and vaccinating cattle against diseases. He’s active in
the community and serves on several nonprofit boards,
becomes president of the Florida Beef Council and makes
an unsuccessful run for state legislator.
Jo Ann is equally active in the community and
becomes head of the local Cowbelles, the auxiliary of the
Cattlemen’s Association, and later president of the state
CowBelles in 1968.
Jo Ann and Tommy, who eventually becomes president
of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, are hailed
as model ranchers and their stature is elevated when
they are profiled nationally on the ABC television show
Discovery in 1968.
But the veneer of their lives is not all as it seems.
Tommy had been unfaithful early in their marriage
and in 1963 fathers a boy from another rancher’s wife.
Jo Ann, whose emotions had been steeled in childhood
through her father’s death and separation from her
mother, continues in the marriage both then and in
1970, when Tommy’s extramarital relationship with his
secretary, Diane Robertson, is revealed. Tommy continues
to live with Diane as well as her three children, two
of whom would grow to consider him their father.
After Jo Ann turns 30 and her trust is terminated,
giving Tommy and Jo Ann free access to Jo Ann’s inheritance,
Tommy begins a spending spree that includes
the purchases of planes and a yacht and an entire city
block around Jo Ann’s ancestral home in Fort Pierce.
The block becomes known as “the compound,” with its
most prominent features a big corporate office and a
pool in the shape of the ranch’s cloverleaf brand. >> Rancher Frank Raulerson and his granddaughter and only heir, Jo Ann Raulerson.