New Story: Night Sweats and Junkyard

Click below for the full story:

junkyard-6

“I never knew about the Night Sweats,” Lane says. He feels like his car took over and drove him straight through death.

junkyard-7

Some cars that check in at Sprint Towing’s storage yard at the dead end of St. Andrews Street South never leave. The stripped corpses of 1950s pickups, 1970s muscle cars, and a long discarded hearse park permanently.

Remembering a Swamp Rose on Silversmith Creek

Click below for the full story:

Along one of the most polluted waterways in North Florida, I walked with her.

silversmith-creek-2-2

I’d find references to the Bigelow Plantation and a Spanish land grant inherited by Jean Baptiste Richard, who died in 1810. The sea hag was five years old.

silversmith-creek-4

“That’s right,” she said. She pointed to the single pink flower: “It’s a swamp rose.”

 

New Story: Brooklyn: The Last Buffalo Soldier’s House

Click below for the full story:

Twice during the Civil War, black Union soldiers occupied Confederate Jacksonville.

chelsea_35

Confederate veteran Miles Price platted this former plantation into lots and sold them to former slaves and Buffalo Soldiers.

chelsea_30

“A house can be boarded up for years,” Paul says, “and it seems uninhabitable. But all you have to do is live in the house and it returns to its human-shaped life.”

New Story: Christmas Eve, Buffalo Soldier’s House and Pseudo-Brooklyn Apartments

Click below for the full story:

chelsea_6

Some of Les Paul Garner’s earliest memories are of running through a line of his friends with the ball, shirtless and exhilarated and sweating in the summer heat, and learning to ride his bike around the corner on Oak Street.

chelsea_2

New condo dwellers walk their AKC-registered dogs past the last Buffalo Soldier’s house in Brooklyn.

A Hoho-the-Mistletoe JaxDiveBars Christmas Special: The A Tavern and the Island.

Click below for the stories:

1) Honorary JaxPsychoGeo bar scouts guide us into 40 years of nicotine patina in The A Tavern, where hangs a new skunk pelt and Liz plays Conway Twitty.

at

2) Oh by golly, it’s the bar in the supercomputerhouse. That first year, Viking Jeff drank more than 900 pitchers of Bud. A pool cue rests, from behind my back, on my left shoulder. “So Many Waves So Little Time.”

island-bar

New Story: The Monkey Farm, The Orange Door, and The Granary

Click below for the full story:

gua-and-donald

In nearly every way, the baby chimp learned more quickly and outperformed the little boy raised alongside her. Gua was the first to walk upright, and Donald imitated her manner of walking. Gua recognized her reflection before Donald recognized his, she understood pictures in children’s books before Donald did, and she taught Donald to bite people and walls. Gua loved to be tickled and engaged in long sessions of tickling herself.

6

The 130 year old house’s story arc from ape research center to halfway house to the health and whole foods store called The Granary makes for a lovely and optimistic narrative.

New Story: Bayard Antique Village / Beautyrest Cabins

Click below for the full story:

Reports of the death of Bayard Antique Village from the fire just before Halloween were greatly exaggerated.

br11

The old Beautyrest Cabins in the rural outpost of Bayard became Bayard Antique Village in 1967. Between one-room cabins on the Village’s one-lane road loop: stories of murderous sawmills, century-old ghosts of prostitutes, eyeball candy, not “eye candy,” and clowns.

beautyrest-cabins_florida-memory

New Stories: Barnett Mansion and Springfield Tunnels

Two stories. Scroll down for both.

Click below for the full story about Barnett Mansion:

“There are so many stories in this house,” he says.

barnett-6

In the 1970s, the police saw William Barnett, 1824-1903, standing in the shadows and drew their guns.

barnett-1

Click below for the full story about Springfield Tunnels:

Billy says he and his friends slipped through an aperture into a system of extensive tunnels beneath the Barnett Mansion in Springfield.

img_2085

The great strength of conspiracy theories and urban legends is that you can’t prove a negative.

New Story: White Shell Fish Camp

Click below for the full story:

“Flounder got both their eyes on the same side of the face,” Brandy says, and sheepshead fish have “human teeth.”

8

When the fishermen pour in, Brandy deals kindly with people. When the people stay away, she marvels at the coordinates shared by angels and crustaceans.

4

New Story: Death and Life of a Spanish American War Fort

Click below for the full story:

The guns never fired. Behind concrete parapets, the two eight foot long, 16-ton “rifles” peered over the bluff, waiting for the Spanish ships to take the St. Johns River into Jacksonville.

saw1

Perhaps the spirits they believed haunted these grounds and witnessed walking up from munitions tunnels were the ghosts of their virginities.

saw9