November 30, 2017 – (Key West, FL). Key West Art & Historical Society Distinguished Speaker Series guest Craig Pittman to share weird and wonderful Florida stories at Tropic Cinema

On Thursday, December 14 at 6:00pm, Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes Distinguished Speaker Series guest and journalist Craig Pittman at the Tropic Cinema where he is to present selections from “Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,” a book that recently won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards.

The Tampa Bay Times environmental journalist and author of four books is a native Floridian with a bevy of top-tier reporting awards and a resume of newspaper beats that include “quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires, and the Florida Legislature.”

“Every single day of reading and reporting Florida news is a highlight,” he says. “Just a couple of weeks ago I interviewed a lady who was charged with shoplifting while she was dressed as a turkey.”

Pittman’s newest book offers 18 chapters of natural, economic, political, social, and personal history, each painstakingly reported and researched, with absurd Florida stories weaving their way as the hallmark throughout.  His evening presentation at the Tropic Cinema will keep crowds laughing while he is “secretly teaching them about all the Florida history and culture that they never learned in school,” he says.

“I will definitely mention that Florida is the only state where the list of government jobs includes “mermaid,” and we’re also the only state that employs mucus-sniffing dogs that track exotic snails brought in by a religious cult,” says Pittman. “Oh, and I always like to mention my favorite road-rage headline: “Man in road-rage incident runs over self.”’

And of course, there are Florida Keys stories.

“I do point out that nothing in the Keys is what it seems to be,” he says. “The Seven Mile Bridge isn’t seven miles long, the Southernmost Point isn’t the southernmost point and when Hemingway lived in Key West he owned no cats. I also mentioned Bum Farto.”

Copies of “Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country” will be available for signing after the presentation.

The Distinguished Speaker Series project is sponsored in part by the Helmerich Trust and the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of the Arts and Culture and the State of Florida. Additional support provided by the Marriott Key West Beachside Resort.

Tickets are available at kwahs.org/education/distinguished_speaker_series; $5 for members, $10 for non-members—advanced ticket purchase is recommended.  For more information contact Adele Williams, Director of Education, at 305-295-6616, x115. Your Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.

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Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes multi-award winning journalist and author Craig Pittman to the Tropic Cinema at 6:00pm on December 14, where he will present selections from “Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country,” a book that recently won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards.