I spent the summer after high school graduation working at Tampa General Hospital.  The hospital had just purchased microfilm equipment, and my job was to run the thousands of records that had accumulated over the years through the microfilm machine, then take them to the incinerator for disposal.  Another story could be told about all the things I saw go into that incinerator.

I didn't have a car then, so getting to work meant riding the city bus to downtown Tampa, then walking over the bridges to the hospital which was located on Davis Island, just off the Bayshore. The last bridge to the island started at Bayshore Boulevard and arched over the channel.  Ground level on either end was no more than a couple of feet above normal high tide level.

Some time in August - it was 1950 - a hurricane came storming up the west coast of Florida, staying off shore until it reached Cedar Key.  It hovered there a couple of days, then turned around and came back south.  It hovered around the mouth of Tampa Bay for a day, then turned north again.  When the hurricane winds from the west matched the incoming tide, water rose about ten feet in Tampa Bay.  A flood tide of four or five feet of water covered Bayshore Boulevard and the foor of the bridge to Davis Island.

Now my job at the hospital was not of an essential nature.  However, I had been raised to honor commitments, so I went to work the morning of the flood tide just like any other morning.  There was no way any vehicle could get through the water at the foot of the bridge to get to the hospital, but I made it.  Half swimming, and half wading, I got through, climbed over the bridge, and reported for work.  Needless to say, I didn't have a dry stitch of clothes on when I got there.  So, I donned an orderly's uniform and sat down to my trusty microfilm machine and did my day's work.  I was the only employee to come over from the mainland that morning.

A more modern bridge has been built now which extends back a block or so inland from the Bayshore, so traffic to the hospital can no longer be stopped by a flood tide.