Tag Archives: Jacksonville

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.

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: 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.

New Story: Bayard Antique Village / Beautyrest Cabins

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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New Story: Museum of Southern History

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If this “history” isn’t revisionist, it’s hard to imagine what is, and it’s full of a strange loser’s condescension: anyone who does not know these fictional facts is ignorant of history.

photo by Junah Hanuj

photo by Junah Hanuj

I let myself imagine a time when the South finally leaves the Confederacy behind and allows itself to surge free into a beautiful future.