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Updated: 07/09/2014 08:00:01AM

Thirty-two years, but who’s counting?

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SUN PHOTO BY SUE WADE

Patti and Jerry Presseller in front of their restaurant at 209 West Olympia Avenue, Punta Gorda.

SUN PHOTO BY SUE WADE

Patti Presseller’s porch at SunArt Gallery & Framing is a tranquil garden retreat on a busy Punta Gorda corner.

Sue Wade

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Road trip in the family Chevy, with all the windows cranked down to catch a breeze. Then — hallelujah! — Dad spots that orange roof with the pie-man weather vane and pulls into HoJo’s. Forget the fried clam strips, the showcase full of pecan logs and gum. You head straight to the counter where the smiling kid in the white jacket and crisp soda jerk hat will scoop up one of those 28 exotic flavors, from macaroon to pecan brittle.

Young Jerry Presseller from St. Cloud, Minn., was once that kid with scoop in hand. He had interned in the U.S. House of Representatives but, after working nights as a HoJo’s soda jerk, fell in love with a different way of serving the people.

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