Jack Fulford

Jack D Fulford (1937 – 2012)

Jack Fulford of Brooksville, formerly of St. Petersburg, passed away Dec. 29, 2012. Survived by his wife of 53 years, Dixie; 3 children, Kim, Matt (Kelly), Joe; 3 grandchildren; 2 great-grand-children; and 3 sisters. Family will receive friends Wednesday, Jan. 2nd, 10-11 am, with a service at 11 am, all at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sturgill Hospice of Brooksville. http://www.mossfeasterclearwater.com

Published in: on January 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Joyce Culbreath

Joyce Culbreath, 71, longtime resident of Bradenton passed away Dec. 14, 2012. She was a member of Bradenton Gospel Tabernacle. She is survived by her husband; Tom Culbreath, two sons; Tom, Jr. & Steven Culbreath, 6 grandchildren, 2 step grandchildren, a sister; Barbara Johnson, and a brother; Jimmy Paramore. A memorial service will be held at Bradenton Gospel Tabernacle on Sat., Dec. 29, at 11:00AM. Arrangements by Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, Bradenton, FL.

Published in: on December 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kenneth Oscar Hipp Jr.

Kenneth Oscar Hipp, Jr., 86, of Bradenton, FL, died on Nov. 25, 2012. Funeral arrangements by: Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home.

Ken went to be with the Lord on Sunday evening. He was 86. He was surrounded by his family, and took his place in heaven where his loved ones were waiting to welcome him home.

Ken was born on January 5, 1926 in Bradenton, FL and was a lifelong resident of Sarasota.

He attended the University of Florida after serving in WWII in the Philippines as a member of the U.S. Army. He was the owner of Hipp Construction Company and took great pride in his business. His ethics and honesty are still remembered today. He always "found" a job within the company for those who needed the work.

Ken loved anything that was related to fishing and the water and owned numerous boats which he enjoyed "tinkering" on in his spare time. He always looked forward to annual summer trips to Key West; traveling on a houseboat that he built himself. Ken also had an affinity for magic and loved to entertain with his newest tricks. He had a passion for all animals and they loved him equally.

He touched the lives of many people with his generosity and compassion. His deeds went mostly unsung as he never sought the spotlight.
Ken was a lifelong and devoted member and deacon of the South Trail Church of Christ.

He is the beloved husband of Mabel Adams Hipp for 60 years. Ken will forever be remembered by his loving wife, his children Kenneth O. Hipp, III and Karen E. Hipp and countless other family and friends who knew and loved him.

Friends and family are invited to celebrate his life at 11:00 AM on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at the South Trail Church, 5601 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be sent to the South Trail Church of Christ or Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota.

Published in: on November 29, 2012 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Walter Thomas Bell

Walter Thomas Bell was born August 25, 1923, in Cortez Village to Aaron Parx Bell and Jessie Blanche Fulford Bell. He died on November 20, 2012, at the age of 89.

Walter served in the Merchant Marines in WWII. He often said that he saw enough of the world during those years to know that he was happy to be back in Cortez.

Walter was part owner and manager of A.P. Bell Fish Company and a proud supporter of Florida’s seafood industry. In his younger years Walter loved to gill net mullet, pompano and mackerel. Had he ever retired, he wanted to return to the water to catch pompano. Even though Walter would probably have preferred to fish, in the early 60s he began working at the fish house. He adapted well to buying and selling local catches from commercial fishers.

He had a laid back personality that earned him the respect of fishermen and customers alike. Some of his "rules" were to pay fair prices; pay on correct weights; always pay the fishermen promptly ("If you’re in the fish business and you can’t pay for the fish, you shouldn’t be in the fish business!") and spend money locally whenever possible. He always had a smile, listened more than he spoke and was generous even when he knew better. All of these qualities and beliefs were important to Walter and contributed to his success in business and happiness in life.

Walter is survived by two brothers (Chester and Doug Bell) and two daughters (Karen and Lisa Bell.) He is predeceased by his mother and father, sister Betty, brothers Warren, Jesse and Calvin, wife Sandra and son Jeff.

A graveside service will be held at 2p.m. on Tuesday, November 28, 2012, at Palma Sola Community Church, 8604 9th Avenue NW, Bradenton, FL 34209. Friends may gather at A.P. Bell Fish Company to share memories and fishing stories following the service.

Published in: on November 26, 2012 at 8:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Walter T. Bell

Walter T. Bell of Cortez passed away on November 20, 2012. The funeral service will be held at 2 pm on Wednesday November 28, 2012 at the Palma Sola Cemetery in Bradenton. Griffith Cline Funeral home is handling the service.

Published in: on November 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thomas “Blue” Fulford


Thomas 'Blue' Fulford

by Art Levy
Posted 11/6/2012

» The fishing got kind of slack in the late 1950s, I guess it was, and I went to work for a construction company for about six months. I got tired of that real quick. The only thing wrong with it was it wasn’t fishing.

» I helped start the Organized Fisherman of Florida in 1967 and so I’d have to go up to Tallahassee and talk to the politicians about the laws they wanted to pass and all the areas they wanted to close off to commercial fishing. It was extremely frustrating. I was a greenhorn and didn’t know the procedures and the terminology they used. I didn’t know what they were talking about.

» All of the cartilage has gone out of my shoulders. It’s extremely painful. All of the cartilage has gone out of my knee. I lost one leg, which doesn’t hurt much sometimes. Phantom pain is what they call it. It’s all from a lifetime of fishing.

» My father was born in Cortez. He died when I was 3 years old. I had an uncle who took me under his arm. He’s who taught me how to fish. That was Tink Fulford. I watched him. He’d never sit you down and tell you this or tell you that. You just watched and learned. I guess if I wasn’t going to have a daddy, Tink was kind of a daddy to me.

» At a natural resources committee meeting up there, they asked me a question I couldn’t answer. W.D. Childers was the chairman. After the meeting, I was sitting there feeling dumb and Bob Graham, who was on the committee, came over and kneeled down in front of my chair and talked to me. He told me he would help me.

» I lost my leg in 1987, Sept. 14, and I went right back to fishing in a month. Somebody visited me in the hospital from the state, wanted to know if I wanted any state help. I said, ‘No, I don’t want any state help. I’m gone back fishing.’

» My mother, when I was tiny, before I could even walk almost, she taught me to say that nursery rhyme — ‘Little boy blue, come blow your horn, the sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn’ — and everywhere she’d take me, I had to recite that nursery rhyme. It got to the point that people would say, ‘Here comes little boy blue.’ That might be why people started calling me Blue.

» My favorite fish is the kind with fins and tails. I eat fish every chance I get.

»I had come down from the bridge. It wasn’t my job to be where I was. I don’t know what I was doing down there. I was standing by the tom weight, a 600-pound weight. I turned it loose, and there she went on her way down, 600 pounds, and everything was fine and then I moved over and the rope took a loop around my leg and jerked me up. I was hanging spread eagle. It had just about cut my leg off, cut everything except the Achilles tendon. My son come down and was asking if he could cut me down and I said, ‘Yeah, I guess.’ He took his pocketknife and sliced the tendon. That was the start to another phase of my life.

»I liked Lawton Chiles. He used to call me Blue. I called him Lawton.

» Synthetic fibers were a godsend for people like me. You used to have to work to be a fisherman. Natural fibers, the cotton and linen, bacteria would grow on them and destroy the net. It had to be dried and mended. When people were having to do that, there wasn’t a long line of people wanting to become commercial fishermen.

» 1953, we were on a shrimp boat, going to Campeche, and we were in a hurricane. That was some experience. I got sick for one thing. I got so seasick I couldn’t stay in the bunk. I couldn’t stay anywhere. As a matter of fact, I went outside and tied myself to the winch. It was rough. The captain, who was my brother-in-law, said the seas were 55 feet high. Everything started breaking apart. The steering gear broke down. I promised the good Lord then, if he would help me get back to shore, he wouldn’t have to worry about me out there in the Gulf anymore. We got home and I didn’t go out that far again. I’m a smooth water fisherman. Close to the shore. Close to Cortez.

» The best way in my opinion to eat mullet is just scale it, filet it and fry it with the skin on, flesh side down, turn it when its almost done and get that corn meal crust where it’s crunchy. Oh man, that’s good.

» I’ll tell you what was a real shock to me when I would go to Tallahassee representing the commercial fishermen. I would sit up in the gallery and watch the Senate or the House in action. They’d be debating a bill and there’d be three, four guys standing over in a corner talking and joking, reading the funny papers, pinching the girls on the butt, doing everything they thought they could get by with. It bothered me. Those people were supposed to be taking care of my livelihood. I never pinched anyone on the butt, but I knew the people who did.

» If I had my life to live over again, there are some things I’d do differently, but, oh yeah, I’d still be a fisherman. No doubt about that.

Published in: on November 6, 2012 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Maritime museum prepares for centennial celebration


By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

History abounds at the Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St. W., Cortez. The museum has several family-friendly activities and programs, as well as a centennial celebration planned for November. Islander Photo: Mark Young

Nov. 10 is an important day in Cortez as the Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St. W., celebrates the 100th birthday of the Cortez schoolhouse, the museum’s home.

According to FMM director Karen Riley-Love, the museum is planning a family-friendly extravaganza to celebrate.
The schoolhouse has witnessed almost as much community history as the items in the museum.

Riley-Love said the schoolhouse still means a lot to the community as an educational institution, the host site of community square dances, children’s plays and performances, and as a shelter during the 1921 hurricane.

The museum is seeking volunteers for the celebration, according to FMM curator Amara Cocilovo. Food and arts and crafts vendors, as well performers for narratives of schoolhouse history are being sought. Cocilovo can be reached at 941-708-6120.

FMM soon will be introducing new programs, such as a boat-building program, which is at the very heart of Cortez’s maritime history.

Riley-Love, in a press release, said families and community members will have the opportunity to build boats and learn boat-related skills in the historic Pillsbury Boat Shop.

The program will include building a “Puddle Duck” sailboat, “Skin on Frame” kayak, paddles and oars; converting a canoe into a sailboat and more.

Riley-Love said the driving force behind the program is to inspire confidence, build skills, get people on the water and make boating more accessible to families and community members.

FMM also is partnering with Manatee Village Historical Park, Palmetto Historical Park and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum to celebrate the opening of the Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton.

And FMM now features a butterfly garden and has begun offering Geraldson Community Farm shares. The farm is part of the community-supported agriculture program that promotes farmers.

The museum also continues to encourage new volunteers for its growing Friends of the Museum program, and donations of time, tools or items of historical significance are always welcome.

For more information on FMM and the centennial celebration, contact Riley-Love at 941-708-6121.

The Islander is the official media sponsor of the centennial celebration.

Published in: on October 2, 2012 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

The Cortezian

Attached is the latest issue of “The Cortezian,” the newsletter of the Cortez Village Historical Society. There is a lot happening in Cortez!

CVHS plans to premier a new film on the “Cortez Kitchen” in October. See the note from President Sam Bell in the newsletter.

A new Cortez Family Life Museum is being planned in a restored cottage that has been moved to the F.I.S.H. Preserve. Check the newsletter for items you may have that could be loaned to the new museum. There is also a short survey that you should fill out and return so you will have input on the planning.

Coming soon, on November 10, 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm is the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Cortez School House. The event, held on the campus of the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez is to celebrate 100 years of the Cortez School House and the many roles it played in the community. It will also serve as a fundraiser for a boat-themed playground to be built on the grounds. It will consist of exhibits, music, activities, food and crafts. Outside there will be Reading, Writing and ‘Arithmetic activity stations for children. Former pupils will be identified with a nametag, and the museum will also be ordering commemorative pins.

If you attended the Cortez School please send us your name and address (snail and email).

Plans are underway for the 31st annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on February 16-17, 2013. The theme will be “Better Fish to Fry.”

If you are on Facebook, be sure to find the page for F.I.S.H. – Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage and “like” it to keep up with F.I.S.H. related news.


Cortez Village Historical Society

PO BOX 663

Cortez, FL 34215

Web page: www.cortezvillage.org

Blog: www.cortezvillage.wordpress.com

The Cortezian 10 2012.pdf

Published in: on September 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Items

Manatee River Journal – Thursday June 1, 1916 – page 4

Published in: on September 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez loses member of ‘Forgotten Generation’


Calvin Edison Bell, 82, died Aug. 31. He was born Nov. 14, 1929, in Cortez Village to Aaron Parx Bell and Jessie Blanche Fulford Bell.

Mr. Bell was part owner of A.P. Bell Fish Company and a proud commercial fisherman. He also was an avid collector of all things nautical. Most of his years were spent on the surrounding waters or working on his many boats in the village.

Mr. Bell served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of his duty, he returned to the village and way of life he loved.

He often devoted his energy and vigilance toward educating Manatee County Code Enforcement officials about the differences between salvaged marine equipment and what the officers often considered old junk.

He also had a deep appreciation for God’s many creatures, raising greyhounds in his younger years and, in more recent times, he fed and cared for wild birds and feral cats.

Known to be strong and healthy, he was as hard worker and could typically be found dragging pilings around his yard, moving nets from one corner to the other or scraping and cleaning boat bottoms. He spent most of his days keeping up a fleet of historic wooden fishing boats.

When diagnosed with bone cancer two years ago, he continued to ride his bike daily to the shoreline to keep up with what was going on among his friends the village.

As his health deteriorated in the past month, one family member said his dear friend Junior Guthrie told him everything was going to be all right.

In good humor and like a true Cortezian, he replied, “How ya reckon?”

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Manasota Mermorial Park in Oneco.

Calvin Bell is survived by brothers Walter, Chester and Doug and a host of family members throughout Cortez and beyond.

Published in: on September 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm  Comments (1)  

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