Tag Archives: Jake Godbold

When the City Dumped Sewage Sludge on the Regency Dunes

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National headlines announced fecal matter raining across the city. Sewage lines collapsed without being replaced. Treatment facilities were overwhelmed. Tankers dumped sewage sludge on the sand dunes behind Regency Square Mall where kids had jumped their dune buggies and dads shot World War II rifles. The mayor jumped into the sludge wars.

Remembering Jacksonville Mayor Jake Godbold, who passed away 1/23/2020

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Nobody else ever brought Jacksonville together like Jake Godbold did. After Godbold died earlier today, 1/23/2020, the T-U quoted Mike Tolbert saying, “Jacksonville just lost its best friend.” Indeed. Not quite three years ago, I wrote this story about Jake’s days at Fred Cotten’s Barbecue. It made me quite happy that he read it and liked it.

New Story: The Park Lane Apartment Building

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When Hurricane Irma assailed the building, all they could see from the 10th floor was the water. It had been a long time since Tim first decided, at 10 years old, he’d one day call the Park Lane home. It had been a long time since the president of Barnett Bank petitioned the church to “unclaim” his “daughter” so he could marry her, since the future author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” Madeleine L’Engle called the Park Lane home. Not so long since Ivey jetted to Newport with Brownie to meet Foxy and Mary. Nor since Evelyn Nehl, who called the penthouse suite home, brought the AIDS Quilt to Jacksonville.

New Story: Jacksonville Beach: New Trinity, Killing the Devil, and the Murder of Vera Gould

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After the three young people stabbed K.’s grandmother to death in her Jacksonville Beach home, newspapers quoted them calling her “Satan,” themselves “the New Trinity” and Lex Hester, one of the most prominent men in Jacksonville’s political history, “the Antichrist.”



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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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