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FOREVER YOUNG

S. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS

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June 2013

JUNE 2013 Happy Father’s Day!

I

do not have a typical father in any aspect. My Dad, Nestor, was not home every night, because he was a pilot and flew for days and weeks at a time. When I was younger, I hated it. I never understood why he had to leave as much as he did. I dreaded seeing him pack up his suitcase and would cry when he would leave. I remember walking my dad out of the house when he left when I was young, and I would stand there trying to choke back tears. He would look at me and say, “Honey, don’t cry. You’ll make me sad.” As I grew older, I understood why he did it and grew to admire him for it. He would leave, even when he didn’t want to or when he didn’t have the energy. He wanted to make sure we had food on the table, that my brother and I could go on field trips and that he could help me pay for school. When I was born, my parents drove a Ford Bronco II. It was the car that they picked me up in when I came home from the hospital. When I was learning to drive, I also learned how to drive stick shift. Not something most women, or even a lot of guys, know how to do. Thanks to my mom and dad, I learned how to drive with a stick shift, and I learned on that very same Ford Bronco II that brought me home from the hospital. I love that car. Everything about it reminds me of my childhood when I think of it and when I see it, I feel an instant pang of nostalgia. I remember my dad driving it all the time when I was little, and one of my favorite pictures of the two of us is with the

WRITER/PRODUCTION COORDINATOR BRITTANY A. LLORENTE

Bronco. My family still has the Bronco, and it is in the process of getting up and running again. Recently, I found out that my dad is fixing up the Bronco and having it restored to look like new. Why? Because he had this idea that the first car I ever rode in, the first car I learned to drive manually, should be the car that he would drive to bring me to the church on the day that I get married. When I was told this, I got tearyeyed. I have no current plans of getting married, but just the thought of the scenario and that he thought of it, made my heart stop for a moment. No matter how old I get, how far away we live or how far away he is at the moment, I know my dad is there for me. I know that if my car breaks down, he is there to help me fix it, and I will be there with a cold beverage looking on and hoping to learn from him as I’ve done all my life. I’m lucky to have his love. I hope everyone takes the time on Father’s Day to talk to their father, have a dinner with them or share a memory of their father. We hope you enjoy this edition of Forever Young and the stories of lives touched by a father’s love and those who stepped up to the plate to be a father or a father figure to those who needed one. As always, we welcome your questions and comments at foreveryoung@hometownnewsol.co m.


June 2013

FOREVER YOUNG

FATHER BREVARD

S. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS

3

Happy Father’s Day, Theodore Washington Brevard By Dan McDonald For Forever Young

because they both were lawyers, both state representatives and senators, and both were soldiers for the Confederacy during the Civil War,” Mr. DiBiase said. “So, it can be unclear about which one lent his name to this chunk of the Space Coast.” Let’s start at the beginning: Mr. Brevard (the elder) was born in Mt. Tizra Forge, NC, where he married Caroline E. Mays and supported his family by practicing law, which led him to a judgeship, then launched him into politics, where he served as a state legislator and public official of North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. It was while in Tuskegee, Ala., on August 26, 1835, that the first of his four sons – Theodore Washington Brevard, Jr., was born.

Theodore Washington Brevard Not yet content to settle down, in 1847, the elder Brevard packed up his family and moved again, this time to Florida, which, two years earlier, on

March 3, 1845, became the 27th state of the United States of America. Settling in Tallahassee and armed with an impressive civil service resume, Mr. Brevard became register of the land office and eventually the comptroller (accounting/finance supervisor) of public accounts for the state of Florida. It was while serving as comptroller that our present-day connection was made. In 1854, the Florida Legislature was charged with dividing up the huge peninsula into the manageable segments we now call counties. Once they had the county’s boundaries, they needed a name. That’s when someone remembered the dedication and hard See BREVARD, Page 10

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What better time, then June, to dust off the history books and give a shoutout to Theodore Washington Brevard, who just so happens to be the ‘father’ of Brevard County? He also happens to be the father of Theodore Washington Brevard, Jr., a son, who carved his own historical niche, but has lent a fair amount of confusion as to who is actually ‘our’ Brevard. “The Brevards had a strange history in that the father and son, besides sharing a name, shared a similar profession and positions and held a lot of the same offices,” said Ben DiBiase, who for nearly three years has served as the educational resources coordinator and archivist for the Cocoa-based Florida Historical Society. “It’s quite easy to get them confused


FOREVER YOUNG

S. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS

Rolling with the punches

By Dan McDonald

Lee Mooty General Manager

For Forever Young

Farris Robinson SR VP Sales & Marketing

Ray Herring is a father and a grandfather, who considers himself blessed, and who said, if given the chance, wouldn’t change a thing in his life.

Terence Hart Associate Sales Manager Tammy Farmer Managing Editor Dan McDonald Staff Writer Patricia Snyder Inside Sales Director Brittany Llorente Writer/Production Coordinator Kathy Young Major/National Accounts Manager Amanda Tucker Major/National Advertising Consultant Mercedes L. Paquette Production Manager Karen Wood, Rita Zeblin Charlie Serrano Graphic Designers Rick Keelan, Paul Robinson Howard Emma Jean Canavan Advertising Consultants Anna Vasquez, Heather Donaldson Inside Sales Consultants

CONTACTS Office (321) 242-1013 Fax (321) 242-1281 Classified (321) 242-0442 classified@hometownnewsol.com Free Home Delivery 1-866-913-6397 circulation@hometownnewsol.com News Clerk news@hometownnewsol.com Voted No. 1 Community Newspaper in America by the Association of Free Community Papers. Published monthly by Hometown News, L.C. 5059 Turnpike Feeder Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34951 Copyright © 2013, Hometown News, L.C.

June 2013

DETERMINED DAD

Vernon D. Smith Managing Partner

SOUTH BREV

4

That’s about all you need to know about this remarkable man, who has been a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic since a freak accident during a high school football game Sept. 24, 1977. “I was playing strong safety for Palm Bay High, and at that time we didn’t have a field of our own,” said the lifelong Melbourne native, now 52. “When I was there, it was Southwest Junior High, and we only had 10th and 11th grades. So we were a little undermanned when we played other high schools’ varsity teams with seniors. We played our games at Melbourne High School. This game was against Cocoa, our third game of the year. “There was an option play, and I came up to make a tackle on a large running back, and my teammates were swarming, and his teammates were swarming and in all that swarming, someone hit me in the back of the neck,” he said. “It felt like a shock went through my body, much like it feels when your foot is asleep.” Mr. Herring shook it off and finished the game and even returned a punt for a 65-yard touchdown. “I didn’t think anything was really wrong, but, by that following Sunday, I was having trouble walking,” he said. “I needed support. My mother took me to the doctor on Monday, and the doctor took a look at me and had me sit in a wheelchair. He wheeled me nextdoor to a neurologist, who said I’d probably be in the hospital for a week or 10 days, while they ran tests on me. That week or 10 days turned into a nightmare.” It was then that Ray Herring, at age 16, had taken his last steps. During numerous hospital visits,

Ray Herring doctors tested, probed and analyzed, trying to determine why the young man, who had been a standout threesport athlete was now a C6 quadriplegic. “Most people with my type paralysis had a broken neck,” Mr. Herring said. “But, I never broke my neck or my spine. That’s why my case got so much interest from the specialists. Finally, a doctor at Shands Hospital in Gainesville came up with an answer. The football injury had broken a blood vessel and the blood formed a clot in my spinal column and blocked the spinal fluid. I had to accept the fact I was in a chair and nothing was going to change that. There was nothing anyone else could do, except for myself.” Mr. Herring said he knew right then and there that what would happen to him in the future, would depend solely on him and his attitude. “Life has always got struggles, and nothing is totally right with everyone,” he said. “To me, I wasn’t going to let this stop me. I had a handicap, but I wasn’t going to be handicapped.” Mr. Herring was able to get out of the hospital and finish with his class, Palm Bay’s first graduating class, in 1979. He followed that by earning an AA from Brevard Community College, before transferring to the University of

South Florida, where he graduated with a degree in public relations, becoming the first of his family to ever attend, let alone graduate from college. “I realized early on how important education is to a person,” Mr. Herring said. “I was a good athlete. But in one moment, that was taken away, and it could happen to anyone else. But, education is forever. I’m always stressing that to young people. Go to school, and do your best and don’t have pity for yourself. “I always want to live my life the best I can,” Mr. Herring continued. “That’s why I’ve never gone for a battery-driven wheelchair. I use my own muscles to push myself along. I intend to keep pushing myself as long as I can. That’s what keeps you strong. When you do for yourself, you’re better off. I have no sympathy for people, who complain about life being unfair. Life is what you make of it.” Using that motivation, Mr. Herring worked with at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, as a computer clerk, worked for the state of Florida as a peer support counselor and for the Space Coast Council for Independent Living. “I guess it would help when I showed up to do counseling,” Mr. Herring said. “I’d tell people that life is out there. You have to decide what you want and then go for it. Trust me, I’ve been to hell and back, but I come from a strong family background. You do what you got to do in this world. Nothing comes easy. I’ve done it, and I’d like to think I’ve pushed others to do their best as well. I never wanted any job because of pity, and I think I’ve never had that reaction from anyone. Mr. Herring said he considers himself a teacher. “Recently, I was in Walmart, and two little kids were curious about me See HERRING, Page 6


FOREVER YOUNG

GO WILD

HOMETOWN NEWS

5

Big dads on display at Brevard Zoo

By Dan McDonald For Forever Young

According to Mr. Brangan, the zoo has had several births in 2013, but only three of the large males have been able to add to the 650 animals in 165 species that make up the permanent collection. So, without delay, let’s meet the proud fathers: • “Raffiki,” a Masai giraffe, standing in at just a whisker less than 18 feet and weighing in at a svelte 3,500 pounds, has added to his family with a pair of calves this year. “’Raffiki’ has been at the zoo for 10 years, and he’s our king dad,” Mr. Brangan said. “He has sired six calves over those years and two this See ZOO, Page 9

Top: Giraffe ‘Raffiki’ and new baby ‘Milenna.’ Bottom: ‘Clancy,’ the Brevard Zoo’s Capybara dad, with one of his pups. Photos courtesy of David Saylor for Brevard Zoo/ Tom Brackin for Brevard Zoo

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Father’s Day is a big deal, especially when you’re a shade less than 18 feet tall and weigh in at around 3,500 pounds. Welcome to the Brevard Zoo, where most of the new fathers for 2013 walk on four legs and where the upright versions can get a free admission to help celebrate Father’s Day on June 16. “We’re offering the free pass for fathers to encourage everyone to come out to enjoy the zoo and the new families on display,” said Jon Brangan, the zoo’s deputy director. “We have some great animal exhibits, and with the new fathers we have here and the new offspring, I think anyone who comes out will have an enjoyable day.”

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June 2013


FOREVER YOUNG

S. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS

ROSE’S ROOM

O

n Father’s Day, my children and I shower my husband with cards and gifts, telling him how much we love and appreciate the fatherly things they remember. This year, I’m doing things just a little differently. It may sound like I’m spilling the beans, but I just want to be sure my children know the whole man behind the name. Wipe the slate clean, so to speak. Let’s see how much they appreciate some things they don’t remember because they never knew about them…until now. Daughter, remember your date who got lost on the way back from prom and ended up 50 miles in the wrong direction, at 4 a.m.? Remember, he acted funny on your second date and never asked for a third? He acted funny because your

S U D O K U P U Z Z L E

June 2013

Hell hath no fury

ROSE’S ROOM ROSE PADRICK

father told him our scanner was actually a base unit for the tracking device he had hidden in your clothing, and the alarm would go off if you got too far away, then wouldn’t tell the poor kid how far was too far. Several times, he intercepted young men on their way up our front steps, and just happened to mention whichever one of you were going out that night had some exotic skin problem, causing your lips to turn bright purple if you got kissed. I often wondered if those poor boys ever talked to each other. The young man, who insisted on

cutting our lawn free of charge for months, had been told that one of you loved watching bare-chested boys working in the sun. I finally had to tell him you were working at that time of day before the boy dropped stone-dead of a heat stroke. Son, young ladies didn’t fare much better. I once walked into the end of a conversation between your father and your wide-eyed date, the finale sentence being, “I have no doubt that when that baby’s blood test comes back, our son will be exonerated.” The fact that I received neither dinner nor flower, from the subject of these ‘exposes,’ on Mother’s Day, has absolutely no bearing on the timing of my slate-wiping, whatsoever. Happy Father’s Day, darling, by the way… all the children are coming for dinner.

Herring From page 4

being in my chair,” he said. “Their mother tried to pull them away, but I said, ‘It’s all right. They’re just curious.’ Some people in my position might be bitter or angry, but I didn’t want to scare those youngsters. The next time they see someone in a wheelchair, I want them to be aware, not scarred of the person in the chair.” While encouraging others is natural, he had his most influence closer to home. While in college, he married his high-school sweetheart, and he beat the odds again. “My doctor told me there was only a 50/50-chance that I could ever have a child,” Mr. Herring said. “Well, that worked out OK with me. My son Ray Herring II was born, while we were in Tampa.” Although the marriage didn’t survive, the younger Herring thrived, and See HERRING, Page 9

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June 2013

FOREVER YOUNG

HERB CORNER

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Try saw palmetto for the prostate

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edges on its fan shaped leaves. Its olive-sized berries grow in clusters of about 18-24 inches long and are harvested in the autumn. Inside the berry is a hard white oily seed, which becomes dark purple to black, with a notable odor and becomes very hard when it is dried. This inner seed is where saw palmetto gets its healing properties. The oil from these berries contains fatty acids, sterols, polysaccharides and flavanoids. These compounds appear to have an effect on estrogen receptors and testosterone levels, making it

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useful for treating symptoms of BPH. So far, there have been at least 20 different clinical studies done using saw palmetto. All of this research has found that when it comes to the symptoms of BPH, saw palmetto is helpful in reducing inflammation; reducing the size of the prostate. It also helps to relax the smooth muscles, surrounding the prostate and it helps reduce the frequency of urination (especially at night). In fact, one study showed it to be as effective as some of the prescription medications (without the nasty side-effects). The formula that I put together for my dad included saw palmetto, nettle root, oat straw, St. Johns Wort, and Echinacea. Besides being good for the

prostate, saw palmetto has also been found to be good for impotence, increasing sexual energy, toning the bladder, cystitis, incontinence, bed-wetting, enhancing digestion, adult acne, male-pattern baldness and encouraging weight gain. Oh, yeah! Ladies, saw palmetto is also used as a reproductive tonic for women, especially if you have ovarian pain, polycystic ovaries, painful periods, adult onset acne and it helps regulate menstrual cycles. Cecelia Avitable is the owner of The Herb Corner, located at 277 North Babcock St., Melbourne. For more information, call (321) 757-7522 or visit www.herbcorner.net.

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am writing this article in honor of my dad, who, in his later years, was afflicted, as so many men are, with an enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). According to my dad, BPH has some pretty annoying symptoms, like getting up more at night to go to empty his bladder. He also had a strong desire to urinate, yet all he could muster was a dribble, and that came with excruciating pain. If you are concerned about the health of your father, brother or yourself, you may want to consider saw palmetto, as the herb of choice. Living in the south, you are probably familiar with saw palmetto. The saw palmetto palm gets its name from the sharp saw-like

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FOREVER YOUNG

year, with two different females. Giraffe gestation is about 15 months, and those two calves are currently on display in our giraffe enclosure. Currently, 10 giraffes call the zoo home. ‘Raffiki’s’ male offspring have been shipped to other zoos. The Masai subspecies is endangered, and once the males reach about four to five years of age, they begin to get aggressive. When we saw ‘Raffiki’ starting to get seriously aggressive toward the younger males, we had to ship them out for their own protection. • “LeBron” (yes, named after that LeBron) is a rare South American jaguar, the largest big cat in the Americas. “’LeBron’ has been here at the Brevard Zoo for a couple of years,” Mr. Brangan said. “But this is his

Herring From page 6

like his father, was a natural athlete, who played soccer and baseball. But, as a child, he came to his father and said he wanted to play football.

first cub. ‘LeBron’ was born at a zoo in Akron, Ohio, and when we got him he was already named. Obviously the people in Ohio liked their native son.” “Lebron” mated with “Masaya,” the female. “The cub was born Jan. 26, 2013,” Mr. Brangan continued. “He has been put on display, but we haven’t officially released the cub’s name. As part of our fundraising efforts, we auction the naming rights for our animals at our annual ‘Safari Under the Stars’ event.” The next ‘Safari Under the Stars’ will be April 26, 2014. The public can buy sponsorships and come out and have some fun, as well as earn a chance to name one of our animals, he said. • “Clancy.” the capybara, is another South American import bearing the distinction of being the world’s largest rodent. “’Clancy’ and the female ‘Bailey’ have had two litters already this

year,” Mr. Brangan said. “They are known as prolific breeders. The first litter they had was four, and there are three babies in the second litter in March. Capybaras breed fairly often. It took nine years for Raffiki to sire six calves and less than six months for Clancy to have seven. But, that’s rodents for you.” According to Mr. Brangan, Brevard Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which monitors the population of zoo animals and sets strict breeding and population controls on its members. “The AZA has a computerized breeding plan for all the animals in our collections,” Mr. Brangan explained. “So, we follow those guidelines. We only breed the animals that are needed to maintain a stable population within our facilities. For example, he said, the first litter of capybaras that “Clancy” and “Bailey” has are already been

shipped to other zoos. “We’ve also shipped some of the large males that ‘Raffiki’ sired to other facilities, as well,” he said. “Any more it’s very rare, and almost never happens that zoo animals are collected out of the wild. Most of the animals that are on exhibit in zoos are bred from other zoo animals. It’s a way of keeping a healthy and genetically diverse population of animals for our facilities.” By working together, the zoo can keep a healthy, robust population of animals that will supply the needs for exhibitors for years to come, Mr. Brangan continued. “We breed the animals that are needed to maintain a stable population,” he said. So, if you want to see this latest batch of zoo babies and the big fathers that sired them, plan on coming out to the Brevard Zoo soon. For more information, visit the Brevard Zoo’s website at www.brevardzoo.org, or call (321) 254-9453.

“A lot of friends and family said we shouldn’t allow young Ray to play football, giving what happened to me,” Mr. Herring said. “But, I say what happened to me was God’s plan. Heck, it was a freak thing. You’re more likely to get hurt in a car accident going to Burger King, than playing sports. And, if

something did happen, that, too, would be God’s plan. I only had one piece of advice, and it’s what I’ve always told my son: whatever you do, do it the best you can. That way, you’ll have no regrets.” The younger Herring must have listened well. After playing football at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, where he earned all-state honors and had numerous scholarship offers, he signed to play for the University of Notre Dame, where he was a four-year varsity letterman at safety. Herring

played in 50 career games and contributed to the team, appearing in the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls. After graduating from Notre Dame, and with a son of his own, the younger Herring returned to Melbourne and added a Master of Business Administration degree from FIT in May 2012. When FIT opted to add a football program, Ray was appointed the defensive backs’ coach and recruiting coordinator for Florida Tech Football. “My father has always pushed me to

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BREVARD County 10 S. HOMETOWN NEWS

FOREVER YOUNG

Herring From page 9

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do things the right way,” Ray said. “Quitting or complaining was never an option. Saying ‘I can’t,’ never cut it. I’ve seen what he’s gone through. He never wants charity or anyone to feel sorry for him. And, he doesn’t make excuses. He instilled that in me, and I’m trying to do the same with my son Ja’mari. We all have to take responsibility for our

actions and do the best we can do. You have to attack life and go after it.” That’s what makes Father’s Day so special for his family, Ray said. “I’m in the middle. I look at my father, and I find inspiration,” he said. “I look at my son and I find motivation.” And Herring, himself, has earned his own peace. “I know it sounds strange, but I wouldn’t change a thing in my life,” Mr. Herring said. “If I never had this accident, my life would have been different, for sure. But, my life has been blessed. I have a great son, who had a great football career and who is now back home and about to start a new life as a coach. And, I have a grandson I can watch grow.” “I could have sat and cried and said ‘Why me?’ he said. “But, I say ‘Why not me?’ After that accident, it was time for me to really get going. I’ve worked. I didn’t want anything given to me. People helped me, and now I’m just trying to give some back.”

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Brevard From page 3

work of the comptroller, thus prompting Gov. James E. Broome to sign “Brevard County” into law in 1855. Following its creation, the boundaries were altered numerous times until 1905 when it was shaved down to what we call Brevard County today. Now the confusion between the Brevards might have ended there if a little disturbance known as the Civil War hadn’t raised its hand to be recognized. “It appears that at the outbreak of the Civil War, the younger Brevard began coming into his own,” Mr. DiBiase said. “In fact, the younger Brevard had volunteered to fight as an officer in the Third Seminole War, which was from 1855-1858. “After that experience, the younger Brevard, who was also an attorney, was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and served as Florida’s Adjutant and Inspector General,”

June 2013

he continued. “But, both Brevards resigned from state government when Florida ceded from the Union. And, it appears both fought in the War.” It also appears, said Mr. DiBiase, that historians began confusing the two different Theodore Washington Brevards from this point forward, even getting the elder’s name wrong on various reports and historical abstracts. “Gen. Brevard died on June 20, 1882, and is buried in the Tallahassee City Cemetery,” Mr. DiBiase said. “But, when you do research, you quickly see the two men are often confused for one another. “The only thing we’re fairly certain of is that Brevard County is named for the elder Brevard,” Mr. DiBiase continued. “There doesn’t seem to be any confusion on that.” Well, no matter which of the two men gave us his name, it allows us to say Happy Father’s Day Brevardians – 158 years after the fact.


11

S. BREVARD County HOMETOWN NEWS

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