Ode to Archer, 11 other cities read to Crist


Published: Monday, January 8, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 7, 2007 at 11:59 p.m.

Noble may not be an adjective that immediately comes to mind when describing Archer, but that's how the town will forever be known in a poem read at Tuesday's inauguration of Gov. Charlie Crist.

Facts

A MEETING OF THE PEOPLE

(Inaugural Poem for Gov. Charlie Crist)

By JAMES E. TOKLEY, SR

From the oaks of Wewahitchka to the palms of Lauderdale
From the hills of Tallahassee to the fertile Brandon fields
From the shores of Sarasota, snowy-white, pollution-free
To the island of Key Largo, as it looks upon the sea

We have come here as the people
And we stand before you, now
Not Republican, nor Democrat, but we meet as one, somehow
And our minds are independent, based upon a greater sight
As one people, we step forward and prepare to take the mike

As one state, which is united by its greatness yet to be,
Do we stand here now excited, on the steps of history
Do we claim a common legacy based upon the kindred goals
of a universal freedom anchored deeply in our soul!

So, let the voice who speaks, this morning
not forget from whence it came
Let it resonate a language that bespeaks each family name
Let its bloodline come from Cyprus, let it habla Espanol
Let it parle Francais from Haiti, or intone a German brogue
Let its words bespeak the Native blood that courses through our veins
or the words of Black Floridians, forged in freedom, unrestrained
And let it draw upon the spirit of the Florida pioneers
Let the dream that pressed them forward be the anthem that we hear

And may the one who is about to speak bespeak the common cause
of a state where love of Liberty is our most precious law
Let our children grow like saplings, planted from a righteous seed
Placed first within the nation, where each one classroom child can read!
May the roof and walls of Brotherhood protect us from the rain
Insuring through calamity that our living is not in vain
And let whomever wonders what we feel, upon this day
Be assured by the growing numbers who march with us, on our way!

For, today, we pray a different prayer and sing a special song
.. . .a song that speaks for Dignity to carry us along
A song that argues for respect for every human being
That sees in every citizen a noble king or queen.

From the streets of Ybor City to the port of Tarpon Springs
From the noble town of Archer to the great St. Augustine
From Orlando to Miami may our voices rise to say/ we
may be twenty million people, but we speak as one, today
And may the one who represents us never cease to understand
that we meet here, as the People. For, indeed, this is our land!

Copyright 2007 James E. Tokley, Sr. All Rights Reserved to the State of
Florida

The poem is titled "A Meeting of the People" and was written by James E. Tokley, a human relations consultant and Tampa's poet laureate.

Archer is one of just 12 Florida locales mentioned in the poem and the name-checking comes toward the end: "From the streets of Ybor City to the port of Tarpon Springs

"From the noble town of Archer to the great St. Augustine . . ."

Tokley said his father's family is from Archer and that he still has relatives and friends in town. That was reason enough to include Archer, but Tokley did have a choice to make.

"Anywhere people come to make a town is noble in that it has human beings who dream to do," Tokley said. "Really, it was a toss-up between Archer and Two Egg. Two Egg got edged out by Archer."

Archer Mayor Paul Alcantar believes noble is a good description for Archer.

"I would describe Archer as being a great little community to live in and, yeah, I think it's noble," he said. "I think we have a wonderful mix of people who love Archer and take a pride in Archer."

Sporting name:

Maybe it's another example of the branding binge that is going on - you know, Gainesville, where "every path starts with passion" or the region being "The Heart of Florida" - but the Gainesville Sports Organizing Committee is changing its name and logo.

The new name will be unveiled at the organization's annual dinner Jan. 18.

Director Jack Hughes said the organization was originally formed before the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games to try to lure teams here to train for the competition.

"We still pride ourselves on being able to effectively organize events, but we've become more and we think that when we unveil our new name and logo. People will no longer be confused about who we are," Hughes said.

Election season:

It's almost time for Gainesville City Commission hopefuls to sign up. Qualifying for mayor and the District 4 positions runs from noon Jan. 15 to noon Jan. 19. The election is March 6.

Both incumbents, Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and Commissioner Craig Lowe, have filed to run again. So far Hanrahan has no opposition while Lowe has two challengers: homeless advocate Pat Fitzpatrick and Richard Selwach, who often addresses the commission on various matters.

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