Fishing festival celebrates 35

Published in: on February 22, 2017 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Fishing festival celebrates 35

Carol Whitmore


Far left The aroma of shrimp with red peppers and
onions wafted over the food court, luring people from the
art and fishing exhibits.


CORTEZ – At the edge of the main parking lot at the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is a fringe of green, the edge of the 95-acre FISH Preserve, made possible by the modest admission price paid by thousands of festival fans over the past 35 years.

The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) purchased the last, long-coveted privately owned parcel last summer from Iris LeMasters, of Grand Rapids, Mich., who had offered it at $1.2 million 12 years ago, inviting buyers to "Build your Florida dream home on this one-of-a-kind half-acre bayfront lot completely surrounded by preserve."

FISH paid $185,000 for the land, making the preserve 95 contiguous acres of uplands and wetlands bordered by Cortez Road to the north and mangrove-fringed Sarasota Bay to the south, serving as a buffer between the historic fishing village of Cortez and development to the east.

The preserve and the 35th anniversary of the festival were only two of the things FISH celebrated this year.

Festival volunteers Peg Miller, Sam Valeris and the Cortez Park crew were honored with awards, along with Capt. Soupy Davis, 90, for his contributions to the fishing industry and his fiddle playing at the Florida Maritime Museum’s monthly Music on the Porch jam sessions.

The pioneer award was presented to the unofficial matriarch of Cortez, Mary Francis Fulford Green, 92.

The granddaughter of Cortez pioneer Capt. Billy Fulford, she graduated from Bradenton High School in 1942 as valedictorian. She attended the Florida State College for Women (later Florida State University) in Tallahassee, earning a doctorate in education.

A great-grandmother, founder of Hope Family Services and longtime community activist, "She has done everything in her power as a mother would to protect what she sees as her special child – this village," FISH board member Jane von Hahmann said in presenting the award.

Published in: on February 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

BB truck driver strikes off-duty beach tractor driver at 7-Eleven

by Kathy Prucnell for | February 14, 2017

thumb image Mark Taylor, right, who drives the beach cleanup tractor on Anna Maria Island, is shown in December with Manatee County Parks and Recreation colleagues Cindy Turner, Mark Parsley and Carmine Demilio. Taylor was hospitalized at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton Jan. 30-Feb. 2 after being struck by a pickup truck at a Bradenton 7-Eleven store. Islander File Photo
police-holtan-021517.jpg Barbara Holtan, 55

Mark Taylor drives a tractor for Manatee County on Anna Maria Island, cleaning up the beaches.

At home and rehabilitating from a Jan. 30 crash, Taylor recounted Feb. 9 how a typical morning at the 59th Street 7-Eleven in Bradenton turned traumatic.

“It was still dark outside. I was just going to pop a movie into the box and go get me a tea,” he said. Then a woman in a truck drove into him.

Taylor was pinned to a Red Box vending machine until the woman put her 2002 Chevrolet Silverado in reverse.

“I remember screaming and beating,” he said, adding the woman kept her foot on the accelerator for what seemed like minutes.

“When she finally let up and pulled into the parking lot, she scratched the county truck,” Taylor said.

The Silverado also hit a car in the 7-Eleven lot, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. No injuries were reported to the vehicle occupants.

An ambulance transported Taylor to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton and a Tampa General Hospital trauma surgeon was called to Blake to operate on his leg, ripped open to the bone, he said.

At 9:21 a.m., the FHP arrested Barbara Holtan, 55, of Bradenton Beach, for driving under the influence/causing serious bodily injury to another and possessing drugs and paraphernalia.

A FHP trooper reported Holtan “visibly swaying and failing to maintain her balance” but no odor of alcohol. A field sobriety test was discontinued due to the concern Holtan would fall, the report stated.

Holtan told the trooper she commonly takes insulin and opiates, morphine, dilaudid and oxycodone. On an inventory of Holtan’s vehicle, a muscle relaxant and a broken pen casing containing white powder were found, according to the FHP report.

Holtan was transported for diabetic issues to Blake Medical Center, where she agreed to provide a urine sample, the report stated. From Blake, FHP transported Holtan to the Manatee County jail.

At her first court appearance, a 12th Circuit judge found probable cause for the charges and set $2,250 bond and approved a pretrial service supervised release. Holtan was released Jan. 31 pending a 9 a.m. Friday, March 3, arraignment.

Taylor was released from the hospital Feb. 2 with instructions for exercise but to “take it slow,” which he says is difficult.

Taylor said, “With spring break coming up, I really want to get back to work.”

He expects his stitches to be removed in two weeks and, in three-four weeks, he’ll be “back in the saddle” on the beach tractor, cleaning trash and litter from the beachfront.

“Wave to me when you see me,” he added.

Published in: on February 14, 2017 at 7:28 am  Leave a Comment  

The Cortezian January 2017

Attached is the January 2017 issue of The Cortezian with news and information about The Cortez Village and work of the Cortez Village Historical Society.





Published in: on January 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gleonic “Junior” Ibasfcalean

Gleonic “Junior” Ibasfalean passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on December 22nd, 2016 at the age of 60. Junior was born January 25th, 1956 in Toledo, Ohio, although he spent most of his life in the small fishing village of Cortez. To those who knew him, he was and will always remain a child of the Gulf Coast. It was there, near the calm waters of Palma Sola Bay, that he took in the warmth and beauty of a thousand Sunsets through the bay window in his living room, and watched the sailboats meander through the Bay channel. Over the course of his 60 years, he married twice, raised a family, and maintained an unwavering love of being on the water. To his friends, there are few people in the world who were more generous with their time, love and consideration. To his parents, he was a playful, care-free soul who became a devoted and dutiful son. To his Brother, he was a best friend and a partner in crime who would wade next to him, shoulder to shoulder, in the muddy waters of the bay on their way to the bus stop before school. To his children, he was always a constant and positive presence in their lives. From the moment their eyes opened until the moment his shut, he gave them everything he could to help them find their way in the world. To all who knew him, he was truly one-of-a-kind. His absence will leave a gaping hole in the fabric of our remaining years, and the tapestry of our lives.
Junior is survived by his sons Cody (Jessica) of Ruskin, Fl and Austin of New York, NY; Parents Gleonic Sr. and Betty Lou Ibasfalean of Cortez, Fl; Brother Cleonic “Nick” (Debra) of Cortez, Fl; Grandsons Landon and Reece of Ruskin, Fl; and niece Yolanda.
Visitation 6-8PM Thursday, December 29, 2016 with Services 12Noon Friday, December 30, 2016 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel. Condolences to
In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Published in: on December 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

FDOT promises to listen to Cortez about new bridge

Calling Cortez “unique,” the Florida Department of Transportation Secretary stressed the importance of hearing from the community as the future of the Cortez Bridge is determined.

“I think it is incumbent upon the department to realize that it is different,” Jim Boxold said at Monday’s Manatee Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Renaissance on 9th. “It is unique and that we’ve got to come up with a solution to meet those needs.”

In early 2017, there will be a public hearing about four alternatives — a 21-foot vertical clearance drawbridge, 35-foot vertical clearance drawbridge, 65-foot vertical clearance fixed bridge and a no-bridge repair option — “to make sure that we get the right solution for Cortez,” Boxold said.

During the chamber’s VIP luncheon, members from the business community, as well as elected officials including several county commissioners, heard from the head of the state’s transportation department. He highlighted several major projects either underway or coming to Manatee County.

“The investments that we make, make a tremendous difference to the businesses and the people that live here,” Boxold said.

Among the projects that Boxold highlighted are the Interstate 75 and State Road 70 interchange project, which has been accelerated to 2018 for construction; the I-75 at U.S. 301 interchange project, which has been advanced from 2099 to 2020; the Anna Maria Bridge, which is in the design phase for a high-level, fixed replacement bridge; and the Central Manatee Network Alternatives Analysis, for which project recommendations are expected in spring 2017.

“FDOT tries in every way possible to work with us to handle the problems that we have,” Manatee Commission Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh said during the luncheon. “We appreciate all the efforts that come into Manatee County through FDOT.”

Florida’s first diverging diamond interchange, which is being built at I-75/University Parkway, is an example of innovation, Boxold said.

“It is the first of its kind in Florida and I will make a tremendous difference in the function of that interchange,” he said, adding that it will be complete before the 2017 World Rowing Championships next fall.

For the last three years, the FDOT has had record funding in excess of $10 billion, Boxold said.

“The more we invest in transportation the better our economy does. The better our economy does the more we need to invest in transportation,” he said.

Florida is recognized as a leader in transportation across the country, Boxold said.

“That’s the thing about transportation, if we are doing our job right and if it’s working, people don’t even think about it,” he said.

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson

Read more here:

Sent from my iPad

Published in: on November 29, 2016 at 7:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Cortez honors veterans with fish fry



Cortez author Joe Crawford lent his uniform to the Cortez Cultural
Center for the Veteran’s Day picnic.


The Cortez Cultural Center honored the 66 Cortezians who fought for their country at the Tribute to Veterans, a free fish fry on Saturday afternoon.

Historic military uniforms that belonged to Cortez veterans were on display, along with the biographies and photographs of several Cortez veterans.

Relatives of the three surviving Cortez veterans who fought in World War II, Albert Few Jr., Cleve Adams and C.D. Adams, attended, although the veterans themselves, in their 90s, were unable to participate.

The center, 11655 Cortez Road W., is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit Facebook at Cortez Village Cultural Center.

Published in: on November 16, 2016 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Remembering Cortez in 1945


The big war, World War II, had just ended, and a lot of us kids in Cortez were waiting for our dads to come home from that awful war. Now, I was a war baby, born Sept. 19,1941, just a couple months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I remember well where I was at when my dad, Raymond Stargel Pringle, came home. He looked so cool in his starched khaki uniform with the sergeant stripes on his sleeve.

My mom and so many others of the moms worked and slaved to keep our families together and fed. I recall going out to the “Kitchen” with mom to harvest scallops along with a lot of other Cortez kids and their moms. The Kitchen is the flats just off to the left of Cortez in Sarasota Bay looking toward the southeast at what is now known as Coral Shores. The flats is a term the Cortez fishermen use to describe the shallow water seagrass beds; the scallops somehow thrive in the seagrasses. During that time scallops were so plentiful, it was hard to walk in the water without stepping on them. It seemed they flourished in these crystal clear waters.

All the moms would take the mullet skiffs out with us kids in tow to pick up scallops. Now, to explain, the mullet skiff is a non-motorized shallow-drafted wooden boat the commercial fishermen use to put their nets in. They would pole their nets out with a poling oar, a long, 16-18-foot piece of wood that was fashioned into a long oar My granddad, Nash Pringle, made poling oars for many years. The fishermen towed their mullet skiff behind the launch or scooter. Well now I’ll explain, the launch or scooter. It is the vessel that has an in-board motor in it; most were open, but some had cabins or a tarp covering it from stem to stern to protect from the hot sun. They were used to tow the mullet skiffs. The fishermen would work together in crews to be able to catch fish better. I will explain this way of fishing in a later article.

Now, back to us kids and our moms scalloping. Our dads made scallop boxes that we used when the tide was high. The scallop box was a waterproof wooden frame with a clear pane of glass in the bottom of the box that would float in the water. The moms could see plainly the bottom and also find the scallops a lot easier on high tide. My wife, Janet, and I donated the only one that I know in existence to the Cortez Museum several years ago, and somehow it is at the Taylor Boat House at the end of 123rd Street West. Hopefully it has not been lost.

All of us kids had a total blast in the Kitchen, swimming and chasing the girls with crabs or other creepy crawlers. Moms would scold us sternly. We spent some of our time picking up scallops but the rest of the time, we romped and played. The moms would fill the skiffs with scallops that were just the beginning of the hard work. They would come home and open scallops for hours and put them in different size containers. Now, I don’t want to offend anyone, but the moms would sell the scallops to the Yankees that came from the North for vacation. It is so sad to see the bay get so polluted now-a-days, that the scallops have almost disappeared.

Now, back to when dad came home. I was playing in the back yard of the house my family, and I lived in directly behind my grandmother, Loney Pringle’s house. I was playing with one of my closest friends, Carl “Trigger” Mora. I looked up when I saw a man in a crisp uniform walking through my grannie’s yard coming towards me. I realized it was my dad! I didn’t wait to go around to the gate so I climbed over that six-foot fence and ran yelling at the top of my voice in glee! I can still recall the hug and the excitement that I felt, even though I was only five years old.

I feel I should explain my heritage in Cortez. My grandmother had three sisters and all but one lived in Cortez; Lulu, Leatha, and Leala, my great aunts. Leatha was Thomas “Blue” Fulford’s mom, Leala was Alcee “Boogie” Taylor’s mom. I think that I am kin to everybody in Cortez. Ralph “Pig” Fulford and I were talking one day, and we figured out that I was kin to him and his wife. Ralph ran the Fulford Fish Company for many years; he was one of Tink Fulford’s sons. My, the stories that I have to tell of my little part of heaven named Cortez. Hopefully I can get some of them told correctly.

There were several of the young men that grew up in Cortez that served our nation well in WWII; some came back with serious injuries, one never came back. I am still very proud of those sun-tanned commercial fishermen that went off to war so long ago. All of them have passed away now and so are their stories.

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I would sit in a swing with Marvin “Uncle Marvin” Carver, situated by his house. I always called him Uncle Marvin. I would listen to his other commercial fishermen friends tell their memories of how it was in the teens, 20s, 30s and 40s in Cortez.

How, during the war years their families survived on the bounty they caught in the sea. They caught mullet and would smoke them and take their product to Bradenton to the grocery stores and trade them for meat, canned goods and other groceries they needed. This way of trading went on well up into the early 50s. I know because my granddaddy, Nash Pringle, had a large smoker that smoked many mullet at a time. I went with him quite a few times to Friendly City Market in Bradenton to trade for beef, pork and canned goods. How in those trying times everybody pitched in to help each other. I spent many hours in that swing in the shade of a mango tree listening to those wonderful stories the fishermen would tell.

I never could understand why those folks in Bradenton would trade their good beef and pork for our crummy mullet until one day, sitting with a friend of mine while I was attending school at Manatee High, one of my buddies and I were telling stories about each other’s experiences. The subject came up about smoked mullet. He looked at me and said, “You guys from Cortez sure were crazy for trading us those delicious smoked mullet for the beef and pork we got so tired of eating.” I laughed and finally got it, we were trading the seafood they liked for the hamburger we liked, and we both had a great laugh. I have reminisced many times of that conversation; I guess it was one of the good old times!

The war was over and things started getting back to a normal routine of Cortez commercial fishermen going to work, supplying fresh wholesome seafood to people all over the world. The people living in the war ravaged places were desperate and starving. The commercial fishermen of Cortez did their part in helping feed the masses wholesome seafood.

Published in: on November 10, 2016 at 7:45 am  Comments (1)  

Newsletter from Cortez Village Historical Society

News from the Cortez Cultural Center

Tribute to our veterans exhibit

November 12th – December 31st

Free fish fry on

the 12th 1-4



We have lots of good things happening at the Cortez Cultural Center so we thought it would be a good time to share the news. Our big accomplishment was the Giving Challenge we raised over $5,000 dollars and was double matched by the Sarasota Community Foundation and The Patterson Foundation for a total of $15,275.00 we were very pleased, This was lots of had work on our end, but the end result was well worth it. On September 29 the history of A.P. Bell fish house was on display and along with that was a free picnic dinner grilled hot dogs, salad’s, beverage and lots of free C.V.H.S tee shirts, the turn out was great. Our next event starts this Saturday November 12th from 1-4 featuring a tribute to our Veterans, join us for a free lunch fish fry that day from 1-4 bring a dish to pass if you like. We will have games for the kiddies and lots of free raffle prizes donated by our local restaurants and time to sit and chat and enjoy our lunch and friendship. Address 11655 Cortez Rd. park right at the Center. The exhibit will run through the end of December. The next featured event is local artist Linda Molto she is a master of serigraphic technique — otherwise known as silk screening, We have need for volunteers to sit at the center to greet visitors they are 3 hour shifts from (10-1 ) (1-4 ) on Thursday-Saturday one shift a month would help us tremendously. or if you have an interest in gardening , computer work or whatever talent you might have to offer, would love to have you in whatever capacity you could help us out. reply in email or call 248-894-9681 (KRIS) Volunteering should be a fun experience so anything you do here is only what makes you happy! COME OUT FOR A VISIT! FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK : CORTEZ VILLAGE CULTURAL CENTER AND OUR WEBSITE




Copyright © *2016* *cultural center*,

Our mailing address is:

Published in: on November 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

And then there were three


CORTEZ – The 66 Cortezians who fought for their country will be honored at the Cortez Cultural Center’s Tribute to Veterans on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 1-4 p.m. at the center, 11655 Cortez Road W.

Cortezians will be modeling historic military uniforms that belonged to Cortez veterans, and visitors will enjoy a free fish fry and children’s games. They are also asked to bring a side dish if they can.

One or more of the three surviving Cortez veterans who fought in World War II also may be on hand for the celebration – Albert Few Jr., and Cleve Adams and C.D. Adams, two of six brothers who served.

Albert Few Jr.

His dad, “Tater” Few, was a Cortez fisherman, but Albert G. “Little Spud” Few Jr. cared more about planes than boats.

“I signed up the day after Pearl Harbor and went into the Air Force aviation cadet program,” Few said at his Bradenton retirement home. “In October 1942, they sent me to North Africa and we did missions against the Germans for Montgomery’s English army. We lost about 30 percent of our men the year I was there.”

Few flew “83 or 84 missions” in P-40 Warhawks and P-51 Mustangs over North Africa, Sicily and Italy, strafing and bombing German troops.

Later, in the reserves, he flew F-86 Sabre jets for four or five years, teaching others how to fly.

He became an aerospace engineer and worked on the design and development of the Saturn V missile program with rocket scientist and ex-Nazi Dr. Wernher von Braun at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., after von Braun surrendered to American soldiers and joined the Allied war effort. Few’s 30-year career at NASA included working on the Space Shuttle program.

Few, 95, wrote an autobiography, "The Fighter Pilot from Cortez," available at the Cortez Cultural Center.

Cleve Adams

Cleveland Thomas Adams enlisted in the Navy in 1940 with his friend, Bridger Watson Jr., of Bradenton, and was assigned to the battleship U.S.S. Pennsylvania, stationed with the fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched a sneak attack on the fleet, he was transporting Catholic sailors from the ship to Mass as the first bombs began to drop. He thought they were U.S. fighter planes on practice runs, but that they were too close to the fleet for safety, his sister, Doris Green, recalled in her book, “Fog’s Comin’ In.”

When he arrived back at the ship, he found the Pennsylvania badly damaged but still floating, and his friend lying on the dock, the first war casualty from Bradenton.

Adams later was injured by flak when his ship was attacked by the Japanese.

At 96, he is retired in California.

C.D. Adams

Clyde Dillard Adams was forced to parachute from his B-17 bomber after it was shot down early in the war. As he was trying to dig up turnips to eat, German farm women armed with pitchforks captured him, and he was held as a prisoner of war by the German army for seven years.

After the war in Europe ended, he was released and returned home to Cortez on leave before shipping out to the Pacific. While he was home, the Japanese surrendered and the war in the Pacific ended.

On V-J Day, as his family gathered around the radio at their home in Cortez to hear President Harry Truman’s speech, Green recalled that Adams stood alone in the kitchen, at attention, tears streaming down his face, staring out the window.

Adams, 93, is retired in Sebastian, Fla.

The Cortez Cultural Center, operated by the Cortez Village Historical Society (CVHS), features a growing military collection, one of several collections focused on life in the historic fishing village. Anyone with photographs or information about Cortez veterans is invited to share it with the center. Visit “Cortez Village Cultural Center” on Facebook.

Published in: on November 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment