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Pre-orders begin today for the second ‘Vintage St. Pete’ book

Bill DeYoung



Outgoing St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman wrote the foreword to the upcoming second volume in the Vintage St. Pete book series. “St. Pete’s early reputation as a resort town and the subsequent marketing campaigns that promoted our region and city’s sunny climate may lead some to overlook just how rich and textured our history is,” he wrote. “Bill DeYoung gets it, and he’s captured it time and again.”

Kind words, and thank you, Mr. Mayor. Pre-orders begin today, through the St. Petersburg Press website, for Vintage St. Pete Volume II: Legends, Locations, Lifestyles – and like our bestselling first volume, The Golden Age of Tourism – and More, there are 22 (all new) stories about our home and its place in the 20th century, many of them eye-opening, all of them entertaining. Just like the city itself.

It’s a hardcover, coffee-table sized book, with more than 100 photos and illustrations, most in full color, examining St. Pete history through a decidedly different lens.

Here, you’ll read about:

Captain Mac

Captain Mac, Tampa Bay’s first – and beloved – kiddie TV host;

The TV show that Bob Dylan filmed at the Belleview Biltmore, and scrapped;

The four episodes of the series Route 66 using our area as a location;

John 3:16 Cook, the swindling “preacher” who couldn’t be avoided in the 1970s, and whose fall from grace was just as public;

The Playhouse Theatre

The decades-long, enriching stories of the Playhouse Theatre, the Royal Theatre and the Beach Theatre;

Movie-making: From Jimmy Stewart in Strategic Air Command to John Candy in Summer Rental, and beyond.

Here are the complete legends of the pink palaces (the Vinoy and the Don CeSar), the heroes like pioneering aviator Tony Jannus, and songwriter Dick Holler, who composed “Abraham, Martin and John” right here in St. Pete, and the Big Tourist Dreams that never quite came true (the Florida Wildlife Ranch, the outdoor dance drama Florida Aflame, Grover Criswell’s Confederate money museum).

Dinner theater (Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers at St. Pete’s Country Dinner Playhouse)

And an expansive and warm-hearted look back at the celebrity dinner theaters that thrived in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

These stories were written for Baby Boomers (like the author), who will remember many of the people, places and events with fondness, for local history buffs, and for anyone with even a passing interest in the things that make St. Pete tick and teem with life and vivacity.

Pre-order Vintage St. Pete Volume II: Legends, Locations, Lifestyles here.





Tony Jannus and His Flight Into History

The Vinoy Park Hotel

Don CeSar

George Snow Hill and ‘Pass-a-Grille’

Raising the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Captain Mac

‘Abraham, Martin and John’: The Local Connection

Soup, Soap and Snake Oil: John 3:16 Cook

From Bogart to Brad Pitt: St. Pete the Movie Location

Get Your Kicks on ‘Route 66’

Bob Dylan’s TV Special

Making ‘Summer Rental’

Tom Petty, MTV and the Don

Michael France and the Beach Theatre

The Playhouse Theatre

Haslam’s Books

The Florida Wild Animal Ranch

The Royal Theatre

Seminoles in Safety Harbor

The Richest Man in the World

Main Course: Celebrity Dinner Theater

Our Lady of Clearwater

Published Jan. 3, 2022, Vintage St. Pete Volume II: Legends, Locations, Lifestyles will also be available through local retailers.


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