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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 1


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Hawkins family is one of the original settlers to the Plant City area.

As always, the best aspect of Plant City is its community involvement. This month, read about all the community outreach that took place. Care Fest involved many groups from the city finding many ways to serve others. Hundreds of people were involved in this year’s Diamonds and Denim Ball, which raised tens of thousands of dollars for the hospital. Meet Ms. Merle Taylor who has used her entire life to impact others. These are just a few examples to show how caring this community is.


FEATURE 40-45 In keeping with many of the local articles on our serving community, read about the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization that exists solely to positively impact the lives of children. Adults take time out of their busy schedules weekly to invest into children that haven’t had the best of lives.

SPOTLIGHT 48-50 Up and coming Nashville country music star Perry Ashley shares his story of the road he has taken to follow his dreams. Raised in Dover, he plans never to leave his home town, despite rising fame. His single will be released on national radio on January 9th, 2006; until then, keep a close eye on his escalating career.

This section is dedicated to buyers, sellers, and owners.

SPORTS 90-92 There are two stories this month covering the Plant City Raiders. In the first story, against the wolves, the Raiders came out victorious 19-14. Even better, they beat Tech 30-3 for their homecoming game. At halftime, Mary Coleman was crowned Homecoming Queen.

DINING & ENTERTAINMENT 103-116 The dining review this month is on Bobber’s Beach House Seafood. Read about the wonderful atmosphere and fish variety at this new restaurant. Also, the First United Methodist Church hosted Jazz, Jesus and Java as the kickoff to their new concert series for this season.

PLANT CITY EDITION PUBLISHER Mike Floyd mike@floydpublications.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Linda Floyd linda@floydpublications.com MANAGING EDITOR Sophia Dedon sdedon@floydpublications.com OFFICE MANAGER DeDe Floyd dede@floydpublications.com CREDIT MANAGER Bob Hughens bob@floydpublications.com SALES Tania Summers tsummers@floydpublications.com Suzanne Gross sgross@floydpublications.com Darsey Tyler dtyler@floydpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Phil Ransdell philrand@floydpublications.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Stefanie Burlingame sburlingame@floydpublications.com DISTRIBUTION Tony DeVane PHOTOGRAPHER Billy Friend STAFF WRITERS Sherri Robinson, Brian West, Kristen Toney, Lynne Warren, Ken Lawrence, Willa Warren Laverne Stevens, Amy Ellis, Connie DuBois, Dawn Marie Simpson, Debbie Bowers Devin Dygart, Joe Lane, Brenda Paul, Sherry Baldwin CONTRIBUTORS Sherry Nueesch, Gil Gott, Jim Brown, Shelton Keely, Michael Cameron, Al Cohen

FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. Letters, Questions and Comments can be sent to us at sdedon@floydpublications.com. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants, and many local venues. It is also distributed to 10,000 homes.

DID YOU KNOW? 56 This month is the first month in a three part series on “Pioneering Families in Plant City.” Read about the history of the Hawkins family and the legacy that was left by Steven M. Hawkins, a man of generosity. Having settled in “Ichepuckesassa” in 1855, the


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Perry Ashley from Dover is a rising Nashville Star. Read his story beginning on page 48.


floyd publications, inc. 702 West Mlk Jr. Blvd. Plant City, Florida 33563 Phone 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 4




“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late”. RALPH WALDO EMERSON


’m sure all of us have been touched by the images on TV of the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims, waiting days for help and for just the basics like food and water. I can’t imagine being hit by Mother Nature to the extent that I wouldn’t know where my family members were, or if they were even alive. The fact that, on a much smaller scale, it was akin to what happened to some of the tsunami victims last December in Indonesia, only it was right here in America, the richest and most powerful country on earth, made it really hit home for a lot of us. Americans are certainly generous when it comes to helping people in need, no matter where it is, but especially when it’s right in our own back yard. Numerous private folks have driven truckloads of water, food and miscellaneous supplies to Louisiana and Mississippi, not waiting to go through the normal channels. Every night on TV and in the daily newspaper we see everyday people opening up their homes to Katrina and Rita evacuees, donating clothing and food and help wherever it’s needed. The scenes are heart-wrenching to be sure, but there are also many heart-warming stories that we see or read about, as well. The Red Cross has seen a surge in volunteers taking the necessary classes to be able to serve wherever they are needed. They’re both on a grand scale, but we know so much good is being done by ordinary people that we do not hear about. In our Local section this month we profile a couple of those warm, caring, everyday people who arrange mission trips to foreign countries for the First Baptist Church, Bob and Nicole Adams. Our Feature highlights a wonderful organization that helps people make a difference in the life of a child, Big Brothers Big Sisters. Be sure to read Al Ruechel’s column this month, where he expounds on the federal government’s response to the catastrophe in New Orleans, defending it from an insider’s perspective. I’m reminded of a line in Mitch Albom’s book (Hyperion) and movie by the same name The Five People You Meet in Heaven, “All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” I certainly hope that’s true for the majority of Katrina’s and Rita’s victims. As always, we hope you enjoy this issue and we thank you for your readership and support.

Linda Floyd

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 6

In a story last month about Jackson Douglas’ terrible accident, our writer misused the word “dubious” when describing retired RN Patricia Grimmer. She meant to describe Ms. Grimmer as a woman of distinction, a woman of fine professional and personal stature, as portrayed to her by Mr. Douglas and his fiancée’, Kim Barlow. The sole purpose of them sharing their story with us was to thank the many people responsible for the emotional support they received, as well as the help that was given in many different ways. In addition to Mrs. Patricia Grimmer and all the medical personnel involved, they would also like to say a special “thank you” to the following: Jaime and Jake Stine and their children, Jake and Jayce, Lisa and Marco Duran, Patricia and Casey Cason, Ann and Woodrow Williams, Gordon and his wife, Pandy and Bob Zogofos, Mt. Zion Church of God, Mary, John and Patricia Whitehead, Carol Robinson and Charlie Deaver.




of the


Focus Magazine wants to know what is going on in YOUR life. People have exciting things happen to them everyday and sometimes wish they could tell everyone. Well, now you can. If you have an announcement you would like to share with Plant City, tell us, and we will put it in our Talk of the Town section. There are drop-off boxes and notepads located around town for your convenience. Right now, a few box locations are Fred’s Farmer’s Market, Grandpa Johnson’s, The Artistry, The Whistle Stop Café, and Manhattan Mortgage. More locations are to come, so keep your eye out for the Talk of the Town boxes. If you would prefer to call in your exciting news, the number is 813-7078783 x 21. Focus Magazine cares about you and wants to share in your excitement. Exciting news within the Focus office this month was the announcement that Sophia Dedon, the managing editor, is now engaged to Brandon Hyde. The wedding will not be for a few more years. Metro announced their 2005 “Best Doctors in America” list and on it was Plant City’s own Dolores Lowe. Congratulations Dr. Lowe!

Carl Seigel would like to introduce Team Seigel to all his past, present and future customers. Angel Miller and Carole Hemming are thrilled to join his team. Stop in and say hello at the Keller Williams Office at 1701 S. Alexander. Universal Flooring Solution Inc. just opened in downtown Plant City. They handle sales and installation for all floor-

ing. They are located at 1504 E. Baker St. To find out more about this new business call them at 813-719-2623. Jackie’s Dance Theatre’s Clogging & Gym was invited to perform at the 34th Anniversary of Disney World in the new Galaxy Theatre October 22. Ms. Jackie herself was a choreographer at the 1971 grand opening; Ms. Sharon was 10 years old when she made her first professional performance. The October Beautification Award Winners were Tom and Grace Thompson for their lovely garden at 1504 Smyrna in Plant City. The City of Plant City Recreation & Parks Department is pleased to announce the appointment of Ivan Brooks as Center Athletic Coordinator at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center for the Recreation Division. Rules for the 2006 Junior Royalty Pageant will be available at the Florida Strawberry Festival office at 2202 W. Reynolds St. Applications will be distributed at registration on Monday, November 7, in the Arthur Boring Building. The winners of the 2005 Punt Pass and Kick contest were Tyler Milnes, Hunter Shuff, Robert Seguin, Amy Williamson, Jared Smith, Kate Williamson, Reid Adams, Cathleen Evans, Zack Batley, Kurt Reinsch, Marc Russomanno, Steven Williamson, Ryan Gen-

try, and Sean Gentry. Ryan Napier, a senior at Plant City High School, recently qualified as a Semifinalist in the 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program. Only 16,000 nationwide receive this honor earned from high scores on the PSAT taken their junior year. Chyijuana Cooper, also a senior at Plant City High School, was named a 2006 National Achievement Scholar Semifinalist. Approximately 1600 Semifinalists were selected in this competition for Black American high school students. For the first time ever, Plant City has a girls traveling competitive soccer team. It consists of 8 and 9-year-old girls that travel with the Plant City Lancers. Summer Merril and Kevin Smith were engaged on September 17. They will be expecting a little girl who’s name will be Taylor Breanne Smith on October 28, 2005. New residents to the Plant City community, Bill and Debbi Bara, wish to announce the deployment of Debbi’s son, George Denillo, to Kuwait with the U.S. Air Force. Also, he has recently been engaged to Denise Merkowsky of Elyria, Ohio.


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 7




Story and Photos by Sophia Dedon

Diamonds and Denim 2005 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR


aving fun and helping others at the same time seems like the perfect combination to most. The hundreds of people from around Plant City that attended the 2005 Diamonds and Denim ball would most certainly agree. On September 22, 2005 the Arthur Boring Center at the Strawberry Festival Grounds was packed with people from the community. All the money raised from this year’s ball went to benefit the Community Outreach Programs of the South Florida Baptist Hospital.

The night was full of excitement. The tables were packed with people talking to friends and colleagues, others running into old friends and playing a little catch-up, great food, country music, and most certainly a relaxed atmosphere. One of the great aspects of the Diamonds and Denim Ball compared to other benefit dinners is the more casual attire and laid back environment. All attendants searched in their closets to find their favorite denim and jean clothing to wear for the ball. There were even a few guests who couldn’t resist wearing their cowboy’s hats and used them to top-off their outfits. Some say that benefit dinners never have good food, but Plant City would never stand for such an atrocity. The South Florida Baptist Hospital knew that the Plant City people deserved better and

they certainly provided. There were six stations of food spread across the Arthur Boring Center. The first stop was the salad and brie station to get the meal started, followed by a visit to the seafood table, which had a beautiful ice sculpture and shrimp galore. The next station was the ribs and pasta table, right next to the carving station with multiple options of meat. If there was still room left, then no one could pass up the three tables of desserts that were so tempting and made the mouth water, especially the strawberry cheesecake. Meanwhile, throughout the night, guests toured the silent auction area with over 100 items to bid on, all of which were so appealing. There were luxuries ranging from jewelry to pamper packages to just about anything one could imagine. All in all, the night was quite a success. The hospital was able to raise $70,000 thanks to all those who participated. Gratitude goes to the businesses that were Emerald Sponsors, Sapphire Sponsors, Ruby Sponsors and Pearl Sponsors. Special appreciation also goes to everyone who participated in the silent auction whether by donating items or spending money on them. And of course, a special thank you goes out to everyone who attended, giving Diamonds and Denim another successful year.

Two friends have fun trying on the rings that were for auction at the Diamonds and Denim Ball.

A couple enjoys dancing to country music at the Diamonds and Denim Ball.

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507 N. Wheeler St. Plant City, FL • www.jackiesdance.com

(813) 752-1621 • (813) 752-1683 Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Gym, Cheerdance, Clogging, Tap, Musical Theatre

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 8




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Chamber of Commerce Did you miss The Third Annual Bike Fest in downtown Plant City? What a time. This great family event is sponsored by your Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. On the first Saturday of each month, the Chamber holds a Bike Fest which attracts several hundred motorcycles of all shapes, sizes, and models. This past October 1st. was the Third Annual Event. Music was provided by the Lynard Skynard Tribute Band, all types of vendors, biker games, Jesse the “Human Bomb” and much more. If you have not attended this monthly event, you are missing out on a great time. Mark your calendars…the first Saturday of the month in Historic Downtown Plant City. The fun starts at 5:00 PM. For those of you that plan ahead, mark the date of the Fourth Annual Bike Fest on your calendars. It will be held Saturday, October 7, 2006. ❖ Get ready for another great Chamber event. The Third Annual Plant City State Championship Pig Jam BBQ Competition will be held Saturday, November 19th. This event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Come and enjoy some great barbeque. It promises first rate family fun, kid’s activities, live entertainment and vendors. There will be a professional competition, an amateur competition and a kid’s competition. This event is held at the Randy Larson Four-Plex, 1900 South Park Road/1401 Albertson’s Drive. It gets underway at 10:00 AM and the fun goes on till 5:00 PM. If you would like additional information, call the Chamber office at 813-754-3707. If you have a specific question, you can e-mail Jodi Smith at jodi.smith@baycare.org or log onto the Chamber web site at plantcity.org . ❖ On November 11th the Plant City Photo Archives will be having an event honoring our Veterans. This will take place at their new location, 119 Collins Street. Photos of Veterans from the Plant City area will be displayed. This event will open at 9:00 AM and continue till 11:00 AM. Stop by and look over the photos of the men and women that served our great nation. This is a special Veterans Day tribute.

❖ The Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon Street, Plant City features Toddler Time at 9:30 AM on October 18 and 25, Story Time at 10:30 AM also on October 18 and 25 and Baby Time at 10:00 AM on October 20 and 27. Halloween is approaching and the City Of Plant City Recreation & Parks Department has two events planned in celebration for this “spooky” time of the year. On Friday, October 28th there will be a Halloween Dance for elementary age children at the Planteen Recreation Center, 301 Dort Street, Plant City. This event takes place from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. On Saturday, October 29th a Hallowscreams Dance for ages 12 to 16 will be held at the Planteen Recreation Center. Doors will open at 7:00 PM. There is a $5.00 charge, but if you come in costume you receive a $1.00 discount. There will be free drinks and food plus a live DJ. A contest will be held for the best costume with cash prizes awarded. For more information call the Planteen Rec Center at 813-757-9166. Sounds like a devilish good time! ❖ The monthly Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours will take place at the Homegrown Candle Market, 104 West Reynolds Street, Plant City on November 27th. This gets underway at 5:15 and goes on till 7:00 PM. Stop by and meet your Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce members and look over the great selection of homemade candles and accessories. ❖ Want to see some great gardens? Plan to go on the Fall Garden Tour on October 29th. This event is sponsored by the Plant City Garden Club. Call 7591019 for additional information. ❖ On October 30th it’s time to fall back. Remember to set your clocks back one hour as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end. ❖

Story By Bruce Rodwell

The annual Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Banquet will be held November 3rd. at the Red Rose Ballroom, Ramada Inn. Call the Chamber office at 754-3707 for tickets. ❖ Remember this date…Saturday, November 12th. The Annual Plant City Pioneer Day takes place at the 1914 High School. Gets underway at 10:00 AM.

Dates To Put On Your Calendar: Oct. 17 - Junior Women’s Club Kid’s Night Out at the Depot in downtown Plant City. Starts at 2:30 PM and ends at 9:00 PM. Call Michelle at 813-659-1626 for information. Oct. 20 - GFWC Woman’s Club spaghetti dinner. Held at the Women’s Club on Wheeler Street, Plant City. Served from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Call Helen Printz at 813-659-4361 for information. Oct. 22 - Econoline Show and Swap meet at the Depot, downtown Plant City. Starts at 8:00 AM. Oct. 22 - Florida Opry, 1914 High School. Starts at 7:00 PM. Oct. 22 - Ashton Bass Barbeque benefit take out from 4 :00 to 6:00 PM at the Depot, downtown Plant City. Call Joe Moore at 813-368-2701 for additional information. Oct. 22 - St. Clement Catholic Church Youth Ministries Golf Classic at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club. Proceeds go to the Church Scholarship Fund to help with college studies. Call Carol Rodriguez at 813-757- 6234 or Pete Weronik at 813-752-8855. Oct. 27 - Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at Home Grown Candle,104 West Reynolds Street Arcade, Plant City. Starts at 5:15 PM. Oct. 28 - Plant City YMCA Octoberfest, Plant City YMCA from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Call Jenny Belmar at 813-757-6677 for information.

Oct. 28 - Halloween Dance for elementary age children at Planteen Recreation Center. Starts at 6:00 PM. Oct. 28 - Haunted Studio at Ms. Dixie’s Aurora Music & Performing Arts Studio, 206 S. Evers Street, Plant City. From 6:00 to 11:00 PM. Also on October 29th same time. Oct. 29 - Hoe Down & Fish Fry to benefit the Cornerstone Center. Held at 1702 Joe McIntosh Road, Plant City. Call 813-754-9526 for information. Oct. 29 - Fall Garden Tour sponsored by the Plant City Garden Club. Call Darcy at 813-759-1019 for tickets and information. Oct. 30 - Set your clocks back one hour as Daylight Savings Time ends. Nov. 3 – Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Banquet. Held at the Ramada Inn. Call the Chamber at 754-3707 for tickets. Nov. 5 – Bike Fest, downtown Plant City. Starts at 5:00 PM. Nov. 6 - Sounds of the Harry James Orchestra and the Andrews Sisters at the Wesley Centre, 303 N. Evers Street, Plant City. Concert starts at 7:00 PM. Call 813-754-3519 for additional information. Nov. 9 - Chamber of Commerce Contact Breakfast at the Ramada Inn. Starts at 7:30 AM. Call the Chamber at 754-3707 to RSVP. Nov. 11 – Veterans Day Tribute at the Photo Archives, 119 Collins Street, Plant City. Starts at 9:00 AM. Nov. 12 – Pioneer Day, 1914 Plant City High School. Starts at 10:00 AM. Call 813-757-9226 for information. Nov. 12 – Gospel Sing and Barbeque at Cornerstone Center, call 813-754-9526 For details. Nov. 19 – Third Annual Pig Jam at Randy Larson Four-Plex, Park Road, Plant City. Nov. 19 – Strawberry Classic Car Show, downtown Plant City, starts at 4:00 PM.


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 10



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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 11



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Story by Debbie Bowers Photos courtesy of Vic Larsen SEND COMMENTS TO SDEDON@FLOYDPUBLICATIONS.COM



iggedy bop! Tap dancing is “making itself heard loud and clear.” Vic Larsen of Strawberry Station Dance Studio is rat-a-tatting in the Plant City area. The entire dance curriculum of Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Line Dancing, Clogging, and Gymnastics is taught by Vic Larsen and other highly, positive, professional and energetic instructors. Vic Larsen graduated from the University of Miami, where he received his Music Education degree. Vic studied Tap with Charles Sands, Tony Rizzo, Savion Glover, and the late Gregory Hines. He founded the American Drum Major and Band Auxiliary Academy and ran these summer camp programs in 10 states for 27 years.

He taught Music and Dance for 38 years in the public school system. Each year, Vic and his students at Lincoln Elementary School would perform a program entitled “Around The World Christmas Show.” Students were taught to understand the cultures of different countries through song and dance. Dances performed were of Irish, Calypso, Russian, and Hawaiian descent. And, of course, the Plant City Hoe Down was always a favorite! Mr. Larson said it would be a hoot to teach his former class of 6th graders, now 45 years of age, new tap steps! He believes if they had a good time as 6th graders they would have a tremendous time now. He’s passionate about dancing and feels it is a wonderful, expressive, and

creative release. Benefits of dancing include health and aerobic exercise, diversion, entertainment, and just plain fun. Entering the studio is quite exciting as teachers demonstrate to their students the fine art of dancing. With feet shuffling, sliding, and fast feet taping, both Vic and his student, Susan Johns, gracefully performed a part of “And All That Jazz.” You can’t help but want to step right in and join in the exciting dance of tap. Vic offers a complimentary Tap lesson to kids of all ages. The Strawberry Dance Studio is located at 1105 Goldfinch Dr. You may

reach the studio at 754-9191 or at 754-4441. The next time you feel the urge to make your feet dance, visit or call Vic Larsen and listen to the wonderful sounds your feet can make!!

Ladies take three competitions in 2005 with two Gold’s and one Platinum

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 13


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Story and Photo by Sophia Dedon

Piano Teacher & Role Model for Plant City MERLE TAYLOR


went to a friend’s house for some tea and a snack, and there I met Ms. Merle Taylor. Not only is this woman 89 years old and still spunky as can be, but she has used her life in so many ways to impact others.

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She moved to Plant City over 50 years ago with her husband, the late Carney Taylor, who grew up in the Midway area. Playing the piano has been a part of Ms. Merle’s life for as long as anyone can remember. She taught both piano and organ for over forty years, teaching more students in Plant City than anyone can count. At times, she had more than 40 students a week. To this day she runs into grown adults who remember her being their teacher when they were small children. I regret to share, though, that at this time Ms. Merle has moved to South Carolina. Her family decided it wasn’t such a good idea for her to be living alone and she is now with her son who is a music minister; go figure. I cannot express how badly Ms. Merle did not want to leave. “This community is my home and it just breaks my heart to leave,” she said.



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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 14

Just to show how much this woman is loved, there were multiple surprise going away parties thrown for

her. The street that she lives on had a sort-of block party and everyone in their part of the neighborhood gathered at a house to wish her farewell. For the past eleven years she has been playing piano at the sunrise service at Country Meadows and they cancelled church on a Sunday to throw her a surprise party, as well. Piano is such a part of her life that it will probably never leave her. When she was younger she played in department stores, for radio shows, at more functions than she can either count or remember, and even at the World’s Fair in New York not long after she was married. When asked if she would still be playing after she moved she said, “I’m not ready to quit, no way, not on anything. I just thank the Lord, keep playin’ and keep goin’.” Although leaving Plant City has been such a struggle for Ms. Merle, the Lord has a purpose for her. There is probably a life waiting up there for her and people waiting for her to impact, plus people waiting to hear her play. Ms. Merle can rest assured in the fact that whatever the Lord brings you to he will take you through.

Merle Taylor has been playing the piano for decades and has taught many students in Plant City over the past 50 years, meanwhile making a difference in their lives.




Negocio En Espanol

tions and many, especially children, are not immunized for various diseases.

“The growing Hispanic population is profoundly changing the marketing landscape and by the year 2008 Hispanic purchasing power in America will exceed $1 trillion”.— Florida State University

Also, many Hispanics are not aware of their legal rights and have even been defrauded by people posing as notary publics, with charges upwards of $300 for documents that are available on the internet.


As one drives around eastern Hillsborough County, there are many signs of the growing Hispanic influence in this community. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that business interests in Plant City, well aware of the statistics we mentioned at the outset, have formed a local chapter of the Tampa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Two sisters who have lived in Plant City for several years started the

Hispanic Chamber while discussing many issues that have negatively impacted local Spanish speaking people. In spite of government efforts to teach non-English speakers about life in America, several have been duped by unscrupulous individuals. Gracie Cardenas and her sister, Marta Rangel, have been concerned that many Spanish speakers do not understand home or business mortgages and have been deceived in some cases. They want courses to teach families about the credit system. There’s also concern that migrant workers do not live in healthy condi-

Gracie Cardenas, who is a contract administra- Gracie Cardenas has played an instrumental role in the establishing the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. tor at Paragon Homes, was elected chairperson the Plant City Chamber, but says of the local chamber “there are unique issues for Hispanchapter at the group’s initial meeting ics that must be dealt with”. She in Mi-Casa Restaurant. It was a full expects the two organizations will house. Her sister, Marta Rangel, is a work together on many projects. professor at Leary Technical Center in Tampa. The Hispanic Chamber will hold its next meeting on September 22nd, Gracie says the Plant City Hispanic again at Mi Casa Restaurant. DeseChamber of Commerce has no inandoles lo mejor! tentions of trying to compete with


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 15




Story by Joe Lane Photos courtesy of Erin Gentry & the Wineiger Family

We gave at the office… SUPPORT THAT IS.


he people of Plant City have a history of giving, and now is no different. We have some very creative ways of raising money to give to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We have many means, but one cause: helping fellow Americans. Plant City is reaching out to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The people of Florida know what it is like to go through a hurricane. It’s hard to find somebody here that isn’t doing something to raise some money to help. There are so many different ways the good people of Plant City are raising money, here are a few examples of the giving nature of our home town. Valrico State Bank has buckets out on the counter. They will also be having a fund-raiser October fifteenth to raise further funds. So far they have raised sixteen hundred dollars. Judy Hamblin is heading up the fundraiser. She said: “It’s a good venue… people are cashing checks”. They can donate right on the spot. When asked why they are doing it Judy said: “Why wouldn’t we? It’s not a question of should we… but how do we. “ Pong Lai Martial Arts hosted a Kickathon. The students who joined in found sponsors to donate money. In a brief ceremony they performed one-hundred kicks to “earn” the

money. The crowd gathered around to help count to make sure they did the full number. They have anti-abduction classes, and other self-defense classes. Rave International in Tampa matched the funds raised for a total of over nine-hundred fifty dollars. It was all donated to the Red Cross. The Athletic Club is also joining in. They have empty five gallon water containers set out on the counter to collect money. So far they have raised over six hundred dollars. They are working on getting a fundraiser organized. When asked what gave them the idea to start collecting, Chris Mortellaro, the assistant manager said, “Last year, with what happened here, we know what they’re going through”. He was quick to point out that even nonmembers can stop by to donate. Not just the businesses are giving, Plant City has more to offer than just business fundraisers; churches, organizations, even the children are finding ways to help the cause. The parents and staff of Cork Elementary asked, “What can we do?” The principal found out the greatest need at the time was money. They were going to collect food, diapers and things like that for the children, but how to get it all there?

Money was the best option. How is a school supposed to get money? They decided since the kids like to wear hats to school, they would have a hat day. They could bring a dollar to donate and on that day they could wear their hat. They raised over nine-hundred dollars in one day and cut the check to Red Cross that afternoon. Bryan Elementary held a fundraiser. The students washed the faculty vehicles. “The students were responsible for the entire thing” Erin Gentry, a fifth grade teacher, says, “They raised over six-hundred eighty dollars. The proceeds are being sent to the Red Cross and Salvation Army”. Covenant Bible Church has been taking donations after services. They know a pastor of a church up there and he is now helping relieve those around him. They are donating the monies

collected to him and he is purchasing food to help feed the hungry. These are just a few examples of how our great city is giving: a carwash, kicking a hundred times, putting out collecting buckets, and all sorts of fund-raisers. There are many others, as well. In fact, it’s hard to find somebody that is not doing something to help out their fellow man. Is there another way you can help? Plant City is strong because its people are strong. It’s not that we gave that makes Plant City so great… it’s that we give.

Chloe and Camryn Wineiger set up a lemonade stand and took it to Harrell’s Nursery to sell lemonade for 50 cents and a dollar. At the end pf the day, the two girls had raised $100 and used their money to help victims of hurricane Katrina. The world would be a better place if we all had the ambition of a child to help those in need.

Jessica Martinez, Zackary Besece, Ms. Erin Gentry, Checky Nelson (behind), Levi Rypkema, Miguel Delgado, Tinerra Reason, Kylee Glaze, Breanna Olson, and Martin Garcia participate in a car wash at Bryan Elementary to help victims of Katrina.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 16




Story and Photos by Sherri Robinson

Don’t Judge the Band by its Genre ARTIST OF THE MONTH


rt and music are like beauty; their value is subjective and in the eye of the beholder or, in this case, the listener. This month we are stepping outside the box to explore a different aspect of music....Heavy Metal. Plant City has a heavy metal band, “Malkavian” which is made up of 6 members, 19 to 21 years of age. Though the band name came from the game “Vampire Masquerade”, this group of young guys wants everyone to know they are not evil or satanic. Aaron Rodriguez - Guitar, Matt Suits – Guitar, Peter Barker - Bass, Devin Brooks - Drummer, Scott Hollingsworth - Singer and Jesse Hatchell – Keyboard, are a group of responsible hard working guys who have a great love for music, as different as it might be. They know it is going to be tough to make it in this country, since heavy metal is not accepted here like it is in Europe, where the best metal bands come from. Malkavian has been influenced by some of their favorites, like Soil Work and Massugar. Though it is really tough to do, Malkavian would

like to add techno to their sound and, in turn, draw more of a crowd for their music. They have much to be proud of. On August 27th this year they won the Battle of the Bands in Lakeland, sponsored by Campfire. It was quite an accomplishment because they were playing with a new drummer and broke a few of the contest rules. For those of you who are interested in checking them out live, your next opportunities will be on Oct. 22nd and November 5th at Masquerades in Tampa. The doors open at 7, but there is not a set time for them to perform. On November 19th you will find them competing against about 20 other bands in Tampa at the Vegas Showgirls on Gandy for a prize of $3,000. They’d love to see you come out and support them at any of these events. Check out their website at www.myspace.com/ Malkavian. For booking or ticket information, contact Peter Baker at 813-4533105, or Aaron Rodriguez at cyanidal@verizon.net.


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The heavy metal band, Malkavian, members are: Aaron Rodriguez, Guitar; Matt Suits, Guitar; Peter Barker, Bass; Devin Brooks, Drummer; Scott Hollingsworth, Singer; and Jesse Hatchell, Keyboard.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 17




Story by Brian West Photos Courtesy of Jodi Smith

Smell The Smoke



arbeque. The word evokes visions of meats grilled to perfection and covered in sauce or rub. Barbeque is enjoyed in the US from coast to coast and throughout the southeast and each year barbeque enthusiasts travel the states to show off their barbeque skills in competitions with their peers. Three years ago the Plant City Chamber of Commerce decided to get in on the fun and bring an event to town. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, November 19, 2005 in the northwest corner of the Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium property. For those who may not be familiar with the event, here’s how it works. Teams enter the contest in various categories; ribs, pork, beef brisket, and chicken. Teams arrive on Friday, the day before the contest, to set up their cook site and begin cooking. This is when the real fun begins. Teams spend the day prepping their grills and the meats they’ll cook for the competition and most also cook food to be sold to visitors. Visitors to the event buy “Pig Bucks” exchanged dollar for dollar. The Pig Bucks are then used to purchase the food sold by the competitors.

The event also features a kid’s competition. There are 2 age groups: 10 and under and 11-15. Competitors only compete in 2 categories; chicken or anything goes. The anything goes allows the competitors to cook anything of their choice that can be cooked on the grill. If you’re looking for good down home fun, this is the event. Children aren’t involved in anything deemed dangerous like starting the fire, but must be able to prepare, cook, and present their entries on their own. This year the chamber is adding a new feature to the event; a cook’s party. Jodi Smith, Co-Chair of the event, said, “We wanted to do a

And there is big money involved. The Grand Champion gets $2500 and the Reserve Grand Champion gets $1500. Then there is prize money for first through fifth place in each of the four categories, with prize money in one hundred dollar increments from $500 to $100 respectively. All totaled, the event provides $10,000 in prize money. And teams travel from all over the US to come to Plant City and compete. The past Grand Champions from the last 2 years, Dumplin Valley of Lakeland, Florida, and Smokers Wild of Paola, Kansas, will both be returning this year. In addition to these two top teams, 4 out of the top 10 Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) teams for 2004 also compete in the event.

cook’s party to stand out from the other competitions. We want to show these teams not just our down home feeling and our friendliness, but that we also know how to throw a great event and how well our community supports Pig Jam.” There isn’t really any rest time for them, either. For the most part the cooks will be up all night working their magic on foods they’ll enter in the contest on Saturday. There is no admission. If you’re interested in attending the event to try some great barbeque, bring the entire family. There’ll be something for everyone. There will be a rock climbing wall, moonwalks, games,

and giveaways for the kids. Those that just want to come out and eat can enjoy snow cones, kettle corn, elephant ears, and all the great tasting barbeque you could want. Those who’d like to participate in the competition still have time to register. The application deadline is October 20, 2005. For more information contact the Plant City Chamber of Commerce at 813-754-3707. Chris Sparkman, Sparky’s Food Stores, and Jodi Smith, South Florida Baptist Hospital, are the Chair and Co-Chair of the event. The chamber also has information on their website at www.plantcity.org.

Cameron, Susie and Michael Poppell were part of last year’s Kids Contest.

Don and Sharon from Paola, Kansas, Grand Champs last year, with Yvonne Fry, Jennifer Closshey and Teresa Armbruster.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 18

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 19



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aking Plant City by storm was Phil Webb’s 16-piece band at St. Clement’s Catholic Church. Vickie Conner, organizer of the swing fundraiser, mentioned that all monies collected benefit St. Peter’s Episcopal Church nestled at 302 N. Carey Street.

You can bet, with the rise in popularity of big band music, the orchestra pulled no punches to keep the music alive and bring in some much needed funding to beautify the church grounds and refurbish the kitchen. The 100 year-old church is located in a historic district and the desire of the congregation is to bring out its true beauty to the community. The orchestra’s instrumentation augmented the big band setting of the evening with the inclusion of the Reverend Thomas Thoeni, who

showcased his talents on the drums. For those who would like a sentimental journey into the history of Jazz, here we go…. Jazz history began in the early 1900’s in New Orleans. Steamboats using the Mississippi helped spread the sound of jazz as many of the bands and musicians performed as entertainment on the boats. In the 1920s the music of jazz began to migrate to a big band format, combining elements of blues and ragtime music. The hot jazz orchestras soon found the necessity of using an “arranger” for their pieces of music. The arranger had an all-important function in the creating of big band jazz, because structure became necessary with large gatherings of musicians. The arranger took a written piece of

Dancing the night-away was the game plan for many folks.

music and assigned parts to the different sections in a band. The arranged pieces by Don Rayburn created an ebullience unleashed on the 200+ crowd that tore up the floor after their dinner. Trust me - after a decadent meal of prime rib, and the most important staple of dinner (in my opinion) – chocolate cheesecake, everyone needed to dance!

Don’t overlook St. Peter’s – watch as the building and grounds become updated before your eyes. In fact, you might want to stop in on a Sunday morning, because you can’t judge beauty based on the outside. The true heart and beauty of the church family can only be found on the inside.

We built this bank one satisfied customer at a time. If you think the big banks are getting bigger at your expense and are treating you like a number, it’s time you give Sunshine State Federal Savings a call. We offer small town service that is second to none. After all that is how we built a business that has been dedicated to Plant City for over fifty years. We are not a bank, we’re better.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 20

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re you tired of going to concerts with tens of thousands of people and needing binoculars in order to see your favorite performer? Well, if you are an Emerson Drive, Ricochet, or Fanny Grace fan then you will want to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity to see your band up close an personal! They will be performing at the Dan Cannon auditorium at the Pasco County fairgrounds, which only seats about 1000 people. Hurry and buy your tickets NOW at www. centralfloridaconcerts.com! The Dan Cannon Auditorium at the Pasco County Fairgrounds will be exploding on November 5th when we begin a blockbuster evening with a special VIP Pre-Concert Party from 6:00 to 7:00 pm featuring band members signing autographs!

Doors will open at 7:00 pm with FANNY GRACE taking the stage at 7:30. With their hit single “Counting on Love” from their latest album “321 Broadway,” this duo from Oklahoma brings their personal style and unique sound from their hometowns of Los Angeles and Belfast, Ireland.

Emerson Drive will be performing fresh off their tour with Shania Twain.

Ricochet will explode onto the stage around 8:15. This band consists of five singing musicians whose distinctive harmonies have earned them recognition as one of the most popular vocal groups in country music. They have been rolling with a full head of steam since being named “Best New Vocal Group” by both the Academy of Country Music and Billboard Magazine. Recently,

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 22

LOCAL they have been nominated for “The Vocal Group of the Year” by both the ACM and CMA. Their number one hit single “Daddy’s Money” is one of the most recognized songs in country music history. Emerson Drive tops off the evening when singer Brad Mates, guitarist Danick Dupelle, keyboardist/ guitarist Dale Wallace, fiddler David Pichette, bassist Patrick Bourque and drummer Mike Melancon, the hottest young phenomenon in country music today, take to the stage! Voted ACM’s Top New Vocal Group/Duo (awarded in 2003), Billboard’s #1 Top Country Artist of the Year for 2002, R& R’s #1 New Artist MVP for 2002, “Group of the Year” for two consecutive years from the Canadian Country Music Association, two top 5 hits with “Fall Into Me” and “I Should Be Sleeping”, as well as a #1 music video on CMT’s Top Twenty Countdown with “Fall Into Me” are just a few of the many


prestigious awards this dynamite group brings with them! All that was magical about their debut album is even more evident on “What If?” their second album on DreamWorks Records in Nashville.

On the website you can look at the seating chart, get directions, learn more about your these bands, and purchase your tickets immediately.

No need to wait, go to www. centralfloridaconcerts.com right away or call 813-719-1051 for ticket info.

Don’t miss this one time musical extravaganza, a truly phenomenal up close and personal concert experience on November 5th at the Dan Cannon Auditorium on the Pasco County Fairgrounds! To buy your tickets today log onto www. centralfloridaconcerts. com. VIP tables of 8 are available for $500 and come with special access to the Focus Magazine VIP Pre-party featuring J.T. Curtis. General admission tickets are only $29.00. Ricochet will be performing their hit single, “Daddy’s Money.”






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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 23





Dear Focus Readers, In the two past issues there were stories written on the local communities in Plant City. For the most part, they discussed the history of these locations. Seeing as there is no history book written on many of the 11 communities that were discussed, the writers gathered most of their information by word of mouth. As with some cases, when information is passed along, sometimes it loses its accuracy. We realize that some of the people interviewed may have been misinformed. Subsequently,

citizens from these neighboring communities wrote to us, concerned about the printed material. The staff at Focus felt that it was necessary to also publish the letters to either elaborate on the stories or to correct any misinformation. We apologize for anything that my not have been completely correct and hope you understand the circumstances. Here are a few of the comments sent to us by some of our readers. Sincerely, The Staff at Focus Magazine

Hi Linda, I read with interest again your information on Midway. Our house is one built by a Wilder woman at the corner of Midway and Wilder. My husband’s grandparents were early settlers on Midway Rd. and his aunts attended the school, which is now Midway Baptist Church. They were all Clavilles and one aunt still lives on the old home property. Since most of the Clavilles were teachers, the family is trying to get a school named for them. I believe they have done all the paperwork needed. If this happens, it might be something for you at a later date. My husband remembers a store and gas station, not at Midway, but Knights Griffin and Wilder. Thanks for all your good works. Fran Johnson FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 24

Dear Editor Floyd and Staff, Since my family and I moved here last summer (just in time for the hurricanes, no less), I have enjoyed reading your publication. Before our move, I knew nothing about Plant City. My first stop after unpacking a few boxes was at the library, to check out every book on local and regional history. Then, I had the opportunity to get to know some of the descendants of the founding families. And, of course, your publication helped to enlighten me about the current state of community life and small town culture here, as well as directing us to some of the best places to eat. “Focus” is an important publication to the locals and, particularly, to newcomers like me. Thanks for all your good efforts. I enjoyed the special section this month which covered the histories of the small communities surrounding Plant City. We have spent many Saturday afternoons driving around these areas and, while I had gathered some information in those library books, there was more for me to learn and I read your articles with delight. I did not expect to read anything for which I might have a bit more information, given I am not a native, but it so happens in the article about Antioch. I am familiar with the Antioch Church of Christ, by way of friends who attend there, some who have attended there for a long time. While I am sure the writer could have found someone available to talk with had he been able to visit on a Sunday or Wednesday service, the congregation underwent a great deal of sorrow during the last several months, with the critical illness and ultimate death of one of the long-time preachers, Dr. Phil Roberts. Dr. Roberts’ story, itself, is quite interesting - he was a devoted and well-respected Bible scholar who spent many years teaching Bible classes, reading directly from his Hebrew text, to many students at Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL. I did not realize that congregation had been in the Antioch area since the 1800s, but have learned that the congregation in Plant City, which meets on Wilder Road, has also been established for a hundred years. Some of the descendants of the Mobley family attend there (I think of them every time I drive on Mobley St.) and one family member described to me the times when Mud Lake, now Walden Lake, was utilized for many a baptism in the old days. I think of that everyday, too, as I drive through Walden Lake to our home. So, history surrounds us here, and is fascinating to this newcomer for sure. Your publication has been a great resource, and I will continue to look forward to reading it for as long as we are able to remain in this area. Thanks again! Sincerely, Beth Dickinson

Dear Ms. Floyd, First of all, I look forward to your magazine each month and enjoy the articles. What I am writing about is the “Back to our Roots” section in the September issue. In the issue, one of your staff writers has an article on Dover. She mentions that Dover was originally named Sydney and then later changed to Dover, which is not correct! I am a fifth generation descendant of William Owen Pass, which named the community, in honor of a large land owner’s daughter in the area. W.O. Pass was the first Postmaster of the Sydney Post Office, which is still in operation today. The ten-acre block of land that I live on with my family is part of the original piece of property that my Great-Great Grandparents settled. I am very proud of my heritage, and feel that Sydney is but a forgotten community that many people are confusing in today’s time with Dover. I happen to have lots of information that was passed on to me by my Grandfather, which was an amateur historian that submitted several articles to the Tampa Tribune back when they were doing the “ East Hillsborough “ section in the 1970’s and 80’s. I would be very honored to share what information I have with whoever might would want to write an article on Sydney if your publication would grant it. Sincerely, Kelvin Shepherd

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 25


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CHRISTIAN KARATE ASSOCIATION �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������




Story & Photos by Kristen Toney

2005 PCHS Calendar Girl



round this time each year, the conversations of Junior and Senior girls at Plant City High School begin to revolve around one subject: Calendar Girl. “What color is your dress?” “Who’s doing your hair?” “Where did you get your shoes?” And it all comes down to one night.

Saturday, October 1 was that night for 70 PCHS ladies. Perhaps the word “night” may be incorrect; they were actually required to arrive at the school at 2:30 that afternoon. There were curls to arrange, slits to stitch and up-dos to solidify with more hairspray than the hair-care isle at Wal-Mart has ever seen! Photo after photo was snapped, from the professional photographer who was on hand to capture the memories, to the family members who tried to document every moment of the afternoon. And, of course, any beauty competition comes along with those terribly inconvenient disasters which threaten to ruin a girl’s evening: Vaseline smeared on a dress, broken earrings and misplaced cosmetics, to name a few. Yet by 6:00, everything, with the exception of a few jitters, had been taken care of. The auditorium was full of students and family members holding bright bouquets

of flowers, each bearer straining to catch a glimpse of their special calendar girl. The format for this year’s event was a bit different from others. Normally in charge of Calendar Girl are the band parents, but with those individuals stepping down from the leadership position this year, the task fell to the members of the Booster Club. Roxanne Fulwood took on the project as a labor of love. “I had never done it before, it was my first time being involved, but I think it went okay. I may do it again next year…since now I know what I’m doing!” “We wanted the girls to still be able to do it,” said Donna Driggers, an active Booster. “Everything just kind of came together, with much less stress than we had originally anticipated!” As the evening began, Coach Gary Brady and Coach Mark Ackett introduced the 70 young ladies who chose to participate in this year’s event. Each one of the girls had their own fan club, the cheers sounding for all as they gracefully moved across the stage. After a brief intermission, entertainment followed Continued on page 28

Mary Coleman, March

Amanda Mott, November The thirteen ladies who will grace the pages of the 2006 calendar

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 27



Continued from page 27

from Mrs. Erica Willis, a former pageant contestant, and also from Miss Chelsea Rushing, one of the 2004-2005 Calendar Girls. Despite an interesting performance from the sound booth, both ladies sang their hearts out and walked off the stage to resounding applause from all who filled the auditorium. The tension mounted slightly as the 23 semi-finalists were announced. A question and answer portion followed, with each of the ladies providing bright and entertaining answers to questions such as, “What is the best piece of advice your parents have ever given to you?” and “Do you feel that reality TV shows negatively affect today’s teenagers?”

Summer Pippin is overcome by excitement after being crowned 2006 Cover Girl

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 28

After the judges had given their final words, the 13 finalists were announced and brought to the stage to applause, screams and whistles from all in attendance. The big moment had finally arrived, and Kira Story, the 2005 Cover Girl, moved back and forth behind the line of finalists,

holding the crown above each of their heads. After the third parade down the line, the audience grew a bit restless, but positively exploded when the crown came to rest on the head of Miss Summer Pippin, who was crowned the 2006 Cover Girl. So who will the inside of the calendar feature in 2006? January: Heather Webb February: Kyndle Hampton March: Mary Coleman April: Cherica Brown May: Liz Fulmer June: Brittany Drawdy July: Morgan Pfister August: Alexandra Futch September: Dhara Patel October: Sarah Lenhart November: Amanda Mott December: Tiftin Lawson Congratulations to all of these ladies! May 2006 be all you’re dreaming of!



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Story by Dawn Marie Simpson Photo courtesy of Dennis Owen

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he phrase which is engraved on the outside of the James Farley Post Office building at 8th Avenue in New York is “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” This sums up the work that Dennis Owen of the Walden Lake Post Office does. Dennis has been a postal carrier for 37 years, and in that time he has been threatened, bitten by dogs and lambasted by people who were expecting a check and didn’t receive it. His mode of transportation during those years changed from a bicycle to a U.S. mail truck, and his salary slowly rose from $2.95 per hour to nearly $24.00. Upon meeting Dennis, you will notice his ever-present smile. He claims that a warm sense of humor is a vital necessity and almost a prerequisite for being a mail carrier. Dennis offers outstanding service, which exceeds the bounds of his sworn duty. He does more than required by his job, and that sets him apart from his peers. This year, Jane Fultz, Post Master, recognized Dennis’s outstanding efforts as a carrier and submitted his name to the National Rural Letter Carriers

Association (NRLCA). There were over 237,000 entries and Dennis won the award in his district. Yet, while you may assume that he had won the award based on his participation in extracurricular work or for his efforts as an Ambassador for the Postal service in their continual fight to encourage local school kids from dropping out of school, Owen’s claim to fame may have been something entirely different. Dennis became a celebrity in his own right by having his face printed on over 40 million Valpak Coupon envelopes that are being sent to families featuring the National Stamp Out Hunger Drive. The food drive informs citizens to place food near their mailbox once a year before their letter carrier arrives. Carriers like Dennis take the donation back to their postal station, where it is sorted & delivered to a food bank. Valpak applauds the letter carriers that work so hard during this important food drive in which tons of food is collected for the needy. Keep delivering, Dennis! You make the world a better place for all of us!

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Somebody Cares Plant City A WEEK OF SHARING


astor Jeff Howell and the members of Church on the Rock had a mission: Break out of traditional boundaries to meet the needs of people where they live. An ad was placed in the newspaper, which read, “Come use our yard to sell your stuff. Please keep the proceeds.” Twenty-five tables and two chairs were allotted each family. Pastor Howell stated, “We wanted the community to know we’re not asking for anything. We just wanted to give as God’s people. We wanted to show the local residents how much we cared for them, so we decided to call the festival-like outreach “Care Fest.” While planning the Care Fest, Pastor Howell learned of the Somebody

Cares Plant City Week, which was proclaimed by Mayor John Dicks as September 17th through the 24th, 2005. Reverend Norm Blanton, Executive Director of SCPC, was busy working with volunteers to assist the needs of low-income individuals and families in our area. He suggested collaboration, using the Church on the Rock’s outreach as the kick-off for the weeklong program.

presented by Master Police Officer Brent Myers of the Tampa Police Department. Thirty-five bicycle helmets were distributed and barbeque chicken dinners served. Attendance was estimated at 800 people of all ages and ethnicity. Church members distributed leaflet messages entitled

“Got Lift?” These encouraged guests to look to God for strength in times of change and overwhelming circumstances. Pastor Howell stated, “We wanted to connect with the community. We are not a shrine for saints. We are

The community yard sale event was held on Saturday, September 17th. Children’s activities featured snacks, a balloontying clown, and a Bike Safety Rodeo Key Club students of Plant City High School are washing cars for senior adults.

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There was a yard sale, barbeque, and outreach at the Church on the Rock.

a hospital for people who need a helping hand. Our church wanted the community to know that we love them and care about them.” Pastor Howell may be reached at the Church on the Rock, or by phoning 813-752-3740.

Care Fest bags. The volunteers delivered the bags of groceries to senior adult and single parent households. Later in the week, businesses, civic organizations, and church volunteers were treated to 620 cupcakes for their assistance.

Forty-five volunteers from area churches sorted groceries into 300

The purpose of Care Fest is to create awareness of the needs of our community and to combine people and

resources for that week and those that are also long term. Businesses, churches, schools, and individuals came together in unity to show Plant City the church is here to bless and serve. Other communities involved in the program included Brandon, Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. Somebody Cares Plant City is a chartered ministry of Somebody Cares America.

Living Center and Plant City Towers. Gloria Franklin, a volunteer, purchased roses and presented them to residents of a local nursing home. A barbequed dinner in recognition of volunteers and their efforts ended the week of Somebody Cares Plant City. Volunteers and recipients shared smiles, joy, and prayer. All involved are making plans to participate again next year.

Care Fest culminated on Saturday, September 24th, as groups of volunteers prayed before disbursing to pull weeds, paint homes and porches, replace a roof, and discard debris. Dr. Brenda Duke, a local chiropractor hosted the site for the event.

Ways to become involved in this program include donating supplies, money, submitting a project for Care Fest, mentoring, food distribution, care for the elderly, time and energy.

Habitat for Humanity, seven churches from the community, and 26 students from the Key Club of Plant City High School served with time, energy, and resources. The Key Club students washed cars for senior adults at Plant City

You may adopt a care project or become a Care Fest Day or Compassion Ministries volunteer. Reverend Norm Blanton remarked, “These are great examples of how churches, schools and organizations show their committed care for our community.” He can be contacted by phone at 813-752-4671.


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They’re not Mysterious or Spooky BUT, THEY ARE…THE ADAM’S FAMILY


hat comes to your mind when I mention the Addam’s family? If you were familiar with the 1960’s black and white TV sitcom, you would picture a dark, eccentric family with an infamous Uncle Fester. Such perceptions wouldn’t apply to Plant City’s very own Bob Adam’s family. The only common denominator that Bob and Nicole Adams have with Morticia and Gomez is the undying devotion they have for each other. Those who know the Adam’s may be familiar with Bob’s insurance company (Allstate) or Nicole, who sells real estate for Keller Williams, both located on Alexander Street. Maybe you’ve taken notice of their involvement in the community, or their servanthood to their church, First Baptist of Plant City. To really know the Adams’ Family one needs to search deep into the humanitarian circles and acknowledge the passion of their efforts as missionaries.

“Girls in Action,” of the church. As a leader, Nicole is able to emphasize the importance of missions to girls at an early age. Nicole has developed such a passion for missions that she wants to help others develop an early desire for the cause. “I want them to see they can do mission work everyday... while they’re at school or in their own neighborhood,” says Nicole. Though she is also quick to point out that ultimately every time they prepare for a mission trip, what they’re really in preparation for is to share Christ with others. The Adams’ see missions simply as a way to help others know Christ is alive and well. In the end, after a long and hard mission, they are the ones that come

home feeling as though they have gained a greater understanding of God. An understanding that surpasses that which they feel they receive while going about their daily routine… and “we are forever changed because of it,” adds Nicole. Bob and Nicole site their 2004 trip to Haiti as one of those lifechanging experiences. In that trip, Nicole participated in bringing food to an orphanage that had run out of food that morning and who had prayed that God would provide for their needs immediately. Later on in that very same ravished village was a team member who helped drill a well to find potable clean water for the children in the orphanage. For those of us who know Nicole personally, it’s hard to envision this petite, soft-spoken woman

performing such a tough man’s job - - but she did it! For those of you interested in participating in a Mission trip, Bob and Nicole’s church will be having exciting opportunities to serve on mission trips for the spring and summer of 2006-07. These missions include arranged trips to Haiti, Honduras and Tanzania. These trips are open to anyone in the community who would like to go abroad to help those in need. Trips aren’t limited to just members of the First Baptist Church. For more information on the requirements to set these countries on fire for God, you can contact Nicole at (813) 967-1943.

Having the career opportunities afforded to them with flexibility, they are not only hard working individuals but they are able to bring hope to the hopeless. The Adams’ family has been enthralled in mission work since 2002. The mission trips they have partaken in have skirted them to exotic places such as Haiti, Peru and to the Cherokee Reservation in NC. Their devotion for God and desire to share what they believe is the key to a healthy spiritual life-style, not just for today, but also for the hereafter. When they began to serve, it was because they felt the calling of duty placed upon their hearts. Through their efforts in the field they have come to embrace and adore the call to witness to others. These are just some of the reasons that underscore Nicole’s work with The truth is, friendship is every bit as sacred and eternal as marriage.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 34




Story and Photo by Ken Lawrence



ost people know there are two types of human massages. There’s the one where the service is provided by a licensed therapist. The other is at a location usually scrutinized by law enforcement for acts in addition to massages. Well folks, we have found a third local massage enterprise, this one for horses. Yes, horses. Named Winning Edge Equine Massage, the horse operation is conducted by Maria Green, a state licensed equine massage therapist. Maria earned her spurs, if you will, at a school in the heart of Florida horse country, Ocala. She’s been practicing since 2001, with a short time out for medical leave and she is now galloping along at a good pace.

In an interview with FOCUS at the farm of a long time friend, Maria Green says most muscular problems for a horse are in the back and the very top of the head behind the ears, called the poll. “The tight muscles in the head can cause headaches for the horse”, she says. Back problems are usually caused by a poor saddle fit or incorrect riding. Maria Green provides massages for horses at her business, Winning Edge Equine.

Maria’s techniques are much like that of a regular human massage therapist. Sometimes she will use a lotion such as Absorbine, Jr. but the massage is normally done without any substance. Another therapy is the use of cold water on the legs, where there are only a few tendons that can be massaged.

The horse that received Ms. Green’s tender touch on the day we visited her friend’s farm is named Preciperant, a former race horse who is now a sprightly 20 years old. She never moved a muscle during her treatment at the farm named One Pine Ranch at 6909 County Line Rd., between Shephard and Ewell Roads. The owner of the farm is Cynthia Hatfield who purchased the property

back in the early 1980’s. It includes more than 10 acres, including some lush pasture, a home and 8 horse stalls. Ms. Hatfield does have some room for four-legged borders. For information on how to have your horse massaged, phone Maria Green at Winning Edge Equine (863) 608-4834 or e-mail her at winningedgeequine@aol.com.


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Little Moments, Big Magic Big Brothers Big Sisters: Making a Difference in the Life of a Child

Story by Kristen Toney. Photos by Kristen Toney and courtesy of Lorie Briggs and Bob Fiallo FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 40

Think back to your childhood. Was there someone who was always there for you? Maybe a parent, an aunt or an uncle… perhaps there was someone who you looked up to and modeled your life after… someone who you knew you were safe with and could always count on, no matter what?


t could be easy for you to remember people like this with a smile and with thoughts of all the wonderful things you did together. You may be able to effortlessly recall the ideas they shared with you that helped mold you into the person you are today. Or maybe you think back on your childhood with a bit of sadness, knowing that, if you had been continually influenced by a person who truly cared, maybe you could have avoided learning some of life’s hard lessons in ways you may now regret. The children of today are not growing up in the same world which we adults grew up in. Now many people live in fear: fear of danger, of deprivation, of loss, even of other human beings. What kind of an effect is this having on our children? They are not being brought up in a time when the doors can be left unlocked allowing neighbors to walk in for a visit. Our children are being raised in a time where there are campaigns encouraging neighbor-

hoods to keep their lights on in order to fight crime. They are not living in a time where the school day begins with the Pledge of Allegiance and a morning prayer, they are residing in a society where they are not even allowed to pray over their school lunch, where children are killing children, where stories of kids being kidnapped are broadcasted on almost a daily basis over the evening news. Now more than ever, our children need people they can look up to, adults who can mentor them and live their lives as an example for them. That’s where Big Brothers Big Sisters comes into the picture. Lorie Briggs is the Vice President of Community Relations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. “At Big Brothers Big Sisters, our tagline is “Little Moments, Big Magic”... and over the last century we’ve seen countless examples where this is true,” she commented. “Volunteers who serve as Big Brothers or Big

Sisters are not simply folks who provide activities for kids; they’re people who share those so important little moments with a child who is just that significant. Moments like attending a violin recital, washing the car, painting toenails, reading books, or baiting a fishing hook. It’s through these shared simple experiences that the magic of mentoring takes place. Kids learn that adults care for them, have expectations of success, find them interesting, and most of all, enjoy being their friend. Studies document the magic of these moments. Children paired in a structured, supported mentoring program like Big Brothers Big Sisters do better in school, have higher levels of self-esteem, are less likely to begin using drugs, and have better relationships with their peers and parents. That’s the Big Magic that happens through these Little Moments.” Big Brothers Big Sisters began in 1902 in New York, has since been very active nationally, and has functioned here in our community since

le Sister sports An adorable Litt Big Sisters a Big Brothers eek! tattoo on her ch

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 41

Little Moments, Big Magic

1969, creating mentoring programs that have been hailed as the best in the nation. It has received numerous awards and applause for the pairing of mentors and children, and wide-spread attention from people all across the world. Currently, 1,400 children in Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk Counties are paired with a Big Brother or Big Sister with another 500 kids waiting on the agency’s ready-to-be-matched list.

Making a Difference in the Life of a Child

opportunity to participate in with a child in this environment are things like taking a walk around the school grounds, having lunch together or

over the weekends, with a “goal” of having the pairs meet for an average of about nine hours a month. Activities in this program are

Children ranging from the young age of five to the adolescents at age fourteen are the most common enrollees in the program, however, a little brother or sister is allowed to remain in the program until he or she is either 18 years old or graduates from high school, depending on whichever comes first. Opportunities are also available for mentors to work with special needs children, such as those affected by HIV, domestic violence and/or teen pregnancy. The main excuse that potential volunteers give for not taking the steps to become involved is, “I just don’t have the time!” Well, there’s no need to fear; the organization is well-aware of the busy lifestyles held by not only the mentor, but the child as well. They offer two kinds of programs: site-based mentoring and community-based mentoring, to better accommodate the schedules of each family involved. Where the sitebased program is concerned, the volunteers work with the children at local schools or an after school center during the day for approximately one hour total per week. Some of the activities you would have the

Cliff listens to some last-minute instr uctions from Neil before the skee t-shooting begins

helping with a class project. As far as the community-based program goes, the big brothers and sisters have the opportunity to spend time with the children outside of the school setting, such as during the evenings, days off from school or

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 42

almost endless; things such as going to a ball game, reading books or going fishing. Whichever program the volunteers choose totally depends on their schedule and also on what amount of time they have to offer.

Another excuse often used is that potential volunteers feel they aren’t “cut out” to be a big brother or big sister. As long as you are at least eighteen years of age, are able to sign up for one year and proceed with a background check and a simple interview, there are no other requirements to fill. After those steps are completed, Big Brothers Big Sisters even ask you what is important to you in finding a perfect match for your personality when it comes to a little brother or sister. One of the organization’s top priorities is making sure that the mentor and the child are able to be comfortable with each other and find joy in the little things together. There is no upper age limit for a mentor, and when the need for mentors of all ages, occupations and persuasions is clearly seen, the possibilities are infinite. In fact, the majority of Big Brothers and Sisters, although they originally signed on for just one year, end up extending their time with their Little Brother or Sister…as a result of the wonderful relationship they’ve created. So how well can BBBS actually match a mentor and a child? Just ask Neil and Cliff, a current Big Brother Little Brother pair. Neil is a 54-year-old rancher who focuses on his cattle and his involvement in the local rodeos. He is married to a wife who has a busy medical career, and together they have two daughters; one in her mid



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Making a Difference in the Life of a Child

Little Moments, Big Magic

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twenties who is married and lives away from home, and one in her late teens who just finished packing up and moving to her college campus. Neil stays busy working his land and taking care of his animals, yet still finds plenty of time to spend one-on-one with Cliff. Having just celebrated their first anniversary together in August, their relationship is not only firmly established, but also strong enough to continue on for years to come. “It was something that was completely different for me,” said Neil, throwing a smile towards Cliff. We stood in the hall looking at the photos of his girls, decked out in the rodeo clothing and managing absolutely precarious positions on their horses. “I mean, I raised girls! And I love my girls! We did a lot of things together! They were really involved in the rodeo, and they actually rode quite a bit in competitions, things like that. But there’s just something about being able to go throw a ball back and forth for a while with another guy…something I really enjoy. Something I never had the chance to do in the past. The girls were never really excited about doing that. It’s just really great to have another male around.” As his youngest daughter had grown older, Neil found himself having a bit more time on his hands, and wanting to put it to good use. “I’ve

been so blessed in my life,” he commented. “When you have so much, I believe you need to share it with others. That’s your responsibility. My wife and I talked about it, and decided that this would be something good for us to do. It’s really both of us with Cliff. Yeah, I’m the ‘Big Brother’, but she enjoys spending time with us, too. I mean, we don’t all go off and go to the mall or anything like that! But she and I do it together.” “All in all, it’s a great program, and they need more people to step up and join in. It doesn’t really take much. I pick him up from school whenever I can, and then we spend the majority of our time out here on the land, just getting stuff done, just doing what needs to be accomplished. Pretty simple. But I think we have a good time while we’re at it!” It all seems so simple! But does the program actually work? Does it make a difference in the lives of the children involved? Yes! A recent national study showed that when it comes to the kids involved in the BBBS program and others like it: • 46% of them are less likely to start using drugs • 42% of them are less likely to skip school • 37% of them are less likely to skip class • 33% of them are less likely to hit

Making a Difference in the Life of a Child Little Moments, Big Magic another individual • 27% of them are less likely to start drinking And it’s definitely worked for Cliff. The freshman at Plant City High School lives at home with his mom and younger sibling, and spending time with Neil is one of the highlights of his week! “Yeah, we have a good time,” he says. “We just come out here and work with the horses or whatever. My favorite thing to do with him is just be out here on the ranch. I’d rather do that than anything else. I’ve learned a lot. Neil’s taught me how to skeet shoot and things like that. And it’s cool to have a Big Brother, since at my house I’m the big brother.” Cliff is into agriculture where school is concerned, a bit of baseball too, and he enjoys math, as well, although he doesn’t claim to be good at it! As far as a future career that he’s thinking about right now? “Something that has to do with farming and animals…kinda like what Neil and I do.”

“If anyone is thinking about doing it, I’d tell them it’s definitely something they want to become involved in. Everyone has something they can give back. We need to be accountable, and take the responsibility to share what we have with others. And this organization needs more people to step up to the plate. There are kids who would benefit so much from the program. You don’t have to be a certain type of person or anything like that. You just have to be willing, and you’ll never believe the difference it will make.” Not only does BBBS partner with mentors and children, but they also join together with the community, as well. The organization held its second annual Goodfellas Gala and Casino Night on the evening of August 24th. The gangster-themed evening included casino games, entertainment, live and silent auctions and dinner provided by Outback Steakhouse, not to mention a Goodfellas-themed costume contest!

“This event, now in its second year, is a bit different from the typical gala and ‘rubber chicken’ dinner,” said Briggs. “It’s a fun event where folks got to get dressed up, play some gaming-style games like the hot ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ poker games, enjoy some great food, and help Big Brothers Big Sisters at the same time. I can’t think of a better deal than that!” There are many sponsors who partnered with BBBS to make this even possible, including generous supporters such as Publix Super Markets Charities, Keebler, Bright House Networks, Glenn Erikson, Attorney-at-Law, Alumitech Corporation, Central Florida’s Big 4 and The Ledger. “We’re proud to support kids through any way possible,” said Ray Grayber, Director of Government and Public Relations for Bright House Networks. “Supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters through the Goodfella’s Gala is just another way

to do this, and we’re definitely excited to be a part of it. It’s really fun for Bright House Networks to be able to continue our efforts benefiting children through an event like this Gala!” Even while many have done so much, there is still much to be accomplished. So why not take this time to make a huge difference in the life of a child? There are hundreds of children in this area who are waiting for someone they can look up to, someone who will take the time to invest in their lives and their dreams. It doesn’t take much: just a willing heart and a desire to change a life. And while you might decide your goal is to change the life of a child, you may come to find that it’s really you who will never be the same. To receive more information on how to become a Big Brother or a Big Sister, visit www.bbbsfl.org, or call (813) 287-2210.

Neil and Cliff have had to overcome few difficulties in building their relationship. “Time is always going to be a bit challenging,” Neil said. “That’s a problem that we have sometimes, is just to find time, but once we get together, it just flies by. You know, we don’t really do anything spectacular, he just helps me out around here, and I try to teach him things as we go along. He’s a quick learner, and a trustworthy kid.” So does Neil, as a wellseasoned Big Brother, have any advice for anyone who may be reading this article and thinking of becoming a volunteer?

Spending time with the horses is a favorite pastime for both Neil and Cliff

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 45




Story & Photo by Plant City Photo Archives, Inc.

3-116th FA (MLRS) arrived safely to Kuwait. Our mission is to run one of the major camps in Northern Kuwait, Camp Virginia. The morale here is high. Every soldier was anxious to arrive and begin our wartime mission. Each soldier is representing the Florida Army National Guard and Plant City with outstanding professionalism. We are proud of the mission we are doing here, but also anxious to return home to our family and friends. We continue to receive care packages from home. These packages are a treat for the soldiers to receive and we all thank you for your continued support. There is not much more in detail that I can tell you about our mission, other than, we trained hard to prepare for this mission. We are well trained and capable to complete our mission safely and effectively. It would not be possible to do such an outstanding job without the support of each one of you back in America. The soldiers of 3-116th FA will continue to make you proud, and cannot wait until we see you again.

1LT Marion Stephens and SFC Billy Riley

Change of Authority

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 46

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813-841-8050 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 47

Perry borrowed this old, vintage Ford truck from family friend Johnny Beauchamp and also used the truck in one of his music videos.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 48






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t the age of 26, Perry Martines is living what many would call a dream. He has always loved music and singing, and like many other kids, harbored an idea in the back of his mind that one day he might actually be able to make a career of it. Perry and his family, parents Frank Jr. and Sheila Martines, and an older brother, are long-time residents of Dover. In fact, Frank owns a local business - Frank’s Pumps - handling irrigation and pump installation and service for local farms. Like most parents, Frank and Sheila have always hoped to see Perry succeed, and from a very early age saw that he had musical talent. Music was a big part of the Martines family, with father, Frank a member in a local band for years. As a small child, Perry loved singing along with the radio, and knew the songs by heart – serenading the Martines family in the car everywhere they went. As he grew older, he would sometimes sit in on gigs with the band, playing at local club functions, private parties, small bars,




and the like. These days, the elder Martines is no longer in the band, and is leaving the music business to Perry. The years spent hanging out with the band, and being part of a family to whom music was a big influence had a huge impact on the young Martines – but probably no one, aside from his parents, had a more profound effect on him than former band member and close friend, Alan Barenklau. At the age of eight, Martines made a bargain at a yard sale that would help set the course of his life. With five dollars in his pocket, he convinced the ‘yard sale lady’ to sell him a used guitar for three dollars. The other two dollars were invested in new guitar strings, and at his mother’s prompting, off he went to learn how to play the guitar. Barenklau was the one who taught Martines to play, and has been a musical mentor to him throughout his life. Perry always maintained that if he ever made it big, he would take Barenklau with him. A few months ago while hanging out at a local Tampa club, friends




convinced Martines to get on stage with the band to sing and play some classic rock & roll. A woman who was part of the group of friends that night was impressed by Martines’ talent, and told him she knew some people in Nashville and just might be able to get him in the door. She asked him several times to record a demo, and finally Martines gave in. He found a local studio and recorded a couple of songs to send her. Not only does Perry sing and play well, he is also a talented song writer, penning his first song at the age of 15. So, on his demo he included one cover song by another writer, and one of his own. Not feeling particularly optimistic, but hoping for the best, Martines sent off the recording and figured he would just have to wait a while to see what happened. Then came the unexpected, and things began to happen very quickly. In only a week, the folks in Nashville called to begin feeling him out to see how serious he was about a career in country music. Questions about career goals, dedication and willingness to make sacrifices in order to make it, along with stern




warnings about how tough the music business is were primary topics of conversation. Soon, apparently convinced that Martines was ready, willing, and able, they arranged for him to travel to Nashville for a face-to-face meeting. At the request of the music executives, Perry Martines now goes by a stage name. The last name Martines just didn’t seem a good fit for country music artist, so they asked him to choose an alternate. Not wanting to completely depart from his given name, he decided to use his first and middle names - and Perry Ashley was born. In the whirlwind that has ensued since that fateful demo was dropped in the mail, Ashley has recorded a CD – completed in February - including some of his own songs, filmed two videos that are currently being edited, and is now in the midst of plans to hit the road on a tour that will have him performing in casinos and other venues across the United States. Meanwhile he will be traveling to and from Nashville, spending time co-writing with famous songwriters, polishing his skills and hopefully creating

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 49



some great songs for his next CD. His current CD, Still Tickin’ will be released for national radio play on January 9, after which Ashley will begin his tour. Some of his music is currently being aired on local radio stations in a couple of Florida markets, as well as Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Canada, Australia, Austria, and Europe. In fact, once his first national tour is complete, a European tour may be on the agenda for later next year if his popularity in that part of the world continues to grow. Ashley is currently with an independent label, and the company is in the process of securing a bus and lining up all of the details for his tour. At this point, it looks like Perry will be chauffeured around the nation by a former Bellamy Brothers driver. Now, back to that promise to Barenklau. He, along with a couple of other close friends will be accompanying Ashley on the road. Plans are for one of the friends to be trained as

a backup driver, and all will provide logistical support for the tour. Barenklau may even end up eventually providing musical backup to Ashley. Perry has also included friends and family in other aspects of his career. Filming his two videos locally, he asked a group of friends to appear in Redneck Weekend, and shared the spotlight in the video to the title track from his CD, Still Tickin’, with his grandfather and an old, vintage Ford truck owned by family friend, Johnny Beauchamp. When asked whether he will move to Nashville if he makes it big, Ashley says he plans to stay right here in Dover. He was raised here, his family is here, and he will travel back and forth – but has no plans to leave his roots. The traveling has already begun, with several trips to Nashville over the last few months for meetings, recording a more indepth demo, recording his CD and a recent trip to participate in the CMA Music Fest.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 50

Looking forward, Ashley has already selected and written some songs he wants to include on his next CD, and can’t wait until he hits the road on tour. He feels the key to success is to make sure he surrounds himself with good people – and he cites an old adage that says ‘If you’re standing on a chair in the middle of a group of people, it’s easier for them to pull you down than for you to bring them up.’ Remaining humble, true to his heritage and small-town roots, and being thankful for the opportunities he has been given are just a few of the things Ashley says are very important to him. He wants to remain active in the local music community, helping to provide a map, so to speak, to assist other talented, local performers in navigating the road to Nashville. He knows how difficult that road can be, and just how confusing. He also knows how easy it is to give up on your dreams, and he hopes to

provide a positive role model to all kids, musicians and non-musicians alike. Perry is fortunate to have a loving, supportive family. Right now, what money he is making is being re-invested into his career, so having the support and help of his family allows him to keep pursuing his dream. Now, what about that guitar he bought at 8? Well, when he was about 17 he gave it to another little boy with big dreams. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know the whereabouts of the boy or the guitar now. What he wouldn’t give to be able to have that old guitar, the one that started it all so long ago - to hang on his wall today. Listen to the radio for cuts from the CD Still Tickin’, after its release on January 9, 2006. For more information on Perry Ashley, future tour dates, or to purchase the CD, check out the website at www.PerryAshley.com.


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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 51

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������������� November 1, 2005 Please join us as we celebrate our new branch Now Open in Plant City. Advisory Board Members: Dan Raulerson, Rick Lott, Charles White, Kimball Wetherington, and Gail McGrath Platinum Bank Staff: Bob Tanner, Executive Vice President Tod Pukas, Senior Vice President Susan Baggett, Vice President Sue Salvato, Assistant Vice President Linda Orvis, Customer Service Representative Maria Jameson, Head Teller Nikki Kalac, Teller

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 55




Story & Photo by Plant City Photo Archives, Inc.

Pioneering Families



eet Richard and Martha Sue Ellen Hawkins Skinner, seen here standing before the lovely home that they built on the old Hawkins homestead, known to most everyone as Hawkins Corner, located just off the southwest corner from the intersection of S.R. Highway 39/Jim Redman Parkway and Trapnell Road. Martha Sue Ellen Hawkins Skinner is a descendant of one of Plant City’s earliest settlers. Florida was recognized as a state of the United States on March 03, 1845, and it was in 1855 that Martha Sue’s Great, Great Grandfather came to Plant City on an oxen driven wagon, when this area was known as Ichepuckesassa. Soon after his arrival, he homesteaded a large portion of the property that sits at the south side of Trapnell Road and the east side of S.R. Highway 39, across the Highway from where Richard and Martha Sue reside today. Martha Sue was born on the old Hawkins homestead, and she lived there until she was nine years old. In 1951, because of her father’s position as an investigator for the immigration service, he was transferred to work in Miami, and of course, he moved his young family there.

Richard Skinner, a salesman, decided that he was going to build their new home himself. And although Martha Sue jokingly comments now that the only thing Richard had ever built was a rabbit pen, from which the rabbits had continually escaped, she had great faith in her husband and his abilities. And so it went, with the help of his son Mark and with help from some of his friends, in 1982, Richard did indeed build the large, beautiful and charming two-story log cabin home that now stands on the site of Martha Sue’s grandfather’s old home place.

preserving some of Plant City’s valuable pieces of history; items that may otherwise have been lost and forgotten forever.

Richard and Martha Sue Skinner have three children, one daughter and two sons. At the time of Martha Sue’s return to Plant City, her daughter Kerri was going off to college. Mark was in the eighth grade, and six-year old Kenneth was in the first grade. Settling into their new home, encouraged and mentored by Mrs. Quintilla Bruton, and given much support by Richard, Martha Sue began researching her family’s past. Having remained diligent through the years in her explorations and inquiries, she has gathered facts, photos, and documents for the sake of

(To be continued in part two next month.)

Richard Skinner and Martha Sue Ellen Hawkins were married on February 04, 1961. Compelled by her family’s historic roots in Plant City, Martha Sue and her husband moved back here in 1980. Wanting to build a house on the old Hawkins homestead, they rented temporary housing and began planning and preparing to build their new twostory log cabin home on a portion of the Hawkins property that sits just off the southwest corner from the intersection of S. R. Highway 39 and Trapnell Road.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 56

We here at Plant City Photo Archives, Inc. will leave you today by posting a personal and handwritten note from Martha Sue. Please join us again next month for the second of a three part series on the travels and events of one of Plant City’s pioneering families.

Sources: Plant City Photo Archives, Inc., Richard Skinner and Martha Sue Hawkins Skinner, and Plant City Photo Archives’ Oral History Project 2005.



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Longfellow 3/2 (includes lawn service) .................................................................................................. $1200 Silver Moon 3/2 on the water (includes lawn service) ........................................................................... $1375

Call Becky for info & showing office

752-2087 or 376-2100

������������������������������������������������������ ����������������������������������������������������


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Whether you own a house or mobile home, our experienced staff will provide you with quality merchandise and expert service at a fair price.

AWNINGS StormGuard™ Awnings provide complete protection and feature lock-down for added security.

AWNINGS SeeView™ Awnings give the protection without eliminating the view.


���� ����� ����� ������� ���� ��� ����� �������� ��������� ��� ����������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������

In business now for over 15 years! Family Owned & Operated. WE LOVE SPECIAL ORDERS. • Code Approved Windows • Window Rooms • Screen Rooms • Carports • Awnings • Wood Paneling • Steps • Alcoa® Vinyl Siding • Skirting • Doors • Roof Overs • Metal Roofing • Shower Stalls • Complete Line of Plumbing • Trim Moulding • Vanities • Kitchen Cabinets • Antiques

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Open Mondays Through Saturdays: 8:30-5:00 (Between Lakeland and Plant City)

2670 Highway 92 East, Plant City, FL



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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 62

Blackburn & Associates Realty LISTING HOMES FOR 2% or 4%

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 63

Blackburn & Associates Realty LISTING HOMES FOR 2% or 4% ����������������

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Listing homes for 2% - 4%


Blackburn & Associates Realty LISTING HOMES FOR 2% or 4% ����������������

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911 S. Woodrow Wilson Street • Plant City, FL 33563 • 813-764-0259

OUR DOORS ARE WIDE OPEN Plant City Tower OpenScan MRI • The best doctors are in your own back yard • Serving Hillsborough County for more than 30 years • Physician Owned, ACR Accredited • Patients receive individualized care with a personal touch • Easy scheduling with convenient appointments • Most major insurances, Medicare, Auto Insurance & Workers Comp accepted • Walk-Ins accepted SÉ HABLA ESPAÑOL

We are “Tampa Bayʼs Most Trusted Name in Outpatient Imaging” Schedule an appointment

813.754.9000 1408 WEST REYNOLDS ST PLANT CITY, FL 33563


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 66

INTERIORS by Decorating Den is now in your neighborhood From design to product selection through final installation, we do it all! And the best part is, you donʼt even have to leave home! We come to you!

• Window Treatments • Custom Bedding • Floor & Wall Coverings • Upholstery & Fine Furniture • Lighting & Accessories

$150 CREDIT TOWARDS $500 PURCHASE (for yourself or a gift)

Now that weʼre here, let us come to you! • Residential • Commercial • Churches • Ministries • Staging for Real Estate • We work with any budget • 36 years experience

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We truly give God all the honor, praise & glory for our business! Prayers & Blessings to all!

Call today to schedule your complimentary in-home consultation


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• •Meets Meetsororexceeds exceedsallallcurrent currentbuilding building codes codes • •Tested Tested&&withstood withstood125mph 125mphwind windloads loads • •AllAllrooms roomsmeet meetlocal localwind windload loadcodes codesfor for hurricanes hurricanes LifetimeWarranty Warranty • •Lifetime

����������������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������������� ••REMODEL REMODEL •• DISASTER DISASTERRECOVERY RECOVERY •• DESIGN/BUILD DESIGN/BUILD••ADDITIONS ADDITIONS •• CUSTOM CUSTOMHOMES HOMES ������������������������������ ������������������������������

•• Supervision Supervisionover overallallpersonnel personnel&&projects projects •• Attention to fine finish & detailing Attention to fine finish & detailing • Prompt response to all inquiries • Prompt response to all inquiries • Obligation free quotations & consultations • Obligation free quotations & consultations

����������������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������CBC 027132 • W.R. SPATES ������������������������������������������CBC 027132 • W.R. SPATES

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 68




That has been the theme behind the great Success of Ken Lawrence-Coldwell Bankerʼs

1st class realtor

Ken Lawrence would be honored to service your real estate needs, whether itʼs a $1 million commercial property, or a $100,000 home in Hillsborough or polk counties. Ken Lawrence has guaranteed his services for several years now and no one has ever canceled a contract for unsatisfactory performance.

Properties of the Month

*Great opportunity to buy a valuable piece of commercial propertyon Collins street, 1+ acres WITH FINANCIAL SERVICES BUSINESS, OR COULD BE VEHICLE SALES OPERATION, OR BUILD A STRIP-RETAIL OR OFFICE MALL. Many, many possibilities with this property whose value in the very near future will soar. Offered at $859,000 for the property and $200,000 more for the thriving Financial Business. *One of the final homes built in Walden Lake, off east Griffin Blvd. Gorgeous 4/3/3 pool home backing onto conservation land and on a cul-de-sac. Offered at $459,000. *Starter-retiree-investment home on Calhoun St. Plant City. 2/1 _ Block Const. on large corner lot. Newer roof, appliances, a/c ducts. Nicely landscaped. Offered at $144,500. In one month, Ken Lawrence-Multiple Award Winning Realtor, has listed more property than most realtors do in a year.

Contact Ken Lawrence at

(813) 716-0187

New e-Mail Address ken.lawrence@floridamoves.com WEB www.KenLawrenceTeam.com FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 69

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Office: 813-759-1200 • Cell: 813-310-5588 ������������������������������������������

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����������������������������������������� FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 71




Story by Ken Lawrence

The Walden Lake Review A

plan has been presented to Plant City Hall that could help halt industrial growth outside the western gates of Walden Lake on Turkey Creek and Griffin Boulevard. Residents using that western entryway into Walden Lake see vacant land on either side of the entrance, with one side having had a Coldwell Banker “For Sale” sign for a number of years. It was originally slated to be the site of a gas station/bar/convenience store. The northern side of the corner zoned industrial is owned by Walden Lake Developer Al Hoffman and his company WCI. An adjacent plastics plant has been trying to purchase that piece to expand its facilities, which

could have a negative impact on Walden Lake property values, especially for the prestigious Hampton Place complex, just inside the western entrance. Riding to the rescue is an Orlando housing developer who wants to build town homes on either side of Griffin and Turkey Creek and have it become part of the Walden Lake Community Association. His name is Bill Sullivan and his company is Potomac Land Company, out of Winter Park. The plan calls for upwards of 120 two-story town homes, 80 on the south side and about 40 on the north side (which the plastics plant wants). The units would be two or three bedrooms in size.

There would be no recreational facilities, so as to encourage the residents to use Walden Lake Golf and Country Club. In an interview with FOCUS, Bill Sullivan says his project “will ensure the continuity of the neighborhood and prevent any warehouse or even manufacturing plant from being built”. Sullivan says “it’s the last opportunity for residential development in Walden Lake”. The project has received nothing but positive response from the city planning board, school board and all that remains is the city commission. They will make that decision on Monday evening, October 24th, and to make certain

that the commissioners don’t try to pull some unexpected rabbit out of the hat, as many Walden Lake Residents as possible are urged to head over to city hall for the 7pm meeting and express their concern not to allow industrial or commercial development outside the Turkey Creek Road gates of the community. Oh! By the way, we asked Bill Sullivan what would be the name of his town home project. He said he didn’t have one. There was a pause and he said “How about the name Avalon at Walden Lake?” Sounds good to me. Till next month!



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�������������������� COUNTRY LIVING AT IT’S BEST! Looking for that Peaceful Location! Look No further! 10 Acres MOL in the Country Almost 300 sq’ of Living Area 4 Bedroom plus 5th Bedroom or Office 3 Full Baths, Great Room with Fabulous Fireplace Extra Large Kitchen & Formal Dining Room 12 X 20 Workshop with Separate Electric. Possibility of splitting property into 2 parcels. Call Natalie To See! 758-9586

���������������������� ���������������������

Call Natalie 813 758-9586

Walden Lake Wow! Beautiful tropical setting makes this one of the loveliest homes in Walden Lake Stunning Lake Views, Beautiful pool with heated spa and fountain, Sparkling leaded glass double entry doors, Gleaming bamboo floors & 18x18 designer tile in the main living areas, Gourmet kitchen featuring maple cabinetry & Corian countertops. Location, amenities and value make this home a must see! Call Natalie Today for your appointment 758-9586

Looking to Sell Your Home. Confused By What it Will Cost You? I will get top dollar for your home & review all the costs with you before you list.

Check an Agents Policy Before You List! Natalie’s Policy is Win Win! I NEVER Charge Junk Fees! (Many Realtors charge additional fees over the listing commission which means more costs to YOU)

I Believe a Hard Working Buyer’s Agent Deserves Fair & Equal Compensation


(When listing your home, you should know what is being offered to a Buyerʼs Agent and why an agent will not share the commission ��������equally) ��������������

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 72


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Story by Shelton Keely


First Time Home Buying BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME Buying a home for the first-time is a major decision. Saving enough cash for a first home purchase, finding the right real estate agent, finding the right mortgage, and many more issues (like moving) may seem to be overwhelming. The tips below offer some advice on first time real estate purchases that, hopefully, will make your first time home buying experience a happy one. SECURING A LOAN. Often, the biggest hurdle in the firsttime buyer’s purchase is cash available for the down payment and buyer’s closing costs. Buy even this obstacle is not insurmountable. In today’s market there are many programs with little or no money down financing. If your income enables you to qualify for the necessary mortgage loan, you may be able to negotiate a contract in which the seller pays your purchase closing

costs and adjusts the price upwards so that you, in effect, finance your closing costs. But the loan appraisal will still need to support this higher value in order for the loan to close. When shopping for a mortgage, look at the overall cost, not just the interest rate. Generally speaking, the higher the rate, the lower the number of points charged. Make sure you understand any hidden costs or special early payment penalties which could create problems for you. Look at different mortgage products, such as shorter-term fixedrate loans or adjustable rate loans, but be sure you understand what your “worst case scenario” is if interest rates rise. Also, in many cases, a mortgage payment inclusive of property taxes and insurance but offset by tax savings generated by mortgage interest deductions (which constitute most of the payment in the early years of a mortgage) may be the same or only slightly more than monthly rent, but you will be building equity with each payment.

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A good place to start the entire process is to visit a local lender to “prequalify” and establish your maximum loan amount. This loan maximum, coupled with your available cash, will determine the price range in which you should look. You can begin shopping by researching, selecting a community you want and need, remembering that “location-location-location” can be as important as the home itself. WORKING WITH AN AGENT. As a first-time home buyer, professional real estate experience can be crucial, and you should insist that the real estate agent work with you in order to be your advocate in the transaction. In most cases, this real estate agent is paid out of the seller’s commission paid at closing, so you will not pay extra to be represented by a competent real estate agent. A competent real estate agent can help you evaluate the pros and cons of purchasing a single family home, condominium, or townhouse, and what the various types of ownership mean to you. Should you buy a resale home

or new construction, and what kinds of inspections or warranties should you seek in each situation? When making an offer, how much below listing price can you offer, and how does the price compare to similar homes on the market? Are you negotiating terms and other costs (home warranty, for example) as well as price? What do you do if inspections uncover needed repairs? Are there any factors related to the house or neighborhood which could create resale problems? What closing costs are considered typical? In what is usually an emotional decision, you need the counsel of a reputable, knowledgeable real estate professional who can help you buy wisely. There are other considerations such as home warranty, private mortgage insurance (PMI) on loans over 80%, title insurance and repair agreements with the seller. The real estate agent will guide you through these issues and pave the way for a smooth, on-time closing. Shelton Keely, Broker-Associate Walden Lake Realty, Inc. 813-752-2087

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 81




By Al Ruechel

Fed Up with Katrina Finger Pointers! S

ometimes I feel like the guy in the movie Network. “I’m mad as (blank) and I’m not going to take it anymore.” I’ve sat back and watched self-righteous news organizations and political types and the infamous, unnamed, “somepeople-say” point the finger of blame at everyone in charge. Hey, why not? If we had more Geraldo’s rescuing little old ladies from roof tops, or had just listened to old Shep or the other news anchors pleading for help, think of how things would have turned out different. Bunk!

state of readiness based on my hours and hours of interviews.

Yes, I wish the President had come riding in on his white horse much sooner after Katrina struck. Why the heck Michael Brown didn’t have more FEMA gear ready to roll is beyond me. Heck, he didn’t even follow the proscribed FEMA game plan. He should have taken a cue from the President’s brother, Jeb, who spent countless hours on scene moments after Florida’s four hurricanes smacked the state. That’s how you deal with mayhem on a state level.

2. Government is government. By its very nature, government is slow to respond. You want your 18-wheeler to drive like a two seat convertible, you can forget it. Strip it down, toss out the supplies, don’t allow any backseat drivers and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get it there in time to do some good. You want to change that, than get your fat butt politicians out of their pork barrels and write them a blank check with a memo attached saying, “Get ‘er done, no matter the cost”!

Working with many in the mass casualty arena though, I can see why there were delays in the Katrina response. Hopefully, if you understand the conceptual problems working disasters pose you will begin to understand “what went wrong” without getting to the specifics of each complaint. In short, if you want answers, you better know the right questions to ask. If you want results, you better stop keeping score as if every event in life is always measured in “wins” and “losses”. That only works on Keith Olberman’s MSNBC TV show. My qualifications first, if you don’t mind. For the last 4 years I have been hosting monthly programs produced by an organization trying to better prepare our first responder community for tragedies involving weapons of mass destruction. I’ve talked to dozens of the folks behind the scenes of the “faces” you’ve been seeing on TV. These are local, state and federal emergency folks who spend their lives trying to dream up worst-case scenarios and ways to better prepare for them. I’ve asked them tough questions, even putting some on the spot for their “iffy” answers. They’ve never backed away or tried to “pretty up” the difficult tasks they face. They are all compassionate, intelligent individuals giving it their best. I won’t betray their confidences by naming them. I will share with you my impressions of our

1. We will never be prepared for worstcase scenarios. Duh! Why do you think they call them worst case? We neither have the money nor the legislative will power to spend money on projects where the results only bare fruit 100 years down the line. You make do with what you have and beg and kick and scream for more, hoping the public will buy into what you are doing.

3. Nobody wants to surrender their power. Oh sure, when you sit down with the planners from all levels they tell you the incident command structure is already in place and executing it is something these folks do on a day-today basis. Hum! You mean the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana are good buddies who think alike and can complete each other’s sentences? You mean they can’t wait to surrender their cities and states to a federal militia without so much as a phone call to ask permission? 4. When things go wrong it’s never just one error, it’s a series of blunders. When New Jersey firefighters came rushing across the river to try and help New York on September 11th, no one told them their hose adapters wouldn’t fit on New York’s fire hydrants. No one thought about having duplicate mobile transmitters on other buildings besides the twin towers, which were the tallest structures. No one thought folks wouldn’t evacuate their homes in New Orleans. No one thought pre-positioning school buses outside the flood zones would preserve an important mode of transportation. No one thought a Governor would tell the President of the United States she needed 24 hours to see if nationally mobilized guard units might be needed NOW!

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 82

5. Protocol is like poison; just the right amount can heal the patient, too much and the patient dies. We were so focused on following proscribed antiterror measures of control and consent, of documentation and verification; we forgot to put a stopwatch on the process. We treated the patients’ symptoms, but he was already dead before we could get the medicine in him. 6. Humans make mistakes. Yep! We’re not perfect. We are supposed to be cool and calm and collected and have all of our ducks in a row. But when the “quackers” take off on their own, when the plan isn’t followed, you’re gone lose some ducklings. And we lost a bunch. Accepting that we are human is key to understanding how to adapt to the horrific predicaments disasters bring with them. 7. Humans are unpredictable! This is the unknown that makes planners lay awake at night. When Max Mayfield of the National Weather Service wrote his apocalyptic declaration of what Katrina would do, he never imagined that those in Katrina’s direct path would play dumb. The only difference between sheep and people is that sheep have wool. They can be dumb and stubborn as sticks. You can plan an exercise and have every aspect covered, where people should go, when they should evacuate, how they should evacuate, etc. But you can’t MAKE THEM LEAVE unless you plan on shooting them if they don’t. Put that in a plan and watch New York Times reporters wet their pants uncovering that story. 8. The public’s expectations can never be met. It’s not just those generations of poor folks who have become dependant on government for everything. It’s all of us who think SOMEONE ELSE should be looking out for our welfare. Ah, the price for freedom. If only socialism would catch on. We have surrendered our confidence to systems that don’t exist. We believe because we pay taxes there is a real live Uncle Sam, sort of a superman, waiting to rescue us in our time of greatest need. Government is not God. Government didn’t create Katrina, so why on earth do we think government can undo all that Katrina has done in 24, 48, 72, 7-million hours for that matter. 9. It’s a numbers game. You do the best you can with what you’ve got. The more

people affected the greater challenge, the greater the failures will appear. You put plans in place on the local, state and federal level to save as many lives as you can. You pray most will live but know in mass casualty events many will die. You will be heroes for saving many and blamed for those you couldn’t save, even if their deaths are connected to their inability to make wise choices. Every first responder knows that intimately. It’s the undeniable truth they attempt to change with their very lifeblood. 10. There can be no successful response to mass casualty events without the private sector. People helping people for no other reason than that they are people. The units that have the most value in our lives, our churches, our neighborhoods, our families, are the units who can respond most quickly to the recovering and rebuilding process. Government needs to plan how to get out of the way and help facilitate more direct, interventional behaviors. Private sector groups generally respond from the heart while government groups, though well intentioned and perhaps as compassionate, respond out of obligation to their constituents, their leaders, their political parties and the media. Sorry this is such a long list. I can’t stand it when complicated issues are glossed over for cute four-word headlines. Until you understand the “rules” of dealing with disasters you cannot fully appreciate why there are “delays” in delivering aid. And if you think those delays occurred because emergency folks were sitting on their butts, or because the people in need were poor and black, or because the President doesn’t like black people, than you are not only living in a state of denial… you are digging yourself into a dependency hole from which there is no escape. And that kind of thinking may be more deadly to this nation than the floodwaters and wind that Katrina brought our way.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 83

11-15-05 FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 84






t’s almost Thanksgiving. If things are going well in your life, you have many things for which to be thankful. And you are particularly fortunate if you have elderly parents who are still in good physical and mental shape. While your parents are healthy, you should take the opportunity to discuss matters of significance - such as their financial situation. There are probably many things you’d rather do than talk about finances with your parents -but it’s a conversation you need to have, because there is a lot that you need to discover. So, find a comfortable time in which to talk to your parents, approach the subject in as unemotional a manner as possible, and try to elicit the following pieces of information:


It isn’t necessarily essential that you know precisely which investments your parents own. But it is important that you know some things. Do they work with an investment representative? If so, whom? Are their investments spread out among a variety of financial institutions? You’ll need to be familiar with these things in case your parents become incapacitated or die unexpectedly. State treasurers’ offices regularly advertise “unclaimed” property, including investments - some of which have simply “slipped through the cracks.”


Health care expenses are a major concern of the elderly. That’s why you need to know who’s insuring your parents, and where your parents keep their health insurance cards and bills. You also should have a basic understanding of Medicare, the national health insurance program for Americans age 65 and older.

Medicare pays for most doctors’ bills and related services, and it now offers some prescription drug coverage. Nonetheless, your parents may need supplemental insurance policies. Of course, the chances are pretty good that your parents already know all these things; nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to make sure they’re well informed and that their health-care bills are under control.


If you don’t know if your parents have a will now is the time to find out. And if they don’t have a will, urge them to get one. Your parents have worked hard all their lives and they undoubtedly want their assets distributed according to their wishes, and not according to a court’s decree, which is what would happen if they die “intestate” (without a will). Even if your parents have a simple will, they may still need to take further action. If you believe they have a sizable estate or want to give significant gifts to charitable groups, encourage them to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning.

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By creating a durable power of attorney, your parents will name someone to make financial and health care decisions on their behalf should they become unable to do so. As you might suspect, this is a sensitive topic, so you’ll want to approach it with great care. By bringing up these issues with your parents, you can gain some valuable knowledge of their financial situation today - and a clearer understanding of what you can do to help them in the future.



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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 85




Story by Ken Lawrence

No Ordinary Barn


“Dating back to cave-wall drawings in prehistoric times, humans have been intent upon beautifying their surroundings through the addition of color, imagery and texture” Decor & You


hen your writer walks into one of the many homes he sees in a week and remarks how well decorated it is, invariably the owner says “Oh. It was done by Tile Barn”. That’s how influential Tile Barn has become in the decorative life of not only Plant City, but throughout the Tampa Bay area. Started in the early 1990’s by a native Puerto Rican tile/carpet sales and service person, the business success has virtually exploded since then. His name is Hiram Oyola, and he moved to Plant City from Miami to basically operate a small tile and carpet business. Since opening his first shop, Hiram has been at four different locations, each one larger than the other. Already he and his new partner are talking about an even bigger

showroom. The partner is Pam Brester, a graduate of the University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus), with a degree in Interior Design. Nine years ago, Pam dropped by Tile Barn when it was in the plaza where Staples is located, to try and sell Hiram an order of tile. They discussed the home decorating business and Tile Barn went from selling and installing tile/carpet into becoming a full service enterprise. Hiram and Pam have become partners and have not looked back since. Their present location, a new building on Goldfinch Drive near Outback Steakhouse on Thonotosassa Rd., is a little over a year old and already more space is required for expansion. The Key to Success Hiram Oyola says Tile Barn’s success starts with “referrals from happy customers and to do that we have always strived to remain one or even two steps ahead of the competition”.

Pam Brester, who is in big demand for her keen eye for décor, says “People love the personal touch, especially the way we do it.” If a customer agrees to use Tile Barn for their purchases, which are very, very competitive, then the consulting services are free. Hiram warns home owners to be wary of discount retailers who will add numerous extras to the sales price, such as charges to remove countertops and carpeting, or for trim and other items. “What we quote covers everything”, says the Tile Barn President, as he looks out over his 15,000 square foot showroom. Today’s Trends TILE- Twelve inch or smaller size tile is passé. “Homemakers want as large a tile as possible in earthen tones and no shine”, says Hiram. Vice President Pam says “The less grout there is the better”. Besides, there is quite a bit of tile out there now that is even cheaper than vinyl.

CARPET- Still popular in bedrooms, but not so much elsewhere in the home. No matter the quality, carpet will eventually show wear marks and, of course, stains, not to mention that carpet requires constant vacuuming. WOOD- Real wood is an excellent product; however there are pros and cons related to real wood. It will give you many years of maintenance-free use, but it can be damaged and is difficult to repair. There is an engineered wood product from Canada that Tile Barn promotes and Hiram Oyola raves about it. WOOD LAMINATE- Another excellent product that is usually cheaper than real wood and is generally scratch resistant. It’s easy to install. Even ‘all thumbs’ homemakers can do a good job laying laminate. However, it’s still a synthetic product and most people can tell the difference between it and real wood. GRANITE- There are many type of countertops out on the market today, but Hiram and Pam of the Tile Barn say ‘nothing beats granite for looks and durability’. They are so convinced of what they’re saying that there are plans to start a granite fabricating shop to be located around Frontage and Park Roads. With that shop, Hiram says Tile Barn’s already low prices for granite will be unbeatable. FURNITURE- The next step in the Tile Barn evolution - a plan to offer a selection of fine furniture. To do that will require more space and so yet another move may be in the offing. However, Hiram and Pam say, “Don’t worry, any move will be within Plant City because we love the area and the people too much to ever consider going anywhere else”.

Hiram Oyala, owner of Tile Barn, with partner Pam Brester.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 86

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 87




Story and Photos by Devin Dygert

Student of the Month JUSTIN TORBERT


ustin Torbert, known to friends as JT is consumed with school. He’s an outside person, but spends a lot of time at his house. Using sports to pass the time, he is on the Plant City High School football team, which is pretty simple since he’s been playing sports since he can remember.

for myself.” JT is 15 and is more then anxious to be driving with a license rather then his permit. Thinking of his parents JT said “Once I get my license my parents won’t have to break out of their schedule to come get me after practice and I’ll be able to drive myself home.”

He’s an above-average student with goals and dreams, and is taking all honor classes; even Spanish 2 and his electives are honor classes. Only a sophomore, JT fills his day with school and homework. Last year he even won a PSP for placing highly on the FCAT. He’s a southern boy, with many responsibilities at his home. He’s watched over his two younger brothers, ages nine and three, more times then he can count and continues to help out with them as much as possible.

“The NFL,” he told me “I would love to be in just to get rich, but you have to have a lot of talent to be in the NFL.” Whenever he’s at home he plays catch with his little brothers and dad. He works out and benches 175 to keep in shape.

JT lives on a ranch which requires a lot more from him then the normal student. “I’ve got to balance grades, chores, family and still have time

He plays quarterback now and next year will be playing wide receiver. “On the field it feels awesome, because your adrenaline is pumping and you live for the moment. Just waiting, watching the ball floating through the air and just landing in your palm is an amazing feeling.” Baseball’s another sport that JT played last year for PCLL (Plant

City Little League) as a catcher, pitcher, and centerfield. He still plays a little baseball, but with all that’s going on in his life, free time isn’t easy to come by. When he’s not doing an array of chores, like feeding the horses, cutting grass, cleaning the stalls, or

cleaning his room “like most teenagers”, JT is watching TV or just taking a break and relaxing. “You can’t always be running around, you’ve got to take some down time to just chill. My main concern right now is just growing out my hair so that it can be braided.” Sometimes the little things matter the most.


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES Machine Maintenance Mechanic �������������������������������� �������������������������������� ���������������������������������� ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������� ������������������������������ ����������������������������������������

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 88

Assembling & fabricating produce machines. Welding experience helpful.

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Story and Photos by Bob Hughens

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 90

I Can Do It (Part 4) W

ell, it’s that time again to report on life in the diet lane. I continue to try to stay committed in my quest to lose weight, but it is not getting any easier. It seems that after the initial weight loss was over, it has become a daily struggle to make the weight come off. Everyday I am aware of the impact, or rather the lack of impact, that my exercise and eating has on my body. If I miss a workout or cheat a little on my diet, I know the effect it is going to have on my progress. It’s really starting to turn into a mental battle. Sure, in the beginning, I was dropping pounds left and right and it seemed that anything I did caused the weight to come off. Now, it is taking a real commitment to do the cardio exercises in between my twice-a-week workouts. If I miss a day at the jogging track, I feel the difference in my body. If I don’t drink my daily intake of water, I feel the difference. Thank goodness, I have not had to miss any workouts with my trainer, Mike Gartz. Mike continues to adjust his schedule to meet my needs. If I have to cover a sporting event (I write sports articles for Focus), Mike adjusts his schedule for me. If I have to work late, Mike rearranges his schedule. If I couldn’t make these adjustments, I would probably have to skip workouts and at this stage, that could really hurt my progress. My continued thanks go out to Mike, as well as my personal physician, Dr. Brian Korte of Family Practice Center. These gentlemen continue

to keep tabs on me to make sure I’m doing what I need to do, both physically and medically. Life has totally changed from the way it has been over the last fifty-six years. The days have gone from pigging out and eating anything I want to a life of measuring portions and determining nutritional values before putting anything in my mouth. I know it sounds like I’m complaining and I guess I am. It’s just that at this stage of my program, results are becoming so much harder to come by. Progress comes at a higher price now. I guess that’s why they say “No pain, no gain”. Oh well, with the continued support of my wife, my family and friends, I’ll keep battling to get where I need to be. I’m currently at 293 pounds; however, my goal is to hit my target goal of 280 pounds by the end of October. I’m told that at this stage in my program, a 10-pound a month weight loss is realistic. I’m going to give it everything I can to be at 280. For those of you who have finally decided to start a healthy fitness program, I encourage you to call Mike Gartz at Elite Home Fitness at (813) 786-1541. Mike will put a training program together that is custom designed for your individual needs and lifestyle. Make the call today. You’ll be glad you did. Remember this thought. “What have you done today to make yourself proud?” Think about it. See you next month.



Story by Bob Hughens Photos by Bob Hughens and Billy Friend

Raiders Bring Down The Titans I

t was Homecoming Night for the Plant City Raiders and during the half-time ceremonies, the homecoming queen and her court were crowned. However, it was quarterback Jason Brown that earned the title of “King of the Night” for his performance on the football field. Jason had 14 carries for 156 yards and touchdowns of 11, 42 and 58 yards as the Raiders devastated the Titans of Tampa Bay Tech by a score of 303. Coincidentally, the following night at the homecoming dance, Jason Brown was crowned the Homecoming King. FIRST HALF:

The Raiders found their way into the end zone first. Plant City punted on its second possession, but Tech fumbled to Plant City which put the Raiders on the Titans’ 32. Six plays later, Brown ran it in for his first touchdown of the night. With 8:21 left in the second quarter, Brown scored his second TD with

a 42-yard run behind some superior blocking by the Raider front line. That made the score 13-0. Then with 8:22 in the second quarter, Brown took off on another TD run, this time for 58 yards making the score 20-0. With 9 seconds left in the half, Jonathon Dupree kicked a 28-yard field goal to send the Raiders into the locker room leading 23-0. HALFTIME: HOMECOMING QUEEN FESTIVITIES

The 2004 Homecoming Queen Tara Parker was introduced to the crowd to begin the ceremony. Tara and each one of the candidates for Homecoming Queen were announced at halftime as they entered the stadium in a procession of beautiful convertibles. They circled the stadium and entered the field with their escorts at midfield under a colorful archway of balloons. As each couple walked onto the field, they took their designated places in

The Raiders put their hearts into the game and were able to win 30-3.

front of the hometown crowd. At that time, the 1st runner-up and the winning queen were announced. The candidates for queen were: Cherica Brown, Mary Coleman, Chyijuana Cooper, Shadae Mitchell, Michelle Richardson, Shannon Trice and Ashley Watkins. The title of 1st Runner-up went to Cherica Brown and the 2005 Homecoming Queen of Plant City High School is Mary Coleman. Mary was crowned at midfield in an emotional ceremony as she was congratulated by each of the ladies of her court.


Tech put together several drives in the second half but could only manage a field goal with 9:02 in the fourth quarter. That would be the only scoring of the night for the Titans. Plant City’s Sherrod Lott picked off two of Tech’s passes in the fourth quarter, giving him four on the season. Plant City put one more score on the board to finish out the game by a final score Raiders 30-Titans 3. The win brought Plant City’s record to 4-3. Congratulations to Mary Coleman, 2005 Homecoming Queen. Go Raiders!!

The seven finalists for Homecoming Queen were Cherica Brown (1st runner-up), Mary Coleman (Queen), Chyijuana Cooper, Shadae Mitchell, Michelle Richardson, Shannon Trice and Ashley Watkins.

Mary Coleman, next to her father, John Coleman, shows pure excitement and surprise as she is crowned the 2005 Homecoming Queen.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 91



Story and Photos by Bob Hughens

Raiders Muzzle the Wolves R

aider Stadium at Plant City High School was the sight of a wild shootout Friday night as the Raiders’ varsity football team (2-3) hosted the Newsome Wolves (1-4) in a hard fought battle under the lights. The Raiders dodged a bullet on their own 5-yard line as the game clock ran out on Newsome before they could put the ball in the end zone, which would have given them the win. The Raiders held on, however, and came away with a 19-14 much needed victory.

1st Quarter: PC took the kickoff at their 26-yard line to start the game but could not move the ball. On fourth and fifteen, Randy Wetherington bobbled the snap and Newsome recovered at the PC 23 yard line. After quarterback Keith Gosdoski was sacked with a five-yard loss, Newsome tried a field goal that missed wide left. PC took over at their own 28-yard line and with some nifty running from quarterback Jason Brown, Jacari Bennett and Jarvis Pope, the Raiders moved the ball down to the Newsome 3 yard line. With 4:08 left in the first quarter, Keith Dawson ran it in for the Raiders first score of the night. The PAT was good and it was Raiders 7 – Wolves 0. On the following possession, the Wolves couldn’t get the ball past Plant City’s 44-yard line where they had to punt to the Raiders. The quarter ended with the score Raiders 7 – Wolves 0.

score is now Raiders 13-Newsome 0. On Newsome’s next possession, the Wolves mixed their air attack with a solid ground game to get the ball down to the Plant City 36-yard line. On the next play, Sherrod Lott picked off a Newsome pass at the Raider 1 yard line to stop the drive. The Raiders managed to get the ball back to their own 34-yard line when the second quarter ran out. Raiders 13 - Wolves 0. 3rd Quarter: Newsome came out of the locker room after halftime with renewed determination and staged a drive that ate up 4:54 off the clock. The drive resulted in a touchdown run from the Raiders 2 yard line with 7:06 left in the third quarter. The PAT was good and the score is Raiders 13-Wolves 7. On Plant City’s next possession, the Raiders extended their lead when quarterback Jason Brown took off on a spectacular 69 yard touchdown run with 5:18 left in the third quarter.

The Raiders went for two points but Brown was sacked and the conversion failed. The score is now Raiders 19-Wolves 7. The Wolves Colin O’Connor almost got Newsome back in the game but his 79 yard run was called back due to a penalty. Raiders 19 - Wolves 7. 4th Quarter: During the series, quarterback Keith Gosdoski was injured and Colin O’Connor came in as Newsome’s new quarterback. O’Connor managed to stage a drive which resulted in a running touchdown from the Raiders 4 yard line with 11: 52 left in the fourth quarter. The PAT was good and the score is now Raiders 19-Wolves 14. The

Fans certainly got their money’s worth tonight as the Raiders came out on top of this head-banging battle. The Raiders face Brandon next week in an away district game.

REMAINING SCHEDULE 10/21/05 10/28/05 11/04/05

Open Bloomingdale Riverview

Home Away

Get out and support your Raider football program. GO RAIDERS!!

2nd Quarter: Penalties kept the Raiders from advancing the ball on their next possession and with fourth and 32 from their 24-yard line, they punted to the Wolves. Newsome failed to convert a first down and had to punt the ball away. The Raiders started their next drive at their own 15 yard line and moved the ball up to their 24 yard line when quarterback Jason Brown hit Zach Jones on a beautiful 76 yard touchdown pass with 5:56 left in the second quarter to increase their lead over the Wolves. The PAT was no good due to a penalty and the QB Jason Brown is brought down after a long run

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 92

clock is now becoming the Wolves enemy and after Plant City held them on a fourth and five, the Raiders put the ball up with 4 minutes left in the game and was picked off by Newsome at their own 40-yard line. This began a drive that would move the ball downfield to the Plant City 4-yard line but the Raider defense toughened and held Newsome as time ran out on the Wolves. The final score was Raiders 19 - Wolves 14.

7:30 pm 7:30 pm

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Donʼt leave your loved ones in a state of confusion or uncertainty should you become incapacitated or unable to care for them for any reason. Join me for an informative and timely estate planning issues seminar. Weʼll address the following issues: • How to handle cases of incapacity • Healthcare decisions • Carrying out your wishes • Estate taxes and gifting • The role of your estate planning team Donʼt miss our special guest(s) Keith C. Smith, Esquire Trinkle, Redman, Swanson & Coton, P.A. Charlotte M. Stertzer, C.P.A. Bella, Hermida, Gillman, Hancock & Mueller, C.P.A.ʼs Now is the time to establish your estate plan to help ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes. Call me today to enroll. Edward Jones, itʼs employees and investment representatives are not estate planners and can not provide tax or legal advice. This seminar is informational only and you should consult with a competent tax specialist or attorney for professional advice on your specific situation.

Pumpkin Patch now open

Date: Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 Time: 2 times available- 2:00pm and 6:00pm Location: Sisterʼs Courtyard Café 104 Reynolds Street, Downtown Plant City

Michael S. Cameron 2501 Thonotosassa Road Plant City, FL 33563 813 / 759 - 1491

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 93

CAREER SEEKERS WANTED Are you in the market for a career change?

International Paper-- Plant City

is a state of the art, clean, automated, air conditioned beverage packaging facility. We are currently seeking qualified career-focused individuals to fill our manufacturing/production positions for a 5 day rotating shift operation. Starting wage: Up to $11.50 w/rotating and shift premiums included. After 90 days, eligible for company gain sharing program which has historically averaged a payout equivalent to an additional $1.00 or more an hour. Vacation, 401K, Health, Dental and much more.

All interested persons should apply at TBWA (Job Service) 2001 E Cherry St Plant City, Fl 33566 (813) 930-7880 or at International Paper Company, 2104 Henderson Way, Plant City FL 33563 (813) 752-2150.

Plant City Overview

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V an a Drug Free Workplace FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 94



Story by Sherry Nueesch

Only One Lousy Little Pound I

found this little story recently about ONLY ONE POUND. I got a kick out of the truth in the story. After thinking about it for awhile, I have come to believe the infamous ONE LITTLE POUND may be one of the biggest causes of failure in weight loss. I’ll meet you at the end of the story and tell you why. I did not write this story. It did not grow in my dirt. Don’t know who did, but who ever wrote the story sure hit the weight loss nail on the head. It got my attention. ONLY ONE POUND Hello, do you know me? If you don’t you should. I am a pound of fat. I am the happiest pound of fat that you would ever want to meet.Would you like to know why? It is because no one ever wants to lose me. I am ONLY ONE POUND, just one pound. Everyone wants to lose three pounds, five pounds fifteen pounds or more, but not just one pound. So I just stick around and happily keep you fat. Then I add to myself ever so slyly, so that you never seem to notice. That is until I have grown to ten, twenty, or thirty pounds in weight. Yes it is fun being ONLY ONE POUND of fat left to do as I please. So when you get weighed and measured keep on saying “Oh I only lost one pound” (as if that were such a bad thing). For you see, if you do this, you will encourage others to keep me around because they will think I am not worth losing. And I love being around you – your arms, your legs, your chin, your hips, and every other part of you. HAPPY DAYS After all I am ONLY ONE POUND OF FAT!!! The weight loss industry has got us brainwashed. We have been

so bombarded with commercials and print ads advancing rapid weight loss, we believe it. Stand in line at the grocery store and read the teasers on the front covers of magazines. Every issue is a different teaser promoting a “new” weight loss method. Watch daytime TV for a little while and you will be bombarded with ads for weight loss products. Everyone is promising drastic results in a short period of time. “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days.” “Find out about the dramatic new discovery”. “You can lose 10 pounds a week.” Blah, Blah, Blah, it is bunk. Manufacturers of these products are targeting women at every angle conceivable. They have done it so long that we actually believe it. What you say, lose only one pound! No way, I want to lose 50. So you start the diet and/or you start to exercise. In a week or two, if you have only lost a pound or two, you quit. You quit because you did not lose 30 pounds in 30 days or 10 pounds your first week. So you mark up another program that didn’t work and wait for the next commercial to come out with another new promise. You know what; you won’t lose any pounds until you lose that one little pound. The first number in 30 is one!!!! You have to start with one. There are no short cuts. The people that achieve long term results are the ones who know they must first lose that ONLY ONE POUND. You want to see what a pound of fat looks like? Open up your refrigerator and get out a pound of butter. There you go. That

is one pound of pure fat. That is a lot of stuff coming off your body, one little pound at a time. I don’t blame you for believing those ads, I used to. They make billions off us. They are good at it. They just aren’t telling us the truth. You cannot lose 30 pounds in 30 days. You are not going to lose 10 pounds a week either. What you will do is lose one little ole fat pound at a time. How many extra ONLY ONE POUNDS of fat are you carrying around? If you lost a pound a week for a year, you could weigh 52 pounds less by this time next year.

Pick up the phone and call the experts today. We will cheer along with you every time you lose ONLY ONE POUND. As always to your health. Sherry Nueesch

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 95



Submitted by Dr Susan Ott

Sports Injuries in the Knee Part I LIGAMENTOUS INJURIES


here are many ways in which an athlete can sustain an injury to his or her knee and many structures that can be injured. These injuries typically fall into the categories of ligament injuries, cartilage injuries, bony injuries or overuse injuries. The focus of this months’ article will be on ligamentous injuries. Ligaments are soft tissues that connect bones to bones. Some ligaments are inside joints and some are outside joints. Some are good healers and some are poor healers. There are four main stabilizing ligaments in the knee. Two stabilize the knee from side to side and are called the medial collateral (MCL) and lateral collateral ligaments (LCL). These ligaments are on the inside (medial) and outside (lateral) side of the knee. These two ligaments are outside of the joint itself. The MCL is commonly injured due to a blow on the outside (lateral) part of the knee, such as a football player getting clipped from the outside. This causes a distraction force on the medial (inside) of the knee, causing the ligament to stretch or partially tear. These injuries

can also be caused by a plant and twist injury, such as a soccer player planting and twisting to run in the opposite direction. The MCL is, in general, a good healing ligament that rarely requires surgery. MCL injuries can usually be treated with bracing and physical therapy. The LCL is less commonly injured than the MCL. The way in which it is injured is the opposite of the MCL injuries. Usually due to a blow to the inside (medial side) of the knee or once again a plant and twist injury. There is a complex of structures on the outside of the knee that often are injured with the LCL. A low grade isolated LCL injury can often be treated conservatively, but when

other structures on the outside of the knee joint are also injured, surgery is sometimes required. There are 2 main ligaments in the center of the knee called the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). They function to prevent the tibia (shin bone) from moving forward and back on the femur (thigh bone). The ACL is a common sports injury. The PCL is less commonly injured in sports, so the focus will be on ACL injuries. The ACL is located inside the knee joint, in the center. Usually when it tears it tears completely and


loses its blood supply, making it a poor healer. The ACL can also be injured by a blow to the knee, from the outside or the inside, due to a hyperextension injury or a plant and twist injury. For an athlete, an ACL injury requires surgery if the athlete wants to continue in his or her sport. Because the ACL loses its blood supply when it tears, it cannot simply be sewn back together. Without a blood supply it will not heal, therefore a graft must be used to reconstruct the ligament. Knee ligament injuries are complex problems; however, they are not the career ending injuries they used to be. Research in the sports medicine community is on-going and we are constantly striving to find the best way to get our athletes back to sports as quickly and safely as possible. NEXT MONTH: Cartilage injuries in the knee Dr. Susan Ott is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. She practices with her partner, Dr. John Carrozzella, at Sand Hill Bone & Joint. Please call 813754-0817 for more information.


Fellow: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Fellow: American College of Surgeons Member: American Society for surgery of the Hand Certified: American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons

Team Physician for Florida Southern College National Healthcare Referral Network for USA Gymnastics & USA Swimming American College of Sport Medicine

• General Orthopedics • Total Joint Replacement • Partial Joint Replacement • Mini Incision Joint Replacement

• Sports Medicine • Fracture & Injury Care • Arthroscopic Surgery • Ligament Reconstruction

116 N. Kings Ave. Brandon, Fl 33510

(813) 490-1393

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 96

Certified: Board Certified D.O.

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Plant City, Fl 33567

(813) 754-0817

United Electrical Systems,Inc. Your 1 Stop Air Conditioning & Electrical Company

License #ʼs RA 0067112 ER 0014670


Financing available Free Estimates Service & Repair all major brands Preventative Maintenance Duct replacement/repair/cleaning


Electrical Inspections Generator Hook-ups Surge Protectors (single or complete home) Service upgrade/repairs/rewiring 203 E. Laura St. Plant City,FL 33563

1-877-330-7102 • 813-752-2468 TECO CUSTOMERS MENTION THIS AD & GET A FREE DUCT SEAL.* *Some restrictions apply.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 97




Story by Jim Brown


clicktoattend.com/invitation. aspx?code=104211 You will receive an e-mail confirmation with all of the event details once you register. Let’s show Microsoft and companies like this that Plant City and Lakeland is ready to have events such as these and let’s have fun. Remember, this event is free of charge to 200 attendees and registration is cut off after that, so don’t miss out. Anyone could use this information and would easily pay hundreds of dollars to attend an event such as this.

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CU has designed an informational session in conjunction with Microsoft regarding Windows XP Professional. This will be a fun afternoon on Thursday, 11-10-05 at the Ramada Inn Plantation House Convention Center from 2:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. (Registration begins @ 1:30 p.m.) We have convinced Microsoft that there is much interest in Plant City, Lakeland, and surrounding areas without having to travel to Tampa or Orlando for an event of this scale. This event is intended to be focused towards business owners, employees, and IT professionals. To register, go to one of the links listed below and follow the instructions.

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Registration site: http://www. clicktoattend.com. Event Code: 104211


Alternatively, attendees may use this link to register: http://www.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 98

If you have any questions, e-mail me @ jimb@plantcity.com. This event will be covering Windows XP Professional, Spyware, Adware, Malware, Viruses and much, much more. We will have afternoon snacks, drinks, door prizes, and free gifts for each attendee. Until Next time, Happy Computing.

Jim Brown Product Consultants Unlimited, Inc. 601 N. Michigan Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 813-717-7717 E-mail: jimb@plantcity.com www.plantcity.com www.pcustore.com www.pcuvoice.com




Story by Brian West Photos courtesy of Lexus

Deming Would Be Proud



hortly following World War II, Dr. W. Edwards Deming was invited to come to Japan to help the Japanese rebuild. They wanted to change their reputation in the industrial world. At the time, they were known for producing cheap imitation products sold around the world and thus the reputation “made in Japan.” Deming told them it would take five years to change. Deming later said, “They surprised me and did it in four years.” Deming taught them that continuous quality improvement (CQI) was the answer; the pursuit of perfection. Since that time Japanese auto makers have continued to improve the quality of the products they offer and the 2006 Lexus GS 300 is certainly no exception. This GS has everything one could want in a luxury car, and then some; the exterior design is efficient and attractive, the interior is comfortable and loaded with technology and the power

and handling delivers great performance and a comfortable ride. The exterior of the GS 300 has the rough shape and size of the Nissan Maxima, but its performance and technology place it in a much higher class. The GS 300 is actually comparable to the Infinity M35, the Volvo S80, and even the Mercedes E class. But its direct competitor is the BMW 530i. The GS 300 comes with 17 inch wheels equipped with 225/50VR tires. This setup makes the car appear low to the ground for a sporty look, and also provides responsive steering. This Lexus also has a new safety feature called AFS for Adaptive Front Lighting System. This system allows the headlights to actually turn into the turns of the vehicle, keeping the lights on the road where the driver is looking and making for a much safer drive. The interior is loaded with more gadgets than most drivers might even attempt to use. The first thing

you notice is that the GS 300 has keyless entry and start. The driver only needs to have the key fob and when you approach the vehicle the doors will unlock. Once you enter the vehicle, simply place your foot on the brake, push the start button and you’re ready to go. Once the vehicle is started, the first thing you’ll notice is the large touch screen in the center of the dash. Almost everything on the interior is controlled through the touch screen. The touch screen is standard and there is an optional navigation package. The dials in the dash are bright and the numbering is clear. The steering wheel is a leather and wood grain combination that felt good to the touch. The rear deck has a sunscreen that folds down automatically while the vehicle is in reverse and back up while driving forward. The GS 300 also has one of those “what will they think of next” features, the front seats are ventilated to allow airflow through the cushioning.

As for performance, the GS delivers. The GS is available in 2 different versions; the GS 300 with a V6 and the GS 430 with a V8. But let me tell you, the GS 300 has plenty of power to satisfy even the most power-hungry drivers. The 245hp V6 is coupled with a 6-speed sequential shift automatic transmission featuring an intelligence system that actually learns the acceleration habits of the driver to improve shift timing. And the 245hp moves through spotty traffic effortlessly. The sticker price on the model I drove was $46,150. If you’re interested in the GS 300 or any of the other Lexus models, visit Lexus of Tampa Bay. Lexus of Tampa Bay is located on North Dale Mabry, just north of Hillsboro Avenue. Paul Aoun, Sales Representative, and Nasr Aljairoudi, Sales Manager, were great to work with and would appreciate the opportunity to find the perfect Lexus for you.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 99




Story & Photos by Dawn Marie Simpson

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble! T

he ground shook as a thunderous roar rocked the fog-filled stadium. It was a buffalo stampede! There were many buffalos that took the center arena running from the Indians who were attempting to make a home on the range. No, I didn’t go back in time….I was at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Orlando. I’ve been to many dinner shows in my time but none such as this, which clearly lives up to its slogan “Orlando’s Most Fun Place to Eat.” If the mouth-watering feast didn’t overwhelm you with portions piled a mile high (whole roasted chicken, Smoked BBQ pork loin, hot buttery corn on the cob, creamy veggie soup, a seasoned potato, and a biscuit), then perhaps it was the flaky pastry for dessert. I must confess, there was so

much food left on my plate I had to request a doggie bag…presumably for my dog, when in fact I knew I was going to have a midnight snack. And if you’re a Vegetarian or Vegan, no need to fear! Dolly’s kitchen will cater to your needs. And if you think the dinner is too rich for your children, don’t leave them at home! Kids receive special treatment with chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese with all the trimmings. If dinner alone didn’t knock your boots off, then it had to be the aweinspiring entertainment. The show is a musical spectacular which featured over 30 horses that performed thrilling tricks. It was breathtaking to watch some of these horses race at break neck speeds and stop on a dime. The trick riders executed quick

dismounts and handstands with ease. I was astounded at one of the horses that skipped, danced, and in the end, took a bow. I’ve been struggling to teach my horse how to bow for over a year, and the trainers made this showcase look like a piece of cake. Let’s not overlook the dozens of singers and dancers, ostrich races, which are funnier than all getout, comedians, and magic tricks, combined with the rivalry fun of the North/South. As an audience you interact during the entire show. If you’re on the right side of the arena, then you’re cheering and shouting for the north, and on the left you’re stomping and whistling for the rebel south. And if the cheering and stomping wasn’t enough to keep the rivalry in the stands going, perhaps it was the team spirit in the arena trying to help the side you sat on come to a victory in the end. Luckily for us, one of the audience members scored with the toilet seat horseshoe game, which put us in the lead. Let me tell you, you don’t have to be an equestrian to be in awe of the fine horses being showcased at Dixie Stampede. There were many breeds of horses that I won’t be able to mention for lack of space. But there were quarter horses to Belgian draft

horses to Percherons 19-hands high! These trained animals brought the thrill and excitement before our eyes. Oh my gosh, I’m out of space and I didn’t even get to share with you about “Ulysses S. Grunt” or “Miss Scarlet O’Ham Hock” (little piggies) that raced for immunity and a chocolate cookie. Nor did I share about the red, white and blue pyrotechnics grand finale that moved many to tears. On October 31st, the Christmas show will kick-off and it will be sure to delight everyone through December 31st. Tickets for all shows can be purchased at any CVS, AAA branch or online. For more information, call 1-866-443-4943. There’s much to say about the Dixie Stampede and it would require another column. Trust me - you’ll enjoy it. Dolly guarantee’s it! Individuals with big ambitions to be part of the show can apply within. If you’re gregarious, open to instruction, and have equestrian experience; then come on down! You’ll learn a variety of disciplines and cues, all while showing your range of talent.

Yes, this woman is riding an ostrich at Dixie’s Stampede. Dixie’s Stampede is full of excitement and is a thrilling experience.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 100

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FREE DESIGN SERVICE with purch ase

Pam Brester Interior Designer

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Will You Be The Next Queen? Process Begins For the 2006 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen Beginning Thursday, November 3, 2005, applications will be available to those interested in becoming the 2006 Florida Strawberry Festival Queen. Applications will be made available during orientation that evening at 6:00 p.m. inside the Author Boring building on the festival grounds. Orientation is held to inform the applicants of the rules of the contest and the commitment required to fulfill the responsibilities of the Queen and Court. Stephanie Shuff, Lions Auxiliary Pageant Coordinator, said, “The responsibilities of the queen and court continue to increase each year. We (the Lions Club and the Strawberry Festival) feel that the orientation meeting needed to become mandatory due to the vast amount of information presented that evening." Applicants must attend to be eligible to compete in the scholarship pageant. Applications must be turned in to the festival office no later than noon on Monday, November 14, 2005. In past years, applicants may have been hesitant to turn in their application too early because applicants were assigned their contestant number in the order the applications were received. This year that process will change. All applicants will have their name drawn to determine contestant order. Stephen Robert, Lions Club President, said, “We’re really looking forward to the upcoming contest and can’t wait to see who will be crowned the next Queen.”

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 102




Story by Brandon Hyde Photos by Sophia Dedon

Key West Brought to Plant City BOBBER’S BEACH HOUSE SEAFOOD


he roar of the oceans, call of seagulls, and the wind whipping around can only bring one thing to mind: vacation time. Of course, the harsh reality of summer’s end hints that relaxation time has expired until it’s all too long arrival next year. Now, in Plant City there is a vacation-reminding stronghold that is here to stay. Bobber’s Beach House Seafood captures the exotic colors of Key West and the magnificent atmosphere of island life. But do not be blinded by all that strikes the eyes and ears, give the taste buds a chance to take the mouth on a mini-vacation. Upon entering Bobbers, one is met with a stunning visual, including a fully assembled porch, umbrellas of various colors, and even a small ocean side “beach.” The walls are covered in small bamboo to give the visual of a small tropical hut. All of the tables are set with woven buckets filled with every needed condiment. The sounds of Jimmy

Buffett and Bob Marley are played just soft enough not to disturb any conversation that could arise in the midst of the meal, but loud enough to give off a beach vibe and relaxed atmosphere. Admittedly, the prospect of getting lost in the visible attributes of Bobber’s is very likely. On the first visit one will not be able to resist being caught up in it. Everything is put together very well and planned out as well as any restaurant. Even the food presentation is admirable. The corn fritters that precede all meals are lightly dashed with powdered sugar. The instant reaction of any human is to reach for the mouth-watering appetizers. Do not forget, however, the meal is the reason for the visit. One thing that was left off of the menu on purpose was fried fish. The founders of Bobber’s felt that there were only fried seafood places established in Plant City. So, instead

of having fried anything, they have chosen to put 12 different types of fish prepared 10 different ways just for their customers. There is no way to sit down and enjoy all 120 various preparations of fish. That’s right, 120. After trying to determine what fish, and how to cook it, one is faced with side items. Not just any side items, there are highly touted blue potatoes, rather large salads, soups, and many more sides. The decision made between my guest and myself was to choose everything completely different. Good choice! Arriving first is the overtly large salad. This “side” salad is large enough to be a meal, in my opinion. Right when you are done with your salad, the fish arrives. My personal order of blackened salmon was phenomenal. Not sure what to expect, the first bite set my tongue to dancing and my lips craving more. It seemed agonizingly too slow between each bite. The overall

taste just becomes anew every bite. Not too spicy, not too cool, and everything just right. Any return visits will end most likely with the reorder of this delicious swimming meal of the oceans. My guest’s meal consisted of clam chowder and Lemon Garlic Cream Mahi-Mahi. The chowder was smooth and delicious, full of flavorenhancing spices, and a good “any time” soup. Besides that, my guest enjoyed her succulent Mahi-Mahi with the delicious sauce. The fish was cooked to perfection, leaving enough juice in it to make it moist, but warm enough to scintillate the senses. We followed our fish with Key West Key Lime Pie and Island Pineapple Cake, both served as the perfect end to a complete meal. To-go boxes were needed to take home the leftovers for another time. Whether you are searching for a great atmosphere or fish cooked the way you like it, I recommend you give Bobber’s a try.

CRITICAL INFORMATION Bobber’s Beach House Seafood 226 W Alexander St Phone: 813-567-1203 Hours: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. everyday Visa, MasterCard and American Express Accepted Children’s menu ranges from $3.99-$4.99 Owner: Bob Shearer Co-Partner: Dareen Weathers General Manager/Executive Chef: Charles White

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 103



Word to the Wise: Incognito: Disguise Sage Advice: I’d rather be me than anyone else.

Crossword: Happy Thanksgiving

We are looking for sales people. Positions available in Plant City & Lakeland Territories

Fax resumé to:


FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 104

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 105




Story & Photos by Dawn Marie Simpson

Hatcha, Whoopie! ALL THAT JAVA AND JAZZ!


f the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and sapid sweets didn’t bring you off the streets of Plant City, then it must have been the sounds of the smooth jazz ensemble coordinated by Michele Pruyn & directed by her husband, the notable David Pruyn.

The melodies reverberated through the Wesley Centre - decorated with wooden park benches, oldtime streetlights and linen-covered tables that scattered the floor of the First United Methodist Church. Starting a little late but making up for it was the professional ensemble that proved their dedication to the preservation of a long-lost facet of the truest art form. Michele is the Director of Music at the First United Methodist Church on Evers Street and took on the challenge just three months ago. She has accomplished a great deal since joining. Michele approached Pastor Earl Smith of FUMC and asked for his blessing to host some of the best

talent in the hopes of bringing a greater sense of cultural enrichment to Plant City with ticket sales outreaching to the Good Samaritan Mission and Tampa United Methodist Centers. The Good Samaritan Center was established in 1892 for community outreach to all. It is a transdenominational ministry that serves the spiritual and physical needs of the indigent. Tampa United Methodist Centers (TUMC) is a faith-based, ecumenical, non-profit group. TUMC is committed to empowering the lives of families, helping them to break the cycle of poverty and improve the social and spiritual aspects of their family life. David Pruyn has been linked with many distinguished celebrities during his career of instructing and playing Big Band, Swing and Jazz. He has engaged with such individuals as Armando Anthony, more easily recognized by his stage name of “Chick” Corea. Corea is an American jazz pianist & keyboardist

as well as a composer who is arguably best known for his work during the 70’s in the genre of jazz fusion.

piano gal who has been entertaining audiences since her debut on The Lawrence Welk Show over 40 years ago.

David has also been known to play with the Grammy Award-winning band whose signature tune is Birdland. Can you guess who it is? It’s the fantabulous Manhattan Transfer!

To further whet your appetite, hailing from Pittsburgh, PA comes John Davidson to the stage in February. You might remember John as the host of his own talk show but has now gone on to be a country and pop star icon.

Michele has gone out on a limb to secure great concert headliners, which will be sure to please and entertain the community beginning November 6th at Wesley Centre. Don’t miss a great night of entertainment - it’s a casual occasion, so come on down. Arriving on the stage just before Thanksgiving is a blockbuster tribute to Harry James, one of the most famous trumpet players of the big band era. Walt Andrus will be giving a tribute to the namesake of Frank Sinatra in December. You’ll find him striking a balance between artistry, entertainment and a commitment to keeping jazz alive. You won’t find anyone “tickling” the ivories in January. Instead, you will find Jo Ann Castle “hammering” them—as if she is tearing the piano up instead of playing it. Jo Ann is a Honky-Tonk

A couple enjoying their evening at the event.

Two musicians playing at Jazz, Jesus and Java at FUMC

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 106

The Vocal Group Hall of Fame will lend us the honor of listening to their “Greatest Vocal Group in the World,”award winning Pied Pipers. The Pipers debuted with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1940 and will be strolling into town on March 5th. Last, but not least, are the R&B hit singers “The Diamonds,” who became a cohesive unit in the mid50’s. They are remembered best from their hit single “The Stroll”, which made them a dance sensation on Dick Clark’s ‘American Bandstand’. Tickets are $20 per person, and if you are interested in the Patron sponsorship for the entire series, it’s only $150.00. For more information, please contact the First United Methodist Church at 813754-3519

Michele Pruyn, Director of Music at FUMC with husband David who directed the jazz band.

A group of people who attended the Jazz, Jesus and Java event.

Historic Downtown Guide S H O P P I N G




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Movie Reviews by Brandon Hyde


Rated: PG-13 Mystery, Crime, Suspense Starring: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean, Kate Beahan

The term “edge of your seat” has a whole different meaning when it is placed in the hands of suspense queen, Jodie Foster. Ranging from Contact to Panic Room, Foster’s collective and intelligent characters have been her mainstay in Hollywood. In Flightplan, her character, Kyle Pratt, is no different. However, this is not a run of the mill Jodie Foster movie. Starting out in the city of Berlin, the newly widowed Mrs. Pratt, propulsion engineer, decides to traverse the sea to New York aboard one of the crafts she herself designed. Through the course of this

film, its staple is the sudden disappearance of Kyle’s child, Julia. No one on the crew has any record of Julia, the slow annoyance of the passengers towards Mrs. Pratt, and the instability of Kyle’s nerves creates for some increasing frustrations that inevitably well up as one watches any thriller. With heart pounding intensity and visual excitement, Flightplan brings up the fear of losing one’s own child in public. Bottle that feeling and transport it to the movie theatres. This exact feeling is the sickness of the whole situation driving the movie. Put an everyday nightmare, a suspense specialist, and a director with the talent of Robert Schwentke into a blender, and it will render an intense and emotional movie worth swallowing. Rating: 4 out of 5


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Into The Blue

Rated: PG 13, Action Adventure Starring: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott

Into the Blue does not even deliver what everyday daytime television does. I cannot help but agree with one critic when he wrote that Into the Blue was chockfull of “cheesy dialogue, a script that could have been written by two chimpanzees, acting that would make a high school drama teacher cringe, and lots of tight female bodies poured into tiny bikinis.” From the director of another movie flop, Blue Crush, (coincidentally also with Blue in the title; do we have something here?), John Stockwell has yet to figure out today’s society and their taste for movies. Let’s put it this way, he’s doing a great job of going directly away from what we want. For the nautical readers, Into the Blue sinks to uncharted and unwelcome depths. If your taste is skimpy clothing and horrid acting, Into the Blue is for you and you alone. For a true movie fan, however, let’s write a letter to Mr. Stockwell demanding his retirement. Rating: 1 out of 5


A History of Violence

Rated: PG 13 Science Fiction Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin

Rated: R, Suspense, Mystery Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ed Harris

500 years in the future is a long time to think ahead. 500 years ago, people would not have thought we would be where we are today. In the film Serenity, (based on the short lived TV cult series, Firefly) writer/ director Joss Whedon tries to give us a look into his vision of 500 years from now. In this past summer’s major blockbuster, Star Wars Episode III, science fiction came to a head. Never again to be surpassed by a film about futuristic endeavors, Star Wars’ greatness will live on. Serenity, however, will not be remembered in the next month, let alone the next generation. Full of lukewarm dialogue with a mediocre plot, Serenity falls 500 years short of the mark Star Wars set for all Scifi movies. Maybe next time Whedon decides to put science fiction, comedy, and downright idiocy in the same film, he should second guess himself. Rating: 2 out of 5

Great films are always far and few between. In 2005, great films are lacking in our theatres. In A History of Violence, though, an amazing film beams upon the canvas and flashes before our very eyes. Renowned as one of the best films of the year, Viggo Mortensen delivers by far his best performance. (Yes, better than his most popular role as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.) A small town diner owner, Tom Stall (Mortensen) loves his wife (Maria Bello), his diner, and his life. The movie’s twists and turns only begin when Stall is being robbed in his own store. In a courageous attempt to save his life, he emerges as a hero through the situation, but his past emerges, as well. From there, the ups and downs, twists and turns, spirals and loops that only the best script writers could develop comes to life in a story full of revenge, regret, and secrets. Rating: 5 out of 5

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 111

Dining Guide ABC Pizza 114 N Alexander St 752-5146

Chancy’s Catfish Shack 2509 N Park Rd 754-3433

Fred’s Market Restaurant 1401 W Dr MLK Blvd 752-7763

Maryland Fried Chicken 315 N Alexander 752-9200

Alexander’s Café at S Fla

Checker’s 2405 Jas Redman Pkwy 759-0151

Frontage Sports Bar & Grill Days Inn 1301 S Frontage Rd 752-0570 exit 168 & 169

Norma’s Ybor City Cuban Shop 1305 Baker St E 754-6557

Grandpa Johnsons BBQ 1305 Dr MLK Jr Blvd 759-0009

Orange Blossom Tea Room 106 Evers St S 759-2247

Baptist Hospital

301 N. Alexander St. 757-8451 Anna’s Restaurant 3410 Baker St W 754-6215

CiCi’s Pizza 211 Alexander St W 659-3400

Apple Tree 2218 Jas Redman Pkwy 707-8109

China King Restaurant 2410 James Redman Pkwy 754-8098

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar 1204 Townsgate Ct 719-1500

China One 1862 James Redman Pkwy 707-8898

Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant 1909 Frontage Rd S 719-3321

China Palace 1106 Collins St S 754-0990

Hungry Howie’s Pizza & Subs 208 N Alexander St 752-6113

Church’s Fried Chicken 106 E. Reynolds 754-5200

Hungry Howie’s - #200 2424 Hwy 92 E 764-0363

Courtyard 703 Collins St S 754-5200

Joann’s Country Kitchen 12650 McIntosh Rd Thonotosassa 982-0739

Arby’s Roast Beef Restaurant 201 Alexander St W 754-4881 Baker St. Café 1801 W Baker St (Hwy 92 W) 717-9785 Beef O’Brady’s Sports Pub 2418 Jas Redman Pkwy 757-0300 Bobs Sports Grill 226 Alexander St W. 719-8187 Bogey’s Restaurant 2001 Clubhouse Dr 752-1171 Brooklyn Bridge Deli 1309 S Collins St 659-3621 Branch Ranch Dining Room 5121 Thonotosassa Rd 752-1957

Heavenly Sinsations Inc. 1803 Jas Redman Pkwy 717-7512 Hong Kong Buffet 213 Alexander St W 764-8255

Curbita Inc. 4109 State Rd 574 754-0620

Kazbor’s Grille 2212 James Redman Pkwy 752-2700

Dairy Queen 1902 W Reynolds 752-2236

Kentucky Fried Chicken 2305 Collins St S 752-0437

Denny’s Restaurant 2001 Frontage Rd S 752-3338

La Esperanza Mexican Restaurant 113 Prosser Dr W 659-3940

(Only speaks Spanish)

Domino’s Pizza 202 Alexander St W 759-9424 El Buen Gusto Michaocano 3414 Baker St W 759-6635

Buddy Freddy’s Restaurant 1101 Goldfinch Dr 754-5120

El Mirasol Bakery Cafeteria 1419 Collins St S 752-2108

Collins Street Restaurant 712 S Collins 752-0126

El Rincon Mexicano 4109 State Rd 574 754-0620

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 112

Linda’s Crab Shack 202 Reynolds E 754-0492 Lin’s Express 2307 Thonotosassa Rd 719-6066 Long John Silver’s Seafood Shoppe 1805 Jas Redman Pkwy 752-1717 Manatee Bay Café 119 S. Collins S 707-1450

Outback Steakhouse 1203 Townsgate Ct 759-4329 Papa John’s Pizza 1829 Jas Redman Pkwy 719-7300 Pesos Mexican Restaurant 2006 Reynolds St W 752-8841

Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shoppe 1505 Wheeler St N 752-3779 Strawberry Paradise 4511 James L. Redman Parkway (813) 737-3866 Subway 2305 Thonotosassa Rd 754-4550 Subway 2403 James Redman Pkwy 754-4878 Subway 2209 N Park Rd 659-0288 Taco Loco Restaurant 14672 Dr MLK Blvd 659-0916

Pizza Hut 2316 James Redman Pkwy 752-8222

Tim’s Café 10903 Lithia Pinecrest Rd 737-4026

Plant City Restaurant & Drive-in 2005 W Baker St 752-9202

Twistee Treat 2301 Jas Redman Pkwy 707-9303

Ponderosa Steak House 1914 Jim Redman Pkwy 754-1129 Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits 2005 Frontage Rd S 757-9742 Quiznos 1818 James Redman Pkwy 719-2999 Ramada Inn Red Rose Dining Room 2011 N Wheeler St 752-3141 Snellgrove’s Restaurant 109 S Collins 752-3652 Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q 1102 Goldfinch Dr 757-3118

Waffle House 1201 Townsgate Ct 707-0190 Westshore Pizza 1701 S Alexander St 754-5600 Whistle Stop Café 102 S Collins 752-7340 Woody’s Bar-B-Q 203 Alexander St W 754-3229

Every day is a picnic at Grandpa Johnson’s Patio

Lunch Dinner •

Family Style Meal Packages Dine In • Patio • Drive Thru • Catering

759-0009 • Tues - Sat • Closed Sun & Mon Located on the Florida State Farmers Market • I-4 exit (Alexander St.) South One Mile

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 113

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 114

Years ago, most contractors used small tiles in bathrooms, allowing more grout joints and adding problems to the consumer and the applications were performed over green board. Thankfully, the industry has moved toward larger tiles, eliminating excessive grout joints and replacing green boards with a better and more reliable product (Wonder Board). Also there is a beautiful line of listellos, tumble stones and inserts, to create an exceptional look to any of your rooms. If you need a free estimate for your bathroom or flooring, please contact us or visit our showroom.

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 115

Event Guide Monday, October 17 The annual Kids Karnival, formerly known as Kids Night Out, will be held from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the train depot. Spirit FM will be there giving away a chance to be DJ for the day to a lucky person. There will be free entertainment, food for purchase, and chances to win incredible gift baskets. Everyone is invited. For more information, contact Jodi Smith at 754-3703.

Tuesday, October 18 Coventry Adult Care is having their ribbon cutting at 10:30 a.m. at 3101 N. Wilder Road. Coventry is an adult family care home designed for our elderly with a home-like setting that gives needed assistance with daily living. For more information, contact Nikki or Fred Pozeznik at 863-815-6000.

Thursday, October 20 South Florida Baptist Hospital will be offering a 6-week course that prepares parents-to-be for all phases of labor and delivery. Registration is required, but the course is free. It will meet from 7:009:00 p.m. For more information, call 813-754-4444.

Friday-Sunday, October 21-23 Strawberry Square Dances, located at 4001 Boot Bay Rd will be having A-2, C-1, C-2, and Plus square dances that will be called by Mike Jacobs. For more information, call 813-752-0491 or visit www.floridadanceweb.com/strawberry.

Saturday, October 22 The Parish Nurse Program of the South Florida Baptist Hospital is offering a free, interdenominational women’s health seminar to the community from 11:00 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. at St. Clement Church in the Cronin Social Hall. The church is located at 1104 N. Alexander St. Physicians and other health care professionals will present information, health screenings and services. For more information, contact Janet Maze at 813-752-8251 ext 311 or Joyce VanMatre at 813-689-9415. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate will be holding a yard sale to raise money for their charitable foundation CARES. The sale will be from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at their offices located at 1513 J L Redman Parkway. For more information or for pick up call Cindy Clark at 813-754-3586. The Berry Smart; Don’t Start Drug Prevention Walk and Health Fair will be at Plant City High School. 8:30-9:30 will be Registration/Banner Pictures. 9:30-10:00 the Drug Prevention Walk begins. 10:00 to noon is the health fair and many activities. It’s fun for the

whole family. For more information call Annette Kilgore at 813-757-9321 or Kristen Lutz at 813-757-9424.

Saturday, October 29 South Florida Baptist Hospital will offer flu and pneumonia vaccines for adults and children from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Kash n’ Karry on Alexander. The cost is $25 for the flu vaccine and $35 for pneumonia. For more information call 813-554-8268. Orbital Paintball Field will be having Darkworld, a 12 hour Scenario Game from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. To register, pay, or for more information go to www.orbitalpaintball.com or call 813-789-8159. Strawberry Square Dances, located at 4001 Boot Bay Rd will be having a Halloween Dance party. Rounds will be by Pat Hagen, 2 x 2 Plus Dance called by Art Springer. For more information call 813-752-0491 or visit www.floridadanceweb.com/strawberry The Plant City Garden Club will host its 9th annual Garden Tour from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Five beautiful, unique private gardens will be featured on this self guided tour. Tickets are $10.00 and are available the day of the tour at the Plant City Garden Club Center at 111 N Wheeler St. For more information, email Cassandra Banning at clb905@aol.com or call 813-759-1638. Lord of Life Lutheran Church will be having its Fall Festival. Half of the funds raised go to the church and the other half go to Hurricane Katrina victims. Thrivent for Lutherans will be matching $1 for every $2 donated by Lord of Life as a result of this event. Admission is free, but there is a reasonable fee for food. If you have any questions, call the church office Monday through Friday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at 813752-6064.

Monday, October 31 Strawberry Square Dances, located at 4001 Boot Bay Rd will be having beginner square dance lessons with Ronald Blanchette. For more information call 813-752-0491 or visit www.floridadanceweb.com/strawberry The Recreation and Parks Department will be having holiday crafts for boys and girls ages 8 to 12 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The cost is $5, which covers all materials. Class size is very limited. Contact Jaci by email at jjenkins@plantcitygov.com or call the Planteen at 813-757-9166 for more information.

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 116

Wednesday, November 2 South Florida Baptist Hospital will offer flu and pneumonia vaccines for adults and children from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Fred’s Farmer’s Market at 1401 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. W. The cost is $25 for the flu vaccine and $35 for pneumonia. For more information call 813-554-8268.

Sunday, November 6 Strawberry Square Dances, located at 4001 Boot Bay Rd will be having the MacDonald Benefit Dance from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. For more information call 813-752-0491 or visit www.floridadanceweb.com/strawberry The First United Methodist Church located at 303 North Evers Street is hosting their monthly concert. For November, The Sounds of Harry James and The Andrews Sisters will be playing at 7:00 p.m. The cost of the concert is $20 per person. For more information call FUMC at 813-754-3519, visit the website at www.fumcplantcity.org, or email ddmusica@gte.net.

Monday, November 7 The Recreation and Parks Department will be having holiday crafts for boys and girls ages 8 to 12 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The cost is $5, which covers all materials. Class size is very limited. Contact Jaci by email at jjenkins@plantcitygov.com or call the Planteen at 813-757-9166 for more information.

Tuesday, November 8 South Florida Baptist Hospital will offer flu and pneumonia vaccines for adults and children from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Plant City Train Depot. The cost is $25 for the flu vaccine and $35 for pneumonia. For more information call 813-554-8268.

Friday, November 11 First United Methodist Church’ Mystery Dinner Theatre will be presenting “The Case of the Mysterious Benefactor!” The Wesley Center will be transformed into “Café Flambe’,” a fine dining restaurant where guests enjoy a 5-course meal as a mystery unfolds before their very eyes. The cost is $10 per person. To make reservations or for more information, call 813-754-3519.

Saturday, November 12 East Hillsborough Historical Society’s 28th Annual Pioneer Day will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center at 605 North Collins St. There will be many activities, entertainment, and events. For more information call 813757-9226.

Monday, November 14 The Hillsborough County Gardening Programs will be featuring Shade Gardens by Master Gardener Virginia Overstreet at 7:00 p.m. at the Bruton Memorial Library located at 302 McClendon St. The phone number for more information is 757-9216. The Recreation and Parks Department will be having holiday crafts for boys and girls ages 8 to 12 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The cost is $5, which covers all materials. Class size is very limited. Contact Jaci by email at jjenkins@plantcitygov.com or call the Planteen at 813-757-9166 for more information.

Thursday, November 17 South Florida Baptist Hospital will offer flu and pneumonia vaccines for adults and children from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wal-Mart on Jim Redman Parkway. The cost is $25 for the flu vaccine and $35 for pneumonia. For more information call 813-554-8268.

Saturday, November 19 Plant City’s Third Annual Pig Jam sponsored by the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce will be held at the Plant City Stadium/Randy Larson Four Plex from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be first-rate family fun, children activities, live entertainment, and vendors. Not to mention, there will be barbeque galore cooked by those competing in the professional, amateur, and kids’ BBQ competitions. For more information call 813-754-3707, email info@plantcity.org or log onto www.plantcity.org.

Monday, November 21 South Florida Baptist Hospital will offer flu and pneumonia vaccines for adults and children from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Strawberry Square at 4401 Boot Bay Rd. The cost is $25 for the flu vaccine and $35 for pneumonia. For more information call 813-554-8268. The Recreation and Parks Department will be having holiday crafts for boys and girls ages 8 to 12 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The cost is $5, which covers all materials. Class size is very limited. Contact Jaci by email at jjenkins@plantcitygov.com or call the Planteen at 813-757-9166 for more information. To all organizations, churches, clubs, sports teams, lounges, businesses: If you would like your happening or event to be listed in this column, please e-mail to: sdedon@floydpublications.com, or fax it to 813-764-0990, Attn: Sophia – Event Calendar.

Visit our web site: www.feltonsmarket.com

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Walker Plaza, 617 N Maryland Ave. Plant City, FL 33563 ATM Available at Customer Service TECO Payments Accepted

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 117

FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 118

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 119

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FOCUS PLANT CITY EDITION • October 15 - November 15 • 2005 PG 120

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