In this episode of Green Light REI, Lance Edwards shares with listeners his excitement over the release of his latest book, As It Should Be, a unique work chronicling seven generations of Lance’s family and its connections to the history of Florida (“Old Florida,” as he calls it) and development of key industries like Citrus. The book is scheduled for release on February 27. Lance will be donating 200 percent of the proceeds generated by the book on its launch day to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund, a top non-profit that serves America’s veterans.

Lance will be giving those who buy the book on this day a special bonus – a downloadable copy of the Ultimate Real Estate Guide, a best-selling volume he co-authored with quick turn real estate expert Ron LeGrand. Covering Lance’s family from 1848 to today, the author calls his book “a classic American tale about self-made, self-reliant, simple hardworking people who bet it all despite the odds to improve their situation and improve their lives.” Though Lance began writing the book in May 2018, he says it’s 50 years in the making!

As It Should Be is available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon.

Highlights of Lance’s discussion about As It Should Be include:

*His definition of “Old Florida” – a place, time and mindset/philosophy about the same thing his ancestors did. They were proud Americans who embodied the spirit of hard work and took care of their own.

*A bit of history about the island he currently lives on, including the architecture and its development by a man named Dean Beckstead, who preserved Old Florida by not letting it be overbuilt

*Where the title “As It Should Be” comes from – a favorite saying of his dad!

*A mention of his mother having written a book called Generations where she chronicled three generations of both the maternal and paternal sides of his family. She included a quote from Edward Sellers: “We inherit from ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within us this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages containing past and present expectations. Sacred memories and future promise.”

*What prompted him to write the book: his 2016 marriage to his wife Kim, whom he met in first grade and reconnected with 35 years after their parting to experience an undeniable chemistry. He moved back to Florida after being away that same length of time. Returning kindled old memories and his love of his home state.

*Within the books ten chapters are vignettes based upon family members going back 170 years.

*Introducing his great great great great grandfather James Alderman, who in 1848 was one of the first settlers south of Alafia River in north Hillsborough County. Florida was a wild frontier back then, and the Seminole Indian Wars were still going on. In 1842, Congress passed a law called The Armed Occupation Act which said that any able bodied man who owned and could shoot a gun could get 160 acres of land if they agreed to live there five years. The one provision was that a homestead could not be any closer than two miles from an army fort. Alderman settled there during this time.

*The revelation that citrus was not indigenous to Florida, but brought there from Spain by the Conquistadores. In turn, citrus was brought to Spain from China. The early pioneering families, including Lance’s family, lived on citrus and started growing the industry. The Spanish also brought cattle, and Lance’s family was involved in that industry too.

*Lance’s great grandfather Arthur Redwood Sr. came to Florida from Tennessee in the 1910s in his teens and started in the citrus industry as a packer. 20 years later he was president of his own citrus company called Edward Pritchard Tillus. Lance’s grandfather Tillus Edwards grew the family business into a huge supply chain conglomerate Lance defines as “a vertically integrated operation of growers over a thousand acres of groves, packing houses, and a caretaking business for juice processing plants.”

*In 1967, Tillus Edwards was appointed by Governor Claude Kirk to join the Florida Citrus Commission, one of the stewards over the entire industry. He was instrumental in securing a contract with Disney to have a storefront/stand at Disney World where visitors could buy Florida orange juice. Disney created a character called Orange Bird to commemorate this association.

*There’s a chapter devoted to the Grand Damme, “my grandmother  who was everything classic about Old Florida.”

*Another chapter covers Lakewood, the city where Lance grew up and in 1882 became the citru capital of the world.

*How Lance’s grandmother’s advice made him rethink going into his family’s citrus business. “There’ll be no more Edwardses in citrus,” she declared.

*Another chapter is called “Bone Valley Gold,” about Florida’s history of producing phosphate and the industry’s connection to his wife’s father in law and the train transportation

*An explanation of “The Code,” which is the small set of rules that we need to live by to keep everything in balance, including deep respect for other men and the land

*The tenth chapter, which Lance originally did not plan, was prompted by the Wildlife Massacre of 2018, which is the unfortunate result of poor decision making that go back to the era from the 1920’s-50’s. Last summer, dead porpoises, sea turtles and manatees washed up on the beach because the water was poisoned.

*Lance, a former chemical engineer, tells the story of what ultimately prompted him to break free of the corporate environment go into real estate

 

 

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