Their legendary major league ballplayer father was a master
storyteller, and now Jimmy Bloodworths two sons are following in his base path by
putting their own stories down on paper.
River Rats and Salty Dogs, a debut novel by Apalachicolas
Leon Bloodworth, and We Who Remain by Orlando’s Darryl Bloodworth, a legal thriller,
both appeared this past year, continuing a family tradition first established
by their famous father, who had a lifetime of adventures and a knack for
spinning a tale.
Jimmy Bloodworth, who played with the Washington Senators,
Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and the Philadelphia
Phillies, spent 11 years in the big leagues, but after every season he returned
home to Apalachicola.
Darryl, known locally as Milan, and Leon Bloodworth followed
in their fathers footsteps, playing both football and baseball in high school.
Milan went to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he also played football and
baseball, and Leon to the University of Florida, where he played baseball.
Milan recently retired after 49 years of practice in Orlando,
during which he ranked in the top 100 lawyers in Florida for 20 years. Leon
just retired after more than 40 years of working in the insurance and real estate
Last year Leon called Milan to tell him he had written a
book, and to his surprise, Milan said he was working on one as well.
River Rats and Salty Dogs, is a coming-of-age book about Matt
Drugar, a boy growing up in Apalachicola in the late 1950s. Set against the
rich background of the Apalachicola River basin, Leon unfolds a tale full of
mysteries about a young man finding his way in the world, learning to navigate
the river swamps, while learning lessons of family, spiritual growth,
responsibility and love.
My dad made nets for a lot of people, he was the master,
said Leon. He could really sling the net.
He is now at work on his second novel, which chronicles the
fight to save the Apalachicola Bay. Future projects include a cookbook that
features foods and recipes the author and his family have loved and honed
through their years of living on the Gulf Coast.
Milans book, We Who Remain is a legal thriller that
explores the dilemma of a family grappling with a serious illness and limited
treatment options. The novel takes unexpected twists and turns, as it examines the
themes of grief and loss and how a family loves one another through their
River Rats and Salty Dogs reveals its plot mostly around
campfires, while We Who Remain often uses the conference room of a legal
office. Both brothers have written of worlds they know intimately, with plots that
share the values of familial love, trust, and the bonds that tie us all
together. Both books evoke a strong sense of place, along with a love for their
With similar beginnings and different paths as adults, the Bloodworths
have come full circle as they hit their retirement, each putting down the words
to create stories they are compelled to share.
Both books are available at Downtown Books & Purl, 67
Commerce St., Apalachicola. For more info call them at 850-653-1290.