Speak for the Springs: Doug Alderson presents "America's Alligator"
People have long been fascinated by the American alligator. Ever since humans arrived on the continent more than 15,000 years ago, the American alligator has been both feared and revered, celebrated and scorned, and often hunted for food and hide.
Seminole Indians wrestled alligators for show. Alligator souvenirs and mascots often took what people feared—a sharp-toothed predator—and made it into something cute and cuddly.
Alligator-themed songs were recorded and released, including “See You Later Alligator” by Bill Haley and His Comets. Hollywood into created alligator-themed movies such as Alligator People. Alligators were also reportedly kept in the White House under two presidencies. And perhaps the most unusual alligator story was one that helped to nab Ma Barker and her son Fred when they were hiding out along Florida’s Lake Weir.
America’s Alligator, a new book published by Lyons Press, examines the colorful and sometimes conflicted relationship our species has had with Alligator mississippiensis. Through photos and vintage souvenir items, author Doug Alderson will share some of our country’s rich alligator mythology and how it inspired various forms of art, stories, photography, tourism and even humor.
About the Author:
Tallahassee writer Doug Alderson is well known as an avid naturalist, accomplished nature photographer, ardent paddler, and currently works as the Outreach and Advocacy Director for the Apalachicola Riverkeeper. He is the author of several award winnng books, including A New Guide to Old Florida Attractions: From Mermaids to Singing Towers (Pineapple Press), He is also the recipient of several magazine, creative nonfiction and photography awards.
More complete information can be found on his website: www.dougalderson.net.