Tag Archives: Jacksonville Florida

Jax Zoo (For Harry Crews, Jiggs and Gandai)

Click below for this week’s story, or navigate the city through the direction buttons at the top of the page:

In Harry Crews’s 1992 novel Scar Lover, the Jax Zoo becomes the scene of Southern Gothic anti-epiphany. For years, descriptions of the zoo in the news sounded hardly more pathetic than in Crews. If what happened to Jiggs seems unforgiveable, maybe, hopefully, the baby gorilla named Gandai can offer us all redemption.

A Tribute to My Father

My father, Leslie William Gilmore, died Thursday morning, the 22nd day of August. He was 95 years old. These links take you to my tribute to him. It doesn’t do him justice, but it’s something.

Mrs. Martha, in Planting a Living Fence in Floral Bluff Manor, Chose the Right Dildo

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Julia Morton recommended several dildos, including a gliricidia that erupted in “pale-pink flowers in the spring.” Older words related to “diddling” with “diligence.” No dildo fence rises behind the Wash-O-Rama, so what has Jesus to teach us?

Wild Bill of Jax and His Leprosy

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“Will Bill of Jacksonville” had come back home, but outside a small circle of family and friends, he kept his diagnosis a secret. Not only did the disease frighten people, but in this Bible Belt town, it resonated as the plague of the Old Testament.

The Board of Health moved to quarantine his mother’s home on Rural Route 5 in the small western Duval County community of Hart Haven. “In closing,” he wrote, “let me give your readers, each and every one, a personal invitation. I assure you that when you leave, your outlook and perspective on life will be different.”

2 New Year’s Stories: Remembering Kyle Marshall, DJ Chef Rocc, and New Life at Gator Lodge

Click below for either (why not both?) of the two full stories. Happy New Year’s! Here’s where we’ve been. Here’s where we’re going.

1. You shouldn’t die of congestive heart failure at 38 years old. Jacksonville loved F. Kyle Marshall. Some say he personified the city. I first met Kyle, where Rain Dogs is now, at Five Points Barber Shop, in 1931.

2. Lisa King learned to love people, coming and going, learned to love Jax when she first learned to walk at Gator Lodge. Never mind Haydon Burns and Aileen Wuornos. At her birthday party at this crossroads thrums the great untapped strength of the city’s diversity.

From Mini-Museum to Big-House: The Art of Richard McMahan

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Richard McMahan’s intensity does not waver. Whether it’s the thousands of miniatures he’s created of Van Goghs, Frida Kahlos, Picassos and duChamps, or it’s the prison stories and illustrations, the collection of shackles and prison uniforms, Richard’s work is obsessive.

courtesy Community Foundation of Northeast Florida & laird/blac palm inc

Everything Richard does forms part of a life’s-work. His Mini-Museum offers a survey of the world’s great art, while his Big-House project asks “the biggest question[s] of all.”

photo by James Hunter

In the Heart of Riverside: JaxbyJax V and the Martha Washington

This Saturday, 10/13, JaxbyJax V, the fifth annual JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival, takes place in 12 intimate venues around Park and King Streets in Riverside. See the event schedule and this year’s writers at www.jaxbyjax.com.

Click below for the full Martha Washington Hotel story:

So the folks hard at work deep in the bowels of the JaxPsychoGeo Detective Agency (!) thought this week’s post should concern that geographic center of Jacksonville’s Riverside Avondale, the largest historic district in Florida. 

Here, then, is an archived JaxPsychoGeo story from 2016 about the Martha Washington Hotel. Demolition had begun. Wayne Wood called the saving of the Martha Washington the most dramatic victory in Riverside Avondale Preservation’s history. The old building has lived many lives–those of Southern aristocrats, World War II servicemen, indigent elderly women, and 21st century hipsters. It has much more living to do.

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

Click below for the full story. (Then surf jaxpsychogeo.com for hundreds more.)

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.”

Little Talbot Island Shipwreck

Click below for the full story. (Then surf jaxpsychogeo.com for hundreds more.)

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.