Dear Editor: I just read James Schnur’s Part 8 article about Boca Ciega High School and busing. It caught my interest because my father, Charles Tony Sergent, was a teacher at Boca Ciega from 1977 to 1992. John Demps was the principal during part of his time there and my dad spoke highly of him.
I’m a graduate of the Gibbs High class of 1981. I was Tina Sergent back then; I’ve since married and now live in Atlanta. I remember when busing started in 1971. I was 7 years old and in third grade at Westgate Elementary, and we had four Black girls in my class. To this day, I still remember their first names, and I remember that they were called the “bus students” and their names were listed at the end of the roll. I seem to remember their names being typed in red ink. Two of my cousins went to Dixie Hollins [now Hollins High School] in 1971 when the riots broke out. I was too young to really appreciate what was going on back then.
I write a blog, and since it’s been 50 years since the riots, I was doing some research about that time, which is how I came across your article. While I’m glad that blatant discrimination backed by the law has, for the most part, ended, it breaks my heart to see so much racial strife still in this country. Thank you again for your article. – Tina Seward
Enough About Me
Dear Editor: While my vanity was flattered by the gargantuan photo of me (which I did not supply this time) in your article “Radical Inclusion” about the Gateway: Gulfport Poets book [October 14, 2021], I need to correct some misperceptions. Number one: I am not the current Poet Laureate of Gulfport. Our new poet laureate is Rob McCabe. Two: I was hoping the focus would be on the contributing poets and their work and not on me as editor. And I was somewhat disappointed that Marge Davis was not mentioned as the founder and enthusiastic director of the poet laureateship program. Without her vision there would be no book. That being said, I’d like to point out that the miscommunications are most likely mine — my lack of clarity and emphasis during the phone interview — and not that of Abby Baker who is a journalist of the first rank. I do appreciate all and any visibility for the book, and I appreciate Abby Baker and the Gabber. – Pete Hargitai
Comments this Week from the Gabber’s Facebook Page:
Gulfport Coffeehouse Owner Outwits Investors
Thank you for making this investment. A win-win! – Stephanie Ancona
Time to support what’s right about Gulfport! A cup of coffee can go a long way towards that. – Cosmo Lucero
Fonzie in Lemur Land
What an amazing story! How these events have changed his personality. – Jessica Juliano
Love this story!! – Aviva Fredholm Baker
We miss you, Fonzie. It looks like your dad is making sure you are eating well at home. – CM Slicker
When my son was little he had a hard time with pronouncing F and L. So we always knew him as “Ponzie the weemur.” Eric may remember; my son is now in college and glad to know Ponzie is doing well! – Tina Betz