Florida and Frances and helping

I’ve been watching the coverage of Hurricane Frances in Florida
carefully, and wait anxiously for word that all of our Orchidians in
Florida are ok. We also have relatives in Florida we are waiting to
hear from.

The Red Cross is estimating they will spend millions of dollars in
the relief effort. When we have had huge hurricanes in the
Carolinas in the past Lowe’s lumber company was set up to let you
make a Red Cross donation at their stores. I don’t know if they are
yet for Frances, but anyone who is willing and able should find a
way to make a donation. They will have shelters open for weeks and
weeks, I’m sure. This is affecting pretty much the entire state of
Florida in one way or another.

Having lived through Hurricane Hugo, I know first-hand the
tribulations you go through even after the hurricane passes. I urge
everyone to do whatever they are comfortable with to help.

I know the Salvation Army and the Mennonite Relief folks will all be
down there also. The Mennonites have come in here with their tools
and help after bad tornadoes. They are wonderful!

Best wishes to everyone in Frances’ way.

Beth in SC (which now looks like we may get rain and wind from
Frances later. So I get to go duck tape the studio door again to
keep the water out! Bother!)

Hi Beth and everyone - thanks for your concerns for us. I’m
reporting in here from Sarasota Florida. We must be doing something
right - once again we were “slighted” by Frances. Almost no damage
to amount to anything - I think a tree down here and there, but
basically nothing really serious - not sure about directly on the
beach but haven’t even heard anything that would indicate severe
damage. I heard from my son in Jacksonville Beach this morning -
aside from loss of power since yesterday evening and a couple of
trees down, they are all in pretty good shape there - some of the
houses at Jax Beach had some roof damage but minimal. Most of the
damage came from trees blowing down on cars or houses.

The central part of the state is obviously bearing the brunt of all
this and I’m sure they are feeling the repercussions of Frances still
today. Not yet recovered from Charlie and then getting slapped again
is sooo difficult for them. I can’t complain at all living in

Unfortunately now we are threatened with Ivan though nothing is
definitive about that one at this point - but that’s not to be
believed. I’m a native Floridian and can not remember a time in the
past 73 years when we had hurricanes so back to back as we are
experiencing this year. The poor souls in central Florida are getting
the worst of it all - barely over Charlie and not Frances reaping
havoc with their already damaged areas.

There’s a message in here somewhere but I’m not getting it just yet,
except to be grateful that I am in an area that has escaped with
little damage.


    I've been watching the coverage of Hurricane Frances in
Florida carefully, and wait anxiously for word that all of our
Orchidians in Florida are ok.  We also have relatives in Florida we
are waiting to hear from. 

The only other Orchidian in Florida with whom I am in close touch is
Don ‘coralnut’ Dietz. I received an email from him, he and his are
fine, as am I. We were about as lucky as it gets with a storm system
of this magnitude. Many, like us have come through relatively
unscathed, but others (mostly to the North) are in very bad shape.
The West Coast will also be recovering from Hurricane Charley for a
very long time. Here on the East Coast and throughout the state,
Florida Power & Light advises everyone to expect long delays in
restoring power…weeks, in some cases.

I’m not yet certain which agencies may be available for whatever
help others outside these areas can help, but I’ll look into it and
post here, if that’s okay. Locally, we’re mostly expected to stay
out of the way and allow the various organizations get to cleaning
up the major damage.

James in SoFl who will be hitting the beach as soon as possible to
see if any coral washed up.


Don’t know where your relatives live in Florida but Angie and I are
in Lauderhill, which is about 20 mi north west of Ft Lauderdale and
about 12 miles inland. We did very well here. Many many trees down
and tons of limbs and branches but venturing out yesterday a short
distance, I saw no structural damage in our area. We lost phone
(both landline and cell), cable, internet, and some lost (still)
power but nothing more serious than that. My landline is still not up
but all the rest is pretty normal…cable is still unstable but

Hopefully your relatives are all safe. Cheers from Don in SOFL
where the sun is out but it is raining and I got the yard all cleaned
up and grass cut this AM. Also where simple elegance IS fine
jewelry! @coralnut2

If I may be permitted a digression on hurricanes… All that is
going on now in Florida takes me back to 1960 when I was 9 and
Hurricane Donna passed over my home out in the boonies near Tampa.
It was a category 4 or 5, and passed so close that we were warned
that we should not go outside if it became calm, because that would
be the eye of the storm. My mother, sister and I, plus a widowed
friend from nearby, sat all night, huddled by a kerosene lamp,
listening to the roar and howl, and the fearsome bumps and thumps,
playing canasta. When the sun came out again, the world was a
different place. There were cars in trees, and trees in cars. Roofs
randomly strewn about, and tree limbs and Spanish moss everywhere.
To this day, I am irrationally afraid of wind.

And now, Frances and Ivan are the two active hurricanes-- and the
names of two of my oldest friends from my years in Florida! Can’t
really make anything of that, but it’s wierd.

All this has nothing to do with metalsmithing, but it was a major
event in my life, and I felt like sharing with “my” community.
Thanks for “listening”!


        I've been watching the coverage of Hurricane Frances in
Florida carefully, and wait anxiously for word that all of our
Orchidians in Florida are ok.  We also have relatives in Florida
we are waiting to hear from. 

N. Central FL just cleared the worst of the rain bands. There are
pockets of power out, but for the most part, it’s just a lot of
raking in my future. Oh well, compost happens…

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org

I live in Florida and I think it is going to be awhile before people
are focusing on jewelry. I do believe we are in for a rough time
financially, at least until Christmas.

We are grateful that everyone is safe and clean up is all we have to
deal with.

Hello, Beth. Thanks so much for your thoughtfulness for those of us
in Florida. I live in St. Petersburg and we really dodged the
bullet with Charley. However, Frances hit us pretty hard. I am
very fortunate in that all the trees that came down in my yard
missed the roof and the new car. I even managed to keep power when
over half of St. Petersburg lost theirs. Thanks for asking - and I
hope others in the state aren’t suffering too badly!! Gini in very
wounded, soggy Florida

Hello Florida Orchidians, Glad to hear from several of you that you
are OK. I urge others to post your own situation. What about Tony
in Key West? Two (possibly THREE!) hurricanes within weeks is a
heavy cross to bear. Makes me grateful that we only have to deal
with hail, tornados, & blizzards - no 'canes or bad 'quakes.

Blessings and hoping you are all unscathed.

Judy in Kansas

this newer hurricane is coming hopefully it will miss you all…will
it be called…pardon the pun… “Ivan, the (notso) Terrible?” my heart
goes out to all south of the border. I have some friends on a cruise
boat that was supposed to land while Fran was doing her thing to you.
So far we have no idea where in blazes they are, really!..Gerry!

To this day, I am irrationally afraid of wind. 

Don’t you do outdoor shows Noel? Geez what a profession to pick
given your experience. If you didn’t have a problem already a few
nasty shows can easily instill a strong respect/fear of high winds in


Don't you do outdoor shows Noel? Geez what a profession to pick
given your experience. If you didn't have a problem already a few
nasty shows can easily instill a strong respect/fear of high winds
in you. 

Interesting point, Karen. Fortunately, the winds need to be pretty
high to trigger my fear response. The one show I’ve done with
horizontal rain and tents sailing into Lake Michigan, I was
evidently far too busy to be afraid. When we finally had to pull up
the stakes holding my Light Dome to the ground, it tried to fly
away, and lifted my (not petite) daughter right off her feet (she
grabbed it as it started to lift). But she won the tug-o-war and we
emerged soaked through but unscathed. But that’s a far cry from
huddling in the noisy dark with three other frightened females,
hoping you did a good enough job of battening down so your roof
won’t lift right off your house.


Hi All,

Thanks for the well wishes on hurricane stuff. I was in the
mountains of Georgia, Young Harris, on Saturday, and had to stay
put for 4 extra days until I could get back to South Florida. Glad
to be home! We had tree damage, lost branches and one large tree,
which is OK. The neighbors sustained lots of tree damage. So glad
to see two large trees go from his property (Yeah), so all in all
that was a good thing to get rid of those. Luckily we had power.
Waiting to see where the next one is going. My street looks like a
tree graveyard. The tree limbs (cut up) are stacked on the sides
of the road and I cannot see over the piles. Waiting for the city
to pick up the debris; hopefully it will be before any other storm.
Looks like a tunnel made of tree debris.

Beth Katz
Paste and Powder Solder for Jewelers and Metalsmiths

Hi All,

Great to hear Florida people “checking in”. There are still many
people who do not have electricity at this time (Thursday the 9th).
Melbourne (east coast, mid state) and Deland (central inland) FL,
were particularly hard hit. I have heard from many of those who
are members of Florida Society of Goldsmiths (cosponsors of the
recent SNAG convention) and am glad to report that most are doing
fine, although it is hard without the electricity. Many have gone
to friends around the state for places to hunker in for the storm
and have not been able to get home because of downed trees or no
electricity. I wish these people well. It is really wonderful to
know that many are helping others. I am hoping that Ivan will seek
another route and not hit the state of Florida again. Most here are
really hurricane shocked, and so disappointed with the damage they
already sustained. The grocery stores in the surrounding area near
western Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach have brought in people
from out of the area to stock the shelves; they are really bare of
non-perishables. I do thank them for this effort. Water is being
restocked as we speak. Lets hope Ivan blows out to sea and does not
cause any major problems for the US.

Beth Katz
Paste and Powder Solder for Jewelers and Metalsmiths

Beth, Thanks for the update from Florida and hurricane alley. Ivan
has really devistated Granada and seems to be chewing on Jamaica and
the Caymens. I hope Florida and the lovely Keys will escape, but
it’s better to be safe than sorry. I hear people are seriously
evacuating for the main land.

We’re watching and praying for you all.
Judy in Kansas

Dear Gini, glad to hear you are alright especially the new car…
most important… ha… But know what you mean… had no idea you were
in the area of the storm… so far New Jersey seems to have been
missed altho yesterday the deluge made a real dent in some streets
with tons of water… so impassable they became… see you cal

It’s a real mess here in Gainesville Florida. We are known as the
city of tree’s. Most tree’s in any town in the nation. Thousands of
tree’s have been uprooted. Fallen thru houses and even killed one
woman in her mobile home. Electric out, mosquito’s everywhere, heat,
and flooding. Roads are packed, food and gasoline are in short
supply. One neighborhood has sewage backed up into their homes. All
of their homes are a total loss because of the health hazards. And
we are the lucky ones. Many towns are totally destroyed. Thousands
of retired seniors living in mobile homes in the coastal area’s are
now homeless. They moved here fore the good life. Many have had it,
and are moving back up north.

But it could always be worse. Hurricanes generally don’t kill like
tornado’s or raging fires. I would much rather be in this situation
then have to deal with the fires in California, or the rushing floods
in North Carolina. For the most part, this is just an
inconvieniance. Ever so greatful that we are alive and well.


Hurricane Ivan

I’m here, in Key West, staying the hurricane out!

My partner and I have the dogs and my mother holed up, a good supply
of lemons, gin and tonic water - and we know where the umbrellas are.

The weather is perfect and the town is deserted. Just a few of the
able bodied who have decided to stay along with the police and the
emergency crews are left.

Meanwhile the peace and quiet is a wonderful resource. Last night
all the diehards met in one of the three bars staying open and sang
the most horrendous Karaoke, drank Red Bull and vodka and, naturally,
got overexcited and creative - so it’s been decided that next week I
am going to strike a medal for everyone who stayed and faced the
storm out.

Anyone out there know a good bronze caster who can do say 150?

Tony Konrath

Hi Laverne and Orchidians:

I know I just cannot believe that another Hurricane has affected
Florida once again. I have a dear friend that lives in Tallevast,
Florida and I hope that she’s not affected. I just e-mailed her to
see how she’s doing.

First, Hurricane Charley, then Hurricane Frances, and now Hurricane
Ivan. I think that the State of Florida certainly has been through a

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family during this
most difficult time. My heart goes out to those who have lost their
lives and family members to the Hurricanes. You’re right about
tornadoes, my Mother had a tornado touch down in 1995 and it
destroyed her entire house. The amazing thing we all laughed about
later on, was that a set of drinking glasses we had bought her for a
birthday gift, didn’t even break. The tornado happened in
Lancaster, Texas. She had put some clothing in the dry cleaners and
was never able to get them back. She also checked out some library
books and they were all destroyed as well. Natural disasters are
such a mess!! She, my younger brother and brother survived -
thank God.

However, several of her neighbors lost their lives. I live in the
State of Missouri and about a month ago, we had a Tornado Warning, I
called the Raytown Police Department and they told my fiancee’ and I
to take cover. We went to our basement downstiars in our Apartment
Building and fortunately after about 30 minutes we were told the
tornado was headed to Oklahoma.

I just wanted to say that I will keep you in my thoughts and
prayers. May God be with you.

Best wishes,