Page 1


The wriTTen word a writer’s Life

Michael Lindley Publishes Grayton Winds

CouTure Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion week

2011 Fall Fashions Unveiled

a Fabulous and Fashionable Life

Dettles Celebrate 30 Years

For The Love oF Food Biting the apple

Culinary Adventures in NYC

Bud & alley’s Turns 25

A Seaside Landmark

special Feature

VIE Goes to NYC to Celebrate 3-Year Anniversary


The anniversary ediTion the centennial of naval aviation











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In this issue:




136 155 People + Places Craft Beer Dinner 174 DCWAF Wine & Dine 175 Give More Than You Take 176 Fashion Feature VIE Goes to NYC 22 Strutting Down the Catwalk 29 Behind the Scenes of Fashion Week 62 The Couture Baby Inside Us 70 Walk the Destin Commons Catwalk 90 Sense of Place Going to the Beach for the Health of It 106 Gulf Coast Salute 124 Perspectives Luck Favors the Brave 132 What You Don’t Know 194



114 The Written Word Being Late for His Life 114 The Art of Life The Music Makers 136 Essentials of the Home 198 Voyager Extreme Peru 180 For the Love of Food Biting the Apple 78 V Seagrove is Born 155 Happy Anniversary Bud & Alley’s Turns Twenty-Five 93 The Dettles’ Fashionable and Fabulous Life 146 Naval Aviation Centennial Celebration 164 Boeing-Stearman N2S-4 188

Get Healthy From a Freckle to an Age Spot 102 Immortality 110 SUMMER 2011




Primary Targeted Audiences


ur stories and distribution cover COLA 2 COLA®—Pensacola to

Apalachicola. We explore the people and places of our region in the

pages of VIE - People + Places. The magazine is found in all the Tourist Development Council Centers, Chamber of Commerce locations, Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida, boutiques, restaurants, bed-and-breakfast locations, special events and much more! We are thrilled you have picked up a copy of VIE and hope you enjoy exploring the people and places of our coveted area. We have a passion for VIE, our area, and the people and businesses found within and hope you will share in the excitement and know that we live in a great place and that "life is good." VIE is excited to announce that its distribution has now branched out to the airports of Baltimore/Washington International, Houston Hobby, Memphis International, Nashville International, Orlando International, and Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International. In addition to these high-profile locations, VIE is also being added to the shelves of some of the country’s top-selling bookstores, newsstands and supermarkets, giving our advertisers potential access to millions of people.

VIE: People + Places is a registered trademark. All contents herein are Copyright © 2011 Cornerstone Marketing & Advertising, Incorporated (The Publisher). All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from The Publisher. VIE: People + Places is a lifestyle magazine of Northwest Florida (COLA 2 COLA®) and is published quarterly. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of The Publisher. The Publisher and its advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The Publisher is not liable for the accuracy of statements made by its advertisers. Ads that appear in this publication are not intended as offers where prohibited by state law. The Publisher is not responsible for photography or artwork submitted by freelance or outside contributors. The Publisher reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the editor or The Publisher. VIE: People + Places is a paid publication. Subscription rate: One year $19.95 (U.S. only).

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On the Cover:

VIE Creative Team: Lisa Burwell Publisher

Gerald Burwell Editor-in-Chief

Bob Brown VP of Creative Services

Mary Jane Kirby Account Executive

Tracey Thomas Graphic Designer

James Ryan Account Executive

Troy Ruprecht Graphic Designer Bill Weckel Web/Project Manager

The Elegance of Romona Robbins Reynolds Inspired by the movie The English Patient, photographer extraordinaire Michael Belk beautifully captures cover model Romona Robbins Reynolds set against the backdrop of an authentic N2S-4 Boeing-Stearman biplane at the Pensacola Aviation Center. Modeling clothing from Today’s Boutique in Destin, Florida, Romona sent chills up the spines of VIE ’s creative crew as she channeled the romantic prewar era of the late 1930s. Makeup by Natasha Vaughan of JS Salon in Grayton Beach; hair by Brooke Miller of 10th Avenue Hair Design in Pensacola; art direction by VIE ’s Tracey Thomas and Troy Ruprecht; filming by VIEtv executive producer Tim Dutrow; and creative oversight by Lisa and Gerald Burwell. Special thanks to Roy Kinsey, owner and pilot of this beautiful aircraft, for spending the day helping us to replicate the romance of an era gone by.

Published by:

Lisa Ferrick Social Correspondent

Tim Dutrow Video Producer Phil Cowart Graphic Design Intern Jordan Staggs Public Relations Intern Margaret Stevenson Copy Editor

VIE Contributors: Contributing Writers: Sallie W. Boyles Prudence Bruns Bill Campbell Steve Cann Amanda Crowley Kim Duke-Layden Brian Haugen

Michael Lindley Phillip McDonald Dr. Kimberly Moskowitz Clark Peters Tori Phelps David Waddle Whitney Williams

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Publisher’s Note:

Angel of Mercy One of the fondest memories I have of time spent with my mother is of us singing along to Peter, Paul and Mary’s rendition of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on the car radio as we drove, the windows down and our hair blowing in the wind. I was a teenager then. Today, as I ponder the fun and carefree lifestyle of that other time, it reminds me of how important it is to live life in the moment. A nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer ended for my mother on May 6, 2011. This past winter, during my parents’ annual southerly migration as proud snowbirds to Seagrove, Florida, my mother was rushed to the emergency room at Sacred Heart Hospital in Miramar Beach. The cancer had reared its ugly head again; there was little hope for recovery. My mother knew that she and my father needed to return to their home in Massachusetts. The only problem was that she was too weak to contend with the usual burdens and hurdles associated with commercial flight today. Plagued with worry and grief, my family knew that it was her dying wish to make it home, and Mom looked really nervous about whether she’d get there. Determined, she tried to muster the strength to give it a try, but I think Mom knew that even her perseverance would not carry her far enough this time. It was a Wednesday, and seeing my mother worry was just too much to bear. She had to get home, and time was of the essence. The only option left was to fly her privately—our hunt for a charter flight began. By chance, our client and friend, George Solomon, owner of Southern Theatres, LLC, called to see how my mother was feeling that day, as he periodically did. I let him know what was happening. He said that he couldn’t make any promises but would see what he could do to help. Meanwhile, the search for alternate transportation continued; using tips from friends in the area, we made phone call after phone call.

The KindesT of All gesTures Going into the late hours of Wednesday night, we still had not been able to find a plane and the family was losing faith that anything could be done. Suddenly, a text came in from George. Within seven hours of



his initial call to me, he had arranged for a plane to take my parents home; they could leave in the morning. When my parents learned that they’d be flying home in a private jet the next day, their eyes lit up and big smiles appeared. In such a sad and scary time, with so many unknowns lying ahead, the news was a breath of fresh air. The following day, the flight to Boston went without incident. It seemed like the weather was custom ordered just for the flight—the sun shone brilliantly and the flight was silky smooth; not once did the plane bump from turbulence. Even with medical paraphernalia stuck and strapped to her body, Mom thought she was being treated like a movie star. Upon landing at Logan Airport, we were met by my sister; she would take Mom straight to the hospital. Kindness is a beautiful word. Just the sound of it soothes the soul. We are all so busy with our own lives nowadays and, maybe because of time constraints and stress, it seems harder and harder to go the extra mile for others in need, especially someone not in our own circle of family and friends. When people do go out of their way—making an effort when it’s not their responsibility—it is the most remarkable kindness of all. As a result of George’s kindness, my parents felt special, loved, and comforted. They thought it was an over-the-top act of kindness—and it was. And thanks to George, Mom was able to spend her last days in the comfort and familiar surroundings of home, where she could say her final good-byes to friends and family. For his kindness, George Solomon’s name is revered in our household. I remember those times in the car with Mom like they were yesterday. “I’m leavin’ on a jet plane I don’t know when I’ll be back again Oh, babe, I hate to go.” Until we meet again, Mom! Love from Lisa, Jack, Laurie, Marianne, Jim, Mark, and Dad

In Loving Memory This Issue is Dedicated to

Marie Ryan was a contributing writer and cover girl for VIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Issue Summer 2009. The cover photo of Marie was taken when she was just fifteen.

Marie ryan (1938-2011)


NYC Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary in

VIE’s three-year anniversary celebration was held in New York City in February 2011. The entourage, which included VIE’s creative and sales teams along with creative colleagues from Florida, stayed at Kimpton’s new hotel, Ink48. We covered Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, made an appearance on Today and Good Morning America, had dinner at Mario Batali’s Lupa, went on an NBC tour, and had a private tour of the Ralph Lauren Rhinelander Mansion. In addition, Lynn Dugas of Pish Posh Patchouli’s in Rosemary Beach, Florida, traveled to NYC to host a cocktail party at Ink48 in honor of VIE’s anniversary. We were all thrilled to meet her friend Antonio Carmena, a ballerino of the New York City Ballet, along with her other New York socialite friends. Thank you, Lynn! We had a blast!

Photo by Romona Robbins



2. 24

5. SUMMER 2011






11. 10.



14. SUMMER 2011






19. 26

20. SUMMER 2011

21. Photo Credits: 1. View of New York City from Ink48’s rooftop bar 2. Romona Robbins and Madra McDonald 3. Whitney and Dana Williams 4. Meredith Snow and Bob Brown 5. Lisa and Gerald Burwell 6. Lisa Ferrick and Amanda Abbott 7. VIE’s Spring 2011 Issue in Times Square 8. Shane and Romona Robbins Reynolds 9. Amanda Crowley, Lisa Ferrick, and Whitney Williams 10. Group Shot 11. Today’s Al Roker 12. Meredith Vieira, cohost of Today, holding VIE Magazine during the show 13. Madra McDonald, Meredith Snow, Bob Brown, Phil McDonald, Damon Williams, Shane Reynolds 14. Lynn Dugas, Suzonne Helverton, Lauren McGill, and Antonio Carmena 15. Mario Batali’s restaurant Lupa, located in SoHo 16. Gerald Burwell and David Beckham 17. Marianne Duffey, Jim Ryan, Laurie Crowley, and Lisa Burwell 18. Gerald and Lisa Burwell, Renee Ryan, Mary Jane Kirby, Amanda Crowley, and Lynn Dugas 19. Madra and Phil McDonald 20. Amanda Abbott, Shane Reynolds, Phil McDonald, Madra McDonald, Bob Brown, Meredith Snow, Lisa Ferrick, Romona Robbins, and Renee Ryan 21. Jim and Renee Ryan SUMMER 2011



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Down the

Catwalk: Fall Fashions Showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC By Amanda Crowley

BaDgley MiSChka Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka were inspired by old Hollywood glam for the Fall 2011 collection. A foggy urban backdrop set the mood. Sitting front row was Rumer Willis, the new face of Badgley Mischka, along with Kelly Osbourne and Kellie Pickler. To create this season’s look, Badgley Mischka used crepe de chine, chiffon, taffeta, and tulle in various combinations. Dresses that left the audience speechless: a crushed velvet number with beaded shoulders, a magenta one-shoulder gown, and a strapless black taffeta with a black bow. It wasn’t all gowns; some looks evoked a younger, funkier feel, such as lace-knit pullovers over sequin-and-tulle dresses.



© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Frazer Harrison

BetSey JohnSon Photography by Frazer Harrison

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

This year’s Betsey Johnson show fell on Monday, February 14, and the theme could not have been more appropriate for Valentine’s Day: “He Loves Me … He Loves Me Not.” Down the runway first were pieces from “He Loves Me Not” with models wearing dark blunt-cut wigs stenciled with a lace pattern and dark eye makeup. Part of her “Black Tag” line, the styles were sophisticated, sexy, and sleek: a combination of leopard, plaid and floral prints in vibrant shades. Next to follow were designs from “He Loves Me,” which had a lighter, flirtier feel: colorful prints and plaids and models sporting blond wigs. All of these designs, part of her “Pink Patch” line, are under $100—affordable, accessible, and classic Betsey! Betsey danced down the catwalk at the end of the show before doing her signature cartwheel.

Calvin klein Photography by Fernanda Calfat

Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

A well-established name in fashion, Calvin Klein is never one to disappoint. This year, creative director Francisco Costa presented thirty-four looks to a star-studded audience, including Kate Bosworth, Zoe Saldana, and Kerry Washington. The collection was youthful and sophisticated for the woman who has a sporty vibe and a fast pace and doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to sacrifice style. Using a variety of sleek and willowy fabrics, the color palette consisted of natural tones, such as truffle, wheat, zinc, and white smoke. Each look was completed with thick ankle strap heels.



© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Carolina herrera Photography by Peter Michael Dills Elegance and grace are two words that define and embody designer Carolina Herrera—and her fall collection. Belted flannel coats over pencil skirts gave way to bold, embellished blouses paired with wool pants, while velvet belts and capelet collars accented the garments. The designer’s signature sweeping silk skirts and evening gowns done up in minty turquoise and cocoa silk chiffon and organza left the audience in awe. With her feminine take on fashion, Herrera’s designs are not only chic but also timeless and sophisticated. Whether her signature white blouse and black slim-fitting pants, which she is often seen wearing, or the dark gray wool felt dress coat and amethyst velvet belt, Herrera delivered a line with linear structure, clear-cut lines, and defined waists. Low-heeled, embroidered shoes by Manolo Blahnik were practical and sophisticated and could not have fit more perfectly with the collection. SUMMER 2011


CarloS Miele Photography by Gerald Burwell At 11 a.m. on Monday, February 14, Carlos Miele showed his Fall 2011 collection, and, while it was our last fashion show of the week, it was not one to be forgotten. The music was upbeat and youthful, just like Miele’s fall line. The models donned braided ponytails—a youthful look, both fresh and simple. Influenced by his Brazilian roots, Miele used a wide variety of colors from black and white to vibrant greens and blues and warm reds and golds. Fur wraps and vests, as well as duchess hoods, in dark browns, black, winter whites, and gold were seen throughout the show and will surely be seen in stores this coming fall—perfect for keeping warm while looking luxurious! Miele paired simple-cut dresses with intricate detailing—just enough to put his own spin on a classic look. He uses geometric shapes, patterns, and varying necklines to flatter a woman’s figure. He knows how to accentuate different parts of the body: strong triangles and V-necks for elongation; shoulder detailing for a more triangular shape; and fitted bodices with flowing skirts that allow his designs to work on every woman. High waistbands and belts added flair to the dresses. A combination of prints and textures make Miele’s line ideal both for the jetsetter and the girl who enjoys a bit of luxury and is not afraid to experiment with fashion. Miele’s designs ranged from jumpers to evening gowns and capes. Many of the individual pieces in Miele’s collection can be incorporated into a woman’s wardrobe; style and elegance should not suffer in the face of practicality; rather, they should be embraced and combined. For the two finale dresses, Miele displayed his very popular print of choice, which was taken from blown-up satellite photos. What better to brighten a dreary fall day than a colorful couture dress?




DieSel BlaCk golD Photography by Fernanda Calfat

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

The term “vintage” has been thrown around the fashion world for some time; styles recycle and become “in” again. Sophia Kokosalaki’s designs for Diesel Black Gold took a fresh spin with their timeworn yet timeless style. Fabrics in maroons, olive greens, navies, and neutrals were used to create garments that were neither passé nor overly trendy. Victorian-style booties, silk blouses buttoned to the neck, corsets, and brocade prints referred back to the 18th and 19th centuries, while snakeskin and leather pants and dresses provided the fashion progression required in today’s market. For the men, military-inspired blazers and fur-layered wool coats gave a stylish yet still masculine look.



Dkny / Donna karan new york Photography by Peter Michael Dills / Randy Brooke Donna Karan’s Fall DKNY line encompassed sleek city looks in black, cream, and navy infused with a distinctly New York flavor, effortless and chic. Along the back walk was a neon sign—“Something New York”—displaying the collection’s theme. If a place can be translated into clothing, Karan is the master. The graphic lines, popping colors, and contrasting textures were a nod to the London of the ’60s with a twist of New York from the late ’70s. Combinations of orange and tan and red and pink were seen on angora sweaters, mini-dresses, and knits, along with black skinny and flair trousers— all ready to wear off the runway (and affordable, too!).

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Karan’s Donna Karan New York line was both feminine and elegant—a mixture of urban meets uptown. A palette consisting of neutrals and fabrics with intricate cuts and draping caught everyone’s eye. Everything from the dresses, blouses, jackets, skirts, and gowns exuded seamless elegance. Karan used sheer fabrics along with long white gloves with fur cuffs. Focusing on the fit of the garment is one of Karan’s abilities; she creates clothing for real women that will look just as exquisite off the runway as they do on. SUMMER 2011


herve leger By Max azria The iconic bandage dresses that Herve Leger is known for, and celebrities and socialites worldwide love, were once again a hit. This season, the dresses took on a warrior style using leather, chains, studs, and an array of prints and below-the-knee metal-detailed boots: a line perfect for strong, independent, and confident women. Zippers lined the backs of nearly all of the dresses and added to the futuristic look of some of the shorter ones, fitting in with this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s metallic trend. The color palette concurred with other fashion constituents: beige, nude, black, chocolate brown, and cream were shown in the collectionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;subtle enough for the detailing to come through without overpowering the look. 38


Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Frazer Harrison

J. MenDel Photography by Frazer Harrison

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

J. Mendel’s collection focused on the unique and interesting motif of tribal body art. Imitating aboriginal tattoos, diagonal lines and circular curves were carefully shaved into the mink overcoats. Mendel’s famous gowns also followed this trend with sheer sleeves bearing beadwork. The contrasting sleeves in Mendel’s coats were an interesting idea that he executed beautifully, whether the sleeves were of silver fox or wool felt. Each design was shown with a long silk scarf embellished with beads and fringe.

l. a. M. B.

Gwen Stefani herself is a fashion icon with her too-coolfor-school attitude, so it comes as no surprise that her Fall 2011 line was nothing less than spectacular. Navajo prints, lots of plaid, menswear-inspired looks, and more were found in the six categories of the show: Soldier Girls, Ragga Muffin Girls, London Girls, Buffalo Girls, Mod Girls, and Glamour Girls. With only eight looks, the Soldier Girls section was short, consisting of army green and tightly tailored looks. Sexy, sleek, and cool designs done up in warm tones and Navajo-inspired prints were modeled by the Ragga Muffin Girls; Rasta hats were featured as a key accessory in this group. The London Girls took over the catwalk in plaids and killer â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s-inspired leather motorcycle jackets and skintight leather trousers and pants. For a more refined look, Stefani presented the Buffalo Girls with elements like chic navy trench coats over camel cropped trousers and oversized menswear looks. Mod Girls came next wearing black-and-white leopard print, polka-dot and striped dresses. Closing the show was the Glamour Girls: black evening gowns accented with gold accessories. On the last night of Fashion Week, Stefani closed her show by walking hand in hand with son Kingston down the catwalk. 40


Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Frazer Harrison

MarC JaCoBS / MarC By MarC JaCoBS Photography by Fernanda Calfat / Jemal Countess Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People” was playing through the speakers, and tufted vinyl padded the walls and lined the runway as Marc Jacobs presented his eponymous collection. The line had a look of ’40s meet the future with boxy tops, couture lines and polka dots, and tight, high-waisted pencil skirts. Dresses with oversized pockets at the hip (to emphasize small waists), cap sleeves, and open backs graced the catwalk. Jacobs used a variety of materials like crocodile, lamb, sheared fox, sheared beaver and cashmere, along with cellophane and polyester. The garments were all wildly imaginative, and could only have come from the mind of Marc!

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Marc by Marc Jacobs, a more affordable line of designer clothes, celebrated its tenth anniversary this year by presenting a 1970s-inspired line of preppy outfits. Suits in a variety of fabrics, including corduroy, velvet, and tweed, along with simple belted dresses and skirts in grays and blacks, made for a flirty yet sophisticated collection for the upcoming fall. SUMMER 2011


MiChael korS Photography by Frazer Harrison

Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Celebrating thirty years in the business, Michael Kors presented a line that embodied his brand of effortless, casual glamour. Inspired by the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s, Kors showed tailored suits in gray wool felt with high waists and wide pants legs; there were sequined gathered jersey looks as well. Tunic tops with deep V-necks contrasted with slouchy cashmere knits and tan jersey dresses, but still fit perfectly with the line. In keeping with the fall trends, Kors paired the looks with plenty of furs throughout the show.



Monique lhuillier

Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Frazer Harrison Known for her pretty and flirty dresses, Monique Lhuillier opened her Fall 2011show with something a little different, a muted leopard print. Yet when Lhuillier does animal print, she does so in a feminine, not edgy way. There were also looks in ecru and some in vivid red on the runway, but the majority of her collection was black. Lhuillierâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designs were delivered in an abundance of lace, chiffon, and feathers. The textures and dramatic silhouettes of the gowns were perfectly crafted. SUMMER 2011


naeeM khan Photography by Frazer Harrison

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

We don’t know what is cooler: Naeem Khan’s fall line or the fact that 90-year-old style icon Iris Apfel was sitting front row at his show on February 17, 2011! Khan’s designs included multicolored paisley prints, cocktail looks detailed with Far East–inspired threadwork, and sheaths adorned with fringe and beading. Coming down the catwalk in six-inch Christian Louboutins, models wore short and long pieces ornamented with ostrich feathers and silver paisley beading. Khan’s attention to detail and fearlessness when it comes to fashion provided some of the hottest looks for evening wear.



nanette lepore Photography by Frazer Harrison

Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Nanette Leporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collection was filled with her signature ruffles and whimsical tiers. Lepore combined textures, showing chunky knits with iridescent silk dresses in soft, light colors, particularly blues and creams. Not limiting herself to light hues, Lepore also presented edgier pieces in black with lace and leather accents for a more daring look. Throughout her designs, silver chiffon detailing and beading glistened. SUMMER 2011


praBal gurung With his name on everyone’s lips, this up-and-coming designer brought his A game to New York to show his fall collection. Taking more risks and moving away from the structured dresses he became known for, Prabal Gurung incorporated lace, extravagantly woven knits, and dyed furs. The collection was shown in combinations of red and white, red and hot pink, and white and purple, with pieces in silver and a profusion of black thrown in for good measure. Some of Gurung’s most popular looks were the fitted black wool cloqué dress adorned with Swarovski crystals and ostrich feathers, the silver and ivory hand-painted silk chiffon and organza gown, the elegantly sassy one-shoulder red dress, and the frilly red blouse shown with pink boot-cut trousers and black belt. Prabal Gurung is sure to be creating the finest in women’s fashion for years to come. 46


© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Stefan Gosatti

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perry elliS Photography by Gerald Burwell As the lights dimmed in the theater, the music began pulsing through the speakers; like waiting through the calm before the storm, we sat in dark anticipation tapping our feet to the music, when suddenly the fashion show began. The lights rose over the runway, illuminating the models as they showcased the finest in men’s casual fall attire. Sitting on the edge of my seat, I was consumed with the atmosphere in the room. Unsure of where to fix my gaze, my eyes darted from the model journeying down the runway to the audience members furiously documenting the latest fashion trends to my camera screen, making sure I was capturing every moment. The sound of cameras clicking furiously was surprisingly audible over the music. Of his line, Perry Ellis creative director John Crocco said, “I appreciate good designs that are timeless, classic and tasteful.” His fall collection is just that. In keeping with the season’s trends, the color palette consisted of neutral earth tones in light grays, tans, blues, and browns. Perry Ellis featured a fall look for men in a variety of furs, knits, wool coats, and fur-lined suede, along with the classic shirt, tie and sport coat. Thick cable-knit sweaters, wool jackets, and scarves are cozy, warm, and in style for fall 2011! For a sportier look, Ellis paired charcoal gray dress slacks, a turtleneck sweater, and a suede vest. He accented many outfits with knit hats for those extra cold fall days. Each look was completed with either dress shoes or wool socks and boots. Showcasing looks sure to transcend seasons to come, the show was a hit, as evidenced by the applause of the audience. Taking a different spin on the typical final walk, the Perry Ellis models sauntered barefoot in colorful sweatshirts and white long-john-style pants, ideal for those cold fall days when relaxing by the fire with a good book is all you need! Perry Ellis is a look for everyman: simple and classic, stylish and comfortable! SUMMER 2011


ralph lauren For the fall 2011 season, Ralph Lauren turned away from his usual American West style and traveled to China for inspiration. As a remix of David Bowie’s “China Girl” played, models wearing dangly jade earrings, bright red lipstick, and red lacquered heels walked down the catwalk displaying a collection of mostly white and black looks. White blouses paired with simple black pants and knee-length skirts were followed by impeccable black evening wear, which included sleek and sexy dresses in fluid silk, panne velvet, and sable. Fittingly, some of the dresses had mandarin collars. Mr. Lauren once said, “Don’t be today’s look. Be a look that is timeless. Don’t try to be yesterday’s news.” His fall collection is just that: timeless and sure to be talked about for years to come. 50


© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Fernanda Calfat

tiBi Photography by Frazer Harrison

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Metal-shuttered city storefronts served as the backdrop for this show. Inspired by the ’90s, Amy Smilovic’s collection keeps it cool for day, and then turns the Tibi girl into the belle of the ball for night. With less focus on ’90s grunge and more emphasis on the simplicity and sleekness of the decade, daywear included boy blazers, trousers, and sweater dresses, some accessorized with hot pink beanies and arm warmers. Transitioning into evening, the looks were more sophisticated—lace, metallic brocades, and Rococo prints. Overall it was a wonderful collection that any woman could wear! SUMMER 2011


toMMy hilfiger Photography by Frazer Harrison

Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

There will always be a preppy vibe to Tommy Hilfigerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designs, but this fall he is stepping out of the box, adding a new twist and calling the look Bohemian Prep. Latex-looking leather trenches with tightly belted waists, menswear-inspired suits, bohemian dresses, and a strong color palette of burnt reds, grays, and blacks made for a great show. Some of these were slightly non-gender-specific looks, but with enough femininity that is sure to appeal to his client base.



© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

venexiana Photography by Frazer Harrison Designer Kati Stern presented her gigantic collection—sixty-nine looks to be exact—for Venexiana at Fashion Week this February. As the show began, Alex McCord and husband Simon van Kempen (from The Real Housewives of New York City) looked on from their front-row seats as models with red lips and dark eye makeup came down the runway in wool suits and sheath dresses. Then, the real gems— jewel-toned, floor-length ball gowns done up in rich velvets and taffeta came out one after another. In the true spirit of fall 2011, two of the models carried red fox furs! Venexianna was full of glamour, ending with two lavish wedding gowns! SUMMER 2011


vera wang

Romance was in the air at Vera Wang’s Fall 2011 show. Her inspiration was the English aristocracy of the 1930s, but Wang added a modern twist. There were two main areas of focus: parka jackets (either lined or trimmed with fox—luxurious and functional at the same time!) and chiffon pleated gowns. The dresses, some with dropped waists and others with racerbacks, came in a multitude of colors, including pewter, wine, ivory and mustard. She also showed some of the parkas with the dresses for a youthful look (and a chilly night out on the town!). From the oversized hood jackets to the leather and mesh creations, Wang paid close attention to detail. Platform boots and leather gloves were the perfect juxtaposition to the feminine dresses—a look sure to be seen on many chic dressers this fall! 54


© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Photography by Jemal Countess

vivienne taM Photography by Frazer Harrison Vivienne Tam’s fashion show on Saturday, February 12 was the second collection we were privileged to attend. Walking up the steps to Lincoln Center, we could feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. The theater, a larger venue than our first show, was standing room only, with buyers, writers and fashionistas alike. When the lights dimmed, I eagerly awaited the start of the show and Vivienne Tam did not disappoint.

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Tam’s presentation was not only a fashion show but also a look into Chinese culture. Garnering influences from the 600-year-old Chinese Kun Opera, Tam combined new and old, paying tribute to the past while creating a style for today’s modern woman. Drawing from the performers’ costumes, movements, and music, Tam’s designs emulate these with the use of patterns, designs, and layers of jewel tones. To be fashion forward for fall 2011, Tam recommended a color palette consisting of neutral grays, blacks, creams, and the occasional splash of green or red. Many of her designs could be worn right off the runway, and are perfect for both day and evening looks. Tam’s structured outerwear, sweaters embedded with Swarovski gems, and woolly A-line miniskirts were flirty with intricate detail and appropriate for the fall when paired with black tights and suede boots. In creating her cocktail dresses, Tam layered lace, embroidery, and crochet over silk in a variety of weights. While combining culture with couture, Tam created garments that were playful but still very grown up: perfect for women of all ages. SUMMER 2011


zang toi Photography by Gerald Burwell After a day of sightseeing and shopping in the city, VIE returned to Fashion Week at 9 p.m. for the last show of the day: Zang Toi. Standing off to the side at the end of the runway, I could practically reach out and touch the models walking by; and after seeing what Toi had for fall 2011, I was tempted! Instantaneously, cameras flashed and classical music filled the roomâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and every light went on, illuminating the tent, turning night into day. Toi began the show with a collection of geometric dresses and coats in a combination of nude cashmere and wool, accenting the look with black tights and heels. Tailored wool suits adorned with fur collars in charcoal gray paired with deep green jackets came down the runway next. His timeless and elegant dresses were the embodiment of the classical music filling the room. Models walking with a measured gait allowed significant time to admire the details. Charcoals, blacks, and nudes popped on the runway when paired with vibrant emerald green. Adding a splash of color to naturaltoned outfits is a must for fall 2011. Toi used combinations of silk, cashmere, wool, and fur throughout the show. Hair, styled in a beehive fashion, was sophisticated and stylish, allowing the focus to be on the clothes. Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York City took the final walk down the runway in an elegant black strapless dress with beautiful intricate detailing covering the skirt. Zarinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s friend, Ramona Singer, also of The Real Housewives of New York City, clapped and cheered for her friend from her front-row seat. Toi received a well-deserved standing ovation as his models kept pace down the catwalk one final time.




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Behind the Scenes of


Fashion Week

by Amanda Crowley photography by Michael Buckner

2. Photo by Paul Morigi

To celebrate the three-year anniversary of VIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inaugural issue (Spring/Summer 2008), we returned to New York to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW). VIE has seen growth and change in the last few years and so has MBFW. As of last fall, Lincoln Center is home to Fashion Week; Bryant Park played host to the event in previous years. The fashion shows we attended were just like I imagined they would be, but oh so much more! Each audience member appeared to have on an outfit meticulously planned just for that day; designers, dressed surprisingly simply, were seemingly shy in the face of all the adulation. An endless array of gorgeous models marched down the runways, keeping step with the music. The excitement of the crowds was similar at each show. For the week, fashion united throngs of people for a sneak peek into what the world will be wearing this fall.

Whether morning or evening, the lobby was pulsing with excitement: strobe lights flashing over the Mercedes-Benz displays, reporters and photographers alike dressed to the nines in the latest fashions, and celebrities mingling with the crowd. 62



Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

No matter how many articles I read or documentaries I watched about the fashion industry, nothing could have prepared me for the wonder and anticipation of walking up the steps at Lincoln Center on Friday, February 11. With my press pass around my neck allowing me access to the coveted shows, I felt like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada; officially I was a member of what I thought to be an elite fashion club.



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11. Photo by Gerald Burwell

I felt lIke Anne HAtHAWAy In The Devil Wears PraDa; offICIAlly I WAs A MeMBer of WHAt I tHougHt to Be An elIte fAsHIon CluB. 12. FIJI Water and Starbucks Frappuccino were two of the sponsors, and coolers filled with their products were found in multiple areas inside the pavilion. (You wouldn’t think it, but attending fashion shows can make you unusually thirsty, and who doesn’t love free coffee!) Maybelline New York was the official makeup of Fashion Week and, when they were not giving away samples of eye shadow and lip gloss, representatives offered makeup advice while introducing the new fall colors.

Throughout the week, there were very few barriers between us and the celebrities; they walked around the pavilion, casually posing for photos and graciously pausing for interviews. Sitting only a few rows behind them, I felt on par with these celebrities, as we all eagerly awaited 64


© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Waiting in line to enter the shows is almost as entertaining and informative as actually attending them. I was able to check out the styles worn by the invited guests and I realized that these fashion-conscious people would take the fall lines and put their own spin on them depending on what part of the country or the world they were from; this is what fashion is all about. These people, coming from all corners of the globe, were the liaisons between New York and their own audiences; they were there to take the latest fashion news back home.



© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011


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the next look together. And then the clothes became the celebrities; we were all just admirers in our seats. Many of today’s most well-known actresses, musicians, and models came to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to see the latest in fall attire, but the fashion world has its own set of stars. Fashion editors, stylists, and wellknown buyers all garnered the same attention and admiration as the famous personalities in attendance. One day, on the way out of Lincoln Center, VIE publisher Lisa Burwell was stopped by some fashion bloggers who admired her daring decision to wear a cream outfit when New York is dominated by dark blacks, grays, and browns. “A breath of fresh air,” they called it, but it took my breath away! It was an honor to be singled out for her fashion sense—and at the epicenter for fashion no less! Another honor for VIE came when fashion bloggers stopped VIE staffer Whitney Williams and asked if they could take her picture to showcase what the real woman was wearing to Fashion Week. Fashion Week is more than just designers gathering together to show off their latest creations; it is a week when they come before the world to show what their hearts have created—a visual expression of themselves. It is a week when men and women from across the nation gather to celebrate fashion. A week governed by the motto “The best or nothing.”

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Photo Credits: 1. TV personality Giuliana Rancic was spotted reporting and interviewing during Fashion Week. 2. (L–R) TV personality Robert Verdi, stylist June Ambrose, and fashion icon Jay Manuel hang together backstage, catching up and talking about the future of fashion! 3. Ramona Singer and daughter Avery of The Real Housewives of New York City relax in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge before the Zang Toi show. Ramona was there to see friend Jill Zarin model in Toi’s show. And Avery? Well, what teenager wouldn’t love to sit front row at a fashion show? 4. Stylist Brad Goreski poses by the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Force car, which sat outside Lincoln Center during Fashion Week. Thankfully, people were stopped (and congratulated) by the Fashion Police only for stylish outfits! 5. Designer Diane von Furstenberg took time to relax in the Star Lounge after her Fall 2011 show. Not only did she put together a great fashion collection, she also partnered with Mercedes-Benz to showcase her home furnishings and accessories lines in the Star Lounge. 6. Model Karolina Kurkova and designer Max Azria pose together after Azria’s Herve Leger fashion show on February 15. 7. Model Petra Nemcova poses for a picture after the Luca Luca fashion show. 8. A Mercedes-Benz on display at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2011. 9. Friends and fashion go hand in hand at Fashion Week. Just ask singer Fergie and actress Molly Sims. The two were caught chatting after Diane von Furstenberg presented her designs for this fall. 10. Model Alexa Chung and actresses Gabrielle Union and Mena Suvari discuss the latest fashions after seeing Christian Siriano’s Fall 2011 collection. 11. VIE publisher Lisa Burwell and staffer Amanda Crowley pause outside Lincoln Center to check the schedule for the day. 12. VIE staffers Lisa Ferrick and Amanda Crowley. 13. Kristin Chenoweth lit up the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge with her smile (and her sunshine yellow dress) after attending the Milly by Michelle Smith fashion show. 14. Actor Kellan Lutz of The Twilight Saga looked dapper in a gray suit and blue tie at the Calvin Klein Men’s Collection show. We’re thrilled he is a brand ambassador for Calvin Klein—we’ll get to see more of him! 15. Model Iman

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DAN FINDLEY SALON. When you think of cutting-edge salons— where trends are made, the most educated staff can be found, and couture color is effortless—places like South Beach, LA, or NYC might come to mind. You might not think of the Emerald Coast, but the fact of the matter is a salon of that caliber does exist right here in Fort Walton Beach. That salon is Dan Findley Salon. Located near Uptown Station, Dan Findley Salon is charming, trendy, and serious about hair. Salon owner Dan Findley has been catering to a diverse clientele for over thirty years. Dan insists that continuing education is essential to understanding and creating trends and to maintaining clients’ hair. Having been in the business for over thirty-two years, Dan has made a name for himself in this exciting industry through constant education and by evolving with the times. During his career, he has won two gold medals for hairstyling and cutting and more than twenty “Who’s Who” industry awards. “We are a Rusk concept salon as well as a leading Alfaparf and L’Oréal salon establishment,” Dan explains. Dan Findley Salon has had the distinction of being featured in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, People, and Modern Salon magazines, as well as numerous industry publications. According to Dan, the key to giving an effective cut, color, or facial service is in listening to the client. A customer new to the salon will receive a full consultation to ensure that all areas



“ Dan has made a name for himself in this exciting

industry through constant education and by evolving with the times. During his career, he has won two gold medals for hairstyling and cutting and more than twenty “Who’s Who” industry awards.” and expectations are discussed. Long-term clients are always asked if they are happy with their current style or ready for a change. Understanding lifestyle, hair texture, facial shape, skin tone, eye color, and styling habits all factor into the consultation in order to provide the best possible service.

and these are just a few of his interests. He is currently working with leading cosmetic scientists and patent attorneys to bring his own hair and skin care products to fruition. “We hope to have state-of-the-art hair care products under the Findley umbrella in the near future.”

To further meet the needs of clients, the salon recently added microdermabrasion to the list of services offered. This treatment allows facial contouring to reveal an overall more youthful look. Skin discoloration, scars, sun damage, and more can be significantly reduced, or even eliminated completely. The appearance of fine lines can be diminished up to 85 percent in as little as six visits. “We have had great success with the addition of microdermabrasion and skin care to our services. We offer this treatment at a fraction of the cost at many skin care salons and doctors’ offices,” Dan states. “It is important that highquality skin care be affordable to all.”

Dan has assembled a caring and capable staff dedicated to all your hair care needs. They specialize in cut, color, and skin care. Wedding specialists are on hand to make the bride and wedding party picture perfect. Alongside Dan, stylists Amber Hoffman and Amy Parker specialize in all areas of cut, color, straightening treatments, and hair extensions. Salon coordinator Connie Zook can be found greeting clients and making things happen behind the scenes.

Dan’s passion for his salon and hair care is obvious, yet he still finds time to be active and creative away from the workplace. He is an avid hunter, acrylic painter, pianist, and photographer;

Select boutique products—the best in the industry—can be purchased at the salon. Or, surprise that special someone with a gift certificate! Whether you need a new look or just want to perfect your existing style, there is something for everyone at Dan Findley Salon. Come be pampered by the genius that is right here on the Emerald Coast.

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Š Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

L. A. M. B. founder and designer Gwen Stefani with her son Kingston; Photo by Frazer Harrison SUMMER 2011


© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011


n a freezing Saturday morning in NYC, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. It was a combination of nerves and excitement—that feeling you get when you don’t know what adventure may lie ahead, but you know it’s going to be a good one. It was with this feeling that I dressed, hopping on one foot while putting my other into a pair of black skinny jeans and pulling on a black top before zipping up my black booties. As cliché as it sounds, when you’re in NYC and you have no idea what to wear, you can never go wrong with black. I slipped the gold Positano Chain and Blue Agate Rock Anchor from my jewelry collection around my neck before sliding my arms into a camel trench. I heard sounds from the Today show in the background as I looked outside the hotel window at the cluster of buildings standing stoic and silent against the mayhem of honking and yelling and hustle and bustle of people on the streets below. With a jolt it hit me, as if I had been transported to that place and time for one purpose—Fashion Week. It was my first time ever to attend and I had to be at a show in a little over an hour. I wrapped a black pashmina around my neck for good measure and exited the Ink48 hotel into a blast of blustery morning wind.

Designer: Michael Kors; Photo by Frazer Harrison



I started noticing a trend. Tiny children dressed as fashionistas were standing next to their very fashionable mothers. On the cab ride over to Lincoln Center, the butterflies in my stomach flapped away as birds swooped low across the Hudson to my right. When we pulled up to Lincoln Center, I tried to take everything in: the media trailers swathed in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week banners where I picked up my press pass; the Lincoln Center steps flashing “Welcome” in hundreds of different languages; and the row of town cars lining the streets. We crossed the giant threshold with the fountain leading to the entrance of Fashion Week at the center’s Damrosch Park, past the plethora of photographers snapping away at anyone stylish or unique enough to be worthy of the effort it took to raise cameras to their welltrained eyes. We walked under the black MercedesBenz Fashion Week awning, upstairs and past velvet ropes, flashing our badges to the men dressed in black and wearing headsets who nodded as we passed. Then, finally, we opened the doors into a world I had only dreamed of experiencing. When the doors shut behind us, it took a second for my eyes to adjust to the mayhem surrounding me. The first thing I noticed were the women (or were they men?) towering above me in sky-high heels and tight leather pants. I saw fur coats in every shape and size. I saw hats everywhere: hats with feathers, a cap made of hot pink mesh, top hats tilted on bobbing heads. I noticed groups

of twentysomethings in messy hair buns and long skirts, teetering on elevated platforms while wearing huge glasses reminiscent of the ones I saw my grandmother wearing in photos from the ‘70s. I caught snippets of conversations: “Did you see all the colors on the runway in Milan?” and another, “I was so impressed by that designer’s nod to American heritage,” and the man with dozens of chains around his neck saying, “I only wear vintage Louis Vuitton jewelry.” In the center of the room was an area marked off with velvet ropes leading to the “check-in” counter for upcoming shows. Above the check-in counter were three television screens, the center one with video snapshots of previous runway shows and on either side a screen indicating which designer was up next and in what auditorium. I noticed that, about an hour before each show, the designers’ PR girls would line up behind the “check-in” desks, where patrons would check in for shows they were invited to and put their names on the lists for the ones they weren’t. I later learned that people equate Fashion Week to success in New York; if you can get through the doors, you can get into almost any show you want to experience—the only challenge is getting through the doors.

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

The floor was the staging ground for correspondents from American and European fashion channels talking animatedly into mics about their impressions of the shows they had just witnessed. Bloggers and news journalists stood by with Nikons and notepads conducting interviews or trying to get the attention of some of the world’s most fashionable people who hurried past them, going from one show to the next. I was like a kid in a toy store, mesmerized by everything shiny and sparkly surrounding me.

Designer: Tommy Hilfiger; Photo by Frazer Harrison

By the time my second day at Fashion Week rolled around, I came to a realization: no one can ever be fully prepared for what they may or may not see—so I went in ready for anything. I was standing near the entrance to the Tory Burch show, charging my iPhone at the Maybelline counter, when I learned from a videographer next to me that Tory Burch had hired his company to create a short film called Tory Burch Presents Hanneli at Fashion Week. It was a behind-the-scenes look at Fashion Week through model-turned-blogger Hanneli Mustaparta’s eyes. Instead of attending the Tory Burch show, I stood next to the videographer and listened as his assistant pointed out notables walking in for the show. I photographed Allure founder Linda Wells, SUMMER 2011


Or maybe these couture babies were really the ultimate accessory, a smaller version or extension of themselves realized through fashion.

About an hour later, I found myself next to the CIRCA lounge (where Tory Burch and friends were being photographed for her accessories showcase) sharing a table with an editor from Ebony magazine, a buyer for Diane von Furstenberg’s Hong Kong division (who kindly gave me her invitation to the DVF show), and a well-known fashion blogger who was attending Fashion Week by invitation from a number of designers who wanted her presence front row at their shows. It was there, sitting at that table, as a naïve first-time Fashion Week attendee and recent college graduate, that these women opened up to me about navigating Fashion Week and taking on a life in New York. I was real with them about my inexperience, and they were willing to open up to me about their experiences—all in all, a very productive lunch. A short time later, I was standing in line for the DVF show, clutching my invitation emblazoned with aqua, gold, and red stars and stripes: colors that I would see wrapped around the models strutting DVF’s runway in the form of sequins, fur, and silk. I loved experiencing Diane von Furstenberg’s show, not only for the celebs in attendance (Diane Sawyer, Molly Sims, and Fergie) but also for the inspiration behind her line—legendary American women who push boundaries and conquer dreams. That night when I was back in my hotel room downloading photos and writing notes from my experiences that day, I started noticing a trend. In many of the photos were tiny children dressed as fashionistas standing next to their very fashionable mothers. Was a couture baby the latest must-have accessory? I decided to spend my third and final day at Fashion Week on the hunt.



Designer: Carlos Miele; Photo by Fernanda Calfat

I arrived at Lincoln Center early on Monday morning on a mission—a search for couture babies. I scanned the crowd. I recognized the girls in the buns and ‘70s glasses, the men in hats, the cameras, the chaos. But where were the babies? From the corner of my eye, I spotted bunny ears. It was just a flash, but my instincts told me a couture baby was beneath them. I followed the bunny ears from a distance, noticing someone taller standing next to them. Could it be the bunny’s mother? I edged closer, and sure enough, a cute little girl, all in black, stood clutching her mom’s hand, while large pink bunny ears, which could easily have been borrowed from Marc Jacobs, created a statement atop her pint-sized head, giving her threefoot frame an extra foot of height. My first couture baby had been hunted down; I smiled at the irony that she happened to be a rabbit. The next one I spotted was a boy around the age of five. A top hat sat perched on his shoulder-length hair, while his tailored navy blazer created a unique contrast with his sequined pants and leather boots. He was standing beside his mom, who wore similar boots. I couldn’t help but wonder: in this recessionary era, were mothers now satiating their need to purchase couture by dressing up their children in the ways they wish they

© Getty Images for Mercedez-Benz 2011

Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford, Kanye West and his entourage, and countless other celebrities, journalists, buyers, and socialites.

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themselves could dress? Or maybe these couture babies really were the ultimate accessory, just a smaller version or extension of themselves realized through fashion. The more I started looking for couture babies, the more of them I saw. There was a little girl who resembled an Eskimo, decked out in a fur hoodie with grey shorts, pink leggings, and snow boots (another trend I was starting to pick up on). Gwen Stefani walked the catwalk after her L.A.M.B. show with son Kingston Rossdale decked out in army green pants accented in plaid, lace-up boots, and highlighted hair. The cutest couture baby of all had to be Alexander Wang’s niece, an adorable little two-year-old who attended his show with an effortlessly messy but pulled together bun, fur coat, and Chanel bag. I was pondering this recent trend in fashion, the couture baby accessory. Was it something that was started by designers like Stefani and Wang? Were they designing miniature versions of their fabulous fashions for children to model in their shamelessly carefree existence? When I left Lincoln Center for lunch, I was still pondering this question when I saw a couture baby on Broadway in an anklelength black parka lined with fur zipping past me on a neon pink scooter that matched her neon helmet. A woman walked a few feet ahead in a black dress and neon stilettos. Then it hit me; maybe each of us has a couture baby inside. How can I blame moms using their couture babies as a form of self-expression, when I do it with so many things in my own life?

Whitney Williams, The Lifestyle Hunter, is a Texas native who loves to hunt for everything unique about lifestyle while traveling and designing for her jewelry company, The Whitney Williams Collection. You can read Whitney’s blog by going to

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P hoto g ra Ph y by ro mo n a robbi n s I love New York City. It is a city unlike any other, and it’s also where I was lucky enough to marry my wife nearly eight years ago. New York City is said to be a fashion mecca, but from my perspective as a chef and devout food nerd, the same can be said about its culinary scene. I have the bragging rights of being married to a VIE cover model and thus was fortunate to receive a gracious invite in February to join the VIE crew for a four-day escapade to NYC. Priority on the staff’s jam-packed schedule was to cover the highly anticipated Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Priority on my agenda was to explore and document culinary adventures as we trekked through Manhattan and Brooklyn. When going to NYC with noshing at the hottest spots in mind, it’s best to have a battle plan. With the overwhelming number of choices, it’s never a good idea to roam the streets aimlessly while your blood sugar crashes. I asked the help of a chef and friend from Jean Georges, a Michelin three-star restaurant that I staged at a couple years ago, and he was happy to suggest a few obscure but good spots. With our dining itinerary outlined, all I had to do was pack.

Day One We arrived at JFK midafternoon on a Saturday. It was cold, and we were ready to get our eat on. Thanks to our dear friends in Brooklyn, we snagged reservations at DuMont, a hot spot in Williamsburg. DuMont is home to some of the most amazing mac ’n’ cheese on the planet. It packs a rich punch of Parmesan, Cheddar, and Gruyère, which was textured beautifully over the radiatori pasta (little radiators). For my entrée, I went with the crispy Hudson Valley roast chicken with sweet potato gnocchi, chanterelles, and sage. The chicken was expertly cooked. Its crispy skin with notes of lemon and sage was a perfect contrast to the tender and juicy meat. The sweet potato gnocchi had a delicate sweetness and texture that played with the citrus of the chicken. A very simple dish that can sometimes miss the mark—but not at DuMont. I was already envisioning my next reservation here. We passed on dessert at DuMont and decided we would indulge in the liquid kind at our next stop in the neighborhood: the notorious Brooklyn Bowl. In hip “Billyburg,” nothing is what it seems and this concert hall/disco/bar/restaurant/ bowling venue is no exception. The creatively fun menu is the work of the famous Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group. Midgame, we imbibed Bourbon Street Shakes blended with Nutella—both decadent and surprisingly amazing. I know of no other bowling venue where one can enjoy a platter of delicious fried chicken, fried catfish, or shrimp cocktail while bowling and rocking out to a band on stage. When doing so, it’s best to heed the advice of a nearby sign: “If dining at the lanes, we suggest you eat with your non-bowling hand.”

Day Two The next morning—up way too early for being out so late—after downing coffee in the lobby, I mapped out a pizza mission to the heart of Brooklyn. I was eager to try pizza from a true pizzaiolo who is absolutely dedicated to the craft—and that was at Di Fara Pizza. After some reluctance from the group due to the out-of-the-way location, they finally decided that the fun was in the adventure and went for it. I was giddy with anticipation when we arrived at the unassuming corner pizza shop. Di Fara is a pizza dive as well as an institution. Dom DeMarco has been crafting one pizza at a time since 1964. It’s a bucket-list spot for pizza lovers. As I walk through the front door, the aromas of yeasty dough, fresh tomatoes, and sweet basil hit me. Looking to my left, I spot Mr. DeMarco dressing pies while simultaneously pulling others out of his large deck oven with his bare hands. I stop to ponder how many pizzas this man has made since opening his doors. A million, I think to myself. I step up and order two slices. Nothing fussy. Just mozzarella cheese, marinara, and basil. Then I stand back to watch Mr. DeMarco work his magic. Each pizza out of the oven receives the same amount of love: olive oil drizzled from an antique can, fresh grated Parmesan that melts instantly when it hits the hot pie, and fresh basil snipped with scissors. A million pies and counting, and he still boasts a prideful smile with each pizza. I’m finally going to get to taste what I have been longing to try for years. My name is called to pick up my order and I am excited and nervous at the same time—most things don’t live up to the hype. It was some of the best pizza I have ever tasted. The crust was crispy yet creamy with a wonderful yeast aroma. The tomato sauce, with its perfect acidity, balanced well with the whole-milk mozzarella, the saltiness of the Parmesan, and the sweet punch of the basil. By now the place was buzzing with hungry locals and tourists. Our timing for perfect pizza couldn’t have been more perfect. Check that one off the bucket list. Moving on. SUMMER 2011



is home to some of the

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macâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cheese planet. on the

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At last, our table is ready. We are seated at a large table, which is adorned with beautiful wooden caddies that hold oversized chopsticks. They’re a nice alternative to the usual chopsticks that you find at most take-out spots. To start out, we order a round of the famous pork steam buns— light, fluffy, perfectly steamed buns blanketing two pieces of nicely seasoned, succulent pork belly with cool cucumber. Next, a brilliant appetizer of charred octopus with shards of fennel, tangy yogurt, and grapefruit. Since this is a noodle bar, the pork belly ramen is the cornerstone dish here and shouldn’t be missed. It is not the flavorless ten-cent pack of ramen you ate in college. A rich broth with delicious pork belly, pork shoulder, and poached egg intertwined with a sheet of nori and hand-cut noodles make it an exceptional umami upgrade from my days in Gainesville, Florida. It tastes so good, we laugh out loud. We were fat and happy on the subway ride home. After our Di Fara high, we strolled through Chinatown, SoHo, and Greenwich Village, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of street-food vendors in Chinatown and salumerias of the ever-shrinking Little Italy. I start to get curiously hungry for a late afternoon snack and hearkened back to the advice of my chef friend to try a unique sandwich shop on the edge of Chinatown called Saigon Sandwich. We order a few spicy pork banh mi sandwiches, a fusion resulting from the French occupation of Vietnam just before the Vietnam War. It is a huge sandwich and for five dollars, its value to flavor ratio is awesome. The banh mi starts out like any other sandwich but a few bites in, a maelstrom of incredibly clean flavors dance a jig in your mouth. Carrots, daikon, cilantro, cucumbers, spicy pork pâté, and a phenomenal sauce, which ran the gamut from sweet and salty to tangy and aromatic, are sandwiched in a delicate and buttery baguette. Why can’t we have one of these back home? We arrive back at our hotel just in time for evening cocktails. The banh mi has got me hankering for more Asian fare. We jump on the A train and head to Momofuku Noodle Bar in the Lower East Side. Upon arrival, we’re not surprised to see the place is packed. To ease the pain of our wait, we order a round of soju slushies. Soju is a potent vodkalike rice liquor from Korea, and Momofuku blends it nicely with refreshing lychee to cut the harshness.

Day Three Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year in the restaurant industry, and in NYC it is no exception. After a marathon of phone calls, I lucked out and landed a reservation at Barbuto. This wasn’t my first choice, but if I had to do it over again, it would be my only choice. Barbuto is Chef Jonathan Waxman’s casual, Italian-inspired restaurant in the West Village. You may have seen him on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters last year. The industrial building is made up of concrete walls, exposed brick, and wide open spaces, and yet it is very cozy. Upon arriving, we were quickly ushered to the kitchen where our beautiful farm table was set for eight, right in front of the bustling hot line. The cooks on the line were cranking out one beautiful dish after another with laserlike focus and agility. Their Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu offering was served family style. We kicked off the special evening with a ceviche of Nantucket Bay scallops, which was a perfect way to open the palate. Plump, sweet little scallops tangoed wonderfully with the citrus acid. A large platter of roasted beets and puntarelle with blood oranges and Pecorino was our next course: a pleasant introduction of earthiness. Our pasta course was next; the risotto, made with SUMMER 2011


I found

myselfon yet another

food high.

rich Vermont butter and Parmesan topped with shavings of Burgundy black truffles, was a revelation. It was hands down the best risotto I have ever tasted, and my friends enthusiastically agreed. The creamy rice was perfectly cooked al dente. The richness of the butter mingled delicately with the Parmesan, and the earthiness of the truffles made this dish a showstopper. Quaffing down a Brunello further enhanced the wonderful subtleties of this dish. I found myself on yet another food high. My entrée was a tender braised lamb shank with sunchokes and natural jus. Along with my lamb, the server brought out lovely side dishes of Tuscan kale and tender Italian white beans with caramelized cipollini onions. It was a perfect evening of magnificent food, remarkable Italian wine, and lots of laughs. I will never forget that risotto—it inspired me to buy Chef Waxman’s cookbook when I returned home.

Day Four It’s our last day in the Apple, and after enjoying an extra spicy lunch at Szechuan Gourmet, I am already thinking of dinner. Sometimes the problem with a big city like New York is that there are so many choices that it leads to paralysis by analysis; however, it was the consensus of the VIE family that the final dinner in the city would be an Italian one at Mario Batali’s Lupa. Lupa is a Roman-inspired enoteca set in the very charming neighborhood of Greenwich Village. Our group was seated at a beautiful rustic farm table that offered us a view out on to the bustling street. Since we were a large group, the chefs and sommelier put together a custom menu for our party that flowed nicely. We started the evening with a glass of Prosecco and a delightful assortment of Italian salumi, prosciutto, and rustic Italian bread with robust olive oil. The sommelier and service staff floated around us, pouring Italian wines from various regions and serving us side dishes of seasonal vegetables and house-made focaccia. A seasonal squash ragù of maltagliati pasta was light and delicious. Maltagliati is pasta made from the scraps and cuttings of other pastas—the translation literally means “badly cut.” One more pasta dish was in order: a tender heritage pork agnolotti with truffle butter. The rich yolk pasta was perfectly al dente and the pork filling was harmonious with the earthy truffle butter. Very simple and exquisite. My entrée was the pollo alla diavola (a.k.a. the devil’s chicken). It was a small half chicken with a crispy, charred skin that yielded a wonderfully peppery flavor and was cooked to perfection. It paired beautifully with my Sangiovese, and I sopped up the savory juices with pieces of fluffy focaccia. Dessert was a silky vanilla panna cotta with peach compote. The dinner was bittersweet as it signaled the end of our adventure. Although we covered a fair amount of ground in a few short days, NYC offers a cornucopia of dining options. This makes it easy to rationalize return visits each year. The Big Apple has carved a special place in my heart for many reasons from tying the SUMMER 2011


knot there to sweating out the Northeast Blackout of 2003 to working alongside some of the best chefs in the world. This trip added another sweet layer of memories, and I was honored to be a part of VIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anniversary pilgrimage to New York Fashion Week.

Phillip McDonald lives in Miramar Beach with his wife, Madra, and owns Table Five Private Chef + Catering, a private chef service that specializes in dinner parties, elegant soirees, and private home events along the beautiful Emerald Coast.




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4. 3.

Walk the Destin Commons Catwalk Even if you couldn’t make it to New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this past February, you can still take home some of the hottest looks for fall 2011. Destin Commons, the Emerald Coast’s premier outdoor shopping mall and entertainment center, has all the clothing, shoes, and accessories you need to look runway ready all year long. This summer, Destin Commons has welcomed four new tenants—all making their debut on the Emerald Coast—to bring shoppers affordable style and fun nights out with friends and family. By Jordan Staggs



Meet Me at the CoMMons sephora This makeup and accessories superstore has moved into Destin Commons to provide the Emerald Coast with the latest trends in makeup, hair products and accessories, beauty products, and style advice. The following are just some of the must-have items from the Sephora Collection for fall 2011:

Sephora Collection Fall 2011 Color (Available in stores and online beginning August 2011): Baked Moonshadow Palette In The Nude ($28) — Creating luminous eyes is easy with this ten-shade palette of “diamond dust” shimmer, which adheres to skin and is great for blending.

Smoky Kohl Eyeliner ($12) — Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! This brand-new smooth-gliding, highly pigmented liner is packaged in a sleek retractable casing and comes in six bold shades, so every night out is a chance to catch someone’s eye.

Smoothing & Brightening Concealer ($14) — Every great work of art must start with the perfect canvas. Featuring reflecting pigments and moisturizing hyaluronic acid, this concealer adds a radiant touch to the entire complexion while hiding imperfections and dark circles. In six blendable shades, the Smoothing & Brightening Concealer will help make works of art possible every day.

Colorful Blush ($13) — Have the freshest-looking cheeks for fall with this new formula from Sephora Collection, featuring an exclusive HIBOOST 2 Complex. The blend of minerals, organic pigments, and hydrating plant extracts enhances color and wear— all while moisturizing skin and creating a healthy glow. Available in twelve gorgeous shades with a matte or shimmer finish.

Sparkle Vinyl Lip Gloss ($14) — This new multidimensional formula leaves your lips with the perfect amount of sparkle and shine—in just one coat! Available in seven rocking hues and featuring a jumbo applicator with patented reservoir delivery system, the

Sparkle Vinyl Lip Gloss might just be your claim to fame among friends. Color Wand for Lips ($10) — Why settle for one color when you can have six? This best-selling color wand includes stacked glosses in all the season’s must-have shades. Create new, fun looks every day and night to complement any outfit. Sephora Collection Fall 2011 Tools and Accessories (Available for a limited time in stores and online beginning July 2011): Eastern Opulence Collection ($6-$44)— Dramatic jewel tones touched with sparkling gold lend a romantic and elegant feel to this collection of musthave items, designed to transport you to exotic places this fall. Four styles of makeup bags, available in three luxurious, exotic patterns, ensure that you are ready for any adventure, while the collection of makeup brushes and compact mirrors will keep you looking fresh and fashionable on the go. Forever 21 The worldwide fashion phenomenon has moved into Destin Commons! Forever 21 is known for its plethora of chic styles and amazing deals on all the latest fashions. Clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories for any occasion will make shopping for your autumn wardrobe a breeze—without breaking the bank! Faux Fur Trim Jacket — Keep warm and cozy while looking like you just stepped off Fall Fashion Week’s runway in this lush velvet jacket with a multi-toned faux fur trim collar. Shearling Jacket—Catch some of that vintage-inspired fever with a leather and shearling trim jacket. It’s part bomber jacket, part romance—and a totally trendy addition to your fall/winter wardrobe. Chunky Knit Cardigan — Combining a bold pattern with a soft and cozy knit? Yes, please! Be ready for anything with this stylish cardigan, perfect for school, work, or a day out shopping this fall. Be sure to complement these styles with signature pieces from one of Destin Commons’ many

accessories stores: Brighton Collectibles, Luxe Apothetique, Private Gallery, and Francesca’s Collections. reeDs Jewelers The powerhouse jewelry store offers a fantastic collection of diamonds, watches, and jewelry for every occasion. Browse some of the world’s top brands such as Swarovski, Tissot, Michael Kors, Guy Harvey, and Pandora. Perfect for weddings, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, or any day! Pandora charm bracelet — This stunning bracelet is sure to please her. The 14-karat gold charms are beautifully adorned with five precious gemstones and filigree patterns that are visible from all angles.

a night out at the CoMMons You’ve got to have somewhere to show off your new look this fall! Destin Commons features several great places to enjoy dinner, including Hard Rock Cafe, RedBrick Pizza and the newest addition to the restaurant scene ... poppy’s tiMe out sports Bar & grill Catch the game—any of them!—on one of Poppy’s forty 55-inch flat screen LED TVs while you enjoy delicious food and drinks made on the premises from the freshest ingredients. Try out the Poppy’s Tropical Chicken Salad, the Slugger Sandwich, or for the more daring … Fried Gator Bites! For hours and information, call (850) 337-8700 or visit

1. Sparkle Vinyl Lip Gloss, Sephora ($14). 2. Sephora Collection Moonshadow Baked Palette In The Nude ($28; a $50 value). 3. Eastern Opulence Collection, Brush Set, Sephora ($6-$44). 4. Heritage 1981, Faux Fur Trim Jacket, Forever 21 ($27.90). 5. Shearling Jacket, Forever 21 ($29.80). 6. Chunky Knit Cardigan, Heritage 1981, Forever 21 ($32.90). 7. Marc by Marc Jacobs: Molly Chonograph Watch $225, Luxe Apothetique. 8. Pandora charm bracelet, Reeds Jewelers. SUMMER 2011



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Iconic cities span the globe: Paris, Rio, Rome, London, and … your pick. And there are iconic cities in America: Boston, San Francisco, Santa Fe, New York, and … my pick—Seaside, Florida.

Bud & Alleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cofounders Dave Rauschkolb and Scott Witcoski in the early days standing by the same front door that still welcomes visitors today.

nd, in keeping with that idea just a little longer, there are iconic places in Seaside: Modica Market, Sundog Books, and today’s subject, Bud & Alley’s. This palace of great food, impeccable service, unparalleled vistas, and fun receptions is celebrating twenty-five years in business—no small feat in an industry that sees 90 percent of its businesses fail in the first three years. It’s been twenty-five years of passionate devotion for owner Dave Rauschkolb, a young man who came to these shores looking for a wave to ride. Well, he found it—but only in a metaphorical sense, for Bud & Alley’s is the wave most restaurateurs spend a lifetime chasing. Dave found his wave not in the water but overlooking it. And if you haven’t watched a sunset from the secondfloor bar, you are missing one of the true joys of life. You’re also missing a chance to ring an 1888 cast-iron bell, a Seaside tradition thanks to Bud & Alley’s. Notes Seaside founder Robert Davis, “Ringing in the sunset at Bud & Alley’s has become a treasured part of the day at Seaside. Dave has created much more than a restaurant. It is a place of memories. Generations of families have enjoyed meals there, celebrated a wedding or an anniversary, and toasted the simple pleasure of spending time together at the beach. I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries with him.” A newcomer to the restaurant is forgiven if he or she assumes the owners are Bud and Alley, but it is not so. Rather, Bud was the dachshund of the Seaside founder and Alley was—how could it be otherwise?—a cat. Alley belonged to Dave’s original partner, Scott Witcoski. In 1985, Scott and Dave worked together at a finedining French restaurant in Destin named Les Saisons. (Robert Davis used to drive from Seaside to dine there because it was the best on the coast.) On a surfing trip to Panama City on a chilly fall day, the two detoured to Seaside at the behest of Robert, who spoke of his vision and asked them to open a restaurant in the little town. After a short walk, they

Dave and daughter, Carlin.

arrived at the restaurant. A French eatery had been there before, but it had closed after just a year. Left behind was a fully equipped kitchen just waiting for someone adventurous. Enter Scott and Dave. After brief contemplation, they jumped at the opportunity. Dave had a Wow! moment the first time he looked out the windows at the emerald waters of the Gulf. He quit college at the University of West Florida (in his last semester) the next day. Scott ran the kitchen as the founding chef and Dave ran the front of the house. And so the enduring partnership continued twenty years until Scott sold his interest to Dave in 2006 so that he could pursue his love of surfing, fishing, and art photography. “Scott and I became the best of friends through our love of surfing,” says Dave. “We’re still the best of friends. I’d been an oyster shucker at the Oyster Shanty next to the original Hog’s Breath Saloon in Destin. Scott was a chef at Les Saisons, the first fine-dining experience around here.” SUMMER 2011


“It’s funny how life goes,” continues Dave. “For two years I’d been begging this little Mexican restaurant on Eglin Parkway to let me be the dishwasher. They always turned me down. So I ended up as a shucker and worked my way up to Les Saisons. I met Scott after catching some waves behind the Back Porch. He complimented me on my style and asked if I’d like to have lunch with him. The fact that he was with two beautiful German ladies didn’t complicate my answer.” They became great friends, and when Robert asked them about opening a restaurant at Seaside, Dave wondered if he could do that and still surf. They were twenty-four. Scott was uniquely suited to be the chef, and Dave, being a people person, took the front. They’re not just the best of friends; they’re different enough to make a great team. The early days were testy. Notes Dave, “We had a big parking lot and few customers. Now, we have no parking lot and lots of customers.” Over the years, the parking lot disappeared and was transformed into retail space for Seaside where Dave could make the additions of the terrific Pizza Bar and the Taco Bar, the latter being home to some of the best salsas this side of New Mexico. It’s an understatement to say the Taco and Pizza bars are unique. They’re whatever the level above uniqueness is called. Dave had always wanted to expand to where the taco restaurant is now. And when the opportunity came along, he was greeted with the serendipity that seems to follow him around. “Seaside’s then town architect, Leo Casas, was from San Diego and I turned to him saying I wanted complete authenticity. So we went to Southern California and visited about thirty taquerias. We noted the color combinations but, more important, we wanted complete authenticity in the kitchen. That’s why you’ll find no yellow cheese or hard shells. And we hold to the philosophy that has always guided us: fresh, fresh, fresh.”

Dave on the stage as hundreds of locals, tourists, former employees and family gather in the herb garden.

“There had been a pizza restaurant here before but there was a fire,” added Dave. “Robert asked me if I’d be interested in opening one. At first, I thought ‘no,’ as I didn’t want to complicate my life further. But then I asked Leo again for advice. Turns out, he knows Italy, and especially Rome, front and back. So, ten days later we’re in Rome.” SUMMER 2011


Former Bud & Alley’s chef Irv Miller, currently chef and co-owner of Jackson’s Steakhouse in Pensacola, shares a newspaper clipping from the early days with Dave.

The party buffet featured many of Bud & Alley’s most popular recipes.

Lynn Nesmith, Julia Reed, Rod and Joyce Wilson.

The salsa bar at the Taco Bar. 98


Rick Helfand, a board member of the Seaside Neighborhood School, presents a hand-painted commemorative platter.

Irv Miller and Colleen Duffley.

“Again, we were looking for authenticity, and we found it. In fact, I flew a twenty-seven-year-old pizza master from A-16, one of the best Italian restaurants in San Francisco, to Seaside just to teach my staff how to make authentic Naples-style pizza. I wanted people to be able to have the Italian experience without having to fly to Italy. We’ve done that.”

umn in the Northwest Florida Daily News what seviche was. (A reader had asked where to get it.) Being raised and educated in the Northwest, I’d never heard of it. So I shouted out and Irv called and said, “Come to Bud & Alley’s. I’ll make you some.” I did. And he did. It was wonderful. And Irv, now the chef at Pensacola’s famed Jackson’s, showed for the anniversary party.

But twenty-five years ago there wasn’t much out there. Today there are about a hundred eateries on Scenic Highway 30A. When Bud & Alley’s opened, there were five. Seaside consisted of a post office, an outdoor market, and about a dozen homes. But Scott and Dave’s dream prevailed, thanks to great vision and kind winds. Dave notes, “We named the place Bud & Alley’s because it was the perfect personification of what we would become: a casual, unpretentious eatery with great food.”

The reception, held outside on the patio, brought back many memories, not the least of which was a gathering about fifteen years ago to honor Edna Lewis, an elegant

Yes, the original signage for the place showed a dog, a cat, and the words “Good Food, Good People, & Good Times.” They nailed it then, and it’s still nailed. In mid-May, Dave hosted a reception celebrating the silver anniversary. More than two hundred of the best and brightest attended, many of them “beautiful people,” which nicely counterbalanced the two journalists present. The food was ample and scrumptious, the weather bucolically perfect in that unique Seaside way, and the gathering abuzz with the sort of interesting conversation one doesn’t find at Walmart. Dave noted that thousands of bussers, servers, cooks, and assistants have passed through Bud & Alley’s doors in the past quarter century, and that, in the summer, the eatery would be providing jobs to one hundred fifty people, a significant figure given today’s economy. He also raised a toast to Grayton Pale Ale, a fine brew made especially for this area. It premiered at the party and drew great acclaim. One attendee was Irv Miller, one of Bud & Alley’s original chefs. I met Irv after I wondered out loud in my col-

“We named the place Bud & Alley’s because it was the perfect personification of what we would become: a casual, unpretentious eatery with great food.” African-American women who was called the Grande Dame of Southern Cooking. She was also known as the South’s answer to Julia Child. Scott called me to see if my then-employer, the Northwest Florida Daily News, would be interested in sending the food editor to the event. I checked with my editor who was less than impressed, even after I told him the New York Times was flying in a team of three to cover the event. No soap. So I “covered” it myself. And a grand evening it was. I arrived early, as—fortuitously—did Miss Lewis. The libations du jour were mint juleps, in honor of the Southern theme. This suited me fine, and armed with my first one I sought out this magnificent lady who had obviously arrived ahead of the locals. I introduced myself and we had a wonderful chat about her life,

upbringing, and career. All too soon, the organizers arrived and she was led off to meet the Seaside notables. But I learned a great deal about Miss Lewis: she was the granddaughter of an emancipated slave; she spent time as a seamstress and once made a dress for Marilyn Monroe; and her career as a chef was started in New York, where her followers included William Faulkner, Marlon Brando, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Marlene Dietrich. The more we talked the more I realized I was in the company of royalty. And it was all Bud & Alley’s fault. Miss Lewis had gone on to publish many books about Southern cooking, including The Edna Lewis Cookbook, The Taste of Country Cooking, In Pursuit of Flavor, and The Gift of Southern Cooking, which was coauthored with Scott Peacock. All of the dishes served at Bud & Alley’s that evening were from her books, and all the food was as comfortable as comfort food can be. You can check her out on the Internet for more details, but be assured that she graced our shores thanks to the two guys at Bud & Alley’s. Another fun event involved Gary Hogue, a winemaker from Washington state who was the honored guest at the Seaside Red Wine Festival, which was, coincidentally, Scott’s idea. The world was just beginning to discover his wines and those of the Yakima Valley area. He held a small reception outside Bud & Alley’s to discuss his wines, and others from the same appellation. Scott trotted out several bottles of Hogue’s excellent (with apologies to Sideways) merlot for the tasting, and Gary said, “Where’d you guys get this stuff ? I own the winery and I can’t find it!” It was all in the preparation provided by Scott and Dave. Vision. Vision. The lads had it. Still do. Another notable feted at a wine dinner was Robert Mondavi. This grand gentleman was the wine version of Larry the Cable Guy, so approachable was he. I had a delightful chat with him, and a few years later—while visiting Napa and Sonoma wineries—I ran into him at a small wine store. He was buying two bottles of wine! I reintroduced myself to him and asked what he was SUMMER 2011


ing in the store. His answer: “I don’t always make what guests want.” Bud & Alley’s was responsible for that moment. At the twenty-fifth celebration, I asked Dave Rauschkolb about memorable visitors to his restaurant. He was especially proud of the dinner he hosted there in honor of Lidia Bastianich, one of the best-loved chefs on television and the owner of a burgeoning food and entertainment empire. There have been dozens more. His philosophy of management is pure in its simplicity: “I empower my management team and employees. I don’t manage by fear. I lead by example, the example I learned from my boss Al Parramore from that first job at The Oyster Shanty. What a great man.”

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“It’s been an amazing odyssey,” continues Dave. “I pinch myself every day. What a privilege it has been to be pioneers in a growing community. Here we were, a quarter of a century ago, two twenty-four-year-olds throwing out ideas to Robert—and he’s actually listening to us! It says a lot about Robert and his wife, Daryl, and their openness to our input. That was part of the magic of being in Seaside from the start.” “One minute we are a couple of surfers and the next thing we’re in the business of creating lasting memories and experiences that go on for generations. Heck, I’ve held babies that came back sixteen years later to work for us as bussers. It’s just amazing.” And ongoing. By the time this is published, there will be a new forty-seat outside deck on the second floor. Always expanding, never really changing. There are a few iconic places in the world. One of them is celebrating twenty-five years of Good Food, Good People, and Good Times.

Bill Campbell is a graduate of the University of Idaho, a fact he now tries to hide after learning Sarah Palin graduated from the same department there that he did. He spent twenty-four years in the Air Force before going into public relations in Washington, D.C., and subsequently moving here to be a columnist for the Northwest Florida Daily News. He has a master’s degree in Mass Communication from Boston University and Denver University. Plumbers make more money. He has two known children; both have graduate degrees and one is about to get his PhD in psychology, something the family has needed for a long time. This is his first freelance piece. He apologizes.


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When Does a

Freckle Become an

ag e s p oT ? By Kimberly Moskowitz, MS, MD


he familiar freckle is a cute little brown dot that eventually shows up in childhood after unprotected sun exposure. Contrary to popular belief, we are not born with freckles. We are born with the ability to make freckles based on our genetics and skin tone, but our skin will not make a freckle if not challenged by the sun to do so. Melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in the skin, are stimulated by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation to overproduce melanin. Similar to callousing, this is the skin’s way of protecting or shielding the skin’s deeper layers from injury. This protective mechanism can manifest as a suntan, a freckle, or an “age spot.” Freckles are the initial manifestation of sun exposure and sun damage. Freckles are round with smooth borders and are most numerous when we are young. They darken in the summertime and fade in the winter. As years go by and the summertime “freckles” fade, you begin to notice that some of those cute little dots that once graced your cheeks and forehead remain but have morphed into tan or brown spots with irregular borders. Age spots, I presume? So when exactly does this metamorphic calamity occur? The term “age spot” is actually a misnomer—or at least an overstatement. These flat unsightly lesions on the backs of hands, face, chest, and forearms increase in proportion to the amount of sun exposure we accumulate over time. This means that they usually don’t show up on our skin until we reach our thirties or forties. As excess melanin becomes

“Fraxel re:pair, touted as “the nonsurgical facelift,” instantly repairs and tightens sun-damaged skin, making your skin look a decade younger in seven to ten days.”

“clumped” in the skin, people with sun spots also develop mottled, uneven skin pigmentation, or melasma. Although age spots become more prominent as we grow older, someone who has endured significant sun exposure or indoor tanning can develop them as early as their teens or twenties. Age spots, more accurately called sun spots, are usually harmless; they don’t disappear in the winter; and sadly, they never go away unless they are treated. As the forties have become the new thirties and “baby boomers” have moved middle age from the forties to the fifties, there are now more “middleaged” women than ever looking to preserve their youthful appearance. So how do we heal these marks of time? No doubt, the sun is the skin’s greatest enemy. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best way to prevent all aspects of sun damage, including sun spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer, is to (1) minimize sun exposure, and (2) apply, daily, a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen with zinc oxide thirty minutes before going outside and reapply every two to three hours. Topical creams containing hydroquinone and Retin-A work together to slow down the production of abnormal pigment produced by melanocytes. Topical vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) and Retin-A have been shown to scavenge free radicals, repair cancer-causing DNA mutations caused by the sun’s UV rays, and soften fine lines and sun spots. As 2010 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the laser, we have grown increasingly fascinated with light and its biodiversity in healing the skin and body. SUMMER 2011


Photorejuvenation, aka IPL treatments, are the “gold standard” for treating freckles, sun spots, dilated facial capillaries, and most forms of sun damage. A series of three to six fifteen-minute treatments can eliminate 85–95 percent of sun spots. If your face, neck, and chest have more severe damage, including fine lines and wrinkles, Fraxel re:pair or Fraxel re:store laser treatments erase sun spots and abundantly stimulate collagen in the dermis to tighten loose skin and restore youthful elasticity. Fraxel is the reason many of those Hollywood actresses seem to be getting younger instead of older. Fraxel re:pair, touted as “the nonsurgical face-lift,” instantly repairs and tightens sun-damaged skin, making your skin look a decade younger in seven to ten days. Lasers procedures such as Fraxel work by causing thermal injury to the skin, which then provokes a healing response. These laser procedures produce dramatic results, but we are learning that sometimes the nature of phototherapy does not lie entirely in thermal injury. Researchers and clinicians have been working with noninvasive visible light in the form of light emitting diodes (LED), which naturally stimulate intracellular processes that heal cells. Blue, red, and yellow LED lights are being used alone for wrinkle reduction, skin rejuvenation, and acne, or to enhance the results of other procedures such as chemical peels, lasers, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and IPL. Red and yellow lights have been shown to increase collagen production, reduce abnormal melanin production, and reduce the healing time of Fraxel treatments by as much as 50 percent. While there may be a fine line between a freckle and an “age spot,” the future of aging skin looks bright; however, it is critical to start protecting and repairing your skin early because, after all ... sun damage doesn’t happen overnight.

Kimberly D. Moskowitz, MS, MD Board Certified, Internal Medicine & Phlebology Skin and Laser Medicine Specialist Medical School: Georgetown University Residency Training: Georgetown University Hospital Fellow: American Board of Phlebology Member: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery

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InItIally, I Wanted tO WRIte aB Out What MakeS thIS aRea We lIVe In SO unIque. Of cOuR Se, theRe aRe Many thInGS that Set the aRea aPaRt, Such aS natuRal Beaut y, the aRchItectuRe, and the PeOPle, tO naMe juSt a feW. cOuntleSS aRtIcleS haVe Been WRItten On the aRchItectuRe and eVen MORe On the natuRal Beaut y, But nOt SO Many On the PeOPle. theRefORe, I decIded tO fOcuS theRe. When I fIR St caMe tO SeaGROVe Beach In 1970, It WaS a VeRy SMall RetIReMent cOMMunIt y. hIGhWay 30a StRetched WeSt tO the eaSteRn edGe Of What WOuld lateR BecOMe SeaSIde; tO the eaSt, It dId nOt eVen Reach eaSteRn lake. There were maybe thirty or forty scattered cinder-block homes. When my husband and I wanted to find other young people, the Butler Store—predecessor to The Red Bar—was where the action could be found. We got there by walking west along the beach, and we had only the moonlight and stars to light our way home. The land to our east seemed to stretch endlessly over magnificent blinding-white sand dunes, sometimes reaching twenty to forty feet high, sporadically filled at their base with hidden oases cut deep and hollowed into the sand by gnarled, rich and cooling green magnolias and windswept oaks. We loved climbing down into the darkened shadows of those hidden crevices. In their shade, it

felt almost as though a cold river were running through them. Intermittently, we could count on seeing one of the several pristine lakes scattered along the Gulf shoreline, surrounded by their signature tall green pines. Over the early 1970s, gradually and quietly, people were settling back in the woods, building small self-contained homes. These people were usually hearty and interesting but not concerned with social life. They had left society for the solitude and beauty of the nature found here. We rarely encountered them except at Mrs. Russell’s grocery store, where the Seagrove Village Market is presently

situated. Mrs. Russell and her husband lived in the back of the store, which was filled mostly with canned goods, ice cream bars, cold drinks, and some tourist beach balls and towels. In the late ’70s, our community experienced its first green and socially conscious movement when One Seagrove Place suddenly sprouted up, materializing from nowhere. The huge towering building, a glaring blight on the landscape, stole our perfect skyline. In a state of shock, local people could be found milling around its massive concrete base, solemnly observing the behemoth as though at a funeral. But it took the second high-rise, which was built within blocks of the first, to mobilize a small, determined group of local citizens who fought long and hard, eventually bringing about the later ruling that no buildings over four stories could be built. Without their vision and continued efforts, as proposal after proposal came for water parks and so on, our 30a would have gone the way of many of florida’s coastal towns, jam packed with high-rises and scattered theme parks. Their efforts did not just fight back ambitious developers but laid the groundwork for what we now enjoy. Instead of providing an asphalt playground, our community now offers—in addition to the beaches—the great outdoors with miles of walking, biking, and hiking trails along with bay and river kayaking and canoeing. new urbanist residential developments such as Seaside, Watercolor, WaterSound, and Rosemary Beach—attracted by the preserved natural beauty in the area—made conscious decisions towards health, fitness, and reducing pollution. This created mixed-use neighborhoods, drawing residents who wanted to walk and bicycle rather than drive. attracted by a new type of citizen, transcendental Meditation and many varieties of yoga and fitness schools—along with spas offering herbal medicine, ayurveda and tcM (traditional chinese medicine)—sprouted up and flourished all along 30a. as I look back over the many years since 1970 when I first began coming here, I realize that there are so many heroes, both sung and unsung, that no one person or group can be singled out. Rather, it has been a shared vision that runs the gamut of time. It is almost as though this vision, which was so hard fought and is still being fought—to preserve nature in this area—has a life of its own. like a drumbeat, it appears to attract people who can hear it. But there is one haven that deserves credit for providing a refuge for this vision and keeping the beat alive, between all the comings and goings of the constantly changing players in our beach community. This is one place on which we have always been able to count to find answers to anything and everything green hap-

pening in our area. It’s the place where people have gravitated to meet, exchange ideas, and talk. It has provided direction to us countless times in our search for local organic food producers, green architects, massage and alternative medicine, and even local doctors practicing preventive medicine. It is called for the health of It, ed and Rachel’s health food store. for the health of It has been serving our area for more than fifteen years, almost making it a historical landmark as one of the oldest businesses along 30a. It was the first place between Pensacola and tallahassee to offer organic groceries. While other neighboring health food stores in Panama city and destin have fallen by the wayside, for the health of It continues to grow and thrive. This is a tribute not only to the collective consciousness of our community but also a tribute to ed and Rachel. I first met Rachel in 1972 when she was a little over a year old. I was going to see The Godfather with my mother, and we needed a babysitter for our oldest son who was also just over a year old. We were told that Rachel’s mother babysat. They lived on a little farm along uS highway 98 with chickens, pigs, cows, and so on. Recently, as I sat with the beautiful and charming adult version of Rachel and asked about her store, she told me that she came from a long line of farmers and is the eighth generation on both sides of her family from this area. her ancestors moved here from the northeast to farm the land. But farming here was rugged SUMMER 2011


and because of this, they learned a healthy respect for the earth. They had to take care of it to survive, rotating their crops because they didn’t have the money to buy pesticides, and hunting only so many deer per season or there would be no deer left for the next year. They never had the luxury of using too much. Rachel proudly describes herself as the third generation of her family that has had a grocery store in the area. “as a third-generation local store owner, it’s in my soul—my roots—to serve this community and its population.” She went on to say that she never envisioned herself as having a store, but it all just happened. She met ed in tallahassee while he was at florida State university and she was in massage school. ed was from destin, and his family moved here from chicago when he was young. his dad opened a moped shop in fort Walton. Once ed was out of school, they moved to Black Mountain, north carolina, where he took a job as an athletic director and director of the community center. While in north carolina, they were introduced to eating organic food and healthy food options. after three and a half years, the Gulf was calling. They loved the mountains, but they needed the water. upon arriving home and finding there was no organic produce to be found, ed decided they should open a health food store and massage therapy practice. he wrote up a business plan and took it to five different banks. finally, at first american (now Banktrust), they found an ally in what they describe as a reformed-hippie-turned-bank president who was sufficiently impressed by what he heard and gave them a line of credit for twenty-four thousand dollars. With their families pitching in to build countertops and shelves, on april 8, 1995, for the health of It opened. ed and Rachel were twenty-fourand twenty-two-years-old, respectively. Three years later, because of continued growth—and having shrewdly gotten first right of refusal if the building went up for sale—they bought the building. looking back, Rachel says that everyone thought they were “stone-cold crazy” to open a health food store back in 1995. But she and ed always knew that the customers for their store were there. They knew they were filling a need; since then, they have been able to grow and expand every year. With hurricane Opal hitting hard in the fall, followed by a difficult winter, they realized that if they could make it through that, they could make it through anything. Rachel says she has always been focused on food. laughing, she says her need to feed the county goes way back. as a nurturer, she feels passionate that the more people connect with their food, the better off everybody will be because food is 108


what sustains us. People, she believes, must be made aware of what they put in and on their bodies, from their food to their water to their body care. food should be healing, for it connects us all—it is what makes us. If we don’t put good fuel in our bodies, everything we do goes awry: we don’t think clearly, we don’t act properly. In addition, we must teach our kids proper nutrition. But she admits that providing good food is a lot of work. everything expires and must be rotated. She and ed have to be constantly conscious of the buying and stay on top of it. Their main focus is carrying organic, but not everything comes organic. They are picky about the farms they work with because some say their produce is organic, but when ed and Rachel look into it, the farms may be using products such as Miracle-Gro, etc. for the health of It offers only certified organic, including the beef they sell. Rachel explains that health food shoppers are very particular about brands and types of food, and whether these products are processed, and so on. Increasingly, people are diagnosed with allergies that require very specific ingredients in their diets and avoidance of others. customers often don’t know where to start looking. Some come and spend hours in the aisles. every level of the green

movement comes through their store, from people asking about solar power to suggestions for the best doctors for allergies. They see people from all walks of life, and they’ve always tried to keep true to their original code, which was providing excellent customer service that sustains the community. Our environment appears to be of paramount concern. Rachel describes our area as “a jewel on this earth” that needs protecting. She is committed to helping people realize that our natural resources are limited; to keep our community environmentally healthy, we must keep these resources intact. She feels hopeful that we can be an example for other areas by keeping our abundant natural beauty intact in the forests, beaches, and springs. ed is quick to point out that every solution begins with each of us as individuals. he says it all starts with us and ends with us—whether it be choosing less electricity or gas; to walk, bike, or carpool; to turn down our air conditioning and heat; to shop locally and put money back into the community; to let our errands add up before traveling to town; to recycle—and more. he turns to me: “do you remember what our county chose to have put on its seal—‘preservation and conservation.’ So, let’s follow it. Rachel and I are honored to serve our community, helping to make it healthier by getting the right information out so that people can make good choices.”

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By Clark Peters

Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to go now. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Kenny Chesney

Is lengthening the human life span possible? Probable? Desirable? This article will be a little different from what I usually offer, but it includes some interesting information, and I hope it raises some thought-provoking issues. Some of these issues are potentially controversial, and the reader should know that the opinions contained here are mine, and they are only that—opinions. The logical extension of the study of antiaging is, of course, preventing aging altogether, i.e., avoiding death due to aging. Just to be clear, we are not talking about superpowers. Humans are mortal, so they are susceptible to accident, murder, suicide, force majeure (e.g., tornado, earthquake) or war, but there are ways to prevent dying from the ravages of time, which will (at present) eventually get us all. Aging is now the primary cause of death for humans. As a species, we have, of course, made enormous progress in extending life expectancy. While data about life expectancy in the distant past is inexact, we know that life expectancy for Stone Age humans was probably not much more than twenty years. Many mothers and babies did not survive the birthing experience, which caused a huge decline in the averages. However, even at the time of the Roman Empire (around 100 A.D.), life expectancy had improved to only about twenty-five years. In the early 12th century, during the Middle Ages, most humans reached the age of thirty years, and by the Renaissance (14th to 17th centuries), the average age at death was thirty-three years. By 1900, at least in the developed countries of the world, life expectancy rose to about forty-seven years, and babies born at the turn of the millennium could expect to live seventy-six years. In effect, life expectancy almost doubled in the twentieth century (adding about thirty years). Now, roughly eighty years is a reasonable target for those born in developed countries. Extending life expectancy has apparently been a desirable goal throughout our history. Most of our progress to date has been through improved childbirth survival rates, nutritional availability, safety from predators, protection from the elements, and medical care. How much further might we lengthen

our lives? Currently, science offers some very promising results.

Stem Cells Despite an eight-year hiatus in the U.S., thanks to President George W. Bush, who objected to stem cell research on religious grounds and would not permit it to be part of his strategy, progress continued elsewhere, but the U.S. is catching up quickly. In the field of medicine, stem cell manipulation is considered one of the most promising developments. Here’s why. Using stem cells (an amazingly elastic cell form), it is possible to grow human tissue (inside or outside the body) in any form. So if your kidney, liver, or heart breaks down, it is possible to grow a replacement for the old organ or part, and there is no chance the body will reject it. Damage to virtually any body part can be repaired by attaching stem cells that assume the form of the damaged part and “fill in.” I am using massive simplification here. Indeed, most of these new technologies are very complicated, so I can only paint a picture with a broad brush. Allow me to use the analogy of a car. As parts (carburetor, brakes, oil filter, etc.) wear down, you simply go to the shop (surgery center) and replace the part. It’s not commonplace now, but this is not far from becoming a fairly routine occurrence. As we currently do with cars, this capability will extend the life of the body considerably.

Nanotechnology “Nano” means small—and you need to think very small or the atomic level. Science has created organisms called “nanobots” that can be programmed to travel through your body to problem spots and “fix” a problem. One example might be programming the nanobots to find and destroy cancer cells (and only cancer cells), thus ridding the body of these “maverick” cells and tumors

without harming the healthy cells and tissue around the problem area. Current cancer “cures” are not very efficacious (usually around 3–5 percent) and are massively destructive to surrounding tissue as technicians make an effort to “get it all.” Similarly, a nanobot might be programmed to enlarge a clogged artery or eat scar tissue that is interfering with the operation of a joint or organ. Again, as problems can be fixed with almost no invasive damage, the body will soldier on for more years. As with stem cells, we are close to being able to use this capability routinely.

Genetic Tuning We are all products of our parents’ genetic combination. While that makes each of us unique, it also means some genetic predispositions to particular illnesses, malfunctions or diseases. As we come to understand our genomes better (no small task since there are thirty billion paired chromosomes per individual), it is becoming clear that we may be able to tweak our DNA strands to eliminate undesirable combinations and/ or enhance the DNA formulas. If, for example, your family history on both sides has been replete with heart disease, it’s likely that you also carry a genetic predisposition to experience the same condition. It may soon be possible to change that genetic sequence to reduce the likelihood that you will also be afflicted. This idea puts us on a slippery slope because, with a little imagination, you will recognize the danger of designer genetics leading to eugenics. What parents wouldn’t want their offspring to be smarter, taller, better looking, and so on? I have no idea how this will play out among members of our society, but I remind you that prior efforts to create a “superrace” have had horrific consequences. In any case, there is undoubtedly a gene or, more probably, genes that improve longevity. Again, the possibility to enhance life expectancy is clear. This cutting-edge science will undoubtedly add more life to our years and more years to our lives—perhaps decades more. But that isn’t immortality, is it? Rather, we will merely enjoy more years of healthy life before the inevitable slide into senescence and death.

“Clean-up on Aisle Seven” One of the latest and perhaps most promising of the antiaging theories goes like this. Humans (indeed all life forms) are basically cell-replicating machines. Each of us will grow trillions of cells. Each of these cells has a “shelf life” ranging from minutes to years. SUMMER 2011


May you live long and prosper. —Mr. Spock Over a seven-year period, every cell in your body is replaced. At the end of its shelf life, the cell must replicate to carry on. This is accomplished by cloning the DNA sequences into the newborn cell. But, as with a copy machine, sometimes the copies will be slightly irregular or imprecise. These slight misfires are both infrequent and small. However, since there are trillions of cells continuously replicating, the irregularities add up. The result is debris, detritus, junk, scrap, rust—call it what you will. The accumulation, though tiny, can and does eventually lead to problems. Kidney stones and macular degeneration are two familiar examples of sufficient debris accumulation to cause a problem. Those examples are not fatal but give you an idea of how the same process in a vital organ (brain, heart, lung, etc.) could cause your death. Currently, experts are targeting protecting the genome (DNA strand) and especially the tips of the double helix (called telomeres), since that is the “original” from which copies will be made. They are also focusing on cleaning up the scrap, trash, detritus, etc., that is infrequently created in minuscule amounts when misfires do occur. If that’s possible (and I believe it will be; science is quite brilliant at solving a problem once the parameters can be defined), then virtual immortality, i.e., a nonaging body, may well be possible.

to imagine major dislocations if the growth rate accelerates dramatically, which would happen if the death rate is eliminated or significantly reduced. China’s onechild policy is perhaps the first example of public policy to address this potential.

Boredom: Some people fear becoming (remaining?) bored if life continued indefinitely. Overwhelmed: Many cited the ever-increasing complexity of technology and a fear of being unable to keep up and cope. Too hard: Some have had a “tough existence” so far and see no evidence that their struggles will lessen in the near or distant future. Sacrilegious: One of the “carrots” offered by the major organized religions in return for faith is the promise of eternal paradise alongside one’s deity (providing, of course, that you pick the correct one), so the idea of eternity on this plane is viewed as not “what God intended.” Well, you will draw your own conclusions about the desirability of immortality, but I would suggest that it is not too early to start thinking about immortality’s implications for us, individually and as a species. I agree with highly respected scientists and doctors who say it will be an option in the not-too-distant future. What do you think? Blessing or curse? May you live long and prosper. —Mr. Spock

Is this a good thing? I found it surprising that three out of four respondents to a statistically significant survey said “no, thanks” to the offer of an ageless body, meaning they did not want to live forever (or at least indefinitely longer). What follows is an informal and anecdotal summary of conversations I have had with friends, family members, and strangers (everyone is willing to talk theoretically, it seems) about why the dissenting 75 percent felt that way;

Population explosion/ecology: The planet’s resources are already stressed with a currently estimated seven billion people. The growth in population is a function of the birthrate minus the death rate. It is not difficult 112


The Health Nut Clark Peters has spent much of his time since his retirement in 1997 researching health and longevity. His purpose in writing these columns is to share his findings with readers in plain English and assist them in making accurate and informed lifestyle choices. The columns are based on the premise that we all want to live a long, vigorous life and are striving to make healthy choices. While Mr. Peters believes these recommendations will result in better health and longevity for almost everyone, the reader is advised to consult with his or her physician before making any major lifestyle changes. You may e-mail Mr. Peters at:

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iga n Author Hwy. 30-A a nd Mich g Life P ursues the Writin a nd Works to Avoid

Being Late for His Life ---

Historical Novel New Grayton Beach Recently Completed

y By MicHAeL LindLe

Michael Lindley past and present


soulful lyric from a Mary Chapin Carpenter song caught me by surprise that day in 2002, and left me stunned by the possibilities. “The question begs, why would you wait? Don’t be late for your life.” Her words spoke to me as a haunting reminder of all the things in my life that I had yet to accomplish, particularly finishing one of the many novels that I had started years earlier. “Don’t be late for your life.” I found myself playing the track over and over in the coming weeks, hearing the song echo in my mind late into the night. Perhaps it was even more riveting with the approach of my fiftieth birthday that next year and the sobering reminder that I was nearing the late summer, if not the autumn, of life’s marvelous journey.

The question also begs, how do any of us choose our life’s work? As a young boy I dreamed of being a writer and a fisherman. I was able to keep half the dream alive, spending countless hours in an old wooden dinghy fishing with my grandfather, and in later years pursuing fish on distant trout streams and saltwater flats. But the thrill that writing brought me, even as a child, faded in my early adult years. Surely it must have been the gritty realities of finding gainful work after years of study in college, and then the pressing financial responsibilities of children and family. SUMMER 2011


It took four years to complete the including having the manuscript was ready for submissions. And then thirty years pass by … seemingly in an instant. My professional career as an advertising agency and marketing executive has been more than challenging and rewarding, and I have no regrets as I continue to pursue that line of work in a very fulfilling job. And yet, throughout that period, there was the nagging sense of lost time. Each year that passed was another year that I hadn’t returned to one of the early novels that I had started in college and never finished; those early pages punched out on an old typewriter before PCs and Macs became a fixture in our lives.


po r f S ei n o r Cove s, wher or t t sh Tale

rs ’s fi ublished l e a h s p Mi c y wa r o t s

So the transforming wake-up call of a milestone birthday and a haunting melody sent me off on a wonderful new pursuit—the renewed thrill of telling a good story. The past eight years have been an exciting, fulfilling, maddening and humbling ride through the art and business of writing. I’ve learned many lessons along the way and continue to come upon new surprises and insights. Certainly the craft of writing well is a daunting challenge, but the business of writing can be even more demanding. Attempting to truly 116


break through to gain a meaningful audience with a traditional publisher creates its own unique tests of will. Finishing your first novel provides great personal satisfaction, but selling that work soon becomes a sobering task. Many writers quickly come face-to-face with writing’s ultimate irony and frustrating catch-22 … to be published you need to secure a literary agent, but to interest an agent in your work you first need to be published. Excuse me? But, of course, many writers do break through with agents and mainstream publishers with first novels, many of which even find substantial commercial success. There is no real science available that I’m aware of, only the fundamental necessities of first writing a great story, then having a dogged persistence in not taking “no” for an answer, and finally a very thick skin to deal with the relentless rejection that so many writers must face. I finally returned to work on a novel after that fiftieth birthday wake-up call—a piece of work that I had started years earlier—this time with a new sense of purpose to let nothing stand in the way of completing the task. I did find myself sidetracked along the way with efforts to build some measure of publishing credibility. I was fortunate enough to sell a short story to a literary outdoor magazine, Sporting Tales. It was encouraging that the publication had previously featured the work of many great writers, including Ernest Hemingway and Zane Grey. During that time I was also able to sell several feature stories to a lifestyle magazine to add to my résumé. My first novel, The Seasons of the EmmaLee, was released in 2006. The story was born from exploring my family’s history in the beautiful and idyllic resort area of Lake Charlevoix in northwest Michigan. My great-grandparents immigrated there in the early 1900s. My great-grandfather found work in the lumber trade and later became an accomplished carpenter and home builder. Many of the cottages he built on Lake Charlevoix and nearby Walloon Lake, where Hemingway spent the summers of his youth, are still there today. Our family also operated a small boatyard and marina, and I have wonderful memories of time spent there as a young child in the 1950s and ’60s.

book, with countless revisions-professionally edited -- before it

I was always fascinated by the incredible wealth of the “summer people” who came north each year to their seemingly palatial summer homes in the exclusive resort associations like the Belvedere and Chicago Clubs in Charlevoix, and Bay View up in Petoskey. Even more intriguing were the incredible sailing and cruising yachts that many of these families owned. A photo of my great-grandfather working on the magnificent Yawl Cat, owned by a summer family from Walloon Lake, was a reminder for me of the clearly defined class distinctions of our own working-class family and the wealthy summer visitors that we served.

of this first book or to sell subsequent novels. All of that progressed as I had hoped, except the final part about actually securing an agent and publisher. The Seasons of the EmmaLee did indeed receive strong published critical reviews. It was also named “book of the month” by a prominent book retailer in

All of this sparked the first elements of the story of The Seasons of the EmmaLee, a love story and family saga set in Charlevoix, Michigan, in the 1940s, with a parallel story in present day. Jonathan McKendry, son of a local boatyard owner, falls in love with the daughter of a prominent summer family who own the magnificent cruising yacht, the EmmaLee. A tragic death and devastating accusations bring the two cultures crashing together, creating an even greater divide. It took four years to complete the book, with countless revisions—including having the manuscript professionally edited—before it was ready for submissions. I eagerly began the process of sending query letters to literary agents that I knew represented historical fiction. Within six months I had received over thirty rejections, most with a polite note saying that the work wasn’t quite what we’re looking for. The first rejection letter was probably the most difficult to accept when my anticipation was so high, but each subsequent letter opened with a “no, thank you” was a continuing disappointment. In my background work, trying to better understand the publishing industry and process, I had learned that this level of rejection was to be expected. Many successful writers have endured dozens of rejections, but it was still more than frustrating when not a single note of interest in the book arrived in those first months. About that time, I met another writer who had recently decided to self-publish his first novel after several years of unsuccessfully trying to connect with a literary agent or trade publisher. The idea intrigued me and seemed a logical way to bring the book to the marketplace, to hopefully gather positive reviews and sales success that I could then take to an agent or publisher to either extend the life

Michigan and later became a number one regional fiction bestseller. It has also achieved what many would consider

The family marina and boatyard on Lake Charlevoix, circa 1945

strong sales success. Industry reports reveal that of the many thousands of new books brought to market each year, over 90 percent don’t sell more than a hundred copies; 95 percent don’t sell more than a thousand copies. The average self-published book sells about seventy copies. To date, as a self-published novel, distributed only in my home state of Michigan, EmmaLee has sold nearly three thousand copies and continues to be SUMMER 2011


...only those who abandon their disappointment of rejection and their work achieve all that it regularly stocked by independent and major chain bookstores in the state. This would seem to be a compelling case to take to the traditional publishing community, but like many writers, I soon found that the stigma of self-publishing continues with many agents and mainstream publishers. I was even told by one industry professional that “self-published” means “unpublishable.” These feelings are not without cause. Many selfpublished titles are, unfortunately, poorly written


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The magnificent cruising yacht, Sylvia (a.k.a. the EmmaLee in Michael’s firs t novel), on Lake Charlevoix in the 1940s (Courtesy of the Charlevoix His torical Society)

and produced. But, this is not an absolute in the business, and more and more self-published books and writers are being “picked up” by traditional publishers, with many finding strong commercial success. The prolific legal-thriller author John Grisham is certainly the high standard.



New technologies for improved print-on-demand publishing and, more recently, many new e-book publishing options make it easier for writers to consider these approaches to get their work to the reading public. Is the stigma of self-publishing simply the arrogance of the closed society of traditional publishers, perhaps threatened by the continued onslaught of self-published books? Many blogs and insiders argue this is the case, but it may also likely fall to the simple fact that there are so many good writers and stories available, that agents and publishers can continue to be quite selective, looking only for original “unpublished” work. It’s interesting that independent filmmakers and musicians are often lauded for their efforts to produce their own work, while writers continue to face roadblocks. It seems that even being acquired by a traditional publisher is no guarantee of success. According to industry reports, only about 8 percent of traditionally published books turn a profit, and as high as 70 percent of books in some categories distributed through book retailers are returned to the publisher unsold. This helps to clarify why agents and publishers are so selective in partnering with new authors. I have found my journey of self-publishing through my own imprint, Sage River Press, to be quite rewarding yet extremely demanding. Bringing the book to market has essentially become much easier, although the writer has to assume all of the production costs and logistics. Securing distribution is its own unique challenge, again with the self-published stigma causing some retailers to balk at certain titles. I have worked hard to reach out and build strong relationships with independent booksellers, and was fortunate to also secure regional distribution in the major chain bookstores. The harsh reality then becomes the fact that most books won’t sell themselves simply because you’ve gained shelf space in the retail outlets. You’re now competing with tens of thousands of other titles, many from established authors with strong followings and platforms to launch their subsequent books. All successful authors have to reach out aggressively to find their own audience and expose their work to potential readers. A press release to announce your new title is only a first step. Marketing your new book successfully requires a relentless effort to pitch your story to broadcast and print news outlets, to travel to bookstores and librar-

dreams and fall victim to the slow acceptance will fail to see may be capable of. ies to present your work, as well as to partake in special events and partnerships to connect with new readers. More recently, social media like Facebook and Twitter have created wonderful new opportunities to expand a writer’s audience. With a marketing background, I found much of this to be relatively easy from a process standpoint, but extremely demanding from a time commitment perspective. The hours invested, however, provide great return, and I’ve actually come to enjoy the time spent at book signings, library readings, book club appearances and media interviews. I also speak often at community organizations like area Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Clubs, sharing the story of my books, the balance of career and family, and a renewed passion for a second career as a novelist. I’ve found that not all marketing efforts are as productive as others. I was invited to do a book signing event at a prominent national book retailer in Saginaw, Michigan. My signing table was set up at the front of the store stacked with copies of my new novel, and I was ready to spend a fruitful couple of hours meeting with new readers. I started noticing sizable crowds arriving and was at first excited but then quickly understood why they were really coming into the store. Without realizing it, I had agreed to the date not knowing that the next installment in the Harry Potter series was debuting that day. Literally hundreds of Potter fans came in during that two-hour period and lined up to buy J. K. Rowling’s new book. Not one of them had the time for me and my book, as they all hurried off to start reading their new Harry Potter treasure. And then I got pulled over for speeding on the way home; just another day in the life of a struggling new writer. Most rewarding are the times when you truly connect with one of your readers. I was doing an author event at the Charlevoix Public Library, and during the book signing a woman in her nineties came up with her daughter. She offered her copy of The Seasons of the EmmaLee for me to sign and then went on to say that she had “lived my story.” I came to learn that she had grown up in the Belvedere Club as a young girl during the 1940s in Charlevoix and had

attended parties on the great yacht that I had used to pattern my story. She told me how much the story had moved her and taken her back to the memories of her youth. These are the days and the experiences that keep me writing. With the success of my first novel, I decided in 2008 to again self-publish, this time my second book, On Past Horton Creek, a sequel to the original story. The book continues on a similar path of critical and commercial acceptance as EmmaLee.

Michael’s greatgrandfather working on the deck of the Yawl Cat

Now, my third novel is recently completed. Grayton Winds, another work of historical fiction, is a story of troubled relationships set in the beautiful remote village of Grayton Beach on the northern Gulf Coast of Florida during the 1920s, a remarkable period of ruthless bootleggers and killer hurricanes. SUMMER 2011


“For me, personally, there is the additional reward in knowing that I’m still pursuing the passion for simply telling a good story.”

An excerpt from Grayton Winds, a new and as yet unpublished novel from Michael Lindley: Prologue


Grayton Beach, Florida, 1985

In spite of past success in bringing my first two books to market myself, I’ve determined that I want to take the time to connect with a literary agent and finally try to break through with a traditional mainstream publisher, hopefully to gain a broader national audience. This may take a few months or a few years, but, if nothing else, I’ve learned the lesson of persistence in this business of writing and publishing. Whether my work ever moves on to this next level of acceptance remains to be seen. One thing I’m quite sure of, however, is that only those who abandon their dreams and fall victim to the disappointment of rejection and slow acceptance will fail to see their work achieve all that it may be capable of. Of course, commercial success is only one small measure of accomplishment. I’m sure at least some fellow writers will agree that the greatest reward comes when a reader reaches out personally to say that our work has touched them, has made them feel real emotion for the characters and the stories that we create. That is no small accomplishment and more than enough for many of us. For me, personally, there is the additional reward in knowing that I’m still pursuing the passion for simply telling a good story. Nineteenth-century English novelist Mary Ann Evans, writing under the pseudonym of George Eliot, wrote, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” ••• Michael Lindley continues to pitch his new novel Grayton Winds to agents and publishers. His work can be previewed at or his writer’s blog at 120


In my life there were choices that often cause me to lie awake at night and think back on how different things might have been. I try to remember that there were always other people to consider, other consequences. As I sit on the deck of our house along the beach, the curve of cloudless sky stretches to the far horizon with nothing to stop the push of the outgoing tides and winds for a thousand miles. The brilliant white sand and storm-swept live oak nestled through the dunes give a sense of wild timelessness. Between lapses where I’ve dozed off for a while, I’ve found the memories of this place coming back to me in rushing swells of joy and regret. I first came to these quiet shores nearly sixty years ago as a young man searching for something new in my life. Behind me were the scars of war and lost love, and bitter memories of a family mired in deceit and corruption. I close my eyes against the glare of the late morning sun and think back again on all that came to pass in those early years after the first war in France, and the people and events that led me to this little town of Grayton Beach along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida. Later today we will gather with family and friends to celebrate another collection of birthdays, including my own eighty-fifth. It will be a joy to have so many of us around the big table again this year. My daughter will play the piano and lead us all in song. I always read a few passages from one of my books or short stories when we’re together. My last book was published shortly after my wife’s death ten years ago. I rarely put words to paper anymore. Arthritis in my hands keeps me away from my old typewriter, and I haven’t the patience to work with anyone to have them transcribe any more stories. I felt it only fair that the book not be released until some of the people in my life had passed on. I knew that the threads of truth in the story may have been painful to some, but in the end it seemed important, at least to me, that this version of the story be told. I offer no apology at this late age for an act of clear selfishness. One of my granddaughters is calling me now to come downstairs. There is someone at the door to see me. With only one leg that works and old age doing its best to render that one useless, I make my way down the steps slowly and with great care. My granddaughter Meredith is standing at the open door and a woman is there on the front porch. She has a scarf on and with the bright sunlight behind her from the outside it’s difficult to see. Her face is only a shadow. “Is that you, Mathew?” she says softly, her voice barely a whisper. A gust of wind blows in from across the white dunes of Grayton Beach. When I hear her voice, I feel the burdens of the past lift from my heart.


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hen you visit Florida’s Emerald Coast, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. The beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters draw your eyes and imagination earthward. Occasionally, though, the tranquility is shattered by the roar of jet engines or the detonation of heavy ordnance— a reminder that, while you’re relaxing, there is difficult and dangerous work being done in the skies above you.

The Emerald Coast is a nexus for military aviation: the area is home to a series of air bases that stretch from COLA 2 COLA®, with Pensacola Naval Air Station at its western extreme and Tyndall Air Force Base at its eastern. Tyndall, dubbed the “Home of Air Dominance” by the Air Force, hosts the U.S. military’s crown jewel: the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The Raptor is the world’s first (and only) fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It’s a stealthy, transonic, and highly maneuverable powerhouse, capable of defeating any threat it faces. Tyndall is the home of the F-22 program, providing advanced combat training to each new Raptor pilot. On March 26, 2011, Tyndall opened its gates and welcomed the public to its annual Gulf Coast Salute, a two-day open house and air show aimed at showcasing the Air Force’s state-of-the-art weapons and the skilled warfighters who defend our nation’s airspace. As could be expected, the F-22 Raptor was the star of the show. Tyndall’s Raptors took to the air, along with the Langley-based F-22 Demonstration Team. Major Henry Schantz, the team’s Commander and pilot, put his Raptor through its paces to the delight of the crowd below. The Raptors shared the spotlight with many other combat aircraft from our nation’s past and present. The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds, performed their thrilling routine of air combat

PREVIOUS PAGE F-22 Raptor (Courtesy of Shutterstock) THIS PAGE C-17 Globemaster III SUMMER 2011


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THIS PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: P-40 Warhawk F-22 Raptor Weapons Loading Demonstration F-16 Fighting Falcons of the Thunderbirds Demonstration Team F-22 Raptor

CENTER: A-10 Thunderbolt II 20mm Cannon

Photography on this page by troy ruprecht (with exception to F-22 Raptor in flight, courtesy of Shutterstock)

maneuvering. F-15 Eagles, F-16 Falcons, F-4 Phantom IIs, and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were just a few of the over forty aircraft on display. The Commemorative Air Force entertained visitors with a performance of Tora Tora Tora—a re-creation of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Six replica Vals, Kates, and Zeros “attacked” Tyndall in an amazing show of pyrotechnics and stunt flying. The two-day event, one of the largest in Tyndall’s history, drew more than a hundred thousand visitors. While the Raptors and Thunderbirds stole the show, the real stars were the men and women of the U.S. Air Force who made the event a resounding success. ... For more information, visit

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forces in Afghanistan to steering the Destin business community through the aftermath of Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill to transforming the worst moment in a parent’s life into something positive, Haugen has turned perseverance into an art form. He learned early that change was a constant in life, thanks to his Air Force general father’s highly mobile career. During his senior year at a military high school, he realized he was cut from the same camouflage cloth. “I was there for all of two weeks before I knew I wanted to be an Airborne Ranger and jumpmaster in the Eighty-second Airborne Division,” he says. Following college, that is exactly what he ended up doing. During his twenty-three-year military career, Haugen also earned a spot as a member of the prestigious U.S. Army Rangers and the Special Forces (Green Berets). Haugen left active duty after Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, but he maintained his military standing by opting to be part of the National Guard. In 2002, he was called to active duty again—this time to Afghanistan, where the U.S. was just beginning to send troops. “Green Berets in Afghanistan didn’t really have a front line,” he explains. “You have to understand that when I was there in 2002–2003, most of the places we went had never seen an American—ever. And our mission was to go into a village, try to meet with the village leader, and either overtly or covertly root out the Taliban and al-Qaeda.” After nearly ten years of living as a civilian, it would be understandable if Haugen had found a return to the rigors of military life a huge adjustment. Not so. Transitioning back again afterward took its toll, however. “Putting down my financial calculator and picking up a rucksack was easy; returning from the war and getting the battlefield out of my head was the hard part,” Haugen says. “When I deployed, my son was eight. When I came home, he was ten. It was very difficult initially for my wife, Kathy, and me to

redefine our roles. So much had happened while I was gone, and I had to try to catch up on everyone’s lives.” He took a hit professionally as well. Haugen had entered the financial services field in 1993 following his first release from active duty, but after his tour in Afghanistan, he essentially had to start from scratch in terms of rebuilding his client base. He also had some work to do internally. “Not only did I have to try to figure out what had happened on the macroeconomic level in the past year and a half, but I also had to regain the confidence to convey that expertise to my clients, which was extremely difficult,” he admits. Not surprisingly, he regained his foothold quickly and, two years ago, launched Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors in Destin with partners from his previous Wall Street firm. The move into business ownership—though exciting—was yet another leap into the deep end for Haugen. But any hurdles he was jumping soon paled in comparison to the next trial: finding a way to make sense of his son’s death. Two things helped him get through the initial devastation: a book called The Shack and his faith. “I know where my son is,” he says simply. Haugen, the resilient Green Beret who was trained to deal with insurmountable odds, fought to wrap his

“Putting down my financial calculator and picking up a rucksack was easy; returning from the war and getting the battlefield out of my head was the hard part.” SUMMER 2011


the immediate past chairman provides insight into a year that, as he says, "started easy, got ugly, and ended up successful."

Why did you initially agree to be chairman of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce? I've always been focused on community service. Growing up the son of an Air Force general, we moved around a lot. We came to Niceville when I was five years old and built our homestead, but we didn't return until the early 1980s. Now that I'm "back home;' I feel an even stronger need to serve the community that provided such grounding for me as we moved around.

Northwest Florida air traffic, hotel activity, and job growth are experiencing a boom. In your view, is that a result of a rebounding economy or specific initiatives by local organizations? Both, actually. The local chambers, economic development councils, tourist development councils, cities, counties, and several external entities-both private and governmental-have all worked very hard to create initiatives to jump-start our local economy. mind around a situation he couldn't control or change. The only thing that was within his power was his response. Soon after the death of their son-known to family and ftiends as "T"-he and his wife formed the Taylor Haugen Foundation to fund scholarships for student-athlete leaders and impact the community in a number of other positive ways. "The foundation was actually one of the major motivators that got me out of bed and moving forward;' Haugen recalls. "It's a way to share T's legacy and inspire all of us to live bigger, better lives:'

While those efforts are clearly going to benefit our area in the long run, I truly feel that what's helping us see the beginning of a rebound is simply the attractiveness of our area coupled with consumers wanting to ease back into some leisure spending. Our area got a head start into the recession when Hurricane Ivan hit in 2005. But because we're dependent on tourism and discretionary spending, I

Despite his seemingly innate ability to overcome every obstacle, big or small, Haugen contends there's nothing remarkable about him, except perhaps for a "don't quit, never


always felt that our area would lead in the recovery as well. When people start to feel like things are

give up" attitude he shares with his late son. "In some capacity, we all go through tough

turning around and they haven't had a vacation for

times and tragedies;' he says. "One of my favorite quotes is, 'It's not what happens to

a year, they might say, "Let's go to Destin." Last year,

you that determines your success. It's how you react to what happens to you that deter-

we would have seen the beginnings of that recovery

mines your success: A lot of people get beaten down and they stay down, but there's

if we hadn't suffered from the Deepwater Horizon

just too much to live for to stay down. Luck favors the brave."

disaster. Unfortunately, that set us back another year.

Destin: Progress through Perseverance

What was your biggest challenge as chair?

Before the tragic death of his son, Taylor, in 2008, Brian Haugen had commit-

The main challenge was attempting to get the press

ted to chairing the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce in 2010. After some

to report that all was well in the Destin area, that

soul-searching, he decided to keep his promise to the Chamber-and wound up

we were still open for business. Unfortunately, the

navigating an unexpected land mine in the form of an oil spill in the Gulf Here,

press kept showing that single oily pelican that was


probably filmed in Alaska back in the days of the

Exxon Valdez incident.

What are your predictions about growth in the Destin area over the next few years? Excellent, but not as most might gauge "growth." Many equate the success of our area to residential and commercial property valuations. I don't believe those of us who are underwater in real estate assets are going to emerge from that within the next few years. However, I do believe we'll see growth in new, and perhaps more exciting, areas. For example, we're attempting to attract new cottage industries to our area-small to midsized companies that, through technology, can essentially operate from anywhere in the country. So why not here? Ifwe can diversify our economy with this rype of business, we'll position ourselves to better protect against the next (inevitable) economic downturn.

How can local residents contribute to positive growth in the Destin area? Everything from shopping locally-versus using the Internet-to making sure their family members and friends outside the area know we're open for business and tar ball free!

Do you foresee lasting benefits from the community's united efforts to combat the effects of the oil spill/poor economy? They say you can see the best and worst in people during tough times. I can say confidently that the poor economy brought out the best in us. Take the Destin fishing fleet, for example: the whole community came together to help them and their families as they suffered through the oil spill and lack of tourists. And that's just one example.

In terms of community leadership, we've worked hard across chamber, city, and county lines to benefit the area. Never before have all these entitieswhich may have been competitive in the pastcome together to work toward recovery. And that relationship building, formed out of survivability, has positioned us ro recover better and be better in every capacity as we go forward. W SUMMER 2011






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The proposal surprised Donnie Sundal: “Let’s start a recording studio.” That seemingly off-the-cuff suggestion by friend and fellow music lover Mike Kent turned into Neptone Recording, a first-class recording studio in Destin that’s attracting big names in the music industry. Among those artists is Dread Clampitt, a Northwest Florida-based band that appears to be on the verge of megasuccess. In a classic chicken-and-egg scenario, it seems the Emerald Coast is becoming a sought-after destination for recording artists, as well as a hotbed of promising musical talent. Perhaps the question of which came first doesn’t matter as much as the result: the area’s undeniable presence on the national music scene. Photo by Jessie Shepard

If You Build It… Neptone Recording wouldn’t exist if not for a chance meeting between Donnie Sundal, a career musician and respected recording engineer, and Mike and Gayle Kent. “The Kents were at one of my shows, and I was drawn to say ‘hi’ to them. Sometimes you can just look at certain people in the audience and tell they’re really listening,” Sundal explains. That meeting led to an invitation for Sundal to play at a party the couple was planning, and, before long, a musical connection morphed into a rock-solid friendship and business partnership. Kent’s surprise business proposal came about five years ago, when Sundal was working with up-andcoming local band Dread Clampitt on its album, Geaux Juice. “I realized they needed a great microphone to properly finish the record,” Sundal says. “Mike and Gayle had helped out in the past and had a keen interest in anything musical, so I asked if he would pay for half of the microphone, explaining I would pay him back with the next studio payment Dread made. Mike said, ‘You could do that, or we could start a studio.’” “If he only knew what he was getting into,” Sundal smiles. What Mike and Gayle got into, along with Sundal and his wife, Jennifer, was an endeavor that blossomed from a relatively modest initial vision into a 5,000-square-foot building containing two studios: Neptone on one side and Destin Recording on the other. The four partners worked together on the design and concept of the business and now focus on individual strengths. “I do the day-to-day running of the place, and Jennifer is the creative director,” Sundal says. “People see us out front, but Mike and Gayle are really the ones who believed in it and made it happen.” The full-scale recording studio provides a range of services to meet artists’ needs—from the bare bones

(simply a place to record) to a comprehensive experience that may include collaboration with studio musicians, song provision, voice-overs, engineering, and more. Neptone even offers an on-premises apartment and luxury beach house where artists can make themselves at home during the recording process. This combination of custom services and on-site expertise of seasoned industry professionals has resulted in bookings by bands, solo artists, authors, and writers from all over the country. Some of the more notable people to record at Neptone: Justin Moore (“I Could Kick Your Ass” and “Back That Thing Up”); Junior Marvin of Bob Marley and the Wailers; songwriter Gary Hannan (“Back When  I Knew it All” and “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off ”); Longineu Parsons Jr.; Jeffery “Jellybean” Alexander; author/life coach Terri Amos-Britt; and the Red Bar Jazz Band featuring John “Jabbo” Starks, legendary drummer for James Brown and B.B. King.

Dread Ahead Dread Clampitt, the band whose need for a new microphone ignited the idea for Neptone Recording, is now a repeat customer. The genre-blurring band has recorded several albums under Sundal’s guidance, including the latest, Learnin’ to Live, in the new Neptone studio. The top-notch facilities seem to symbolize how far the band has come in the eight years since fate (in the guise of legendary musician Duke Bardwell) brought together cofounders Kyle Ogle and Balder Saunders. Both Ogle and Saunders started playing music as kids—Ogle’s godfather, Bardwell, put a guitar in his hands at age nine, while Saunders took up the mandolin at age seven. But it wasn’t until Bardwell introduced the two that their individual struggles turned into a recipe for success. They began writing music together and, along with a fiddle player added to round out their sound, performing locally. Bardwell, who had played bass for Elvis Presley, also joined the band to get back into performance mode for an upcoming Elvis reunion. 140


“It’s the best fee ling in the wor when ev ld erythin g you’ve practice and eve d rything you bel ieve abo your so ut ngs is ju st worki ng.”

nd che, a i n n w your o g n i t a ut cre t place o a b e r a g l l a “It’s a tone is p e N . e .” ’ve don e w ativity t e a r h c w n o that’s focus d n a l l a rom it f y a w a to get Dread Clampitt experienced small but growing success over the next few years as they added and subtracted members. Most notably, Bardwell decided to step aside as the band’s travel schedule picked up. “As he put it, ‘I’ve already done this. It’s your time now,’” Ogle said. “For his replacement, Duke suggested a guy in town named Kenny Oliverio, and, luckily for us, he was interested.”

of music they play. “We’re not bluegrass, we’re not country, we’re not rock,” Ogle maintains. “It’s more like folk rock or maybe ‘new grass,’ which is what others have called our sound.” Saunders puts it more succinctly. “Duke Ellington said there are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music.”

Keeping the Passion Alive

Today, Dread Clampitt consists of Balder Saunders (mandolin, vocals), Kyle Ogle (guitar, vocals), John Reinlie (drums), and Kenny Oliverio (bass, vocals). Duke Bardwell’s presence remains strong as an honorary member and mentor.

To help ensure it remains in the “good music” category, the band performs a mix of original songs and covers. “We like off-the-beaten-path music, but as a performer you have to entertain the audience,” Saunders says. “I think we’re paying homage to our songwriting heroes by learning and performing their songs.”

The band’s unique instrumentation gives it the ability to play a variety of different styles and genres, which is good—but also makes it difficult for even the members themselves to nail down the exact type

Ogle says the band got the thrill of a lifetime when one of those heroes, Sam Bush, recorded with them on Learnin’ to Live. “We asked him to play fiddle on one song, and he agreed. During the recording process,



Photo by Jessie Shepard

we parted ways with our fiddle player, and Sam ended up playing on all of the songs. He’s the nicest, funniest, coolest guy. Everything you could want when you meet your hero, he was all of that and more.” These moments of pure magic—whether they involve making music with an idol or nailing a perfect set with bandmates—are part of what make the years of struggle worthwhile, says Ogle. “It’s the best feeling in the world when everything you’ve practiced and everything you believe about your songs is just working. You hit what you go for, you sing every note you want to sing, and the crowd loves you.” Of course, the music industry is more often cruel than kind. From opportunistic people to less-thanenthusiastic crowds to the physical discomforts of performing and moving equipment, Dread Clampitt has experienced them all. Saunders says the lyrics in the band’s song, “Last Call,” perfectly illustrate the lack of glamour they’ve encountered on the road: “It’s you, the bartender and the bouncer, and he looks like Planet of the Apes. Last call has

come and gone, but they’ll lock the door and let the band have one more round.” Sums up Ogle, “You can go from being a total rock star and having the best night of your life to not being able to pay for applause. You’ve got to be prepared to deal with the tumbles from those soaring highs; that’s why it really is a passion.” For both founding members, it’s a passion that’s lasted their entire lives and has carried them through nearly a decade of shared struggles, including a seven-day-a-week performance schedule—often punctuated with three gigs a day on Saturdays—in the beginning. And now, knock on wood, seems like it might finally be their time. “I don’t want to jinx us,” Ogle hedges, “but I’ve got a good feeling about the future. I think this is the best our band has ever been; the vibe of the group is great, and it’s an honor to play with these guys.”

The Beat Goes On Part of what’s gotten Dread Clampitt to the cusp of widespread success has been the support, both personal and professional, from Sundal and the Kents. “Mike and Gayle have been great benefactors to the band since the very beginning,” Saunders raves. “They gifted us our first band van and made Geaux Juice happen. I think their good karma is a magnet for greatness.” “The Kents are the sweetest people in the world,” Ogle concurs. “And Donnie makes you feel at home and completely comfortable in the studio. He pulls these performances out of you, and he won’t stop until he gets it. He went above and beyond with Learnin’ to Live. We had lots of upheaval in the band while we were recording, and he essentially revived the album.” Though Sundal downplays the kudos, he does acknowledge that most people would be surprised at how much work goes into recording a top-notch CD. “It’s like polishing a diamond in the rough,” he says. “That’s where the producer comes in handy. It’s his job to guide the artists, keep them focused on what’s important, refine when necessary, and know when to leave it alone.”

Photo by David McClister win “Big D” Perkins. The band, which has a New Orleans funk-soul feel, is currently at work on a 2011 CD release—something they have to squeeze in between high-profile gigs in New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, and other musical hot spots. Because he’s been on both sides of the glass as a performer and engineer/producer, Sundal knows that Neptone has what it takes to compete in the recording industry. “The industry has changed so much, and you have to change with it,” he says. “It’s all about creating your own niche, and that’s what we’ve done. Neptone is a great place to get away from it all and focus on creativity. We’re a destination studio located on one of the most

No matter what direction the studio takes, however, its core mission will remain the same: providing an ideal environment for artists. “The studio is run by musicians who understand what it takes to make an artist comfortable,” Sundal stresses. “It was built by musicians for musicians.” Just one of the reasons the Emerald Coast could soon go platinum.

beautiful beaches in the world.” Sundal says the studio’s main goal is to bring as much

Sundal works similar magic on albums for his own band, Boukou Groove, a collaborative effort with Der-

the world. Other plans include expanding the Neptone business model to include marketing performers, as well as starting a record label, publishing company, and production company.

great music to the area as possible, and he and his partners intend to focus on attracting talent from around

for more information about neptone recording, visit for more information about dread clampitt, visit SUMMER 2011


Art • Jewelry • Books • Gifts

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SCENIC 30A ~ DESTIN ~ PANAMA CITY BEACH Gary “Coop” Cooper Interior Designer Seagrove Beach, FL 850.933.9993



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ust as women’s fashions come in and go out of style, specialty boutiques tend to enjoy a period of popularity before losing patrons to a new crop of shops in town. Marking its thirtieth year in business, Today’s Boutique is a rarity. While many independent retail clothiers have closed their doors, Today’s sales are surpassing previous records. As business partners who also celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary in January, owners Kim and Jim Dettle take none of their good fortune for granted. Reflecting upon life’s ups and downs, they reveal why “friendship, fashion, fun” is not just a catchy tagline for their store; the words reflect a philosophy that fits them perfectly. From their first meeting in Vail, Colorado, friendship and fun set the tone for their relationship. Kim, a self-proclaimed military brat who had the joy of living in Hawaii since the age of twelve, desired a change. Taking a break from teaching special education, she visited a college girlfriend in ski country and ended up managing a jewelry store there. Jim, who had grown up in the Destin-Fort Walton area, was in Vail temporarily to learn the art of jewelry making. “It was a great place for us to meet,” says Jim, referring to the active social scene. “There were seven guys for every girl, so I knew how lucky I was to attract Kim.” Between skiing and hugging to get warm, the two instantly connected. They dated for six months, and when the time came for Jim to return to the Emerald Coast, he sent a ticket for Kim to join him in Florida. “My parents wanted to know why I couldn’t meet someone closer to home,” says Kim. Quite simply, Jim was the one. Perhaps to her parents’ dismay, the north shore of Oahu at sunset presented an idyllic wedding spot, but Destin would be their home. Getting down to work, Jim initially made jewelry in the back of the store while Kim managed the front. They added gift items, but bringing in a San Francisco clothing line forever changed their direction in business. Rapidly creating a buzz about town, trendy women’s apparel became their mainstay. Although the line that launched them into retail clothing was subsequently replaced by other collections, the Dettles now plan to reintroduce it. “Change is the only constant,” says Jim. “Fashions come back reinvented.” Beyond keeping abreast of trends, the Dettles’ ability to discern and interpret styles for their clientele has ensured Today’s longevity. In addition to attend-

Reflecting upon life 's ups and downs, th ey reveal w hy "friendship, fas hion, fun" is not just a catchy tagline for th eir store; th e words reflect a p hilosophy that fits th em perfectly. To freshen up this summer’s wardrobe, Kim recommends skinny jeans, tunic tops, a great vest, and a fun, feminine dress. “Women are embracing ruffles, tiers, and lace like never before,” she says. Scarves, too, remain kets in search of looks that generate excitement at in vogue. “The lightweight fabrics—shown in mixed prints, whites, and the shows as well as display elements that will aptextures—are meant to hang loosely like a jewelry piece.” Likewise, long peal to women who live and vacation in Northwest chains are in this season. Designers also continue to favor white, but Florida. Also, while eager to see fashion surprises, women who love color will find a rainbow of cool options, including the Dettles are serious about preparing merchandisorange, citron, corals, blues, aqua, yellows, and greens. “You’ll also see ing plans for their buying trips. the influence of purples and lavenders,” Kim adds.

ing New York Fashion Week, they travel to Los

Angeles, Las Vegas, and other regional apparel mar-

“We continually study fashion, talk with friends, lis-

Relying on Today’s to introduce the latest must-haves, customers appreciate the personal touch of an in-store fashion advisor. “We learn and sales team,” says Kim. “When we go to market, what each shopper likes and then recommend the right colors and we go with a purpose. We know which designers we’ll cuts for her body type,” says Kim. “We’re here to help. When somesee, and we buy with our core customers in mind.” thing doesn’t look great, we tell her and pull other options.” That straightforward approach builds trust and loyalty. “We’ve worked At the same time, Jim adds, “It’s also important to scout with many of our customers over such long periods of time,” Kim out the entire show. We’re always on the lookout for that adds, “that it’s not uncommon for us to dress three generations of hot designer who is grabbing everyone’s attention.” women in a family—grandmother, mom, and daughter.”

ten to our customers, and consult with our manager

Rather than stocking “pricey designer” apparel,

Shoppers are certainly welcome to browse on their own and even shop online, but Today’s salespeople are trained to engage and serve. “We’ll pull priced labels that deliver long-lasting quality and three or four outfits together from top to bottom, including the shoes,” value. Among Today’s preferred brands are XCVI, says Kim, who emphasizes that her employees love helping people as Desigual, Velvet by Graham and Spencer, Barbara much as they love fashion. “We also believe in treating our staff like our best customers.” That philosophy seems to work. “When Jim and I are out, Lesser, and Joyous and Free. “Our customers find people make a point of telling us how amazing our salespeople are.” their favorite clothes at Today’s, and they wear them

the Dettles have found a niche in more moderately

for years because the items are long lasting,” Jim says. Having the latest looks in stock is essential for Today’s profile customer—a contemporary dresser

“It takes effort on our part,” says Jim, “but we make it enjoyable and easy for our customers. It’s unusual not to hear laughter throughout the store. Everyone is approachable; we don’t do that mean, snooty thing.”

with a youthful outlook. “We cater to the high-energy, fashionable woman, between twenty-five and sixty, who is looking for lifestyle clothes,” says Kim. “Beginning with the basics that remain in style, we love to add trend pieces to update any look.”

Healthy relationships with vendors have also been essential, particularly in the past few years. “Before the economic downturn,” says Kim, “smaller buyers like us didn’t have as much clout. Those one-sided relationships, however, could not continue. We’ve had to learn to rely on one another.” SUMMER 2011


All have had to learn more creative, more efficient ways to operate. “For twenty years we’ve worked with consultants who have helped us strategize and be prepared for hard times,” says Jim. “Pointing out that the retail business is difficult in itself, they have struggled to understand why we would never pick up and move to a region that doesn’t have hurricanes or oil spills. However, unlike other retailers who have not undergone so many challenges, we were positioned to react when the economy crashed in 2008. We knew how to tuck in tightly and work hard.” The Dettles openly discussed their financial situation with their staff so that all could comprehend the need to be on board with the plan. “We all agreed to cut back and get rid of the fluff. Everyone worked harder for less.” “Having made it through tough periods,” says Kim, “we know that when our operations have to change, we can turn on a dime.” “All that hardship makes you gain character,” Jim agrees. If that is so, plenty of character building has taken place in the Dettles family since 2007, when Kim was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer.



“Jim and I were in total shock, in disbelief,” says Kim, who went for her first mammogram twenty years ago when a young friend was diagnosed. Without fail, she diligently continued her annual screenings. Mammograms, however, typically do not detect Kim’s form of invasive lobular carcinoma, which occurs in about 10 percent of cases. “My husband found it when he did a little reach around and felt a little bump. The next three days were a whirlwind.”



bou ay ’ s Clo


g a Nd






d by to d

After the immediate shock, Kim faced a severe bout of depression along with a series of decisions. “My great husband got me through it, but I also had to learn to be my own advocate,” she says. “I fired the physicians who spoke negatively. When their words burned my brain, I replaced them with positive doctors who could breathe life into me. The mind-body connection within a spirit is essential. You have to know in your mind and body that you will heal.” Taking control empowered Kim. In addition to seeking the best traditional medical treatments at Mayo Clinic, she sought the emotional support of two other women with stage IV breast cancer. The trio, which included a lawyer and a nurse, called themselves “the three sisters” and gave each other nicknames: Lola, Peewee, and Ginger (Kim). Regularly meeting

Pants : Mesm $101 erize belt: $ The s 48 hell G ame Jacke t work : $113 ers fo r Fre ring: edom $55 Tresk a Neck la Gaw ce: $159 dybo bbles earri ngs: $ Gaw dybo 35 bbles

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for lunch, they shared information about nutritional supplements and alternative treatments. Tragically, Peewee passed away, and Lola’s cancer returned. Seeking options, she learned about a Korean physician who achieves success using custom vaccines, containing adult stem cells, to repair the abnormal cells. What else could she do? Lola made a life-altering decision to see Dr. Woochul Moon. Her journey entailed a twenty-hour flight to Korea, followed by a month of vaccines, as well as conventional therapies. Doctor Moon specifically formulates each vaccine for the individual’s chemistry and condition. In addition to cancer, he treats Alzheimer’s and other diseases. “When Lola came back one month later, her PET and CT scans were clear,” says Kim. Her cancer had disappeared. With Lola’s remarkable news, Kim and Jim booked the next available flight to Korea. “Dr. Moon says, ‘Get the beast while it’s sleeping,’ so that has been our strategy,” Kim explains. “Following his recommendation, she continued with a series of monthly vaccines. Since he has a clinic in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, she didn’t have to travel quite so far for the boosters. Kim and Jim, in fact, took their two children along in May to mark her last treatment. (It was also a celebration of their children’s milestones: their son graduated high school, and their daughter was accepted to FSU, where she will study fashion merchandising.) Grateful that Kim could afford to choose from a world of medical options, the Dettles want to make it possible for those who are less fortunate to make their own personal cancer treatment decisions regardless of the cost. “We look forward to hosting a variety of in-store fund-raising events,” says Kim. Today’s also carries the ta-tas Brand of tees and gifts, and at least 25 percent of the company’s proceeds fund breast cancer research. In addition to cancer causes, Today’s serves a number of community nonprofits. “We love putting on fashion shows,” says Kim, who names the Destin Woman’s Club and a number of big churches among those they support.

TR E N D S Fo r S UM M E R/FA LL 2011

The Dettles also support one another. After thirty years as partners in business and marriage, their mutual admiration might seem extraordinary to some— especially to couples who could not fathom working together—but their sincerity is genuine. “Kim is the kindest person I know,” Jim says. “This is a year of celebration; we have love in our lives!”


Echoing his sentiments, Kim says, “We can’t wait for the next thirty years and to pass Today’s on to the next generation. We’re Golden Pond and Beyond.”

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Forget about the facetious manner in which the word “winning” has been bandied about lately, thanks to a certain celebrity. This is a true phoenix-rising-from-theashes story about perseverance—about really winning.

A Phoenix Rises fRom the Ashes

the bird of legend that rose from the ashes).

This fun-loving, gregarious, and genuine duo told their story with a sense of humor; but it was evident that it had taken sheer grit and determination to pull off bringing this signature building out By Lisa Burwell For over five years, the partners of V of the ground, especially following have contended with many obstacles several economically depressed years. Photography By Romona Robbins that threatened their vision for the corIn short, they had defied the odds. “It’s ner of 395 and Highway 30A in Seagrove: been worth all of the heartache. Now that criticisms regarding the style of architecture, we’re on the other side, we are consistently challenges, failed attempts to open, and a host hearing from many of the former detractors and of others. Two of the partners, namely Chip Haring naysayers, those who didn’t like the size and archiand George Hartley, shared how the ups and downs tectural vernacular of the building, that they now love of opening the restaurant bearing the letter V and the how it looks,” Chip said with a thankful smile. George forthcoming Hotel Viridian were eerily similar to the story chimed in, telling of a recent phone call he received line of Herman Wouk’s 1965 novel, Don’t Stop the Carnival. from a longtime Seagrove resident. The caller had said, “I The main character in Wouk’s novel is a successful businessdidn’t like you when I knew you were planning to develop man who, lured by a carefree lifestyle in the sun after years of Hotel Viridian, but now I love you—the building looks like it’s running the rat race, leaves NYC during a midlife crisis to run a been in Seagrove for years.” hotel in the Caribbean, only to be met with a series of comical and While interviewing Roger Godwin, the principal of DAG Architects— disastrous events. The real-life adventures—and misadventures—of the the firm that designed V and Hotel Viridian—his calm resolve and unpartners became the impetus for choosing DST Carnival as the name for wavering confidence was evident. “When we first began working on the their development company (the DST stands for “Don’t Stop the …” as in project, the building was intended to serve as the town center for Seagrove, Wouk’s title. They later changed the name to DST Phoenix paying homage to

V seAgRoVe is BoRn

Chic. Modern. Seagrove. SUMMER 2011


since the intersecting corner marks the essence of the community. We believe we’ve accomplished that. Architect Carey McWhorter worked on the initial designs for Hotel Viridian; when the project grew larger than he was able to handle, he brought it to us because he realized he needed more horsepower. The restaurant alone is 6,700 square feet. We’re now working together on two residences directly across the street that will be designed in the same style. There are three lots; the lot in the middle will remain undeveloped so that the view of the Gulf is unobstructed,” Roger stated. The goal was to create an iconic building that looked like it belonged in Seagrove; it also needed to withstand the harsh elements prevalent in our area. “We made the building public and transparent, allowing the Gulf to add life and energy to the experience, whether you’re a passerby or a diner in the restaurant.” He explained that by creating a building that opens up to the street, the visual elements of the street become more defined. Considering Seagrove’s streetscape, the decision was made to place the word “SEAGROVE” prominently on the building’s marquee sign and V, the restaurant’s name, on a small monument sign. “It’s all about Seagrove.” Upon entering the restaurant, you’re greeted by a circular bar with a chic and cosmopolitan edge. “The bar needed to have life, and by being able to see it from the road, an interest is created. A driftwood chandelier created by local artisan Stefan Daiberl is a focal point. At night it reveals magnificent patterns of shadow and light created by the shapes of the twigs,” added Roger. “Whether you’re inside or outside, you’re part of the experience.”

V In addition to V’s undeniable curb appeal, it is boasting revenues and patronage that have exceeded expectations since the doors opened at the end of February this year. The restaurant does not take reservations and it’s not uncommon to see a line of people standing outside waiting to get in. A line outside any establishment, especially a restaurant, is, well, restaurant nirvana. Managing partner and general



manager Sean Goss has been leading the culinary and operational team for the past year, readying for the opening with a fierce determination to put his indelible mark and that of his team’s on this restaurant. Sean’s culinary pedigree includes oversight and management of the Capital Grille chain; he was largely responsible for its meteoric growth. He is also credited with bringing Seagar’s to life at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort. (These are just some of his career highlights, and he plays a mean game of rugby too!) “It’s all about the service and the experience you have when you dine out, and V’s experience is memorable,” said Sean. “The dynamic, lively, and captivating ambience has its own energy and customers are really embracing the experience.” With a diverse and interesting menu, V is quickly becoming known as ‘the happening spot.’ “We’ve created an extensive menu at reasonable price points, and Executive Chef David Cunningham is doing a remarkable job,” noted Sean. Executive Chef David Cunningham presides over the kitchen, bringing years of experience with him. His most recent stint, before joining V, was at the beloved Commander’s Palace at the Emerald Grande in Destin, Florida, which closed, sadly, last year. David completed his formal training years ago working under Chef Jamie Shannon at the flagship Commander’s Palace restaurant in New Orleans. During that time, he was featured in Gourmet magazine as having one of the top five chocolate desserts in the country. He has also had the prestigious honor of cooking at the famed James Beard House in New York City. David states, “I strongly believe in using the freshest ingredients available and am a big proponent of



Above: Local Produce from Mac Farms Photo by Marla & Shane Photography

using local purveyors who are growing locally.” As testament to David’s farm-to-table philosophy, the following are some of V’s suppliers: Mac Farms Ocheesee Creamery Sweet Grass Dairy Niman Ranch All Natural Meats Harris Ranch Siintl Herb Company Springer Mountain Farms C&B Farms Strube Ranch Eden Farms C&D Mills Dragonfly Fields Inland Seafood Farms at Long Leaf Water Street Seafood SUMMER 2011


“The best food comes from your own backyard and mine is the Gulf of Mexico” —V’s executive chef David Cunningham

Artist’s conceptual rendering of Hotel Viridian’s facade along Highway 30-A.

Hotel Viridian The purposeful decision to open the restaurant first—as a prelude to the proposed boutique-style Hotel Viridian—was a masterful move. Checkmate. Hotel Viridian and V are destined to be the jewels at the center of the new downtown Seagrove development. Each of Hotel Viridian’s twenty boutique hotel rooms, ten three-bedroom luxury suites, and two five-bedroom Gulf-front residences, each with its own pool, will be available for purchase as a fractional ownership opportunity in the coming months. Beach Properties of Florida, the exclusive brokers for Hotel Viridian, have a satellite office located on-site. “It’s rare to be able to showcase real estate in this manner, and we believe it is going to be a great sales tool for selling this new concept to the community,” said Hunter Harman, broker and co-owner of Beach Properties of Florida. The hotel’s luxury king-size units will vary from 600-square-foot studios to 1,200-square-foot corner suites. Each will feature custom-designed furnishings, oversized closets, opulent bathrooms with freestanding sauna tubs and spas, and floor-to-ceiling windows that open on to private terraces, offering expansive views of the Gulf of Mexico. Hotel Viridian’s ultrachic campus-style setting will include a lobby bar, the restaurant V, a world-class spa and wellness center, retail shops, and ample parking. SUMMER 2011


“We’re in negotiations with the acclaimed Blu Spas to manage a high-end luxury spa unlike anything offered in our area,” added Chip. A rooftop garden will boast an infinity-edge pool and five permanent cabanas. “A Miami-style influence to the architectural vernacular with clean lines is melded with an old-Florida Art Deco to create a unique statement for 30A’s unique neighborhood of Seagrove Beach,” said Roger. George joyously and half-jokingly mused, “We put the V in Seagrove with the birth of the restaurant.” V also stands for victory, as the opening really is a triumph for the partners. Take a victory lap, V. You deserve it!

V SeagroVe Open Tuesdays–Sundays from 6 to 11 p.m. Hotel Viridian To learn more about real estate opportunities, visit,, or call (850) 213-5454. To learn about daily updates on restaurant V, please visit their Facebook page at

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ENNIAL The Centennial of Naval Aviation



bill Weckel

The CenTennial of naval aviaTion

In 2011, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard join forces to celebrate one hundred years of Naval Aviation. This yearlong event reflects on a century of innovations, achievements, and sacrifices that have shaped these services into an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, capable of global reach. The President of the United States has, at his

NAS Pensacola, located on Northwest Florida’s

Although the Navy expressed its first interest in

disposal, no less than eleven carrier strike

Gulf Coast, is the United States’ oldest naval

powered aviation as early as 1898—a full five years

groups, each with an air wing numbering up to

air station and the primary training site for all

before the Wright brothers’ historic flight at Kitty

eighty combat aircraft and capable of delivering

Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard aviators and

Hawk—it was the year 1911 that saw the official

ordnance, including tactical nuclear weapons,

Naval Flight Officers. Regarded as the Cradle

creation of a naval flight training program.

anywhere in the world. A single carrier strike

of Naval Aviation, and home to the Naval Avia-

group constitutes a force more powerful than

tion Museum as well as the Blue Angels flight

The Navy quickly realized the airplane’s potential as an

most countries’ entire militaries. It’s no wonder

demonstration team, it is the obvious choice

from a ship and equipped with another of the Navy’s

that in times of crisis, often the first question

to host the events and activities comprising the

newest technological innovations—the wireless

asked is: “Where are the carriers?”

centennial celebration.

telegraph—a single aircraft and crew could now

Previous Page: USS Lexington F6F Hellcat pilots celebrate a successful mission during the Marshall Islands attack, after shooting down 17 out of 20 Japanese planes heading for Tarawa, November 1943. Photo: CDR. Edward Steichen, U.S. Navy



observation and reconnaissance platform. Launched

1 9 1 1 – 20 1 1

Much of the Navy’s leadership still regarded the

replace the cruiser, a large and fast armored warship,

Just four months after the establishment of a Naval

which had traditionally fulfilled the fleet’s scouting

Air Station in Pensacola, Europe plunged into what

battleship as the centerpiece of naval strategy.

duties. Efforts quickly focused on how best to embark

would become known as The Great War. World

These “battleship admirals” believed that future

War I sparked rapid advances in military aviation,

conflicts would be decided by a grand clash

and operate aircraft aboard the Navy’s ships.

expanding the role of the airplane from simply an

These earliest naval aircraft often presented more of

observation platform to that of an offensive weapon,

a threat to the aviators piloting them than they did

capable of bombing enemy forces both ashore and

between large fleets of battleships. It wasn’t until an Army officer, General Billy Mitchell, demonstrated (much to the embarrassment

to the enemy. Accidents and mishaps were common,

at sea, as well as shooting down the enemy’s aircraft.

and many aviators lost their lives while perfecting

Not everyone in the Navy recognized the air-

aircraft could locate and destroy these mighty

the art of launching and recovering aircraft at sea.

craft’s potential as an effective offensive weapon.

castles of steel.

of the Navy’s old guard) that bomb-carrying

aBove: Sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson ready one of VFA-25’s Hornets for a “cat shot.” Photo: U.S. Navy SUMMER 2011


The CenTennial of naval aviaTion

World War II ushered In a complete and profound change In naval doctrIne and strategy.

If Mitchell’s demonstration left any lingering doubts

recapture territory throughout the Pacific, and

The Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the

among the U.S. Navy’s leadership, these were erased

eventually carry the war to the Japanese home islands.

Persian Gulf War were no different. In each case,

on December 7, 1941, when, operating from a striking group consisting of six aircraft carriers, pilots of the Imperial Japanese Navy decimated the U.S. Pacific Fleet in a surprise attack on the Hawaiian Islands. World War II ushered in a complete and profound

The Battle of the Coral Sea, a strategic victory for the U.S. Navy, would be the first naval battle in history in which aircraft carriers engaged each other; and, it was the first in which neither side’s ships came within visual or firing range of each

naval airpower was utilized extensively. Today, in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviation units and personnel are involved in combat operations against insurgent and terrorist groups operating in those countries.

change in naval doctrine and strategy. The carrier task

other. Carrier-based aviation remained at the

The focal point of modern Naval Aviation is, without

force would become the Navy’s primary offensive

forefront of U.S. military strategy and played a

doubt, the supercarrier. These Nimitz-class nuclear-

weapon and lead the U.S. effort to defend Australia,

critical role in all theaters of war.

powered aircraft carriers are capable of sustained

aBove: F4U Corsairs aboard an aircraft carrier during the Korean conflict. Photo: U.S. Navy



1 9 1 1 – 20 1 1

combat operations, on short notice, anywhere in

F-18 Super Hornets shared the tarmac with Coast

the world, unhindered by the limitations of diplo-

Guard Dauphin helicopters, Marine Corps Harriers,

macy and requiring no permission from foreign

and restored aircraft spanning nearly eight decades.

governments. This provides our leadership with an incredible array of options when dealing with crises, contingencies, and natural disasters.

The week was a veritable who’s who of Naval Aviation, both past and present. Distinguished guests included many high-ranking officers from the Naval Aviation

During NAS Pensacola’s weeklong celebration mark-

community, noted historians, and retired military. The

ing this important anniversary, the entire range of

most notable, however, were the World War II pilots,

current Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft

like ninety-year-old Burrel Sumner. Sumner, a Marine

were on display, as well as many historic aircraft. Navy

Corps F4U Corsair pilot who went on to fly the A1D

ToKYo BouND (iNseT):


Pilots aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier receive last minute instructions before taking off to attack industrial and military installations in Tokyo, February 17, 1945.

Dynamic static. F6F Hellcat aboard USS Yorktown November 1943.

Photo: National Archives and Records Administration

Photo: National Archives and Records Administration SUMMER 2011


The CenTennial of naval aviaTion

one hundred years later, naval avIatIon Is alIve, Well, and stronger than ever along florIda’s gulf coast.

Skyraider during the Korean Conflict, took to the air

first-century missions including counterinsurgency,

once again in the cockpit of an N2S-4 Stearman—the

counterterrorism, antipiracy, and humanitarian op-

same type of aircraft he learned to fly in at NAS

erations. U.S. Naval Aviation once again finds itself

Pensacola nearly seventy years ago.

at the bleeding edge of innovation as it prepares for

The past century has seen U.S. Naval airpower transformed from a small scouting force used in support of the battle fleet to a robust and powerful strategic

the transition to next-generation stealth aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator and Reaper.

military asset, capable of a wide range of missions

One hundred years later, Naval Aviation is alive,

from conventional operations, such as antiship, an-

well, and stronger than ever along Florida’s

tisubmarine, and air combat operations, to twenty-

Gulf Coast.

THuMBs uP (iNseT):


AMM3 Joel Pena gives a thumbs-up as an F/A-18 Super Hornet is launched from the USS Eisenhower.

Burrel Sumner, a Marine Corps F4U Corsair pilot in World War II, takes to the sky once again in the cockpit of an N2S-4 Stearman—the same type of aircraft he learned to fly in at NAS Pensacola nearly seventy years ago.

Photo: U.S. Navy

Photo: Troy Ruprecht




1 9 1 1 – 20 1 1

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Craft Beer Dinner Over 120 guests joined together for fine dining and cold beer during SunQuest Cruisesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Craft Beer Dinner on April 28. The meal aboard the yacht Solaris


featured five Southern-inspired courses by Chef James Huckaby, each paired with a craft beer from Hank Standridge of 30A Brewing Company. The bluegrass band, the Tennessee Firearms, entertained guests during the three-hour tour on Choctawhatchee Bay. The cruise was the second in a series of SunQuest events, which will culminate on Sept. 1 with Bourbon and Barbeque night Photography by Lisa Ferrick



Hank Standridge and James Murray


Mike Ragsdale and Bob Brown


Jay and Jenny Etheredge, Phil and Madra


McDonald, Meredith Snow, Lisa Ferrick, Bob Brown and Amanda Abbott


Carrie Standridge and Lindsay Belanger


Hank Standridge and Chef James Huckaby


Meredith Snow and Bob Brown










Wine & Dine Feelings of excitement and generosity mingled over good vino April 27â&#x20AC;&#x201C;28 as the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation hosted its Wine and Dine in Paradise event. The Foundation broke its own record for the sixth consecutive year, raising over $1 million for local childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s charities. Patrons from across the country attended a weekend of wine, food, and philanthropy. Photography by Lisa Ferrick



Jon Lyons and Lauren Magli


Greg and Stacy Lill, Leslie and Len Sbrocco


Dennis and Lisa Peters


Kirk Baker and Todd Vucovich


Mark McWilliams, Gayle Schoettle, George Barnes and Lynn Dugas




Jeanne Dailey and Jay Nettles


Scott Russell and Penny Jackson SUMMER 2011


PEOPLE + PLACES Tamara Bickley by Kirsten Braden The renowned Atlanta interior designer Tamara Bickley recently hosted a “Give More Than You Take” fund-raiser at the stunning new home of Jeffrey and Carrla Goldstein in North Atlanta. Jeffrey is the founder of Impulse Marketing Group and one of Atlanta’s most successful dot-com entrepreneurs.



Guests strolled room to room enjoying the jawdropping experience of the futuristic home, which includes a full-size bowling alley. Bickley, who designed every aspect of the house with input from her clients, felt compelled to organize this fund-raiser. “While working with the Goldsteins to create their dream home, I discovered that they do so much to realize the dreams of others through their foundation, 1 Act of Kindness,” said Bickley. “When their home was finished, holding a charity event seemed a natural way to celebrate and give back.” Jeffrey


created the foundation to give every person the opportunity to contribute, no matter how small, to make a big difference. “My life has changed by becoming involved with a new kind of foundation— one for ordinary folks who want to participate in extraordinary acts,” said Jeffrey. Models, provided by CMT Agency and dressed in local designer Vanessa Vinci’s pieces, mingled with society and business guests sampling appetizing canapés prepared by celebrity chef Herb Mesa. Attendee Brie Murray said



of the soiree, “This is the most amazing house I have ever been in. One cannot help but follow the Goldsteins’ example to help create some joy and beauty in other peoples’ lives.” For more information about 1 Act of Kindness, please visit For more information about Tamara Bickley, please visit Photography by 176






1 9

Jeff and Carrla Goldstein - Host and Founders of 1 Act Per Day


Elizabeth Lorio, Robert Johnston and Kirsten Braden of Platinum Pistol Bucking Bulls


Event Sponsors - Platinum Pistol Bucking Bulls, Kolo, CMT Agency, Design Galleria, Moceri Management, Photography by Galina and Tamara Bickley Design. Not pictured: VIE Magazine and Sothebyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Realty




Herb Mesa


Galina and Igor Coada


The Goldstein Residence


Kelly Day, Mike Kohlsdorf, Elizabeth Jennings and Alan Cablik


Trish McEvoy & Team


Carrla Goldstein, Cathy Mericka, Toni Moceri, Melissa Russell and Elizabeth Jennings


Herb Mesa and Tamara Bickley


Lana Landis - Singer/Songwriter


Alin and Mona Lisa Macarie: Couture Blooms by Mona Lisa




Sydney, Jeff and Carrla Goldstein SUMMER 2011


------- ~

30A Radio

An Apartment in Paris

Beach Ready Spa & Wellness Center

Artful Eye

Braulio Casas Architects

the Art of Simple

Bruce Judd Consulting

Central Square Records

Barefoot BBQ

Cabana Man


Bud & Alley's Pizza Bar


La Vie Est Belle

Bud & Alley's Restaurant & Rooftop Bar

Cottage Rental Agency

Amavida Fired-Up Focus - Galleryz & Studioz Justin Gaffrey Studio Newbill Collection by the Sea Red Bird Gallery

Earl Bacon Insurance Agency Bud & Alley's Taco Bar Crush

Deja-vu on the Beach Elliott Boutique

Florida Haus

Dawson's Yogurt & Fudge Works

Johnson Rice & Co., LLC

Frost Bites

Neighborhood Title Company

Great Southern Cafe

Regions Bank


Rolland's Beauty Bar & Art Gallery

The Fitness Fetish Jewel Toffier ONO Surf Shop

the MeltDown on 30A


Modica Market

Seaside Beach

Escape to Create

Magpies Pizitz Home & Cottage Shimmering Seas Jewelry Sundog Books

Seaside Community Realty, Inc The Seaside Institute Seaside Neighborhood School

Pickles Beachside Grill Seaside Repertory Theatre

Seaside Classic Raw and Juicy Seaside Kids Snap Tweens

The Shrimp Shack

Willow + Woods

Wild Bill's Beach Dogs

Seaside Town Council Target Capital Management Wells Fargo


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EXTREME PERO An Off-the-6rid Adventure from It~ Altiplano Highland~ to It~ Amazon lowland~ ~tory and

Photography by Kim Duke-Layden


opping the list of Peru's must-see destinations are its captivating capital, Lima, mesmerizing Machu Picchu, and Cusco,

the Imperial City of the Incas. While these places justly deserve their accolades, to gain a better insight into the real Peru, veer off the beaten path and away from the throngs of tourists. Join me and my traveling companions, newlyweds Jane and Dave from Toronto, and Maruja, our tour leader from Gap Adventures ( as we take the toads less traveled and explore Peru's remote corners from Lake Titicaca to the Amazon. Peru is a diverse melting pot whose descendants are a hearty gumbo of indigenous ~echua intermixed for centuries with Spanish, Chinese, German, and African immigrants. Like its people, traditional Peruvian cuisine, comida criolla, reflects its varied ethnic roots. One of Peru's most popular dishes combines Chinese influences (chifa) to create lomo

saltado: stir-fried tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and strips of beef or alpaca. Peru's national cocktail (which Chile claims as well) is a tangy pisco sour made with pisco (Peruvian white brandy), sweetened lemon juice, egg whites, and bitters. Less sophisticated, but centuries older, is the tasty chicha morada, a drink made from home-brewed sweet purple corn. Peru's climate and topography run the gamut from one region to another. Lima clings above central Peru's Pacific coast, enjoying dry, springlike temperatures year-round. Near Cusco in the Andes, Machu Picchu plays hide-and-seek in a cloud forest surrounded by jagged, melting glaciers. In the southeast, where Peru's tip tickles Bolivia, stands the arid, barren altiplano, or high plain, home to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. Just northeast of the altiplano, but seemingly worlds away, is wildly exotic Tambopata National Reserve, nestled within Peru's dense Amazon rainforest. SUMMER 2011


During the slow sojourn over winding, pothole-riddled highways from Cusco to the altiplano, the everchanging scenery transitioned from rolling, verdant vistas to harsh, dusty flatlands. We made a pit stop on top of the world at La Raya, the trip’s highest pass, where jaw-dropping peaks created a surreal setting for merchant tables overflowing with soft, fluffy alpaca and llama fur hats, slippers, and carpets. Our five-hour trip ended in Puno, Peru’s lakeside hub for exploring Lake Titicaca. At charming Hotel Italia (, we drank hot coca tea for altitude acclimation before setting out on foot to explore Puno’s chaotic cobblestone streets. After dinner, we happened upon a religious celebration, where revelers danced, sang, and lit bombas (firecrackers) around a Catholic saint’s shrine. On the chilly, dark sidewalk outside Hotel Italia, a plump Quechua woman named Guana chewed coca leaves and knitted amid piles of alpaca wool sweaters, hats, and gloves. Guana’s black hat and matching braids framed her leathery, harvest moon face. I found her prices and precocious personality irresistible, so I bought a three-piece set—a $15 bargain! After breakfast we hopped colorful bicycle taxis to Puno’s tiny port overlooking Lake Titicaca and boarded an excursion boat bound for the islands of Taquile, Amantaní, and the Uros floating islands. Fellow passengers included Lucha, our local guide and historian, and a dozen high school students and chaperones from Quebec, Canada. Lake Titicaca is situated 12,500 feet above sea level, spans 3,200 square miles and plunges 1,000 feet deep. As South America’s largest lake, it is also considered the Inca’s sacred birthplace. According to legend, the first Incas ascended from the depths of Titicaca’s sparkling waters and journeyed to Cusco, where they founded the Inca Empire. Lucha said that the lake was once inhabited by giant frogs and monster-sized catfish. These days, tasty rainbow

South America’s largest lake is also considered the Inca’s sacred birthplace. According to legend, the first Incas ascended from the depths of Titicaca’s sparkling waters and journeyed to Cusco, where they founded the Inca Empire. trout swim Titicaca’s cobalt-colored waters, thanks to Canadian scientists who introduced them in Peru years ago. Up on the top deck, I joined several passengers for some fresh air and sunshine. The teens were of Inuit and Cree descent and lived in Kuujjuarapik, a remote community of northwest Quebec. They talked about hunting seal and caribou and how they preferred eating the meats raw rather than cooked. Although the students appeared westernized, their fascinating stories revealed strong ties to ancestral traditions—similar to the inhabitants on the islands we were about to visit. By lunchtime, we arrived at Taquile, which had steep switchbacks and stunning scenery. Hilly, green vistas filled with flowers and cornfields melted into the spanning, Aegean-like backdrop. Countless steps later, we reached the clay-colored village square, anchored on one side by Taquile’s textile cooperative. Across the vast stone courtyard, iglesia (church) bells chimed, reminding me it was Sunday. Señors, resembling bullfighters in cropped jackets and cummerbunds, milled about. Their hat colors denoted their marital status: red signified single, black meant married. We ate creamy quinoa soup and freshly grilled trout on the terrace of a rustic restaurant with breathtaking views. Lucha showed samples of Taquile’s highquality textiles, which are among Peru’s finest. He explained several of the island’s unique customs, such as it is Taquile’s men, rather than the women,

who are the expert weavers. In fact, a bachelor’s eligibility is ranked according to his weaving skills. And, surprisingly, Taquile’s Catholic community encourages its unmarried couples to live together before marriage to better determine their long-term compatibility. The air grew chilly as our boat sloshed through choppy waves on our trip’s next leg toward Isla Amantaní, where we stayed overnight with a local family. Lucha distributed flyers with common phrases translated in English, Spanish, and Quechua, the island’s most commonly spoken language. Reviewing my “cheat sheet,” I discovered Quechua was nothing like Spanish. How would I ever remember how to say “Yuspagarasunki” (Thank you, very much) or “Maypitaj Hispana Wasi?” (Where is the bathroom?) On shore, a group of Amantaní’s home-stay hostesses, or “mamas,” greeted us by shaking our hands and saying, “Allillanchu” (Hello). Maruja introduced us to Mari, our petite, twenty-six-year-old mama who spoke Spanish and gave us a welcoming smile. As is customary, we brought her a few “luxury gifts”: sugar, dried beans, cooking oil, and toothpaste. Mari skittered up the hilly path as Jane, Dave, and I trailed breathlessly behind. After twenty sweaty minutes, we made a right at the braying donkey and followed the overgrown path to the back of Mari’s house. The baño lacked modern plumbing, but our comfy rooms had electricity. The kitchen had a smoky, earthy smell and was barely lit by a single candle and smoldering embers in the fireplace. Mari knelt upon the hearth tending to a cuy (guinea pig), a Peruvian specialty. The dirt floor felt soft under my fidgety feet as we politely smiled and nodded at Mari’s parents, Lucia and Marcelo, who spoke only Quechua. I couldn’t see what Mari served me until my camera’s flash illuminated my dinner plate—the roasted



hindquarter of cuy, which looked and tasted like Cornish hen. The perfectly seasoned skin was rubbery and inedible, but it made a flavorful rub for the bland potatoes and oku, a pinkish, stubby root vegetable. After Mari outfitted her new guests from head to toe in multiple layers of embroidered wool clothing, we dashed off to the town hall dance. The rustic building seemed to burst with infectious laughter and swirling colors. A traditional Andean band played while everyone danced the night away. Several dances had steps similar to the conga and the pretzel, but my favorite was a muy rapido Soul Train line, in reverse. It was the most fun I had had dancing since my wedding reception ten years ago! After an early breakfast and grand farewell from the mamas, our boat veered away from nearby Bolivia’s snowcapped peaks and glided across Titicaca’s glassy

waters toward the Islas Los Uros, Peru’s famed floating islands of reeds. I anxiously watched as our boat snaked along the shallow, watery trail flanked by a proliferation of totora reeds, which resemble saw grass. Across the crescent-shaped lagoon, I caught my first glimpse of the Uros and its dozens of identical-looking reed settlements that skirt the island’s edges. We moored where several Aymara senoras wearing colorful skirts and jackets gathered to serenade us. Cautiously, I stepped down on the springy surface that resembled strewn hay. Lucha demonstrated how the Uros’ man-made island was constructed by forming bales of decomposed reeds with mud, then tying them together like a patchwork quilt. He said the floating bundles were staked from twelve different points into the shal-

lows of the lake and secured. As the bottom reeds rot, the top layer is continually replenished, so that an island typically lasts from ten to twenty years. It is believed this island-building tradition predates the fifteenth century. Several Aymara families lived within the community we visited. Victor gave me a tour through his compound, which consisted of several thatched huts for sleeping and entertaining, a water tower, gardens, and an outdoor kitchen. Almost everything was ingeniously constructed from dried totora reeds, except a port-o-let and water cooler, which he recently added for home-stay guests. Equally astounding, Victor’s bedroom had electricity and satellite television, compliments of one of Peru’s past presidentes. Jane and I skipped souvenir shopping and opted for a ride on their uniquely designed pontoon boat fea-

Four “mamas” dressed in bright textiles on Isla Amantaní

turing a pagoda and two puma-head-shaped bows. Except for the wood flooring, the hand-rowed vessel was woven entirely of reeds. Upon our departure for nearby Puno, the senoras returned for a surprising send-off. They sang, in English, “My Bonny Lies over the Ocean,” and then shouted, “Hasta la vista, baby!” A stone’s throw northeast of Puno is Peru’s mammoth Amazon Basin. Located at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers, Puerto Maldonado is the jumping-off point for exploring Tambopata National Reserve. After landing in Puerto Maldonado’s tiny airport, we joined local guides from Rainforest Expeditions ( with a dozen fellow adventurers and set out for a two-night jungle stay. The trip to our eco-lodge became an Indiana Jones adventure in itself: a washed out bridge left us temporarily stranded in the jungle until our motorized canoe could reach us farther down river; an hour later we boarded the long, rickety boat and teetered our way up the rushing, muddy-colored Rio Tambopata, which teemed with ominous caimans (cousins of the alligator); all this was followed by a twenty-minute hike through the sweltering, mosquito-infested rainforest.

sharp-toothed piranhas, which the locals fry and eat whole—bones and all. My favorite Amazon excursion was to Nape, where sage shaman Oronato gave us a tour through his living pharmacy. He serves as physical and spiritual healer to the region’s indigenous people who can’t afford or gain fast access to hospitals. Our guides interpreted as Oronato showed us medicinal plants and herbs used for treating ailments ranging from arthritis and kidney infections to stomach problems and broken hearts. “Para Para” (“Get up, get up”) is the Amazon’s version of Viagra. I was most impressed by oje, a “master plant” that some scientists believe may someday soon cure Parkinson’s disease. Oronato concluded our tour by offering samples of his homemade “cures,” which tasted more like liquors than medicine due to their high alcohol and sugar content. I drank a shot of chuchuhuasi, which tasted like spiced hard cider and is used for treating

Ahead in the clearing, we arrived at Posada Amazonas (, where we were cheerfully greeted with chilled facecloths and lemonade. Rustic luxury would best describe this sprawling, four-star eco-lodge. While it is without electricity or hot water, the lodge has top-notch hospitality, guides, and cuisine. Unique guest rooms feature in-room hammocks, and instead of walls, there are railings, which overlook the jungle just inches away. Mosquito-net-covered beds keep bugs and bats at bay, while nature lulls you softly to sleep. Tambopata is renowned for its abundant animal and plant life and includes over 1,300 bird species, two hundred types of mammals, 1,200 kinds of butterflies, and ten thousand higher plant species. During one rainforest foray, we spotted macaws, toucans, kingfishers, and hoatzins, which resemble brown turkeys and are thought to be descendants of dinosaurs. Hoatzins are nicknamed “stinkbirds” because they have an extra stomach to store decomposing leaves and when threatened, they belch a foul odor (pun intended) on their enemies. Some in our group, using cane poles and raw meat, caught razor184


One of dozens of floating reed settlements along the shoreline of Islas Los Uros

many ailments including arthritis. As it turns out, chuchuhuasi is also excellent for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. After two days of relentless throbbing in my hand and arm, I awoke the following morning pain free! Peru exceeded all my expectations—stunning sights and scenery, and astounding experiences punctuated with infinite “firsts.” However, it is the hospitable and charismatic people that I met at every turn in Peru who will keep my memories alive and keep me yearning to return to the incredible Land of the Incas.

Kim Duke-Layden lives at Sandestin with her husband, John, and owns KDL Marketing, a commercial real estate leasing and consulting company,




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Margit Bisztray, Top 5 Restaurant Countdown

Nick Vavas, Beach TV Local News Anchor

Watch Beach TV and Win great prizes, including dinner at the fabulous Cuvee Bistro, golf at Regatta Bay and an Emerald Grande vacation getaway! When the Beach TV prize patrol calls, tell them you're watching Beach TV, and you could be a winner!

Francesca Sullivan-Hester, Co-Anchor & Special Events Reporter

Ashley Capps, Entertainment Reporter

Tune in to Beach TV, the #1 Visitor Information Station in America, for the best advice on how to make the most of your vacation! Watch Margit Bisztray's Top 5 Restaurant Countdown and Ashley Capps Cocktail Hour Nightlife Entertainment updates. Catch Nick Vavas and Francesca Sullivan-Hester at the top of every hour for Local News ... what's happening this week on the beach. Plus, attractions, shopping, travel tips and fun!


N2S-4 No.55708 By Bill Weckel photography by Michael Belk


he Boeing-Stearman Model 75 Kaydet, known in military parlance as the PT-17 or N2S-4, was the primary flight trainer of both the U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Navy. This strong and maneuverable aircraft, capable of aerobatics, was for many World War II pilots their first exposure to the world of



flight. The aircraft was forgiving enough to allow a student to solo after only eight hours of stick time yet presented enough of a challenge to “separate the men from the boys.” The Kaydets were critical to the Allied war effort, and by V-J Day more than eight thousand of them had rolled off of Boeing’s assembly lines.

The aircraft appearing in this issue of VIE – People + Places is Bureau of Aeronautics number 55708. This beautifully restored aircraft is owned and piloted by Pensacola attorney Roy Kinsey, Jr., and now wears the markings of a U.S. Navy training aircraft circa 1943. Produced at Boeing’s Wichita, Kansas, plant in July of 1943, she served as a trainer throughout the duration of the war. In August of 1945, she was stricken from Navy records and sold as surplus for $523.05. Many of these surplus Stearmans soldiered on through the postwar years as crop dusters, eventually being replaced by purpose-built aircraft. Number 55708 was meticulously restored to her original military configuration by master aircraft mechanic Allen Thompson of Senoia, Georgia. She now calls the Emerald Coast her home and is a proud reminder of our area’s rich naval aviation heritage.

Pilot/Owner Roy Kinsey in the front seat of his vintage Stearman Photo by troy ruPrecht

Photo of three Boeing-Stearman N2S-4 biplanes taken in 1936 at NAS Pensacola during training of the first class of the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Photo by u.s. navy

I'm Ready; or My High School Reunion! Nicci Bourgeois before and after

When Nicci Bourgeois' weight began to balloon to more than 265 pounds, she decided to look into bariatric surgery with Dr. Lord, a board-certified bariatric surgeon at the Sacred Heart Surgical Weight Loss Center. "When 1 went to see Dr. Lord, 1 brought a picture of myself from high school," says Nicci. "1 told him that 1 wanted to look like that again - 1 just wanted to be comfortable in my own skin." Two years later, Nicci is a totally new person. She has lost more than 125 pounds - dropping from 265 pounds and size 24, to a svelte 140 pounds and a size 6-8. "1 feel 10 years younger than 1 did 10 years ago!" says Nicci. "Life has become adventurous -I look forward to the day instead of dreading rolling out of bed because 1 have no energy."

For more information on bariatric services at Sacred Heart, please call (850) 416-SLIM or visit www.sacred-heart.orglbariatrics.


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On the Bay Across from the Links Golf Course

(850) 267-7 1 08

You can’t know what you don’t know… you know?!


ou’ve worked hard all your life to build a comfortable nest egg. Maybe you were even savvy enough to secure a healthy 401(k) or retirement pension in addition to Social Security. You’ve reached that elusive destination— retirement on the Emerald Coast! Now you look forward to morning walks on the beach or a round of golf with friends. Life is on your terms, so long as you maintain the financial resources that you have built. Now is an excellent time to reconsider whether the strategies that built your wealth are still the best strategies for protecting it. Sure, there was a time in your career that it made sense to dream big and risk big to accomplish something great. So now it might seem odd to adjust your strategy toward that of wealth preservation. We will share our brief perspective on how you might begin to reconstruct and transition your financial philosophy. Let’s start with a fundamental truth. In our practice as financial advisors, we often warn clients that “We can’t know what we don’t know, and neither can anyone else.” Typically, we are relating this concept to the risks involved with investing in any single stock or bond. What we mean is there is always the possibility that something unimaginable can happen that will render a stock (or bond) either worthless or severely depreciated overnight. And often you can’t see it coming. Hence our warning: you can’t know what you don’t know. To illustrate, we’ll remind clients of events that brought down the likes of Enron and WorldCom or, more recently, crippled BP. These events can happen at any company at any time with little or no warning. The world’s best

by DaviD WaDDle, brian Haugen, anD Steve Cann

investors cannot consistently predict these events ahead of time. Yet these developments can wreak instant havoc on your portfolio, your evening dinner plans, or that holiday cruise you were looking forward to. Carrying this concept a step further, sometimes the unforeseen events—the things we don’t know—can reach much further than just the ownership of a single stock or bond. Some events will damage a large group, or sector, of investments simultaneously. These events might be industry centered, geographically centered, policy induced, or in other ways impactful to a large number of securities. Ten years ago, the events of 9/11 had this type of widespread impact. In a more recent example, the comments of one famed Wall Street analyst during an interview provoked a sharp, indiscriminate selloff of municipal bonds last December. To further confound this predicament when investing, there’s the perplexing caveat that capital markets and asset prices will sometimes respond exactly opposite to what the headlines would imply. Consider, for instance, the recent protests in the Middle East. Logically, many of Wall Street’s best speculators might have assumed that our Dow Jones Industrial Average would be down in measurable reflection to these events. Yet the Dow saw little selling and even turned higher in short order. Then there is the truly unexpected, like the recent catastrophe in Japan. The timing and intensity of Japan’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami, not to

mention the severity of collateral disruptions to Japan’s nuclear facilities, were well beyond our capacity to forecast with any degree of reliability. Just one day prior to these events, there was no compelling fundamental reason to avoid investments in Japan’s leaders of global industry. Nonetheless, Japan’s Nikkei index suffered severe losses in the earthquake’s aftermath. As financial advisors, we encourage our clients to consider how their lifestyle might be impacted by these types of unfathomable scenarios and whether it is prudent to pursue concentrated investment strategies. In contrast, we illustrate the virtues of a broadly diversified retirement portfolio that is less likely to suffer large losses on the heels of any single event. The more eggs you have, the more baskets you should find to place them in. That, along with a sound financial plan, provides a logical foundation for continued investment success. Fortunately, it is not difficult to construct a defensive investment strategy that still pursues your primary objectives of capital preservation, income, or growth. Ideally, your strategy might still include some level of active management that would stand to capitalize on geopolitical or global economic events. Implementing a defensive strategy while maintaining an active element of flexibility to take advantage of opportunities presented by disruptive scenarios may well provide the best path toward keeping your retirement plans on track. Once you have acknowledged the need to adjust your financial philosophy, you have cleared a critical first hurdle toward preserving your independence. And this knowledge of “what you don’t know” helps you know a little more than you might otherwise have known … you know?

Fashion Designer Jewelry and Accessories

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Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is no assurance these trends will continue. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss. Diversification does not insure a profit or protect against a loss.

Prepared by David Waddle, Brian Haugen, and Steve Cann of Emerald Coast Wealth Advisors of Raymond James and Associates, which specializes in designing personalized, diversified financial portfolios for highnet-worth investors along the Emerald Coast.

TASSELS INC. 12101 Beach Parkway Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Phone: 850.233.3465 Fax: 850.233.6390 Email: Located in the Lyndell center on Panama City Beach Parkway SUMMER 2011


A Testimonial Dear Alan, We want to thank you for building a magnificent home for us. Sonnie and I are very pleased with the outcome. It is all that we hoped it would be and more. This is the first home that we have had built for ourselves. Naturally, with all of the “war stories” out there, we were somewhat apprehensive. Ficarra Builders came highly recommended to us by couples whom you have built homes for – some recently and others as long as fifteen years ago. We are happy to confirm that you have certainly lived up to a sterling reputation of trustworthiness and unrelenting focus on quality. We were allowed the flexibility to be as engaged as we felt necessary – always being involved in the decisions that were important to us – and you took care of the rest. You were always accessible by phone or in person and we were consistently informed of all construction progress and budgetary concerns. You attract and retain highly competent people who are as adamant about quality as you are. Our project superintendent, Kenny SanAngelo, was outstanding; and your subcontractors understand and deliver an equally impressive level of professionalism and pride in their work. Most of all, we appreciate the fact that you are a “straight shooter.” You have certainly earned our trust, respect and friendship.

FICARRA builders Custom Residential/Commercial

Since we began coming to the Gulf Coast, we have had a dream of our own special place by the sea – that dream is now a reality. We appreciate you! Sincerely, Sonnie and Jerry Heffel

228 Market St. | Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 | 850.267.2898 |

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Essentials of the Home



The Kitchen •

I ·


The Heart of the Home

To say that a kitchen is just a room is to underplay

This provides an intimate, nurturing eating space

the role this living space plays in our lives. We

with a fabulous vista of their pool and koi pond.

start our day there with perhaps a sacred cup

I often walk in and find my clients’ children there

of coffee; our family and friends congregate

having private lessons or simply hanging out

in the kitchen to share intimate moments and

with their friends.

grand feasts. It’s a sanctuary where we seek

the comfort of food and familiarity. If I were to

When it comes to appliances, part of my job is to

pick just one room that should be designed to

keep up to date on all the leading-edge gadgets

complement and enhance a family’s lifestyle, it

as they come on the market. Of course, “smart”

would be the kitchen.

appliances that are ecodesigned are not only

Certainly the role of a modern kitchen extends

The banquette and benches for this dining pavilion provide an intimate eating space.

way beyond just making meals. My design is inspired by a family’s traffic patterns. Instead of trying to battle against everyone’s natural

they convenience-meal junkies or fans of the

idea. I love creating space either in the kitchen

gourmet feast? Does this family entertain and, if

or close by to be used as an office/homework

so, in what way? Are there children? Pets? One

annex or a place to make a cocktail and read

of my favorite rules in designing kitchens is that

the newspaper.

there are no rules! The clients I work with are all

do a rough sketch, observing and questioning a client’s lifestyle: When they come in with their groceries, where do they put them? Are

to save the planet! I am a huge Fisher and Paykel fan. They invented the first dishwasher drawer and it has changed kitchens around the world!

inclination to gather in the kitchen, I embrace the

I spend a lot of time, before I lift my hand to

saving my clients time and money but also helping

unique with different needs, and that should be reflected in their homes.

I design in the same way that I would build a wardrobe—I pay attention to the important pieces, knowing where to spend the money and making sure those pieces have more than one purpose. More than anything, a family’s kitchen needs to be the perfect backdrop for the theater

I recently designed an amazing banquette and

of their everyday lives. Eat, share, live life—I will

benches for a dining pavilion off of a main kitchen.

take care of the details!


CHANGING THE WAY PEOPLE MOVE Fun, safe, quiet, economical, eco-friendly and legal transportation. 1 00% electric powered. Just plug it in ... charge and GO! Now you can legally and safely travel public roads with posted speed limits of 35MPH or less.

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When your dream wedding includes sand between your toes and your vows perfectly timed with the sunset, nothing could be better than the sugar-white sands of our beaches. Panama City Beach is the ideal place to say, “I do.” Available for hosting an intimate gathering or a sit-down reception for 1,000 guests, The Resort Collection of Panama City Beach can create a memorable experience with a variety of setting for you to choose from. To start making plans for your special wedding, please contact Kerri Maney at 850.235.4977 or email




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VIE - People + Places / Summer 2011  

VIE is a French word meaning “life” or “way of living.” VIE sets itself apart as a Northwest Florida regional, high-gloss publication focusi...