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Authors Wilborn, Gribbin and DeYoung to talk Friday

Bill DeYoung



Riding on the Marrakesh Express: Paul Wilborn, left, Tom Gribbin and Bill DeYoung. Photo by Bridget Burke.

This Friday evening at 7:30, on the stage at St. Petersburg City Theatre, Paul Wilborn, Tom Gribbin and yours truly – authors all, with St. Petersburg Press – will talk about our books, why we wrote them, what they mean (and what they don’t mean) and share backstage stories.

Wilborn wrote a very funny novel called Florida Hustle. Gribbin wrote a poignant – and very funny – novel called The Last Florida Boy.

I came up with a book of essays called Vintage St. Pete Volume II: Legends, Locations and Lifestyles. As the title might indicate, it’s a history book, about a different sort of history, and it concerns a specific part of Florida.

Sensing a thread yet?

We’re Florida boys.

All three of us grew up in the Tampa Bay area (I was actually born in St. Petersburg) and each of the books is tied to the Sunshine State in ways both glaringly obvious and singularly subtle.

The Last Florida Boy is about a man who came of age during the early days of pot smuggling along the Florida coast, in the 1970s, when it was considered an adventure best enjoyed with a six-pack of beer, a Jimmy Buffett album and all cares thrown to the wind. Until it wasn’t any more.

Florida Hustle is a classic-style misfit road trip that takes a troubled teenage boy, a wily drifter and a tart young woman with questionable motives across South Florida and into the Everglades, in search of a B-movie “scream queen” who’s making a new film … in the swamp.

Vintage St. Pete Volume II includes 22 tales that go in-depth on things you don’t find in “regular” history books: The bay area’s first children’s TV host Captain Mac, the failed Florida Wildlife Ranch, the failed outdoor Seminole drama in Phillipe Park, religious con man John 3:16 Cook, and the amazingly weird celebrity dinner theater, St. Pete’s most popular form of entertainment for more than a decade. And so on.

We’ll have copies of all the books available for sale in the lobby, and will make ourselves available to sign after the presentation. Admission is absolutely free.

St. Petersburg City Theatre is at 4025 31st Street South.

Hope to see you Friday.



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