Tag Archives: jaxpsychogeo

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

Click below for the full story:

“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

Click below for the full story:

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

Click below for the full story:

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

Click below for the full story:

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.

cwm_7

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.

cwm_2

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.

roosearth

Pumpkin Hill, Where Annette and Mylette Vanished in 1974

Click below for the full story:

Elizabeth Anderson doesn’t believe her daughters are still alive, but without the discovery of their bodies, they’ll also never die.

ac3

In three months in 1974, five little girls between the ages of 6 and 12 disappeared in Jacksonville.

ac6

These are the woods where stories go to disappear.

Reggie Bridges’s Shotgun House, WATG Radio, and the Unofficial Museum of Brooklyn

Click below for the full story:

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-8

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.

reggie-2

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.

reggie-6

San Marco’s Politico Ghosts Still Lingering at The Towne Pump

Click below for the full story:

After the editor downed 27 shots of Wild Turkey, the Towne Pump hung a plaque on the wall in his honor.

towne-pump

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.

towne-pump-7

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

The Cavern Where Dolf James Forges Elegantly Poised Chaos

Click below for the full story:

This cement-block and masonry industrial building, where matchbooks were manufactured in the 1920s, is exactly the kind of studio Dolf had always wanted. “It was wide open, empty and spooky, and it was a place you couldn’t hurt.”

dolf-james-studio-6

His parents moved into the first completed house in a new subdivision outside Washington, D.C. when Dolf was in first grade. When construction work was halted, the streets of unfinished houses introduced themselves to the imaginative first grader as a ghost town playground.

dolf-james-studio-7

He says, “The neighborhood was my Erector Set.”

New Story: Night Sweats and Junkyard

Click below for the full story:

junkyard-6

“I never knew about the Night Sweats,” Lane says. He feels like his car took over and drove him straight through death.

junkyard-7

Some cars that check in at Sprint Towing’s storage yard at the dead end of St. Andrews Street South never leave. The stripped corpses of 1950s pickups, 1970s muscle cars, and a long discarded hearse park permanently.

Remembering a Swamp Rose on Silversmith Creek

Click below for the full story:

Along one of the most polluted waterways in North Florida, I walked with her.

silversmith-creek-2-2

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.

silversmith-creek-4

“That’s right,” she said. She pointed to the single pink flower: “It’s a swamp rose.”