Nancy J. Levine


Hastings, Florida, can rightly be called "a wide place in the road." Three miles square, with a population of 687,1 Hastings is the potato capital of Florida, according to its welcome sign. But the town's small size seems to have given it long-lasting feelings of inferiority. Townspeople describe Hastings as "the stepchild of the county." Writing in 1993 to the editorial page of the daily newspaper, the St. Augustine Record, Hastings citizen Bill Parish complained that "[t]he one thing that administrators in St. Johns County like about our area is that beautiful shade of green of our money."