Girls On The Porch

By Sharon Hardee Jimenez

I, Sharon Hardee Jimenez, am a modern American woman, and like most of us, I take the past for granted. I vote and support candidates for public office and have worked on many campaigns in my long career that began as a TV newscaster. Now it’s payback time.

As I reflect on Girls on the Porch, the book I am writing, and the supporting website of blogs about the women who fought for the rights I enjoy, I’m beginning to understand that the very career in TV news and public policy advocacy I’ve enjoyed, and the careers my daughters now enjoy, came with a lot of sacrifices.

My married name is Jimenez. My maiden name is Hardee. I was raised by a single mother with 7 siblings and two families. I drive across a bridge when I visit my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida which is named for my great-grandfather, Florida Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. There is also a county named for him in South Florida where his leadership was instrumental in creating inhabitable land out of the wilderness (The Broward Era 1905-1909). But, he couldn’t have accomplished all that he did in his 53 years on earth without his amazing wife, Florida First Lady Annie Hutchison Douglass Broward.

Annie was born as the Civil War ended. Her family were Yankees who emigrated from Scotland. His family were Confederates who emigrated from France. My great grandparents had nine children; eight girls and finally a boy, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward the Fourth. Widowed at 43 with nine children to support, she managed with the help of her many daughters to save the family home on Fort George Island. It is now known as the Broward Historic Home in the federal Timucuan Park.

How did they do it?  You’ll have to read: