Sunday morning in the Trib was never be the same again after Leland Hawes folded his tent and retired from writing his History and Heritage page. I was always anxious to see what the topic was that week so I could sit back and soak up Tampa history from the best spinner of tales as he.
Leland knew everything. He was a walking encyclopedia who shared his knowledge with all of us, and more so, he was the kindliest, most gentlemanly soul who was the most generous with his help I ever knew. When our committee of seven Jefferson High alumni were fighting to save the old building (originally Hillsborough High when built) he gave us all kinds of coverage. And courage to persist! I truly believe that without his support we may have failed. But win we did, and there it stands in all its original glory — the oldest high school building in Hillsborough County still in use as Waters Career Center.
Thank you, Leland, for years of fine journalism we could trust as true, and for the years of Sunday entertainment, and for your friendship. Wherever you are, I hope you keep writing. Tell them about Tampa!