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Meet the Authors!

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This event is FREE! No registration necessary.

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Jeff Davies

I came to Miami Beach, Florida, via Brooklyn, New York. My family relocated to North Bay Village when I was just five years old. My parents felt Miami Beach was a fertile location to open their own television and electronics business. Mostly because I was always interested in the history behind old pictures, I became known as the family historian. Having a photographic memory for facts and dates didn’t hurt either.

As I grew up, I became intrigued by older buildings and destinations. I would either ride my bike or take a bus to visit places in Metro Miami to study the historic structures. Family car trips and train rides throughout the state increased my thirst for Florida state knowledge.

I eventually became the third generation to work in the audio/ video electronics business and continue with this profession today. I live in Boca Raton, Florida, and have been married for 28 years to my wife, Laurie. I have fraternal twin daughters, Allison and Stephanie, who are 24 years old.

With the emergence of Facebook, my friend Mike McGinness thought it would be fun to share his interest in Florida history by creating a Facebook group. Initially, he thought it would just be
a good site for him to share photos and content but eventually, Mike realized a few of his friends might want to view it as well. We collaborated and before we knew it, we reached a milestone of 5,000 members, then 50,000 members and now close to 200,000 members who share pictures and valuable content daily.

Our members stem from all walks of life. They include scholars, teachers, students, historians, politicians, celebrities, authors, professionals, and most importantly, people who are genuinely interested in the history of Florida.

I’ve always been fiercely proud, and considered myself extremely lucky to be a Floridian. There’s nowhere else I’d rather call home.

My fascination with the past was passed down to me from my father who loved reading history books. His favorite topic was probably the Civil War, but he enjoyed learning about a variety of things. As a kid, I’d leaf through his books, studying the long-forgotten faces. I’d wonder what they were thinking and what they were doing. I’d ponder about what their everyday life must have been like, and what trials and tribulations they must have gone through.

When I was young and we’d go on family vacations, my dad always made a point of stopping at historically significant places along our route. At every historical marker, he’d slow the car, and often get out and read them. When I was 12, we went on a vacation to Washington, D.C. Of course, we hit all of the monuments, the Smithsonian Museum, the U.S. Capitol Building, and other landmarks.

I remember standing in the center of the Capitol’s rotunda and my dad telling me about the many important people who’d been on that very spot. I think it was at that moment that I first felt a real connection to the past that continues to this day.

I was born in Orlando in 1963. I’ve lived in Central Florida my entire life, with the exception of five years in Tampa, and five years in Snellville, Georgia, during my childhood and teen years. These days, in addition to my history endeavors, I maintain a full-time job at a company I’ve worked at for the last 38 years. I also enjoy spending time with the love of my life, Robin, and I try to see my awesome kids Daniel and Ellissa as often as possible. My other interests include sports, music, animals, and anything involving nature.

Mike McGinness

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