James Gamble Rogers IV (January 31, 1937 – October 10, 1991) was a folk artist musician and storyteller known for the recurring theme in his songs and stories about characters and places in a fictional Florida county. He died a heroic death and was honored by his native state. He was a 1998 inductee into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. While Rogers was camping at Flagler Beach, a frightened young girl ran to him, begging him to help her father, who was in trouble in rough surf. Compromised by spinal arthritis that had been worsening since childhood, Rogers nevertheless grabbed an air mattress and headed into the ocean in a rescue attempt. Both men died in the surf. In honor of his heroism, the Florida Legislature renamed the state park Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach. In St. Augustine, Florida, there is a middle school, Gamble Rogers Middle School, named after him.
Gamble Rogers Park lies on the Atlantic Side of the road and also on the Intercoastal Waterway just south of Flagler Beach, Florida.
A plaque was erected at the park recognizing his contribution to music, Florida Folklore and as a humanitarian
Madame wanted to camp as close to the beach as possible, so we were able to provide her the closest campsite available.
This is the view of the beach and ocean from the observation deck.
Making a quarter turn on the observation deck, here is how close Her Highness’s camper is located. The only way to get the camper closer would be to break the law and move it on top of the dunes.
Every morning, Madame would go to the observation deck and check this small, marked plot of land.
The reason being, this was a protected sea turtle nest. The turtle eggs laid in late spring have been hatching and everyone in camp was hoping to see the baby turtles emerge from the sand and make their way to the water.
Because sea turtles are endangered, it is important that these young animals are protected and given the best chance to survive.
Bonne chance les petits.
As Madame insists, she checks out the beach upon completion of camp setup. Here her careful eye and tender toes check the beach and the water temperature.
The next day we went looking for our Princess and here is how we found her. Bearing the weight of a global organization such is THPaTWP, our lady has earned her rest.
Alas, later in the afternoon, we were forced to retire to the camper.
On the second day of swimming, we sat in the shade of our umbrella and watched this industrious little fellow. He was digging a new burrow in the sand and he was tireless. He would dash into his den and soon emerge with one of his pincers holding a lump of sand. He would throw the sand away and then dash back into his hole. All afternoon we watched him diligently digging away.
We managed to awake before sunrise everyday and were greeted with this beautiful image. Très magnifique!
This is the view out of the back window of the camper.
The afternoon following our first swim, Madam was on the observation deck when she spotted something wiggling out of the surf. Him, our humble servant, grabbed the camera and ran down to the beach where he found this fine fellow sunning himself.
Wondering if it was alive, Him watched and his tongue darted out. We later learned this is a banded water snake, indigenous to these waters. He is, thankfully, non-poisonous.
We celebrated our servants bravery with a cool libation. Bon appétit.
This being our BB&S Tour, we are required to find yummy food and wonderful beverages to consume and report upon. We had two experiences, the first we wish not to include. However, if you find yourself at the pier in Flagler Beach, you may wish to head west two and a half blocks instead of dining there.
This is the iconic pier and A-Frame structure in downtown Flagler Beach.
Two and a half blocks west of the pier you will find the Flagler Fish Company. This has been an institution in the area for having the freshest seafood and preparing it superbly.
When you walk in the door, you see the days offering of fresh seafood. You pick your fish and then tell them how you want it prepared and what sides to go with the food and in a very short amount of time, your plates are on the table.
Both Madame and Him had the shrimp sauté. It was cooked perfectly. HRH had a nice glass of chardonnay and Him a glass of beer. Both were totally satisfied.
This was the black board at the Flagler Fish Company and the saying on the bottom said it all.
While we were taking a walking tour of Flagler Beach, we took the opportunity to stop into the Flagler Beach History Museum.
It’s well worth the time to stop and see some of the history of this charming beach town.
We will leave you with the last bit of humor we saw when we stopped for lunch at Nana’s Cafe in Interlachen, Florida. This sign sums it up perfectly.
That is all from Flagler Beach. We pack up and head to Skidaway Island State Park near Savannah, Georgia.
Au revoir and Aloha