COLUMN: 40 Years of The Log – Hard to believe
As all of us senior citizens say at one time or another….”Where did the time go?”
It seems like only yesterday that we drove over Okaloosa Island and had our first look at Destin – this beautiful, white sand spit of land surrounded by water.
It was September of 1974 and things were very, very quiet – no traffic then on Highway 98 in Destin. A few condos appeared on Holiday Isle, some stopped in mid-build. The nation was in a recession, and the building in Destin had come to a halt.
Two interesting things were discovered that first day: the prolific number of charter fishing boats moored in Destin Harbor, and a new 8-1/2 x 11 inch booklet called The Destin Weekly Log. The editor was Ida Calhoun, and it was produced by Richard and Marie Andrews out of their garage in Destin.
We became partners with the Andrews and moved to an old building on Marler Street, selling office supplies, doing job printing, and selling shares in the newspaper to help support The Log, which had little advertising sources. In the next year, Hurricane Eloise hit Destin, the Andrews sold their interest in The Log to us; and the first Snowbirds arrived in Destin.
Finally the economy recovered, the building boom took off and the unstoppable growth of Destin began, and along with it, The Destin Log.
The Log grew from the original booklet, to a tabloid, and finally a broadsheet newspaper published twice a week by the early ‘80s.
There were so many people who helped, supported, and worked for The Destin Log over the years, there is no room to name them all. (Besides, I’d leave someone out.) It wouldn’t have been possible without them. It wouldn’t have been the same without our loyal readers; the boat captains who called us to take photos of fish catches; and the businesses in Destin who supported The Log, especially the Realtors.
As I was going through old Destin Log newspapers on microfilm to do the highlights of the last 30 years, I was reminded how many of the same issues that existed years ago are still with us today: traffic, the shifting of sand at the end of Holiday Isle, erosion of the beach, airport noise and “interpretive disagreements” with governmental entities (local, county, state) on development.
Just like the changes in the village of Destin, changes in appearance, owners and personnel at The Log have occurred over the years, but like that old saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” the same can be said for The Destin Log.
Carol T. Becklund was a longtime owner and office manager at The Destin Log.