Cass snowbirds congregatePublished 9:55pm Wednesday, February 22, 2012
This past week more than 50 Cass County residents met at the Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, Fla., for a picnic.
Many cities in Florida are the winter or permanent residences for Cass County people and each year they gather for a picnic. The group has been meeting for many years and in the records from 15 years ago more than 125 residents gathered. For the past few years the numbers are dwindling. However, this year there were several new faces at the event. As the younger population retires hopefully more will be added to the group.
For the past two years the picnic was held at Jeff Horvath’s fountain business in Venice. This year the picnic moved back to Twin Lakes Park.
Even though it was an overcast day the temperature was moderate and everyone enjoyed the lunch and a pleasant afternoon.
The Michigan towns represented were Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Edwardsburg, Union and Niles. One of the main topics of conversation was current gasoline prices and the cost of going home. Maybe some of them will be stranded in Florida and may not return.
On the other hand, recently an article appeared in another newspaper that listed the speed of travel over the last 2,000 years. Group travel seems to be all about speed but at what cost?
We all seem to be in hurry today and maybe we have reached the potential for maximum speed. At the beginning, the camel caravan traveled at about 8 miles per hour. In 1785, the stagecoach could travel about 10 mph and by 1825 the steam engine raised the rate of speed to 13 mph. The airplane in 1925 could go 100 mph and the early jet in 1950 could travel 400 mph. In 1978, the Concorde jet raced along at 1,614 mph and today the modern jet goes 700 mph.
On the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight in the Spirit of St Louis from New York to Paris, a Concorde flew the same route in 3 hours 44 minutes. Lindbergh’s time was 33 hours 29 minutes. The Concorde flew at twice the speed of sound at what price?
After nearly 30 years of service the Concorde was grounded because the cost, noise, and infrastructure were socially, politically and economically too expensive to be sustainable.
Have we finally reached the pinnacle of speed? Do we really need to go any faster? Do you remember being encouraged to “stop and smell the roses?”
Come to Florida, stop along the way, smell the roses and when you get here take the time to visit with old friends and neighbors.
No roses! But the orange blossoms smell so sweet right now.