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Four Crazy Moments in Florida’s Gay Rights History

  The timing couldn’t be more appropriate. On the eve of annual Gay Pride celebrations around the nation, the United States Supreme Court announced a 5-4 decision that gay marriage is legal throughout the U.S.A. In Florida, a state of schizo social mores, the victory for supporters of gay rights couldn’t be sweeter. To fully(…)

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Farewell, Dusty Rhodes

 World Wrestling Entertainment fans called him “the American Dream,” but Florida embraced him as one of its own. Rhodes, whose real name is Virgil Runnels, died Thursday at his home in Orlando. The hair, the voice, the swagger, he was more than just a wrestler; he was an entertainer. In the 1970s he helped popularize the(…)

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Florida Author to Rappel High-Rise

Push me over the edge – j.mp/lynnjumps Rappelling a St. Petersburg high-rise isn’t my idea of fun. It’s not so much a fear heights, more a fear of looking like the klutz and out-of-shape weakling that I am. But I’m going to do it, and do it in fringe-style (costume and all) if you’ll help me(…)

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Florida Capitol Goes to Hell for Christmas

After being shut out last year for being “grossly offensive.” the Satanic Temple got a spot among holidays displays at Florida’s state capitol just in time to be destroyed by a Christian. A woman wearing a “Catholic Warrior” tee ripped into the diorama, saying she couldn’t take it anymore. The other holiday displays including a Festivus(…)

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A glimpse into Miami’s diverse and quirky glory and drug lore glitz

Many of my experiences researching Fringe Florida didn’t make it into the final manuscript. One chapter, the pursuit of Miami drug lore glitz, landed at the bottom of a screwdriver in Mac’s Club Deuce in South Beach. Here’s a piece about it that ran in the Miami Herald and is archived with HistoryMiami, a Smithsonian(…)

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Pasco Nudists Reality TV Bait, Again

 Word is that Pasco County — “nudist capital of America” or “world,” depending on who you ask — is coming under the spotlight of reality TV once again. The blog 2paragraphs reports that in the latest episode of We TV’s Kendra on Top, star Kendra Wilkinson of Playboy fame tracks down her real father in Land O’ Lakes,(…)

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Author Talks of UFOs and Florida Ghosts

Fringe Florida author Lynn Waddell shares tales from her research on the Gulf Breeze UFO sightings and the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp on Hallow’s Eve, Oct. 30, 2014. Held in the funky bohemian town of Gulfport the Halloween event will feature weird Florida images and outtakes from the author’s popular book. Don’t be late. The show sponsored by(…)

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The Battle to Go Bare Continues

The ongoing battle over an ordinance to outlaw public nudity in Clay County highlights just how bi-polar Florida is when it comes to community standards. While Pasco County near Tampa is America’s nudist capital, Clay County, securely in north Florida’s Bible Belt, is preparing to shield its “wholesome character” from potential libertines. Though building the fortress is(…)

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AMC’s Freakshow Comes to Ground Zero Weird: Gibsonton, Florida

  AMC’s realtiy show “Freakshow” finally comes to Gibsonton where real freaks still live and many more haunt the memories of the remaining sideshow greats. Tonight’s Episode 5 at 10 pm Eastern features legendary showman Ward Hall, his partner Chris Crist, the world record-holding sword swallower Red Stuart along with other World of Wonders cast. Gibsonton,(…)

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Joe Redner: Strip Club King and Cigar City Beer Backer

Most Tampa Bay residents know Joe Redner as the fiery owner of Mons Venus, a world-famous nude strip club. Being supremely fringe, Joe was prime fodder for my book. I interviewed him for a chapter called “The King of Trampa.” Since my book went to press, Joe’s battled lung cancer and watched his son’s craft(…)

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