Guest speakers will be Tom and Joe Freeman. Tom will sing his song, “The Isle of Boca Grande,” and his father, Joe Freeman Jr., will reminisce about life as the port agent for Seaboard Coast Line Railroad.
Joe Freeman arrived on Gasparilla Island in November of 1951. He was to be the stenography clerk for Mr. D.D. Chastain, then port agent for Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company, which owned the phosphate dock. He would later become the last Port Agent for Port Boca Grande, a position he held for ten years.
His son, Tom, was born and grew up on the island. When he was five years old, his parents bought an organ for his mother to play. He soon got his mother’s permission to practice on the instrument. He was a natural, learning quickly and performing for friends and family. Today, his song “The Isle of Boca Grande” is a local hit, playing on musictampabay.com at the top of the charts. In it, he reminisces about his island childhood.
History Bytes will be at a new location this year, First Baptist Church of Boca Grande, in the D.L. Moody Fellowship Hall.
E-mail (required, but will not display)
Notify me of follow-up comments
Click for a larger view