Tag Archives: jaxpsychogeo

New Story: Jacksonville’s Place in the History of Dogs with Guns

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With one shot, Diesel entered that subchapter of American history concerning dogs with guns.

Almost every “Dog Shoots Man” story for the past 150 years prides itself on a joke about the dog not being arrested.

New Story: The Strange History of Springfield’s Bungalow Court

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In these old photographs, Harry Walters still smiles forward, six years old, holding his Easter basket on a Sunday slipping further and further behind us.

Ironically, by the time Dancy Terrace’s front porches appeared in the 2006 movie Lonely Hearts, starring John Travolta and Salma Hayek, the entire court was abandoned.

Five Points’ Pioneer Funk: Edge City

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Edge City has inhabited 1017 Park Street for 43 years, and Gunnel Humphreys for 41. Pizza Italian at 1053 Park Street has operated for 41 years too, but Gunnel laughs that she and Tom were here first—by three or four months.

New Story: Earth Day at Cracker Swamp in Whitehouse

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LeRoy grew up off McGirts Creek, off General Road, off the little community called Whitehouse, says his Gran’pap called those wet sunken lands beyond the trees “Cracker Swamp.”

“And for this reason the place was called ‘Cracker Swamp,’ a name it still retains.”

New Story: Hemming Park: Race and Brutality in the Genius Loci

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Friday night, April 7, 2017. Several Jacksonville police officers hold 155 lb Connell Crooms, an unarmed black man, down on the ground in Hemming Park, while Officer B.D. (Benjamin Daniel) McEwan crouches over Crooms and punches him repeatedly.

Astonishingly. Perhaps impudently. Probably just ignorantly. Which is no excuse. The root of “ignorance” is “ignore.” Sheriff Mike Williams begins his April 10th statement about the Hemming Park beatings and arrests with the word “Historically.”

Stories 4 and 5 of Coquina Gates: Last Chance and The Gates

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For Coquina Gates story no. 4: First House, Last Chance–

Anna died just shy of her 94th birthday, on April Fools’ Day. 2009.

Andrea’s is the original house and the only one the Russells never named. Andrea moved into Anna’s first house while Anna lived in her last house.

For Coquina Gates story no. 5: The Gates–

Barbara knew Jim only at the end of his life. He was frustrated, depressed.

“This is the miraculous site,” Barbara says, “of Jim Russell’s artistry and Anna Russell’s love and care for that vision.”

Coquina Gates, Part 3: Riots of the Fall and Nor’east

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“I remember Coquina Gates as a place filled always with music,” she says. Riots of the Fall was a folk festival Jim and Anna Russell held at Coquina Gates for three years in the mid-1960s.

“And my dad was very tender. He’d go out there in the mornings and find these little frogs had drowned in the pool. So he got up earlier. And every morning he was out there trying to get the frogs and all the insects that had landed in the pool, because he didn’t want any of them to drown.”

Inside the house called Nor’east, the legendary door, which I’ve heard is cypress and I’ve heard is oak, which I’ve heard weighs 300 pounds and I’ve heard weighs 700 pounds, once opened to the breeze.

Searching for Gonny’s Head, Finding the Ruins

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I was joking when I told her I wanted to find the old man’s bearded head. She’d watched me for a moment, sly-smiled, and called me a resurrectionist.

When Gonny lived here, harvested his home, and built his house, small wild horses still roamed these coastal marsh islands.

Coquina Gates, Part 2: Redemption at Chinquapin

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The house doesn’t just welcome you. It harbors you. It’s there for you. It’s the earth formed up from itself for the sole purpose of taking care of you.

Destructive forces so often tempered and made stronger the softer forms of the forest.

No creator creates the creation. Humility and awe were materials as integral as wood and stone.

The Clara White Mission Remains the Humanitarian Heart of Jax

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If the goodness, kindness, and mercy enacted in a particular building, on a certain quadrant of earth, can accrue across the years, then the Clara White Mission should be a pilgrimage site and 613 Ashley Street in LaVilla is sacred ground.

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At the turn of 1974, Eartha was the tiny, bird-like, Old-Testament-but-New-Testament saint at the center of town. She died in January. I was born in June. I so wish I could have met her.

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When I saw Eartha White look out at me from the open doors of Roosevelt Watson III’s major artwork, I saw her as I’d never seen her but also as she’d visited me, angelically and ghostly, when I’d most needed to find her before.

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