Sometimes a family’s history intertwines with the history of America. Such is the case for Lance Edwards, author of the new book As It Should Be: Tales of Old Florida. The book traces the history of his family in what is known as “old Florida”, all the way back to the year 1848. One key component of the Old Florida state of mind, supporting the military. That’s why Lance is donating 200% of the proceeds to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund for all purchases on the day the book releases, February 27, 2019. Yes, Lance will be matching all the profits from the first day’s sales of his new book. Like the title says, “as it should be”.
What is “Old Florida”, exactly? As Lance describes it, “Old Florida” encapsulates themes that carry to families all across the country. Old Floridians are self-made, tough, simple people who bet it all despite the odds, all to improve their situations. This sentiment has carried all the way from the first Floridian members of his family who stepped foot onto modern day Florida in 1848, seven generations to his family today.
Lance’s four-time maternal great grandfather began making his way through Florida in that very year, becoming the first white man to cross the Alafia River in 1848. Six years earlier, the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 passed through Congress at the conclusion of the Second Seminole War, which began in 1835 and concluded in 1842. Though much of the Native American population had been defeated or relocated to reservations in the western United States, those that remained retreated south. The Armed Occupation Act dictated that anyone who moved to Florida and possessed the skills to use a gun would be given 160 acres, providing that land wasn’t within 2 miles of an Army base. This plan helped two-fold. One, it helped settle Florida with American citizens. Two, it settled Florida with armed and capable men who could be assets to the U.S. Army should conflict resume with the remaining Native Americans in Florida. Lance parallels the rush to get property in Florida to that of the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889.
This “Old Florida” way of life continued through generations. During The Great Depression, Lance’s paternal grandfather would help create a lasting legacy for Florida’s citrus industry. At 20 years old, Tillus Edwards dropped out of college to help his father with the family citrus business. Despite the odds, they were resilient throughout the depression and in the decades following, growing the business into a conglomerate. Their success was impressive; so much so that Tillus was appointed to the Florida Citrus Commission. During that same time, Walt Disney embarked on his vision to construct Walt Disney World. In exchange for their sponsorship of the Enchanted Tiki Room in Walt Disney World’s The Magic Kingdom, Disney created a character, Orange Bird to bolster the Florida Citrus Commission and the incorporation of Florida citrus into Disney’s Florida amusement parks. Orange Bird is the only Disney character to not previously appear in a Disney film. These efforts got him nominated to the Florida Hall of Fame, making yet another mark for Lance’s family in Old Florida.
That’s just a taste of the ways Lance’s family history and Old Florida have intertwined over the generations in As it Should Be: Tales of Old Florida. Be sure to support Lance and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund by purchasing a copy of As It Should Be: Tales of Old Florida on February 27. All purchases made on that day will see 200% of the profits supporting IFHF. And this isn’t the only time Lance has shown his commitment to the IFHF cause. He previously supported the organization with his book How to Make Big Money in Small Apartments in 2015.
Like they say in Old Florida, “as it should be.”