Fleming, John Henry

The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman: A Novel (1996)
Josef Steinmetz is an immigrant brimming with youthful optimism but short on practicality. Earl Shank is a small-town postmaster whose own optimism is bruised but not yet broken. When fate delivers Josef like an errant letter into Earl's hands, their lives become the stuff of legend. In the wake of the Civil War, Josef moves from Brooklyn to tiny Figulus, Florida, intent on homesteading in the tradition of America's pioneers. Shortly thereafter, having lost his wife, his house, his orchard, and a brand-new pair of loafers, he goes to work for Earl, walking the beaches barefoot to deliver the mail. Doggedly, Josef overcomes blistering heat, ferocious animals, beachcombing pirates, and an analytical group of Seminole Indians, only to accidentally disappear into the mists of a New York journalist's imagination. It is Earl, a would-be restaurateur with a definite flair for publicity, who manages to parlay Josef's struggles into the beginnings of Florida's tourist industry - with the help of an embittered Civil War veteran, a shipping magnate who believes in mermaids, and a Seminole woman whose agenda for Florida is exactly the opposite of Earl's. And it is only when Earl's ship literally comes in that he discovers how inconvenient it can be for a legend to come to life.

Fearsome Creatures of Florida Fearsome Creatures of Florida (2009)
They are known as Storm Devils and Peat Fairies, Skunk Apes and Were-Panthers. They sinuate through ficus hedges and tunnel under beach towels. They lurk in the mangroves and springs. Some you can smell a mile away. Others you do not notice until they grab at your ankles. They are the wildly imaginative bestiary that populates John Henry Flemings Fearsome Creatures of Florida. Fleming offers an eerie portrayal of the parallel lives of modern-day Floridians and the living landscape that surrounds them. Matched with haunting illustrations by David Hazouri, these tales may forever change your view of the Sunshine State.

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