The late Cathie Katz was friend, mentor, and muse who wrote wonderful books (including The Nature of Florida's Beaches), started an international organization of sea-bean lovers called The Drifters who hold the annual Sea-Bean Symposium, and inspired all who knew her.
Cathie lost her battle with cancer in 2001, but she left a legacy of books, friends, and traditions. Shortly after her death, Ed Perry led the effort to have a sea-bean named in her honor, and the common name for the Canavalia nitida shown here is now Cathie's Bean. (Photos by Jim Angy)
Cathie and Jim Angy were close friends, and Jim provided the photographs for some of Cathie's book covers. For her memorial service, he wrote a poem titled The Nature of my Questions that began with these words:
"Considering how vast the shoreline truly is …
What wind, what current, what tide
Allowed us to end up on this same beach?
In a sea of strangers, how did we become such close friends?"
Our 14th Annual Sea-Bean Symposium will kick off Friday, October 16. We'll see close friends, many of whom have attended every symposium, either as a visitor or a speaker/exhibitor, and we'll make new friends who will be amazed at just how warm and friendly this event is. And we'll take time to think of Cathie. She loved the beach and everything on it, and credited her first sighting of a sea turtle laying eggs with changing her life's direction. Knowing her changed ours.