Tag Archives: Titusville

Fishing Therapy

9 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My family ended up in Florida on the advice of my dad’s doctor. I know, you folks who are digging out of the snow today are wishing your doctor would advise the same. Sorry, but this was 1954 and doctors at time recommended salt air for people with bad lungs. Now they give you an inhaler.

Back in January when we were in North Carolina, my husband came down with a sinus infection that left him with a harsh and lingering cough. After we arrived in Florida for the winter, I decided to try the old-fashioned remedy that worked so well on my dad, Fishing Therapy. When we moved to Florida in the early 1950s, my dad found work in Orlando. It was not close enough to the coast to get benefit from the salt air so for almost every weekend in my memory, we loaded up the car on Friday night or early Saturday and drove to the east coast to fish. It seemed to help my dad, so why not try it on my husband?

We decide our first therapy session should be someplace that would not require a lot of walking so we settled on a park at the local marina. We didn’t catch a single fish but it was a beautiful day and the salt air was wonderful.

There were a number of sailboats anchored offshore and beyond the bridge the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building can be seen.  There’s something about the joining of high-tech space flight and nature that fills me with wonder and contentment.

I saw these birds in the boat ramp parking lot as I was on my way to the facilities. Something about them flocking together in the parking spaces tickled my sense of humor.


We enjoyed our day and I think it helped with his breathing, so we embarked on a second therapy session, this one at a park closer to home. The wind was brisk and cool, which I love.  As a child, both my husband and I had spent many hours fishing and playing at this spot when it was a wide open space with no facilities. I must say I do appreciate the comfort of a restroom.

I caught a tiny fish and a blow fish. My husband caught three horseshoe crabs.

 I had my heart set on having fresh fish for our supper and this day’s catch wouldn’t feed Rebekah’s cat, so after cleaning up, I went to our local fish market, Wild Ocean. They were out of the type of fish I wanted, so I changed my plans and bought two pounds of Cape Canaveral large white shrimp. Oh my, they were good!

The entire front wall of the store is covered in a this mural. If you should be traveling on US Highway 1 be sure to stop in Titusville and check out the murals downtown. You might want some fresh seafood too. Wild Ocean will cook it for you. Take a look at their menu.


Apollo 11 and One Proud Mama

17 Jul

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Ok, I am going to come right out and say it, no finesse or beating around the bush. I am one proud 3d cover Jessiemama.  Jessie, the newest novel by my daughter Rebekah Lyn released yesterday.  She has written other three novels  but this one is special to me.  It is an historical fiction that covers 1960- 1969 and set in the town where she and her father were raised.  Even though she wasn’t alive during this time, through extensive research and conversations with locals she has managed to capture the spirit of the decade consumed with the race for the moon.

I was surprised when she chose four boys as her main characters. At one point during the writing process, she sighed and said “being a teen-age boy is exhausting.” Never the less, during the writing  process, each boy became a part of our family. I felt like she had given me four grandsons, but without the need to feed a teen’s ravenous appetite.

Jessie is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Smashwords. Visit her website for links.


Jessie already has some great reviews on Amazon. Click HERE if you want to check them out.

Thank you for stopping by and  sharing in my proud  mama moment. Of course as always giving thanks and glory to our wonderful Lord who inspires, sustains and opens doors we could never imagine. He even places people in your life like my friend Pam, with the talents you desperately need.

Oh, I almost forgot. Rebekah has been chosen to be a social media reporter on Monday July 21, 2014 and will be tweeting from Kennedy Space Center. I am not sure of the time, but I know it will be after 9am.  If you are on twitter, her handle is @rebekahlyn1

2014 TICO Airshow~Part 1

26 Mar

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites



Several years ago, my friend Terry gave me a nice 16”x20” print of a Red Tailed P-51Mustang shooting down a German Me-109 somewhere over the Western Front during WWII. If you look close, you’ll see the painting depicts the smoking German airplane with the pilot stepping out on the wing, getting ready to bail out over the side, while the American pilot watches from a distance.  The print hangs on my bedroom wall, surrounded by many other airplane pictures, where I can enjoy them any time I want a thrill.


“Two down and one to go” By W. S. Phillips


I had known about the Tuskegee Airmen from my study of WWII aviation history, and the movie “Red Tails” and was always impressed with the many challenges those men had to endure to become fighter pilots during the war.  I had even visited the Tuskegee Airmen Museum in Tuskegee, AL two years ago during a trip to visit my friend Terry. However, I had never imagined that I would ever have the honor to meeting any of them in person.       3  

 As part of my retirement “fun”, I volunteer as a tour guide, one day a week at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum here in Titusville, Florida. This weekend was the museum’s 2014 annual Airshow, and the theme for the show was to “Honoring the Tuskegee Airman.” The VAC museum had invited all of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen to be their guests at the three-day event, to share with the airshow attendees their many WWII experiences.  Well, this was my chance, and I didn’t hesitate for a minute.

I did the research on my print, and discovered it was painted by W. S. Phillips, and actually depicted Lt. Clarence D. “Lucky” Lester in his P-51 (which he named “Miss Pelt”) shooting down his second of three German aircraft on July 18, 1944.  Reportedly, the German Luftwaffe gave these airmen the nickname, “Schwarze Vogelmenschen,” or “Black Birdmen.”


As many of the Tuskegee Airman as could manage were there, and what a thrill it was to be able to shake hands and talk with several real war heroes!  I took my “Two down and one to go” print and ask each of them to autograph it for me.  A couple of them remembered “Lucky” Lester, and told me how they recognized the different squadron planes, by the color of the trim tabs on the rudder and elevators. There was the 99th, the 100th, the 301st and the 302nd Fighter Squadrons. They each had their own specific color and/or numerical markings.




—–To Be Continued—–


Titusville Centennial Celebration

6 Feb

A Slice of Life

  Bill Lites



The year was 1968 and Titusville was celebrating its 100th year of founding anniversary.  The city had been growing from it 250 inhabitants, in 1886, and this was a festive occasion for young and old alike.



For the duration of the celebration, many of the local families dressed in period clothes to remind us of the era of days gone by.   All the men were instructed to wear beards and all the women were not to wear makeup if they didn’t want to be fined by the city fathers.






There were reenactments with folks in period dress and there were riverboat rides up and down the Indian River.



There were parades thru downtown, covered dish dinners on the grounds.And then there were street dances, buggy rides and hayrides, as well as fireworks.












At the same time, many of the inhabitants of Titusville were working day and night across the Indian River, at the Kennedy Space Center, preparing the world’s largest rocket to send men to the moon for the first time.  The East Central Florida area, with its Cape Canaveral rocket launch facility had been known, ever since the early 1950’s, as “America’s Doorway to the Stars.” Now NASA and its many contractors were on the threshold of fulfilling President Kennedy’s challenge, ‘To put men on the moon and return them safely to the Earth.’  The method for accomplishing that Herculean effort was the mighty Apollo/Saturn V moon rocket program that at the time encompassed over 300,000 workers nationwide.



It would be another year and a half before that historical event would take place, but the Titusville Centennial was a wonderful way for many of the Space Center workers to relax, during their time away from work, and help celebrate another memorable local event.







One of the most interesting events, during the Centennial Celebration time for me, was the unusual beard contest, which was held after the men had allotted time to grow and fashion their beards.  I can’t remember who won the contest, but it was amazing how some of the men were able to come up with the designs they did.

As it turned out, DiVoran and I were members of the Titusville Twirlaways Square Dance Club during the time of the Centennial Celebration, and much of the period costumes fit right in with our square dance outfits.






When our children’s school was out for the summer, a group of dancers from our club traveled to Fontana Village, NC for a week of square dance classes, round dance classes and relaxation.



It was a wonderful and fun experience, with morning and afternoon dance lessons, and then evening skits and dancing the new routines, we had learned earlier in the day.  Couples and clubs came from all over the Southeast to enjoy the camaraderie of a large group of people with the same interest.









And so, that was how it was for the many of us who were part of two of the most opposite events taking place at the time.  One, a small little-known town’s 100th Centennial Celebration and the other, the U.S. landing of the first men on the Moon, which was celebrated by many people worldwide.

2 Chronicles 15:7


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