By Randy Moore, Publisher – I’m pleased to announce our two newest award recipients. Brenda Bossman is receiving our Wildlife Champion Award and Linda Soderquist is receiving our Englewood Lee Reid Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo shows Brenda Bossman.
Brenda Bossman is being honored for her leadership role with Lemon Bay Conservancy, Venice Audubon and the Don Pedro Turtle Patrol. Linda Soderquist is being honored for her dedicated service as a local teacher for nearly 40 years, her creativity as a talented artist, and her continuous service as a volunteer and community educator with local conservation groups. Both ladies have made long term contributions to advocating conservation and the protection of wildlife.
Brenda Bossman is the second recipient of our Wildlife Champion Award. Professional photographer and author Mary Lundeberg received the inaugural award last year. Linda is the third recipient of our Englewood Lee Reid Lifetime Achievement Award. She joins artist Carroll Swayze (2020) and the late Lee Reid of Reid’s Health Foods (2018). The award was renamed in Lee’s honor.
All of our awards acknowledge the importance of human health, artistic expression and an affinity for nature and wildlife. See the list of prior award winners on the home page of our two websites. We’ll be announcing additional awards in our Winter 2024 edition coming in January and our Spring 2024 edition coming in April.
I enjoyed a busy summer preparing our next three editions for the new season. That included writing profiles and collecting images from a dozen fine artists and photographers. These profiles add substance and beautiful images to every edition.
In June, I enjoyed a fun vacation with my son to Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Our stops included Boston, Keene (Northland Music Festival), Concord, Portsmouth, and Portland.
I also read a lot of good books this summer. Some of my favorites included News of the World by Paulette Jiles, The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, The Circus Train by Amita Parika, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, and The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman.
I even reread Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury warned Americans in the mid-50s of the consequences of unrestrained censorship. Today, Florida leads the nation with the most banned books. Many of the banned books focus on racism and depictions of American history some adults find unflattering. Nevertheless, the study of history should be focused on what actually happened even if it makes some adults uncomfortable. Dealing with inconvenient facts is one of the ways we learn, and it’s often a precursor to positive change.