Tag Archives: jaxpsychogeo

Remembering When Lightning Knocked Out CSX’s Rail Service

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One strike from the sky touches 200 trains across the Southeast and Midwest, reaching into Ontario and Quebec.

Callie remembers Y2K, how often lightning struck, and how the river below seemed hers from her vantage point at 3 a.m.

2 New Year’s Stories: Remembering Kyle Marshall, DJ Chef Rocc, and New Life at Gator Lodge

Click below for either (why not both?) of the two full stories. Happy New Year’s! Here’s where we’ve been. Here’s where we’re going.

1. You shouldn’t die of congestive heart failure at 38 years old. Jacksonville loved F. Kyle Marshall. Some say he personified the city. I first met Kyle, where Rain Dogs is now, at Five Points Barber Shop, in 1931.

2. Lisa King learned to love people, coming and going, learned to love Jax when she first learned to walk at Gator Lodge. Never mind Haydon Burns and Aileen Wuornos. At her birthday party at this crossroads thrums the great untapped strength of the city’s diversity.

Grand Park’s Rap Videos, Pseudo-Gangs and Lynch Mobs

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Grand Park has always been about passing through. The sheriff and state attorney talk of gangs. Desperate young men beg for attention with prop guns and get it, but what’s it mean to be a rapper from a big “kountry” town?

Was Grand Park more or less “kountry” when Sheriff R.E. Merritt forestalled a lynch mob in 1922, the second storming of the jail in three years? Remember when Grand Park fed the cops barbecue, when the police were part of the community, not some outside force?

Black Masonic Temple

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What these walls have seen! Architects Mark and Sheftall began their own firm in 1912 and with a commission for the grandest building in black Jacksonville. The Black Masonic Temple formed the brick foundation of the black community.

Princess Laura Adorkor Kofi preached her “back to Africa” message here in the 1920s. Future Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Leander Shaw had his offices here in the 1960s. And the tunnels beneath Broad Street would offer protection if Florida’s massacres of black communities at Ocoee, Perry, and Rosewood should spread to Jacksonville. 

Someone Save the Heston House

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The bachelors were born in this house and died in this house, at either end of a century. The old boathouse fell into the creek. Linden’s boat, the Rapid Rabbit, became an artificial reef.

Charlie fished the whole world, but Sam Skinner drowned off the dinghy. Paul won tennis championships. Their mother watched St. Paul’s Episcopal Church float away on the creek. The beds are made, typewriter fossilized, and the house still waits.

World Beach…Where Burger King and McDonald’s Debuted

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Mirza calls this stretch of Beach Boulevard, where Burger King and Jax’s first McDonald’s opened for business in the 1950s, “World Beach.”

World Beach contains no beach, but its storefronts represent at least two dozen nationalities and ethniticities, immigrants and refugees who’ve washed up here from around the world.

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.”

 

 

Hope for Life Baptist Church, Where Bob Gray Preached His Last Sermon

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Referring to the pastor whose sexual abuse of children Trinity Baptist Church covered for half a century, Gary Hudson says, “I knew Bob Gray for 30 years. I had Gray speak at Hope for Life that Wednesday night, March 22, 2006. It was the last time Gray preached in a Jacksonville church, the last time he preached anywhere.”

Gary Hudson says reading his Bible led him to renounce his faith. “The busiest guitar tech in the Panhandle,” describes himself now as “a very happy peace-loving non-believer.” His book is “dedicated to all I have influenced to believe in the Christian gospel.”

From Mini-Museum to Big-House: The Art of Richard McMahan

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Richard McMahan’s intensity does not waver. Whether it’s the thousands of miniatures he’s created of Van Goghs, Frida Kahlos, Picassos and duChamps, or it’s the prison stories and illustrations, the collection of shackles and prison uniforms, Richard’s work is obsessive.

courtesy Community Foundation of Northeast Florida & laird/blac palm inc

Everything Richard does forms part of a life’s-work. His Mini-Museum offers a survey of the world’s great art, while his Big-House project asks “the biggest question[s] of all.”

photo by James Hunter

In the Heart of Riverside: JaxbyJax V and the Martha Washington

This Saturday, 10/13, JaxbyJax V, the fifth annual JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival, takes place in 12 intimate venues around Park and King Streets in Riverside. See the event schedule and this year’s writers at www.jaxbyjax.com.

Click below for the full Martha Washington Hotel story:

So the folks hard at work deep in the bowels of the JaxPsychoGeo Detective Agency (!) thought this week’s post should concern that geographic center of Jacksonville’s Riverside Avondale, the largest historic district in Florida. 

Here, then, is an archived JaxPsychoGeo story from 2016 about the Martha Washington Hotel. Demolition had begun. Wayne Wood called the saving of the Martha Washington the most dramatic victory in Riverside Avondale Preservation’s history. The old building has lived many lives–those of Southern aristocrats, World War II servicemen, indigent elderly women, and 21st century hipsters. It has much more living to do.