Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trotting into history

(Originally published in The Forum January 27, 2009)

by: Chad Quinn

“Does Tamarac have any history?” a friend recently asked me over lunch as we exchanged updates on what we’ve been up to lately. Initially speechless (for once), I was at a loss for something [witty] to say in response to what I perceived to be an incredibly short-sighted, if not na├»ve, question. Yet, it wasn’t the first time – I’ve heard similar comments over the past several months as I’ve embarked on this pet project turned full-blown mission.

Tamarac is just about forty-seven years old. Within that same period of time we’ve landed on the moon, great leaders have tragically been assassinated in their prime, wars have been fought, elections have been won and lost, entire countries have been born in the aftermath of their predecessors failure, the personal computer has become a staple of everyday life as have cell phones and other technologies we could never imagine living without – Apollo missions; MLK and RFK; Vietnam and the Gulf War; the Soviet Union and a united Germany; Apple and Microsoft; the Razor and Blackberry; and everything in between. Incredible highs, and dismal lows. Forty-seven years of life-changing history.

Life has occurred around our City, and perhaps even if Ken Behring had never settled on that first plot of land in 1962; dreamed up a vision for his innovative approach to “maintenance-free living”; and incorporated a new City in the ever-changing South Florida sun, all of the events of the past four and half (and some change) decades would have gone on unaltered – but what has happened here, in these 11 square miles, is our history.

A similar comment and a similar situation a few weeks later had a slightly different outcome. (Perhaps I could learn from my own history, and stay in better touch with my friends… but that might be more appropriate for a different column.) Catching up with a former co-worker, he mentioned how he used to run in Tamarac’s Turkey Trot when he was growing up. Jackpot! “Matt, do you have any photos of you at the event?” I asked anxiously. “I think so, I’d have to look.”
This year, Tamarac’s Turkey Trot will be in its thirtieth year. Thousands of runners from all over the region, if not the world, have woken up incredibly early on Thanksgiving morning over the past twenty-nine years to take part in one the City’s most popular annual events. Untold trophies have been handed out to serious competitors over the years. And like my former co-worker, many more families have enjoyed the cool morning air as they ran, or walked, together around the course.

Tamarac’s Turkey Trot has become a comfortable tradition, not just to the City, but to the individuals who train and compete regularly; the families who enjoy the friendly competition; and those who simply like to take advantage of the programs and events their City has to offer. Tradition begets history, and vice versa.

I was anxious to receive Matt’s photos, not just to see that someone else’s parents have kept embarrassing photos of their kids sporting tacky 80’s fashion, but because the Tamarac Historical Society had yet to obtain any photos or memorabilia from those early years of the run.

Events are just a small portion of Tamarac’s history, but anything that has happened in the past is part of our story, the story we’re attempting to gather for future generations.

Do you have something to share, photos of you and your family enjoying an event, a park, or an activity here in Tamarac? We’d love for you to share. Contact the Tamarac Historical Society at, or (954) 597-3523.