Sep 13, 2021 - News

Craig Pittman's new book compiles 30 years of chronicling Florida's weirdness

Photos courtesy of Craig PIttman

Craig Pittman launches his latest book tomorrow at Tombolo Books in St. Pete in conversation with the journalist and author Tamara Lush.

  • "The State You’re In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and other Wildlife" is a "love story involving the most tattooed woman in the world, a deep dive into the state’s professional mermaid industry, and an investigation of a battle between residents of a nudist resort and the U.S. Postal Service."
  • Tickets are $5.

Why it matters: Pittman has covered the wild side of Florida for more than 30 years, and the book is a collection of columns that have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times and other outlets.

We asked Pittman to identify the exemplary Sunshine State story that tells us everything you need to know about modern Florida.

  • "There is no single Florida story that captures all the elements you'd look for — nudity, wild animals, odd weaponry, etc. — but a few come close," Pittman told Axios.
  • "The guy who tossed the alligator through the Wendy's drive-thru window. The man who dressed as a pirate and fired his musket at tourists on the Seven Mile Bridge (he was shooting blanks). The long and tangled saga of Kathy Willets, whose defense attorney said she and her cop husband turned their home into a brothel as marriage therapy."

The bottom line: "Part of what makes chronicling Florida such a joy is that the stories are so unpredictable. Florida weirdness is like an iguana. It could pop up in your toilet or fall on your head during a cold snap. You never know where it's coming from. You just know it's there, waiting."


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