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Bob Hope

A gulf breeze blows in Laurel, Fla., a town not so different from our own [Commentary]

Liana Martin lived in Laurel for about a year but grew up in Severn and graduated from Arundel High, just a few miles east of Laurel in the Gambrills section of Anne Arundel County.

About 12 years ago she moved to Florida — citing, of course, the warm weather as one of the reasons — and settled along the Gulf Coast.

Last year Martin, a glass artist, moved her Firebug Designs store and workshop a few miles north of Venice and just east of busy four-lane Route 41 in the community of Laurel, Fla., an unincorporated area of about 8,000 people.

Firebug Designs is one of just a few tenants at Laurel Square, a nondescript strip mall adjacent to the Laurel, Fla.,...