If you are old enough to remember “soda fountains”, consider yourself lucky. The great age of soda fountains is long gone, but what a fun time it was for those of us that had the opportunity to experience this slice of Americana.
Cities often grow because they have a fine harbor, an excellent climate, and a railroad junction. For these reasons the City of Tampa grew, and became the largest Gulf port in the state of Florida. But West Tampa, just across the Hillsborough River from Tampa, grew, not of the geographical or climatic possibilities, but because one “Tampan” (Hugh C. Macfarlane) saw an opportunity, and grasped it. West Tampa was planned and thought out beforehand. There were great developments, because such developments had been anticipated. It was, in brief, a city that was conceived, flourished and grew, and passed out of existence in twenty-nine years. Paradoxically, while the city can still be found, it is no longer, theoretically, a city.
When an unknown woman showed up on her doorstep, Ignacia’s life changed dramatically. As the two women spoke, she discovered the man she loved and the father of her children had a secret of his own–he had a wife in another town.
In my years of growing up in Ybor City, which was the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, there was one man who stood out head and shoulders above the population. All who aspire to intellectualism, to appreciators of art and music, and to be leaders in the politics of that day, basically a long sputtering fight against communism, had to look up to Don Victoriano Manteiga. He was our leader.