Goat Island, Christopher’s Pier, Rattlesnake Hunting, a Man Shot in the Face, and Tim Gilmore’s Upcoming Book Launch at the Jacksonville Historical Society

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On August 23 at 6:30 pm at the Jacksonville Historical Society, Tim Gilmore will launch, read from, and sign his newest book, Goat Island Hermit: The State of Florida vs. Rollians Christopher. (Your invitation is at the bottom of this post.)

Rollians Christopher, 1955, photograph unattributed, courtesy Florida Times-Union

Here’s an early version of a story that makes its way into the book, a story about Christopher’s Pier, the tavern that protruded from the fishing village over the river for decades, about a Yellow Fever quarantine hospital, about a fisherman whose legs were car tires, about shrimp boats and hunting rattlesnakes, about a man shot in the face.

Goat Island, 1955, prior to its development into Blount Island, photograph unattributed, courtesy Florida Times-Union

You are invited: https://www.facebook.com/events/314940972382209/

Goat Island, the Bartchletts, and Tim Gilmore’s New Book, Goat Island Hermit

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On August 23 at 6:30 pm at the Jacksonville Historical Society, Tim Gilmore will launch, read from, and sign his newest book, Goat Island Hermit: The State of Florida vs. Rollians Christopher.

Here’s an archived story about the Bartchletts, who lived on a different part of Goat Island. In it, you’ll find art made on sawfish bills and manatee ribs and a pretty girl milking a goat.

You are invited: https://www.facebook.com/events/314940972382209/

The City’s Smallest Church (To hell with men who prey on women!)

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Surrounding streets are named for birds. Then there’s Redpoll, where rapist and serial killer Patrick Allen Herald staged the body of a prostitute in 1993.

Nor could I have expected less from the smallest church in the city, this church whose name is bigger than its sanctuary.

“Actually it was my mother’s church,” he says. Ethel Washington founded and pastored it, while Emanuel Washington Jr. co-pastored, despite that Bible verse, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Death on the Railroad Tracks in Riverside

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His couchsurfing.com profile says he last logged in 12 months ago. He lived another month. The profile claims he still “Wants to Meet Up.” He’d helped a previously homeless student move into UNF dorms. He’d been arrested for skateboarding. 

There are two eyewitness accounts of his being hit by the train on the tracks between Nighthawks and The Metro in Riverside.

 

Kimberly Daniels’ Lunatic Politics Owes Much to her Father’s Legacy

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This past week, Folio Weekly‘s A.G. Gancarski wrote of wealthy Jaxsons like Peter Rummell and Gary Chartrand helping bankroll Kimberly Daniels’s campaign for state representative. Daniels says she’s sick of hearing about the Holocaust, that she’s thankful for slavery, that gay people are a demon-possessed “army of darkness,” and that sometimes after a City Council meeting, “I go home and sometimes I talk to people with demon voices coming out of them.” She’s written prayers people can recite to “renounce masturbation.”

Daniels’s father, Andrew Preston Perkins, ran for City Council too. He was a member of the Boomerang Gang, which provided armed escorts for black City Council members. As a child, Kimberly Daniels spent time in her father’s bar in LaVilla, Perk and Loretta’s Soul Lounge, which featured drag shows, decades before Daniels performed exorcisms to cast out homosexual demons, and years before undercover cops bought crack cocaine and heroin at Perk’s.

Little Talbot Island Shipwreck

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On either end of this vessel in time, neither Kim nor the captain could guess this craft would (did) drown at sea, wash ashore, bury itself in the gradual accretion of a sand dune among dunes, then, sometime in the mid-1980s, lay increasingly vulnerable to the salt air and sunshine again as the dune eroded around it.

“However,” the archaeologists write, “three likely candidates for the identity of this vessel correspond to the general time period and location.”

The Board of Health bought the bark and burned it in the waves, leaving the German boat’s blackened remains to time and sand and salt and sea. 

The Oldest Christianity Renews the Newer Abandoned

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From the Matthews Bridge downtown, you can see the red, yellow, and green—the colors of the Ethiopian flag—that stripe the old gothic belltower, a bright dab of color in the center of a drab post-urban emptiness.

Within these walls, former slaves shed tears, sweated, beat their whip scars with flagellant fists. In this holy space rose cris de coeur, roared and collapsed a thousand times the ghost of a chance, and soared skyward the hymns of a black Moses leading his people home. Try to imagine all the pain, cumulative, felt through every prayer. Who came here for succor? Who died? Who was hungry and given supper? Who came into the world? Who married, and who else, and whom? Who found all the truth they’d ever need and died believing?

You Know this City if You’ve Crossed its Central Divisions: Myrtle Avenue Underpass / Subway / Tunnel

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For well more than a century, the crossroads sunken into the Myrtle Avenue Underpass has taken lives, defined neighborhoods, separated beneficiaries from the poor the city’s more harshly judged.

Streetcars crossed the sump betwixt downtown and urban black Jax and an innocent electrician died liked a serial killer. 

The crossroads flooded and the crossroads flooded and the crossroads flooded and the crossroads flooded.

JaxPsychoGeo is Six Years Old: Here’s the Dunehouses and Pyramid, First Posted in 2012

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JaxPsychoGeo first published this story about William Morgan’s Dunehouses and Pyramid when the site launched six years ago. Since then, the writing and scope have ev0lved, while the core artistic, spiritual and geographic pursuit has remained.

At Morgan’s own house next door, the architect told the detective the proportions of the rectangular interior of the Dunehouses are golden. Did she know what this meant?

The house William Morgan built for himself now more than 40 years ago stood next door. But first the Dunehouses, which he’d built in 1974 and ’75.

Archetypes and Avengers on Avenue B

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His name is Algie. It’s unusual. I’ve just read of the 1958 murder of Algie Nevels. Stagga Lee’s been hangin’ ’round Avenue B most of this past century.

The 1950 State Beverage agents descend on Avenue B. Algie Nevels must have heard the noise and stopped by to look and stayed awhile.

“One of the most notorious figures in Jacksonville’s police and underworld history,” murdered 70 years ago, involves himself in a 2018 Avenue B shootout.