Lane Degregory: SARASOTA — Every morning, Susan Stanton wakes early and takes three pills. They help her suppress who she was and become the person she believes she should be.
At 9 a.m., still in her pajamas, she climbs the stairs in her Sarasota bungalow, clicks on her computer and goes to work. Looking for a job.
“I miss the 16-hour days, working with so many bright people, leading the city. I still love Largo,” she says.
“I think I’m suffering from ‘Pretty girl syndrome’: People assume I’m making tons of money, traveling around speaking. But the truth is: I need help. I’m starting to approach people I know in the area, which I never thought I’d be doing.
“Maybe that’s the last part of the transition: Losing my male ego.”
John Barry: LARGO — Tall masts angle skyward at Table Marina. Sailboats nestle in a turquoise cove beside charter boats, trawlers, shrimp boats and double-decker party boats. Time has bleached and bent the masts and outriggers, all made of soda straws, beaded kebab skewers and plastic swizzle sticks.
Grovie Dalzell began building Table Marina and every boat in it 35 years ago. Each vessel has a whimsical name painted crookedly on its weathered stern: Salty Dawg, Ocean Spray, Blow Tail, Lady Love. By their looks, they’ve all ridden a blow or two. So has their maker.
Libby Copeland: There are few better places to witness the messiness of democracy than at the Iowa caucuses. After months of campaign stops and ad wars, after millions of dollars spent, Thursday night will come down to the tiniest of details:
A plate of cookies.
The state of the sky.
A guy named Terrence.
This is democracy by inches. It’s not easy, like pulling a lever or pressing a button; it’s messy, because it’s public and because it varies from precinct to precinct and because every little thing matters.