by Julie Gabell
Cobblestone Village 3
Carol Spicuglia is a Florida treasure! One of the first homeowners in Beacon Woods, she with her husband, John, and son, Chris, came to the Sunshine State from New York in the late 1960s. They fell in love with Beacon Woods, built their home in the newly-developed Cobblestone Village 3, and watched the community grow from infancy to adulthood. Carol has seen Bear Creek flow freely through untamed woods and weave its way over virgin land that had not yet seen a completed Clock Tower Parkway. She was on deck when Clyde Hoeldtke broke ground for the Civic Center, and she traveled Route 19 when it was little more than a lazy two-lane road that never dreamed of being a major highway barreling down the spine of Florida.
She worked for a time in her husband's Pasco Security and Detective Agency, then later went with him to Pasco Reality, another of his business ventures. But by far, Carol's favorite job was working as a nature guide for the Starkey family, early pioneers whose original Anclote River Ranch spanned over 16,000 acres along the Florida Sun Coast and whose name still dots the local landscape. There, after an intensive six-month training in cattle-ranching, wildlife, and history of the land, she conducted the "Flatwoods Adventure," a rustic outdoor tour whose purpose was to educate visitors to the ranch. As a protégé of J. B. Starkey, another part of her job description was to look for "cows in distress." (Only once was she able to "rope" her city-bred husband into helping her deliver a new-born calf!)
Wielding a bullwhip to tame "cracker" cattle is just one of the many skills Carol has tried to acquire. She learned to rev a "range buggy," worked the "squeeze shoot," and became familiar with numerous ranch implements and branding tools. She learned to prepare survival meals from native plants and wildlife such as swamp cabbage and wild hog. Excited about gopher turtles? Interested in the Florida Panther? Alligators? Mention such things to this remarkable woman and she will happily keep you enthralled with her amazing knowledge of the animal world. Talk to her a little longer and you realize you have just scratched the surface. She is an avid bird-watcher and an environmentalist whose ability to see and listen enables her to unlock the secrets of her surroundings.
Carol has always loved art and comes from a family of artists. Basically self-taught, she specializes in wildlife portraits, especially the Florida Panther and big cats. For years she has belonged to the West Pasco Art Guild, and unlike many, prefers to work in oils. Several of her paintings are displayed at the Clubhouse where she has taught art since 1974.
An artist in every sense of the word, Carol concentrates on her prize-winning needlepoint when she is not painting. A perfectionist, she studies to find authentic colors and materials--has even mixed her own dyes. She is a budding genealogist, and a knowledgeable Sun Coast historian who knows the Claytons, Pottbergs, Mitchells, and Starkeys. Whatever Carol does, she does thoroughly.
Like so many treasures, Carol's wealth lies hidden beneath an unassuming surface. Beacon Woods residents, once they discover her, will have at their fingertips an invaluable resource who is willing and ready to share.
Beacon Woods Civic Association, Inc.
12440 Clocktower Parkway
Bayonet Point, FL 34667
Fax (727) 863-4857
2016 Board of Directors
President - Peggy Weiss
Vice President - Jim Massey
Secretary - Iggy Rodriguez
Treasurer- Ken Smith
Director - Ron Hubbs
Director - John Gearity
Director - Bill Bunting
Director - Bill Wiser