MOTHER'S DAY at Winter Park LbNA # 47177
|Placed Date||May 10 2009|
|Location||Winter Park, FL|
(TEMPORARY REMOVAL DUE TO CONSTRUCTION.. WILL CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK)
Story and Inspiration:
We went today to place a letterbox in honor of mothers everywhere. On this stamp, you will find the name of my mother and her favorite critter. Today we honored my mother too. My mother was a graduate of Rollins College in 1963. This was also the same year I was born.
She was born in Maine and grew up in Jacksonville Florida. She was an only child. She loved her horse, Ebony and any animal she could rescue. One of her favorite animals you will find on this hand carved stamp. We even had one as a pet when I was a child. Her name was Toby. Mom's love for animals was never ending. She was always up for a rescue. As a kid it was great for we had almost every pet at one time or another, from skunks, to chinchillas and even within city limits a goat and a pony. She wanted to rescue our pony and to keep the neighbors happy, we bagged the poop. She would cringe every time the garbage men would pick up the plastic bags. She would watch in the window and pray out loud that the bags would not break. Which would leave my sister and myself giggling with glee thinking how funny that would be. What a surprise it would have been for the garbage man.. LOL it never happened and we had the pony and goat for quite a long time.
As I grew up I heard lots of stories about her time at Rollins. It was through her fondness of this school, I grew to love it as well and I also attended Rollins. She fell in love here with my father Terrence Murphy a Sigma Nu. She was an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority To the left of the box location was her sorority house. If you notice the very top windows on the roof you can see what looks to be a large room. When my mother was there she decided to clean out and fix up that room. She made it suitable for a dorm room. That is where she lived for a time at Rollins.
Most of her stories were based on romance. She loved the Greek life on campus. She loved how the Phi Delts would sing as the girls would walk down the street. A tradition that remained during my time there as well. Although I was a Kappa double legacy, I found more roots in Phi Mu where I became president. But that is another story.
To the left of the box location as you stand there take a moment to look at the side of Pugsley Hall. Try to imagine the time in the 60's and a young girl on the top balcony as my father serenaded her with his banjo for all to see and hear. He had a beautiful voice and could really play that banjo well. He belonged to a band in Winter Park called the Bermudas. Most likely you are standing in the same spot.
My mom was very fond of convertible cars and so was my father. They would spend many a evening driving around in her old car. It was old then. She loved antique cars. I think her first was an old Jaguar, mine was a 70 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. I also inherited this attraction and have a different convertible today. It has been quite a long time since I took my convert able down Genius Drive and admired the orange groves and fed the peacocks. I used to walk through the groves and pick up peacock feathers. Something they used to do quite often.
They married in 1963. I was born soon there after. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. My father was in Vietnam. They got back together again and had another daughter, but divorced again.
She ended up moving to Jacksonville near her parents as a single mom raising two kids. She shared her passion for old cars, antiques and rebuilding almost anything that was broken. At one time we had 6 upright pianos she was rebuilding for extra cash and you could hear here plunking the keys late into the night. She was a very petite woman, but with her own piano tipper, she moved them all. She taught us not be afraid to tackle any job. There was more value in rebuilding something than getting it new. To my mother there was not a job that we could not do together. With patience and time any job could be done. I have found that she was right. So recently I had the pleasure of tackling the plumbing under my kitchen sink. While covered in gunk and proudly looking at a working drain I remembered my mother knowing it was her that guided me to persevere. Although I never had her stamina for rebuilding cars and pianos, I will be happy with working drains and appliances but I know if I really wanted to do any repair.. I probably could.
She absolutely loved seafood and her favorite was lobster and oysters. I loved coming back from Rollins for a visit. It usually meant the two of us going out for a pitcher of beer with lobster or oysters. Even as a kid.. I would wash mud off the oysters in the front yard grass that would stink for a day so we had to do it near the street so the mud would run into the gutter, but the steaming on the grill was sooooo worth it. So she passed to me the love for good seafood and a ice cold pitcher of beer.
Fortunately back then I was grandfathered in drinking age and was used to having a few beers with mom, so once set free on campus, over drinking was not a problem. I was able to handle it well, but won a ton of quarters games and could make it to the dorm after nickel beers. Although during my time at Rollins and many a great pitcher of beer at the downstairs pub.. below the now bookstore. The best beer found was not here.. that was at a bar-b-que place in Venice Beach Florida.. but that is for another stamp and another story.
She loved gardenias and cardinals. She would ofter just stop the car to admire a pair of cardinals and would always gaze and softly say to me.. you know.. I think they mate for life. She never remarried but I think she was ok with that. She was so very independent and strong willed. Anyone who knew her.. you did not mess with Mary, but if you were on her good side.. she was lots of fun and was always there to help.
She died of pancreatic cancer in January of 2006. So for now, I have yet to ever meet anyone like her. Nor have I ever had as much admiration and respect for anyone except for her. But then again as I am now a mom.. my daughter is only 10 and I see some of mom in her. I look forward to many mother's days ahead, but I will always profoundly miss her.
Take Park Avenue directly into Rollins
Straight ahead you will see Pugsley Hall (currently the TKE house)
(this used to be the Kappa Kappa Gamma house)
You will need to turn left and find parking.
Once you have parked find your way back to Pugsley Hall.
As you stand at the front sidewalk, note the top most room. That was my mom's.
This is a highly visible area so try not to attract alot of attention.
You will proceed to the right of Pugsley Hall.
Between Pugsley Hall and Mayflower Hall you will see a sort of court yard.
There is not a walkway there, you will walk through the grass.
As you approach, you will notice two balconies.
One of which my mother was serenaded by my father.
Also notice underneath behind the bushes the steps that lead to nowhere.. I guess there used to be a door there.
Once you get to where you can see the steps to no where, you should be standing the about the same spot my father did and right in front of a palm tree.
At the base of this palm on the street side you should find a rock. Look under this rock and you will find what you seek. By the time anyone gets to this for the first time, it may be under more leaves. If the leaves have been cleared away and no rock is there, then the box is lost. Please email me and let me know.
College kids can be very curious, so be extra stealthful while attempting this box and you have windows all around you.
Please also take a moment to log in your finds at Atlasquest.com under Troop Boxer. Thanks for helping us keep track of finds.