News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2013
Media Contact:
Cathy Guerra
ferrec@miamidade.gov
305-235-1668

Presentation of the New ''Larry and Penny Thompson Historic Display'' at the Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park & Campground


(MIAMI, November 19, 2013) - A permanent, historical display at the Larry & Penny Thompson Memorial Park & Campground will be unveiled on Monday, December 2, 2013, at 9:30 a.m., to celebrate the life and times of Larry and Penny Thompson. The "Larry & Penny Thompson Historic Display" will be housed in the Larry & Penny Memorial Campground Office located at 12451 SW 184th Street. The dedication will take place at the Cabana Recreation Center across from the office at the Larry & Penny Thompson Memorial Campground.

Included in the Larry and Penny Thompson Historic Display will be the 1941 Remington Noiseless typewriter used by Larry Thompson to write his Miami Herald columns on a picnic table during his family's  annual cross-country camping trips during the 1950s, 1960s and up until his death in February of 1973.  Also included in the display will be Thompson's trifocal eyeglasses, his Miami Herald name plate, and numerous original photographs, letters, books and memorabilia about Larry and Penny Thompson plus interpretive display panels that outline their extraordinary contributions to Miami-Dade County.  Carl Thompson, son of Larry Thompson, who spearheaded the naming of the park for his late parents in 1975, donated the items to be included in the exhibit. Photographs from the exhibit are also available as a virtual tour on the Miami-Dade County Parks website. 

At the dedication, Carl Thomson will open with his personal account about growing up with Larry and Penny Thompson and he will read from some of his father's most popular columns. Kim Yantis, Exhibit Specialist at the Deering Estate at Cutler, will follow with a brief yet detailed description of the exhibit and the various items in the display. Representing the Miami Herald will be Mindy Marques, Executive Editor and Vice President of the Miami Herald, who will talk about the exhibit, the park and campground, and what it means to the Herald. 

Larry Thompson (1911-1973) was a beloved humorist and popular daily columnist for the Miami Herald for 25 years. His wife of 20 years, Penny Thompson (1917-1975) was a leader in women's aviation during the 1940s and early 1950s in South Florida. Married in 1953, they  took their family on annual cross-country camping trips. South Floridians vicariously were taken along through Thompson's homespun column that chronicled their family life. Larry and Penny were tireless advocates of creating more parks and planting more trees and flowers throughout Miami-Dade County. 

A special thanks to Jack Kardys, Director, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces; Mr. Carl Thompson, son of Larry and Penny Thompson; Marvin Garwood, Park Manager, Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial Park & Campground; and Kim Yantis, Exhibit Specialist, Deering Estate at Cutler. 

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department

Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.