News and Updates,  Staff Spotlight

Updates and Introductions

Hello all! I’m Liz Bouton and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I have been working with the Panama Canal Museum Collection since August 2016, and curated the Between Two Oceans exhibit with assistance from Jessica Marcetti and Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler in the Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery, George A. Smathers Libraries. Liz Profile for BlogI am a Museum Studies MA graduate student here at the University of Florida, concentrating in anthropology. I love historic collections, and the PCMC items offer a chance to explore a community history and present it to the UF students and faculty through relevant courses and exhibits.

For those who do not know, Jessica, the previous Collections Coordinator of PCMC, had accepted a wonderful museum position in her home state this past November. We miss her here very much, but she has been thriving in her current position and keeps in touch. Due to the transition of personnel and exhibition planning, the blog has taken the back burner, but it is now time to get it up and running again. This blog is a vital source for collecting metadata on PCMC items, as well as a way to preserve community history through your stories. I look forward to learning from you and your experiences in the Canal Zone, so keep an eye out for a post on an upcoming mini exhibit and item of the day soon to come!

All my best,



  • Fred Sill

    Welcome aboard, Liz! Here’s hoping you have an exciting — and fun — time. We Zonians and ex-Zonians are a loyal (and sometimes rather rambunctious) family. It’s good to know we’ll have you there to help keep fond old memories alive, and help create new ones.

    Fred Sill
    (Whose dad went down there to help dig it.)

  • robert Dixom.

    Thanks Liz, I would surely like to share all that I can remember from my youth in the former canal, to include what I did there during my 43 years of service there. Please, keep sending your bloggs.

  • Beth (Elizabeth) Lockridge Huls

    My father, Glessie “Buck” Lockridge, was the Director of Physical Education and Recreation for both sides of the Zone until retirement. Gyms, swimming pools,coaches,ball fields, and physical education programs were all under his management. All had wonderful year around programs. Beth Lockridge Huls BHS 1952

    • Bob Dillon

      Here is the phone number for the special collections office. I found the phone number here in the blog and verified it was a current number by performing a Google search.

      Special Collections, 352-273-2755

  • Dr. Patt Roberson

    Hi Liz, I’d like to know the status of the work to identify Zonian ham operators. Please let me know. Thank you.

    • Robert Raymond Dixon gordon

      Do you remember Governor Harold Parfitt? Last canal zone governor Canal first American administrator Denis McAuliffe? Great times R, Dixon

  • Bob Dillon

    I can give you our next door (duplex) neighbor in Diablo Heights, James R. Miller, Canal Zone Police, AKA KZ5JM. His transmissions were so powerful that when a 48 hour CQ contest was in progress, you could hear his transmissions emanating from AM/FM radio, Television, Record Players, Audio and Video Tape Players, the plumbing, dental fillings, and of course Uranus. He had a powerful transmitter and a well endowed antenna next to the house with a crank to maximize it’s altitude (50’… 75’… higher?). He turned the garage into his radio room; and we, the kids, were not allowed in there. He had stacks of postcards from all corners of the world (for you flat-earthers), from all the operators on the other end of the transmission. He had very cool radios and they looked very expensive. We did not screw around with them. When he had a contest, we did not even look at the door to the room. Bothering him was verboten. There are many times we, our family, would go next door and Mr. Miller would “place a call” to relatives in the states for birthdays, holidays, and other days with names ending with “y”. He was a very cool dude, honest and disciplined, whom most of us would aspire to be more like. The stereotype of a good cop. After leaving the Zone, he migrated to the Charlotte North Carolina area and I got to visit the Millers during Spring Break, 1984. I still owe them for bus fare back to Atlanta. I haven’t forgotten. With interest, It must a mortgage payment or two.

    • ufpcmcollection

      Wow that sounds really interesting! John Nemmers is who to contact for potential item donations and can be reached here:

      The PCMC Collection Committee meets quarterly to discuss potential gifts, and this information is great backstory to the item and adds some wonderful metadata.

      • Bob Dillon

        I must apologize, my response was to the attempt to identify ham radio operators in the Canal Zone. It was not my intent to offer mr. Miller as an exhibit as his wife Norma would be very upset and I believe somewhere in the Emancipation Proclamation it makes it illegal. Not an expert probably should consult a lawyer.

      • Bob Dillon

        .. no it’s not the Emancipation Proclamation my brain is fried I’ve been sick for days. The point being you can’t own people, and James R. Miller, KZ5JM is one of the ham radio operators from the Canal Zone to add to your list.

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