Tag Archives: Philips Highway

Here he is, the original Chopstick Charley.

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I did not know, when I first published my story about Chopstick Charley’s, the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city, that it was his birthday. On August 18, 2017, John Ming “Chopstick Charley” Cheung would’ve turned 99.

Mai Hoo Cheung emailed me on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, solving mysteries and saying, “I knew the original Chopstick Charley. He was my father.”

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.

Old Philips, w/o Boundaries, Beheadings, the Last Hall-and-Parlor

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Someone stole their heads. Their bodies had been burnt. Police found two axes in the scorched desolation of the shack. Just before Christmas. 1913.

Most of the residents of Philips were the children or grandchildren of former slaves, or were former slaves themselves. Sunken ground in the slope and swale of Philips Cemetery at Craig Swamp might mark older unrecorded graves.

Her husband lived to be 97. She was born in the house in 1922. Surely he’d heard the story when he was young.

Who Was Chopstick Charley?

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It rains through the ceiling on the front corner booth. Everyone’s favorite is the woo dip harr, shrimp wrapped in bacon with sweet and sour sauce. It’s the oldest Chinese restaurant in the city.

“Charley” was “tiny” and “spoke very little English.” His wife, whose name Susan can’t recall, was a broad-shouldered white woman with dark curly hair who stood a head taller than Charley.

 

New Story: Bayard Antique Village / Beautyrest Cabins

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Reports of the death of Bayard Antique Village from the fire just before Halloween were greatly exaggerated.

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The old Beautyrest Cabins in the rural outpost of Bayard became Bayard Antique Village in 1967. Between one-room cabins on the Village’s one-lane road loop: stories of murderous sawmills, century-old ghosts of prostitutes, eyeball candy, not “eye candy,” and clowns.

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