Tag Archives: Rex Sweat

The Triangle Bar and All That’s Left of Old Lem Turner

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One block is all that’s left of Old Lem Turner Road where it met the Turner Ferry. Some seem to think the Triangle Bar has been here about that long. This is where Jesse Carver brought his granddaughter on the first night of her life in 1972, where J.W. Rich, who killed Johnnie Mae Chappell, all but lived for 30 years, where the Trout River Bridge burned in the Civil War. Stories still accrue.

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.

Protests in the Summer of 2020, the spring of 1964

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This story compares the protests of 1964 to those of 2020. It demonstrates how current protests call out the murder of George Floyd, but also the long pattern of Jacksonville police abuses of authority. It shows how 1964 Jax protests were met with official racism and racist vigilantism and how 2020 protests were met with public bullying against organizers. It suggests how police, if they care, might start the process to make a systemic (not a “bad apples”) restructuring, and asks what we might do about the disintegration of America. 

McCormick Apartments and Mythos at Jax Beach

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“There are enough concrete blocks in the McCormick Apartments to build a solid wall eight feet high from Jacksonville Beach to Downtown Jacksonville.” So bragged J.T. McCormick at the 1948 Open House, five years before he was elected mayor of Jacksonville Beach. The mythos contains stories of horsewhippings and murders and the family who built up the beach.