Margaret's vision created an Old Florida Shack were new Florida would find old Florida and coexist. No matter how you were dressed, you could show up, step back in time and appreciate Old Florida's community feel.
Margaret was a Fishmonger. She cut what you ate that day! How many woman fishmongers do you know? Plus she's a veteran!
I still recall that bonding moment with Margaret.
Margaret invited me along to pick up fresh fish at the fisheries.
This was my first visit. I was so overcome seeing so many fresh fish that I fainted!
The boat captains all knew Margaret and slipped me a "Go bag" filled with black tuna.
Margaret and I shared many sunsets at the Shack.
Margaret's dear friend, Mike Metz, passed the Seafood Shack's torch to her. Margaret would share "Mike Metz" stories. This is what the Chicago Investors didn't understand nor care to hear. It's all about the money.
Sam Smith wrote this song because he ran across a musician who was only in it for the money!
One boater said, "The Chicago Investors don't know water!"
Ouch, that is the worst insults a boater could say about anyone.
Closeup of Mike Metz next to the "Save the Shack" t-shirts.
The original Seafood Shack signs were behind the murals.
Margaret gave me free room and board at the shack.
I believed in what Margaret was doing so much one of the waitresses labeled me the "Maximo Seafood Shack Ambassador."
Later I started the Bird Unity Yoga Movement! But I am getting ahead of myself.
The first issue was "Bird Poop!" For years, this had been causing friction between the boaters and birds, especially the pelicans!
Bird poop could be seen on boats up and down Maximo Channel.
No sailboat was safe!
I surveyed the boaters. No bird had ever approached them before on this issue!
The survey results clearly stated that "Bird poop" was the #1 reason for conflict between humans and birds. Now I had documented proof!
I also found the bird poop inspectors would see the bird poop but not report it. Sometimes they didn't see it, even when I was next to them!
This was an uphill battle but I was able to convince the birds to stop pooping on the boats!
The second cause was to stop the catfish from accosting the pelicans in the water.
The birds at the rookeries, who did not paddle or visit Maximo Channel simply did not understand what those here have been facing. If you visited Maximo Seafood Shack on a Sunday afternoon, you were very likely to be accosted.
Since this happened directly below you, you were the only one who could see the catfish.
But the rookeries believed the catfish over those who swam in the waters. The catfish said I was the only complainer.
"Not true," we said. I was sticking up for everyone who had given up or who didn't want to get involved.
Pelican Beakon: Unfortunately, the other bird rookeries were vilifying Lois and made her the scape goat. She also found out who her friends were. Some trusted friends did not stand by her. They left her on the pylon to dry.
Pelican Beakon: Lois took this video. It's a pelican's reaction to being accosted by an unseen catfish. The video went viral and the calls for help could now be plainly heard on the audio!
The rookeries didn’t venture to the channel on Sundays when the catfish were partying the most.
I requested the community call logs and found an interesting pattern. The calls dropped to zero during the winter. Then my research discovered the the catfish were actually "Channel catfish!" During the Winter the channel cats hibernated in the mud. Then resurface when Spring arrives.
I had stood up for the pelicans and suffered for it.
I remember speaking to a revered elder who said, The ones who expose the truth are the ones who suffer the most. The weight rests on your shoulders. They are stronger than you know. Trust your own strength.
Renewed. I continued diving to expose the real truth while some watched and didn't help.
I researched the complaints over the last four years. There were just under a hundred complaints with only one reported as a water violation. My friends were dumbfounded!
The one violation had recently occurred when the catfish were caught stinging two pelican police officers in front of me.
The Pelican Beakon was reporting on the story, but I said the reporting was softball. All the Pelican Beakon did was write "He said, She said" articles.
I complained to the Pelican Beakon. I said they were being selective and only truly investigating stories that brought in advertising revenue. The editors didn't publish any of my posts and declined to use my research.
I also accused PelicanTV of not covering stories that were important to Southside St. Pete.
Yet PelicanTV had no problem devoting resources to cover grouper addicts.
PelicanTV would interrupt programming to cover crime drama about the infamous Snowy Egret called "Yellow shoes."
If there was anything happening at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, PelicanTV would be right there to cover it!
I also complained the Pelican Beakon was accepting the catfish explanation and not diving below the surface to uncover the truth. This is the story the catfish didn't want the rookeries to know. They swarmed to coverup the issue.
After the water violation was recorded, the catfish had had enough. They served me a legal notice that I was being sued for harassment, defamation and false reporting. I had no choice but to incur a great expense and travel a dangerous route to find Mother Nature.
Mother Nature was the only hope. She would only help those who were able to seek her help. But only if you were true and correct.
This was my only chance to vindicate myself and silence the irate catfish and rookery leaders.
Mother Nature ruled in the pelican's favor. This was a landmark case for pelican rights. The news took off!
The catfish were not happy with Mother Nature's decision.
But everyone knows, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature"
My granny has developed into quite the social media rock star. She applied for and was accepted into NASA Social! Now that she just attended her first #NASASocial, she wears the lanyard everywhere she goes.
She flew a GoPro to the top of the VAB. That's the Vehicle Assembly Building. It's so big inside, it has its own clouds!
NASA Social even took them to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex!
Granny said the highlight was seeing Atlantis, the last space shuttle to launch into space, suspended at 43.21 degrees.
Especially since she was at Atlantis' final flight of the Shuttle Program. The STS-135 mission launched on 8 July 2011. She was there on a seniors field trip in 2011 for the whole week.
When I asked Granny about her trips, she always responds with the location. For the trip to the Space Coast she said, "What goes on at KSC, stays at KSC!"