Tag Archives: Tim Gilmore

The Story of the Mermaid Beached in a Strip Mall

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The multi-ton marble mermaid hangs out in a half-abandoned strip mall. She seems lonely, castaway, out of place. She’s only here because St. Augustine sculptor Thomas Glover W. offended Beaufort, South Carolina. Strange things can happen when towns commission public art. 

N.B. Forrest High School and the Other Pandemic: Opioid Addiction

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There’s a desperate addiction problem in every corner of the American landscape. This story is personal. It looks back 30 years to high school, to friendship, to youth, to what strange turns time takes with our lives, to how addiction can turn someone into a completely different person.

The Sudden Discovery of My Mother’s First Apartment, 70 Years Ago

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I never knew she’d lived here. Never noticed this side address. Until the old pack of photos surfaced, 1954. And here is my mother, who died when I was 12. Here she is, 20 years before I was born. I’m 30 years her elder. And I meet her on that cold February night when she was young and the present promised the future was bright.

Remembering the Be-Ins at Willowbranch Park

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For the briefest of moments, it was the most magical time, wild yet somehow innocent. The be-ins at Willowbranch Park in the late ’60s featured a broil of young musicians, out of which rose the Allman Brothers Band. The be-ins meant long hair, beads and tie-dye, hippies walking barefoot through Riverside, cheap rent in old mansions, but more than anything, they meant music.

Brewster Hospital in Jim Crow Jax

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The year the old house was built is carved into its porch posts: 1885. It birthed the only hospital for black patients in Jim Crow Jax. Nursing student Lakeshia Sutton stayed with her aunt and uncle in the old building when it was a boarding house and she was a little girl. She feels nursing was a calling, but hadn’t known the “mansion” her aunt called home was “Old Brewster Hospital.”

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The Last Remaining Doro Artwork in Jax

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Months ago, the historic Doro Fixture Co. Building in Downtown Jax was demolished. It’s a shame. George Doro’s sole lasting architectural masterpiece, however, might just be the icon screen he designed and built for St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church. His signature was an unblinking eye. His iconostasis just moved to its third location and now has a chapel all its own. Make your pilgrimage to Doro’s great artwork. 

New Story: The Ancient Timucuan Community of Sarabay

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This is the ancient Timucuan Indian community of Sarabay. For more than two decades, UNF archaeologist Keith Ashley suspected it. Now he’s sure. European pottery found here matches notes in French and Spanish writings from the 1560s to the early 1600s. For the Mocama, the Timucuan people who lived here for thousands of years, European contact meant the beginning of the end.

The Dramatic Story of the Pappas Building

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It was architect Ted Pappas’s artistic self-portrait. It’s when the State of Florida decided people, and neighborhoods, mattered less than cars and through-traffic. It’s also a mystery. Why Pappas salvaged the stones and where he placed them. What else do you do when your city shoots itself through the art you bequeathed it? I’ll be damned if there’s not hope still.

New Story: Hogan’s Creek Tower

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Who were they, these women in these earliest photographs? Who called this tower their “poor man’s penthouse”? Opened in 1976, Hogan’s Creek Tower, designed by architect Ted Pappas, is one of Jacksonville’s best examples of Brutalism. Like any community, it has its stories. Like the resident who wandered away and spent his 100th Christmas meandering for 17 hours across the city.

Two Stories for Mother’s Day

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Two weird little stories for Mother’s Day. About two memorials to Patricia Ann Lynch Austin, former Jax first lady, one memorial missing a tree, the other accidentally raising hard questions about motherhood. My mother always encouraged my writing. She died three quarters of my life ago. Hopefully she’d like these two weird little stories.

Here’s the first: https://jaxpsychogeo.com/the-center-of-the-city/mother-and-child-sculpture-downtown/

& here’s the second: https://jaxpsychogeo.com/west-riverside-avondale/willowbranch-park-and-cenotaph-for-dogwood/

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