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Jack Latvala chokes up on Senate floor for Larcenia Bullard

Burly Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, became unexpectedly emotional on the Senate floor this morning when he presented ill Sen. Larcenia Bullard's bill to declare the Schooner Western Union the official state flagship.

His voice cracking and choking up, Latvala grew said he misses his colleague, who hasn't attended session this year. Friends say she might not come back or serve out the balance of her term.

"She was always a very very friendly person to deal with, a friendly loving person, always had a smile for anyone who came in her path," Latvala said. "She alwyas had a smile, always had a hug always had a good word."

A little history: The Western Union laid undersea cable from the time she was launched in 1939 until 1974 when she was put out of business by satellites. More here on the Western Union. The above painting is from Keys artist David Harrison Wright