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TBT Reporter Chosen to Document History of Palmetto

PALMETTO -- Bradenton Times reporter Merab Favorite, a fourth generation Palmetto native, was recently selected by Arcadia publishing to construct the Palmetto edition of their nationwide Images of America Series, in part because of the widespread acclaim of her recent local history series that ran during Black History Month.

Merab is the third generation of women in her family to graduate from Palmetto High and her deep roots to the area along with her strong reporting skills make her a natural choice to assemble the Palmetto edition of what has become a popular folk series with national acclaim. Favorite, 28, is a senior Journalism major at USF. Growing up on Snead Island, she gained an appreciation of the area from the beginning.

"We used to play at the Indian Mounds before the point was converted into Emerson Point Park," she says. "For my brother Elan and I, swinging off of ropes from the top and getting our breath knocked out when we hit the bottom was the funniest thing in the world.

"We sailed prams every summer at the Manatee River Pram fleet. We jumped off the humpback bridge at the cut-off and kayaked the mangrove islands, camping there when the weather permitted," she continued.  "During my childhood, living on Snead Island seemed like paradise. What I've found by going through the history is that many of the first settlers thought it seemed that way too. At that time, there were many natural springs. Free-range cows and hogs, left over from the Spanish expeditions, were plentiful. Fishing was great and crops seemed to grow like weeds. It seemed like a dream come true for those people."

If you've ever been to a local bookstore, chances are you've seen the iconic black and white cover with the local town's name set over a historic photograph. The photo-history series, which includes thousands of American towns, features over 200 historic local photos in each book with captions and introductory paragraphs explaining their role in the town's history.

Arcadia has already published an edition for Sarasota, as well a Manatee County edition, which included many of Palmetto's archives. Because they do not re-use photos that were in other editions, Merab is seeking historic photos taken before the mid-1960s from members of the community to be incorporated in the book.

Anyone interested in submitting a photograph can either mail the originals to her at: ATTN: Merab Favorite, Palmetto CRA, 516 8th Ave. W. Palmetto, FL  34220, or scan them and email them to merab.favorite@thebradentontimes.com in a tiff format of 300 dpi by June 1, 2011. Pictures can be of people, places and culture; buildings, businesses, churches or schools that capture the essence of Palmetto. She asks that they please include a description or brief history of the photo and people in it as well as contact information. All pictures will be returned after they are scanned.


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