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TIN TRAVELERS Iconic Campers in Pensacola

Home on the Ranch Get up close at the Santa Rosa Ranch

Rare Air

a club for vw enthusiasts

ON THE MARKET

The TheGulf GulfCoast's Coast's

Great Outdoors Epic Adventures + Hidden Gems

A REAL ESTATE SECTION AUGUST 2017 • PENSACOLAMAGAZINE.COM


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Our promise to be here for generations to come.

Twenty years ago, Nemours, one of the nation’s leading children’s health systems, made a promise to help children in Northwest Florida grow up healthy. Today that promise is stronger than ever. Your family can rest assured that Nemours will continue to be here with you every step.

Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Pensacola Care also available in Bonifay. To make a specialty care appointment, call (850) 505-4700.

© 2017. The Nemours Foundation. ® Nemours is a registered trademark of The Nemours Foundation.

Pediatric specialty care in audiology, cardiology, hematology/oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and more. See all that we offer at Nemours.org/Pensacola. pensacola magazine | 5


Editor’s Note my two cents on the subject

Kelly Oden Executive Editor I have been obsessed with vintage campers for over 20 years. I’ve lusted after and longed for my own funky old ‘canned ham’ both because I love the way they look and because I like the idea of a home on wheels. When I was younger and without responsibilities, I dreamt of endless open roads and months, maybe years, spent exploring the natural wonders of this incredible country in my little tin can. Now that I’m older with all the responsibilities of adulthood and parenthood, I’ll settle for long weekends and weeklong summer trips with my sweet kid and our loyal pup. Last fall, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a 1969 Serro Scotty. It’s the cutest little 13 foot camper and I found it at a price I could actually afford. I was so excited! It needed a little work, but didn’t seem too bad. As you’ll read in my interview with camper restorer extraordinaire, Tim Heintz, a little work usually turns into a lot of work with these guys. So, I’ve been diligently working on my darling camper and despite the heat, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning how these things come apart and go back together. I’ve gained some valuable construction skills, too! I’d hoped to have it completed for this issue, but she’s not quite there yet—she’s close, though and I expect to be camping in her by Labor Day. You can see a few photos of her below. We still haven’t come up with a fitting name, so let me know if you think of a good one! For this issue we have profiled a few gorgeous local vintage campers and their dedicated owners. From original restorations to all out glamptastic renovations and everything in between, you’ll be amazed and intrigued by these cool campers and I’ll bet many of you will catch the tin can bug by the end of the story! As I mentioned, we’ve also interviewed Tim Heintz with Tim Heintz Designs in Panama City. Tim is one of the leading restorers of historic travel trailers and he has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Be sure to visit him online or in person to see his remarkable work.

In keeping with vehicle theme, Tanner Yea talks to the folks over at the Rare Air Emerald Coast VW Club. I’m a big fan of the old VW busses— another item that’s been on my wish list for years. Take a look at Tanner’s story and find out about the club’s meet-ups, workshops and events. For our animal loving readers, our cover story is on a sprawling 620-acre property called the Santa Rosa Ranch—a hands-on deer and wildlife sanctuary complete with petting zoo, fishing holes, hayrides and more. Our own Hana Frenette and Guy Stevens took a trip to Jay to check it out and they came back with some great stories and even better photographs. I can’t wait to visit! All this, plus we have a few interesting underwater tales to tell. To the west of Pensacola, researchers in Gulf Shores, Alabama have uncovered a 60,000-year-old cypress forest buried beneath sand, silt and water. This amazing discovery is the only one of its kind and it is right in our own backyard. Read all about the discovery and the recently released documentary on the subject. To the east, The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County is planning another one-of-a-kind venture—a curated underwater museum. This unique museum will feature original sunken art that will eventually become artificial reefs and will benefit plant and animal life beneath the sea. With so much going on in our little neck of the woods, I hope you take some time to get out and enjoy it all, folks!

The Progress of my 1969 Serro Scotty

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contents 19

35

23

12

Features

In Every Issue

Outdoor Accessories

12

A Land Before Time

23

Rosie O'Grady's Celebrates 50 Years

14

Submerged Art

27

Seville Quarter gears up for their 50th anniversary celebration this month.

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reed Association are partnering to create North America's first curated underwater sculpture exhibit.

Food! Drinks! Dragons! 16

It's A VW Thing

31

Tin Travelers

35

Venture into the great outdoors while remaining cool and comfortable during the last month of summer with our local outdoors accessories guide.

A 60,000-year-old forest is revealed off the coast of Gulf Shores, and offers us a glimpse into the past.

SERTOMA's annual Dragon Boat Race to benefit the Gulf Coast Kid's House will take place in September. Get your oars ready!

Rare Air Emerald Coast VW Club keeps these classic and quirky cars rolling across the Southeast.

Home on the Ranch

Take a look inside five local vintage campers and learn the stories behind their restoration, history and travels.

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The sprawling 620- acre deer farm in Jay known as Santa Rosa Ranch offers magical animal interactions with fawns along with dozens of other farm animals, camping options and more.

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31

Restoring History

Editor’s Letter 6 Page 10 10 Play/Live/Give 45 Our Storied 48 Past

Special Sections Business Climate 49 On the Market: 63 A Real Estate Section

42

A Q+A with one of the nation's premiere vintage camper restorers, Tim Heintz of Panama City Beach.

Cover Photo by Guy Stevens


MAGAZINE

AUGUST 2017 Owners

Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger

Publisher

Malcolm Ballinger malcolm@ballingerpublishing.com

Executive Editor

Kelly Oden kelly@ballingerpublishing.com

Art Director

Guy Stevens guy@ballingerpublishing.com

Graphic Designer/Ad Coordinator Carly Stone carly@ballingerpublishing.com

Editor

Hana Frenette hana@ballingerpublishing.com

Assistant Editor

Tanner Yea tanner@ballingerpublishing.com

Editorial Intern

Heidi Travis heidi@ballingerpublishing.com

Sales & Marketing Paula Rode, Account Executive ext. 28 paula@ballingerpublishing.com Geneva Strange, Account Executive ext. 21 geneva@ballingerpublishing.com

314 N. Spring St. | Pensacola, FL 32501 850.433.1166 | fax: 850.435.9174 ballingerpublishing.com Published by Ballinger Publishing:

magazine

Proud member of the

NW Florida’s Business Climate Magazine and Pensacola Magazine is locally owned and operated. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. Š 2017


Page10 with DeeDee Davis

I recently received a card with a note from one of my clients and I can’t begin to describe how touched I was. In the real estate world, you don’t hear much out of people unless there is a problem. Do you remember passing notes in study hall? It really didn’t matter one bit what the note said. It was about the personal exchange of receiving something with your name on it in the handwriting of the author. It does far more than just communicate a message. It reaches a place deep with emotion. The recipient almost always appreciates notes. The one exception that still stings were the occasional commentaries in red ink scrawled across papers that I so diligently labored over. If the reviews, however, were favorable, I almost popped with pride. Mom would put the graded, noted papers on the refrigerator for our whole family to appreciate and applaud. The power of a note. We seem to have lost a lot of the emphasis we once put on notes. I suppose technology is largely responsible, but not entirely. Email or text 'thank yous' are perfectly acceptable in today’s world, though they pale in relevance next to something handwritten. Electronic notes ar­e simple and we have sadly allowed them to become the norm. I am here to champion the old fashioned pen on paper method. To make them less cumbersome, start by stocking your desk with a variety of paper. I get lost in happiness as I browse a great stationary department. The smell and feel of nice cardstock is an addiction I confess. Choose a fun box, a formal box, and a thank you box and you are well on your way. Having these at your fingertips greatly reduces the possibility of succumbing to the keyboard. Next, keep a stash of postage stamps. It’s much easier now that markets carry them and you can even custom order online. When you put your 10 | pensacola magazine

tomatoes, bread, eggs, and chick­en on the conveyor belt, ask the cashier to include a book of stamps if you can’t make time for the post office. If you are truly serious about the note experience, go to the nearest post office and choose cool stamps from their vast offerings. I know they all accomplish the same thing but you may as well complete the package with a little flair. Let’s just get it out there now, because the note process is big in my book. Before the first piece is opened when I check my mail every afternoon, all of it is prioritized. Junk mail is on the bottom of the stack, catalogues and periodicals on top of that, bills next, and the most precious cargo sits atop. Anything hand addressed receives priority treatment. I survey the whole picture from the type and color of the envelope, color of the ink, flow of the handwriting, stamp, return address—and this is all before I use my lovely letter opener to explore the contents. It matters not whether it is a Hallmark card, note card, or

letter. It is something so personal and heart warming that I re-read them numerous times before letting them go. Cards sit on my counter top until I force myself to take them down. I love looking at them and thinking of the sender. All nice memories. Years ago I started keeping really special notes and cards in a box after I jot the date on them and toss them in. From time to time, especially dark times, I open this treasure chest and read a few. Amazing what wonders this does for the psyche and certainly with less side effects than Xanax. Oh sure, you can print out an email so that you have it to read again later but what fun is that? Slightly better than nothing. The note lets people know that you care enough to go to that kind of trouble to communicate some message. In the work place, this is critical as faces all blend and melt into one another without something to make you a stand out. The ABCs of proper note writing are not that complicated.


GRADES 3-8 1. Be prepared. 2. Be timely 3. Be personal In many circles, note writing has once again become vogue, though good manners never go out of style. My own first real memories of the thank you note followed high school graduation when my mother told me if I didn’t write the note, the gift went back. Fat chance! A lesson never forgotten though now I can honestly say, it gives me joy to have a reason to write even if sadness is involved. After all, if there weren’t people you cared for or others who cared for you, none of this would be necessary. Make someone’s day and write the note. A special note of thanks goes to Fred Levin for all the beautiful events he has generously hosted at his magnificent Timeless Tanglewood home on Bayou Texar. The most recent gathering was in honor of popular two-term Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who is considering a campaign to be Florida’s next governor. He is traveling and speaking to people across the state to determine his next move and is considering running as an Independent, though he is currently a registered Democrat. He makes no secret of the fact that he is not tied to any party. Our own Mayor Ashton Hayward was there to introduce him to a full house that included Bruce McAlpin; Dr. Ro Amin; Fred and Brenda Vigodsky; Dick and Carolyn Appleyard; Sean Twitty and Teri Levin; and Mike and Terri Papantonio.

Saturday, August 12

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

GRADES 9-12 Sunday, August 13

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

NEW AND RETURNING MEMBERS

Please call

434-7760

to schedule your appointment FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE FOR QUALIFIED FAMILIES

Alex Gartner Artistic Director

August Birthdays 7 Cherry Fitch 11 Jenny Noonan 14 Corbett Davis, Jr 18 Mary Davis 27 Jim Neal 27 John Griffing

pensacola magazine | 11


COOL & COMFORTABLE

1.

OUTDOORS Curated by Hana Frenette • Photo by Guy Stevens

As the last month of summer approaches, it’s time to squeeze in as many picnics, hikes through shady trails and trips to the beach as possible. When the heat index reaches toward the triple digits, it’s helpful to have a few gadgets and products to tackle the sweltering humidity, while you stay cool and refreshed. We’ve handpicked our favorite outdoor accessories from local shops to help you beat the heat in comfort and style— from the affordable and durable Ice Mule cooler bags to the airy and light Eno hammock—you’ll be soaking up the sun without ever breaking a sweat.

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1. Kavu Fanny Pack, $25, Weatherford’s 2. Wilderness Wipes, $6, Intercoastal Outfitters 3. DowntoEarth Camp Candle with Citronella, $12 4. Gold Nixon Waterproof Watch, $149, Waterboyz 5. Kavu Visor, $25, Weatherford’s 6. Ice Mule Soft Bag, $60, Intercostal Outfitters 7. Waterproof Phone Case, $40, Intercoastal Outfitters 8. Suede Birkenstocks, $134, Intercoastal Outfitters 9. Natrapel, $5, Weatherford’s 10. Gingham Picnic Basket, $71, Pensacola Hardware 12 | pensacola magazine


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11. The Barnacle Wireless Speaker, $64, Waterboyz 12. Pig Naughty Sopping Sauce, $8, Pensacola Hardware 13. Spy Sunglasses with Happy Lens, $147, Waterboyz 14. Eno Double Nest Hammock, $69, Weatherford’s 15. Key’s Southern Seasoning, $9, Pensacola Hardware 16. O’Keefe’s Skin Repair Body Lotion, $11, Pensacola Hardware 17. Waterproof Freestyle Watch, $69, Waterboyz 18. Innova Disc, $14, Waterboyz 19. Metabottle Collapseable Bottle, $21, Weatherford’s 20. Sun Bum Dry Shampoo and 3-in-1 Leave in Treatment, $15 each, Waterboyz pensacola magazine | 13


it’s evolved. The owners and managers are constantly reinventing themselves. They’re always looking for what they can do that’s new. How can we reach out to the current population while respecting what went before,” Lyon says. “We’re constantly looking at what’s out there. What do the customers want? Where are they going to be the most comfortable?” Furthermore, Pensacola is and has been a military town since the birth of Seville. It was actually flight school which first brought Bob Snow to Pensacola. For that reason, serving the military is essential to Seville’s mission.

Seville Quarter’s Golden Jubilee Celebration by Heidi Travis

Seville Quarter, the Gulf Coast’s premier entertainment and dining complex is turning 50 and that means 10 days of celebration from August 11–21. On August 16, 1967 Bob Snow—talented trumpeter, Dixieland band-leader, ex-navy pilot and jack of all trades—embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and bought the old Pensacola Cigar and Tobacco Company warehouse on Government Street and transformed it into a thriving Dixieland club that came to be known as Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Emporium. Snow built off of Rosie’s success over the years, and with the help of Wilmer Mitchell, turned Seville Quarter into the entertainment and dining mecca that it is today. The rest is history. But what is the secret to Seville’s success? How have they managed to stay on top for the last 50 years? “I definitely credit that to the locals in Pensacola feeling Seville Quarter is their home. The locals have gotten us through hard times and great times and they feel safe and secure here at Seville Quarter,” says Buck Mitchell, who is in charge of special events and marketing at Seville Quarter. “We also put out a great product. We have the best music on the Gulf Coast. We are the Gulf Coast entertainment destination since 1967. It’s not easy, but we have a wonderful staff. Some of them have been with us for over 30 years,” Mitchell says.

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The Mitchell family took over operations at Seville Quarter in 1988 and they’ve been going strong since. To them, Seville is more than a smart business venture though – it’s a legacy. “We just try to keep what Bob built looking good and keep our local customers happy and hope that they enjoy the entertainment that we’re putting out,” Mitchell says. All of that hard work has paid off, too. Seville Quarter has been recognized multiple times by Nightclub and Bar Magazine as being among the top 100 nightclubs in America. Seville has also received stellar reviews from Frommer’s Travel Guides, Independent News, and Rukus. It seems like the Good Time Gang – the Seville employees – definitely keep the good times coming! Another part of Seville’s success has been their uncanny ability to stay connected to the community. Susie Lyon, Event Coordinator at Seville Quarter shared thoughts on that delicate balance of branching out while staying true to their roots. “It’s amazing how

“We’ve always had a good presence with the military. More than them just coming and having a cold beer. We’ve also had a lot of other outreach. Right now, the Running of the Bulls is for the USO. We’ve always had just a really great rapport with the military,” Lyon says. “I think that’s because the Mitchells and the Williams family who are the current owners, are Pensacola natives and they have a great respect for what the military has meant for Pensacola.” Mitchell echoes these sentiments as well and stresses the impact military has had on their success is not in the least bit small. “Seville Quarter wouldn’t be here today without the support of the military. We currently go above and beyond to try and take care of our military guests and make them feel


that this is their place,” Mitchell says. “We have people who come in every day and say ‘I trained here in the 70s and Seville quarter was my home.‘ ‘I trained here in the 80’s and Seville Quarter was my home.’ ‘I trained here in the 90’s and Seville Quarter was my home.’ You see the different generations come through. They feel comfortable here. They feel at home and that’s what makes it fun.” So what lies in store for Seville’s next 50 years? Currently, construction has begun in the old City Hall Annex across the street from Seville for what will be an upscale steak house which should open up in early 2018. Still, the potential for even more expansion on the Seville campus is one that Mitchell says is always on the radar. “Downtown is growing like crazy. There are certainly lots and lots of possibilities and the future is where we’re going,” Mitchell says. So, head out to Seville this August and give a toast in celebration to the past, present, and future of this incredibly successful local treasure. They’re not just good, they’re 50 years golden! Cheers!

Celebration Events Friday, August 11 Jubilee Celebration Kick-off Saturday, August 12 Membership Appreciation Night Sunday, August 13 Jazz Brunch with Kathy Lyon and Friends Monday, August 14 Blues Society rolls back the Clock Tuesday, August 15 Vince Vance and the Valients Jazz Night with Geno & Guests Wednesday, August 16 Rosie O’Grady’s 50th Birthday Recreation of the 1967 Opening Night Thursday, August 17 Good Time Gang Reunion Friday, August 18 Seville Quarter Gallery Night Saturday, August 19 DJ Showcase (potentially featuring Tony Allen) Sunday, August 20 Brunch with the sounds of Charlie Cetti and the 1st City Dixieland Jazz Band Monday, August 21 Pensacola Jazz Gumbo presents Dixieland

Benefiting Council on Aging of West Florida

RAT RACE 5K 2017

SEPTEMBER 16 8:30 am DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA

Call (850) 432-1475 to register.


Food! Drinks!

Dragons! The annual Dragon Boat Festival is back for the fourth year in a row. by heidi TRavis

Derived from the Duanwu Festival in China, which occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the traditional Chinese calendar, Pensacola’s Annual Dragon Boat Festival puts a local spin on the whole spectacle. The all-day festival, which takes place September 9 at Bayou Texar, includes music, food, and children’s games, but most of the excitement will come from the main event— the dragon boat race! The dragon boats, 40-foot long canoes fashioned with elaborate dragon mastheads, are the stars of the show.The race pits over 40 teams of 20 oarsmen and women against each other in a heated contest set to the beat of their own drums—literally. Each crew includes a drummer, pounding out a rhythm to which the team will stroke their way to the finish line. Training for this event is intense and takes place over several months. Synchronization is the key to success—that, and more than a little elbow grease. The team that can work together to keep pace to the rhythm of the drum and cut the 300 meters across Bayou Texar first is the winner. 16 | pensacola magazine

But it isn’t all just fun and games. The Dragon Boat Festival is organized by Northwest Pensacola SERTOMA, a non-profit international organization of businesses and professionals working towards community improvement. They raise money through events like these for community service projects. Once again, the profits of the event this year will go towards the Gulf Coast Kid’s House, a non-profit organization that provides support to victims of child abuse. As an advocacy center, Gulf Coast Kid’s House provides a safe-haven for children of abuse while also providing the professional resources needed for investigating and prosecuting cases of child abuse. The organization also provides access to mental health counseling for the families

they serve. Last year, SERTOMA raised over $30,000 for the Gulf Coast Kid’s House through this event. Stacey Kostevicki, Executive director of Gulf Coast Kid’s House is very enthusiastic about the upcoming event. She sees not only as a way to help her organization, but also as an event that enriches the local community through team work and a little friendly competition. “The Dragon Boat Festival is a really fun way to pull the community together for a competitive day on the water. The SERTOMA group just has a way of getting things done. With their brains and the sweat equity from our volunteers, staff and board, it is a match made in heaven,” Kostevicki says. It’s due to the hard work of their volunteers and sponsors that this event has successfully grown over time. As the enthusiasm for this event continues to gain momentum, the hope is that more people will be drawn out in support of this cause. Currently, the goal is to expand from 40 to 70 participating teams and to draw crowds of up to 10,000 spectators.


A.A. Cunningham Road paving notice ... Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast (NavFac SE) has awarded a contract to mill and overlay A.A. Cunningham Road on NAS Pensacola. The work is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 12 and expected to take four weeks to complete. Watch for “Road Closed” and “Detour” signs. Detour routes to facilities in the area will be Page Road to Warehouse Road and Farrar Road to Pat Bellinger Road. Drivers should observe the warning signs and proceed with caution around the work zones. The work schedule is weather dependent. For questions or more information, contact the PWD Construction Manager Bryan Moeller at 452-3131, ext. 3077.

Vol. 80, No. 35

VISIT GOSPORT ONLINE: www.gosportpensacola.com

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September 2, 2016

Fallen Special Tactics Airman honored at NASP By Capt. Katrina Cheesman Sibley’s unit. “This dedication 24th Special Operations Wing and memorial ruck is an important step for us as a brotherhood Air Force Special Tactics Air- to honor Forrest’s legacy of men dedicated a military freefall valor, and get a small bit of clotraining exercise into Pensacola sure.” Bay Aug. 26 to His teammates Staff Sgt. Forrest escorted the famSibley, a combat ily to Sibley’s controller from burial site, wearPensacola killed ing combat ruck in action Aug. 26, sacks weighing 2015, in Helmand more than 50 Pr o v i n c e , pounds to repreAfghanistan. It sent the deployed. was the first anOnce at the niversary of Sibcemetery, they ley’s death. completed a After free round of memoStaff Sgt. falling into the rial push-ups to Forrest Sibley waters of Sibley’s honor their fallen hometown, his teammates teammate. joined family members and Sibley, 31, had served in the friends to complete a memorial Air Force as a combat controller ruck march to his final resting since 2008. In his seven years of place at Barrancas National service, he received four Bronze Cemetery (BNC). Star Medals, once with valor for “When we lost Forrest, most heroism in combat, as well as a of his teammates were still de- Purple Heart for injuries susployed for another five months, tained in combat. and couldn’t attend any funeral “Forrest was one of our best or memorial event,” said Lt. Col. combat controllers, but he was Stewart Parker, commander of 21st Special Tactics Squadron, See Sibley on page 2

After parachuting into Pensacola Bay, members of the Air Force’s 21st Special Tactics Squadron make a memorial “ruck march,” a hike with full packs, from NAS Pensacola’s Bayou Grande Marina to Barrancas National Cemetery and the grave of teammate Staff Sgt. Forrest Sibley. Sibley was killed in action Aug. 26, 2015. He had served in the Air Force as a combat controller since 2008. Photo by Mike O’Connor For more photos, see page A4

CNATT: Make Labor Day weekend safety a priority Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Public Affairs

The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT) safety manager is reminding service members, civilian employees and their families to maintain safety awareness as they prepare for what is generally viewed as the end of summer. CNATTSafety Manager Krystal Hancock said that Labor Day, a federal holi-

day designed to honor the achievements of American workers, includes an extended weekend, with service members and their families often electing to travel to see family and friends. “Whether taking a long road trip or simply jumping in the car to run a quick errand, driving is inherently risky, and traffic mishaps continue to

be a leading reason for lost time, days, and lives across our force,” she said. Hancock said the National Safety Council (NSC) predicts this could be the deadliest Labor Day weekend for drivers in eight years, estimating that more than 430 people could be killed in traffic accidents throughout the Labor Day weekend. She added that service members, often sepa-

rated from their families and travelling significant distances to visit during the long weekend, should take some simple precautions before and during their trips. “Get enough rest before heading outsleepy driving is as dangerous as impaired driving,” she said. “Alternate drivers or take frequent breaks to ensure that whoever is behind the wheel stays alert.” See Labor Day on page 2

‘Be There’ for your shipmates during Suicide Prevention Month 2016 By James Rosenfelder U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery public affairs

NAS Pensacola to host 9/11 commemoration ceremony ... In commemoration of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Naval Air Station Pensacola will present a ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum aboard the base at 10 a.m. Sept. 9. The event will include a guest speaker and a musical rendition from the NATTC Choir, a traditional “two-bell” ceremony, honors performed by the NASP Honor Guard and a 21-gun volley. The public is invited to attend.

Navy Medicine recognizes September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which began Sept. 1. The theme for Suicide Prevention Month 2016 is “Be There.” Throughout the month, Navy Medicine will highlight the power of peer support and personal wellness, encouraging Sailors and Marines to be there for their shipmates. “Action starts with prevention,” said Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general and chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BuMed). “When a Sailor needs assistance, easy access to support resources and mental health treatment is essential, as is validation of help-seeking behaviors.” Suicide prevention is a yearlong effort. Suicide Prevention Month serves as a reminder that building resilience and preventing suicide requires all

members of the Navy and Marine Corps community to work together. Every life lost to suicide is one too many. “Take action if you notice anything

out of the ordinary for a shipmate; reach out to them,” Faison said. “If you are having difficulties, seek help if See Prevention on page 2

FatAlbertis getting a facelift...Fat Albert, the Blue Angels’ C-130 cargo plane used for transporting crew and equipment to air shows around the country, is currently undergoing a chemical de-paint process at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma after corrosion was found. Once the de-paint process and sheetmetal checks for any other corrosion are complete, Fat Albert will fly to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for full programmed depot maintenance and paint. Photo by Kelly White

GOSPORTPENSACOLA.COM

Published by BallingerPublishing, a private firm in no way connected with the Department of the Navy. Opinions contained herein are not official expressions of the Department of the Navy nor do the advertisements constitute Department of the Navy, NAS Pensacola or Ballinger Publishing’s endorsement of products or services advertised.

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AIRPORT/CORDOVA MALL 2187 Airport Boulevard 850-478-1123 Meanwhile, those already committed to the cause are always ready to try new ways to raise funds to help support organizations like Gulf Coast Kid’s House. “It has come so far in the last few years – in large part due to the community support seen from Wind Creek and other corporate sponsors,” Kostevicki says. “ This year, the Northeast Pensacola SERTOMA is trying a team fundraising approach—we’ve seen it be successful in other races across the country.” The Dragon Boat Race holds a special place in Kostevicki’s heart for other reasons as well. “It is really meaningful to me in the sense that GCKH comes together as a team— ‘Forty Arms of Fury’—and gets to bond with the Cordova Rotary Dragonflies—who I’m a member of and who meet at GCKH, ” Kostevicki says.

HamptonInnPensacolaAirport.com

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PENSACOLA DOWNTOWN 601 East Chase Street 850-432-0202 ResidenceInnPensacolaDowntown.com

700 East Chase Street 850-439-3330 CourtyardPensacolaDowntown.com

This year’s proceeds will go towards increased safety and security at Gulf Coast Kid’s House, so come out and give them some support! Just pick up an oar or cheer from the shore! 850-932-9314 • Highpointe.com • 311 Gulf Breeze Pkwy • Gulf Breeze, Florida pensacola magazine | 17


Home on the Ranch Written by Hana Frenette • Photos by Guy Stevens

18 | pensacola magazine


Tucked away off a quiet country road in Jay is a sprawling ranch where thousands of beautiful European fallow deer graze peacefully. The property, known as Santa Rosa Ranch, encompasses more than 620 acres of rolling grassy hills, oak-lined trails, wooded forests, and a handful of lakes and ponds. The land was formerly used as a hunting preserve, but once Missouri deer farmer Kevin Grace purchased and opened the ranch last fall, the area has served as a family day-trip destination, farm, and educational environment for all who visit. In addition to the deer, the farm is also home to horses, miniature ponies, antelopes, pygmy goats, bunnies, pigs, ducks and a few dogs—all of which are available to pet and feed throughout the day. Tucker Bramon, Project Manager for SSR noted one of the most exciting opportunities on the ranch takes place during the summer and continues through the fall.

“For about five to six months out of the year, we have a cool opportunity for kids to come out and bottle feed baby deer, as long as they’re here at 11am or 4pm. Next year when they come back, they’ll be able to see the babies they fed, playing in the fields,” Bramon said. Currently, children and adults alike will be able to pet and bottle feed three wobbly-legged fawns by the names of Bambi, Bolt, and Pistol Annie, who were all born on June 10. While the deer, ranging in color from spotted and tan, to white, to chocolate brown, are the main attraction, the farm offers a multitude of activities and attractions. » pensacola magazine | 19


Home on the Ranch

fisherman in the near future. “We have a large lake and 12 small ponds that wrap around the property. We’ve started out on a small scale and have opened just one large pond for fisherman as of right now,” he said. “We have bass, catfish and brim out here, and we do catch and release as well as catch and keep.”

“We have things hidden all over the place and you could easily entertain yourself for a few hours or more,” Bramon said.

like you’d expect to see on an a moose and the month-old deer ready to run with the herd, showing off their newly spotted coats.

A popular attraction is the hayride, which takes guests on a leisurely 40-minute ride through the hills and trails of the property, stopping every so often to allow hayriders to feed the deer they encounter near the edge of the forest or the open meadows. The deer range in age, with the older deer displaying wide full antlers covered in velvety fur

“We want people to come out and stay for two to three hours at least, really take your time and enjoy everything we have to offer.”

20 | pensacola magazine

Second to the hayride, fishing trips have also been a very popular option and Bramon noted the ranch will be increasing their space for

The ranch also offers a few options for primitive camping in the wooded areas. Guests arrive on the grounds, and can ride around the property with

Bramon and select their site for the evening, sometimes joined by as little as one or two other campers. “We’ll eventually have a dedicated site with RV hookups and a couple cabins,” Bramon said. All-day entrance to the farm is $10 a person, with children under two entering for free. Military guests enjoy a 50 percent discount off their entrance fee. All day fishing passes are $20. “We want people to come out and stay for two to three hours at least, really take your time and enjoy everything we have to offer,” Bramon said.


Tucker Bramon, Project Manager of Santa Rosa Ranch, LLC. Non-animal related activities include small zip lines between tall oak trees, compressed air cannon shooting, and a mechanical bouncing bull for kids. Open fire pits and picnic tables are also scattered throughout the main area of the ranch, allowing guests the opportunity to grab a stick and roast a hot dog or smores provided at the onsite snack stand. While the ranch has been open for less than a year, big plans for the property are already underway. “We’re going to be expanding the farm in quite a few ways—we’ll be putting in a bigger zip line across the lake, possibly bringing in a ferry and creating a walking path around the lake so we can host events like 5ks and what not,” he said.

The farm is still in its early stages of operation but has already won over visitors from around the panhandle with its friendly, family-oriented staff and modest, authentic ranch life experience. The ranch has operated for close to a year with virtually no advertisement whatsoever, aside from positive Facebook reviews and word of mouth, which Bramon said has allowed them to open without the stress of large crowds. The Ranch staff is planning for camping accommodations and a long list of fall activities for the cooler months in hopes of bringing even more people out to experience the ranch. The ranch has seen as many as 300 people on the farm in one day for field trips and family gatherings, and Bramon hopes to continue to increase their

daily visitors as more people learn about the ranch. In the fall, he hopes to create a fall festival event on the farm which would include a pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving, warm apple cider, corn mazes, campfire grilling, hayrides, and of course many opportunities to feed and pet fawns. “Once I had the opportunity to come out here and become involved with the ranch, I

wanted to share it with as many people as we could and make it as inviting as possible,” Bramon said. Bramon moved to Santa Rosa County last year from Kansas City, Missouri to be closer to his mother. “I’ve been blessed to help create a vibe that’s unlike anywhere else around and want everyone to feel at home while they’re on the ranch,” Bramon said.”


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A LAND BEFORE TIME written by Tanner Yea • photos by Ben Raines

A

bout 10 miles off the coast of Gulf Shores, Alabama, and roughly 60 feet under the water lay a glimpse into the past the world has never seen before. Spreading roughly a half a square mile is an ancient cypress forest, which was buried under the silt and sand of the Gulf for over 60,000 years until Hurricane Ivan uncovered most of it. “When I got scuba certified, the scuba

shop owner kept teasing me about this ‘underwater forest.’ After a couple years he took me out there, and it was just amazing,” said Ben Raines, a senior environmental reporter at AL.com and the director of the new documentary, The Underwater Forest. Since the documentary’s release, organizations like the Washington Post, BBC and Smithsonian have been giving the area due attention.» pensacola magazine | 23


TOP: Divers float a log from the Underwater Forest to the surface for examination by scientists. BOTTOM: This image shows the Gulf shoreline during an ice age 60,000 years ago. You can see the ancient shoreline, the modern shoreline, and the spot where the forest was found. Maps courtesy of Deep Time Maps. RIGHT: A team from Lousiana State University lower a vibracore machine into the Gulf to capture ancient sediments. The results showed that this forest resembled a North Carolina forest of today, rather than a Gulf Coast forest. In essence, it was a forest designed for a colder climate.

The scale and age of the underwater forest is the only example like it seen on Earth so far. There are a few trees dating back around 1000 years located off the coast of England, but in that time frame the climate was fairly similar to today’s. The forest of the Alabama coast was alive during the height of the last Ice Age, and the North American climate was quite different. “This was not a traditional southern forest – you could see grasses and trees in the soil samples that would be much more similar to a modern forest in one of the Carolinas,” said Raines. These forests, specifically called the Atlantic Coastal Plain Blackwater Levee/Bar Forest, have grown to survive in much colder environments – like ones that would have been present in south Alabama during the Ice Age. The lack of oxygen and being buried in up to ten feet of mud and sand preserved the forest – samples have been taken that still bleed sap, and the stumps and fallen logs show how the forest was ­laid out. In addition to the archeological significance it provides, the underwater forest has created something of a natural reef. Since most of the Gulf ’s seabed is flat and fairly shallow, sessile creatures like coral, oysters, barnacles and anemone have very little to latch onto. The amount of objects and debris in the forest allow countless anchor points for these creatures, which in turn brings other wildlife like sharks, snapper, sponges and sea turtles. “Everything about the site was 24 | pensacola magazine

a vibracore to take a core sample of the sand and mud around the tree remnants. These vibracore instruments are often used in extracting glacial cores, where most geographic information of the Ice Age has been found. “In the top of the peat section (of the core), the pollen is mostly grass. There is sedge pollen, “This could easily become one of and a variety of other grasses. the premiere diving destinations in the It is heavily dominated by country, if not the world. We want it to grasses. That’s the main be open to activity and education and story,” said Andy Reese, a research, but we don’t want anyone to pollinologist at the University take the wood.” of Southern Mississippi. “But as you go back in time, it sort of transitions. The forest was mostly cypress, alder Grass starts to decline and then cypress and oak, but it hadn’t always been that pollen starts to pop up. Then alder starts to way throughout its life cycle. Kristine pop up. You go from grasses dominating to DeLong, a paleoclimatologist at Louisiana trees dominating.” State University, used an instrument called surprising,” said Raines. “The whole place has this fairy-like feel, and was kind of spooky. The most surprising thing was when I found the old river that had been submerged. We saw this rift valley with overhangs and trees on one side, and you could follow it up until its source.”


Raines suggests that this transition of forest types shows the impact of rising sea levels on coastal communities, which is an all-too-present concern in the Gulf Coast area. “At the worst estimates, it’s expected that our modern sea levels will rise about six feet every 100 years, and some people doubt that. Well, the sea levels back then rose eight feet every 100 years,” he said. With all this wealth of potential information and research, Raines stresses that the underwater forest needs to be preserved. Raines and many scientists he worked with on the project are currently in the process of making the underwater forest a marine sanctuary, which would protect it from exploitation. Under this designation, it would stay open to tourists, fisherman and research groups, but would protect the area from aquatic logging, peat harvesting and other disruptive activities. Raines says the best way to preserve the area is to build public support and knowledge of the underwater forest, which will help make it a place to learn from and enjoy. “This could easily become one of the premiere diving destinations in the country, if not the world. We want it to be open to activity and education and research, but we don’t want anyone to take the wood,” he said. To learn more about the forest, visit theunderwaterforest.com or bit. ly/2u8RGBp to watch Ben Raines’ The Underwater Forest documentary in its entirety.

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Art Submerged Submerged Art Creativity meets Ecology in Walton County by Kelly Oden

Scuba divers and art lovers rejoice! The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) in partnership with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) and support from the National Endowment for the Arts will join two of South Walton, Florida’s most beloved attractions—the arts and the Gulf of Mexico—with the introduction of The Underwater Museum of Art (UMA), North America's first underwater permanent sculpture exhibit. The UMA is the first presentation of the CAA’s Art In Public Spaces Program and will augment SWARA’s mission of creating marine habitat and expanding fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton.»

pensacola magazine | 27


“There are other sculptures and monuments dropped in our oceans and gulf but this is the first curated underwater museum of art in North America." growth and the sea life that will be drawn to the museum. The CAA is calling for local, national and international artists to submit work for consideration for the first installment and permanent exhibition. The artwork must be made from concrete, limestone, aluminum, or stainless steel. “These materials are used because they provide a hard, clean surface that instigates natural marine growth and they do not pollute the water as they slowly biodegrade,” says Wickey.

Proposed location of the Underwater Art Museum The museum will be the first curated underwater museum in North America, says Allison Wickey, 30A local artist and Cultural Arts Alliance Board Member. “There are other sculptures and monuments dropped in our oceans and gulf but this is the first curated underwater museum of art in North America. There are other underwater sculpture parks located in Granada, Spain, London and other parts of the world.” Currently, Gulf coastal waters off Walton County are 95 percent barren sand flats. “The sand flats are beautiful because of our white sands, but they provide nothing for organisms to grow on, nor shade for fish to gather or hide, ”says Wickey. “The reefs will provide a surface for microorganisms to cling to at the same time providing food

28 | pensacola magazine

Sculptures must be created above ground and delivered directly to the deployment area where each will be attached to a grouper box/ reef. The sculptures will then be

transported by ship to the gulf and carefully sunk to the floor where they will become a base to which an artificial reef will form, attracting marine life and divers. Applications will be accepted through August 11, 2017 and artwork must be received no later than September 15, 2017. Additionally, the NEA grant is a matching grant and the CAA is still seeking funds for this project. If you are interested in supporting this project or if you are an artist interested in submitting a sculpture, visit www.CulturalArtsAlliance. comfor more information.

and shelter for small marine life which will draw in bigger marine life.” The first phase of the UMA will include up to six pieces of sculpture, which will be deployed in the spring of 2018 on a one-acre patch of seabed off Grayton Beach State Park, which has been dedicated to the CAA for the purpose of a permanent underwater sculpture exhibit. The UMA will be deployed with SWARA’s existing USACOA and FDEP permitted artificial reef project that includes nine nearshore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore in approximately 50-60 feet of water. The museum will accessible to scuba divers and the CAA hopes to install a full-time sculpture cam so the public can see the

Examples of Underwater Sculpture Top: 'The Anchors,' a sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor at the Museo Subacuatico de Arte in Cancun, Mexico. Left: 'Christ of the Deep,' a sculpture by Jason DeCaires at the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park.


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IT'S A VW THING…

by Tanner Yea

(You Wouldn’t Understand.)

Photo by Guy Stevens

Y

ou may have seen it roaming around the city or cruising up and down the Gulf Coast – a 1978 VW Bus, painted pure black except for accent stripes and a refracting prism painted on the side like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

album cover. As it pulls up, you'll notice the interior is similarly decorated, and that same album is blasting from the stereo. ‘Wild’ Bill Tucker, the president of Pensacola’s Rare Air Emerald Coast VW club, is the owner of this marvelous machine.»

pensacola magazine | 31


ITS A VW THING… “There’s this whole subculture for VWs. There’s a sense of camaraderie – you wave at other VW drivers. If one is pulled over on the side of the road, you pull up and see if you can help. It’s our code,” said Tucker. Wild Bill is a retired Navy veteran and has been associated with the club since 1994. The Rare Air Emerald Coast VW Club was established in 1991, when two separate Pensacola VW clubs – Rare Air and Emerald Coast – were consolidated into their current form. Rare Air Emerald Coast is part of the Vintage Volkswagen Club of America, and is the largest VW club in the Florida Panhandle. “Our goal is to keep as many old VWs on the road as possible by supporting the owners and providing a great source of information and spare parts for all VW enthusiasts in the area,” said Tucker. The Volkswagen brand has a long history and was originally being developed by Ferdinand Porsche – of Porsche fame – in the mid 1930s as an affordable and easily maintainable car. During World War II, car production was stopped in favor of producing German military vehicles. Once the war ended the company almost died out, but was saved by England in hopes of rebuilding Germany. The first VW sold in the United States was in 1949, and sales have only grown since then. 32 | pensacola magazine

Rare Air Emerald Coast has two major roles. The first is to serve as a social club for people who appreciate and own VWs to meet up, swap stories, compare their vehicles, and show off their classic cars. They travel to local car shows and hold their own, proud of the work they’ve put into their cars. The second role is to function as a resource on how to keep up with and maintain these cars. On the first Saturday of every month, they offer tech sessions with information on how to repair VWs of all make and models. “Our goal to keep as many VWs on the road as possible,” said Tucker. “There are really no dealerships or repair places around Pensacola anymore that can fix VWs. Luckily, they are easier and less expensive to restore than a normal car, and parts are readily available.” Tucker’s love for the VW started early, as he grew up in the 50s and 60s and always wanted one. His first was a brand new 1969 Beetle he bought for $2000 in WinstonSalem, NC. Since then, he has

“They’re a fun vehicle to drive. They become part of you, it’s a zen thing. You actually have to drive the car – there’s no power steering, no automatic transmission, no A/C. That’s why they call people who drive the Buses ‘pilots,’ because you actually have to pilot it.”

owned the distinctive 1978 VW Bus as well as a 1969 Squareback. “They’re a fun vehicle to drive. They become part of you, it’s a zen thing,” said Tucker. “You actually have to drive the car – there’s no power steering, no automatic transmission, no A/C. That’s why they call people who drive the Buses ‘pilots,’ because you actually have to pilot it.” The club has about 90 members of all ages, and mostly features air cooled VWs – a design that uses flowing air to cool down hot engine parts, rather than modern coolant. The club has


“We’ll share our knowledge with the next generation of old VW owners by providing a place to meet, learn about and repair VWs – and have fun doing it.”

models like Buses, Karmann Ghias, Dune Buggies, Things, Kit Cars, Squarebacks, Fastbacks, Bajas and Rail Buggies. There are also several new Beetles and a couple water-cooled models as well. Some of the club activities include participating in car shows, and two major shows are coming up in the next few months. On September 16, the Rare Air Emerald Coast VW Club will be at an allVW show in Niceville at the Mullet Festival Grounds. The following month on October

to help maintain and teach repair skills to classic VW car owners in order to keep this unique pieces of rolling history on the road for all to enjoy. “We’ll share our knowledge with the next generation of old VW owners by providing a 21, the club will host its 21st said Tucker. “And you don’t place to meet, learn about and Annual VW Show at Five have to be an ASE certified repair VWs – and have fun Flags Speedway in Pensacola. mechanic to work on them.” doing it,” said Tucker. Tucker has personally As classic VW Beetles and For more information on taken his modified VW Bus especially VW Buses have the Rare Air Emerald Coast to vintage car shows all along become more popular, they are VW Club, as well as to view the Southeast for years. He’s harder to find and the value photos, see calendars of gone from Fredericksburg, of them has sky rocketed. upcoming events and find Texas to Dade City, Florida Tucker said that unfortunately, information on how to join to Chattanooga, Tennessee, many of these purchases often if you own a classic VW, visit camping in his Bus he sit in driveways or are sold rareairvw.com or facebook. converted from a sevenoff because both repairing com/RareAirEmeraldCoastVW passenger vehicle to a twoand driving them can be a Club. person camper. daunting task due to their age. “You can modify them and Undaunted however, the change them around to any Rare Air Emerald Coast VW type of vehicle that you want,” Club says they will continue

VW CLUB MEET-UPS: September 16 Bugs on the Bayou Mullet Festival Fairgrounds Niceville, FL

1st Saturday of every month 10 am. 2515 Longleaf Drive, Pensacola, Fla, 32536 - Tech Sessions

October 21st Annual Rare Air Emerald Coast VW Club Car Show and Swap Meet, Five Flags Speedway

3rd Thursday of every month 7 pm. 7845 Lawton St., Pensacola, Fla 32514 - Monthly Meet-up

pensacola magazine | 33


11.4.17 7:30PM

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SAINT-SAENS Piano Concerto No. 5 “The Egyptian” R. STRAUSS Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

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Dvořák Symphony No. 9

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Te Deum for the Empress Maria Therese Symphony No. 100 “Military”

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34 | pensacola magazine

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Tin Travelers Iconic Campers in Pensacola by Kelly Oden • photos by Guy Stevens

Tin cans, canned hams, travel trailers, campers, glampers, caravans—whatever you call them, there’s no denying that vintage campers, like many vintage cars, have an unbeatable style that modern manufacturers simply cannot replicate. The curved lines, functional and gorgeous interiors, and large picture windows remind us of simpler times when a family vacation meant driving through America, visiting National Parks and spending time together in nature. These iconic pieces of American history started appearing in the U.S. almost as soon as the automobile

became available. They grew in popularity and by the 1950s, there were dozens of manufacturers selling a variety of styles—often at affordable prices. Although contemporary RVs offer more creature comforts and high tech options, modern outdoor enthusiasts often choose vintage campers for their style, comfort and affordability. Many vintage models offer full kitchens and bathrooms while others offer simple, stylish sleeping quarters. Pensacola Magazine spoke with a few local vintage camper owners and enthusiasts to get a glimpse into the vintage camper lifestyle. » pensacola magazine | 35


1959 Yellowstone

Dawn Bybee bought her first camper, Miss Ollie, seven years ago. The 1957 Coachman Cadet is 12 feet long and weighs 1500 pounds. “She didn’t need a lot. She was already done. It was just cosmetic. I came home and I put a vintage couch in her,” says Bybee. “I had a vintage couch that somebody gave me so we took out the middle 14 inches, we re-bolted it together and my mom and I reupholstered it. That was 36 | pensacola magazine

kind of the cool thing with that camper for a long time.” Bybee is a member of a women’s camper group called Sisters on the Fly and she often takes Miss Ollie to those gatherings. “As you can see, she’s very decorative and girly and fun,” says Bybee. “But there was a lot of pink in that camper, so that’s why I bought the 59

Yellowstone so that we’d have a little bit more Birchwood and my husband wasn’t always sleeping in so much pink.” Bybee and her husband Toby bought their 1959 Yellowstone about five years ago. The Yellowstone weighs 5,000 pounds and still has the original refrigerator, the original stove, plumbing, electrical, and sewage. The original


1957 Coachmen Cadet

birch panel interior is in great shape, a rarity in the vintage camper world. The Bybees also added solar panels before embarking on an epic road trip. The couple, both emergency room nurses, quit their jobs in 2013 and toured the country in the Yellowstone. “We downloaded a free app on our phones so we were able to see where free camping was,” Bybee recalls. “We did that a lot of places. Very rarely did we stay in parks. We lived in the camper for 10 months. We went through the middle part of the United States. We started in Gadsden, Alabama, then to Tennessee, Ohio – we had a family reunion in Ohio in 2013 – we went over to Philadelphia. I broke my ankle one month into our trip in Hillsborough, New Jersey so I had surgery there and we decided to stay on the trip. So we went through recycle.org and got a free wheelchair from somebody and he

pushed me all around Boston, Niagara Falls and Cape Cod so we could stay on the trip.” As for her favorite local camping spots, Bybee loves Fort Pickens. “I think you get a good bang for the buck,” she says. “You have the south side and the gulf side. The bathrooms are always decent to use and they have cleanouts when you leave. You do have to book for certain times. They book 11 months out.” pensacola magazine | 37


1972 Airstream International Ambassador Jen Ehrhardt’s 28-foot long 1972 Airstream International Ambassador has been a seven year labor of love. After being told the camper was too far gone and would need $20,000 dollars in professional repairs, Jen decided to tackle the project herself. “I simply was not ready to give up on the dream of going on the road with my very own Airstream,” says Jen. “It was a do-orshe-will-die, shell-on restoration. For an entire year, I spent nearly every weekend working on the renovation and most weeknights working on various decoration projects. It was all-consuming, heads-up, hands-on, heart-in labor and often overwhelming as it pushed me to use materials and tools I had never even known to exist before.” Named in homage to UWF’s chambered nautilus and Captain Nemo’s submarine, Nautilus Patina is decorated in a Victorian mermaid theme. The décor also pays tribute to Jen’s Swedish heritage as well as her love of steampunk. The Nautilus sleeps five and features a roof A/C with heater, two single-plate convection stove tops, a residential refrigerator, a dryflush toilet, and running water in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Jen’s favorite local camping site is Big Lagoon State Park, which she calls heaven on earth in the form of authentic Florida nature. “The rustling of sand pine trees in the salty breeze over saw palmettos and prickly pear framing blue waves

38 | pensacola magazine

and crystal white sand makes me happy,” she says. “I raised my daughter here. I exercise here. I teach summer camp and continuing education classes here to share it with other people. In fact, I love it so much I bought property across the street to use as headquarters for future trips. This is where I choose to live. Go explore it.” Jen—along with her mother, her daughter, and a friend— recently drove Nautilus on an epic adventure to the Grand Canyon. “I have always known that my mother wanted to go to the Grand Canyon,” she says. “As soon as I purchased my Suburban for towing, I knew I could take her there. Two years later, all three of us went on the Grand Grop Expedition 2017 (Grop means hole) together.”


"One of the most exciting things about having Nautilus is being able to participate in open house events during which several glampers are staged to look their best for the enjoyment of the public. For example, my daughter and I love decorating Nautilus for Christmas and serving Swedish mulled wine and gingerbread cookies at the Tin Can Tourist rally at Three Rivers State Park."


1990 Jayco 1006 Deluxe When Toni and Tom Daly purchased their 1990 Jayco 1006 Deluxe in August of 2015, it needed a good deal of work. The couple laid a vinyl 'wood plank' floor directly over the existing laminate, painted the exterior frame as well as the interior cabinets, and eventually replaced the canvas. In terms of décor, Toni chose her color pallet based on the exterior stripe on the camper. She picked the dinette fabric first and designed the rest around that. Toni’s mother did all the sewing and Toni painted the cabinets a green just a shade lighter than the accent fabric. She chose bed sheets in a red print as an accent for the bedding and her mother made duvet covers. The camper didn't come with an awning so the couple purchased one. The Daly’s comfortably sleep their family of four and one pup, but are able to sleep six when using the dinette as a bed. Although the mattresses are very comfortable, Toni says the camper 40 | pensacola magazine

is pretty bare bones. It did come with a good AC, which she says is a must in Florida. There is no refrigerator, hot water, heater, shower, or even toilet. The family tucks a porta potty in a cabinet for night time. Toni got creative with the small space by sticking a vinyl chess board film on the dinette table so the family can play chess or checkers. She also covered the door and ice box (which she uses as a linen closet) with a chalkboard vinyl. The Daly’s like to decorate the door on every trip and take a group picture. Toni keeps the camper fully stocked except for food and clothes and even keeps the beds made so they are ready to go with minimal prep work. “We have always been tent campers and the pop up still gives you the feel of a tent, but with amenities of a travel trailer. It is so much easier than tent camping,

though. There is no need to load all our gear every time we camp because it is already loaded. We just pack food and clothes, hook up and go! We camp now more than we ever did with a tent,” she says. The Daly’s love Big Lagoon State Park because there is so much to do (especially for the kids); Fort Pickens National Park because it's beautiful Pensacola Beach; and Blackwater River State Park because it is small, has great facilities, and they love the river.


1978 Apache Mesa Hard Top Nancy Wiliams purchased her 1978 Apache Mesa hard sided pop-up because it's light enough to tow with her Toyota Highlander. Williams painted the exterior, recovered the cushions, and made new cabinet doors out of old shutters. Future renovations will include wood flooring and new countertops. The stove and sink are original porcelain enamel over metal. There is no restroom, but Williams uses a two room shower tent that has a solar heated water tank with a shower head on one side and a portable handicap toilet on the other. She added a refrigerator and a window unit AC, which sits behind the right shuttered door. The awning is repurposed from an older camper and she refinished the old aluminum webbed chairs to match the color of the camper. “I love vintage items and I tried to keep the camper decor looking vintage,” Williams says.

She plans to use the camper as guest quarters and as a sleepover space for her son. Williams is Native American and a member of the Santa Rosa Creek Indian Tribe. She has named the camper ‘Indie’ in honor of her heritage, saying “Her name is Indie since I'm Creek Indian and she is an Apache.”

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Restoring History A Q+A with Tim Heintz

Tim Heintz of Heintz Designs Vintage Trailer Restorations has been collecting and restoring vintage campers and travel trailers for over 17 years. His Panama City shop offers high quality custom restorations for a variety of eras, but they specialize in campers made between the 1930s–1950s. Trained as an architect, Tim’s passion for restoring vintage campers as a hobby became a business in 2010. Now, he is considered one of the premier restorers in the U.S. with customers coming from all over the country and paying top dollar for his detailed, historical approach to restoration. Tim’s skills have garnered national attention with appearances on the Travel Channel, HGTV, Motorsports Magazine, Extreme RVs, and RV Nation. Tell me about your business: Well the business kind of started from a hobby. I’m only 34 years old but I used to be an architect. In 2007 the economy just got a little rough and so I turned to my hobby as a career. I did that and have never really looked back. My business has grown very successfully. We’re one of the largest restoration companies in the country. We keep about a two, two and a half year waiting list for a full restoration. We have a crew of about six or seven in our shop that keep about eight trailers going at any time, plus repair. We love what we do! Do you have criteria for what you will or will not work on? We’ll pretty much do anything. We prefer to work on trailers from 1969 or older of any brand, make, and models, but our specialty is actually 1930s –1950s. What’s one of the rarest campers you’ve ever worked on? We did a little bit of work on a trailer —but the main thing we did with it was consignment selling—that was the world’s oldest airstream—a 1935. We ended up selling it to a museum in Amarillo Texas. What is one of the rarest campers/ travel trailers that exist? Oh my gosh, that list is very long! I tend to be a collector of brands that 42 | pensacola magazine

most people have never heard about. This industry is kind of like the car world. You have those every-day people that the majority of the collectors are collecting like the Mustangs, the Corvettes and the cars like that. Then you have the serious collections that are into the Pierce Arrows and the Packards and the Rolls Royce—even some of the brands that people have never heard of. And in the 1940s and 50s alone there were over 5,000 different manufacturers, so there’s a lot of different brands out there that most people have never heard of. Some of the rarest trailers out there—I owned at one time a 1937 Pierce Arrow trailer. They were only built for one year. Only about 10 of those are known to exist. I had one of those. I have a 1941 Palace trailer, which is probably only one of three known to exist from that period. So there’s a lot of rare stuff out there. How many do you own personally and how many have you owned through the years? How many I’ve owned through the years is at least 30 to 40 plus. I think I have about 12 or 13 in my collection right now. How big is your operation? My collection is housed in my private barn out on my property. But here in Panama City we have about 18 to 20 vintage trailers on site right now—nine

of those are inside being fully restored at this time. We work on about 10 at a time. What is the average cost of a restoration? Professional restorations are a bit pricey. There’s a lot of work in them. It can vary so greatly because we do everything here. Even down to the upholstery and the curtain work—and that fabric alone can be anywhere from .50 cents a yard to $300 dollars a yard for material with some of our clients. The average starting price is $2,000 a linear foot of trailer. That’s what a professional restoration starts at.

Tim Heintz, owner of Heintz Designs Vintage Trailer Restorations Do you have any tips for people who are thinking of buying a vintage camper? Number one most important thing is to find out the legal status of the trailer. Every state is different. Here in Florida, you really have to have a title. Even if someone is selling it to you and says ‘I’ll give you a bill of sale. It’s easy to get a title’—it’s not in Florida. Florida

has been a title state for trailers since 1925. Unfortunately with other states that are very close like Alabama and Georgia, they were not title states back then. As a matter of fact, Alabama is still not a title state with trailers. A lot of these trailers made it across the state line in Florida, whether it was fishing camps or hunting camps, or they just used them for the summer but they stayed here and were kind of just left here without any legal documentation. So there are a lot of them in this day and time that are left on properties and these people in Florida are trying to sell them and it’s not that they are doing it on purpose. They just don’t know the law. We’ve had many people who have bought a vintage trailer, put $10,000 or $15,000 dollars into it and then they go to try and get it legalized and they have nothing but a piece of yard art that they spent a lot of money on, because in Florida there is no process to get a title without a title. Florida has to have some sort of legal documentation that it’s not stolen. Now they will tell you there is a process that you have to petition the court, you have to hire a lawyer, you have to have them do the inspection. I’ve had people do that and in every case the judge has ruled that there is, without a doubt, no way to prove that it’s not stolen so they deny the process after you’ve paid all that money. Now, if you’re buying a trailer from Alabama—I’ve bought trailers from Alabama before and they’re a non-title state, but they still tag their trailers and they still get a registration kind of like we do in Florida with boat trailers. You don’t get a title with them, but you get a registration. So the key is to make sure it has a title or at least


a registration. Those two are legal documentations Florida will recognize. Next tip is over all condition of the trailer. If it looks like it’s got some damage or some rot, my personal rule of thumb is that it’s going to have at least 30–40 percent more damage than what you can ever see. That’s just the nature of vintage trailers. Make sure the framing is okay. A little bit of surface rust on the framing is normal but if you’ve got holes in the frame and you can stick your fingers through, there are some potential issues there. Originality also will help with the value. Now if you’re looking for a trailer to modify yourself, that is not as big of a concern. But if you’re looking for something to keep its value, maybe resell on down the line, originality is the best way to keep it. You can do a little modification, but over modification does tend to lower the value of trailers. If you go and paint pink flames on the side of it, there’s not as many people interested in it as if you’d kept the original paint line. Always check around where the wall meets the floor—this is where you will see some of the big signs for water damage as well as underneath

windows. Also, the key with damage in vintage trailers is that a little bit of damage requires the same amount of work, and effort, and cost as almost a lot of rot. They’re not easily repairable a little at a time. You have to take them pretty far down even to repair the smallest damage. My biggest tip is don’t get discouraged. It’s all pretty easy work, it might just take a lot of time but it will be worth it in the end. If you get discouraged, just take a little bit of a break, think about it, map out a plan and then tackle it again. The rewards when you’re finished will be so worth it. If possible, it’s always good to keep your trailers under a covered structure. I do not advise putting a cover on them. These vintage trailers have sharp edges everywhere. If you can do a leanto or a pole barn, something to keep them under cover, that will greatly increase the life of the vintage trailer. How often do you camp with your family? I camp quite a bit. As a matter of fact, I think I’ve camped every weekend in the last six weeks.

What’s your favorite spot in NWFL for camping? Pretty much any state park. I really like the state park systems in Florida. I love to camp at St. Andrews State Park as well as Grayton Beach and even Blackwater. Tell me about Tin Can Tourists. I am the Southeastern representative. We are the oldest and largest camping club in the world. We were founded in 1919 outside of Tampa, Florida. It’s a great organization. We have most of our vintage trailer rallies in the South in the fall and winter and most of our rallies up North are in the spring and summer. Those are our biggest rallies. We also have smaller get-togethers and rallies throughout the state including one in DeFuniak Springs in February. Is there anything else you can tell me? Why are people so interested in buying vintage trailers vs something newer that might need less work? You know, the vintage trailers are a great investment. As far as the

usability, they tend to have very well thought-out plans. I’m amazed when I take some of my vintage trailers out, people from big rigs will come inside and be like, ‘Oh my god, it seems so big and there are no slide-outs or expanding rooms or anything like that!’ It’s also a smart monetary investment because you can buy a vintage trailer, even a professional one which can be very expensive at $40,000 to $50,000 dollars and if you use it for 10 years and sell it, you are going to get almost that exact same amount of money back or even more. We’ve had several trailers come through our consignment lot that have been fully-restored and every time they have come, multiple times they have sold for the same amount or even more. If you buy a brand new trailer and use it a year then decide to sell it , you’re not going to get anywhere near that original retail value.

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play/live/give Class X on August 15, The Scenic Heights on August 22 and The Blenders on August 29. For more information, visit visitpensacolabeach.com.

National Night Out 2017 August 1

WANDA JACKSON AT VINYL MUSIC HALL August 4 Wanda Lavonne Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers and a pioneering rockand-roll artist. She is known to many as the “Queen of Rockabilly” or the “First Lady of Rockabilly”. Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly, often recording them on opposite sides of a record. As rockabilly declined in popularity in the mid-1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1966 and 1973, including “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine”, “A Woman Lives for Love” and “Fancy Satin Pillows”. Show starts at 7 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit vinylmusichall.com.

Sunrise-Sunset at Blue Morning Gallery Through July

Come experience and enjoy the art of Jean Tarnok, Mara Viksnins and Elaine Woodward as they feature works that complement their exhibition theme – Sunrise-Sunset. This exhibition is a must see, and is open and free to the public. For more information, visit bluemorninggallery.com

Saenger Classic Movie Series

Throughout August Each summer beginning in July the Saenger screens ten weeks of classic movies with tickets for only $5.00. Sit in the historic Saenger Theatre and enjoy some of the greatest movies of all times on the big screen, the way movies were meant to be seen. Movies this year include The Princess Bride, Dial M for Murder and Viva Las Vegas. For more information and show times, visit pensacolasaenger.com

Metaphor as Manifestation

Through August 27 An exhibition of works by Jasper Johns (b. 1930) and Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), two very significant and well-known artists of the postWorld War II and contemporary periods at the Pensacola Museum of Art. The exhibition features prints produced in cross-disciplinary collaborative efforts between Motherwell and the Spanish poet Rafael Alberti (1902-1999); and Jasper Johns and the avant-garde novelist and poet Samuel Beckett (1906-1989.) For more information, visit pensacolamuseum.org.

Bands on the Beach Throughout August

Pensacola Beach’s popular outdoor summer concert series, Bands on the Beach, features a lineup of performers sure to please every musical taste. Located in the beautiful Gulfside Pavilion overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the series features regional artists performing a wide variety of music. Bring your lawn chair and join us every summer for hot music, smooth grooves and a whole lot of good times. Bands on the Beach begin at 7 pm. This month features Southern Breeze on August 1, The Rowdies on August 8,

National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and policecommunity partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. National Night Out is a great way for family, friends and neighbors to stand together to promote healthy lifestyles and safer neighborhoods. The celebration will include free food and refreshments, music, raffle prizes and plenty of activities for kids. Festivities start at 6 pm at 1301 W Gregory Street. For more information, visit escambiaso.com.

Hill-Kelly Movies In the Park Series August 4

The Hill-Kelly Movies in the Park Series Presented by Cox will return to the Community Maritime Park with free movies once each month! Bring your blankets and chairs then spread out on the lawn to watch a family-friendly movie underneath the stars. Movies begin at sunset and free event parking begins at 6 pm. Come hungry because concessions are available from local food trucks, but picnic baskets are welcome. No pets, or glass containers please. August’s movie of choice is The Lego Batman Movie. For more information, visit playpensacola.com

Back 2 School Bash August 4

Presented by Real Women Radio, My Brothers & Sisters and Teen Focus Community Development, Bayview Park will light up with free food, school supplies, and fun as we prepare to send our kids back to school with a final bash. The party will last from 5 to 7 pm, so come out and enjoy the fun while you can! For more information, visit realwomenradio.com.

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play/live/give Cats at Pensacola Little Theatre August 4–6

Directed by Roxie Alyssa Smith, Katelyn Geri, and Kathy Johansen, Cats is a theatre favorite and Broadway record holder. The full on musical based on T.S. Elliott’s poems will feature the best of our local dancers and character actors. Held at Pensacola Little Theatre, this musical’s inventive story and catchy songs have become known around the world. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolalittletheatre.com

Bushwacker 5k August 5

Sign up for this rockin' summer race to beautiful Pensacola Beach. Cool off afterwards at Capt'n Funs on the Boardwalk. Wear your bib for free refreshments. Food! Fun! Music & Party! This point to point run benefits Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Northwest Florida! The event starts at the Gulf Breeze Recreation center at 7:30 am. Don’t forget to attend the post-race party at the Capt’n Fun Beach Club on Quietwater Boardwalk. For more information and to register, visit werunwild.com.

Blue Angel Music Blues on the Bay August 6, August 20

The waterfront Community Maritime Park Hunter Amphitheater at Pensacola’s Community Maritime Park is home to Blues on the Bay throughout the summer. Concerts are held on Sunday nights when our Blue Wahoos baseball team is not playing a home game at the park. Concerts are family-friendly and concessions are available. Bring coolers, blankets and lawn chairs but leave glass containers and pets at home. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. and are free and open to the public. August’s concerts include The Reunion Band on August 6 and Not Quite Fab on August 20. For more information, visit pensacolacommunitymaritimepark.com.

Sturgeon Full Moon Paddle August 6

What better way to enjoy the light of the full Sturgeon moon than by paddleboard or kayak? Join us Sunday, August 6 at 7:30 pm at Bayview Park as we paddle into the sunset and under the

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MATCHBOX TWENTY AT THE WHARF AUGUST 18 More than 20 years ago, Matchbox Twenty broke into the rock scene with their breakout album, Yourself or Someone Like You. Now they are touring in celebration of two decades together, stopping at The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach on August 18. Set to play classics like Long Day and Back 2 Good, the band show will cover the ups and downs of the bands history together. They will also be supported by Matt Nathanson. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit alwharf.com

moon. The ‘sturgeon moon’ refers to the August nights when the moon shines brightly, named because Native American tribes would readily catch sturgeon in this month. All skill levels are welcome, from beginners to long-time veterans. For more information and to reserve a spot, visit seacrestfitnesscompany.com

Movies Under the Stars Through August 9

The Movies Under the Stars Series offers family friendly movies that begin at dusk every Wednesday evening during the summer at LandShark Landing at 165 Ft. Pickens Rd. Just bring your blankets and lawn chairs and we will provide the margaritas and tacos! The show starts at 8pm, and admission to the movie is free and open to the public. For more information, visit margaritavillehotel.com

The First Tee Night at the Blue Wahoos August 11

The First Tee of Northwest Florida is partnering with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on August 21

when the Wahoos take on the Jackson Generals at Home! Tickets cost just $10 and a portion of all ticket sales go directly to The First Tee of Northwest Florida's junior programs and events. Participants of The First Tee who are in attendance of the game will have time for player autographs, photos, and get to take the field with the Wahoos just before the game! One participant in attendance of the game will have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch! Tickets are available through the Blue Wahoo website. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit thefirstteenwflorida.org.

Pensacola Comic Con 2017 August 18–20

On August 18, 19, and 20 (10 AM -6 PM) Pensacola Comic Con™ will be held at the Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds, catering to fandoms of all kinds! We will offer celebrity meet and greets, discussion panels, workshops, screenings, demonstrations, events, gaming, costume contests, tournaments, and competitions. Guests this year include Corbin Bernsen, Scott Steiner, Hector David Jr. and more! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolacomiccon.com.


Memorial Placement Ceremony August 19

On August 19, 2017, at 10 am, on the fifth anniversary of the Marine Aviation Memorial Bell Tower dedication to the greater Pensacola Bay community, the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola will host a memorial ceremony for the fallen Marine aircrews of HMLA469 Vengeance 01, HMH-463 Pegasus 31 & 32, and Blue Angel 6. For more information, visit veteransmemorialparkpensacola.com.

will take place on Saturday, August 26th from 7 p.m. to 11 pm at the Pensacola Little Theatre. Come “dressed up” in your best costume, cosplay, cocktail or formal wear – all are welcome! Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks from the cash bar, live entertainment, and dancing in the ballroom. Peruse the art on display, and get ready to bid for a great organization during our silent (Chinese Auction style) and live art auctions! All ticket sales and monies raised at this event will be donated to Pensacola Little Theatre and SouthBARK Animal Rescue. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolalittletheatre.com

2016–2017 United Way 2017 Pensacola Cattle Baron’s Ball Annual Meeting August 24

Join us and learn how your dollars and volunteer service made a difference in Escambia County! The Annual Meeting will feature a keynote address from Wendy Spencer, CEO of Leadership Florida. Outstanding community leaders will be recognized for their distinguished service. Lunch will be provided by The Portabello Market. Tickets for individuals are $15, or you can purchase a table of eight for $100. The meeting starts at 11 am at the First Baptist Church of Pensacola. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit UnitedWayEscambia.org

August 26

The Cattle Barons’ Ball is a one-of-a-kind event celebrating 17 years in Pensacola. This year’s event promises to honor the Cattle Barons’ tradition as one of the premiere fundraising events in our community. You can count on gourmet western food stations and the city’s best live and silent auctions in a festive, themed atmosphere. Proceeds will go towards research and funding for

the American Cancer Society. The festivities kick off at 6 pm. For more information, visit tinyurl. com/cattlebaron2017

Preemie Cup – A Day of Play on the Water August 26

Preemie Cup, A Day of Play on the Water, presented by Pediatrix Medical Group and Wind Creek Atmore, is a Sacred Heart Foundation event benefitting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart. Participants can choose to participate in the Preemie Paddle Relay, the Preemie Regatta or even Preemie Fishing Tournament. Not only is this a fun day, but it has a tremendous impact as proceeds will be used to construct all private rooms in the new 72 bed Level II and Level III NICUs in the new Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart. The event starts on 9 am on August 26, but there is also a Pre-Party at Lee House on August 24 at 6 pm. For more information or to register, visit preemiecup.com

White Tie Rock Ensemble: The Beatles’ Abbey Road August 25

The White Tie Rock Ensemble presents a tribute to The Beatles' Abbey Road a the Saenger Theatre. Featuring the unparalleled White Tie Sound, this full rock band, along with the Tied Up String Quartet will recreate all your favorites from this classic era of rock and roll. In a rock theater environment, with an expanded and enhanced Light and Sound Experience, these timeless bands will live again, passed from one generation to the next and enjoyed by all! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit pensacolasaenger.com

Pensacon: Dress Up or Dress Up August 26

Pensacon presents the second “Dress Up or Dress Up” Costume Ball fundraiser! The ball

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Our Storied Past

The quadricentennial spanish village

Visitors at the opening of the Spanish Village In 1959 the Florida celebrated the 400th anniversary of Don Tristan de Luna's attempt to establish a Spanish colony on Pensacola Bay. Pensacola joined in the celebration, building a replica village on Santa Rosa Island. The opening ceremony was held May 13, 1959, and included eight skilled Spanish artisans who demonstrated pottery, sculpting, and weaving techniques of the sixteenth century. Despite some attempts to maintain the buildings as artistic and cultural centers, the buildings fell into ruin and were razed. The Santa Rosa Towers now sit on a portion of the land where the Quadricentennial Spanish Village once celebrated our heritage.

Map from plans for the Spanish Village

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Photos courtesy of UWF Historic Trust


SPECIAL SECTION

SPECIAL SECTION August 2017

54

The Growing Opioid Crisis

While the opioid crisis rages across the nation, Escambia county faces its own challenges in light of this epidemic.

· OTHER STORIES ·

57

Coming Home: Transitional Housing Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola and South Palafox Group have teamed up to provide transitional housing to help ex-offenders return to a normal life and remain out of prison.

51

Catching Up with the Coastkeeper

Executive Director of the Emerald Coastkeeper, Laurie Murphy, discusses the challenges and rewards of cleaning up one of Northwest Florida’s most polluted waterways.

61

Around the Region

Find out what is happening in business, government and cultural news in the greater Pensacola area and northwest Florida.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 49


FREE PREVIEW SCREENING

THURS SEPT 7 7PM WSRE AMOS STUDIO BROADCAST PREMIERE

SUN SEPT 17 7PM FRI, SEPT 29, 2017

wsre.org/veterans

#VietnamWarPBS

7 P.M. (DOORS OPEN AT 6:30 P.M.)

WSRE JEAN & PAUL AMOS PERFORMANCE STUDIO PENSACOLA STATE COLLEGE 1000 COLLEGE BOULEVARD PENSACOLA free admission reservations requested: wsre.org/speakers

WSRE PRESENTS:

MARGOT CARLSON DELOGNE ANTHONY ISTRICO Margot Carlson Delogne founded the 2 Sides Project to connect sons and daughters who lost fathers on opposite sides of the Vietnam War. Anthony Istrico’s new film follows the journey of Delogne and other American Gold Star children as they visit Vietnam.

FREE FILM SCREENING

PBS for the Gulf Coast

27017-0717 WSRE PM-BC Aug FP ad.indd 1

7/20/17 11:14 AM


Conservation Conservation Conservation

Catching Up with the Coastkeeper

written by Hana Frenette photos courtesy Laurie Murphy, The Emerald Coastkeeper

Last year, Emerald Coastkeeper Executive Director Laurie Murphy received an email from a woman named Brenda Kinimer who was living along Carpenter’s Creek on Valley Drive. Kinimer was distraught over the trash that had been accumulating on the banks of the creek behind her home—diapers, beer bottles, used camping supplies, pieces of furniture, and several large fallen trees. She’d contacted the City of Pensacola and Escambia County officials in hopes of having them rectify the problems, but was often referred to someone else or was told the issue

wasn’t theirs to deal with. Murphy agreed to make a visit to the woman’s home to analyze where the garbage was coming from. City Assistant Administrator Keith Wilkins and County Natural Resource Director Chips Kirschenfeld met her at the property within a day or two of the email, but neither could help her solve the problem. Later in the week, the logjam and associated trash was removed after the property with the felled tree was found to be City property during Murphy’s investigation.

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Conservation Murphy walked the entirety of the five-mile creek over the next few months assessing and documenting the problems she encountered. She noted several issues, such as leaking septic tanks, old failing storm water systems, grease traps from restaurants along the creek that were not cleaned out, trash dumpsters out of compliance, homeless camps, significant erosion, flooding and illegal dumping. The once swimmable waterway was grotesquely in need of cleaning, purifying and rejuvenation. “It was quite a problem—the stench was awful, the garbage was a health risk, so much debris and trash needed to be removed,” Murphy said. Murphy noted the meandering stream which empties into Bayou Texar was once a natural and clear creek in the 40s and 50s. “Many families lived along the creek—that was their watering hole—most folks didn’t travel all the way to Pensacola Beach to swim back then. They’d swim, canoe, dive, and spend their time right on Carpenter’s Creek.” Founded in 1999, Emerald Coastkeeper is one of 240 and counting member organizations of the Waterkeeper Alliance. They are a grassroots organization that monitors four main watersheds in the Florida Panhandle. Their mission is to investigate, educate and protect our right to swimmable, fishable and drinkable water. Carpenter’s Creek fit the bill perfectly for the Coastkeeper cause and Murphy and her team began organizing efforts for a major cleanup plan. The first cleanup took place on Dec. 3, 2016. The ECUA donated roll-off containers to house trash from the creek, and the City of Pensacola paid for the removed garbage to be dumped in the county landfill. Roughly 45 people came to the first cleanup, and each subsequent organized 52 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com

clean averages roughly 60-75 volunteers. In addition to human pollution and residential waste, the creek was badly eroded in the April 2014 flood and is currently declared an impaired body of water by the Environmental Protection Agency, creating yet another challenge for volunteers and the waterway.

It was quite a problem—the stench was awful, the garbage was a health risk, so much debris and trash needed to be removed .

Emerald Coastkeeper has performed three major cleanups over the last year, spanning almost half of the five-mile creek. Volunteers have retrieved bottles and plastic bags, broken electronics, toilets, sinks, car parts and shopping carts. “If you could find it in a landfill, you can find it Carpenter’s Creek,” Murphy said. Murphy noted the number of volunteers typically goes up during the cooler months of the year, and also during the school year, as many college, high school, and middle school students have volunteered their time along the creek. “We love to teach the children the important of maintaining waterways and being careful about where you put your trash,” Murphy said. “Kids are really great, passionate people and they are considerate and they listen

and they like being involved, especially with the environment and nature. Then they go home and tell their parents about what they did and what they learned and the information passes along to them as well.” Murphy and her team provide gloves, trash bags, containers, and waders for people who feel more comfortable being protected from the water while cleaning the creek. “You get smelly and dirty, and most of the cleanups this year were very strenuous,” she said. “We’ve removed 18 old, rusty shopping carts and several were so deeply imbedded in the creek bed, that a team of several men spent hours digging them out with shovels.” One shopping cart had been imbedded in the creek so long, a nearby tree had grown a root base through it—bolt cutters were brought in to remove smaller pieces of the cart at a time.

Murphy calculated that more than 3,400 large leaf trash bags of trash have been removed from the creek since last December, amounting to thousands of pounds of garbage. “Recent city code enforcement had helped remove up to nine homeless camps along the creek, and has also been helpful with getting nearby residents to be compliant,” she said. “It takes a lot of people, volunteers, retirees, students, scientists, and city officials to make it happen. Two City of Pensacola city council members, Sherri Myers and Larry B. Johnson, have donated $9,000 to help feed people during the cleanups, provide gloves, rent equipment, and haul large items. We’ve had some truly wonderful sponsors.” Murphy and Emerald Coastkeeper have applied for a RESTORE grant for the amount of 1.3 million dollars, which is in the process of being approved.


Conservation Conservation The grant would provide funding for the hire of an outside entity to complete an official assessment and survey of the creek. The entire restoration of the creek is expected to cost between 10 to 15 million dollars. Murphy has also partnered with city councilwoman Sherri Myers, who plans to bring two proposed ordinances to the council. The first would establish a task force to identify and restore other at-risk waterways within the city, and the second would prohibit businesses, restaurants and apartment complexes from placing trash containers within a certain distance of a waterway. “The city is not fully behind this idea right now, and they don’t really have enough money to take care of all the things we need taken care of,” Murphy said. “They want to focus more on downtown development— everything is about downtown revitalization, and the rest of the city has forgotten about some of the natural beauty it has to offer. We’re going to go ahead and keep cleaning up and restoring until the money is released to plan further.” While Murphy notes urban development as a cause of the creek degradation, she notes that one of the most common sources of pollution is residential pollution—septic system failure, home chemical dumping from washing cars or improperly disposing of waste, household waste, fertilizers, and animal wastes. Large commercial developments also produce some of the same issues, along with creating impervious pavement, which creates water runoff into the creek and soil. “This level of trash, nutrients and mercury in the water is not a natural occurrence,” Murphy said. “It’s done through urban and residential development and it boils down to not sticking to the

Lead volunteer, Andy Lynn, poses next to a shopping cart, two tires and various debris he helped remove from Carpenter’s Creek.

comprehensive land development code— the Environmental Protection Agency designated it as impaired—meaning it contains higher or unsafe levels of nutrients and mercury. Unfortunately development is the way for the city to make money. They make money when permits are approved, they get a check— meanwhile, they can never really replace what is lost.” Murphy suggests looking to other regional cities with excellent environmental protections built into their land development codes, like Gainesville and Fairhope, Ala., as models of what to work toward in the immediate future. “Mindful development is very important, and we need to start doing it right,” she said. “If that means raising taxes by a couple of pennies, well—we’re going to spend the money on something anyway.” Murphy is optimistic about the future health of the creek and

hopes in a few years, Emerald Coastkeeper will be able to build two educational centers along the creek in order to teach people about the history and rejuvenation of the waterway. “We’ve found an old English mill from the 1700s that we want to preserve, and we’d like to build several greenways along the creek for hiking and biking,” she said. “We want to not only prevent this body of water from being ruined, but we want to give it back to the community for people to enjoy as well.” All city owned property and homeless camps have been cleaned, with the exception of one large camp located on personal property, which Murphy is hoping to clean up as well. Emerald Coastkeeper is also working with an organization that handles invasive species. On April 28, Grover Robinson and several other county

commisioners helped purchase the creek’s headwaters. In early 2018, the county will hire a planner to begin the process of developing a more detailed plan for the RESTORE funding, and the process to fully restore the creek will enter an exciting new phase. In the meantime, Murphy will continue to host community clean ups of the creek, with the next clean scheduled for Sept. 9, off Airport Road. “It’s just so cool to see the amount of the people who show up and how excited they are to give back to the community,” Murphy said. “We’re here for you—to protect you and keep you and your community’s waterways safe.” For more information on Carpenter’s Creek, the Emerald Coastkeeper, or to learn about the health of local waterways, visit emeraldcoastkeeper.org.

We want to not only prevent this body of water from being ruined, but we want to give it back to the community for people to enjoy as well.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 53


Escambia County’s Growing Opioid Crisis

by Heidi Travis

Opioids have been making headlines nationwide. The United States is in the midst of a 50 state epidemic and Florida is among the hardest hit. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose rates went up by 22.7 percent between 2014 and 2015 in Florida and it’s only getting worse. In 2015, there were 3,228 deaths by drug overdose in Florida, according to the CDC. Of those, 2,538 deaths were caused by opioids alone. Additionally, opioids were found to have contributed in some way to another 1,358 fatalities. This May, Governor Rick Scott declared the opioid epidemic a statewide public health emergency and signed an executive order that will allow Florida to accept a federal grant of $54 million dollars over the next two years. These funds will go towards treatment and recovery efforts throughout the state. Treatment centers, like Lakeview Center which received $700,000 from this grant, will put the money towards operations and programs such as STOP: the State Targeted Opioid Program which provides free treatment to addicts, to help boost recovery efforts. Of the total grant money, $17 million will be allocated to the direct care of clients with medication assisted treatment. An additional $10 million will be spread out among care coordination, for medications such as Vivitrol and Narcan, outreach into rural communities and prevention in schools. Additionally, first responders will have greater access to medications, such as Narcan, which are used to resuscitate individuals who are overdosing. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, and morphine, but also 54 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com

include illegal drugs such as heroin and opioid synthetics such as fentanyl. Prescription opioids are generally safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor and are usually only taken for a very short time period due to their highly addictive nature. Along with pain relief, opioids produce a feeling of euphoria, which is usually the catalyst that leads to addiction. Addicts can struggle for many years to reach sobriety and relapse is always a danger due to the insidious nature of opioid addiction. Even after 17 months clean, 36-year-old Pensacola resident Ryan Forbes remembers his first hit. “I was given my first Lortab in 2003 by a coworker. I remember right where I was. It just took my soul. It was this feeling of energy and being pain-free. That feeling was just awesome. It numbed any emotional weakness,” Forbes says. “It was this all-in-one pill I could take at work. It gave me a buzz, it was perfectly legal, and it numbed all of my physical and emotional pain. It was this false cure for life that I thought I’d found.” This single encounter set off a 12-year battle with addiction. At the time, prescription opioids were not as heavily regulated as they are now. Forbes notes that doctor shopping was much easier then because these pills were everywhere and they were culturally accepted. Prescription painkillers did not carry the same stigma as any other illicit drugs, so they flew under the radar for a brief time.

“When you’re getting it from a smart man in a white coat with a nametag that says doctor, you don’t question it. How can this be bad? How could this be as addictive as the drugs we were getting off the street?” Forbes says. But the price of opioid addiction is very steep. It isn’t only about obtaining a high. Users very quickly develop a tolerance for opioids and increase their doses exponentially, or else they succumb to the devastatingly crippling effects of withdrawal. “The addiction is very severe. There are a few medications where withdrawal is deadly and opiates fall into that category,” says Dustin Perry, director of STOP at Lakeview Center. “You start to have an upset stomach, diarrhea, sweats, insomnia, hot and cold flashes. You feel absolutely miserable, so the best way to fix it is to take the drug again.” Both Perry and Forbes describe withdrawal symptoms as “the flu times one hundred.” Last year, Lakeview Center treated approximately 3,000 patients for opioid addiction. Of those, Lakeview treated 1,091 patients with methadone and another 269 with Suboxone. Perry says while Escambia County tracks closely to national numbers in terms of overdoses, we are nowhere near the numbers in south Florida, where the opioid crisis has hit critical mass. Still, the opioid crisis has challenges uniquely its own. For one thing, opioid addiction


has no target demographic. It is universal, afflicting people of all ages and economic status. One of the biggest barriers locally is transportation. With our community spread out as it is, getting to treatment centers is a particular challenge for recovering addicts. Perry notes that those who live in Cantonment, Pace, or Century may have a harder time getting to their appointments in downtown Pensacola. This is to say nothing of the fresh challenges law enforcement is facing. Sgt. Martez Lawrence, Supervisor of Narcotics for the Pensacola Police Department, has been on the front lines of the opioid crisis as it has unfolded in Escambia County over the last eight years. A 16-year veteran of the force, he first noted the spike in heroin cases in 2009 when he was still working as a detective. When the pill mills in south Florida shut down, heroin hit the streets with a vengeance. Now, he says, opioid investigations make up at least 50 percent of their case load. And it goes beyond heroin and prescription drugs. As the laws targeting illegal substances become more explicit, dealers and users are devising smarter ways to distribute and consume their products. “At this point, they are coming up with different ways to distribute these drugs. We were finding Xanax that were actually Fentanyl. They were taking Fentanyl and snapping them into a Xanax pill press. We’ve seen where they’re mixing the Fentanyl with nasal spray mix, putting it in a bottle, shaking it up and getting high that way,” Lawrence says. “So not only is it an issue because they are disguising it from law enforcement and it’s harder to see, but accidental exposure to it can be dangerous to law enforcement as well, so we are having to take extra precautions when it comes to how we operate now.” All of the officers in the narcotics division operate on a buddy system. Every individual is responsible for one other colleague and stays vigilant to any signs of exposure, addiction, or any other unusual behaviors. This method affords Lawrence’s team an added safeguard against accidental exposure, which is a much more present danger these days. “Some of this stuff can be absorbed through skin contact. Now what they are starting to do is mix drugs. Fentanyl seems to be the biggest one they are mixing into other drugs. So, we may come across something that we would normally think is Spice – which isn’t harmful unless it’s ingested—but now has a mix of Fentanyl which can be dangerous just upon skin contact,” Lawrence says.

Because exposure to these substances is so very harmful, officers are required to carry masks, gloves, and test kits. But it doesn’t end there; the very nature of the job is changing. Police work has always rigidly adhered to the letter of the law, but the opioid crisis has forced a more nuanced approach. “As law enforcement, our direction is always find the bad guy, charge them, put them in jail and the job is done. That is no longer the case anymore. It’s looking at it on a case by case basis. It’s the question of what is it that needs to be done to get this person rehabilitated so he doesn’t go back out there and offend, utilizing these same drugs,” Lawrence says. “Is this guy only a dealer or is he also a user? Usually, if they are users we try to cure that problem. Just putting them in jail doesn’t solve the problem, so we are having to change how we look at that aspect of the opioid crisis.”

“Most of us

self-medicate because we don’t know how to deal with the emotions life throws at us.

While most of Lawrence’s cases are localized, he has seen outside influence in Escambia county as well. Just recently PPD made an arrest in a case involving opioid shipments coming from China in a trade that was negotiated via internet. Cases like these become more complicated due to matters of jurisdiction and require the involvement of federal agencies, such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Drug Enforcement Agency, with which Lawrence says their department works very closely. Recently an Opioid Community Action Planning meeting was held, bringing together representatives from first response teams, treatment centers, hospitals, and law enforcement to discuss how to address the opioid crisis in Escambia County. Forbes, Perry and Lawrence were in attendance. In summary, a collaborative effort is being made between these agencies in order to properly address this multi-faceted and complex

problem. This approach has already shown to have greater success over former campaigns. Forbes, who after an incredibly transformative and deeply personal religious experience sought treatment from Lakeview Center, has nothing but good to say about the steps Escambia County is taking towards healing its community. For Forbes, finding Jesus was the pivotal first step in his healing process. Now he devotes his life entirely to helping others find their own way. In his opinion, the key to why this collaboration works is that it targets the real problem with addiction and removes the isolation it brings. “Most of us self-medicate because we don’t know how to deal with the emotions life throws at us. Not having my dad around made me pissed off for a long time. It gave me this ‘I’ll show you! I can do it myself attitude.’ That fuels addiction. There are a lot of reasons why people self-medicate,” Forbes says. “I guarantee you there is somebody that you know that is addicted. I want people to know it’s okay. It may not even be your fault. You might have just gotten hurt and trusted your doctor, then got addicted. Let’s work through this. You’re not alone. You are not alone.” Escambia County officials and law enforcement continue to work tirelessly with first response teams and counseling services to stop the spread of this opioid epidemic in our community. Through the collaborative efforts of these agencies, Escambia County should see fewer instances of overdose and drug trafficking, but more importantly, those who suffer from addiction can receive proper treatment at little to no cost, essentially cutting this epidemic off at its roots.

If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids or is in need of treatment, please call: Lakeview Center Behavioral Health Services: 850-469-3500 The Friary: 850-932-9375 or 1-800-332-2271 The Summit Group: 850–437-8952 Lakeview Center Opiate Treatment Program (Medication Assisted Treatment): MAT Clinic – Pensacola: 850–466-3400 MAT Clinic – Century: 850-256-6165 MAT Clinic – Shalimar: 850-609-1040

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 55


Development

Coming Home: Transitional Housing It’s no secret that a major problem facing our country is incarceration rates. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 724 people imprisoned out of every 100,000.

joint venture known as South Palafox Re-Entry Initiative. The main crux of this project will consist of building a work release program for 80 men and women, as well as transitional housing for 48 ex-offenders.

One of the main reasons for this is recidivism – when former criminals re-offend and go back to prison after being released. These numbers are quite high, and it is often because there are not enough quality re-entry programs to assist ex-offenders.

“It costs society far more by incarcerating individuals without the commensurate beneficial interests of incarceration for non-violent and lesser offense,” he said. “Education, training and rehabilitative goals are far more effective than the ‘lock ‘em up’ solutions of the past.”

In order to help reduce these rates in the Pensacola area and the First Judicial Circuit of Florida, Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola and South Palafox Group have entered into the

The biggest feature of this program is going to be the on-site housing for some of those within the program. Taking inspiration from the Potter’s Lane veteran housing initiative in Orange

Former Senator Greg Evers, the Chief of Political Affairs for South Palafox Group and a former Florida State Senator, says that the incarceration solutions of the past are no longer effective.

by Tanner Yea

County, California, the housing is designed to run on ‘net zero energy’ – being solely powered by solar and geothermal energy, as well as reduced power consumption and environmental controls, so the housing units consume little to no energy. “The proposed facility will be built using repurposed and reconditioned shipping containers,” said Dave Robau, Chief of Energy & Sustainability for South Palafox Group. “We call it ‘upcycling’.” These containers will be retrofitted off-site at the same time the site and infrastructure is worked on. The containers will then be placed on-site by crane. Ex-offenders will then have around six months to use the transitional housing as part of any number of rehabilitation programs in order to save money and obtain counseling and transitional assistance.


Development “Most of whom we work with will have been incarcerated for years and leave prison with just a bus ticket, the clothes on their back and a $50 debit card,” said Dick Baker, Director of REAP. The program will be open to ex-offenders who have 18 months left for their work release program, or 24 months left to serve on their sentence. To qualify, they must convince the South Palafox Re-Entry Initiative that they want to live a crime-free life and are capable of making the choices that come with that life. “The program is comprehensive and tailored to each person’s needs. It includes various registrations and applications as required by judicial authorities, and for most it includes shelter, counseling, job skills and placement,” said Baker. Evers has long been a proponent of prison reform and has championed reducing incarceration and recidivism rates. “Without a job, a person is likely to fall into that high category of recidivism of some 80 percent plus; get that person a job and obtain a support system – family is preferred – and the likelihood of that recidivism drops to 16 percent,” he said. There are many factors that lead to the current high recidivism rates – impoverished upbringing that leaves individuals without skills or education, incarceration for relatively lesser offenses, little support systems once the ex-offender is released,

58 | Business Climate | nwflbusinessclimate.com

and the realities of root problems of poverty such as drug crime, poor education and ingrained lifestyles. “It costs above $15,000 a year to incarcerate one person on the average,” said Evers. “We can significantly reduce those costs by doing a private and charitable partnership that uses resources wisely, rather than spending that money for services to those re-entering society who have no need for additional security at community release centers.” Evers said that one of the biggest supporters of this movement is Secretary Julie Jones, the Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. She has implemented incentives to the inmate population to help them obtain better housing in re-entry dormitories throughout the state. The one being built by South Palafox Re-Entry Initiative will be the first in Northwest Florida and will service the First Judicial Circuit – which includes Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. “Work release and transitional housing are vital components of these re-entry programs. We must treat our re-entry centers different than a prison; treat them and run them like what we all expect to be normal society in our homes and in our communities,” said Evers. “We don’t need to be treating participants who are successful in our work release and transitional programs like violent predators.”

Dick Baker says that thanks to the Pensacola community, they have been able to expand their reach and provide these programs to ex-offenders wishing to reintegrate into society. “We were blessed by several contributions, a gamechanging grant by Impact 100 and leadership by Evers in both chambers for a grant that helped significantly. We have worked with over 300 folks in the past three years, with only five percent returning to prison,” said Baker. Evers said that he hopes they will be able to set by example how technology and community involvement with re-entry programs can help the state as a whole to reduce recidivism and incarceration rates in general. That does not mean the rest of the way is paved clear. “These programs are still a work in progress, and Secretary Jones needs all the community involvement and support we can give her to be successful in this endeavor,” said Evers. The initial re-entry housing is set to be opening in-between December 2018 and February 2019, though its location has yet to be determined. For more information on the ReEntry Alliance Pensacola and its initiatives, visit reapreentry.org. To learn more about South Palafox Group and their projects, visit southpalafox.com.


nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 59


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Around the Region

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Florida Announces 2017-2018 Governing Board of Directors Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida is pleased to announce their 2017-2018 governing board members. They are: Chris Roney, Ace Unlocks, Chair; Hong Tran, Baptist Health Care, Vice Chair; Tamika Barkers, Pensacola Police Department, Secretary; Scott Warren, Warren Averett, Treasurer; Gregory P. Fayard, Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon, Legal Counsel; Bryan Andrews, Tadlock Roofing; Lewis Bear III, The Lewis Bear Company; Rick Byars, Gulf Power; Nancy Clark, CH2M; Bill Cleary, Landrum Human Resources; Jon Green, J. Green Construction Services; Amanda Harper, Gulf Coast Office Products; Michael Hobbs, United Bank; Rep. Clay Ingram, Florida House of Representatives; Larry Kuhn, Levin Rinke Realty; Adrienne Maygarden, Sacred Heart; Richard McClanahan, Hancock Bank; Christopher Porter, DR Horton; Robert J. Powell, Clark Partington; Leah Ralls, F.M. Nalty Timberland; Brian Ranelli, VITAS Healthcare; Zack Sanchez, State Farm Insurance, Bay County Representative; John M. Stevens, Florida Blue; Vernon Stewart, City of Pensacola Office of the Mayor; Greg Thompson, Arby’s; Brian Williams, Kool Karts. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has been the area’s leader in one-to-one mentoring for 28 years by serving children ages 6 to 18. Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, one-toone relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida served 650 children in Northwest Florida.

Baptist Medical Group Welcomes Evan Lewis, M.D. Baptist Medical Group is pleased to welcome Evan Lewis, M.D., to its multispecialty physician network.

RE/MAX Welcomes Two New Agents to their Team RE/Max on the Coast welcomes Lorraine Palma Brackin to their team. Lorraine is from Bayport NY and attended the University of Alabama where she studied Political Science. As the owner of several local retail stores and boutiques, including World Winds in Cordova Mall and Ethereal in downtown Pensacola, she has maintained her love of sales throughout her 24 years in the area. Real estate has been an easy and natural transition to her, and she is enthusiastic about embarking on her new career assisting buyers in finding their dream home as well as helping sellers move on to their next chapter. RE/MAX on the Coast is proud to present our newest agent Julie Linander!

Julie began frequently visiting the Gulf Coast area in 2011 and quickly fell in love with the coastal lifestyle and all the area had to offer. In 2012 she made the decision to relocate from her longtime home city of Atlanta, GA to Gulf Breeze. Her background includes 22 years in the hospitality industry with 12 of those years primarily focused on sales & marketing. She received her B.S. degree in Public Relations from Florida State University, as well as a minor in Psychology. Julie brings hard work, integrity, and honest customer care into every interaction with her clients. Whether you’re looking for a starter home, a vacation home, or your dream home she will make the process an effortless and enjoyable one for you!

Sacred Heart President, Susan Davis, Named Honorary Chair for The BIG Gala 2018 Benef iting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has named Susan L. Davis, president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System, as honorary chair of the annual BIG Gala. Davis holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing, a Master of Arts in nursing administration and a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in management. She provides strategic and operational leadership for Sacred Heart Health System while promoting alignment among health ministries in the region. She has received both local and national recognition for her commitment to the community and volunteerism. “Susan’s passion for mentoring was evident,” said Paula Shell, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We knew immediately she would be the perfect person to represent our message of creating life-

changing friendships the Big Brothers Big Sisters way.” The BIG Gala is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida’s signature fundraising event and will be held January 12, 2018 at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, visit bbbsnwfl.org or call Big Brothers Big Sisters at 850-433-KIDS (5437). Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has been the area’s leader in one-to-one mentoring for 28 years by serving children ages 6 to 18. Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, one-toone relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Last year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida served 650 children in Northwest Florida.

Dr. Lewis is a highly skilled neurosurgeon who specializes in advanced treatment options for complex brain, spine and peripheral nerve conditions or injuries. He works with his patients to offer a comprehensive neurosurgical treatment plan that best meets their conditions and their needs. Dr. Lewis earned his medical degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, and completed his residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical Center & VA Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

nwflbusinessclimate.com | Business Climate | 61


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On the AMarket Real Estate Section

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

BELMONT - DEVILLIERS.

page 72

In This Section By the Numbers: A Look at June's Market Highlights page 66 7 Deadly Mistakes Most Home Sellers Make page 68

Tips for First Time Homebuyers page 76 Benefits of Financing your Mortgage Locally page 80

pensacola magazine | 63


64 | pensacola magazine


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BY The NUMBERS a look at JUNE's Market Highlights

$189K

Median Sale Price

75 Avg. Days on Market

925

Monthly Sales

2500

Quarterly Sales

Market Highlights June's sales were up seven percent over last month and five percent over the same month last year. 66 | pensacola magazine

While sales in the $160k to $199k price range saw the most sales activity in May, they fell 22% from May totals this month.

Median sales price for June shot up to $189k

June's Days on the Market (DOM) fell to 75, the lowest level thus far this year.

Information courtesy of Pensacola Association of Realtors


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7Most Home Sellers Make Deadly Mistakes

The market is hot right now–––home prices are up but are still below what they were at their peak. In this situation, buyers are far more discriminating, so it’s more critical than ever to learn how to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home in the shortest time for the most amount money. Here are some tips that will help you maximize your profits and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process. ––– by Alexis Bolin

Pricing is the most important aspect of the sale of a home. Most sellers feel they should price high so they have room to come down in the negotiation process. However, pricing too high can be very dangerous in getting your home sold. The average buyer looks at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. They have a basis for price comparison so if your home doesn't match up with others in the price range you've set, they will pick another home to buy. As a result, your home will sit on the market and become stale. This causes buyers and agents to wonder what is wrong with your home so they may chose not to even look at it. Get an experienced realtor to prepare a market analysis based sales of similar homes sold in the past six-12 months, what is currently under contract and current homes for sale. This will show the price buyers have been willing to pay for homes like yours, then price accordingly. If you disagree with the market analysis then get an appraisal to set the price.

to represent you in the sale of your most expensive asset. All agents are licensed by the state but that doesn’t make them all equal in knowledge and sales experience. When issues arise during the listing, sale and closing of your home, and they will, you better make sure you have a realtor who is very experienced in negotiating and solving real estate issues. Make sure to hire a full-time realtor with extensive experience especially in effective multiparty, face-to-face negotiations. Look for a realtor who has a great reputation with a proven track record, market knowledge, and comes with a high recommendation. Choose someone who is going to tell you the truth about the market, condition of your home and the fair price to get it sold. Almost any agent can bring in a signed offer but it takes a lot of experience to successfully negotiate through the issues with inspections, appraisals, survey, and title issues to get to a successful closing. Remember this should be handled like any other business transaction. Hiring the wrong agent could cost you valuable time and money!

Mistake #2 – Condition - First Impressions are Crucial

Mistake 4 – Getting Emotionally Involved in the Sale

Mistake #1 – Pricing too high - Price is the #1 Reason Homes do not Sell

It is not okay to give an allowance for paint, carpet or appliances. Replace worn or outdated carpet, lighting, plumbing fixtures and remove wall paper. Fresh paint and new flooring goes a long way to making your home feel lighter and brighter. Do a deep cleaning on the entire house. Make sure there are no unpleasant odors especially from pets. Buyers make a choice to buy or not to buy your home based upon what it looks like when they see it so presentation is everything. Appearance is critical and it generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. The decision to buy a home is often based more on emotion than logic.

Mistake #3 – Hiring the Wrong Agent

This is one of the worst decisions a seller can make. Do not hire an agent based on the price they promise or the fees they charge. Many sellers make the mistake of listing their home with the one who promises them the highest price or the lowest real estate fees. This is not the way to select an agent 68 | pensacola magazine

This is one of the biggest challenges sellers face. All sellers are emotional about their home but buyers see it differently. They are looking for the nicest home at the best price and aren’t going to pay an emotional value for the house. Sellers should leave the house during showings and let the agents sell the house. When a seller follows a buyer around to show what they feel are important features, it makes the buyer uncomfortable and they aren’t able to really see the house.

Mistake 5 - Home Inspection and Disclosure

Do not cover up problems or fail to disclose them. Florida has a disclosure law which says a seller is required to disclose anything that will affect the value of the property. Just because you disclaim knowledge doesn't mean you can’t be sued later for items discovered months or years after closing. I suggest getting a home inspection, termite

inspection, appraisal and/or a survey done prior to putting the home on the market. Make all the repairs before putting up a sale sign. It takes away the stress most sellers have about inspections and allow you to get repairs done ahead of time so you prevent later issues. Then you will be better prepared to complete a written disclosure to be presented to a prospective buyer.

Mistake 6 – The Wrong Marketing

Great photos and written presentation are the most important aspects of marketing. Today all the first showings are online. Studies show that 90 percent of buyers start the home search on the internet, making it more important than ever to have a great presence. The right marketing should include local as well as internet-based advertising and print media. Real estate is local in nature so make sure your home has coverage in local magazines and newspapers. Do not discount the power of print media! Choose an agent who has an extensive marketing program.

Mistake 7 - Showing Availability – Do Not Make it Difficult to Show

Serious buyers want to view a property during times which are convenient for them. Sellers need to be prepared for a showing in an hour or less since it isn’t uncommon for agents to have 10-20 homes lined up to show the buyers. If you miss a showing, you may not get another opportunity with that buyer and may miss a sale. Yes, it is going to be inconvenient—but it’s all part of selling. Originally from the New Jersey Shore, Alexis has lived in Gulf Breeze since 1977. Alexis obtained her Real Estate license in May 1978 and her Florida Broker’s license in 1980. She is a wellrespected, nationally known speaker sharing her vast real estate experience with other agents. Alexis has earned the following designations: ABR, CDPE,CRP, CRS, ERS,MNEC, SRES and is a member of the local, state and national, Women’s Council of Realtors. Alexis Bolin, CRS Emeritus ERA Legacy Realty Cell- 850-777-0275 Office- 850-478-5446


Welcomes The Bolin Group Alexis Bolin, Lisa Mix and Donna Wiggins

• Ranked Amongst the Top 1/10 of 1% of all Real Estate Agents Nationwide • "Who's Who" in Residential Real Estate Alexis Bolin-Broker Associate • One of the Most Influential Agents in Florida • One of the Most Awarded Agents in the Nation • # 2 Agent Nationwide in closed sales with home warranty Cell (850) 777-0275 • # 1 Agent Nationwide 1988, 1992, 1996 • Who's Who in Residential Sales Office (850) 478-5446 • International Hall of Fame - 2013 Email: alexisera@aol.com • Real Estate Experts Hall of Fame - 2013

For Results Call

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REAL ESTATE EXPERTS Make your offer as strong as possible. Find out what the important terms are for the seller.

Bruce Baker, MBA

As our local real estate market becomes more of a sellers’ market and inventory becomes tighter, real estate transactions are getting more stressful and emotional for buyers and sellers.

A higher number of contracts are cancelling or not making it to the closing table.

1. SUGGESTIONS FOR BUYERS: a. Inventory in certain segments is very tight. b. Buyers need to be pre-approved BEFORE Shopping. If you are paying cash, have your proof of funds ready! When homes come onto the market, you must be prepared to write an offer. c. Make sure your head is in the game. A higher than usual number of deals are falling APART with BUYERS BACKING OUT over minor issues after inspections are completed – items that are inconsequential or seller will repair, which begs the question: are buyers jumping to make offers so quickly they are having buyer’s remorse? Is the house you are writing an offer on the house you really want, or are you caught up in the emotion of not wanting to miss out? (Do you like it only because others want it?) d. Write a letter to the sellers with information about yourself that may appeal to certain sellers.

Sometimes sellers will take these into account, although not always. e. Make your offer as strong as possible. Find out what the important terms are for the seller: do the sellers need to move asap, do they need to stay in the house for 2 months, are they elderly and have no one to help with repairs before closing, etc. These seemingly minor terms can sometimes be the make or break of an offer. 2. SUGGESTONS FOR SELLER: BEFORE listing their home, Sellers need to understand a couple of things: a. If your Realtor thinks you may receive multiple offers, it will be because of the number of buyers in that price range/property type and not because you have it priced below market. We are not in NYC or San Francisco where cash buyers may pay more to get a property. A majority of our buyers require a loan, most likely VA, FHA or even Rural Housing. b. If a seller asks for highest and best offers, and they all come in around the same price, that is most likely the market price for your home. It will still need to appraise if your buyers are obtaining a loan. If you agree to sell your home at a price, be prepared to move forward. 3. SLIMMER MARGIN OF NEGOTIATIONS: a. The 2012 market is long past us. In the current climate, buyers and sellers can expect a slimmer margin for negotiations. Sellers should leave a little wiggle room in their asking price for seller concession for closing costs/slight price reduction but not as much as in the past. The days of “lowball” offers are behind us for now, however, sellers who overprice their homes can

still expect that buyers will only pay market rate and at a rate that will appraise. b. The process of purchasing/selling real estate for a personal home is highly emotional on both sides. If both buyers and sellers have trust in their agents and try to keep emotions at bay, real estate transactions become much less stressful. Let’s sell some houses! Kathy Batterton and Bruce Baker, MBA are top RE/ MAX agents servicing the Northwest Florida areas. Kathy is a RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Real Trends Top 100 Influential Agents in Florida, Top 20 RE/MAX Agent in Florida for sales 3 years running. Bruce is a 27-year Greater Pensacola real estate veteran, holds both an MBA as well as a Master of Accountancy, is a RE/MAX Hall of Fame award winner and a Top five in number of transactions for RE/MAX Florida in 2016. To submit a question or for more information contact Bruce Baker, MBA at 850.449.0365, Bruce@BruceBakerMBA.com or Kathy Batterton at 850.377.7735, Kathy@KathyBatterton.com. AskPensacolaRealEstateExperts@gmail.com

Kathy Batterton

pensacola magazine | 71


NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT Belmontdevilliers by tanner yea • Photos by Guy Stevens

It’s no secret that Pensacola is an old city – in fact, it’s technically the oldest European settlement in the United States. Though the city has developed into a modern metropolis, there are still many historic neighborhoods that are great places to live and serve as a living museums of Pensacola’s past. That’s why we are shining our Neighborhood Spotlight on the neighborhood of Belmont-DeVilliers – not only a place of history for the city, but an important landmark for the South and for African-American culture. Close to downtown and alive with its own heartbeat, Belmont-DeVilliers is growing at an amazing rate, while still honoring its roots. History of the Neighborhood Belmont-DeVilliers holds a very important place in the cultural history of Pensacola. Post Civil War, many African-Americans settled in Belmont-DeVilliers and over the years it became a thriving commercial district. Not only that, it became a cultural center for early 20th century AfricanAmericans music and culture– Abe’s 506 Club became part of the Chitlin’ Circuit of southern musicians, seeing such acts as Louis Armstrong, James Brown and Aretha Franklin. In the 1950s, however, the area began to decline as people moved out and businesses began shuttering. The area remained 72 | pensacola magazine

underutilized until the early 2000s, when the City of Pensacola began the BelmontDeVilliers Land Use Plan to revitalize and preserve the neighborhood and its history. Since then, the area has seen significant growth with new businesses, real estate, restaurants and even the UWF Innovation Institute bringing energy back to the historic neighborhood. Properties and Prices Belmont-DeVilliers is focused on Devillier’s Square, which is the intersection of West Belmont Street and North De Villiers Street, but also extends into the surrounding areas. According to the Belmont-DeVilliers Neighborhood Association, the neighborhood extends from Cervantes Street to the north, Gregory Street to the south, A Street to the west and Spring Street to the east.

Since Belmont-DeVilliers is in the process of revitalizing, housing here is quite affordable, considering its proximity to downtown. According to Trulia, the average sale price in the neighborhood is around $184k, with most homes sitting around $250k. Most of these houses are small cottage style houses, usually between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet. A majority of the houses have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, though the area also boasts some much larger homes. Most of historic homes in Belmont-DeVilliers were built between the late 1800s and the 1950s. Rental properties are scarce, but lots are available for those wanting to build. The demographics of Belmont-Devilliers are changing rapidly with new homes being built and younger couples moving in. Traffic is light, and downtown can easily be reached with just a short walk. For utilities, water and waste are provided by ECUA,


electricity by Gulf Power, and AT&T or Cox provides internet and cable. Local Attractions Belmont-DeVilliers has access to all the schools that most of Downtown Pensacola is familiar with. N.B. Cook Elementary and Global Learning Academy best serves younger children, while JH Workman Middle and Pensacola High serve most of the city in general. There are also several Christian schools, such as the East Hill Christian School and Episcopal Day School of Christ Church Parish. The Pensacola Public Library is also nearby on Spring Street. Belmont-DeVilliers is mostly residential and commercial, but there are some great green spaces nearby, such as the Hollice T. Williams Park, Wyer Park or the Blue Wahoos Stadium. The neighborhood holds a lot of hidden gems when it comes to places to dine out, especially if you like Southern food, The Dwarf on DeVilliers St. has some of the best fried chicken in the city – and it is

worth the wait. Blue Dot Barbeque is always packed with people hungry for their famous burgers and ribs, and the Five Sisters Blues Café features southern fare of all types, as well as delicious cocktails and live music. For grocery stores, Publix in East Hill is only a short drive away, but there is also Ever’mans Cooperative Grocery and Cafe just across Garden Street. Belmont-DeVilliers is, of course, close to all the nightlife downtown has to offer, but there are also several nightspots in the neighborhood proper. The biggest standout is chizuko, a bar and vegan eatery built in the old legendary Abe’s 506 Club. There is also the Belmont-DeVilliers Cultural Center – once the historic Bunny Club – that is often rented out for parties and events.

Summary Belmont-DeVilliers has had some of the most distinctive history of any neighborhood in the city, and its revitalization is a sign of good things to come. The housing is affordable, the neighborhood is friendly and the community’s future holds limitless potential. For more information on BelmontDeVilliers and the surrounding areas, visit facebook.com/belmontdevilliers or speak to your realtor to see what makes BelmontDeVilliers so special.

pensacola magazine | 73


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Tips For First Time Home Buyers by Simone Sands

Most people believe buying a home is a wise and smart investment, but buying your first home can be scary.

If you’re worried about paying too much, or investing in a money pit, you’re not alone. However, many people don’t realize that when you own a home, your mortgage payment can be as much as 35 percent less than your rental payment—not to mention the tax savings and equity growth. Once you’ve decided home ownership is the path for you, the next step is choosing a real estate agent. In a city of 3,000 agents, this shouldn’t be a difficult task. However, it’s important to choose an agent who is experienced and preferably specializes in first-time home buyers, as they will have a lot of knowledge about the different programs available to get you the money needed to buy your home. This type of specialized agent is familiar with patiently holding a first-time buyer’s hand and walking them through the process. When choosing your agent, ask them how long they’ve been in real estate, if they’re a full time agent, and how many first time home buyers they’ve worked with in the last year. Unless you’re one of the lucky few that is buying your first home for cash, obtaining the right mortgage is a crucial part of the 76 | pensacola magazine

buying process. Not all lenders are created equally. Different lenders offer different loan programs. There are county programs that offer $7,500 toward your down payment and closing costs, and other loan programs that offer 100 percent financing based on location and/or income. One of the qualifications for the $7,500 assistance requires that a 1-2 person household income may not exceed $63,300. If there are three or more people in the household, the income threshold is increased to $72,795. The lender will want to make sure you will have enough income to pay your mortgage and additional debts you may have. The mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) may not exceed 30 percent of your monthly gross income, or 45 percent of your total monthly expenses. Besides financing, you’ll need to consider your closing costs. Despite what a lot of these home buying and renovating shows will have you believe, sellers don’t always pick up the tab for your closing costs. Closing costs generally run between 3.5 - 4 percent of the purchase price, and that amount comes directly off the seller’s bottom line. Therefore, if you want your seller to cover some of those costs, you may have to up your purchase price offer. Your mortgage payment includes principal (the amount you borrow), interest (the charge for obtaining the loan), taxes and insurance. Insurance premiums can vary greatly, therefore this can play a major part in your mortgage payment. A qualified agent should be able to provide some clear guidelines on which homes should save you money on your insurance and therefore keep your mortgage payment low.

Now that you have a great agent, and a loan that fits your needs, it’s time to find your home! Most buyers I know of spend hours on end searching the local Multiple Listing Service. Once you start shopping, you may be afraid to put in an offer on a house that you like “because you just started looking.” Don’t be afraid to put in an offer ASAP! It’s a hot market, and the good listings are not staying active on the market for long. You’ve all heard about the first rule in real estate, “location, location, location.” The second rule is, “time is of the essence.” It’s truly a matter of “if you snooze – you lose.” If the house looks like it might be a winner, make that offer! You will have time for inspections. Once an agreed upon offer has been signed off on by both the buyer and the seller, the clock starts ticking. One very important deadline is your inspections deadline. A standard Florida real estate contract allows 15 days for home inspections. There are several types of inspections you, your lender, and your insurance company may need—a general home inspection, a 4-point inspection, and a wind mitigation are the most common. The general home inspection shows the overall condition of the home and the details of the home. A 4-point inspection will let your insurance company know the condition of the main mechanics of your home and the insurability. The wind mitigation report is also for your insurance company. This will let them know about what credits your roof may have that may greatly affect the cost of your annual premium. Although you might be dreaming of a beautiful old Victorian that you can fix up over

the years, your lender might not agree. Different loan programs have different qualifications in terms of the condition of the home. For example, if the home needs a new roof or major work done, to protect their investment, it wouldn’t make sense for the lender to loan 100 percent of the purchase price. A fixer upper may only be offered through a conventional loan program (which typically requires more money down and less assistance) or as a cash only purchase. Once you are under contract, it’s important to keep yourself credit worthy to get to the closing table to obtain your keys. Now is not the time to buy a new car or start shopping for new furniture for your home. Additionally, do not open any new accounts, or close any existing accounts. You can expect closing to take approximately 45 days from contract to close. Buying your first home can be scary, but it’s a great financial decision. With a great agent and the right loan program, it’s easier than you may think. BIO: Simone Sands with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty has been selling homes since 2006. Simone is a First Time Home Buyer’s Specialist and regularly hosts free First Time Home Buyer Seminars. You may contact her at 850-293-2292 or simone@simonesells.com to obtain information about the next upcoming seminar or a no pressure appointment to find out the value of your home.


PARADISE COASTAL REALTY

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Nice large sized lot across the street from the Gulf just steps away from the water and waiting for you to build your dream or investment home.Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Sound views possible from upper floors of new home. Unobstructed view, as rear of property sits adjacent to recreational area for local elementary school, public tennis courts and local church.

Rare find on Pensacola Beach 4 bedroom/4 bath condo with over 2300 square feet. Large living and dining space to accommodate a large family or lots of guests. You can dine or relax in the living room and watch the gulf of Mexico. Two bedrooms downstairs and two upstairs. All bedrooms have their own bathroom. This condo has a two car garage and its own private entrance.

Build your dream home on this quiet corner lot on a cul-de-sac. Beautiful views of the sound directly across the street. Steps from the sound and the gulf. Plans are available for a 2428 Sq Ft 4BR/3.5BA home with numerous decks from Architect Doug Whitfield. Plans are available in office and on the website. This is an excellent opportunity to build on a large lot on Pensacola Beach.

Located in the desirable Hidden Oaks Subdivision. This is the perfect family home. Located in the back of the neighborhood on a quiet street. Three bedrooms and two baths. Large bedrooms and lots of storage. Gunite pool and beautiful Lanai to entertain guests. New AC, copper wiring and hot water heater installed in 2017. Buyer to verify room sizes and square footage for themselves.

1307 ARIOLA DR MLS#517679 - $1,100,000

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This awesome home boasts panoramic views of the Gulf and Sound. Built with all the latest technology for storms including solid concrete pilings running through all floors. Home has Anderson windows and doors. Beautiful Travertine marble tile graces the living area, kitchen and outside decks. Maple bookcases flank the gas fireplace in the Great Room with a 22 foot recessed ceiling.

Located on a quiet street in the culde-sac across the street from the sound. Driving in you have a 1400 square foot garage that can accommodate four cars. The first floor has two bedrooms with a Jack and Jill bathroom. There is a half bath on the first floor for guests. The third floor is the Master suite. French doors lead onto your private balcony with breathtaking views.

This residence is beautifully designed with immaculate attention to detail. As you walk through this home, you will notice the contemporary floor plan with spacious bedrooms and high ceilings. The kitchen offers a glass tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, and a breakfast area. The spacious master bedroom features a trey ceiling, ceiling fan, and French doors leading out to the pool area.

Rare opportunity to own a large amount of waterfront on Pensacola Beach, FL. Sharp point is now available for the Buyer looking for a premier location to build a residence, family retreat, or vacation rental. This nearly 1/2 acre lot with 196 waterfront feet and newly installed rip rap provides an unparalleled buildable area to design and build the perfect home. Create your legacy today!

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The Luxury Home Group of Paradise Coastal Realty consist of a team of highly experienced and well-seasoned veterans with outstanding career achievements. We have adopted a unique marketing niche...and we focus on providing our Buyers and Sellers superior service to meet their needs. We are a small boutique group on The Emerald Coast. The Luxury Home Group was created to address the needs of clients who demand topnotch service. Our clients never get “Lost In The Crowd” of buyers and sellers.

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78 | pensacola magazine


Why pay more to get less??

CHARLES STALLIONS Real Estate Services

107 SABINE DR. | PENSACOLA BEACH $919,500 3BD/2.5BA, 3,272 SF, MLS# 519392 This soundfront showpiece has it all! Insideskylights and picture windows with views of the sound, sunset and your sparkling saltwater pool. Outdoors- 225 ft. pier, 10,000 lb boat lift and rooftop observation deck overlooking 100ft of private waterfrontage on Little Sabine Bay.

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Benefits of Financing Your Mortgage Locally

and borrowers every day. Having additional insight may be especially beneficial to you if you’re new to an area or don’t know much about your local housing market.

lender, take the time to meet with someone local, too. It’s a good idea to consider all of your options before making a 20-30-year commitment to a mortgage lender.

to-face – but is that the right option for you and your family? Even if you never (or rarely) meet in person, it’s reassuring to know that you have someone local you can turn to for answers.

The process is smoother. Knowledge of the local market paired with the ability to meet with you one-on-one simplifies the home buying process. You’ll have better customer service overall and likely work with the same person from start to finish.

Local lenders offer a personal touch. When you meet with a local lender, they are more likely to take into account your individual circumstances and needs. They can help you walk through your credit report and budget, finding a loan that will fit your needs. And since the home buying process can be lengthy, it’s always nice to have the peace of mind that you can pick up the phone or stop by a local office and talk to your mortgage loan officer.

Plus, you’re supporting the local economy. Inevitably, you’ll end up paying quite a bit in interest over the life of your mortgage. By financing locally, there’s a good chance that the money you spend will support the community in which you live. Plus – you’re supporting the local job market by investing your time with a mortgage loan officer who lives in the area.

The Gulf Winds mortgage team is here to help. With more than 50 combined years of experience in financial services, we are the experts you want on your side during the home buying process. Give us a call at 850-479-9601 or stop by any branch to learn more about financing your mortgage locally with Gulf Winds.

Courtesy of Gulf Winds Credit Union

If you’ve been thinking about buying a home for the first time or even making a move into a new home, you may be wondering where do I begin? One of your first steps is getting preapproved with a lender so you know what you can afford. But even before that – how do you decide where you want to finance your home loan? With most mortgages being 20–30 years, this is arguably the biggest decision you’ll make in the home buying process. In the age of technology, you can finance a mortgage completely online without ever meeting a lender face80 | pensacola magazine

They know the local market. A local lender may have tips that will help you in your search for a home since they work with local realtors

The bottom line is, financing locally is positive for you and your community. You can easily search for local banks and credit unions in your area who offer mortgages. Even if you’re leaning toward a national

Sherry Brock Nine Mile Road Branch

Cristy Nash Milton Branch

Larry Carlan Downtown Branch


Your dream home starts here. Our mortgage professionals are right here in our branches. That means you talk with a real person (not an 800 number) who lives in the community and understands our market. You get all the loan options those big box financial institutions offer AND the personal service you deserve. Experience the difference a local lender makes. Come in and meet one of our mortgage professionals today to start your journey toward your dream home.

Visit your local branch or learn more at:

GoGulf Winds.com/Mortgage

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SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2017 In loving memory of

John Ryan Peacock and Ashley Lauren Offerdahl To date, the PCO has raised more than $915,000 for local charities thanks to the amazing generosity and support of businesses and individuals like you!

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Time to  Buy   or  Sell? We  can  make   your  home   dreams  come   true.  Let  us   help  you  find   the  perfect   property,  or   market  your   home  &  sell  in   your  time   frame,  for  the   best  price.  

TEAM BILLINGSLY

Joe Billingsly 850.291.6761 Kathy  Ray 205.527.6696

Service |  Communication  |  Follow  Up  |  Results

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84 | pensacola magazine

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