Anna Maria Island, November 6, 1986
How the Crackers earned their name
By Gib Bergquist
One reader has
graciously inquired as to why this column is so named.
Since I was born and reared in neighboring Polk County, I
am a true Florida Cracker, a title which legend tells us is
derived from our pioneer-father wagon drivers who cracked their long braided cowhide whips
over the heads of their horse, mule, and oxen teams.
I heard this sound as a boy, as Florida cowboys herded open-range cattle
through our village.
It is similar to the crack of rifle fire
and is a real attention getter. Natives of Georgia are also called Crackers
for the same reason.
The intent of Cracker Crumbs
is to share some Cracker living with you a crumb of Florida history, a
crumb of nostalgia, a crumb of humor, a crumb of Cracker foods, a crumb of
common sense, and if a crumb of wisdom should happen to appear, so be it. Anita Ecklund,
the wife of our editor, named the column.
Cracker crumbs are not too nice in bed but are great on veal
cutlets and fried oysters and are universally loved by ants. I hope you like them too!
My great grandfather was a full-time cotton farmer and
part-time Baptist preacher who kept a running account of his sermon thoughts and farming
procedures in pocket-size notebooks. In between a detailed account of how to delouse the
hen house and the latest Memphis cotton prices was this little gem Brother
Howard says that when a hawg is in trouble, he always looks up. Perhaps man should do the
From Cracker's Crumbs, ©1995 Gib Bergquist