This week, St. Pete Times Journalist and Author Jeff Klinkenberg is in the hot seat!
His column is called "Real Florida.'' Jeff writes about unique things that make Florida "Florida.''
One of those things is Alligators-an animal he has a quite a passion for. So much so, it's the focus of one of his books.
Here's Jeff's answers to our 10 questions,
1. What is your all time favorite movie or song?
Wow. Hard questions off the bat. Movie? Right now its "Key Largo,'' which starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Song? I'll go with "Thunder Road,'' by Bruce Springsteen. He's an amazing writer.
2. Do you have a Smartphone? If so, what's your favorite app?
Yes, I have a very smart iPhone. It pretty much does everything but write my stories for me. Love to have an App for that!
3. Who do you count as your mentor(s)?
I'm lucky to have had many over the years. At present, I consider Gary Mormino and Ray Arsenault, who lead the Florida Studies program at the University of South Florida, my mentors. I admire their intelligence, talent and interest in our state. They make me proud to write about Florida. I also have a great editor, Mike Wilson.
4. What was your very first job?
My first neighborhood jobs were delivering papers and cutting lawns. My first real job was washing dishes, scrubbing pots and peeling onions at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach in the mid 1960s. Can't tell you how awful it was. Actually, I can, but we don't have time.
5. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I'd be better at living in the present. I mean, right now. I'm easily distracted. Hey, look at that big fat housefly!
6. What do you consider your greatest success?
I like to think my stories in the St. Petersburg Times and in my books make Florida a better place if only a little bit.
7.Tell us something about you most people don't know?
I believe it's important to have a rigorous physical life to be whole. A spiritual and intellectual life are important too, but you got to move to have it all.
8. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?
They'd be writers. I'd love to break bread with Henry David Thoreau, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and the late Joseph Mitchell, who wrote my favorite non-fiction stories of all time for The New Yorker magazine in the 1930s through 1960s. Mitchell has had a great influence on the way I think about stories.
9. What is in your fridge right now?
Lots of Gatorade. In Florida, someone who runs and cycles has a hard time staying hydrated.
10. If you could have a different career, other then what you're doing now, what would it be?
Honestly, I can't think of anything better than what I do right now. But it looks like it might be fun to be Evan Longoria or Brendan McLaughlin.
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