Tag Archives: jaxpsychogeo

The Tortuous Tale of Tarzan and Darlyn on Trout River

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When Darlyn Finch Kuhn was eight years old, her brother spotted the monkey on a fencepost by the side of the road. Bringing Tarzan into the family for two years was a wild experience. Where did he come from? (And where did he go?) How do we contextualize Tarzan amongst urban legends of the Riverside monkeys and Monkey Farm and Silver Springs escapees or the thousands of monkeys who’ve called Florida home?

Exploring the Mysteries of Cosmo and Gullah Geechee North Florida

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Nobody knows how Cosmo got its name. White folks live here, they just don’t know they live in Cosmo. Forged from Emancipation, this historic community of former slaves spoke its own dialects more African than African American. Oh but the buckruh knew how to get their land. Now but vestiges of Cosmo remain.

Remembering O.Z. Tyler, Epic Poet on Willow Branch Canal

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A quarter century ago, the ancient epic poet, “the Colonel,” opened his Tudor style home on Willow Branch Canal to a poet in his 20s. Orville Zelotes Tyler, Jr. wanted to be to America, to the South, to Jacksonville what Homer was to Ancient Greece, and his subject was Osceola, the Seminole leader who’d resisted the U.S. Army and was only captured under truce. 

The Myth of Ancient Floridian Giants

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The fiction that the Timucua and other indigenous Florida peoples were seven to nine feet tall spread rapidly in the 1950s. My mother believed it, told me we were descended. Another fiction. Willie Browne and Father Dearing believed it. D.B. McKay — Tampa mayor, newspaper editor, and chief organizer of the White Municipal Party — believed nine foot tall ancient Floridians populated the Garden of Eden. So where did these ideas come from?

The Ballad of Skimp Tillman

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Skimp Tillman, one-eyed owner of Skimp’s Bar at Main and State Streets, occasionally shot and killed a customer, the last time because of a patron’s opinion of a Jax “gangland slaying.” Skimp served his liquor at the nexus of organized crime and a corrupt Jax sheriff’s office, then died in the electric chair. His son became a judge.

The Saga of the Heart of Jacksonville Motel

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It’s the saga of the Heart of Jacksonville Motel: pop bands and robberies, boxing promoters and unsolved murders. And those t-shirts the cops printed there after one of their own was a suspect. Fire after fire after fire. The motel’s gone, but people still come and stay.

Remembering the Be-Ins at Willowbranch Park

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For the briefest of moments, it was the most magical time, wild yet somehow innocent. The be-ins at Willowbranch Park in the late ’60s featured a broil of young musicians, out of which rose the Allman Brothers Band. The be-ins meant long hair, beads and tie-dye, hippies walking barefoot through Riverside, cheap rent in old mansions, but more than anything, they meant music.

The Last Remaining Doro Artwork in Jax

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Months ago, the historic Doro Fixture Co. Building in Downtown Jax was demolished. It’s a shame. George Doro’s sole lasting architectural masterpiece, however, might just be the icon screen he designed and built for St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church. His signature was an unblinking eye. His iconostasis just moved to its third location and now has a chapel all its own. Make your pilgrimage to Doro’s great artwork. 

New Story: Hogan’s Creek Tower

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Who were they, these women in these earliest photographs? Who called this tower their “poor man’s penthouse”? Opened in 1976, Hogan’s Creek Tower, designed by architect Ted Pappas, is one of Jacksonville’s best examples of Brutalism. Like any community, it has its stories. Like the resident who wandered away and spent his 100th Christmas meandering for 17 hours across the city.

New Story: Schools Named for Confederates and the Demise of Manhattan Beach

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Joseph Finegan Elementary School, named for a Confederate general, stands where segregated black Manhattan Beach once was. White developers said they wanted “Negroes removed from the oceanfront” and the one business whose family didn’t sell was destroyed in a “mysterious fire.” So, “what’s in a name?” Juliet asked.