“A Treasure We Call Home” is Indeed a Treasure!

Book Reviewed: A Treasure We Call Home

Author: Rick Crary

Publisher: Self-published

Copyright Date: 2015

ISBN: 9781514635247

Soft Cover: Yes, also an eBook

Reviewed by: Don Yackel,  a.k.a. Yackman

Yackman’s Rating: 8 points out of 10

Treasure Cover

The Review:  I either heard about this book on our local public radio station or read about it in the paper.  The description was accompanied by an announcement of a book signing at a local independent book store.  I didn’t make the signing event, but I did find the book online and ordered a copy.  Then I wondered why.  

I guess it piqued my interest because the book contained stories of the Treasure Coast where I now live.  The author, Rick Crary is a third generation Floridian, who has lived most of his adult life in Stewart, Florida.  Because of his rich family history and his innate curiosity, Crary became very interested in local history, so much so that he was a regular contributor of historical pieces to the Fort Pierce Magazine (now the Indian River Magazine).  Each chapter in this book is a reprint, with revisions, of stories originally printed in those magazines.  

I must admit, the guy can write.  His description of the 1715 treasure fleet wreck on our coast is the most vivid and gut wrenching that I have read.  It’s really excellent.  Equally, the descriptions of his relationships with his paternal grandfather and grandmother are respectful and touching and illustrate how important such relationships can be in a young person’s life.  Crary’s description of the events surrounding the creation of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, the first National Wildlife Refuge in the country, is very detailed and clarified for me, among other things, the role of Paul Kroegel, the Refuge’s first warden.  Kroegel is a local hero in my town, where his family still lives and works.  It was great to finally get an idea of his true impact on the creation of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.  

There are two other great yarns in the chapters on ”The Tale of Two Judges” and “The Vice-President Who Became a Pirate”.  These are great stories about little known bits of American history.  Crary ends with a chapter entitled, “Savoring the Journey”, a lovely tribute to the love and support of his wife, Donna in his pursuit of Florida history as they traveled around the backroads of the state they love.

This is the kind of a book that you can pick up, read a chapter, put it down and not come back for a while without loosing anything.  In fact, there is no necessity to read the chapters in order.  You can pick and choose, skip around and even skip entire chapters without damaging the impact of the book.  I however, read it cover to cover.  I found the book to be much more engaging than I thought I would be when I wondered why I bought it in the first place.  It’s really a good book, interesting and well written.  If you like history, as I do, and if you have any connection to the people, places and events described in this book, I think you’ll like it too.  (Look for this review on Amazon as well.)

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 © Don Yackel 2020