Tampa Man Added to Hall of Fame
Today we celebrate a Tampa man, added to the Hall of Fame. No gold jacket, no Cooperstown, this hall is one that speaks to the heart AND belly! His name is Harry Blackledge and today he ranks up there with other goats. Brady, Ripken, Abdul-Jabbar, and now Blackledge! This Dade City slider lover was inducted into White Castle’s Cravers Hall of Fame on May 16th. Harry was nominated for his love of the food but also his work on bringing them to Florida. His voice was so present that he was one of the ribbon cutters during the opening of the Orlando location.
Harry was born in Indianapolis, before his family relocated to Tampa as a kid. His love for the square mini burgers was strong. Like so many of us, his response to the obligatory “we have Krystal’s, it’s the same” rhetoric brought on a massive eye-roll! For the record, they’re not the same. Harry has been lobbying for a Florida option so long that his requests began as letters. Remember those? Later he morphed to sending email, which switched into tags and direct messages on social media. All with one message “bring Florida a White Castle”. Harry also attracted thousands of fans with his Facebook page called “Bring White Castle To Florida”.
Fans of any type of brand can never be sure if they even are aware of this sort of dedication. After receiving the invite to the opening of the Orlando location, in 2021, Harry heard a strong confirmation. As the executives address the crowd and press, one says “we have one person to thank for White Castle being in Florida.” Harry Blackledge. By the way, his newest creation is the hashtag #BringWhiteCastleToTampa. From your mouth to God’s ears, Harry.