I attended the Florida State University College of Law during the years 1974-77. I loved my time in Tallahassee, where I went through some pretty big changes. So many good things happened to me during those years, and I made many wonderful friends, some of whom I still stay in touch with.
Last weekend I helped my partner move to Tallahassee, where he’s doing a four-month internship. It was the first time I’d spent more than one night in Tallahassee since I graduated, back in 1977. I was there three nights and days, and what a great time I had. The city is so beautiful, with all it’s towering oak trees festooned with Spanish moss. We visited my old home on Pepper Drive (It’s still a real dump.), the FSU track on campus where I used to train for distance races, the law school, and the forest on Miccosukee Road where we ran two miles on a gravel trail.
A few years ago my novel titled Becoming Andy Hunsinger was published. It takes place in Tallahassee in the mid-1970s, and while the book is not autobiographical, it does incorporate many places and events that took place in Tallahassee while I was there. Here’s the book’s blurb:
“It’s 1976, and Anita Bryant’s homophobic ‘Save Our Children’ crusade rages through Florida. When Andy Hunsinger, a closeted gay college student, joins in a demonstration protesting Bryant’s appearance in Tallahassee, his straight boy image is shattered when he’s ‘outed’ by a TV news reporter. In the months following, Andy discovers just what it means to be openly gay in a society that condemns love between two men. Can Andy’s friendship with Travis, a devout Christian who’s fighting his own sexual urges, develop into something deeper?”
Of course Tallahassee has changed a lot since I lived there–it’s grown in size and population–but is still the same city I came to love forty years ago. People there are so friendly and gracious, something I noticed as soon as we arrived. I feel lucky to have been a part of the FSU community and the Tallahassee community as well.