Edition 17, 2019.11.14. Photo of one of the cutest little anglers I have ever seen. For so many of us, seeing smiles like this on young faces is why we keep chasing sunsets. I know that it meant the world to Capt. Fennie Whitfield, who was most likely at the helm of the New Dixie Queen on the day this fresh-faced boy landed his cherished catch. I don’t know anything about him, but it is evident that he had some old-fashioned, wholesome fun. It was 1960-something and this photo looks like the work of Harold Gornall. I am Kim Davis Whitfield and it is no mystery to me why fishing on headboats brought huge crowds to the St. Andrews Marina back in the day.
Edition 19, 2019.12.05. For Captain Davis Queen Fleet, there was no better way to celebrate the joy of the season than a company Christmas party. This photograph by Harold Gornall, captures truly fantastic employees of CDQF enjoying a holiday gathering at the home of Joe Ed and Bonnie Davis on December 14, 1971. From left to right the couples are Bill and Agnes Morar, Fennie and Carol Whitfield, Jack and Liz McKinney, Rex and Ruth Davis, Angus and Marion Scott, Allen and Rochelle Griffith, and Richard Holley (before meeting Ronda) and his date. Except for Jack who worked elsewhere, all the men served as headboat captains among other duties. Liz McKinney ran the ticket office. From the photo album I have, this company party is the first, the smallest, and the tamest. Nevertheless, there were gag gifts, adult beverages, and I am certain, tall stories. I am Kim Davis Whitfield and I’ll get back to photos of fish and boats in January.
Edition 18, 2019.11.21. Next Thursday I’ll be busy in my kitchen while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade plays on a TV I mostly ignore. The bands, dancers, and entertainers will be dazzling, but the float kicking off my holiday spirit is none other than the St. Andrews Marina float of 1973 as seen in this Margaret Dowhen photograph taken at the Apalachicola Seafood Festival. Never has a Queen Craft boat held more attractive passengers. As the story is told, Ms. St. Andrews Marina was selected by a panel of judges, aka the Davis brothers, after she walked past the ticket office in a bathing suit. Her name is Carol Byrd and she is remembered fondly by those who told me the story. The float was towed by Capt. Bill Morar in his brand new, top-of-the-line, 4WD Ford truck purchased for $3,200. I hope to learn more about the other sweethearts. I am Kim Davis Whitfield and I wish you all a meaningful Thanksgiving.
Edition 20, 2019.12.12. Photo of Wallace Thomas holding his beloved gag gifts during the Captain Davis Queen Fleet Christmas party on December 18, 1973, at the Harbour House restaurant next to the St. Andrews Marina. During the 60s and 70s, Wallace worked nights at the 24-hour CDQF ticket office. At Christmas time he had another job, Santa Claus! As seen in the embedded photo, Wallace came to our house year after year on Christmas Eve to deliver presents. He was oh so jolly, he came to us before circling the globe, and he preferred a bottle of whiskey to a glass of milk. We loved our Santa! He once made his entrance from the carport, wheeling in our old bikes as my father (Grover) tried in vain to intercept him with the new ones, but it all worked out. From left to right, the lucky kids with Santa are Blake Archer, Kerrie Davis Beasley, Drew Dykes, and me. I am Kim Davis Whitfield wishing you all a Christmas as merry as Wallace Thomas, the CDQF Santa Claus.
Edition 21, 2019.12.19. Photo of Grover Davis dancing like there’s no eggnog in heaven during the Captain Davis Queen Fleet Christmas party on December 18, 1973, at the Harbour House in St. Andrews. With all the balance of an experienced seaman, Grover had moves nobody could imitate (or would imitate). Today would be his 78th birthday. I miss my eggnog buddy. I am Kim Davis Whitfield praying that they are clearing some room on heaven’s dance floor for my dad. Merry Christmas, y’all!
Edition 22, 2020.01.09. What more could you want? On top of the “world’s finest Deep Sea Fishing,” this mid-50s postcard advertising what became known as Capt. Davis Queen Fleet promises “Cold Drinks – Beer – Candy – Cigarettes – Finger Guards – [and] Sea Sick Pills.” While I believe the fleet to have been the “largest and best equipped party fishing boats in the South,” I chuckle at the phrase “In Panama City OVER 50 YEARS.” It implies that the family fishing business began long before its inception in 1946. In fact, only my grandfather, Capt. George Davis, the marketing ham, had been around over 50 years in Panama City. I am Kim Davis Whitfield ready to tackle another year of fishing for the Davis family. Join us at GoldenRod Fishing Charters—better bring your own beer.
Edition 23, 2020.01.16. Photo of Marion Scott wearing an adorable smile while holding her 40 lb. black grouper caught on the 4th of July in 1967. Marion was the wife of Capt. Angus Scott who ran the Star Queen for many years in the late 60s and 70s. Marion was a kind woman and superb seamstress. I never thought of her as an accomplished angler until I found this and other pictures of her with jumbo fish. I remember Angus as a headboat captain for Capt. Davis Queen Fleet, a crewboat captain for Marine Transportation Services, and a self-employed charter boat captain. I am Kim Davis Whitfield, happy to tell the world that unsuspecting female anglers can smack down heavyweight fish.
Edition 24, 2020.02.06. I would have smiled holding on to a grouper like that! In this Harold Gornall photo, George McKinney is guarding his catch aboard the Gemini Queen with Capt. Fennie Whitfield, May 9, 1979. Like Chofer John and Percy Cotton, George was a devoted customer who fished most every day and sold his catch to cover the cost, and then some. It reminds me of a few summer days when Uncle Joe would let me go fishing free of charge, and I would sell my humble catch to the fish house. On the way home one afternoon, I told my dad, Grover, that I would be rich by the end of summer. Big mistake. I am Kim Davis Whitfield, and that is when I learned Capt. Davis Queen Fleet preferred paying customers.