Lovett’s / Winn & Lovett / Winn-Dixie & my Grandfather

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“When I was a little girl,” my mother wrote, “before we had money, my father liked to tease me and loved to laugh.”

Architectural critics who saw the voluptuous curves of Art Deco as “effete” credited Art Moderne with streamlined manliness.

He gave her “strict instructions to be patient and not to wiggle at the window, or the birds wouldn’t come. So I followed his instructions and stood by the window, looking out, watching him, and I was very still.”

Florida Junior College, What the Beginning Looks Like, the Chance to Create a New World

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“It was not a frivolous time. We felt like we were doing something really important. You couldn’t help but feel that way.”

In idealistic camaraderie, they built a new curriculum and course outlines from scratch, socialized until late in the night, and discussed what books their students should read.

Erstwhile underground bomb shelters opened up. In one building “down toward Park Street,” FJC headquartered its Experimental College.

Riverside Park’s Camellia Grove, Keats, Basho, and People Being More Like Plants

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The camellia garden suffered terribly in the tornado of December, 1997. The oldest camellias are 50 years old. They might have a century left.

What happens in the grove is an inverse mimesis–it determines the city outside it.

Baymeadows: The GMAC Mass Shooting

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WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers will find too disturbing.

I wonder if the electricians know they’re working at the site of the worst mass killing in Florida before the 2016 Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando.

“You’re not going to die,” Phillips had told Janice David repeatedly. She kept saying she didn’t know what her two sons would do without her.

Tale of Two Cities: Pick Your Poison, Vote Your Conscience, Choose Your Own Adventure

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1. Which house on McCormick Woods Court stands atop Rain Cemetery? And how does History’s Witch answer Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History?

and / or:

2. What did the Tinsleys mean when they said Catherine Tourist Court “cater[ed] to the better class only”? And what’s happened to CTC in Klan Kountry since?

The Balis House / the Herbert Swisher House

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Herbert Swisher was a “trust fund baby.” His grandfather built him a house. Sheffield and Abla Balis left the Franco-Syrian War in the Middle East and made Herbert’s house their home. When Sheffield died, Abla built him a tower.

Old Philips, w/o Boundaries, Beheadings, the Last Hall-and-Parlor

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Someone stole their heads. Their bodies had been burnt. Police found two axes in the scorched desolation of the shack. Just before Christmas. 1913.

Most of the residents of Philips were the children or grandchildren of former slaves, or were former slaves themselves. Sunken ground in the slope and swale of Philips Cemetery at Craig Swamp might mark older unrecorded graves.

Her husband lived to be 97. She was born in the house in 1922. Surely he’d heard the story when he was young.

The Trials and Tribulations of Mount Vernon Motor Lodge

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Click below for the full story. Why did police Taser the naked man in the middle of Philips Highway? What would George Washington think of a motel modeled after his plantation house? And where did that peace dove fly off to?

Cracker Cooking and Art Jennette

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Art Jennette’s been cooking “cracker” food with love for more than half a century. It pleases him to feed people, and this love permeates his smile, his shuffling through the crowd, his holding out the old cast iron skillet brimming with shrimp blackened in his own special sauce. Everything’s his recipe, unless it’s his mother’s.

San Marco’s Swisher House (John H.) and Villa Alexandria

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All big houses harbor the loneliness of unpeopled space. When Heather was a little girl, she didn’t understand the elevator went up and down. She thought it somehow “swapped the rooms around.”

Christina says, “I don’t think Mrs. Mitchell liked that they tore her house down.”

Carl Swisher always carried jokes in his pocket. Workers rolled 600 to 700 cigars a day.