early part of the twentieth century. There, the events of a day could range from a hurricane to a face-to-face encounter with a panther to the arrival of the latest packet from Key West.

As Storter recalls his travels through the great swamp and its estuaries, he imparts an old-timer’s grasp of the fantastic array of plant and animal life the Everglades once supported. Looking back over a life closely linked to the water, he chronicles how mechanized methods eclipsed the more sustainable approach of fishing as the livelihood of locals who were attuned to natural cycles and worked by necessity on a small scale.

Crackers in the Glade is also a story of family and community, of daily joys and setbacks. Here, Marilea Storter’s recollections, some of which are included in the book, add depth and detail. By turns the family doctor, cook, teacher, and moral anchor, Marilea held husband Rob and their children together through times when the best house they had was a tent and medical care consisted of castor oil and prayers.

Rob Storter knew the Everglades before commercial fishing, real estate development, drainage projects, and tourism changed the region forever. Through his illustrations we can celebrate its wonders; through his writings we can contemplate the mixed benefits of progress and the responsibilities of stewardship.

Page count: 160 pp.
Illustrated
Trim size: 10 x 8.5

 



Paper
List price: $25.95
978-0-8203-3043-3
11/1/2007

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Rob Storter (1894-1987) was a member of the founding family of Everglade, Florida. A fisherman, guide, and prolific self-taught artist, he lived and worked in the Everglades for most of his life. Betty Savidge Briggs is a granddaughter of Rob Storter. She has received several journalism awards and writing fellowships.