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: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article117520648.html#storylink=cpy

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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 info@cortezvillagehistoricalsociety.org 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 http://www.cortezvillagehistoricalsociety.org




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  

Wendi Shawn Lewis

Wendi Shawn Lewis born February 12, 1973 passed away October 17, 2016. Wendi is the daughter of Walter G. Lewis and Vicki Lynn Lewis (deceased). Wendi is survived by her father Walter G. Lewis, daughter Rylee Lynn Overstreet, sister Candy Jean Lewis, her loving companion Tony Taylor, and stepmother Margaret Britnell Lewis and many family and friends.

Published in: on October 19, 2016 at 8:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Mark H. Burnett

Mark H. Burnett, 73, of Bradenton, died Sept. 29.

He was born Nov. 15, 1942. in Bradenton to Herman and Elizabeth Guthrie Burnett.

He was raised in and around the Cortez area, was a lifelong resident of Bradenton, and a nurseryman.

He was a member of Elwood Baptist Church and the Florida Anthropology Society and Tampa Bay Fossil Club.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 1221 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton.

Services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Survivors include wife Josephine; children Mike, John, Thomas, Dennis and Colleen, all of Bradenton; sister Sara Moore; step-children Mike, Chris and David Heath and Debra Osborne; grandchildren Michael, Chris, Austin, Sarah, Chelsea, Brandon, Josh, Cecelia and Michael.

Published in: on October 6, 2016 at 3:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Center Hosts Reception

From the Anna Maria Island Sun – September 28, 2016

Published in: on September 28, 2016 at 9:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Village Historical Societies new website is ready to view!

Hello Cortez Friends!

The Cortez Village Historical Society is pleased to announce our website is now ready for you to view. http://www.cortezvillagehistoricalsociety.org this will help keep you informed on the happening’s at The Cultural Center as well as activities in the village.

Our Facebook page The Cortez Village Cultural Center . is also a great way to see pictures and articles on the village as well. Our other great news to share with you is our Giving Challenge results came to a WHOPPING $15,275.00 Thanks to all that gave. The team is already hard at work putting these funds to work on our many projects, Stayed tuned for updates and pictures.

Join us this Friday September 30th from 5-7 at the Cultural Center for a Free backyard picnic as we celebrate our newest exhibit. Enjoy images and history of the AP Bell Fish House that has been at the center of the commercial fishing industry in Historic Cortez Village for years. Kids can check out our new children’s area on the back porch.

Hot dogs, baked beans, salad and drinks will be provided. Come enjoy the evening with us. Parking available at the center 11655 Cortez Rd. Cortez 34215

Sincerely, C.V.H.S.




Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm  Leave a Comment  


Cortez Village Historical Society (Cultural Center)


​For 24 hours, starting at noon tomorrow TUESDAY September 20th to noon on WEDNESDAY September 21st your donation will be matched THREE times as part of the 2016 Giving Challenge Your donation of $25 becomes a $75, $50 becomes $150, and $100 turns into a $300 donation! (Matched up to $100)

Your donation is being matched by The Sarasota Community Foundation and The Patterson Foundation. The Cortez Village Historical Society has worked extremely hard at being able to participate in this. It has been a long grueling process to be accepted into this challenge along with 500 other non-profit organizations. This the first year for us at the Cortez Village Historical Society and we are very excited!

To participate in The 24 Hour 2016 Giving Challenge:
Make your donation through The Giving Challenge SECURE website, from Noon tomorrow September 20th to Noon September 21st here is a direct link http://bit.ly/GivingChallenge2016 This takes you right their!! Its EASY. All donations are 100% Tax Deductible and a receipt will be sent to the email address your provide. Here are our plans for the donations
1. Buying a computer program to photograph and digitalize all our items to museum standards
2. Make copies of our many oral histories and documentaries that are in various forms
3. Purchase a television that would accommodate the new DVD’s to play our oral histories and documentaries for our visitors to view 4. Our original photographs need museum quality containers for storage
5. Purchase a display case to view the WW ll military uniforms from the men and women from Cortez
6. We would like to add more native plants and trees to our grounds 7. Finish the interacting children’s corner
8. Buying materials to build some raised vegetable gardens for the community
http://bit.ly/GivingChallenge2016 you can click this link as well!!

Our website is still under construction, coming soon! The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.


Copyright © 2016 cortez village historical society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 663, Cortez FL. 34215

Published in: on September 19, 2016 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment