Remy A. Muller (1894-1978) was a World War I Army Veteran and employee at the John Wanamaker Store (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States). In 1931, he was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), where he specialized in campanology. As part of the curriculum at the Curtis Institute, he studied carillon with Anton Brees at Bok Tower Gardens (Lake Wales, Florida, United States).
Muller compiled this scrapbook detailing his time in Florida, including photographs, postcards, and his letters back home to his wife, Elizabeth (“Bee”), and son, Robert. This is the second of two (2) copies of this scrapbook. The first, which was given as a thank you gift to Mary Louise Curtis Bok, is held in the archives at the Curtis Institute. This second copy is believed to be Muller’s own copy. Both are bound in the same green leather and embossed on the cover with the words “Florida 1931 at the Singing Tower.” Both contain many of the same letters, photographs, and postcards, though they are not identical. Muller’s copy also includes several additional loose pieces of paper, which can be found on pages 65-75 of the PDF, including a letter from Mary Louise Curtis Bok.
Several of the photos, along with additional photos not found in the scrapbook, can be seen in Muller’s photography album.
There is evidence of age and wear throughout the scrapbook, including discoloration. The items within the scrapbook were attached to the pages using adhesive tape, which on many pages has come loose with age, leaving adhesive residue and discoloration throughout.
Over the course of this Holiday Home Tour season there will be one name that you’ll see one name on everything in the Pinewood Estate and that name is that of the Bucks. Often confused with Mr. Bok whom is the creator of this wonderful place Mr. Buck was builder and the first owner of Pinewood Estate. This Holiday Home Tour we are going to be showcasing the time he and his family spent at Pinewood thanks to photos and the hard work of our staff. We are able to recreate a holiday retreat down to Pinewood Estate or as it was known by the Bucks “El Retiro”.
Charles Austin Buck was the Vice President of Bethlehem Steel and originally from Pennsylvania. Like most other northern families they enjoyed vacationing south for the winter months staying in the neighborhood right next to Bok Tower Gardens, Mountain Lake. C. Austin Buck would travel with his wife Josephine, nine children and eight grandchildren.
The theme of this year offers an inside look into the lavish lifestyles of the Buck family brought to life from hand written letters written by Mr. Bucks’ daughter Dorothy and family scribe with her letters to her daughter Rosemary. Even including a complaint of a chameleon unable to survive a trip from Florida to Pennsylvania.
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(Pictured Above: Josephine Buck, Leonard, Dorothy, Walter, Lucy, Charles Austin Buck, Richard, Clement, Robert and Louis.)
In Florida there are four seasons. We have hot and humid, slightly less hot and humid, 3 days of winter and finally love bug season. And before the cooler weather starts we have to go through love bug season. The lovebug (Plecia nearctica) is a species of march fly found in parts of Central America and the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. During the mating season male and females will pair together even during flight and remain paired up for over a week.
While considered one of the bigger nuisances in Florida it cannot actually cause any physical harm to humans. Although they do pose a bigger threat to our cars. The body of a squished lovebug has a PH level of around 4.25 which can easily peel some paint off a car. Luckily in newer car models the paint has been improved to where the bug’s acid doesn’t affect as many paints. Ironically though as much as a annoyance as they are they do provide some benefits to humans.
The larval stages of the lovebug ingest decaying organic material on the ground soil and remain in the ground for around 120 days before becoming a pupa and eventually turning into the black and orange menaces Floridians have come to dislike. Although they are called lovebugs that doesn’t mean everyone loves these bugs!
During your time in the Gardens this summer you may have noticed two distinct spiders setting up some impressive homes. These spiders would be none other than the Golden Silk Orb-Weaver (Banana spider) and the Argiope (Writing Spider). Each known for their skills at spinning a web these spiders lead the way in spider web design.
The Golden silk orb-weaver gets its name from the beautiful golden threads it spins its web with. The golden color helps the web itself blend in with the surrounding background making it much harder for prey to notice. The species most commonly found in Florida (Nephila clavipes) is sexual dimorphic meaning the female larger than the male sometimes as much as four times the size. Webs from this species of spider can be as long as 4 feet and have a tonsil strength stronger than steel. Although being one of the largest spiders in Florida they are relatively harmless to people. They are only prone to attack if handled roughly and their venom is non threatening to humans.
The other spider you may run into, hopefully not into their web, this summer is the Argiope. The Argiope is in the same family as the Golden silk orb-weaver however spins quite a different web. The most distinguishing feature of the Argiope is the thicker cluster of webbing found in the center of the web usually in the center of the webbing. The reasoning behind the use of this webbing is disputed however, while perched in it’s web it can be found located onto of the thicker webbing. Along with a beautiful design these spiders also take great care of their webbing cleaning often making sure there is no debris in the spindles. The Argiope like it’s relative is also non threatening to human but will bite if threatened or harassed.
(pictured Tegu Lizard Left, Azalea Right)
You may have heard the terms introduced and invasive species used in similar circumstance and may not necessarily know the difference between the two. This is understandable because the line is a little blurry between the two with the only real difference the end result of whether the species is impacting the environment in a negative or positive way.
What does it mean to walk the talk? To most it means that you can back your words with actions. To Duke Energy, ‘walk the talk’ was a promise, not only to Bok Tower Gardens, but also to the environment. When Duke Energy said they were dedicated to doing whatever they could to help Florida’s natural areas, they walked right up, put on their gloves and got to work, even in the heat and humidity of Florida weather. On May 7 th , Duke Energy and Bok Tower Gardens worked together to reduce the dense oak canopy and invasive species at Lake Blue Scrub in Auburndale to improve its Scrub habitat, which is a unique and globally rare ecosystem that is home to many threatened and endangered species.
Bok Tower Garden’s Conservation Biologist Whitney Costner said: “These collaborative events strengthen the invaluable partnership between Bok Tower Gardens and Duke Energy, which together are able to tackle locally important conservation projects.” Working together with Duke Energy, our conservation efforts at Bok Tower Gardens are enhanced beyond that which is possible without this partnership, helping us take on new challenges to conserve species and habitats for future generations. Our partnership has evolved into a friendship built on mutually beneficial goals and a mutual love for Florida’s unique habitats and species.