The idea of creating a journal comprised of stories and art from Tampa Bay writers and artists was inspired by a man who died over a century ago. Odet Philippe is celebrated for bringing grapefruit to Florida and for introducing citrus grafting and farming to area settlers, but here we honor him as the first known storyteller to reside in Pinellas County. The subject of his storytelling prowess was no less than his own life, and contained many outlandish episodes that have reached near-legendary status over time. According to these tales, Philippe was a nephew of King Louis XVI of France and the classmate of Napoleon, who appointed Philippe to Chief Surgeon of the French Navy until his capture at the Battle of Trafalgar. Much later, after settling in Florida, Philippe was said to have befriended and treated pirates, who rewarded him with treasure and a map to Tampa Bay. Some of his stories may have been told to other early settlers. Others, he undoubtedly invented to entertain his grandson. Either way, he made up a fictional history of himself that would grip the imagination of generations of Floridians and is still repeated as true today.
Odet was produced and edited by Safety Harbor Writers & Poets, a group of writers and poets located in Safety Harbor, Florida formed in 2009, and staffed by:
Managing Editor: Warren Firschein
Editor in Chief: Laura Kepner
Design and Graphics Editor: Carrie Granato
Associate Editor: Chris Shaun
We deeply thank all of these talented individuals for their help producing Odet through the years.
Odet was published by Chapter Two Press, Safety Harbor, FL, under the direction of Warren Firschein.