Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pumpkin Hill, Where Annette and Mylette Vanished in 1974

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Elizabeth Anderson doesn’t believe her daughters are still alive, but without the discovery of their bodies, they’ll also never die.

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In three months in 1974, five little girls between the ages of 6 and 12 disappeared in Jacksonville.

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These are the woods where stories go to disappear.

Reggie Bridges’s Shotgun House, WATG Radio, and the Unofficial Museum of Brooklyn

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For half a century, Reginald Bridges’s 544 square foot shotgun house has hummed with the magnetic density of Brooklyn’s long life. Most much larger houses have lived far less.

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Reggie and Harold operated WATG Radio from the back yard and transmitted via cable across Spruce Street to Brooklyn Park. The station might not have transmitted far, but the whole neighborhood listened.

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Now we’re looking together at a grainy photograph of a little boy in a suit standing on a Brooklyn sidewalk half a century ago. If you could photograph time, you’d have this very photograph.

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San Marco’s Politico Ghosts Still Lingering at The Towne Pump

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After the editor downed 27 shots of Wild Turkey, the Towne Pump hung a plaque on the wall in his honor.

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When the mayor’s press aide was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated after speeding away from the Towne Pump three sheets to the wind early one October afternoon in 1977, Tanzler held a press conference saying he’d ordered his staff to stop drinking on their lunch hours.

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The ghosts of politicos and newspapermen bleed through to our time. Sometimes we notice.

The Cavern Where Dolf James Forges Elegantly Poised Chaos

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This cement-block and masonry industrial building, where matchbooks were manufactured in the 1920s, is exactly the kind of studio Dolf had always wanted. “It was wide open, empty and spooky, and it was a place you couldn’t hurt.”

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His parents moved into the first completed house in a new subdivision outside Washington, D.C. when Dolf was in first grade. When construction work was halted, the streets of unfinished houses introduced themselves to the imaginative first grader as a ghost town playground.

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He says, “The neighborhood was my Erector Set.”

New Story: Night Sweats and Junkyard

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

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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

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

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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.

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“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

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

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

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“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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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

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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.

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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.