Sarasota News Leader

02/08/2013

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CELEBRATING KEN THOMPSON A monument to Ken Thompson stands in the park named for him, which looks out over Sarasota Bay. Photo by Norman Schimmel CHIDSEY CENTER EVENT DRAWS A CROWD TO OFFER FOND RECOLLECTIONS OF THE MAN CALLED 'THE ARCHITECT OF SARASOTA' By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer Elected officials of the City of Sarasota, members of the Friends of the Sarasota County History Center and friends and family of Ken Thompson celebrated the life and times of the man on Feb. 1 during a program at the Chidsey Bayfront Community Center. Jeff LaHurd, a history specialist at the Sarasota County History Center, held court as the master of ceremonies and the author of The Rise of Sarasota, a history of Thompson and the town Thompson helped build. Speeches by Mayor Suzanne Atwell, Vice Mayor Willie Shaw, previous mayors and Thompson family members mixed pleasantly with food and beverages supplied by the Friends of the History Center. Not coincidentally, the day marked the First Ken Thompson Day celebration in the city, an occasion marked by speeches, tales of days gone by and fond memories of the man who was the manager of the City of Sarasota from 1950 until 1988. Thompson still holds the re- LaHurd has written 15 books on Sarasota and cord for being the longest serving city manag- is perhaps as well known for his presentations as he is for his publications. er in the United States.

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