County Road 12 - White Oak Plantation

You can take the man out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the man and in this case, man and wife. That may never be more true than in the case of Robert and Hilda Pitman. The one-time citrus farmers changed careers realtively early and has never regretted it for a minute. Debbie Williams, has their story somewhere out along County Road 12.

"When we drove in that driveway up there and this vista just opened up to us we just fell in love with the property and this area of the country." That was 20 years ago. Robert and Hilda Pitman, literally pulled up roots and moved from Florida to Alabama thanks in part to an animated rodent. "As Micky Mouse moved to Orlando," says Robert Pitman, "the Cape Kennedy changed from Cape Canaveral to Cape Kennedy and they were shooting missles from where we used to hunt and fish. From a small country setting of Orlando and Central Florida it became a wall to wall zoo of people." Citrus farming was their first career. "In the citrus business we were of course involved in the land growing things, being here in Alabama, the crop is just different." The crop, deer, turkey, quail. As far as plantations go it's not exactly what you might expect. "It's a wonderful place to sit on the porch and rock." It's home now, but imagine the day you've decided to build a hunting lodge in central Alabama of all places, now you have to convince your wife. "I was probably real sneeky." Robert says. "He says I'm going up there you want to come?" Hilda explains laughing. That's how this adventure began 20 years ago. They never dreamed it would build into this. "We really didn't intend to move here and make this all encompassing like it's become. We were just going to bop up here on the weekends, you know and run home and bop up here on the weekends and run home. I don't know what happened." They stay connected to Florida with a couple of unique hobbies. He collects fishing lures. "I'm enjoying the collecting a lot more than fishing with them." For her it's dolls. "We look at 'em like rescuing babies, we're going to rescue some babies." Together they make a pretty dynamic team. "It was just time to do something different. We still don't know what we want to do when we grow up. But eventually we'll get there." I bet they're already there. In Macon County, Debbie Williams along with photojournalist Darren Gilley, somewhere out along County Road 12.