Tag Archives: Tim Gilmore

When Ideal Trailer Park (and Trailer Parks in General) Were New

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Ideal Trailer Park has claimed these four acres along U.S. 1 at the old City Limits for six decades. Nobody here knows why the trailer park is called “Ideal” or who named it.

In the back of her trailer, Channa’s made a small shrine to the Virgin Mary. One cat has but one eye. When Alexander Wellington writes of a little girl bitten by a rat in a trailer park, he sneers, “Good thing it wasn’t her face they chewed, isn’t it?”

 

When Jax Declared Its Center a “Slum Heart,” ‘Evil,” and Demanded Exorcism

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The deep baritone drips with condescension, festers with open sarcasm.

“This very plumbing, if you can dignify it with the name of plumbing, can bring disease and death into your home through the medium of your servants.”

“Come to think of it,” Slum Heart recalls, opportunistically, “that servant girl who comes to your house each morning […] Do you know where she goes at night?”

When Governor Claude Kirk Hopped the Fence and Took the Mic from “Black Power Agitator,” H. Rap Brown

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This ballpark has been the heart of Durkeeville for more than a century. It was Jacksonville’s municipal baseball stadium until 1954. The Negro Leagues played here. Hank Aaron “integrated” the Jacksonville Braves and won MVP, 1953.

White people had lots of guns and white cops all had guns, so black people! should get guns too. So said H. Rap Brown, who bridged the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to the Black Panthers.

Claude Kirk, 36th governor of Florida, Jax insurance salesman, hopped the fence at Durkee Field, tromped toward the pitcher’s mound, and snatched the mic from H. Rap Brown.

The Grave of Confederate General Joseph Finegan

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The stone lamb lacks a head. The titled stone says, without dates or surnames, “JOSEPHINE and her LITTLE BROTHER.” Confederate Lost-Causers still tend the grave of Joseph Finegan.

What happened to Finegan’s plantation house during the Civil War was poetic justice.

The stone angel looked down over Diana when she visited the Livingstons’ grave like Mary Shelley visited the grave of her mother.

St. Vincent’s Hospital

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Mostly my father just sits here in the hospital bed—like a Buddha—awake and aware. What’s it like in there? I cannot fathom the question.

The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul founded this hospital in 1916. You could see them, walking the city, walking Riverside, in their elaborate starched habits that looked like ossified wings or horns flung out from their heads.

It’s time for my father to go home. (More than a decade ago, he told me it was okay when it was time for him to go.)

Lovett’s / Winn & Lovett / Winn-Dixie & my Grandfather

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“When I was a little girl,” my mother wrote, “before we had money, my father liked to tease me and loved to laugh.”

Architectural critics who saw the voluptuous curves of Art Deco as “effete” credited Art Moderne with streamlined manliness.

He gave her “strict instructions to be patient and not to wiggle at the window, or the birds wouldn’t come. So I followed his instructions and stood by the window, looking out, watching him, and I was very still.”

Riverside Park’s Camellia Grove, Keats, Basho, and People Being More Like Plants

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The camellia garden suffered terribly in the tornado of December, 1997. The oldest camellias are 50 years old. They might have a century left.

What happens in the grove is an inverse mimesis–it determines the city outside it.

Baymeadows: The GMAC Mass Shooting

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WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers will find too disturbing.

I wonder if the electricians know they’re working at the site of the worst mass killing in Florida before the 2016 Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando.

“You’re not going to die,” Phillips had told Janice David repeatedly. She kept saying she didn’t know what her two sons would do without her.

Tale of Two Cities: Pick Your Poison, Vote Your Conscience, Choose Your Own Adventure

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1. Which house on McCormick Woods Court stands atop Rain Cemetery? And how does History’s Witch answer Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History?

and / or:

2. What did the Tinsleys mean when they said Catherine Tourist Court “cater[ed] to the better class only”? And what’s happened to CTC in Klan Kountry since?

The Balis House / the Herbert Swisher House

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Herbert Swisher was a “trust fund baby.” His grandfather built him a house. Sheffield and Abla Balis left the Franco-Syrian War in the Middle East and made Herbert’s house their home. When Sheffield died, Abla built him a tower.