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A Sense of Place Rome Was Not Built in a Day Seaside's Perspicasity Turns 25

The Art of Life Steve Wagner Portrait of an Artist

The Joy of Publishing Sister Schubert Cooks a Book

Plus Chef Olivier Gaupin Romona Robbin's Egypt The King & Queen of Spain The Beautiful Game


VIE - Summer 2009



VIE - Summer 2009

Happiness. The Resort Collection boasts more than 1,000 full-service gulf-front suites and golf villas, 90,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, the world’s most beautiful beaches, an on-site spa, award-winning fine dining at Firefly, 6 Plexicushion tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, batting cages, 21 luxurious pools, and offer an executive 9-hole golf course and 27 holes of championship golf at the Hombre Golf Club on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.

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VIE - Summer 2009

VIE - Summer 2009



VIE - Summer 2009

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would grace the cover of this, our fourth issue. My siblings and I have always loved this photo of her, which was taken when she was fifteen. My mom is genuinely sweet and kind, shy and unassuming. In addition to being a mother of six, she worked as a nurse, which suited her caring and nurturing spirit. So when my mother told me, when I was in my mid-twenties, that she had dreamed of becoming a movie star or model in her youth, I could hardly believe her, as she didn't seem to have the extroverted personality required for either of those professions. Learning of this surprising side of her personality made me smile, as it was an unexpected secret revealed. I never forgot it, so as a small token of my love, respect and tribute to my mother’s dream, I am honored to have her grace VIE as a cover girl. Her photo was the inspiration for our tribute to mothers. I wanted to provide a forum for people to tell stories of how their mothers helped to shape their lives—honoring the incredible relationship between a mother and her child. Since I am not a mother, I know only one side of this relationship. In my tribute, I share how my mother shaped my life and I let her know that she is special and appreciated. My mother-in-law, Ruth Burwell, is also featured, and I want to do the same for her as well, since I consider her my mother too! Several others also share their stories, and we hope you enjoy our tribute.

Photo by Jessie Shepard

A Note from the Publisher We Made It! VIE is celebrating its one-year anniversary! Support and well wishes from our readers have been overwhelming, and we will continue to be successful as long as you continue to enjoy the magazine. In addition, our advertisers, who are the lifeblood of the magazine, have generated legitimate and tangible results for their businesses by advertising with us. We sincerely thank both readers and advertisers for accepting VIE. Anniversaries are special because they provide benchmarks of achievement. I also thank all of the contributing writers, photographers, design and support staff, and sales team who did their part in reaching this milestone. We strive to produce VIE with passion and continue to honor the people and places of COLA 2 COLA. Our Tribute to Mothers This issue celebrates and honors motherhood in a special section called “A Tribute to Mothers.” Even before we printed the first issue of VIE one year ago, I knew my beautiful mother, Marie Ryan, 8

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VIE Goes Vlogging Staying competitive and enhancing value are the cornerstones of VIE. Our blog has extended our ability to stay current with our community between issues by showcasing stories from COLA 2 COLA and beyond. Our online magazine, VIEzine, allows easy viewing for all. Our latest edition to the VIE family is VIEtv. Our inaugural launch of the Summer Issue includes webisodes with Steve Wagner in “Portrait of an Artist,” Sister Schubert at the 2009 SoBe Wine & Food Festival, Arix Zalace on Turtle Watch, and the Panama City Beach Pirates soccer team. Check it out on our blog at, and enjoy VIEtv!


For more information, please visit:

w w w. v i e z i n e . c o m

In this issue:








50 VIEcation Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort 13 People + Places Destin Center for Cosmetic Dentistry 18 Beach Community Bank 18 2009 Addy Awards 90 A Sense of Place Rome Was Not Built in a Day 20 ¡Viva Pensacola! 28 The Art of Life Portrait of Artist Steve Wagner 34 Feature A Tribute to Mothers 40 Girls Just Want to Have Fun 50 For the Love of Food Destination: Culinary Nirvana 59 California Wine Country 64 Dining Alfresco at Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach 71 Branded The Joy of Publishing: Cooking a Book 74

Get Out Redfish Riviera 83 Panama City Beach Pirates: “The Beautiful Game” 86 Beach Safety 92 Through the Lens Adventures in Egypt 96 Get Healthy The Health Nut: Hydration 103 Perspectives Northwest Florida: Welcome to “The Innovation Coast” 108 The Voyager Wine Tastings – Windjammer Style 112 FSU Explores the Road Less Traveled 118 Giving Habitat for Humanity “SuperBuild 2009” 124 Local Spotlight Turn Back the Clock – Erase the Years 128 Living Green Casting a New Light on Sea Turtles 133 I Can Make A Difference by… 138 VIE - Summer 2009


Letter from the Editor This anniversary issue celebrates mothers, and what goes better with a celebration than food and wine? The pages within this issue contain an epicurean extravaganza. Cornerstone (VIE’s publisher) cooks a book with “Sister Schubert” Barnes. We joined local philanthropists Stephen and Lynn Dugas on their encore visit to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival where we met celebrity chefs and TV personalities such as Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, and Flay’s beautiful wife, actress Stephanie March. To top it all off, we offer an exclusive and enticing voyage through some of the best inns and vineyards in California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

Photo by Jessie Shepard


So much can change in a year! It amazes me that we have now published four issues. It’s been a whirlwind, but I have been glad to be part of it. We are constantly searching the community for stories about the people and places from COLA 2 COLA. VIE is a publication that embraces a local perspective with a global attitude. Each issue begins with inspiration and then evolves organically. Some amazing things have occurred since our last issue was published. The Corrie ten Boom Museum in Holland has placed two issues of VIE in its archives because of Quin Moore Sherrer’s moving article about Corrie. Wow! We are incredibly honored. Many of our advertisers have reported sales and activity in response to their ads in VIE. We are glad to hear of these successes, and we feel fortunate to be a part of them.

For dessert, sit back and read about some of the other many exciting stories that are happening around us from COLA 2 COLA: learn how some of our hi-tech businesses are national leaders in their fields; local health nut, Clark Peters, tells the virtues of increased hydration; the talented painter-sculptor Steve Wagner discusses his discovery of a second career; and our own Crystal Hamon examines some of the traits of FSU’s study-abroad programs. I wish I could share more with you, but two days before going to press I received the letter (to right) from local resident, Chris Manion. Her words perfectly sum up the reason why we bring VIE to the readers of our region. I hope that you enjoy this issue of VIE and that you keep coming back for more. In the words of Virginia Willis, “Bon appétit, y’all!”

Gerald Burwell

Dear Gerald, I cannot thank you enough for giving us the wonderful story that Quin Sherrer wrote about Corrie ten Boom. I’ve been running into quotes by Ten Boom for years but never had seen a picture of her or knew her story. What a huge delight to find a full page photo and richly detailed story! It stopped me in my tracks and gave me such sustenance that I continue to savor and ponder and appreciate its depth. The juxtaposition of Dr. Mike Ewing’s friendship and refusal to be limited by his physical challenges made her story even more meaningful. I was expecting a little dip in the waters of your magazine. I was prepared to walk just up to my ankles through breezy articles, checking out local businesses to support. Instead, I found myself swimming in refreshingly cool, clear, deep waters that soothed my soul.  I haven’t closed the magazine yet... and it’s day two. Please keep giving us articles that feed the soul as well as the body! “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”  –Plutarch Thank you for the kindle wood. Full of gratitude and amazement, Chris Manion, Independant National Director for The Pampered Chef “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” –Martha Washington

On the Cover: VIE cover girl, Marie Ryan, opens our tribute to mothers. The photo was taken in Ireland when she was 15. She is the mother of six children; Lisa, Jack, Laurie, Marianne, Jim and Mark. Story on page 40 10

VIE - Summer 2009

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Published by:

(850) 231-3087 114 Logan Lane, Suite 4 Grayton Beach, FL 32459 w w w . T h e I d e a B o u ti q u e . c o m

Contact us at

VIE Creative Team: Lisa Burwell Publisher

Gerald Burwell

Art Direction / Creative:

Bob Brown VP of Creative Services

Hui-Ting Tang Graphic Artist

Margaret Stevenson


Eric Shepard Creative Director

Copy Editor

Advertising Sales:

Lisa Comeau VP of Account Services

Jim Ryan Account Executive



Michelle Smith Ad Design Crystal Hamon Writer


Jessie Shepard


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Tim Dutrow Video Producer


Romona Robbins

Lisa Ferrick Social Correspondent

Renee Ryan Distribution Director

Contributing Photographers: Kim Duke-Layden Paul Poplis Romona Robbins Jessie Shepard Shelly Swanger Steve Wagner Robert Holmes Sammy Todd Dyess Steven Rothfeld

Contributing Writers: Sallie Boyles Robyn Roehm Cannon Matthew Christ Laurie Crowley David Darlington Stephen Dugas Ann Hartley Jonita Haynes Kim Duke-Layden Clark Peters Romona Robbins Shelly Swanger

VIECATION Give-Away Register by July 10th to Win One of These Great Prizes!

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Grand Prize A two-night stay for two people in a gulf-front suite at Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort* - Dinner for Two at Ocean’s Bar & Grill

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Entry Information You must be 25 or older. Only one entry per person. Winner need not be present to win. This prize is guaranteed to be awarded and is subject to availability. No VIE - People + Places and/or The Resort Collection employee or employee’s immediate family member is eligible to win. The winner will be drawn on July 17, 2009. No substitutions for prizes and prizes are nontransferable and nonrefundable. Contest is open only to residents of the United States. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to enter. Neither VIE - People + Places and/or The Resort Collection nor any of its agencies, employees or affiliates are liable for any property damage, personal injury or death occurring during or in connection with this program. * This offer is valid through March 1, 2010. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Reservations are based on availability. Not valid over holidays and blackout dates may apply.

Names and addresses from contest entries will be added to the database of VIE - People + Places and The Resort Collection and may be used for future marketing announcements/promotions via U.S. Postal Service or e-mail. We respect personal privacy; any information provided on this form will be held in the strictest confidence and will be used for no other reason than stated on this form. If you do not wish to be added to our list, please indicate in the appropriate place on the entry.

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Our newest edition to the VIE family is VIEtv, featuring webisodes on-line as we go Vlogging.

VIE - Summer 2009


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VIE - Summer 2009

COLA COLA Distribution Areas by County:


ur stories and distribution cover Pensacola to Apalachicola, Florida as 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 & breakfast locations, special events and much more! We are excited 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: People + Places is a registered trademark. All contents herein are Copyright Š 2009 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 life-style magazine of Northwest Florida (COLA 2 COLA TM) 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. The Publisher reserves the right to publish any letter addressed to the editor or The Publisher. VIE: People + Places is a free publication and shall not be resold. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CORNERSTONE MARKETING & ADVERTISING, INC., 114 Logan Lane, Suite 4, Grayton Beach, FL 32459; (850) 231-3087.

VIE - Summer 2009



PLACES Destin Center for Cosmetic Dentistry The staff of Destin Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, including founder and president Dr. Dennis Lichorwic, welcomed aesthetician and skin care specialist Kelli Pate as a new addition to the team. Guests enjoyed cocktails and door prizes at this gathering held in her honor on February 12, 2009. Photography by Steve Barber

Erin Hansen, Mary Rose Hidalgo, and Dr. Dennis Lichorwic

Tom and Dana Saffel

Susan Story and Don Anchors

Kelli Pate and Steve Barber

Dr. Joe Story and Tony Hughes

Gerry Midgett and Kristen Smith

Kathy Pritchard, Dr. Joe Story, and Kim Cox

Beach Community Bank Beach Community Bank celebrated the addition of Dr. Joe Story of the Andrews Institute to their corporate board of directors on March 3 at their Garden Street Office in Pensacola. Dr. Story is President of Andrews Research and Education Institute and Chairman of the Andrews Surgery Center. Locally owned and managed, Beach Community Bank operates 14 branches in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and South Walton counties. Photography courtesy of Beach Community Bank


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Pam Woodall, Aileen Koon, and Don Anchors

Destin Commons – 850-650-4370 • Pier Park – Panama City Beach 850-387-4799


Seaside, FL – 888-264-4989

VIE - Summer 2009



VIE - Summer 2009

The Epicenter of Seaside’s Retail Turns Twenty-Five

by lisa burwell

photography by jessie shepard

VIE - Summer 2009



n the early years, when Robert Davis was building the first few houses on Tupelo Street in Seaside, his wife, Daryl, opened a vegetable stand, calling it the Seaside Saturday Market. The market was the beginning of retail trade in Seaside, which would evolve into a thriving and dynamic component of Seaside’s success and provide a prototype for retail development within New Urbanist communities. Daryl recounted how she would pick wild blueberries and purchase organic fruits and vegetables, and then display them in the manner she had seen in European markets. Many of her customers, though, were more interested in the clothes she was wearing than in the fruits and vegetables. The realization that there was a market niche to fill prompted her to carry a select line of T-shirts and cotton clothing, which, in turn, paved the way for her creation of Perspicasity. “It developed a sense of community and provided a gathering place,” said Daryl. She went into great detail, describing how this became much more than selling merchandise and accomplished something loftier. “I felt like I was setting a stage and that there was theater in what I was doing. I liked trying new things, creating the visuals that told the Seaside story,” she said. Armed with an innate understanding of how to sell her husband’s vision, Daryl continued to tell the story through the interior décor she created for the homes that Robert was building. Her designs were simple, yet purposefully staged, to convey the ambience and style that was beginning to emerge and be defined as the “Seaside Style.” Elements of the look included cotton


VIE - Summer 2009

curtains blowing in the breeze, straw slippers by a bed adorned with white cotton bed linens, a book about the beach on a nightstand, and indigenous flowers strategically placed in a vase in a living room appointed with grass mats and furniture of neutral colors. “When telling a story, all the details need to line up to create the vision you want to portray,” she said. As cofounders of Seaside, Daryl and Robert Davis are the visionaries who, in large part, are responsible for putting Scenic Highway 30A and the surrounding area on the map nearly thirty years ago. Many people know the Davises, and those who do not at least know of them. Separate interviews with the couple revealed that

they have collaborated to define, and redefine, a sense of place. It is astounding to consider that, as a result of their work, Seaside and its master plan ideology, later to be dubbed New Urbanism, are emulated by many, both locally and nationally. Imagine what our area would have been like before WaterColor, WaterSound, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Grand Boulevard, Silver Sands, Gulf Place, and a host of restaurants and shops existed. As a landmark within the town of Seaside, Perspicasity’s celebration of its twenty-fifth birthday this year is cause for reflection and introspection. For a quarter of a century, the Gulf-side open air market has been a shopping destination for

tique that would be something very different from what anyone had seen in the area before. “Daryl has great style about her,” said Mary. Mary had a successful retail background with the May Company, and Daryl had a background in psychology, with a master’s degree from the University of Miami. Daryl and Mary traveled to Europe and Turkey searching for unique merchandise. On their first buying trip to New York City, they thought that $20,000 worth of merchandise would be enough, but it did not last the season. Mary pointed out that Seaside was abuzz in the ’80s, as shopping along the Gulf of Mexico was a truly novel idea.

Perspicasity outdoor bazaar

“When telling a story, all the details need to line up to create the vision you want to portray.” –Daryl Davis

women who vacation here. Perspicasity, a name that is intentionally misspelled and difficult to say at first for some, appropriately means “keenness of insight.” And insight was something Perspicasity’s founders (and former business partners), Daryl Davis and Mary Patton, had, as the vision for the market has remained virtually the same since its inception. “Perspicasity’s inspiration was found from traveling through cities and holiday towns throughout Italy and

France, where vegetables, clothing and essentials were sold at markets scattered along the coast,” explained Daryl. Providing fashionable clothing made of natural fibers was, and still is, a cornerstone of Perspicasity’s concept. Daryl told how she met Mary and her husband, Tom, while shopping at the Seaside Saturday Market. A great partnership and friendship formed as they discussed opening a retail bou-

In 1983, the two teamed up with Robert and Seaside’s town architect at the time, Deborah Berke, to design the outdoor “bazaar,” or market. It has remained virtually unchanged from its original design of eight-foot by eight-foot huts, with the exception of the addition of canvasstretched umbrellas and outdoor seating. The design emulates the ancient Roman forums that they had seen in their travels and, is a large open rectangle surrounded by a colonnade and spaces that serve retail and civic functions. While creating the master plan for Seaside, “a conscious thought was to revive the craft of creating towns and cities out of negative space. In designing civic spaces, the space between buildings is probably as important, if not more, than the buildings themselves,” noted Robert. He added that when he formulated Seaside’s design code, he was careful to devise the outdoor spaces so that they would feel like outside rooms. The design was intended to be basic and one that he hoped would evolve over time. Daryl said, “Part of Perspicasity’s allure is that it is an urban room with energy. Whether you’re shopping or walking through—it’s always changing—it’s always dynamic.” She added that she and Mary had a knack for educating their customers on how to mix and match clothes— VIE - Summer 2009


clothes that never needed dry cleaning. In 1991, after seven years in business, the successful partnership between the two women ended when Daryl bought Mary out of her partnership. Mary said, “I wanted to do other things, and, with thirty employees and us working 24-7, I thought I needed a change.” “Style is the perfection of a point of view.” —Richard Eberhart “Over the years, one of the most recurring comments that we’ve ever received about Perspicasity is that customers, upon returning home from vacation, tell us that they wore everything they purchased and got lots of compliments. One of our sales techniques was to teach women how to dress for the beach and to make an investment in their beach wardrobe. We continue that today,” Daryl said. Daryl has style, and it is very much reflected throughout the town and her other retail stores located in Seaside. Perspicasity, Pizitz Home & Cottage, Seaside Classic, Seaside Kids, and Seaside Beach all fall under the umbrella of Seaside Associated Stores (SAS), a company owned by Daryl. When I asked Daryl to define the Seaside Style in three words, she said, “Classic, understated and timeless.” My conversation with Erica Gibson-Pierce, the general manager of SAS for the last twentyone years, caused me to reminisce about my first experience with Perspicasity about fifteen years ago. Flowing cotton dresses blowing in the Gulf breeze seemed to beckon me to try on something I’d never worn before. There were large straw beach and cowboy hats, sunglasses, fun jewelry, and clothes made of cotton and linen gauze that were sheer, sexy and uncomplicated. I think that part of the allure is that most women feel truly transformed when they wear something from Perspicasity. They feel as though they’re on vacation, even when they’re not. When a store offers this kind of delight, it 24

VIE - Summer 2009

Daryl Davis, Seaside Founder - Photo by Michael Granberry

is no wonder that it has remained in business and weathered challenging times. “Perspicasity has been able to hold its own over the years, despite competition from an oversaturated retail market in and around 30A during the past decade,” said Erica. “But we’re trending upward this year, even in this uncharted economic climate.” In the beginning, the boutique was open only three months out of the year, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but is now a twelve-month business. “Over the years, we had considered moving the boutique to another location within Seaside due to its prime real estate value, but our customers didn’t want it moved, so we listened to them,” added Erica. She further

described how the store Pizitz Home & Cottage had an incredible 2008, saying that it was their best yet. When I asked, incredulously, how that was accomplished in what I referred to as the “great recession,” Erica said that, in addition to the merchandise sold in the store, they also have an interior design service for those looking for the elusive and coveted Seaside Style, which is hard to copy. As Seaside is a model for the movement known as New Urbanism, it is also the model for the Retail New Urbanism movement. Although inextricably connected, some communities have had more success in retail than others. Seaside has had great success over the years by

Erica Gibson-Pierce and her daughter, Makenzie Roberts, manager of Perspicasity

establishing retail shops that complement one another. “All of the stores are ‘mom and pop’ stores, and that is one of the reasons the shopping experience has remained pure. It’s not contrived,” noted Erica. As an employer myself, I pondered how Erica could have remained with SAS for twenty-one years. I asked for insight into her success in terms of the elusive employer/employee relationship. She said, “Working for Daryl has been the best thing to happen in my life. It took a long time for me to earn her trust, but, over time, that trust has grown and blossomed into a great business relationship. But we’ve been able to keep our private lives private.”

Daryl had equally nice things to say about Erica, with one of the most heartfelt being this: “Erica has a rare quality about her that enables her to shift between the daily management of the boutiques and understanding the longterm vision of Seaside. I could never have done it without her.” The mutual admiration and respect these women have for one another after

all these years may be one of their biggest feats to date. As with all great partnerships, the yin and yang are said to offer the best equation for harmony and success. Daryl and Robert are surely a testament to this analogy. “I tend to operate at an abstract and intellectual level with regard to de-

“Perspicasity has been able to hold its own over the years, despite competition from an oversaturated retail market in and around 30A during the past decade.” –Erica Gibson-Pierce VIE - Summer 2009


Perspicasity, circa 1984

“The passage of time helps, but when we first started, it was hard to envision a place that would become so chic and fashionable.” –Robert Davis sign. Daryl fleshes out the skeleton and breathes life into it because she is down-to-earth, yet very concerned with the soul of Seaside. She was the one responsible for implementing the design approach for the outdoor rooms in Seaside,” said Robert. “One of the ways we tested our work at the early stages was to imagine it from the eyes of a three-foot-tall person—thinking about the design from a child’s perspective was an approach that proved to be very successful.” In connection with this point, Daryl elaborated that she saw the vision of Seaside from a human point of view, and Robert saw it from an urban point of view. Robert explained that all towns go through cycles and added that the reason Seaside feels so comfortable now is because it has had the benefit of twenty-seven years, and it grew slowly, 26

VIE - Summer 2009

in contrast to the speed with which typical real estate developments are created today. “The passage of time helps, but when we first started, it was hard to envision a place that would become so chic and fashionable,” said Robert. He feels that retail in Seaside has a “liveliness” about it that many other New Urbanist communities do not seem to have, but this could be of their own choosing or because they have not yet had the benefit of the passage of time. Remarkably, Perspicasity was not only the first retail boutique in Seaside but also the catalyst or incubator that spawned other businesses. “It was an experiment of sorts,” said Daryl. “We were, and still are, constantly changing, updating and refining. I consider it an evolving process.” In the beginning, they noticed that customers had

an affinity for the housewares among the retail items they sold, giving them the inspiration to open Pizitz Home & Cottage (known then as L. Pizitz) and confidence that they would be able to fill another niche. The antique furniture that was once offered in Perspicasity made way for another store, Fernleigh. Robert ended our conversation with the immutable words, “You can’t finish a city in a day or a lifetime; all you can do is start.” Rome was not built in a day but has actually spanned thousands of years. Seaside, on the other hand, was created in less than thirty years, and, with the creation of Perspicasity, it continues to achieve the goals of the original master plan. Happy 25th, Perspicasity!

Visit VIEtv for a webisode called Rome Was Not Built In A Day w w w.v i e z i n e . c o m

VIE - Summer 2009


S PA N I S H R O YA LT Y G R A C E S L A F L O R I D A By Crystal Hamon / Photography by Jessie Shepard


VIE - Summer 2009

It is not every day that a city in Northwest Florida, or any city in the United States for that matter, has the opportunity to host royalty. So, when news spread that city officials had invited King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain to visit Pensacola, the red carpet was unfurled and the city buzzed with excitement about the royal visit. The king and queen were coming to honor the city’s Spanish heritage and to commemorate its 450th anniversary.

lorida’s relationship with Spain dates back to its discovery by Ponce de Leon in 1513. But the city of Pensacola also shares a special bond with Spain. On August 15, 1559, Spanish explorer Don Tristán de Luna sailed into what is now Pensacola Bay with more than 1,500 farmers, soldiers, craftsmen and priests. The group established one of the first major European settlements in North America. Unfortunately, the settlement was met by the fury of a massive hurricane (something modern Pensacolians know only too well) that damaged the settlement, destroyed supplies and ultimately drove the settlers away. However, in 1698, the Spanish returned to establish the first permanent settlement in Northwest Florida: Presidio Santa María de Galve—the foundation of modern day Pensacola.

Throughout 2009, Pensacola will host a variety of festivals and events to pay homage to its 450 years of history. Celebrate Pensacola, Inc. is the nonprofit organization commissioned with promoting Pensacola’s important place in our country’s history. Some of the events planned include a Spanish-inspired wine festival, the Miguel Zapata art exhibit, a reenactment of the 1781 Battle of Pensacola, the Heritage Festival, a celebration of the de Luna landing and various concerts and parades. The Juan Sebastián de Elcano, the Spanish Royal Navy tall ship on which King Juan Carlos I trained as a midshipman, is also scheduled to appear. But the visit from the Spanish king and queen certainly tops the list of highlights for the yearlong celebration. Their majesties graced the emerald shores of Pensacola on February 18 and 19, 2009, and even the weather was accommodating. They ar-

rived the evening of February 18 at Naval Air Station Pensacola, visiting Pensacola Beach and the Pensacola Historic District the next morning. They toured Fort George, which was the site of the Spanish victory over the British during the Battle of Pensacola, a major turning point in the American Revolutionary War. Pensacola Mayor Mike Wiggins escorted the royal couple to Plaza de Luna on Pensacola Bay to dedicate the future site of the Spanish conquistador statue. The statue will pay tribute to the Spanish explorers who settled Pensacola and will honor the city’s Spanish legacy. VIE was invited to cover this important event taking place in the COLA 2 COLA region. I made the two-hour drive from Grayton Beach to

King Juan Carlos I VIE - Summer 2009


Pensacola with Eric Shepard and Jessie Shepard, VIE’s art director and photographer, respectively. During the trip, evidence of the royal presence in the city was apparent. In Gulf Breeze, crowds of middle and elementary school children lined both sides of Highway 98 awaiting the king and queen’s motorcade. The children waved Spanish flags made from construction paper and held signs reading “¡Bienvenidos!” (Welcome!). Historic downtown Pensacola was dressed in its finest. The noonday sun glinted on the crimson and golden hues of the Spanish flags decorating the historic architecture. Excited citizens filled Plaza Ferdinand in front of the T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum as anxious onlookers crowded the balconies of nearby structures vying for the best view. The University of West Florida Symphonic Band performed while masses awaited the dignitaries. Ironically, the plaza (named for Spain’s king in 1781) is the historic place where Andrew Jackson first raised the American flag over Florida, claiming it for the United States in 1821. Groups of Spanish Americans and Spanish expatriates gathered at the front of the crowd singing songs in their native tongue while holding signs and flags to welcome the king and queen. Cheers filled the square: “¡Viva el Rey!” (Long live the king!) “¡Vivan Juan Carlos y Sofía!” (Long live Juan Carlos and Sofia!). As the diplomatic motorcades arrived, the crowd of nearly 3,000 erupted with enthusiasm. Everyone was hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal pair. Contrary to fairytale images often 30

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conjured of royalty, the king and queen wore business suits with their heads unadorned, yet they still exuded an air of majesty. Also greeting the king and queen were Florida Governor Charlie Crist, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, U.S. Representative Jeff Miller, Pensacola Mayor Mike Wiggins and Escambia County Commissioner Marie Young. At the podium, which was resplendent with red carnations honoring Spain’s national flower, Governor Crist extended a formal welcome to their majesties on their historic visit to the Sunshine State. He said, “Though thousands of miles separate us, centuries of history and culture keep us together forever. Florida and Spain enjoy a relationship that is unmatched among all the states in our nation.” He remarked on the strong partnerships in trade, education, culture and heritage between the two states, as well as the extensive and valued Spanish community in Florida.

Governor Charlie Crist

“The queen and I thank you for your warm and generous welcome, one we will never forget.” – King Juan Carlos I

As Pensacola and Spain gathered that day to honor their treasured past, Crist noted that they were also looking forward to their future. According to the Governor’s office, trade between Florida and Spain reached $1.2 billion in 2008—an increase of 26.1% since 2007. With more subsidiaries of Spanish companies in Florida than from any other country, the historic ties between the two appear to be growing stronger. Governor Crist concluded his speech by officially proclaiming February 19, 2009 to be King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía Day in the state of Florida. In grand European style, King Juan Carlos I addressed the crowd from the second-story balcony of the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. “The queen joins me in thanking you from our hearts for your kind invitation to this beautiful and dynamic city that contains so much of the shared history of Spain and the United States,” he said. “We had always wanted to visit you. This great celebration is a unique occasion to do so.” The king thanked the city of Pensacola for preserving what he called “our common heritage.”

The king recounted the story of Tristán de Luna and his Spanish ancestors that came to these shores. “They were guided by the hope of achieving, through hard work, a better life for them and for their children. Here, in this land, the seeds of that extraordinary adventure took root and flourished.” This story, he said, “is why the cultural heritage of Pensacola is amongst the richest in North America.” With paternal pride, the king said, “Today we are in Pensacola to tell you that Spain values your commitment to preserving this Spanish legacy and that we are proud of your ancestors and admire how their descendents have helped to build this country.” King Juan Carlos I noted that the Spanish presence in the United States began in Florida and said, “Today, the Hispanic presence is a rich component to the diversity and strength of American society.” “The queen and I thank you for your warm and generous welcome, one we will never forget,” said King Juan Carlos I. “¡Viva Pensacola! Long live Pensacola!” To which many in the crowd replied, “¡Viva España! Long live Spain!” Following the speech, the king and queen spent a few moments touring the T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum. They examined artifacts, including an anchor believed to be from de Luna’s vessel. The University of West Florida archeology department had recently recovered the anchor from a 1559 shipwreck found in Pensacola Bay. The royal couple then enjoyed an elaborate luncheon before departing for the Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami. The historic visit by Spanish royalty rallied the citizens of Pensacola and Floridians alike, with a rich sense of place. The visit offered residents a deeper perspective of the important history of this city and state, while uniting people with a spirit of celebration that extends beyond our borders and shores.

VIE - Summer 2009



VIE - Summer 2009

VIE - Summer 2009




Steve Wagner By Sallie Boyles


VIE - Summer 2009


ith his charming smile and ready humor, artist Steve Wagner exudes the easygoing warmth of his Southern upbringing. He has reason to smile. Now that his children are grown and the pressures of his Atlanta graphic design business are history, Steve is living his dream in the good company of his wife, two dogs, and many friends. Indulging his passion to paint and sculpt, Steve fully appreciates the idyllic setting of his home and studio, which are close to the happenings of 30A, yet peacefully secluded. Even so, it would be wrong to assume that serious thought escapes such a man. Scratch the surface and you will uncover a fascinating blend of passion and purpose, instinct and knowledge. Being an artist is part of Steve’s genetic makeup, but his technique is a result of lifelong study. “It’s in my bones,” he said. In fact, Steve takes after his artistically gifted mother, grandfather (who designed the original Mars candy packaging), and great-grandfather. Pure desire compelled him to draw as a child. “I believe any artist has to love drawing to continue creating,” said Steve. From the start, he also understood the value of study plus practice to refine his innate gift. Since art classes did not exist in the schools of Newnan, Georgia, where he grew up, Steve took private lessons as boy. “I was fortunate to have teachers in Newnan like Tommy Powers, Tony Dykes and Lavonne Gault,” said Steve, who believes that children face a disadvantage when they are not exposed to the fine arts. Pointing to research that shows a correlation between creating and critical thinking, Steve soundly advocates instilling art curricula that cultivate problem-solving skills. He also regrets that relatively few budding artists have the opportunity to develop their talents

Steve Wagner paints our photographer Photo by Jessie Shepard

early on. Just as certain math and science requirements must be met in high school to prepare for college, a proper foundation is necessary if young artists hope to compete for spots in the fine arts colleges. “With the exception of cities like New York,” he said, “not many high schools around the country focus on the arts.” Steve’s other concern is that art students today are not learning the fundamentals. “Instructors are saying, ‘Paint what you like,’ to the point that their students never learn essential techniques,” he said. “They don’t know how to draw.” It’s

inexcusable to Steve that a number of today’s artists don’t know how to prep a canvas or use a medium properly. As an example, he mentions a painting with an $8,000 price tag he saw in a Napa gallery. “It was a beautiful work, but the artist had painted it directly on raw linen. Anyone who understands the first thing about oil painting would know that oil in the paint will rot the linen.” Always cognizant of the need for preparation, Steve went to college to pursue a career in graphic design. He spent the first two years taking basic VIE - Summer 2009


The “eye-opener” for Steve, however, was to be in the presence of the paintings and sculptures of the Old Masters. Above all, Amedeo Modigliani, well known for his portraits, nudes and sculpture, captivated Steve. “I’ve always loved the work of Modigliani,” said Steve. “His muse has been mine from the beginning.” That influence is most apparent in Steve’s stone sculpture but also in his nude painting. While Steve categorizes his work as realistic, many of his paintings follow the French Impressionists’ technique. The foaming waves in his seascapes are an example. “If you want realism, you should take a photograph of the ocean,” he offers. He prefers an impressionistic interpretation to convey the emotion. Another important influence on Steve’s art is Pointillism, a technique initiated by Georges Seurat, who was a leader among the 19th-century French Neo-Impressionists. The process plays one color against another with applications of tiny brushstrokes. In Roman Road, an impressive 48" x 60" oil on canvas hanging in his studio, Steve uses the method to portray an Italian country road in vivid but calming blues and greens. He fondly refers to the work in progress as his “Obama painting because it has trillions of dots.”

Masquerade by Steve Wagner art courses at the University of Georgia before transferring to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, for more serious study. At Pratt, art permeated the culture; it flowed from the classroom to the social scene, fostering an environment of enrichment—an atmosphere Steve wholeheartedly endorses. He completed his major in Visual Design at Auburn University and graduated with his BFA degree in 1970. Before entering the world of commercial art, Steve played the bohemian backpacker, taking nine months to tour Europe—Spain, France, 36

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England, Greece. This journey was his opportunity to experience firsthand the Old World art and culture that he emulates in his work. He traveled solo, which Steve said was ideal for meeting people. Getting from place to place, he generally took a train or hitchhiked. When he needed money, he got a job. “I worked as a deckhand on a boat out of Cannes for eight weeks,” he said with satisfaction. He also lived in a cave in Crete. Visually and emotionally, the trip left a profound impression. “With the Viet Nam War just over and the Paris Peace Accords being negotiated, it was an intense time to be abroad.”

While Steve works with models (his preference) and photographs, he is beginning to paint from memory as well. “After you paint the human form enough, you can pull it from your head; it’s just much harder.” He views this approach as a challenge, one that will give his art the freshness he is aiming to achieve. Similarly, he loves the spontaneity (although Steve is quick to say “planned spontaneity”) that can be attained by completing a painting in a day. Meanwhile, the ultimate for Steve is to arrive at a kind of “virtuosity” in which every element almost effortlessly comes together as he stands before a canvas. “All of a sudden, an angel

Photo by Lisa Ferrick

Photo by Lisa Ferrick

Photo by Jessie Shepard

“All of a sudden, an angel is on your shoulder... Then you have to appreciate where you’re going, be grateful, and say ‘thank you.’” –Steve Wagner is on your shoulder,” Steve explained. “Then you have to appreciate where you’re going, be grateful, and say ‘thank you.’” Like many who love the creative process, Steve can get buried in his work and lose track of time. “A day will be a second. But they say, the time you spend creating will be added to the end of your life.” Steve said that simply painting on canvas is fulfilling. “The true joy for me is just being in front of the canvas and applying the paint,” he said. “If I’m doing lemons or a landscape or a pig, it’s all fun.”

oils and sculptures come to life through planned geometric composition. He meticulously determines that composition before starting; straying off course usually leads to disappointment. “If I have a plan and then get into a mode in which the painting thinks it wants to go a different way, I stop and let it sit for a couple of days.”

Unlike many of his contemporaries, who gave up graphic design because they could not get accustomed to the new technological applications, Steve welcomed computerized graphic design. “The Macintosh provided instant gratification,” said Steve. “Before the Macintosh came along, the laborious process of preparing camera-ready art turned me against graphic design work,” said Steve. Frustrated, he gravitated to sales and marketing. Better technology not only led him back to graphic design, but computer graphics also became the primary tool for laying out ideas before translating them either to canvas or to stone. For sculpture, Steve finds that a graphic rendition is essential, and he compares the computer drawing to his stonework at various checkpoints

Fortunately, Steve does not get tired of painting Napa pigs, his most commissioned work. Besides, each one he creates is unique. “If you say, ‘I want one just like that,’ I’ll tell you that yours will be different in subtle ways.” Steve also reveals that he enjoys his commissioned projects because the vision and process are always straightforward. “They are planned to the nth degree,” he explained. In Steve’s eyes, planning is essential to producing fine art. Just as the exquisite color and shape of an orchid are not random, Steve’s serenely beautiful

Photo by Jessie Shepard VIE - Summer 2009


Photos by Jessie Shepard to make certain he is on the right track. In many ways, Steve has orchestrated a perfect harmony between technology and fine art. All the same, during his design career, Steve’s identity as an artist remained prominent: long before leaving graphic design to be an artist fulltime, Steve painted and sculpted. “I taught myself to sculpt in my driveway twenty years ago,” he said. “I always had an art studio in a converted spare bedroom at home.” Abundantly thankful to his wife, Karen, for her career that affords him the opportunity to focus on his art, Steve knows that a successful artist has to do more than paint. Marketing the work Photo by Jessie Shepard

“I taught myself to sculpt in my driveway twenty years ago... I always had an art studio in a converted spare bedroom at home.” –Steve Wagner is essential, but that aspect of the business is a challenge for most. Ideally, he said, an artist will connect with a gallery that believes in the individual’s work and that, therefore, provides the necessary marketing support. “I am fortunate to have Page O’Connor in Sandestin, who has sold several of my works.”

Nevertheless, Steve said, “I am not a vacation artist. People will not pick up my paintings because they had a good time at Seaside.” He concedes that an ongoing predicament for artists is achieving balance between what one loves to paint and what will sell. He feels that once his technique evolves and becomes “good enough,” an urban environment—Atlanta, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco—would best suit his style. “I’m getting there, but I’m not there yet.” One of his ongoing objectives is to master realism through the abstract. By this he means keeping the brushstrokes fresh so that the paint goes on the canvas just as it should. He names Andrew Wyeth as an example of one who could apply paint without overworking it. In striving to improve upon his technique and even to cultivate a more definitive style, Steve claims that he has made more progress over the past two years than he had accomplished in all the time up to that point. He attributes part of his growth to the knowledge he has acquired through an online artists’ forum (www. sponsored by Cennini—


VIE - Summer 2009

a company that produces the handmade paints, mediums, and other supplies that he loyally uses. “It’s the best forum I’ve found of its kind worldwide that attracts like-minded artists,” explained Steve. “After all of these years, I feel like I am finally learning to paint.” The mention of Cennini prompts a discussion of today’s most popular products versus the lead paints and triple-distilled turpentine made the old-fashioned way. “Now they have art schools that don’t even use turpentine,” said Steve. “That’s the most insane thing I have ever heard!” He is also adamant about using lead paint. “I don’t eat it!” Taking time to wash his hands is not an inconvenience to Steve, who finds that lead white, in particular, offers a facility that cannot be reached with titanium or zinc-based whites. From studying the Old Masters and their techniques, Steve contends that to achieve what they did, it simply makes sense to use the same materials. He goes on to explain that the widely marketed pigments are not created for fine art—they are developed for industry purposes—and that artists who use those paints are missing out. Again, he prefers the hues of Cennini, which are packed with pigment and much more intense and, above all, are made specifically for realist oil painting. Colors and textures come equally into play in choosing media for sculpture. With the exception of one torso, Steve’s pieces so far are all women’s heads, strongly inspired by Modigliani’s paintings. His favorite medium is marble, which not only presents a clear, consistent color throughout, but also sings or rings when it is tapped. He enjoys working with limestone as well, though it can have blemishes that must be addressed. The boutique jewelry store Bijoux de la Mer in St. Barts shows several of Steve’s pieces, which are made of coral. To work with coral, Steve is cautious and always wears a mask. “Unlike marble, which is calcium-based, coral is highly toxic,” he said, “as dangerous as asbestos.” His least favor-

Painting by Steve Wagner

ite stone is soapstone because the sound it makes is a thud rather than a pleasant ring. What rings true about Steve Wagner is his admiration for the beauty he finds in nature and his passion to interpret what he sees onto canvas or into stone. By studying nature, Steve has learned that neither nature nor art needs to be perfect to be admired, yet he clearly sets the highest standards. “There are a lot of artists who are good, but very few who are great,” he said. “In my lifetime, if I could have just one great painting, then that would be wonderful.”

For more information about Steve Wagner and his art, please visit

Visit VIEtv for a webisode called Portrait of an Artist: Steve Wagner w w w.v i e z i n e . c o m

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Marie Ryan in Ireland at 15 years of age.

Mothers A



VIE - Summer 2009


Mother‛s Day


By Laurie Crowley

very year, Mother’s Day takes on a life of its own—it is not your typical Sunday. As a mother of four, I have had many different experiences on this special day. When you have small children, somehow the day seems to be more about them than about you (why should this day be different from any other?).

In our house on Mother’s Day, it is a family tradition that I get to sleep in as long as I want and have breakfast in bed when I awake. The problem is that, although I could sleep until noon, the children have breakfast ready at 8:30 a.m. A parade of little feet stomps up the stairs every few minutes to see if I am awake. I usually give in when one of them asks (an inch from my face), “Are you awake?” The anticipation of bringing me breakfast rivals that of Christmas morning. Then, with ceremony, they present their Mother’s Day cards. With glitter and glue, yarn and paint, each card is unique, thanks to creative teachers at school. I will always treasure the sight of their faces as they proudly pass me pancakes, rubbery eggs, and lukewarm coffee with too much sugar. Inevitably there is a fight over who gets to sit in bed next to Mom while I try to prevent spilling the coffee. After much preparation and anticipation, they get bored and leave. I am always amazed that I am the one picking up the dishes from the bedroom, not to mention having to clean up the kitchen! But I wouldn’t change one thing about the day. Well, that’s not quite true— maybe one Mother’s Day they will actually let me sleep until noon!

Mothers come in all forms: some are biological; some are grandmothers who raised us; some are aunts or neighbors who watched out for our wellbeing and loved and cared for us. Even if you did not call her Mother, the woman in your life who loved you unconditionally, taught you, punished you, worried about you, laughed and cried with you, and hugged you when you needed it—that woman was a mother to you. A mother’s love is absolute, pure, and everlasting. Our mothers become the rock on which we stand, the fortress that protects our family, and the strength we thought we did not have. We never outgrow our mothers. VIE has dedicated the following pages to articles, vignettes, and other musings paying tribute to these amazing people whom we call Mom.

Laurie lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with her husband, Rob, and her four beautiful children; she is a daughter of our VIE cover girl and Lisa Burwell’s sister. Laurie Crowley and her family

I have collected boxes of homemade cards and gifts from Mother’s Days gone by that I cherish more than anything. Do you remember how, when you were little, you made a card and a clay vase in school for Mother’s Day? To a mother, that crooked vase and smudged card are equal to a diamond bracelet. Mother’s Day reminds us to let our mothers know how truly important they are in our lives. Doing so doesn’t require expensive flowers or fancy gifts. All we have to do is tell our mothers, “I love and admire you, I appreciate you, and I thank you. I know it wasn’t easy.” VIE - Summer 2009


Art The


of Listening

Conversations with Mom

By Lisa Burwell

Photography by Jessie Shepard

ow selfless it was of you to listen. I know you had your own worries, cares and insecurities, but you cleared your mind of them for me, and you were always ready and willing to listen when I needed you. How did you not say, “You’ve told me that story a hundred times before”? How did you have the patience of a saint when I, at the age of seven, was the eldest of six? How did you work full-time, feed and clothe your family with unwavering perseverance and dignity, all while earning your master’s degree? How did you know that, by living a faith-filled life, we would learn to trust in God in our own lives and, when faced with adversity, be able to weather any storm? How did you recognize the teenage angst I was feeling? With so much going on in our family, where did you find the time to write that private note that you put in my lunchbox, letting me know that I was loved and that everything was going to be all right? How did you start your day at five a.m., making lunches for six children, then head off to work, and not go to bed until after the dinner dishes were done, the laundry was washed and folded, and you had helped me edit my English paper? Attending field hockey, soccer, basketball, and track meets were as much a part of your life as it was ours. How did you juggle after-school activities with so many kids? Lisa Burwell with mother, Marie Ryan

Talking at Eden State Park How was it possible that you knew what I was feeling when I went off to college? Living on my own for the first time, I finally realized how much I depended on you. You were always there with a sympathetic ear and muchneeded advice. How was I so lucky to have you as a mother? Our conversations over the years have enriched my life, from our long walks on the beach to dinner conversations and daily phone calls. Thank you for listening and loving so well. Thank you for empowering me and teaching me how to listen and love. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. You let me know that I could do anything that I put my mind to, and that is one of the greatest of all the gifts you have given to me. With your belief in me, I have been able to believe in myself. I can only hope for many more years filled with our conversations—with me listening more than talking.

Hair by Gina at Salon Twist


VIE - Summer 2009

I love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!

Childhood Memories Keeping


emories are transitory, will-o’-the-wisp things. Some elude us as we try to mentally grasp them, while others pop up when we least expect them. Some we lose entirely; others change as we filter them through time and experiences.

Once, when I was sitting with my mother shortly before her death, she began telling me about a place we had visited one summer. She went into great detail about my behavior, or rather my misbehavior. I thought that her mind had wandered off keel, as I didn’t remember the occasion at all. Several years later, while reminiscing with a friend, I found, to my chagrin, that my recollection of the event did not resemble her memory of it in the slightest way. It was both embarrassing and enlightening. Most memories of our mothers are really memories of our interactions with them. My mother seldom shared her own childhood and teenage escapades with me, so my memories of her began when I was born, the third of four children, when she was twenty-six years old. Despite my memories of her as a young adult, as psychologists tell us, her personality would have been developed before I was born. I now have a longing to know the details of her childhood: a description of one of her favorite places, memories of her own mother, a recounting of an embarrassing moment, or details of sibling rivalry. There are several ways to gain insight into our mothers’ early days. Today, a person can search,, or (a free service) to unearth family lineage. Anyone can peruse family photo albums or discover letters, diaries, or recipes for favorite family dishes. Still, none of those will give a full account of a childhood. For that, we need words. We need the story that happened before and after that picture was taken. Recounting family stories at holiday gatherings is another way to pass memories between generations. Most families have at least one talented

Alive By Jonita Haynes

storyteller who keeps that family’s oral history. My brother Jim has that distinction in our family. He has told some stories so many times that we have names for them. The problem with relying on family trees, photos, and stories recounted by family members is that none of these is specific to a mother’s childhood experiences. When I tried to find out more about those early years, even my mother’s sister could not remember details. Of course, I could have asked my mother to record her memories, but by the time I had grown old enough to know how important these were to me, I was reluctant to make the request. I don’t think she would have been comfortable doing this anyway. Instead, she kept mementos for her children—first signatures, report cards, valentines, tresses of hair, war ration coupons, and buttons from favorite dresses. These mementos, stories, photographs, and a very short family tree in the Bible are there for my daughter and grandchildren, who may one day want to examine their maternal ancestry. What is missing are the words that complete the story of my childhood, which was, by most measures, a happy and ordinary one. I grew up in an Alabama farming area that centered around a tiny post office, two feed and seed grocery stores with gas pumps, a grist mill, a school that I attended for twelve years, and—my favorite—a one-room library. Almost all of that is now gone. Before I also lose some of the memories of those days, I will find it enjoyable to relive them as I write them down for my daughter and her children. What I will share will not be a chronological story or a biography. There will be no philosophical musing or moral posturing. Through my writings, they will see my “secret garden,” slide down the barn roof, share Sunday dinner after church, and walk home with me from school on the day I did not get that longed-for valentine. I will capture, as fully as possible, my favorite memories of my childhood as I recall them now, in a willy-nilly fashion, filtered through experience, softened by time, and altered with love. VIE - Summer 2009


Ruth Burwell in Miramar Beach, Florida, in 1946, at 17 years of age. 44

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By Gerald Burwell

ost of us have seen the tattoo, whether in movies, cartoons, or real life: a big, red heart with curled script reading “MOM” that adorns a man’s bicep. I have always wondered at the special bond it must take for a son to make such a public—and permanent—declaration of his love for his mother. In our society, Mother’s Day is perhaps the best and most appropriate time to make this kind of statement. But as I have begun to truly understand my relationship with my own mother, I have realized that perhaps there is a better way to honor her than to get a tattoo. To honor one’s parents is not just to acknowledge their contributions, but also to recognize the sacrifices that they have endured on behalf of their children. I have always wanted to do something special for my mom on Mother’s Day, but have never reached beyond the traditional card or flowers. I may not be a likely candidate for a tattoo, but now that I am the co-owner of a magazine, I can use ink to honor her in a different way.

I am the youngest of five children, so my mom already had ten years of experience in mothering her brood by the time I was born. For as long as I can remember, she has been the pillar of the household. Even before then, the life experiences she sustained were significant. She survived the loss of both her mother and father. As a young wife, she lived in Saudi Arabia for two years where she gave birth to her first two children, a son and a daughter. Because of my father’s career, the household was uprooted and relocated every eighteen months or so. By the time my mom was forty, she had welcomed three more children and lived in many different places. In the early 1970s, our family moved back to Saudi Arabia. Since, at that time, the Saudi government did not allow foreigners to attend school in the country past ninth grade, the three eldest children attended boarding schools in Rome, only to be seen at infrequent reunions. Mom adjusted to the new family dynamics while making her home in a foreign, male-dominated society. Throughout the next seventeen years, she remained positive, organized our home, and kept our family on track. She painstakingly sewed Halloween costumes, took care of children with scarlet fever, and baked the best birthday cakes a kid could ever want. As only a mother can be, she was forgiving even when I didn’t deserve it, and firm even when I didn’t think I needed it.

Gerald Burwell with mother, Ruth Photo by Lisa Burwell God knows (as do mothers), that there are myriad sacrifices that all mothers must make for their families. While I may not have the tattoo to show it, my mother’s love still has left a permanent mark on me. For all the things that my mother has endured and sacrificed in order to help me grow, I just want to say, “Thanks, Mom!”

MOM VIE - Summer 2009


My Sunshine You Are


rom the time we utter “momma” and stumble through our first steps, we look to our mothers for guidance. I have gleaned so much of what I know about life from my mom. She wears a lot of hats– –wife, mother of three, “Mimi” to two grandchildren, author, pastor, speaker, teacher––just to name a few. Still, she always managed to make each of her kids feel like her favorite. She would sing to me, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” making me feel like the center of her world. When we were little, and she had to travel for work, she left us handwritten notes and trinkets in brown paper bags—one for each day that she was gone––easing the ache of her absence with the anticipation of daily surprises. Creatively making something difficult fun––she was always good at that.

While she found balance in the various aspects of her own life, she taught me how to live mine. She taught me that a relaxing bath, a cup of tea, a good book, and chocolate go a long way to cure what ails you. Ever the optimist, when problems arose she would say with a smile, “We’re having an adventure!” or “At least it will make a good story someday.” Even when we were little and her grocery budget (including diapers) was $16 per week, she made us feel fortunate. While raising our family, she pursued a calling in a traditionally male-dominated field, showing me that nothing is unattainable just because I’m a girl. This balancing act was unorthodox for women of her time. Sometimes she jokingly called herself a failure as a mother because domestic skills weren’t her strongest suit. A magnet on her refrigerator reads, “Dinner will be ready when the smoke alarm goes off !” But she selflessly gave me things that I

By Crystal Hamon Photography by Jessie Shepard

value so much more than a casserole or clean laundry.

She nurtured my intellectual curiosity. When I was little, she told me, “Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions—smart people ask questions.” As I grew and our discussions deepened, she sometimes played devil’s advocate, which drove me crazy! Later, I realized she was teaching me to see from someone else’s perspecCrystal Hamon with mother, Jane tive. Somehow, she always knew just what to say when I needed to hear it and just how to listen when I needed to talk. My mom showed me the world in more ways than one. She took me to beautiful, faraway cities, broadening my perspectives, creating great memories, and imparting her adventurous spirit. Even with our jet-setting lifestyle, she kept the climate of our home warm and welcoming. She taught me by example how to face my fears, forgive, and keep bitterness out of my heart. She held me when I cried and comforted me when I was sick. She gave me confidence when I needed it, praised my successes, and inspired me to dream big, telling me, “Baby, you’re worthy of good things.” Her fun-loving personality taught me to laugh at myself and enjoy the little things in life. She showed me how to love and find my way in the world. The compassion, understanding, and faith clearly reflected in her blue-green eyes led me to trust God, look for ways to help others, and live life to the fullest. She’s one of my best friends and someone who continues to amaze, influence, and inspire me. She lights up my life. She is my sunshine. Happy Mother’s Day, Mamacita! Thank you for being so wonderful.

“You make me happy when skies are gray. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you…‟ Bouquet of sunshine 46

VIE - Summer 2009

Mother My


By Ann Hartley Photography by Michael Granberry

y mother, Gay Hall Sudduth, is truly a remarkable woman! After she graduated from college, she and her best friend drove from North Carolina to Panama City, Florida with all their worldly possessions in the back seat of my mother’s car. It was 1948. Once in the “land of eligible men” (so named because of its many Navy and Air Force bases), she met and married my father in 1954. And so, her fairytale life began. My mother is, without a doubt, the most charming Southern woman I know. She exudes grace, elegance and beauty. She is faithful, outspoken, involved, busy, creative, fearless, and the most innovative hostess you will ever know. For over fifty years, her parties have been the talk of Panama City. I have always felt that she was the original Martha Stewart. Mother believes in giving back; she has given much of her life to her community, Florida, and to our great country. She is a rock for many, especially for me. She is exhilarating and lives a full life at the vibrant age of seventy-eight. She is truly happy and

Three generations

satisfied and has lived her life to the fullest extent possible. She really is an example for me and for the many others who admire her. My mother has always believed in me, trusted me, and pushed me to see what I could make of my life. Her timeless words of wisdom have helped her to navigate her path through life, and have helped me to navigate mine, as well: “You never know what might happen in your life; ALWAYS be able to support yourself.” “You might not agree with me, but I intend to let you know how I feel or stand on certain issues.” “Always be a lady. Always.” “Give to others—find a way to share your gifts.” “God didn’t give it all to one person.” “Don’t share your troubles—your friends will just be glad you have them too.” “Maintain unique friendships—they will keep you going.” “Preparation is paramount—DON’T wait until the last minute.” “You never know when you’ll meet Prince Charming, so always look good.” “If you don’t know the answer to something look it up—wear out a dictionary.” Mother is the backbone of our family and is my only remaining parent; I cannot imagine my life without her. She has always encouraged me and my ideas; she has guided and comforted me through childhood, puberty, college, marriage, children, business, middle age, cancer and menopause.

Ann Hartley with her mother, Gay, and her daughter, Lannie

She is effervescent and full of life; I am honored and proud to be her daughter and to be able call her my mother! VIE - Summer 2009


Never-Ending You Are My


Lisa Comeau with husband, Jimmy, and mother, Phyllis Tedesco at Fenway Park


By Lisa Comeau

My Mom is a never-ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.

ow appropriate that I find this quote as I pay tribute to you, the person who I am so incredibly proud to call my mother. From the time I was a young girl, geography has separated us but has not kept us apart. No matter what was going on in my life, I knew you were only a phone call away; and when I needed you, you would come. To this day, that still rings true. That is my comfort. To witness what you have achieved in your life and career has been inspirational. Your journey has garnered loyal friendships and respect from your peers. The lessons you have taught me and the values you have instilled in me along the way are things I treasure and am grateful for every day. That is my happiness. Mothers help shape their children and encourage them to learn and grow. Your understanding and support over the years have helped me to live my life with integrity and to value what is important. That is my being. Happy Mother‛s Day, “Mum”! Love, Lisa


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Lisa Comeau with mother, Phyllis

—Graycie Harmon

Inspiration My

By Eric Shepard


nce I met Jessie, it didn't take long for me to realize that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Aside from being beautiful, she is smart, strong, artistic and fun. Not surprisingly, all of the things that made me fall in love with Jessie are exactly the things that make her a great mother. Jessie is what I believe to be the perfect balance of teacher, motivator and friend to our children. She has always had a knack for making learning fun, and we have two very sharp little kids to show for it. The lengths she will go to create some crazy art project for them to do, and the patience with which she helps them, always astounds me. It is impossible to describe how thankful I am in a few paragraphs. Basically, I find Jessie to be an inspiration. When I watch her with our children, it makes me want to be a better father—and that is all one can really ask for in a partner. Happy Mother's Day, Jessie. I love you.

Photo by Jessie Shepard

To get the kids to cooperate for the picture (above), Jessie told Charlie that he was the prince, Scarlett, the princess, and that she was the queen.

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Virginia Willis at The Rosemary Beach Foundation Girls' Getaway Weekend


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Girls Just Want To Have Fun B O ND I N G W I TH A P U R POS E By Lisa Burwell

Photography by Jessie Shepard On a glorious, sunny day this past January, we attended the Virginia Willis cooking demonstration—a featured event of the The Rosemary Beach Foundation Girls’ Getaway Weekend. With the various editorial sections found in VIE, this article could have been placed in For the Love of Food or Giving. However, since many of the people that we met there have special connections to their mothers (including Virginia Willis herself), we have decided to place it in our special A Tribute to Mothers section of this issue.

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The weekend agenda this year included a Writers in the Round session led by Nashville songwriter Nicole Witt; a painting workshop with whimsical “girlie” artist Tricia Robinson, who has an affinity for all things French; a comedy dinner show with Leanne Morgan at nearby restaurant Shades at the Loop; and a cooking demonstration by celebrated chef and author of Bon Appétit, Y’all, Virginia Willis.


Virginia Willis signing copies of Bon Appétit, Y'all

ust as the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper’s hit song “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” did in the 80s, the “girls’ getaway” vacation has sprung into today’s mainstream. Both conjure up images of girls bonding and having fun without being hampered by responsibility or—dare we say it—men. What makes it even more special is the desire for girls, or rather women, to feel the freedom of girlhood abandon again. The “girls’ getaway” spawned the male version: the “mancation.” Isn’t it great how catchphrases can sum up the rhetoric of the day, while tying it up in a nice package? There is another new marketing term being bandied about—“deservability.” What that means in plain speech, is that no matter how bad the economy or the pressures of daily life, we all “de-


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serve a break today.” Kim Jameson, founder of the Rosemary Beach Girls’ Getaway Weekend, intentionally schedules the weekend on the traditionally male-dominated Super Bowl weekend. As a part-time resident, Kim had been coming to Rosemary Beach each January for years with her closest girlfriends as a respite following the busy holidays. Four years ago, she decided to turn the invitation-only weekend soiree into something meaningful for her community. She joined creative forces with Kathy Kemp, Rosemary Beach’s marketing director, and together they named it the The Rosemary Beach Foundation Girls’ Getaway, with proceeds benefiting worthy causes in South Walton. A weekend of fun combined with the purpose of helping those in need is at the core of the getaway.

I spoke with Kim shortly before the Virginia Willis cooking event. She described the weekend as “a celebration of women” and added that “each year, the happy hour check-in has become much like a family reunion, since many of the women keep in touch through the year.” With a big smile and boundless enthusiasm, Kim directed everything effortlessly. I immediately realized that she has a mission that runs deeper than just having a good time. She has real warmth, and it shows. Since the cooking demonstration was the only event that VIE attended, my only glimpse into the weekend was seen from that vantage point. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon as women gathered in the Rosemary Beach Town Hall. Upon entering the hall, I noticed Tricia Robinson’s art prominently placed around the room. It was so captivating, fresh and inspired that it appealed to the girl in me. Meanwhile, Virginia Willis prepped for her demonstration and

smiled brightly as we took our seats in anticipation of what promised to be an afternoon of fun. For all of her accomplishments, Virginia is very young. In addition to being an author and chef, she is also an editor, producer, teacher, spokesperson and food stylist. There is brilliance in the name of Virginia’s cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all—it seems to merge the two distinct facets of this accomplished chef. A graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, Virginia had fallen in love with cooking as a child, learning from her mother, “Mama,” and grandmother, “Meme”—both exceptional cooks who passed their craft down through the generations. She spent her youth absorbed in the Southern culture and culinary traditions of Georgia and Louisiana. As Virginia states in the introduction of her new book, “… the cooking of the American South embodies all the glamour, grit and heartbreak of Southern culture.” Her unique style, which she likes to call “refined Southern Cuisine,” is a blend of her American South upbringing with classical training in French cuisine. Virginia became involved with the Girls’ Getaway Weekend through another high-profile name. Rosemary Beach resident Jan Stevens— whom Kim refers to as “the quiet driving force” behind the weekend—contacted her friend and

Virginia Willis and her mother

“Every time I would come home to visit, whether it was 2:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., my Meme would be frying chicken for me.” –Virginia Willis

former host of CNN’s On the Menu, Carolyn O’Neil. Carolyn invited Virginia to attend and headline the weekend retreat. Virginia replied with, “Go to the beach and hang out with a bunch of interesting women? How could I say no?” She has a passion for her craft and a penchant for donating her time to charities that help people in need of food. Overjoyed that Virginia accepted, Kathy Kemp remarked, “Her culinary career is fascinating and her accomplishments run as deep as her Southern roots.” Virginia began the demonstration by describing how to prepare chicken fricassee with garlic and red wine vinegar and a side of grits with corn and Vidalia onion. (We bought her cookbook

and cooked this meal the following night—mmmmm, good!) “If you were to compress the story of my life into a food, it would be fried chicken,” Virginia said. “Every time I would come home to visit, whether it was 2:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., my Meme would be frying chicken for me,” she added. Her casual approach was completely disarming and I quickly recognized that Virginia is down-to-earth, charismatic and funny. She discussed her cookbook recipes while telling stories of her childhood and how she made it in the culinary field. As Virginia showed us the correct way to cut up a whole chicken, she entertained us with her early experiences in television. She recounted how she

The Virginia Willis cooking demonstration inside the town hall at Rosemary Beach

Virginia Willis with Kim Jameson

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of cooking at home, Virginia’s approach to easyto-follow recipes is the perfect remedy. Bon Appétit, Y’all was released in the spring of 2008, paying tribute to the women who nurtured Virginia’s culinary roots. During the demonstration, she referred several times to her mother, “Mama,” who was sitting behind us in the audience. Virginia admitted that she had not had the time to make her world-famous Georgia pecan brownies (found in her cookbook), so she had asked her mother to make them for the group of 160-plus women. She beamed with pride when several of us told her that they were the best brownies we had ever tasted! Check out

Jan Stevens and Kim Jameson

got her start on the New Southern Cooking with Nathalie Dupree show as an apprentice. Several years later, as Virginia was making her mark on the world, Nathalie wrote the foreword to Virginia’s cookbook, saying that Virginia did what great students do—she exceeded her expectations. Virginia continued with her stories about other celebrity chefs like Paula Deen and Martha Stewart and how her career had taken her around the world. “While working as kitchen director for the Emmy-award winning television show Martha Stewart Living, I prepared meals 54

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for Martha and her guests, including President Clinton, Aretha Franklin and Julia Child. As executive producer for the Discovery Channel’s Epicurious, I went from harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano to making authentic mustard in Dijon,” she recalled. Virginia’s cooking philosophy is simple: choose the finest ingredients, then do as little to them as possible to allow the flavors of the food to really come through. At a time when many are choosing the more comfortable and affordable option

I could go on and on about how wonderful that lazy and happy day in paradise was. My mother had come along with me to experience this small segment of the Girls’ Getaway Weekend. While there, I realized how special moments like this are in life and how this would become another cherished and unforgettable memory. The event was extremely well put together. Kudos to everyone who made this event a success. More than 160 women attended this year’s getaway, raising $15,000 in cash along with donations of groceries, canned goods and diapers. “In addition to providing a great venue for women to relax and enjoy themselves, the weekend boosts the local economy during the shoulder season while helping out a good cause,” Kim explained. Since its inception in 2005, the Girls’ Getaway Weekend has raised over $32,000 for the charity Caring & Sharing. Girls may just want to have fun, but helping others while doing it is what the Rosemary Beach Girls’ Getaway Weekend is all about. Check out

Painting by Tricia Robinson

Also In Attendance... Tricia Robinson and her mother

Girls' Getaway Weekend played host to a variety of exceptional women. In addition to the Virginia Willis cooking demonstration, the schedule was filled with activities led by these women who contributed their time and talent to make this weekend such a great success.




Tricia Robinson is a self-taught artist who loves to help people “find their voice with paint and brush.” She inherited her love of art from her mother and grandmother, who were both artists. “My mom is my hero and one of my dearest friends,” Tricia declared, adding that she spent the Girls’ Getaway Weekend with her mother. Tricia donated one of her paintings, Beach Girls, to be auctioned that weekend to raise funds for the local charity Caring and Sharing.

Leanne Morgan knew as a child growing up on a farm in Appalachia that she wanted to be in show business one day. Years later, the stay-athome mother of three got involved in at-home jewelry sales parties as a way to get out of the house and make extra money. She would get up to do her sales presentation and, instead, out of her mouth would come funny stories about her husband and children that just made her customers roar. One thing led to another, and Leanne found her way to the stage doing stand-up comedy. Since then, she has appeared at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival and on ABC’s The View. She was a finalist on Nick at Nite’s Funniest Mom in America and toured for three years with the Southern Fried Chicks. Leanne has done her stand-up routines in theatres and comedy clubs all over the United States. A sitcom based on her comedy is currently in development for ABC.

Early arrivals to Girls’ Getaway Weekend enjoyed the musical talents of Nicole Witt, Tiffany Goss and Jennifer Wayne (granddaughter of actor John Wayne). Kicking off the weekend with Songwriters in the Round on Thursday evening in Rosemary Beach’s Town Hall, the three distinct Nashville artists shared stories behind some of their songs as women gathered quietly under the soft white lights strung overhead. Leading the event, Nicole Witt’s musical style has been likened to Sarah McLauchlan and Sheryl Crow among others.

Tricia’s artwork lights up not only a room but also the heart. One needs to be what I term a “girlie girl” to really appreciate the whimsy, charm and childlike happiness of this artist. She had me at hello! I love her work, and I think you will, too— visit Tricia returns to Rosemary Beach for the West Indies Market June 13–14 and July 11–12 this summer.

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Bobby Flay & Stephanie March host Oscar night at Paris Theatre


CULINARY NIRVANA A mouthwatering trip through the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival

By Stephen Dugas Photography by Gerald Burwell

I admit it: I like food. I like the smell of it, the

taste of it, the feel of it—even the sound of a succulent steak sizzling on the grill or the sharp crunch of a knife running through a crisp red pepper. Wine, too, is something special; the sight of a velvety pinot noir in a crystal clear glass and the “pop” of a cork when released from the bottle is a delightful declaration of fellowship. I often indulge these curiosities by watching the Food Network and, last year, I decided to take my passion on the road to the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. My wife, Lynn, and I had such a delightful time that we returned to the gastronomical mecca again this year. From sunup until the wee hours of the morning, every minute of the four days—February 19 to 22—was filled with food-centric events that covered hot topics such as Indian cooking and healthy meal preparation. Lessons on how to pair wine with everything from comfort food to sushi to chocolate were also offered, as well as sessions on how to taste wine like a pro. Many of the events were sold out, in part due to the appearance of such culinary superstars as Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, Sandra Lee, Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Pat and Gina Neely, Cat Cora, and Guy Fieri. Fortunately, we purchased tickets through American Express, which granted us early entry and front-row seating to some of the events at this 8th annual festival.

Chef Guy Fieri & Lynn Dugas Thursday Our journey to the center of the food universe—at least for that weekend—began on Thursday afternoon, February 19. After a perfect flight, we were driven to South Beach (SoBe) by the ever-capable Red Limo driving service. The setting sun, warm temperatures, neon lights, and beautiful people who populate SoBe created an ideal ambience that only added to our excitement. It was the perfect start to the 2009 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. We began our hectic, fun-filled weekend with a delicious Joe’s Stone Crab To-Go seafood extravaganza. It was hosted by my old friends Stuart Smith and Barry Cooper in their posh condominium, with their VIE - Summer 2009


Oscar night at Paris Theatre business partner, Mike Stag, and his lovely wife, Cate, as co-hosts. Great big claws, accompanied by mustard lime and drawn butter sauces, were served on Versace china. The impressive presentation included appropriately matched wines served in crystal stemware. Our first rendezvous was a resounding success; surely it couldn’t get any better than this, could it?

Sip the finest margarita Taste guacamole made fresh at your table Savor fresh sea bass and authentic sauces


585 Grand Boulevard Sandestin 850.654.5649 60

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Friday We awoke in our Gansevoort South suite to a beautiful morning of cool breezes and lots of sunshine. Before diving back into the food and wine, we took advantage of the hotel’s superb amenities at the DavidBartonGym+Spa, which includes 42,000 square feet of ultra-modern equipment and an indulgent spa—of which we took full advantage. Following our massages, we set about the tough task of relaxing under the afternoon sun. The evening was spent in champagne heaven at the Perrier-Jouët Bubble Q—hosted this year by Chef Tom Colicchio, head judge of the Bravo reality show phenomenon Top Chef—at the beachside cabanas of the Delano Hotel. The five-star venue is on Miami’s most-wanted list and boasts chic amenities that definitely make an impression. We were given early entry into the event through our AmEx card and, while we awaited the arrival of friends, Lynn posed for a picture with Chef Colicchio. We proceeded to sample far too many delights to list and sipped the Perrier-Jouët until it ran out. At the event’s close, we sailed into Delano’s Rose Bar for nightcaps and topped off the evening with a short stroll under the stars to our hotel. Saturday Our dedicated driver from Red Limo served as our wake-up call at 8:15 a.m. on this, the biggest day of the festival. Within the hour, we were on our way to join friends at The Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive for a fantastic brunch sponsored by AmEx. The Betsy will soon be home to BLT, one of Chef Laurent Tourondel’s fine dining establishments. As it was not yet open to the public, AmEx cardholders had the place to themselves. Chef Tourondel personally autographed our cookbooks and graciously posed for pictures.

Our AmEx concierge then escorted us to the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village for the culinary and lifestyle seminars and the American Express Grand Tasting. The Grand Tasting Village, open on Saturday and Sunday, is the flagship event of the weekend-long festival and was held on the beach at Lummus Park, the heart of the historic art deco district of South Beach. Huge white tents were set up along the entire length of the strand. Each tent contained booths and aisles filled with diverse foods, cheeses, wines, teas, liquors, beers, and more. We met the personable Hung Huynh, winner of Top Chef Season 3, and celebrity chef Anne Burrell—Mario Batali’s sous chef on Iron Chef and host of the new Food Network program Secrets of a Restaurant Chef—signed my program. I then enjoyed watching one of my favorite Iron Chefs, Masaharu Morimoto, demonstrate his magical skills. The event was a culinary marathon loaded with cooking demonstrations by favorite Food Network stars. I had to drop out of the race a bit early, however, to prepare for the next event. Our dinner plans for the evening included a fabulous meal and delightful wines at Casa Casuarina, a luxury boutique hotel that once served as the residence of the late Gianni Versace, who was tragically murdered on its steps in 1997. The first guests to arrive, we explored the pool and grounds alone, taking special note of the romantic gardens of this magnificent mansion. Dinner was served on the beautifully designed pool patio and, to our delight, we were able to chat with Chef Tyler Florence about his edible creations. The wines that evening were from Trefethen Vineyards, and one of the vineyard owners' sons was on hand to discuss the wines and the vineyard itself. It was interesting to witness the younger generation vintners continuing the heritage of the vines and wines that their families have cultivated over the years.

Auburn, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Sunday The day began with another stop at the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village. After collecting our swag bags and wineglasses, we

Alys Beach, Florida

t rac er y i n t er ior s 72 Ma i n Street Ros emar y B eac h 850.231.6755 tracer y i Lynn & Stephen Dugas at Mondrian VIE - Summer 2009


Shop. Dine. Relax. on the east end of Scenic 30-A


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- FOOD & DINING Courtyard Wine & Cheese Cowgirl Kitchen Onano Neighborhood Café Restaurant Paradis Summer Kitchen Café The Sugar Shak Wild Olives Market ~Deli ~ Bakery - FASHION Acqua Beach&Surf Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashions & Toys Moonpize Rosemary Beach Trading Company Willow -HOME, BEAUTY&GIFTS Pish Posh Patchouli’s Shabby Slips Tracery World Six Gallery

- SERVICES Aesthetic Clinique Digital-I Design Studios Dungan & Nequette Architects Law Offices of Kiefer & Toney Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Regions Bank Solace Day Spa Southeast Institute of Optimal Health TMc Architecture - LODGING Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental The Pensione Inn -RECREATION Bamboo Bicycle Company Rosemary Beach Racquet Club Sea Oats Beach Service

arrived at Iron Chef Morimoto’s cooking demonstration, where we were rewarded with a great recipe for Wagyu beef—a Kobe-style beef, only better. The long line at the Spanish wine tent testified to its popularity. Thankfully, our early access the day before had given us our fill of really great Riojas from Spain, delicious cheeses (mainly goat), and tasty nibbles from aged ham to figs to almond biscotti. The area also included items such as tequila, tapenades, teas, fruit liquors, champagnes, and wines from around the globe. Rum and water tent lounges with chairs provided shade and great opportunities to peoplewatch.

The lobby of Fontainebleau

My favorite dish was the pork tenderloin with a bit of spice—a nod to Chef Bobby Flay’s style of preparing food with a little Southwestern kick.

The plethora of booths resulted in the discovery of a new favorite beverage: iced tea vodka. A Puerto Rican booth offered up a new beloved food: a round, bite-sized bit of fried cheese with papaya salsa on top. My wife concurred on the merits of the iced tea vodka and also enjoyed the cilantro melon shooter. It’s hard to believe that samplings alone are enough to fill you up, but once you hit everything that appeals to you, it is indeed a meal in itself. The walk back to Gansevoort was the perfect digestive.

That Sunday, February 22, was also Oscar night so, at 6:30, we met up with our friends, the Burwells, at the 1930s-style Paris Theatre on Washington Avenue—Miami’s only officially sanctioned Oscar party. The red carpet event, sponsored by Moët & Chandon, Godiva, and Evian, was hosted by Food Network star Bobby Flay and his wife, actress Stephanie March. Also present was Chef Guy Fieri, host of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and Anne Burrell. We found seating in the balcony section to watch the television broadcast of the Academy Awards with a scrumptious buffet only steps away. My favorite dish was the pork tenderloin with a bit of spice—a nod to Chef Bobby Flay’s style of preparing food with a little Southwestern kick. His desserts were fabulous as well: cactus crème brûlée, espresso banana pudding, and bitesized cheesecakes. Godiva truffles satisfied guests’ chocolate cravings for the evening. It was a truly sensational way to watch the Oscars, and the evening only got better with nightcaps at the Fontainebleau.

Monday Not ready to leave our food and wine paradise, we took our time packing, and made a small detour to the Mondrian on the way to the airport. The hotel property is on Brickell Key, with expansive intercoastal views from the pool deck and restaurant bar area. The food was very good, and the whimsical, eclectic furniture and funky architecture was an amusing setting for our departing meal. Our four-day excursion into the land of delectable culinary treats and excellent wines was an extraordinary experience, made even better by our helpful American Express concierges: Marissa Ain, Blake Kotenbrink, Lauren Hall, and Jose Velazquez. We also had the pleasure of seeing a few people from home, including Kathy Fly-Bridges and Ruth Gibb, who, like us, undoubtedly had a remarkable experience taking in the electric atmosphere of SoBe. We returned home decidedly full and tired, and with a newfound appreciation for the Panhandle’s low-key approach to living life well. But we’ll be back in SoBe again next year; maybe we’ll see you there!

Lynn & Stephen Dugas

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Photograph © 2009 by Robert Holmes: Courtesy of The California Directory of Fine Wineries, Fourth Edition

My Bucket List: A Wine Country Pilgrimage


by robyn roehm cannon

very once in a while, life gives you a perfect moment to reflect upon. One of my favorite memories, which I regularly dust off and review, is of something that happened one sunny autumn morning a dozen years ago. It was just after my husband and I had finished a Napa Valley winery tour and we were laying out the makings of an impromptu picnic in the middle of the estate’s garden. We had chosen a beautiful spot under the shade of a massive weeping willow, near a pond with a fountain rising from its center. A family of ducks swam leisurely on the water, and, just then, a giant monarch butterfly fluttered into the picture and perched on the rim of my wine glass. The vineyards surrounding us were covered with orderly rows of plump grapevines turning various shades of crimson and gold—it was just days from harvest, and the warm air was heavy with their scent. In the distance, the mountains looked liked cardboard cutouts, set off by a perfectly clear blue and cloudless sky.

won “Best Set Design” at the Academy Awards to pull this scene together, it could not have been more exquisitely staged.

“This,” Don said matter-of-factly, as he swirled and sniffed his inky cabernet sauvignon, “is just like Disneyland…for adults.” We looked at each other and nodded because, even if we had hired Central Casting and the guy who

Napa and Sonoma are two separate valleys, each just thirty miles long, linked in the center by the Mayacamas Mountain Range. The area is relatively compact, and each valley is made up of a string of towns that have


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Anyone interested in enjoying the best food, wine, art and architecture in the middle of breathtaking scenery and superb weather should put a trip to the California Wine Country at the top of his or her “Bucket List,” and make plans to go as soon as possible. Because it is certain that, once you’ve visited, you’ll want to return again and again, as we have—every year—since 1997. In the dozen years that have passed, the area has experienced some great expansion, so it helps to understand the geography as well as some of the protocols for visiting wineries. A little preplanning can help you to make the most enjoyable use of your time, ensure that you are warmly welcomed, and keep you from being overwhelmed by the many available choices.

their own unique personalities, with wineries, small inns, tony hotels and luxurious spas, interesting small shops, and intimate restaurants, all within easy distance of one another.

By far, my favorite tasting experiences are at the few wineries which have taken tasting to a new level by serving everything from caviar to small, coursed plates prepared by their estate chefs, who may have just plucked that day’s offering from the organic garden.

I recommend that you plan no less than a week’s stay in the area, dividing your time between the two valleys. To help keep driving to a minimum, try to select a town that is near several wineries that you’d like to visit, and arrange for a couple nights’ lodging there before moving on. Plan to visit no more than three to four wineries in a day to leave time to picnic, shop, and just relax and explore the charming towns of Healdsburg, Glen Ellen, and Sonoma on the Sonoma side, and Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, and Napa in Napa Valley. Between them, there are no fewer than four hundred wineries, ranging from small production houses that make award-winning wines (available only at their estates) to more well-known wineries which distribute internationally and whose vintages you are probably already buying at your local wine shop or grocery store. While you can certainly stop by many tasting rooms on an impromptu basis, it’s becoming more common for estates to reserve tastings by appointment only. There are two major advantages to this: you can be sure that the staff will be preparing something quite special for your tour and a seated, hosted tasting allows you to learn about and fully appreciate the vintages you are sampling. The wines are generally presented with a variety of carefully chosen imported and locally produced cheeses, savory bites, and sweets to illustrate the idea of how best to pair them with food. By far, my favorite tasting experiences are at the few wineries which have taken tasting to a new level by serving everything from caviar to small, coursed plates prepared by their estate chefs, who may have just plucked that day’s offering from the organic garden.

Although there are a number of guidebooks covering the California Wine Country, I have one particular favorite: the Fourth Edition of The California Directory of Fine Wineries (Wine House Press). It provides detailed descriptions of sixty-two of the most unique Napa and Sonoma wineries. Features of special note, such as picnic areas, barrel tastings, art collections, cooking classes and wine seminars, gift shops, and more, are all noted, along with an excellent narrative on each estate. This bestselling hardcover guide is widely available at Borders Book Stores, Barnes & Noble, and The cost is $19.95. Photography © 2009 by Robert Holmes: Courtesy of The California Directory of Fine Wineries, Fourth Edition

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen had great affection for the California wine country. “Heaven,” he once wrote,” is a place that is said to resemble Sonoma in the spring.” I couldn’t agree more— except I’d change that to “Sonoma and Napa Valleys… every day of the year.”

Photograph © 2009 by Robert Holmes: Courtesy of The California Directory of Fine Wineries, Fourth Edition

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Here’s just a glimmer of some of my favorite wining, dining, and snoozing spots not to miss when you visit:

Sonoma From San Francisco, you’re only forty-five minutes from Sonoma once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge. A great first stop is Viansa Winery and Marketplace, well respected for Italian varietals. You’ll find an extensive deli with items and tableware to build your wine country picnic basket. They also offer a tempting selection of cookbooks and Italian ceramics.

Ferrari-Carano Winery

If you don’t dine under the grape trellis at Viansa, head down the road and tote your picnic up to the Vista Terrace at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, owned by the same Spanish family that produces Freixenet cava. The estate is perched on a hillside overlooking magnificent pinot noir vineyards, and you can sip a full selection of icy cold reserve sparklers by the glass. No appointment is needed. The highly sought-after Culinary Tour at the magnificent Chalk Hill Estate Winery is a life-changing experience in wine and food pairing. It’s formal and very elegant yet relaxed. You’ll tour the 1,477-acre estate and you may taste as many as twenty types of tomatoes off the vine. Then, at the Pavilion, a hilltop conservatory that overlooks the Furth family’s equestrian arena, Estate Executive Chef Didier Ageorges will serve a beautiful small plate tasting luncheon paired with the winery’s award-winning vintages. A sampling of handmade truffles and Estate Cabernet completes your experience. For groups of four or more, you can reserve a private dining event.

Photograph © 2009 by Robert Holmes: Courtesy of The California Directory of Fine Wineries, Fourth Edition

Just outside of Glen Ellen, B.R. Cohn Winery is a great place to stop, not only for their ultra premium Olive Hill Wines, but also for the array of specialty olive oils produced from the estate’s 140-year-old picholine olive trees and for vinegars made in traditional casks. Owner Bruce Cohn, who’s managed the legendary Doobie Brothers band since 1969, puts on a fabulous weekend Fall Music Festival each year during which the Doobies perform. This year’s event, along with a charity golf tournament, is scheduled for October 3–5, with funds benefiting area youth organizations. Be sure to stop in the town of Sonoma, where you’ll find a plaza that looks much as it did one hundred years ago, but is now lively with unique shops, several fun dining options, and the luxurious Ledson Hotel. Its Europeaninspired Harmony Lounge is a great place for a snack and a glass of wine to watch the action on the square. An excellent cocktail and meal are guaranteed at the other end of the plaza at the Meritage Martini Oyster Bar & Grill, with its superb Southern French and Northern Italian cuisine. Our favorite server, Nima, is a delightful Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest thirteen times and he has some amazing stories to tell, so be sure to ask for his section. Some other luxurious Sonoma overnights can be had at the MacArthur Place Inn & Spa. Originally a prestigious 300-acre working ranch with prized trotters, the property now has sixty-four suites surrounded by beautiful private gardens, just a few blocks off the plaza.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards


Photo courtesy of Joseph Phelps Vineyards VIE - Summer 2009

A bit up valley, in Santa Rosa, you’ll find the forty-four-room Vintners Inn, voted one of the top hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. It’s owned by the prestigious Ferrari-Carano Winery, which sits in the middle of five acres of magnificent formal gardens and which makes excellent wines. Don’t forget to save one night for dinner at the legendary John Ash & Co. on the premises of Vintners Inn. This is farm-fresh wine country cuisine at its finest, served in a gorgeous dining room. The town of Healdsburg is another wonderful spot to explore, with myriad shopping, dining, and luxury lodging choices. Two standouts include the Hotel Healdsburg, one of the hippest and most tranquil places with its

The town of Healdsburg is another wonderful spot to explore, with myriad shopping, dining, and luxury lodging choices. outstanding pool, herb gardens, spa, and in-suite soaking tubs to die for. For dinner, just head across the lawn to Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen for his inventive fare, with an all-Sonoma wine list. At the top of the “sumptuous and romantic lodging” list is Les Mars Hotel, Healdsburg’s newest boutique property that is Relais & Chateaux designated. It’s nothing short of opulent in a quiet, service-oriented, gracious setting.

Napa Valley From Healdsburg, you’ll first encounter the quaint town of Calistoga, long known for its mud bath and spa tradition. Favorite Calistoga winery stops include: Chateau Montelena with a rich history dating back to the 1800s; Clos Pegase, with a fabulous art-filled cave tour; and Sterling, with stunning architecture and an aerial tramway that takes you to the top of its hillside estate. Dining in Calistoga can be an adventure—try the outdoor patio at Wappo, where you may just be seated at a table next to Robert Redford. (He eats there often and sat next to me once!)

All of my favorite stops are too many to mention, but don’t miss an opportunity to tour the Far Niente winery, which sits on the National Register of Historic Places and, after twenty-five years of trade-only appointments, is finally open to the public. This world-class estate has not only a rich history and a magnificent setting, but also some of the best cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay vintages you’ll ever taste. Its beautiful single-vintage late harvest wine called “Dolce” tastes like pure honey on the tongue and is dubbed “Liquid Gold” by the winemaker, a description with which I concur! The estate boasts one of the finest Southern-style gardens in the nation, with over 8,000 azaleas in bloom in late spring, and a fine vintage car collection including rare racing and antique autos. This is one estate that has it all.

Brannan’s is another great option for a well-mixed martini, an outstanding wine list, and excellently prepared traditional fare, and barVino offers delicious small plates in a casual and fun setting. You’ll be pampered in a warm, stylish suite at the Chanric Inn—a relaxing overnight retreat. But the best part may be the morning, when Chef Ric Pielstick serves you a divine three-course brunch upon arising. His inventive menus change daily. Further down valley, you’ll encounter the towns of St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, and Yountville, where a high concentration of Napa wineries exist as close neighbors.


Photo courtesy of Bardessono Photographer:Sammy Todd Dyess

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The family that brought us the Swanson frozen dinner in the 1950s is the same family that today owns one of Napa’s premier vineyard estates. I had been traveling to Napa Valley for years, and recently discovered the town for which the area is named—the town of Napa. The revitalization of the Napa River spawned a new face for this old town, and it is well worth a visit. Of particular note is the Oxbow Public Market, a wonderful collection of restaurants, unique shops, and food purveyors under one roof. You’ll find a warm, welcoming, and delicious experience there.

Swanson Vineyards

Photo courtesy of Swanson Vineyards

A visit to Joseph Phelps Vineyards is another unique experience; you may have an opportunity during a tasting to mix your own meritage (wine blend) with the single vintage wines of this well-respected estate. At a minimum, just sitting on the terrace, a glass of “Insignia” in hand, is a lovely way to pass the afternoon.

The Napa River Inn is perfect for those who love a historic property decorated in romantic period detail—including claw-footed tubs—and you won’t find better authentic French cuisine than at Angèle Restaurant and Bar right next door. If you desire a more contemporary take on luxury, the new Westin Verasa Napa has plush condo-like suites with fully equipped kitchens. But who wants to cook when you can dine at Ken Frank’s legendary La Toque? It’s right on the grounds of the resort, and a fabulous dinner can be had there. Robyn Roehm Cannon writes from Seattle, Washington.

The family that brought us the Swanson frozen dinner in the 1950s is the same family that today owns one of Napa’s premier vineyard estates. A visit to the Swanson Tasting Salon is a memorable occasion—a fantasy within its rich coral walls and intense décor, with a stone fireplace, imported from France, set with a roaring fire. Here, your “Salonnier” will lead your group through an elaborate tasting—and leave you feeling as though you have attended a private cocktail party in your honor. You’ll sample estate caviar on potato chips, lovely cheese selections, and bonbons made especially for Swanson to complement its small lot vintages. When you’re ready for sleep, there are many fine options in Napa Valley, from bed and breakfast inns to luxurious small hotels. One of the best, the Bardessono, is newly opened and operated in Yountville by MTM Luxury Lodging and combines a low carbon footprint with the most pampering surroundings possible. All suites are set up for spa services, so you and your loved one can roll from the massage table into your private outdoor shower and soaking tub and then nap on organic linens that are laundered with ionization to remove all traces of soap. This elegant, contemporary, holistic approach to hospitality is totally green, at the LEED Platinum level.


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Oxbow Public Market

Photo courtesy of Oxbow Public Market © Steven Rothfeld 2008

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P o ol side


At CALIzA REStAuRAnt Caliza Restaurant is 30A’s newest dining hot spot. Offering fresh local seafood, grilled steaks, pasta, soups, and a variety of salads prepared by chef Olivier Gaupin. Try one of our signature cocktails while watching the sunset from the roof-top terrace overlooking Alys Beach. We look forward to seeing you! Reservations are recommended but not required. Open March through October for dinner only. Call or visit our website for more information.

850.213.5700 · w w w. C A L I Z A R E S TA U R A N T. Co m ALYS BEACH is a trademark of EBSCO Industries, Inc. © 2009


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Dining Alfresco at Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach Chef Olivier Gaupin Keeps it Fresh and Simple By Lisa Burwell

Photography by Jessie Shepard


f a dining experience could be likened to a major work of art, then Caliza Restaurant would be a Renoir among 30A’s epicurean delights this summer. When extraordinary architecture, a negative edge saltwater pool, and a chef hailing from the French city of Orleans converge with casual dining, you have arrived at dining utopia. Poolside dining at Caliza Restaurant is one of those unique dining adventures that you must experience to believe. Chef Olivier Gaupin presides over this “foodie nirvana” with the attention of a general and the charm of a Frenchman. Chef Gaupin was executive chef for WaterColor and WaterSound prior to joining Alys Beach as director of food and beverage. Before relocating to Florida with his family, he was executive chef for The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta and St. Louis. Chef Olivier is accustomed to receiving awards and culinary accolades. The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta was winner of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond award. It was also named “Top Restaurant in Atlanta” by Gourmet magazine. While under his watch, WaterColor Resort & Inn won the coveted AAA Four Diamond award as well. A must for 30A dining, Caliza offers fresh local seafood, grilled steaks, pasta, soups and a variety of salads, all prepared to perfection. “Our goal at Caliza is to use only the highest quality ingredients while providing the highest level of service possible,” said Chef Olivier. The red snapper ceviche with pickled red onions and cilantro-avocado dipping sauce is a great starter. Chef Olivier describes his cuisine as “classic American bistro,” where preparation is not overly complicated and fresh ingredients are savored. “Food tastes better when it’s fresh and simple,” said Chef Olivier. The menu generally emphasizes fresh local seafood, including items such as

Olivier Gaupin

Apalachicola oysters and local snapper and shrimp; however, it also features steaks of the highest quality and other selections, often with French and Southern influences. The menu is diverse with something for everyone. Where else can you find a menu selection

A Mouthwatering Sensation

Try the Caliza Platter with Gulf shrimp, oysters, top neck clams and cocktail crab claws beautifully adorned on a large plate. VIE - Summer 2009


“creativity expressed, this is our fashion culture� - monark events

photography by cody jordan

Houston 8 Fashion Culture for Men & Women across from the Destin Commons / open 7 days a week 850-424-6175 / 72

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that includes foie gras, Scottish-battered fish and chips with tartar sauce and fresh lemon, and a version of pork and beans consisting of braised pork shoulder and baked beans, served with an arugula salad with rosemary oil? Chef Olivier has updated and enhanced his wine list from last year. If the Petit Chablis we tasted is any indication of his sommelier prowess, then he must have a winning wine list, because it was one of the best white wines I’ve ever tasted. Pair that with the Caliza Platter of Gulf shrimp, oysters, top neck clams and cocktail crab claws beautifully arrayed on a large plate, and you’ll be in heaven. This, coming from a die-hard Tuscan red wine connoisseur, is a big compliment.

Chef Olivier enjoying a Caliza Platter with a glass of Petit Chablis.

Before making your way to your dining table, take time to appreciate the spectacular


Moroccan-style lounge with its arched colonnade—here is drama like you’ve never seen before. The large, open-air space has brilliant burnt orange walls and is replete with oversized couches and chairs. Enjoy the sunset with an after-dinner drink on the rooftop terrace overlooking Alys Beach. Bon appétit!

Caliza Restaurant offers lunch daily to owners and their guests. Dinner is open to the public from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, from March through October.


Enjoy LifE Life should be rewarding and fun. At BankTrust, we blend friendly service with technology to provide quick, easy access and smart personalized solutions. We eliminate the hassles of banking, so you can take it easy and enjoy the things you love.

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Equal Housing Lender VIE - Summer 2009


The Joy of Publishing

COOKING A BOOK By Lisa Burwell


VIE - Summer 2009

Photo by Jessie Shepard


atricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes is, by any standard, a remarkable person. I met her a few years ago through our mutual friend, Gina Shiflett, the owner of Salon Twist, in Grayton Beach. Gina wanted to host a fundraiser in honor of the Barnes Family Foundation to benefit Sasha’s Home, a Ukrainian orphanage. We joined forces to make the event a reality. Our efforts resulted in the 2nd Annual Change the World Fundraiser, which took place at Alys Beach in November 2007. The Celtic prayer (at right) appeared on a thank-you card that Sister sent me after the event. I did not know whether our paths would cross again, but I hoped that they would. I got to know Sister as we planned the fundraiser. I was amazed that each time I saw her, she was always filled with good cheer. Nothing ever seemed to bring Sister’s spirits down; her friendly smile exuded a luminous personality. She professes a strong faith and belief that Sasha’s Home is a cause ordained by God and, by His grace, one that she will continue to be able to handle. Though Sister embodies a childlike faith, it is infused with wisdom, tenacity and boundless energy—all the necessary tools to ignite faith and put it into action.

THE BEGINNING… “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” –Zechariah 4:10 In 1989, “Sister Schubert,” as she was known at that time, was baking yeast rolls in the kitchen of her home in Troy, Alabama, for a donation to her church’s food fair. Sister’s soon-to-be-famous “Everlasting Rolls” were based on her grandmother’s heirloom recipe. That year, her small catering business received an eighty-pan order. The next year, orders increased to 200 pans and, in 1991, she was maxed out at 300. It was then that Sister felt there might be a market for her product. She soon convinced small grocery stores in Montgomery, Dothan and Birmingham to carry her rolls. Sister and her two daughters, Charlotte and Chrissie, handed out samples knowing that if people tried her rolls, they would buy them. They did, and Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls was born. People were enthusiastically buying her rolls, so, to keep up with demand, Sister knew that she would have to grow her business. In addition, since she was a single mother of two, she would also have to find a way to take care of her children. These two hurdles would prove daunting to most people. But Sister found the inspiration that she needed in the children’s book God’s Dream, written by Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu and internationally

Be gentle when you touch bread. Let it not lie, uncared for, Unwanted. So often bread is taken for granted. There is such beauty in bread— Beauty of surf and soil, Beauty of patient toil. Wind and rain have caressed it, Christ often blessed it. Be gentle when you touch bread.

—Celtic Prayer The Open Gate by David Adam

renowned author Douglas Carlton Abrams, with award-winning illustrations by LeUyen Pham. With heartfelt language that readers can understand, the book’s intended message is simple—inspiration. “Your dreams can come true if you listen and let God tell you what to do,” said Sister. With newfound inspiration, her faith and a modest investment, Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls bakery opened in her family’s furniture warehouse in Troy, Alabama, in August 1992. With a 30-quart commercial mixer and a pair of used commercial gas ovens, volume quickly grew to the level where she could no longer oversee marketing, production and delivery. For assistance, she recruited food broker George Barnes and, under his guidance, the company’s distribution base grew from local to regional. As the business grew, so did the special relationship between Sister and George. They married in 1995. Sister and George continued to expand the business by opening a new 27,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art bakery in Luverne, Alabama. Within three years, the facility expanded again, this time to 80,000 square feet to provide the necessary space to produce more than one million rolls per day. In 2000, the Barneses sold stock in the company to Lancaster Colony, a specialty foods corporation in Columbus, Ohio, which catapulted the rolls to national-brand status. Today, Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls is a subsidiary of T. Marzetti Company, which is a division of Lancaster Colony. The Barneses are still involved with the company: Sister as founder and vice president of product development and manufacturing and George as vice president of operations. They continue to accomplish great things together. The founding of the Barnes Family Foundation in 2001 was one of their most meaningful endeavors thus far ( Sasha’s Home, a seven-apartment foster care facility that provides temporary families for VIE - Summer 2009


Photo by Jessie Shepard

nearly forty abandoned Ukrainian children who await adoption, is one of the foundation’s projects. The home has had a personal and intimate effect on the Barneses’ lives. Through this project, they adopted their son Alexsey fourteen months after meeting him in Ukraine. The city of Gorlovka, Ukraine recently awarded the silver Gorlov medal to Sister for establishing Sasha’s Home. As a working woman with five children (between the ages of 6 and 33) and five grandchildren, Patricia “Sister Schubert” Barnes knows that today’s hectic pace makes it difficult for family members to spend quality time with one another. “Family mealtime is a key component of quality time,” she said. Sister recently launched a new website,, which offers ideas, tips, recipes and strategies to help families find ways to share quality time together.

To achieve Sister’s latest vision of a coffee table cookbook, three themes will be combined: cooking, inspiration and entrepreneurship. The main idea behind self-publishing is to maintain control over the quality of the message and the product. A secondary reason is to garner higher profits, as the net proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Barnes Family Foundation with Sasha’s Home as the main beneficiary. The name of the book, Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters, is an excerpt from verse 11:1 of the book of Ecclesiastes. Simply explained, this verse states that when you have an abundance of bread or manna from heaven, you should generously and liberally sow it. It will act like a seed and return to you a hundredfold when you need it. “This cookbook is another way I am casting ‘my’ bread upon the waters by sharing my family, my faith and, of course, my love of baking, in hopes that my experiences will sow another seed that will take root and produce life,” said Sister.

THE BACK STORY Sister’s next ambition is to publish her second cookbook, Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters—Recipes for Cooking, Living and Success. To accomplish this goal, she has enlisted Cornerstone Marketing & Advertising, Inc. of Grayton Beach, Florida to copublish, design and market her book. So our paths did cross again, and I am so thankful for this rare and wonderful opportunity. But before going into that, I must explain the inspiration behind it all.

Photo by Paul Poplis 76

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After producing her rolls for almost seventeen years, Sister has achieved celebrity-like status in the South. In fact, I endearingly refer to her as the “Martha Stewart of the South.” Most of her fans describe with wide-eyed enthusiasm their memories of her mouthwatering cinnamon, dinner and sausage rolls, which they enjoyed while growing up. Sister’s first cookbook, Sister Schubert’s Secret Bread Recipes, was published in 1996 by Oxmoor House. The book was well received by her fanbase, which is generally concentrated in the Southeast. A public relations campaign is presently underway to transform Sister Schubert and her rolls into household names across the nation, and it will not be long before her fanbase expands even more. Scores of morning and lifestyle television programs have expressed an interest in interviewing her, including The Oprah Winfrey Show.

“Family mealtime is a key component of quality time.” –Sister Barnes

Photo by Jessie Shepard VIE - Summer 2009


Sister and Lisa Burwell with Emeril Lagasse Photo by Gerald Burwell

THE JOY OF PUBLISHING Cornerstone created a website,, to solicit preorders, which include a $5 savings off the $40 retail price, and as a tool to estimate the demand of the quantity of books to be printed. A full-page ad in Southern Accents magazine has also helped to direct those who are interested in preordering a copy to the website. With a strong fanbase in the South, this tactic has generated better-than-expected interest. It has helped to market and sell a book in a somewhat unconventional way. Yeah, it’s working! Considering that there are so many books available in stores and online, packaging is as important as content. An appealing cover will entice readers to look inside. I strongly believe in the adage “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” For this reason, the name of the book and the cover photo are very important. The photo of Sister that graces the book’s cover was taken in the kitchen of her beautiful home in Andalusia, Alabama. It grabs attention while conveying the genuine warmth of her spirit. 78

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Therefore, I hope that this book will contradict another old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” This past February, with our good friends Lynn and Steve Dugas, my husband and I attended the 2009 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine magazine. We intended to meet up with Sister while there. Initially, I did not think that our crazy work schedule would allow us to get away. I had second thoughts, however, when I considered the list of celebrity chefs who would be in attendance. The various cooking and wine demonstrations might present ideal networking opportunities for Sister and could help with the upcoming launch of her book. Never before have chefs been so celebrated by our country’s media and citizens. Some of the most popular television shows today are related to food. The status of “celebrity chef ” was coined, in large part, to describe the great

Photo by Gerald Burwell

Painting of Emeril by renowned pop artist Burton Morris graces the restaurant, Emeril’s Miami Beach Photo by Gerald Burwell Emeril Lagasse of New Orleans. In addition to his Food Network television programs and numerous cookbooks, Emeril is now also celebrated for his philanthropic endeavors. The Food Network’s festival presented its all-star lineup, including Emeril, Guy Fieri, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay and his wife, actress Stephanie March, Paula Deen and Rachael Ray. The list goes on, but these names provide a glimpse into the epicurean greats in attendance at the festival. We hoped that Sister could meet Emeril, Paula Deen and Rachael Ray—and she did!

On Saturday, February 21, we made our way to Jungle Island to see Rachael Ray. We had passes to attend the presentation Fun and Fit as a Family, which was sponsored by South Beach Diet and featured Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen. As Rachael Ray was making her way to her eagerly awaiting fans, Sister had a great opportunity to pose with the star chef. Rachael was very sweet (and petite), and gave Sister a warm welcome as she posed for our camera. Her genuine appreciation for her fans was evident as she glided onto stage with her megawatt smile. Later that evening, we headed to the Loews Hotel for a special and exclusive meeting. Emeril is unquestionably a household name, but he is absolutely revered by residents of cities such as New Orleans and Miami. There is so much to say about this gregarious, talented and hardworking man. He has built a culinary empire and paved the way for other chefs to share in the celebrity limelight. His schedule during the festival would have rivaled that of a head of state, but he set aside time to meet with Sister and me. Sister hopes to emulate Emeril’s altruism by using her influence to accomplish something good, just as he has done. They share like-minded philanthropic interests; both give back and do not forget whence they came. In the New Orleans and Gulf Coast areas, Emeril’s foundation has given children’s

Sister with Rachael Ray Photo by Gerald Burwell

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and prepared to exit the park. At the last second, Sister was beckoned onto the stage, where Paula proceeded to extol the virtues of Sister’s rolls to the filled-to-capacity tent. Paula told the audience that making rolls was no longer necessary and to go buy Sister Schubert’s Rolls found in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Not only was Paula generous to give Sister such a great and unexpected plug, but she was also gracious and sweet to share the stage!

The chefs of tomorrow at Kellogg’s Kidz Kitchen. Photo by Gerald Burwell

This cookbook is another way I am casting my bread upon the waters... —Sister Barnes

charities over $2.5 million in funding for educational programs, life skills development, culinary training and cultural enrichment ( Sunday morning was brisk and brilliantly sunny for our encore visit to Jungle Island. Sister worked with Paula Deen on a dinner for the Governor of Alabama a few years ago, so the two women were already acquainted. We waited for Paula to make her entrance, and, though they had not crossed paths in a while, Paula immediately noticed Sister and the ensuing reunion was quick but heartfelt. The stadium seating overflowed with young children looking festive in their chef hats. We took a few photos for the archives

Sister on stage with Paula Deen Photo by Gerald Burwell 80

Her very first cookbook, Favorite Recipes of the Lady and her Friends (1997), was self-published, so Paula can understand humble beginnings. Since then, she has authored and published countless cookbooks, and the Food Network has made Paula Deen a household name. Forbes magazine recently ranked her in the top one hundred most powerful celebrities.

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Many of these celebrity chefs, authors and television personalities have worked hard to achieve the success and acclaim that they now enjoy, but what was even more impressive than their fame was watching how much they give back. It was a joy to watch the camaraderie among the chefs and to witness the respect and love they have for their profession. A good product and hard work are necessary ingredients for achieving success. In addition, emulating what others have done before you can provide a great lesson. We believe that Sister’s charity and her new cookbook, Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters, will be huge successes. Rolls that people love, Sister’s genuine personality, and learning from others who have achieved greatness create a tremendous recipe for cooking a book. Visit VIEtv for a webisode called Sister Schubert in South Beach w w w.v i e z i n e . c o m

Sister with Paula Deen Photo by Gerald Burwell

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[Pictured left to right] Jane Kerrigan, Paralegal, Tammy Turberville, Legal Assistant, Karen Arnett, Owner/Attorney, Merlin Allan, Director of Office Leasing, Dana Dietrich, Leasing Administrator, Ryan Garrity, Attorney, Casey Jernigan, Attorney [not pictured]

Arnett Law Office Selects Grand Boulevard for New Emerald Coast Office Why did Arnett Law Office choose Grand Boulevard? The Arnett Law Office feels Grand Boulevard offers a premier location from which to service our diverse client base. It provides a central location for our business, estate and trust, real estate, condominium, construction and development clients to meet and discuss their needs. The beautiful Grand Boulevard allows our firm easy and convenient access to first class restaurants, shops and entertainment. We are truly happy to be a part of the Grand Boulevard family.

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S P O RT O F R E D F IS H IN G.” -Steve Bailey

By Matthew Christ Photos Courtesy of Redfish Riviera

aul Wohlford and Steve Bailey, avid fishermen and veterans of the Panama City Beach resort industry, had long searched for a nickname to replace the cutesy but not so flattering moniker associated with Northwest Florida—the Redneck Riviera— but never expected to find enlightenment while attending a local Tourist Development Council meeting in April of 2008. Wohlford recalls, “Steve and I were just sitting there listening to a presentation on the expanding sport of redfishing, and I turned to Steve and said, ‘Hey, doesn’t the Redfish Riviera sound better than the Redneck Riviera?’” Wohlford and Bailey’s Redfish Riviera, the name they trademarked shortly after that fateful TDC meeting last April, is a Florida where redfishing is not only the fastest growing segment in sportfishing but a reflection on the natural beauty of the Florida Panhandle. It’s a beauty that can be found in the shallow waters surrounding the coastal hamlets of Pensacola, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe and Apalachicola, as well as in the brackish backwaters of East Bay

Griff Griffitts

and at the mouth of Black Creek. It’s the beauty one discovers when catching sight of the slick, spotted dorsal fins breaking glassy morning waters. Nature’s beautiful redfish is often distinguished by the multiple dots on its tail. A three-spotter is great, four is rare. Don’t expect any billboards too soon. Wohlford and Bailey aren’t trying to rebrand the northern shores of Florida but are instead intent on sharing the legacy of Northwest Florida’s natural beauty. It’s a legacy of pristine waterways where schools of fish flicker; a place where the only sound heard is the water lapping gently against the mighty oaks that meet water’s edge. It is, after all, a legacy best shared by fishermen. And at the moment, the fishermen are searching for redfish. Bailey remembers a time when redfish were an abundant species. “They used to be everywhere. Drop a line, and you’d feel a tug. Then, in the early nineties, redfish became popular on restaurant menus, and nearly overnight they disappeared.” For years, redfish, or Micropterus punctulatus, which are found in waters hugging the coastlines of the Gulf and mid-Atlantic states, were one of the most sought after species, and no tactics were off limits for catching the fish. Finally, after a ban on redfish netting went into effect a few years ago, the species’ numbers began to increase. Today, only a limited number of redfish may be caught per day (namely, one fish per fisherman), and a keeper has to be18-27 inches. All of these measures have made the redfish a dream for sportfishermen. The Redfish Riviera lifestyle is a dream of Wohlford and Bailey—one that the enterprising duo wanted to share. “No one has catered to redfish and those who fish them,” Bailey told me. “Orvis caters to flyfishing and trout, Bass Pro Shops cater to, well, bass fishing among other things, and up along the Emerald Coast you have a whole mess VIE - Summer 2009


of shops catering to dedicated offshore anglers. We want to cater to the expanding sport of redfishing.” So how exactly do two entrepreneurs cater to this expanding sport? For Bailey and Wohlford, the first step was creating The website, which went live in July 2008, provides information about redfish tournaments across the coastal flats and education about the growing sport. As of now, Wohlford admits, the website serves “primarily as a retail component,” offering apparel items ranging from hats to shirts for every age group, emphasizing that redfishing is perfect for youngsters as well as adults. So far, the apparel line has been met with success. “We’ve had customers from as far away as Oregon,” Wohlford says. “Our web presence has just started, so our customers in Kentucky or Virginia are typically people who heard of us while visiting the Panhandle, but it’s those customers who will help spread the word around.” Currently, the apparel line, built around quality brands such as Nike and Adidas, is available online at and through a link at, but Bailey and Wohlford have larger plans for the future.

Team Wohlford and Bailey receive first-place trophy at Redfish Cup Pro-Am in Pensacola 2008 where they were featured on ESPN2

not boats, to fish in Mobile Bay. Team Wohlford and Bailey participated in the Redfish Cup Pro-Am last year in Pensacola where they were featured on ESPN2 while stepping onto the winner’s platform to receive their first-place trophy.

“Obviously, there is an inevitable commercial aspect of the Redfish “Next year, Redfish Riviera will launch a wholesale catalog of our Riviera, but championing this sport will go hand in hand with the busiapparel line. Our goal is to sell the line to different retailers. So, for ness side of our company,” Wohlford explains. This year the website instance, perhaps one day you’ll be able to find a Redfish Riviera Twill be expanded to serve visitors shirt at a Bass Pro Shop or a Cainterested in guide services and edubela store,” Wohlford explains. “Next year, Redfish Riviera will cational information about redfish, Both men agree that the dissemiconservation of the species, and nation of the Redfish Riviera logo launch a wholesale catalog of our fishing tips. The site already sports a (designed by local artist Mark blog with features as far-ranging as Caughlin of Art Gumbo) is currently apparel line. Our goal is to sell the tips on winterizing a marine engine the first priority of the burgeoning to the perfect redfish recipe. Wohlbusiness. “We’d like to think of line to different retailers.” ford says that the site will become an ourselves as another component, all-in-one stop for the sport’s followanother piece of the retail/outfitter – Paul Wohlford ers when he adds a section specialpuzzle,” says Wohlford. izing in accommodations and dining in locales visited by members of the Inshore Fishing Association Yet don’t be too quick to believe that Wohlford and Bailey are focusing Redfish Tour. more on the commercial aspect of the “Riviera” rather than the redfish. Both men are dedicated to expanding the sport. As Bailey explains, Two avid fishermen with a business background? Check. A website “Redfishing is perhaps as green as you can get when it comes to fishthat caters to sportfishermen, offering suggested guide services and ing. You’re not using a ton of gasoline to take a huge boat 30 or 50 miles the latest information about where the fish are biting? Check. A highout into the Gulf. In fact, you could even use a kayak. And redfish are a end but customized apparel line? Check. very protected species, so there’s a slim chance that they’ll be fished out again anytime soon.” Wohlford and Bailey may be ahead of the The ambition to become the next great retailer/outfitter? Definitely. curve in spotting a growing trend. Last year, a redfish tournament in Mobile, Alabama, drew more than 150 participants captaining kayaks,


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Visit Our stOre & receiVe




your first purchase.

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Panama City Beach Pirates

Photo by Jessie Shepard

By James Ryan here is a new game in town, and it is the Panama City Beach Pirates soccer team. The Pirates were inspired by local visionaries Laird Hitchcock (team owner) and Carey Turner (general manager). For the past four years, Hitchcock and Turner have been running one of the most successful indoor sports facilities in the Florida Panhandle. Renegade Sports Center gives locals the opportunity to enjoy various indoor sports under one roof. With their involvement in all things sports-related, especially youth soccer, Hitchcock and Turner were inspired to introduce their own competitive men’s amateur soccer team to the Northwest Florida area. In August of 2007, Laird purchased franchise rights from the United Soccer Leagues (USL) and founded the Panama City Beach Pirates. They are in the Premier Development League (PDL), a branch of the USL which serves as a proving ground for future professional players, 86

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similar to the AA and AAA leagues in Major League Baseball. It was not long before Laird asked University of West Florida (UWF) men’s head soccer coach Bill Elliott to take the helm for the Pirates’ maiden voyage. Coach Elliott was more than happy to relocate his family from Pensacola to Panama City Beach for the duration of the season. He said, “It is a great way to enjoy the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Beaches’ and to follow my passion to coach top-level soccer.

With the Pirates’ season being in the late spring and summer months, it still allows me to continue my coaching duties at UWF.” Coach Elliott is rated as one of the top twenty coaches for Division II soccer in terms of career wins and winning percentage. He has led the UWF Argonauts for the last thirteen seasons, and has seven Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year awards and four South Region Coach of the Year awards to his credit. Photo by Jessie Shepard

When Coach Elliott was asked what interested him about joining the Pirates organization, he replied, “I am excited about the opportunity to experience another part of Northwest Florida, being part of a community like Panama City Beach, and having the chance to work with some of the most elite college players in the country. By coaching the Pirates, I feel I can broaden my coaching horizons, and hopefully achieve an even higher level of insight into soccer myself.” It was rough sailing for Coach Elliott and the Pirates in their 2008 inaugural season. They started out slow, going without a win until midway through the season. Then, the wind hit their sails and they had a seven-game stretch without a loss. They were in the running for the playoffs until the final two games of the season. The word is now out around the league about the professionalism of the Pirates organization. Coach Elliott said it is like coaching a high-level college all-star team. Most of the players are the best players on their college teams, and they even have some All-Americans. But they also have to abide by NCAA rules so the players can keep their eligibility. They cannot be paid, but are only allowed room and board. For away games, they are also provided transportation and accommodations. The Pirates’ living quarters are atypical of those that might be found on the Black Pearl. They live at the beautiful Origins condominium at Seahaven in Panama City Beach, which gives opposing teams the revelation that this is a firstclass organization. The players have full access to Renegade Sports Center, where there is a full workout gym and a state-of-the-art indoor soccer field equipped with artificial turf. They also have basketball courts and an indoor skate park. In addition to ensuring a high level of play, Laird is committed to the Pirates organization, and is adding value to the community by having the Pirates come to local middle schools for a day to conduct PE classes and hold soccer clinics. This will assist the area schools in coping with the budget cuts in athletics that will begin next year. Pirates can be found at youth programs in full uniform, holding free soccer clinics to get kids excited about soccer, or “the beautiful game.” Plans are now in place for a local 3v3 soccer tournament for ages eight and up at Frank VIE - Summer 2009


Pirates mascot, Capt. Jack Sparrow Photo courtesy of Panama City Beach Pirates Brown Park. Laird said he appreciates the support the team has received from the community. “A special thanks to Knology, Innovations Federal Credit Union, the TDC, and Origins at Seahaven for their continued support of the Pirates, and to all the fans that have come out to cheer on the Pirates.” So come out and support your Panama City Beach Pirates. It is great family entertainment, and the level of play is second to none. The games are played at Mike Gavlak Stadium (Arnold High School) in Panama City Beach. When you arrive at a game, the atmosphere is charged with enthusiasm. You will find energetic music playing during warm-ups, and the smaller

The Panama City Beach Pirates Photo courtesy of Panama City Beach Pirates kids can enjoy a Moonbounce and face painting. The Pirates’ mascot, “Captain Jack Sparrow,” entertains the kids by leading the cheers, posing for photos, and occasionally sneaking up to give them a good pirate fright. You may even think he is Johnny Depp. The team players are very accessible and will stick around after games to mingle with fans and sign autographs. You can even pose for photos with your favorite player. Fair winds to the Pirates this year, as expectations are high. They plan on taking all the loot by making it to the playoffs. See you at the game, matey!

Check out the Pirates’ website for more details and information, including 3v3 tournament and 2009 Game Schedule. www.panamacitypirates. com. Or by contacting Carey Turner via e-mail at, by calling (850) 248-HOOK (4665).

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PLACES The 2009 Emerald Coast Advertising Federation ADDY Awards took place at the Emerald Grande on February 28, 2009.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF THE EMERALD COAST Gold ADDY – Empowering Kids, Public Service, Broadcast/ Electronic Jennifer Morgan and Kathy Morrow

Will Maberry and Cecil Killingsworth

CHELCO Gold ADDY – Youth Tour Kit, Direct Marketing, Specialty Item


Meredith Snow, Bob Brown, Hui-Ting Tang, Lisa Ferrick, and Crystal Hamon

Will Maberry and Eric Shepard

Gold ADDY – Sky Carolina, Website, Consumer – Judge’s Choice – Sky Carolina, Logo – 30A Resorts, Website, Consumer – 30A Resorts, Logo – Café Thirty-A, Campaign – Café Thirty-A, Poster – VIE – People + Places, Publication Design – Sky Carolina Sales Kit, Product or Service Sales Presentation – VIE – People + Places, Mixed/Multiple Media, Consumer, Regional/National – Brunsdon, Photography, Color

DESTIN-ATION.COM Gold ADDY – Insight Marketing, Website, Business-to-Business


Jake Meyer

Cynthia Barker, Kindra Svendsen, Nikki Sharra, and Matt Wray*

Gold ADDY – Cleveland New Product Launch, Business-to- Business or Consumer, Campaign

FIRESTORM CREATIVE STUDIOS Gold ADDY – Easy Street Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals, Website, Consumer


Sabrina McLaughlin and Kindra Svendsen* 90

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Susan Shaw and Vick Prawdzik

Gold ADDY – Destin Health & Fitness Campaign, Consumer, Local – Judge’s Choice – The St. Joe Trilogy, Brochure – I will Design For Food Logo – BEST OF SHOW Print – Yolo Warriors, Photography, Color

A D D Y AWA R D S INSIGHT MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS, INC. Gold ADDY – Children's Advocacy Center, Brochure, Collateral – Insight Marketing Communications, Creative Services and Industry Suppliers

MEIGS ADVERTISING DESIGN Gold ADDY – Fish Head Reunion Specialty Apparel, Specialty Advertising

Jennifer Morgan, Megan Prawdzik, Sabrina McLaughlin, Matt Hamner, and Leda Broxson*

Will Maberry and Okeye Mitchell

NICEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL Student Gold ADDY – Get Into Energy Florida, Website, Interactive Media

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE Student Gold ADDY – Entangled, Photography – Student BEST OF SHOW ADDY

TOM NEBEL PRODUCTIONS Gold ADDY – Tien Restaurant, Pre-Opening Teaser Ad, Local, Single - BEST OF SHOW Electronic – Northwest Florida Ballet – "Dracula", Local TV, Local, Single

Will Maberry and Bob Brown

Cornerstone Team

UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA Student Gold ADDY – What's Stopping You – Get Out the Vote Campaign, Mixed Media

Many companies that won Gold Addys also received Silver Addys. The following companies not mentioned above received Silver Addys. For a complete list of Addy winners please visit

Jerry and Lisa Burwell

Will Maberry and Jessie Shepard

Susan Shaw and Andi Ratliff

Joy and Andrea Todd*


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rriving at the beach often brings about the feeling of relaxation. The scenic beauty of the sugarwhite sand and emerald green waters, the smell of the salt air, and the sounds of waves lapping the shore have an amazing effect on one's state of mind. But amidst this beauty can lurk danger, and it is important to be informed and aware of ways to stay safe while enjoying one of Mother Nature’s best attractions. Regular beachgoers have their visits down to a science. They often access the Internet to check the flag warning system at www. to find out about the surf conditions and to know what to anticipate before arriving at the beach. The flag colors signify surf conditions and the likelihood of rip currents. If red flag conditions are present, then “kneedeep is too deep” and beachgoers know that cooling down is limited to the water’s edge. When double red flags are flying, the water is 92

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Submitted by Beaches of South Walton closed for swimming and regulars often bring extra water and umbrellas to stay cool. While beachgoers should always exercise caution when swimming in the Gulf, the best days to swim are when green or yellow flags are flying. If the purple flag is added, marine pests are present and swimmers should watch out for jellyfish, stingrays, or other dangerous fish. Powerful rip currents occur along the Gulf Coast, so the importance of obeying the flag warning system is paramount. Due to the double-sandbar topography of this region, dangerous rip currents form when there is a

break in the sandbar, which creates a narrow path of water that rushes out to sea. Swimmers in this path will suddenly feel themselves being pulled away from shore. Feeling frightened, swimmers may panic and resist the current, trying to swim back to shore. However, it is nearly impossible to swim against this powerful current. Therefore, if you are caught in a rip current, relax, float with the current until it dissipates, and then swim parallel with and back to shore. Local residents know that the best way to avoid rip currents is to know the surf conditions before entering the water.

“While we have a strong team whose training surpasses USLA standards, we’d much rather spend our time informing beachgoers about the flag warning system and rip currents than performing rescues.” –Gary Wise Beach Safety Director for the South Walton Fire District

Regular beachgoers are also systematic in selecting where to access the beach. The Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council maintains more than fifty-six public beach accesses, providing ample opportunity to reach the beach. Many choose to use one of the area’s eight regional public accesses with parking, restrooms, and lifeguards. With rip currents being difficult to detect for the majority of beachgoers, lifeguards are present to monitor surf conditions, and they can identify when rip currents form. By enjoying the beach where lifeguards are present, beachgoers are provided with added safety under the watchful eye of a trained professional. “The lifeguard program is an extension of the beach safety program, and it focuses heavily on education and prevention. Focusing on education and proactive prevention reduces the need for emergency response,” said Gary Wise, beach safety director for the South Walton Fire District. “While we have a strong team whose training surpasses USLA standards, we’d much rather spend our time informing beachgoers about the flag warning system and rip currents than performing rescues.”   Now in its fourth year, the program has a total of thirty well-trained lifeguards, including twenty-four returning guards from previous years, who have passed forty-eight hours of classroom and USLA open water rescue training as well as forty hours of DOT First Responder training. Last year, roving lifeguards on ATVs were added to the program. The ATVs allow lifeguards to patrol outside the eight regional beach accesses to inform as many beach visitors as possible of the potential and often hidden dangers associated with the beach.   “We strive to make contact with every beachgoer as they make their way down the boardwalk VIE - Summer 2009


“We strive to make contact with every beachgoer as they make their way down the boardwalk and onto the beach.” –Matt Ward South Walton Lifeguard

Matt Ward and onto the beach,” said Matt Ward, a second-year South Walton lifeguard. “Most new visitors are not aware of the flag system and don’t look to see what flag is flying. It’s our job to educate these people before they find themselves in a difficult situation.”

“With the use of Seemore The Safety Crab promotional items, such as beach balls and Frisbees, we are able to engage and educate children, in addition to their parents,” Ward added. “Kids really enjoy learning about the flag colors and getting a beach safety item that they can use on the beach during their stay.” Other hazards at the beach range from overexposure to the sun to jellyfish stings. Some of the things that seasoned beachgoers keep in their bags include sunscreen, towels, bottled water, and trash bags (for their own and

other trash found along the beach). For jellyfish stings, most carry either meat tenderizer, baking soda, or a small bottle of vinegar. And, just in case, many regulars bring some type of bug repellent; one home remedy used by locals is a mixture of water and Listerine in a spray bottle. By making preparation a part of heading down to the beach, beachgoers stay safe while relaxing and creating memories that last a lifetime.


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When It Comes to Beach Safety, Make Sure You Know Before You Go!


ith the help of “Seemore” The Safety Crab, Walton County is committed to beach safety. We have a flag system that tells surf conditions based on what color safety flag is flying at

the beach. So recognize the flags that Seemore is holding and know before you go. We’re making safety a top priority!



MEDIUM HAZARD (Light surf and/or currents) LOW HAZARD (Calm conditions) MARINE PEST PRESENT 850-267-1216 w w w .SeemoreSafetyCra

Know the Facts About Rip Current • Stay out of the water or swim with caution when the flags indicate unsafe conditions. • Don’t panic or swim against the current.


• Swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current (which is rarely more than 30 feet wide). • If you can’t escape, float or tread water. Lifeguarded beaches are available from mid-March through September, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.* at designated public beach accesses including Inlet, Santa Clara, Gulf View Heights, Ed Walline, Dune Allen and Miramar. * Non Daylight Savings days 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. – subject to change

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a d v e n t u r e s

i n

EGYPT anchruei582,2mv0d'jsklgsmcha;b Last fall, I shared the journey of a lifetime with my husband, Shane. The Travel Channel sent us on a two-month assignment to Africa: Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Tanzania and Egypt. Each country presented its own unique charms and unforgettable experiences, but Egypt was our favorite. Egypt is known for its mysticism—and its turmoil. Despite its allure, I certainly had my reservations about going. “Be careful!” were the words that I heard repeatedly. Eventually, however, I realized that the warning merely demonstrated a fear of the unknown. STORY & PHOTO GR APHY BY ROMONA ROBBINS


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Abu el-Abbas el-Mursi Mosque GREAT PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

when visiting cairo, seeing the pyramids is as much a given as seeing the eiffel tower when in paris. Upon our arrival in Cairo, we experienced excruciating difficulties in customs. We met our driver, Muhammed, and our host, Teymour (Tim), a worldly Egyptian whose Canadian accent was mixed with a surfer drawl that he had acquired during a few years in Hawaii. We headed to the five-star Holiday Inn—complete with an executive lounge and bomb detectors. It was a bit unnerving, but having just set foot in a different world, I appreciated the excessive security—enough to enjoy a good night’s rest before beginning our first day of filming. location one: CAIRO In Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, we found ourselves overwhelmed yet captivated by its staggering size and numerous exhibits. In fact, it has so many artifacts that only a fraction of them are shown to the public, while the rest are safely stowed away. Excessive museum fees and a tight budget allowed us only one hour to film—a tenth of the time that we should have spent there. We quickly raced to all of the key exhibits while squeezing our way through droves of tourists. This would set the frantic tone for the remainder of the adventure that lay before us. Our next stop was the Great Pyramids of Giza. When visiting Cairo, seeing the pyramids is as much a given as seeing the Eiffel Tower when in Paris. Observing these splendid structures from atop an Arabian horse was even more impressive! We mounted steeds from a familyowned business, N & B Stables, located just outside the pyramid complex. Apart from the distractions of the tourists, vendors, restorations 98

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in 1796, algerians completed this truly spectacular structure that was built over the tomb of the andalusian saint, abu’l ‘abbas. and Cairo’s cityscape, these mausoleums of the great pharaohs and the iconic Sphinx were nothing short of mesmerizing. Next, we raced to the Nile River for a sunset dinner on a felucca (pronounced “fluka”), a small sailboat that has changed little since its inception thousands of years ago. We enjoyed minced lamb served with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, locally produced feta cheese and ta’amiyya (falafel).

If you ever visit Egypt, a felucca experience is a must. This quaint and charming vessel creates a romantic cruise on the Nile that is well worth your time—as long as you trust the captain. Our captain narrowly avoided crashing our boat into another felucca. As the night ended, we returned to our room to prepare for the next day. Because Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Cairo certainly offers much to see and do, but we hadn’t seen anything yet!


location two: ALEXANDRIA The oldest port in the world, Alexandria is Egypt’s window to the Mediterranean. It is practically an underwater museum; it contains epic dive sites like the Pharos Lighthouse (the world’s first lighthouse), Cleopatra’s Palace and the sunken city lying just below its harbor surface. This ancient world, still awaiting discovery, is a history buff ’s wonderland. As we prepared for a dive, our tanks were charged, but our luck was not. At the last minute, President Mubarak declared the sea completely off-limits to divers due to heightened security. What a huge disappointment! Although most of Alexandria’s ancient history was hidden under the water, there was still plenty to see above. Plan B began with a trip to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, which was resurrected in 2003, near the site of the original library that had been built by Alexander the Great in 3 BC. The contemporary version of this massive building was a wonder to behold—especially since the design doesn’t quite fit into its historical surroundings. Its planetarium, virtually a floating ball, and the floating seminar rooms were dumbfounding. After a quick stop at the 15th century Qaitbey Fort, where Alexandria’s ancient lighthouse

our convoy pushed into the shifting hills once stood, we made our way of sand, leaving civilization in our wake. to Abu el-Abbas el-Mursi Mosque (Abu’l ’Abbas). In 1796, Algerians completed this truly spectacular location three: THE SAHARA structure that was built over the tomb of the The following morning, we eagerly began our Andalusian saint, Abu’l ‘Abbas. At the entrance, a trek into the majestic and golden dunes of the young child collected a small gratuity in exchange Sahara, the Great Sea of Sand. As the largest and for guarding our shoes and belongings. Being a oldest desert in the world, the Sahara’s vastness woman, I was only permitted in the tiny women’s emanates an enigmatic impression. Our convoy prayer room while Shane filmed the larger and pushed into the shifting hills of sand, leaving more elaborate men’s section. I marveled at the civilization in our wake. There were no buildings, intricately carved teak, the beautiful engravings no roads and no other people to share our of Kufic Arabic script atop Egyptian granite space. Worry turned into excited apprehension columns, the Italian marble and the thick, handas a new sense of freedom came over me. I was woven red carpets that covered the floor. “bitten by the desert bug,” as Colonel Mestakawi As the second day waned, we checked into the Adham Hotel, which resembled a diver’s adventure compound. The rooms offered all the comforts of home: a kitchen, a bath (with hot water!) and a lovely view of Alexandria’s skyline. It was the perfect place to gather supplies and to meet the new crew members who were joining us for the remainder of our journey: an Egyptologist, a doctor, a retired colonel who owns Zarzora Expedition, Cairo’s chief of police, a dive master, the proprietor of Sahara Adventure Company and drivers—six trucks for sixteen people; all this for our next location.

(a.k.a. “Desert Fox”) would suggest. Only a month before, a group of Italian tourists and their guides had been kidnapped by pirates while travelling in the Sahara; but we couldn’t feel any safer being with our knowledgeable companions. Desert Fox, for instance, is one of a few in the world who can actually navigate through the desert without the assistance of GPS. He relies solely on the moon, the stars and the wind to find his way. As the sun set into the undulant horizon of dunes, we established a surprisingly comfortable campsite that contained a lounge/dining area VIE - Summer 2009


The White Desert

gilf kebir

it was disappointing that we spent so little time at each of these locations, but that was both the beauty and the curse of our adventure.

The black Desert

with a makeshift kitchen, cozy tents with cots, a shower and a toilet (which we did not use because it was easier, cleaner and more private to stroll off into the distance). For dinner, the drivers prepared grilled camel meat, bamia (beef and okra casserole), fresh fruit and mint tea. We enjoyed our meal and warmed our bare feet in the sand as we all got to know each other under a blanket of stars.

kite jumping and wheeling down dunes as high as 400 feet. Descending a massive hill of sand was far more exciting than any roller coaster ride. Typically, it took full throttle to reach the peaks without getting stuck, and if we wanted to make it down the other side, we could not slow down. Flying over a cliff into oblivion was an exercise in luck and trust; I needed to have tremendous faith in our driver.

Afterwards, Az, a newly certified doctor, invited us to help him fly his giant kite. We cracked some glow sticks, inserted them into the torn areas of the kite and launched it into the night sky. The Sahara was so quiet that all we could hear was a symphony composed of the whistle of wind, the movement of sand and the zip of the kite as it cut into the night sky above us. We watched the green tracers from the glow sticks zigzag in the darkness of a new moon. It was a little breezy that night and the temperature was about sixtyfive degrees. The Sahara can offer the harshest of climates, but since it was the beginning of October, the weather was bearable and the area was almost completely devoid of bugs—quite a perfect camping scenario.

Scuba diving in a place called the Sea of Sand may sound like an oxymoron, but people often forget that there is water to be found. Our first oasis was an isolated town called Siwa Oasis, located in the middle of this seemingly barren land. Siwa is best known for its Temple of Amun (a.k.a. Temple of the Oracle), and it is where Alexander the Great had ordained himself as a god and as the ruler of Egypt. Despite its surroundings, Siwa is a town blessed by the heavens, and maintains a wealth of history that dates back to Paleolithic times. It has approximately 230 fresh springs that are fed by a natural aquifer, providing for an abundance of flora and fauna. Diving in one of its springfed wells, Abu Shrouf, was our primary reason for stopping here.

Every day in the Sea of Sand was an adventure. Our guide, Tim Adham from Sahara Adventure Company (, had brought an impressive assortment of toys, so we took advantage of our natural surroundings. We filmed some extreme sports like sandboarding,

Diving in the Sahara isn’t allowed unless the right person can pull some strings—and Tim was just that person. Abu Shrouf is a large spring surrounded by date palms and is about thirty feet deep. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities protects this area because 2000-year-old Roman


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ruins rest at the bottom of the well. The water was cool, blue and inviting, but a few kicks of the feet made it somewhat murky with debris. The fish, which resemble common aquarium fish, are indigenous to the well. Selfishly, I was more excited about bathing than anything else since this was the third day of our desert excursion, and the shower at the camp was not worth the trouble. Naturally, once we entered the water and began to document the unique experience on camera, I was filled with awe over what we were actually doing. I fell in love with this desert even more. I was sad to leave, but it was time to make our way back into civilization. In one day, we traversed the Gilf Kebir, the Black Desert near the Baharia Oases and the White Desert on a two-lane road that led us straight to Luxor. Each desert that we passed through had distinct characteristics. Gilf Kebir is one of the largest plateaus in the world. This vast arid land was once the Tethys Sea and teamed with marine life; it is now barren and filled with fossilized bivalves. The Black Desert has chains of black volcanic hills, which gave us the impression that we were traveling on Mars. The White Desert is filled with chalk rock formations uniquely shaped by wind. It was disappointing that we spent so little time at each of these locations, but that was both the beauty and the curse of our adventure. After all, we still had two more locations to cover.

location four: LUXOR To take full advantage of the sun, our On our way to Luxor, we ran into the first dives were shallow, allowing the first of many military checkpoints. rays of light to accentuate all the vibrant Armed soldiers hovered over Tim for colors of the coral and fish. After sunset, almost two hours. But he had everything we jumped into the water again for our under control. After a seemingly endless final dive. Our dive master insisted that interrogation, Tim raced back to the I leave my camera behind because I was convoy. Excitedly, he ordered, “Get a bit apprehensive about sharks and in the car! Go! LET’S GO!” We were because it was my first night dive. I did not running from the law; Tim simply not listen, but I should have. I grew a did not want to give them a chance to little antsy as we descended into the change their minds. Later, he explained darkness with our flashlights. I could that only Egyptian citizens are allowed not see past a tiny beam of light, which private convoys and that all others was quite frightening. I fidgeted with must travel in scheduled convoys my camera to calm myself, and I tried with police escort. Egypt goes to great to take pictures of everything that our lengths to protect their tourists because dive master pointed out. Suddenly, I tourism is a major industry for them. NILE RIVER sensed that something was following me. Ultimately, the constant I clung desperately to the dive master checkpoints were a since we only had one day to do it, the best while trying to see what it was—a family of nuisance, transforming way for us to see luxor was from the air. gigantic poisonous lionfish. They were using what should have been our lights to pick off an easy dinner. These fish a ten-hour drive into a was brief, but even our small glimpse of its rich are not usually a problem for divers, but at that seventeen-hour ordeal. By the time we arrived history was remarkable. After the cities and moment, they took temporary precedence over in Luxor, we were unbelievably exhausted, but a deserts of Egypt, we were ready to quench our my fear of sharks. My adrenaline was high and I hot shower and hotel bed fixed everything. spirits and journey to our final location. was practically hyperventilating. Not surprising, Since we only had one day to do it, the best way location five: for us to see Luxor was from the air. At dawn, we HURGHADA AND THE RED SEA hitched a ride on one of many hot air balloons Right off the bat, Hurghada reminded me of an that filled the morning sky. It was unsettling Egyptian version of Panama City Beach But the to share a balloon basket with thirty or more condominiums, hotels, tourist beach shops and passengers, but I soon found myself absorbed by a restaurants weren’t what we had come for—the bird’s-eye view of the Valley of the Kings, Karnak turquoise water of the Red Sea was. The Red and the Nile River. Descending from this “openSea is home to an abundance of marine life that air museum” to investigate the Karnak Temple typically found in larger oceans; combining this from the ground was an even more impressive with the warm water, great visibility and minimal experience. Standing next to the enormous currents, it is regarded as a world-class dive. columns of the Great Hypostyle Hall was mindboggling, as was traversing the RAM HEAD SPhINX OF KARNAK Valley of the Kings. More than sixty tombs are carved into cliffs of mostly limestone and sedimentary rock. Each tomb is decorated with colorful hieroglyphs and paintings of Egyptian mythology, but most have been stripped of their treasures. Our time in Luxor

I was the first to consume all of my O2. I was forced to ascend immediately, which of course ruined the dive for everyone else. As awful as this experience may sound, I still enjoyed it and would do it again—but without the camera. On the way back to the Cairo airport, I thought about all that we had done. We had crammed a month’s worth of activities into the ten most amazing days of our lives, and we had only scratched the surface of what Egypt truly has to offer. From the monuments that we had only heard of as kids, to the treasures that we had never known existed, Egypt inspired a sense of adventure that we had no longer thought was possible. So, now, when I think of those words “be careful” regarding Egypt, it’s not because it’s dangerous…it’s because you’ll want to go back for more. VIE - Summer 2009



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Hydration Water, water, everywhere...


t optimal health, our bodies contain over 70 percent water. Our trillions of cells float around in a slightly saline solution encased by our skin. Our most important organ, the brain, which manages all of our systems and communicates continually with these trillions of cells, should optimally be at over 80 percent hydration. Unfortunately, studies indicate that Americans average about 50 percent hydration, woefully short of ideal! So if you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, a good first step to remedying the situation is to ensure that your hydration is sufficient. For many of you, that will mean a significant increase in the amount of fluids you drink. But it’s a little more complicated than just drinking more fluids. Just because it’s wet does not mean that it hydrates. Indeed, some fluids are significant de-hydrators. Technically, these fluids are called diuretics. It is important to distinguish between those fluids that hydrate and those that do the opposite. The lists may surprise you. Let’s start with the good stuff. THE HYDRATORS The best hydrator is, of course, pure water. Purest of all is distilled water, which, inter-

By Clark Peters

The best hydrator is, of course, pure water. estingly, is the cheapest of the bottled waters (about $1 per gallon in most grocery stores). The next cheapest and purest is filtered tap water. A reverse osmosis filter (purchased at $250 or so) equips your kitchen with an unlimited supply of pure water. Alternatively, countertop or tap filters (a filter that screws on to the spigot) are reasonably priced and work quite well (remember, filters must be changed regularly). Any of the sparkling waters are excellent, and soda water is okay in a pinch. The bottled waters are great, but I will shortly be suggesting drinking a sizeable quantity daily, and these brands are pricey. Many brands of spring water fill the water aisles of grocery stores and are good hydrators (and are slightly cheaper). Finally, tap water is an acceptable source although most municipalities add chemicals like chlorine, and it may contain trace runoff contaminants. With that said, tap water is still much better than going without. Additional sources of “good” hydration include herbal teas, decaffeinated coffee and

tea, and green tea, all, of course, made with pure water. These all work fine and can add a little taste and variety to your hydration program. The bottom line—drink more good stuff! HOW MUCH? The formula for suggested daily quantity is straightforward. Take your body weight in pounds and divide by two. The resulting number is the minimum number of ounces of pure water you should be drinking per day. Therefore, a 200-pound man should set the target at 100 ounces per day. A gallon contains 128 ounces, so a reasonable goal might be to try to drink a gallon per day. A woman of 120 pounds would require 60 ounces or a half gallon. Exceeding target numbers is cause for celebration! WHY? For most readers, following this advice will mean a sizeable increase in H2O intake. Why all the emphasis on water? The answers are many and varied, but the primary one is that VIE - Summer 2009


water is the best detoxifier we can put in our bodies. It literally flushes (through urination) the many toxins, wastes and impurities introduced by our modern lifestyle. Every time you urinate (and this much water will occasion more frequent lavatory visits), you should delight in knowing toxins and impurities have “left the building.” You are getting squeaky clean! All of your internal organs and systems will thank you by working better. Incidentally, one way to check to ensure sufficient water intake is to observe the color of your urine. If you are drinking adequate amounts of hydration, it will turn from dark yellow to nearly clear by the end of the day, a significant reassurance that you have “cleaned up your act” for the day. You will also notice other benefits with increased water consumption, including:


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Mental acuity and recall: The brain is even more water-dependent than the rest of the body. The “communication with cells” mentioned earlier occurs when the brain sends out neurotransmitters (little electric messengers) to each cell. You may recall from science class that water is a good conductor of electricity. Therefore, dehydration of the brain results in impaired cognitive ability ranging from “senior moments” to more serious forms of dementia. Better sleep: A dehydrated body (and brain) is a restless, cranky system. If your body is “parched,” your ability to get to deeper and restorative levels of sleep (REM, stages 3 and 4) may be seriously impaired. Weight control and loss: The body retains fat in times of crisis. A lack of full hydration is perceived as a crisis and, as a result, the body will not shed unwanted fat. Indeed, at 50 percent hydration, the body is forced to retain “dirty dishwater” just to maintain some semblance of fluidity. After a few days of improved hydration, the body will “let go” of the dishwater, and you may see a three- to five-pound decline on the scale. This may just be a loss of water weight, but it means your

body can now get at the extra fat, if any, and let your weight management program work properly. System optimization: Your digestion, elimination/regularity, breathing, energy, skin tone, eyesight, nails, hair, and so on will “perk up” when properly hydrated. Water is truly a miracle elixir! THE DEHYDRATORS If our goal is to improve our body’s hydration, clearly we should cut back or eliminate those fluids that rob us of water—the diuretics. The major culprits in dehydration are sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol. All colas, sodas, soft drinks and sports drinks contain huge quantities of sugar, and unfortunately, the “diet” versions with additives like saccharine or sucralose are worse, so it is a good idea to substitute water for at least some of these if you drink a lot of them daily. The real solution, of course, is to drink none of them since dehydration is but one of their many negative impacts (hint: I call them liquid diabetes). At a minimum, cut way back, please. Coffee or, more accurately, the caffeine in coffee, which is also found in colas, by the way, is a diuretic. Now, I recognize that America

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is “hooked” on coffee, and many people feel they can’t start the day without drinking some. To ease any anxiety you may be feeling at this point, let me assure you that a couple of cups in the morning is not a huge deal. When I say cups, I am referring to 6-ounce cups, not the 32-ounce mocha lattes or cappuccino concoctions some people drink! Pounding down coffee all day ages you very quickly by exciting the “flight or fight” response (guess why it wakes you up in the morning?). Eventually it will burn out your adrenal glands. In addition, it stresses other systems, raises blood pressure and crepes your skin, all in addition to dehydrating your body. Cut back, please! Alcohol is the purest form of sugar you can put in your mouth. A glass of wine is the equivalent of three candy bars! A martini (1.5 oz.) equals five candy bars! Your hangover is a result of dehydrating your brain to the point of pain. “Hair of the dog” is not the answer to a hangover—water is, and lots of it! Now, again, I realize that alcohol is a drug of choice for many Americans. While no alcohol is the healthiest answer, moderate consumption will be tolerated by the body. It is not what you do once in a while that helps or hurts your health but rather what you do all the time. Lots of drinking ages you very quickly and kills literally thousands of brain cells (alcohol is a neurotoxin), so if you want to be old and stupid… Fruit and vegetable juices (V8, etc.) should be used very sparingly. The processing of these good carbohydrates in their natural form to produce the juice renders them little more 106

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than flavored sugar water. One of the myths floating around is that it’s healthy to start the day with a big glass of sugar water called orange juice. I hope my message here is quite straightforward: Cut way back on the dehydrators and introduce more water (preferably much more) into your life. The best way to ensure that happens is to stock your house, car, golf bag, backpack, office, bedroom, bathroom, and, of course, your kitchen with readily available pure water. A toast (made with water, please): “To your health!”

Add these to your shopping list and drink more… distilled water filtered water bottled water (Dasani, Aquafina, etc.) sparkling water (Perrier, San Pellegrino, club soda, etc.) spring water (hundreds of brands) tap water Cut back on… all sodas, colas, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc. flavored water caffeine (colas and coffee—decaffeinated versions are okay) alcohol fruit/vegetable juices (all)

Clark Peters THE HEALTH NUT Clark Peters has spent much of his time since his retirement in 1997 researching health and longevity under the direction of Dr. William E. Varnadore, FAARFM*, founder of SIOH, an anti-aging clinic in Rosemary Beach. 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. Prior to publication, all his columns are reviewed by Dr. Varnadore, SIOH Clinic, 82 S. Barrett Square, Suite 2F, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461. For more information on the clinic, contact (850) 231-3165 or visit * Advanced Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine


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Call 850-872-1004 or visit to arrange for your Comfort Diagnostics test today! 107 VIE - Summer 2009

By David Darlington

Photos courtesy of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition orthwest Florida’s coastline features an intriguing blend of quaint, old fishing villages mixed with a healthy dose of modern-day condos, hotels and tourist shops. The same emerald waters that attracted generations of commercial and sport fishermen now also draw visitors from every part of the world. But the area is quickly drawing attention, nationally as well as on a global scale, for a completely different reason. A new identity is emerging from within our coastal communities, nestled amongst surf shops and beach condos, farmlands and forests. It is an identity built on industries and businesses that apply forward thinking and modern 108

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technology in unique and fascinating ways. The “Innovation Coast” is springing up—and spreading out—before our very eyes. From Navarre to Pensacola, a group of trailblazing organizations is involved in cutting-edge research and developing new technologies that are resulting in new and exciting developments on the Gulf Coast— and showing impressive results. Cindy Anderson, executive director of TEAM Santa Rosa Economic Development Council, is the driving force behind the Innovation Coast strategy. She believes the Panhandle is reaching the critical mass necessary to attract high-tech companies simply because of those already here.

“Once technology reached a point that allowed people to live and work where they wanted, Northwest Florida became a destination of choice.” –Cindy Anderson

“Once technology reached a point that allowed people to live and work where they wanted, Northwest Florida became a destination of choice,” Anderson said. “As our tech sector is growing, we’re going to see others choosing to locate here to take advantage of the research and innovation that is coming out of the area. The natural beauty and rich history are simply bonuses.” Anderson points out that businesses do not necessarily care about political boundaries, so she and her counterparts in adjacent Escambia and Okaloosa counties all point with pride to the cluster of companies that have taken root along this “high-tech highway.” Located in Gulf Breeze, Florida, the $30-million Andrews Institute is a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art medical research facility housed in a resort-like setting. Guided by the leadership and expertise of worldrenowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews, MD, the Andrews Institute is a world leader in advances of musculoskeletal sciences, focusing on research, education and prevention. The goal is to provide highly specialized care for patients who include Olympic and professional athletes from all over the world, collegiate athletes, high school and local sports teams, and even “weekend warriors.” The Andrews Institute is also home to the Andrews-Paulos Research and Education Institute (AREI), a global leader in biomechanical research and performance enhancement. Under the direction of Joe Story, MD, AREI’s facilities are designed and equipped with cutting-edge biomechanical technologies that enhance athletic performance while preventing sports-related injuries. Recently, it was announced that AREI would partner with Space Florida, the single point of contact for all space-related functions in the state of Florida, to form the Personal Spaceflight Medical

Program for commercial space tourists. The new program will implement a tailored biomechanical, physiological and psychological conditioning regimen for those considering commercial human space flight, and is one of the world’s first formal civilian space flight research and training programs. While space tourism may seem far-fetched, Space Florida predicts that tens of thousands will take suborbital flights over the next decade. While the Andrews Institute is focused on improving the physical performance of the human body, across the bay, in Pensacola, researchers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) are developing revolutionary technologies that extend human performance. IHMC was founded in 1990 at the University of West Florida and in 2003 was incorporated as a statewide not-for-profit research institute by the Florida Legislature. The company is home to elite scientists and engineers collaborating on cutting-edge developments in the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, human-machine interaction, cognitive psychology, and computer science. Unlike traditional research centers that focus on specific disciplines, IHMC was founded on the principle that technology should be created in a way that will leverage and extend the cognitive and physical capabilities of human beings. IHMC’s unique research endeavors and broad Andrews Institute, Gulf Breeze, FL

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the sky”—a company that specializes in collecting and synthesizing detailed information about the world around—and under—us.

range of projects require an interdisciplinary team with expertise in a number of research subjects aimed at closing the “interface divide” between man and machine. There also exists in this area an impressive mix of companies providing diverse services to highly specialized “niche” markets. For example, Gulf Breeze is home to Separation Systems, Inc., a leader in the field of gas chromatography, the science of separating gases so that they can be identified and measured. They provide multinational refining companies, laboratories and research centers with the technology that allows their customers to research, produce and refine new alternative fuels, as well as more traditional sources. In 2008, the company was honored with the prestigious President’s “E” Award, an accolade given annually to a firm or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. It is the highest such honor conferred by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the President of the United States for excellence in export trade and international business. AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) is synonymous worldwide with the development and design of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Located in Monrovia, California, AV is a world leader in the design, development, production and support of UAS. What might be surprising to some is that their training and support operations are carried out by a team of experts based out of Navarre, Fla. The training and support operation, which began in 2004 as a six-member team, has grown into a network of over forty employees. These positions include instructors and technicians spread across the U.S. The team members provide on-site training and technical support, primarily for the Wasp and Raven UAS, which are produced at AV’s California facility. Another Navarre-based company with innovative technology is SimWright, Inc., an image processing and software development firm that utilizes pioneering software to extract and optimize geospatial data from remote-sensed imagery, resulting in enhanced analysis and modeling for its clients. Simply put, SimWright is an all-seeing “eye in 110

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“SimWright maintains a stable of eighty digital camera systems that are accessible to more than 45,000 Cessna aircraft around the world. These camera systems are on-site and data is collected by the pilot in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks,” said Dan Mathews, SimWright’s director of technology. “Our automated digital camera system allows us to provide instant turnaround of an area for a client and our post-processing image generation system is Internet-based so that the client can query our database to see real-time updates of their data collection request.”

SOME OF THE CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGIES THAT SIMWRIGHT HAS DEVELOPED INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: StereoGIS™, which enables an agency to perform accurate 2D/3D planimetric feature extraction and digital elevation modeling in-house. Spidar™, which enables users to produce geospecific 3D visual models and texturing of cultural features within a stereo image. SweetSpot, which allows users to improve the geospatial accuracy of poorly registered imagery with a more accurate image source.

imWright uses these tools together with their system design and development expertise to provide quality, costeffective services to disciplines involving orthophotomosaic generation, airport obstruction analysis and tower sighting, agricultural crop and forestry assessment, stereoscopic image generation and geo-specific data exploitation. These disciplines are combined with GIS Web application development delivery mechanisms to provide robust turnaround of data products. Additionally, our tech-based industry is providing better, safer and faster ways for the commercial and private sectors to communicate. AppRiver is a Gulf Breeze company that provides e-mail security and hosting for more than 26,000 organizations and businesses worldwide.

It ranks as one of the largest e-mail security service providers in America. Likewise, Clearwire, a Milton-based provider of fast, portable and reliable wireless high-speed Internet service for fourteen markets nationwide, is an industry leader in electronic communications. Pensacola native John Ray, an economic development consultant and former Enterprise Florida vice president, says that combining and coordinating the strengths of research organizations, educational institutions, entrepreneurs and economic developers into a well-defined and highly functioning system will create an environment that is conducive to collaboration and the sharing of ideas. This, in turn, will draw companies to the region that want to be situated near this system of

innovation. “Every system needs the infrastructure to support it,” stresses Ray. “This area has these resources, local educational institutions that have a huge, proven workforce development pipeline and local economic development organizations.” The commitment to improvement made by the business and economic leaders in Northwest Florida has enabled innovation to thrive, ensuring an environment that businesses— and people—need to succeed. Based on the success witnessed so far, the future of these cutting-edge businesses looks very bright. With innovation as its centerpiece, the region could become a wellspring of new jobs and industries generated by a combination of world-class research, new sources of capital, skilled workers and a core group of professionals committed to bringing it all together. Of course, the Florida Panhandle still has worldclass beaches and Southern charm, but now with an added dash of innovation. Welcome to Northwest Florida—the Innovation Coast.

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The Windjammer Way Story and Photography by Kim Duke-Layden

In June of 2007, my husband, John, and I planned to celebrate our birthdays by visiting the famed land of lobsters, lighthouses and L.L. Bean. However, when Tropical Storm Barry appeared on Maine’s radar a few days before our trip, my spirits dampened. Would our trip be a total washout? To our delight, it was gloriously sunny when we landed in Portland. Upon reaching Rockland, we set sail on the adventure of a lifetime—a four-day wine tasting cruise around Penobscot Bay aboard a historic windjammer. Not only did our trip exceed all our expectations, it still ranks as one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever experienced!


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barely contained my excitement as our PT Cruiser wound its way northward along Maine’s rugged coastline towards Rockland. Eating lunch at the awardwinning Cook’s Lobster House ( was a highlight of our scenic drive. Cook’s is located on remote Bailey Island, midway between Brunswick and Bath. We feasted on freshly caught “lobstah,” fried mussels and their famous homemade coleslaw. Their service was friendly and the spectacular sea views were as plentiful as the portions were generous.

The Stephen Taber

By late afternoon, we arrived in the picturesque town of Rockland, nestled along the pristine shores of Penobscot Bay. We drove to the small marina near the outskirts of town, where the 138-year-old schooner Stephen Taber ( was moored. It was “awe at first sight” the moment I saw the sleek National Historic Landmark. Two massive wooden masts towered so high that I had to crane my neck to see the tops.

The Taber measures 115 feet in length and features a sprawling 68-foot wooden deck. Hewn from one single tree, its gargantuan wooden boom is the largest I have ever seen. From bow to stern, the exquisite craftsmanship was stunning. Documented as the oldest operating coasting schooner in America, the Taber earned its nickname the “Good Luck Vessel.” I felt privileged to be on board such a historic treasure.

The Stephen Taber, or Taber, is among twelve distinguished members of the Maine Windjammer Association ( Each of these maritime masterpieces offers three- to six-night sailing trips from Memorial Day through mid-October. Itineraries include the area’s plentiful calendar of annual events, such as the Great Schooner Race and the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland. In addition, many of the tall ships offer special themed cruises, such as lighthouses, wildlife and photography, and fall foliage. The Taber was (and still is) the only one that offered the ever-popular wine tasting cruises, which I highly recommend!

As I stood peering through the hatch towards our cabin below, my sense of adventure heightened. While climbing down the ladder into the “rabbit hole,” I felt like I was part of Alice in Wonderland meets Swiss Family Robinson.

We parked and were greeted by a smiling crewman who assisted us with our duffel bags. Single file, we followed him down the long, steep ramp to the majestic tall ship—our floating home away from home for the next several days.

Windjammer cruises on the Taber are often described as “rustic luxury”— loosely translated, this means no-frills accommodations with over-the-top gourmet meals, similar to my family’s camping trips when I was growing up. We stayed in the ship’s best guest accommodations, cabin 9. It was the original captain’s quarters and is the largest double-bunk cabin with the most stowing room. Cabin sizes vary but the prices are all the same, so book early to get the best accommodations. If cabin 9 is not available, other good choices are cabins 6, 2, and 1. Regardless of the cabin, each has fresh running water (cold only), airy windows, comfy mattresses with tartan blankets and reading lights. Two communal “heads” (toilets) are located on deck and a portable shower is

Documented as the oldest operating coasting schooner in America, the Taber earned its nickname the “Good Luck Vessel.” I felt privileged to be on board such a historic treasure. VIE - Summer 2009


thereafter, mealtimes were grand affairs! We would all gather around bountiful spreads, complete with fresh flowers, as Chef Hannah described the menus in detail. Ingredients were often local specialties, like Maine blueberries with Maine maple syrup, fiddlehead ferns and fresh Maine lobster! Mmmmmmmm! Except for the lobsters that were boiled in pots on deck, cooking was done on an antique woodThe crew of the Stephen Taber burning stove in the compact, yet efficient, galley. Growing up, I had heard and read stories about available upon request. Although the cabins lack electricity, ours was very the “olden days” when people cooked on these cast-iron classics; however, comfortable and cozy. Helpful hint for first-time sailors—pack a good pair not until boarding the Taber had I witnessed one in action. of earplugs. Since insulation wasn’t invented until after 1871, the cabin walls are paper-thin. One morning, a few of my fellow female passengers and I joined Hannah and Cara (who has since been promoted to cook) in the galley to help preAfter stowing our gear, we joined eighteen fellow passengers up on deck pare that night’s dessert. Gathered around the toasty stove, we laughed and for the “Captain’s Welcome.” Captain Noah Barnes, a second-generation shared stories while mouthwatering aromas permeated the air. My time in schooner captain and ex-advertising man from Manhattan, took the helm the cozy galley ranks among my fondest memories of the trip. in 2004 from his father, Captain Ken Barnes, who retired from the Taber after twenty-five years. Reminding me of a thirty-something, red-bearded Preparing the Taber for sail was a group effort, with literally “all hands on Richard Dreyfus, Capt. Noah captivated the crowd with his charisma, wit deck.” Half of us went to the left side of the boat—the “throat,” and the and theatrical flair. I couldn’t wait to set sail! other half to the right—the “peak.” Lining up single file with both hands on thick, heavy ropes, we pulled with all our might to raise the white, Our first night was spent docked in Rockland. Since onboard meals did not billowy sails. officially begin until breakfast, John and I seized the opportunity to sample one of Rockland’s renowned restaurants. Located in a New England cotWith the sun on our faces and wind in our hair, we spent relaxing days at tage, Café Miranda features an open kitchen and eclectic tapas menu. The sea gazing at rugged, spruce-covered coastlines and countless miniscule ishighlight of our meal was a delectable order of crab and rice balls. Prepared lands that floated amidst the shimmering, cobalt-blue waters. I often saw Asian-style and artfully served on a platter with sliced ginger, kimchi and lighthouses, playful porpoises and seals, lobster boats and colorful bobbing soy sauce swirls, it was a feast for the senses. buoys. I found the constant bantering among passengers and crew equally entertaining. Not since a guided bike trip to France’s Loire Valley in ’98 had Star-studded skies and brisk evening temperatures made for a romantic walk back to the ship. Once snug in our bunk, the fresh sea air and lapping waves lulled me to sleep. But, Maine mornings come very early. The 4 a.m. sunrises were real eyeopeners (pun intended), but I roused only after the irresistible aroma of fresh-brewed coffee wafted down to our cabin several hours later. Up on deck, I spent the chilly morning savoring a steaming cup of joe and staring out across the calm, smoky-like water. Ahhhhhhhhh. I wished all my days could start that way. Another reason I chose the Taber over other ships was its reputation for serving fabulous food. Starting with our first breakfast, and every meal 114

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With the sun on our faces and wind in our hair, we spent relaxing days at sea gazing at rugged, spruce-covered coastlines and countless miniscule islands that floated amidst the shimmering, cobalt-blue waters.

I laughed as much with a group of people whom I had met just days before. Shore excursions gave us fun opportunities to stretch our legs and explore. A hike to Owl’s Head Lighthouse near Rockland rewarded me with spectacular, sweeping views of the bay. On Deer Isle, we visited the quaint community of Stonington. Among the smattering of shops, Wine tasting on the Taber eateries and inns, John and I discovered an unexpected sight—a historic opera house. My favorite finds were a wild field of conical-shaped, purple lupines, Maine’s featured menu of the evening. French wines were paired with roasted duck unofficial state flower, and a beauty shop where I washed and blow-dried breast; Italian wines married perfectly with osso buco and risotto; and a dimy hair. After two days at sea without hot water and electricity, I felt like a verse sampling of Californian and European wines complemented the New new woman! England lobster boil. As enjoyable as the days were aboard the Taber, the nights were even better! Each evening, before sundown, we dropped anchor in a picture-perfect spot. Soon after, the sounds of clinking glass and bottles being uncorked commenced. Pavlovian-like, we eagerly gathered as Noah’s delightful wife, Jane, kicked off the festivities with her much-anticipated wine tastings. A noted oenophile with 15 years in the wine industry and a full-time employee of Terlato Wines International, Jane Barnes knows her stuff. She presented her personal selection of whites and reds, sandwiched between a bubbly aperitif and dulce dessert wine. She chose the wines based on the

While I enjoyed all the tastings, Jane outdid herself on the Italian wines. Both the Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino 2004 and the Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2001 tasted delicious, but I gave the Tommaso Bussola Amarone 2002 the highest marks. Flowing as freely as the vino, the evenings’ highlights progressed from one to the next. Capping off the night, Capt. Noah, also a professional musician, and his talented crew delighted us with musical performances! Besides singing, Noah played the guitar, harmonica and mouth harp. Cara played “one mean fiddle,” as Charlie Daniels might say. Dave and Phil sang humorous renditions of pop classics. Often afterwards, to quote Capt. Noah, “The hilarity ensued!” Not often does one travel experience encompass as many great features packaged in one offering as a Taber wine tasting cruise does. If you enjoy gourmet food and fine wines, live music, breathtaking and ever-changing scenery, relaxation, history, outdoor adventure and outstanding hospitality, set your compass towards Maine and set sail on your own vacation of a lifetime! Kim Duke-Layden is an avid international adventurer whose mantra is, “I have not visited Everywhere, but it's on my list!” She and her husband John live at Sandestin where she's worked for 15 years. To share your own travel pointers or to ask questions, please send them to: Kim Duke-Layden VIE - Summer 2009



VIE - Summer 2009

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c o m m e r c i a l VIE - Summer 2009


Big Ben Photo courtesy of Crystal Hamon

FSU Explores



FSU London Study Centre Photo courtesy of Florida State University Tower Bridge


VIE - Summer 2009

FSU London Study Centre Photo courtesy of Florida State University

The Road

By Crystal Hamon

London Town


had always dreamed of living in a far-off

After researching several study locations, I discovered that FSU’s London

place, savoring cappuccino or a cup of tea at a

Study Centre had a program tailored to my major in international affairs.

sidewalk café and gently weaving myself into the experience of another cul-

Offering a small liberal arts college atmosphere with intimate class sizes in

ture. I was bitten by the travel bug as a young girl—some people may argue

a unique location, this program allowed me to take interesting classes that

that it was an inherited infection. Either way, the thirst for new sights and

completed my course requirements. It was much more expensive than a

sounds, along with the paradox of tender feelings for home, has carried me

typical semester at college, but I knew that if it was meant to be, it would all

to and from nearly 40 countries in my relatively short life. I have walked

work out. I submitted my applications for the fall 2007 semester in London

the ancient streets of Jerusalem, Ephesus and Corinth, sipped apple tea in

and numerous scholarships—and held my breath. In the end, I had gathered

Turkey and café con leche in Barcelona. I’ve cared for child victims of HIV

enough scholarship funding to cover the entire cost of the program, and I

in the dumps of Rio de Janeiro and painted schools in Costa Rica. I have

was ready to embark on my new adventure.

white-water rafted down a glacial river in Austria, walked deep into the Catacombs of Rome, passed by temples and pagodas in South Korea and Ja-

Before my semester began, my parents—travelers extraordinaire—decided

pan, and made great friends all along the way. I cherish the experiences and

to help me make my way across the pond and along the way took me on an

valuable first-hand education that traveling provides, so in my junior year

amazing Mediterranean cruise. We sailed to Venice, Corfu, Turkey, and, my

of college at Florida State University (FSU), I started to dream of studying

favorite, Santorini. After our trip, my mom flew with me to London. She

overseas. Since every journey begins with a first step, I started to investigate

bought me an Oyster card for the tube station and a couple of London maps

the international programs offered through my university.

and helped me to orient to my new surroundings.

I was surprised to find that FSU’s International Programs consistently rank

It was a rainy August day when I arrived at my new home for the semester.

among the nation’s top ten curricula of this sort. FSU has 50 years of experi-

Located in Bloomsbury in the beautiful and trendy West End theatre dis-

ence in international educa-

trict, the FSU London Study

tion and offers over 40 pro-

Centre is on the same street

grams at more than 20 study sites. Dr. Jim Pitts, Director of FSU International Pro-

“The world is a book and those who do not travel

as the highly-esteemed British

read only one page.”

from Leicester Square, Covent

grams, said, “Students who study abroad are immersed in a cultural and academic

– St. Augustine

Museum and just a short stroll Gardens, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford

environment unlike any campus classroom experience. Our students come

Street, which is the busiest shopping thoroughfare in Europe. Bloomsbury,

home more self-assured, open-minded, and globally aware—a huge asset

dubbed “the intellectual hub of London,” has always been associated with

to both their college and professional careers. Additionally, their résumés

the cultural, literary and artistic life of the city. Blue markers, that indicate

become standouts in a very competitive market, as only one percent of job-

historic sites, dot the neighborhood to reveal the past haunts of Charles

seeking graduates have this background. Study abroad continues to be an

Dickens, William Butler Yeats, Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf, to name a

invaluable part of each and every student’s time in college."

few. The study center complex, a historic group of buildings originally

VIE - Summer 2009


Inklings. It felt as if we were walking in the footsteps of giants. Entrance of FSU London Study Centre Photo courtesy of Florida State University

We did not need to go far in order to experience fantastic cultural events. London is brimming with

constructed in 1685, was complete with flats, classrooms, a library, a lecture

interesting things to do and places to go. We soaked in the local culture by

hall/theatre and two computer labs. Before long, I was settled in to begin

celebrating anything from the Thames Festival to the strange but interesting

my life as a Londoner.

English holiday Guy Fawkes Day. On weekends, the sidewalks of the city would come alive with stalls of vendors who were selling antiques, jewelry

Our academic schedule was arranged so that we had class only three days a

and used books in places such as the well-known Portobello Market in Not-

week and none before 10:00 a.m. Wednesdays were reserved for day trips

ting Hill, artsy Camden Markets or colorful Neal’s Yard. The local pubs and

or social/cultural excursions, such as visits to Stonehenge or Shakespeare’s

cafés offered rich history and interesting fare. Eve’s, a local bakery and cof-

hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, where we caught a performance of

fee shop, quickly became a student favorite because of its friendly service,

Twelfth Night. FSU arranged for coaches and expert tour guides to lead us

fair prices and proximity to the study center. Every Friday, FSU organized

through all of England’s charms. At no additional cost to us living as stu-

a tea for us, which became a great way to share photos and stories of our

dents in one of the world’s most expensive cities, this was a great way to

escapades that week.

see the country. During the first week, FSU gave us a great introduction to British culture by taking us to see Spamalot, the theatrical version of the

Many of the classes that were offered at the study center focused on using

film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where Python writer Eric Idle was

London itself as a classroom. For example, theater students attended plays,

also in attendance.

communications majors read at Speakers’ Corner, music students went to concerts, etc. My international affairs course was created for master’s stu-

One of my favorite day trips took us to Oxford, where we walked the hal-

dents, and was both highly engaging and academically challenging. Our

lowed halls of the university. We explored the inspirations behind many

classes centered on political topics that did not lend themselves to frequent

works of literature and film, including Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the dining hall setting for the Harry Potter films. I got lost with my equally fascinated friends as we wandered through

field trips, but we ventured

“Students who study abroad are immersed in a

out on occasion. Our Modern Diplomacy class visited

cultural and academic environment unlike any

the underground bunkers of

campus classroom experience.”

Cabinet War Rooms, as well

the original Blackwell’s Bookshop. For lunch, several of us

– Dr. Jim Pitts

the Churchill Museum and as the Imperial War Museum. Our European Union professor, Dr. Andreas Staab, who

went to the Eagle and Child (nicknamed the “Bird and Baby”), a pub where

was a graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE), arranged for us

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to convene their writers’ group, the

to attend some very enlightening lectures at his alma mater. Our program


VIE - Summer 2009

London Town

director, Dr. Julianna Füzesi, also an LSE graduate, introduced us to the

We returned to London the night before our international affairs program

British tutorial system by meeting with us individually to discuss the courses

was scheduled to depart for a class trip to Brussels. With little sleep or time

and to chart our progress. This unusual level of personal attention from our

to recuperate, we set out for Waterloo station bright and early to catch our

professors in such a unique setting encouraged our growth as students and

Eurostar train through the Chunnel. Accompanied by our professor and


program director, Dr. Füzesi, we began our whirlwind tour of the city. We visited the U.S. Mission to the European Union (EU) where we met with a

By October, we were granted a welcome reprieve from our arduous stud-

junior political advisor from the State Department. At the EU political cen-

ies with the end of midterms and a ten-day fall break. A small group of

ter, we had an audience with the General Secretariat of the EU’s Council of

my classmates and I chose a Central European travel itinerary. We had a

Ministers. When we visited NATO Headquarters, several speakers, includ-

wonderful time training from snowy Vienna to charming Budapest and en-

ing a NATO counterterrorism specialist and a representative from the U.S.

chanting Prague.

Mission to NATO, delivered insightful presentations. At the Free Universi-

“Our students come home more self-assured, open-minded,

Crystal Hamon and Adrianna Harcourt Photo courtesy of Crystal Hamon

and globally aware — a huge asset for both their college and professional careers.” – Dr. Jim Pitts London Aquarium and London Eye

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FSU London Study Centre Photo courtesy of Florida State University

Crystal Hamon at Buckingham Palace Photo courtesy of Crystal Hamon

ty of Brussels, professors informed us of the intricacies of their country and

Winter Wonderland and we watched as the Christmas tree was lit in

government. FSU selected these unique opportunities and tailored them to

Trafalgar Square.

enhance our specific educational experience. Of course, we also ate Belgian waffles, bought delicious chocolates and did our fair share of sightseeing.

I had the wonderful opportunity to experience a unique Christmas tradition in Britain when Lord Taylor invited me to attend the Parliamentary

We were barely back in London before we left once again, this time with the

Carol Service at St. Margaret’s Church on the grounds of Westminster

entire study center, on an FSU-sponsored cultural excursion to Paris. We

Abbey. When the service concluded, the leader of the Anglican Church,

filled two passenger cars of the Eurostar train and arrived just in time to tour

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, shook our hands to wish us a

the Louvre by night. During that weekend, my friends and I visited the Cen-

“happy” Christmas.

tre Pompidou, the Rodin Museum, Notre Dame, the Luxembourg Gardens and the Musée d’Orsay.

On our last day in London,

We rode the Eiffel Tower

FSU threw us a grand fare-

elevator as it sparkled at night, dined in a café on the Champs-Élysées in view of the Arc de Triomphe and ate crêpes whenever we could. We toured the Latin Quarter, Saint-Sulpice

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem

well dinner. It was difficult to say goodbye to the people with whom I had shared this

in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made

exciting, full and memorable

more clear.”

tion, as we prepared to click

– Freya Stark

Church, Montmartre and

semester. The only consolaour heels, was that many of us would later reunite in

Sacré-Cœur. We definitely

Tallahassee. We knew that

made the most of our time.

we would always remember and be grateful for this unique and wonderful experience—I know I am.

Thanksgiving came shortly after the trip to Paris. Although England does not celebrate this American holiday, FSU cancelled classes and prepared a

Still, nothing reveals what you love about home as much as leaving it. Freya

traditional Thanksgiving meal. I celebrated the holiday with my parents,

Stark, a British travel writer, once said, “Travel does what good novelists also

who were already scheduled to be in London. We ate Indian food (a staple

do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its

of British life), saw The Sound of Music and had tea at Parliament with our

setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear.” After gathering

friend, Lord John Taylor of Warwick. Our program started to wind down

new experiences and a fresh perspective, it is comforting to return to my

as London geared up for Christmas. We took advantage of the opportunity

own beautiful corner of the world with a trove of great memories and a lot

to celebrate the season abroad. FSU organized ice-skating in Hyde Park’s

of road left to travel.


VIE - Summer 2009

VIE - Summer 2009







Habitat volunteers

Even during the times when our economy was more robust, there was always someone less fortunate than the next. As you can imagine, during times of financial uncertainty, acts of charitable giving are, for the most part, even harder to come by. As a freelance photographer, it is rare that an opportunity presents itself to do something truly significant and life changing. This past February, I was fortunate to have such an opportunity come my way. While the Steelers and Cardinals donned their football helmets, I was in Tampa wearing a helmet of a different kind—and striving toward a very special goal. Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has since built more than 300,000 homes for families who could not afford one through conventional means. Last fall, my good friend and Habitat for Humanity project supervisor, Rick Vail, told me of a unique and ambitious event. “The SuperBuild is a first-of-its-kind homebuilding project conceived by Habitat,” explained Rick. “The project will take place during the week of Super Bowl XLIII and has been appropriately named SuperBuild.” I became increasingly fascinated as he spelled out the project details.

S to r y & Ph o to g ra ph y b y S h el ly S wa ng e r


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Rick Vail


n the seven days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, five homes would be built by an army of volunteers: two homes in Pinellas County and three homes in Hillsborough County. Then a “Champion’s House” would be built on Sunday near Raymond James Stadium in Tampa prior to the big game. That house would then be awarded to a family in the state of the winning Super Bowl team, either Pennsylvania or Arizona. The idea was to use a high-profile event to raise awareness of the wonderful work that Habitat for Humanity does every day, all over the world. This caught my attention and, even more importantly, I knew that I wanted to contribute something to the cause. Through his connections, Rick helped me to make inroads with Habitat to see if I could document this history-making event. After the communications director, Jamie Cataldo, interviewed me, not only was I granted permission, but I was also named the official photographer for the two homes to be built in Pinellas County. I was excited—I had been given a great opportunity to shoot a high-profile event, as well as do something good along the way. I was told there would be various VIPs stopping by to lend a hand during the weeklong project. I had visions of rubbing elbows with all kinds of celebrities and, of course, I would be there to capture the moment! I mean, we all know that “everybody who’s anybody” turns up sometime during the Super Bowl festivities. I didn’t know it at the time, but my focus was about to shift to something far more meaningful. I would be getting a very important lesson about the human spirit and what it really means to be a VIP who gives back to the community. It was almost exactly one week before the Super Bowl, and I was excited to get started! I headed out to the Pinellas build site in Clearwater and got to work shooting pictures. Over the next few days, the funniest thing happened: I began to see what Habitat for Humanity was all about. I spoke with the many amazing volunteers who selflessly gave of their time and money; and, mostly, I got to know the homeowners—the very people who would be living in these houses.

Annie Collins thanks Rick Vail

In addition to helping build their own home, the would-be homeowners must contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” as a volunteer on other Habitat homes. I learned that homes built by Habitat for Humanity are not given away; rather, they are built at cost with donated materials and labor, and then sold to qualified families through no-interest loans. The homeowner candidates must have a steady income and job history, and be able to make the monthly mortgage payments. In addition to helping build their own home, the would-be homeowners must contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” as a volunteer on other Habitat homes. This is not charity, but rather a chance for good, hardworking people, who may have hit some hard times, to get back on their feet and realize the dream of owning their own home. On Saturday, January 24, the home sites were nothing more than concrete slabs. By the following Saturday, the homes were move-in ready and dedication ceremonies were held. Publix Super Markets sponsored one home, and a group known as Women Build, based in Pennsylvania, sponsored the other. The Women Build project was unique in that all of the funds to build the house were raised by Tampa women and all of the crew supervisors were women. Volunteers for both homes came from all over the country, including a group of skilled craftsmen who drove all the way from Maryland to help see this project through.

VIE - Summer 2009


By the end of the week, in my mind, the focus of my assignment had changed. I became more interested in photographing the astonishing transformations of the home sites and capturing the stories of the homeowners and volunteers, and less concerned about whether any celebrities would show up to hammer a few nails for the camera. During the week, I spent a lot of time with the homeowners who would be receiving these homes. Annie Collins is in her late 70s, and that week, she received the keys to the first home she had ever owned. She donned her blue hard hat every day of the SuperBuild and was out working on her house— her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren were around to lend a helping hand as well. Likill Tinch had her home dedicated the same day. She cried as she talked about the many obstacles that she and her three children had overcome in order to realize their dream of a family home. She explained that she had to apply for the Habitat program many times before being accepted—and her message was clear. “Never, ever give up your dreams,” she said emotionally. After speeches were made and keys handed over, everyone was asked to place their hands on the houses while a prayer was said. It was a really extraordinary day for me and everyone involved. The SuperBuild week went by in a blur and Super Bowl Sunday rolled around quickly. With the two homes dedicated, Sunday was a day to relax, laugh and pose for pictures. But there was one last project to complete—to build the frame of the home that would be going to the state of the Super Bowl champion—the “Champion’s House.” The Habitat crew was, once again, busy building another dream come true for a Habitat homeowner. We started at 5 a.m. with Raymond James Stadium in the background being readied for the big game. The Goodyear blimp made practice runs overhead and the entertainers ran through their rehearsals. Our story attracted both local and national media. In addition to ESPN’s cameras, we found MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann doing a live broadcast. We persuaded him and

Keith Olbermann

his production team to pose for some pictures and even hammer a nail or two! By mid-afternoon the walls were up and the crew was finished. Time for football and Bruce Springsteen! To cap off the event, we had one final meeting to thank everyone who was part of this great weeklong project. As I stated before, this was the first time Habitat for Humanity had attempted an event of this scope and it hopes to see this effort grow into even bigger and better things. On a final note, I cannot say enough about the amazing people who work full-time for Habitat for Humanity; they are people who have chosen to put their special skills and talents toward making others’ dreams come true—they are true VIPs. I hope this story will inspire others in our area to get involved with their local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and do great things to help the community.

Shelly Swanger is a photographer living in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and has lived in many parts of the country, including Atlanta, Georgia, before settling in Northwest Florida. Taking pictures is her true passion, and over the past few years, photography has slowly become her career. Her ultimate goal is to take a photographic journey around the United States. Her work has been published in numerous print and online publications. For more information, visit

Habitat volunteers


VIE - Summer 2009

VIE - Summer 2009




ith medical advancements and lifestyle options for optimal health, individuals are not only living longer but also enjoying decades of vitality into their “senior” years. Quite naturally, then, people are on a mission to look as young as they feel. Meanwhile, sorting through a baffling array of products, processes, and promises, consumers want to know what actually works. Short of fullblown plastic surgery and layers of makeup, what procedures deliver real results? Dr. Steven F. Weiner of The Aesthetic Clinique, offering noninvasive and minimally invasive

By Sallie Boyles

Photography courtesy of The Aesthetic Clinique cosmetic procedures, can answer that question through his own observations. Since opening his practice four years ago, he has seen a radical change in his patients’ approach to aesthetic procedures. “People are definitely more cautious about having surgery,” said Weiner. “Noninvasive treatments result in less downtime, are less expensive, and deliver more natural results.” For the right candidates, two of Dr. Weiner’s most popular procedures are the Fraxel re:pair laser and Thermage treatments. Both techniques are new technologies that were developed by Solta Medical, Inc., a nationally renowned firm. A patient’s personal objectives

“I absolutely love the results. It lifted things without making me look all tight and shiny. Anyone considering a facelift should try this first.” —Actual Patient


VIE - Summer 2009

determine which option is appropriate: Fraxel re:pair reduces lines, sun and age spots, and scars; while Thermage produces firmer skin tone, texture, and tightness on all parts of the body with no downtime. Fraxel re:pair utilizes fractional CO2 laser technology, which creates microscopic penetrations in the epidermal layer of the skin. This process removes microscopic skin particles—about one-fourth of what a normal facelift would take away. The remaining skin contracts and tightens, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Weiner is among the first thirty doctors in the country—and is the first on the Emerald Coast—to use the Fraxel re:pair laser. Because of his progressive experiences, Solta Medical approached him to conduct a study on the results achieved with his first fifty patients, which was


published in February 2009. The effects, Dr. Weiner reports, are “dramatic.” “I had so much damage from baking in the sun as a teen,” comments one fifty-year-old patient. “I absolutely love the results. It lifted things without making me look all tight and shiny. Anyone considering a facelift should try this first.” “This is truly the most technologically advanced cosmetic laser ever developed,” said Dr. Weiner. “The Fraxel re:pair laser can virtually eliminate years of sun damage, wrinkles, scars and other skin problems.” Dr. Weiner adds that, compared to surgery, the significantly shorter recovery period of this procedure appeals to patients and, in most cases, one procedure is enough to achieve the desired result. While the old CO2 lasers and the Fraxel re:pair tackle wrinkles effectively, long term studies have found that the Fraxel re:pair essentially eliminates the risk of delayed hypopigmentation (seen in up to 15% in the older CO2 laser patients), a condition in which areas of the skin lose pigmentation and become lighter. Dr. Weiner’s newest procedure, Thermage, effectively targets loose skin on all parts of the body, including face, neck, eyes, abdomen, buttocks, thighs and arms, by using radio frequency (RF) energy. This method concentrates RF energy into the collagen layers of the skin. The RF heats the collagen, causing it to contract and tighten. As a natural side effect, the body’s collagen production is activated and, over a period of about six months, new collagen grows and further tightens the skin. Because Thermage also cools the epidermis, it keeps the surface of the skin safe during the pro-

“The Fraxel re:pair laser can virtually eliminate years of sun damage, wrinkles, scars and other skin problems.” —Dr. Weiner VIE - Summer 2009


“With a cost similar to that of its laser counterpart, Thermage takes between forty-five minutes and two hours to complete, depending on the body part being treated,” said Dr. Weiner. “Thus far, my clients who have used this technique have seen exceptional results.”

Dr. Stephen F. Weiner cedure. As a result, the skin needs no recovery time, allowing daily routines to be immediately resumed. Most importantly, the full benefits of Thermage can be experienced after only one treatment. In fact, because it heats so deeply, Thermage is the only noninvasive procedure that helps tighten and contour skin in a single treatment with no downtime.

As is true with surgical alternatives, the results of Dr. Weiner’s techniques vary depending on the individual patient and the particular procedure performed. Fraxel re:pair is expected to last between five and ten years, while Thermage could last three to five years, according to Dr. Weiner. In some cases, the effects are so remarkable that they are considered preventative measures to surgery altogether. If you would like to find out if you are a good candidate for either of these technologies, Dr. Weiner would be happy to consult with you at The Aesthetic Clinique.

Dr. Weiner holds an undergraduate degree from UCLA and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. He trained and was a former faculty member at Johns Hopkins Hospital and practiced Facial Plastic/Head and Neck Surgery before establishing The Aesthetic Clinique in 2005 for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. When not occupied at The Aesthetic Clinique, Dr. Weiner is a physician instructor in the advanced techniques of BOTOX Cosmetic and Juvéderm injectable gel procedures. Currently, Dr. Weiner has two office locations along Scenic Highway 30A, with an office in Rosemary Beach and his main office located in Redfish Village. For more information about The Aesthetic Clinique, e-mail, call 850-622-1214, or visit the website at

Expect more peace of mind that your ship will come in. We all dream of the day when we will get the chance to sail off into a well-deserved sunset. And many of us wonder how we’ll ever get there. What if there was a better way to reach the goals you’ve set for all the stages of your life? At Regions Bank, we can help you navigate complex financial obstacles and guide you along a more reliable path to get exactly where you want to go in life. Even if you’re starting your second one. Stop by any of our 48 convenient locations from Pensacola to Panama City.

1.800.regi ons | regi © 2009 Regions Bank.


VIE - Summer 2009 FL-SW90258 VIESummerPub_4C.indd 1

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VIE - Summer 2009


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VIE - Summer 2009


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SEA TURTLES Casting a New Light on

By Sallie Boyles

Evolving over 120 million years, sea turtles, now endangered, have uniquely adapted to the ever-changing planet. As a result, they have carved a highly specialized niche within an ecosystem that depends on their survival as much as the ancient reptiles have come to rely upon their surroundings. For many reasons, a primary threat to that essential natural balance is artificial nighttime lighting along the beaches. Arix Zalace, a lifelong resident of Northwest Florida, invented a flashlight filtering system as a solution that shows brilliance in its simplicity.


little background about the sea turtle’s life will help to shed some light on the merit of Zalace’s innovation. The most common among the five species of sea turtles inhabiting Florida’s waters is the loggerhead. The turtles, like all reptiles, are air-breathing, adeptly dive and swim with the help of their streamlined bodies and powerful, paddle-like flippers. Navigating overland is cumbersome, so the male rarely ambles ashore. Nevertheless, the female, upon reaching maturity, returns to land every other year to lay her eggs.

VIE - Summer 2009



f conditions are right, she will nest multiple times during a single season. Astonishingly, a sea turtle will consistently lay her eggs within one hundred yards of the original nesting place from which she hatched. How a female sea turtle so precisely returns again and again to the same spot on the beach is mostly a mystery, but scientists believe that location identifiers—such as electromagnetic fields, smell, low-frequency sounds like surf noise, and characteristics of seasonal offshore currents—are imprinted during the hatchling’s initial journey from dune to sea. Therefore, no one should “help” a baby turtle reach the water by carrying it from its nest. With the moon over the water, the cycle begins as the pregnant female swims along the coastline in search of the dark shore. If artificial lighting confuses her, she will, in fact, abandon her nesting attempt. From the start, a dark beach is essential. Leaving a trail in the sand resembling mini tractor tracks, she drags herself to the dune line. There, she spins to dig a crater with her hind fins. When her nest is ready, she goes into a vulnerable trance while depositing her eggs. The number of eggs, the size of pingpong balls, will range from 80 to 120. Covering the eggs in the warm sand is her final obligation to them.


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The incubation period in South Walton is approximately sixty-two days. Rippling movements in the sand, referred to as a “boil” (as if a pot is about to boil), are the first sign of hatchling activity. Ideally, most eggs will hatch in the evening, when the darkness of night makes them less susceptible to prey or dehydration. At night, instinct draws the hatchlings toward the twinkling play of moonlight on the water. Making a beeline to the ocean is vital to their survival. By staying on course, hatchlings best avoid danger, such as night-patrolling ghost crabs. Meanwhile, just as beams of artificial light deter the female from going ashore to nest, extraneous lights cause hatchlings to stray rather than scramble to the ocean. Witnessing hatchlings firsthand, Arix Zalace has seen babies wander toward seemingly negligible amounts of light. “I was with several turtle watchers when we saw hatchlings turn toward a cell phone in use,” he said. Since the height of South Walton’s tourism season coincides with prime nesting and

hatching season—the first of May through the end of October—Zalace sought a win-win solution to the lighting predicament. The son of ichthyologists, Zalace acquired his parents’ environmental interests. He was also born with a proclivity for science, especially physics, the basis of his invention. “Nocturnal animals like sea turtles have night vision that enhances their ability to see shorter wavelengths,” explained Zalace. “Along the electromagnetic spectrum, the longest wavelengths are characterized by violets and blues, while reds and yellows emit the shortest wavelengths.” The relevant point is that animals with night vision are not distracted by reds that fall within a wavelength range of 560 to 680 nm. Zalace, therefore, focused on developing a flashlight shield that filtered light so that only reds within the undetected frequency shined through. “By using a protective shield on flashlights, tourists and residents could help safeguard the loggerheads’ nesting and hatching while they continued to enjoy the beach after dark,” offers Zalace.

With the moon over the water, the cycle begins as the pregnant female swims along the coastline in search of the dark shore. If artificial lighting confuses her, she will, in fact, abandon her nesting attempt. From the start, a dark beach is essential.

Flashlight sticker designed by Arix Zalace

“By using a protective shield on flashlights, tourists and residents could help safeguard the loggerheads’ nesting and hatching while they continued to enjoy the beach after dark.” –Arix Zalace


hile a light filter was an obvious answer in Zalace’s eyes, the idea of creating a sticker that would adhere to any flashlight lens, yet easily peels off later was his lightbulb moment. His girlfriend, Jennifer Kuntz, owner of Raw & Juicy, the organic juice and snack bar on Central Square in Seaside, added the wow factor. “Jennifer said to me, ‘Why not make the sticker look like a sea turtle?’” Zalace, an artist, loved her suggestion and incorporated that image. “The red light in itself is rather cool,” said Zalace, “but projecting the silhouette of a loggerhead with your converted flashlight is even more fun. We had kids in mind, but adults are just as happy with the red turtle light.”

enue to support the cause. Each model will bear his exclusive loggerhead logo. “It takes fifty-five times more energy to manufacture a disposable battery than a solar flashlight, so I naturally had to go with the solar option,” said Zalace. “Besides, our flashlights have a life of eight to ten years.” Other tie-in merchandise will include jewelry and art. Jewelry designer Heidi Viau of Lilly Pilly is creating a line of sea turtle pendants, earrings and pins. “Heidi uses a laser to carve intricate, one-of-a-kind beads that she makes from natural materials like shell and wood,” said Zalace, who is currently building an inventory of his own impressive paintings and sculpture for future shows.

To spread the word among resort managers and business owners, who could either give away the filters as promotional items or sell them for a modest fee to locals and tourists, Zalace designed a display for the light filters to use in reception areas and retail stores. He also recruited friends and the musical duo Ma Muse to develop public service announcements for television. The commercials are co-sponsored by South Walton Community Council, a nonprofit organization committed to “preserving and protecting the quality of life and the environment.” During the spring, Zalace took his message on the road, appearing at farmers’ markets, festivals, and Earth Day celebrations in cities along the Panhandle. “Our purpose was to build awareness beyond South Walton,” said Zalace. A broader effort is informing property owners of the need to keep lighting low to the ground as well as to minimize beach illumination with lamp shields. “Once people understand the reasoning behind our initiatives, most are overwhelmingly responsive.” Even though Zalace admits that his conservationist endeavors are not always appreciated, he doesn’t mind being called a “tree hugger” as long as people understand his motives. “Yes, I love animals and trees, but I equally want to preserve the planet’s ecosystems for our own survival.”

A former CFO for a toy company, Zalace worked through the production details. Quantities are now available in three standard sizes. Zalace also holds a provisional patent for other animal shapes. “The applications are endless because the filters apply to all nocturnal animals.” He cites migrating birds and wolves as examples. “You can purchase a sticker for pocket change, so why not take advantage of a simple yet vital way to protect wildlife?” His plans include making the filters available to state and national parks across the country. Zalace is also marketing solar-paneled, aluminum flashlights in three sizes—penlight, five inches, and six inches—to generate revVIE - Summer 2009


Photo by Arix Zalace

So, what does a lumbering loggerhead bring to its ecosystem? “By munching on sea grass, sea turtles promote thicker, healthier root systems,” explained Zalace. “In turn, sea grass is home to fish and crustaceans. It’s a safe haven for minnows. When vegetation diminishes, so do fish populations.” Turtle eggs that don’t hatch are also a premium source of fertilizer for dune plant life. “The condition of sea turtles and the health of the ocean are intricately entwined; a thriving or diminishing sea turtle population indicates the state of the ocean.” So, what would a healthy sea turtle population look like? Turtle watchers currently count approximately thirty nests each season along the nineteen miles of Walton Beach. In comparison, the seventy-two miles of Broward County beaches, with enforced lighting ordinances, are home to about 1,000 nests. Even with 1,000 nests, sea turtles are hardly overpopulating the area.


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BAD LIGHT ^ The odds of a hatchling reaching adulthood are, at best, one in 1,000, and the actual ratio may be closer to one in 10,000. “If the natural elements are most favorable, then only one hatchling from every ten nests will live to adulthood,” said Zalace. Though he also has plenty of responsibility as the owner of D & A Maintenance, Zalace is committed to positive change through education. “Being ‘in the know’ is about preservation of an endangered species as much as it is about ensuring the long-term wellbeing of humans.”

GOOD LIGHT^ Sallie Wolper Boyles is a freelance writer and owner of Write Lady Inc. She lives in Duluth, Georgia with her husband, two teenagers, and two dogs.

Visit VIEtv for a webisode called See the Light. Turtles Need the Dark. WWW.VIEZINE.COM

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Located at the entrance of Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort  850.654.5929 VIE - Summer 2009


I CAN MAKE A By Betsy Gordon’s Third Grade Class, New Hampshire


n mid-December of 2008, families residing in southern New Hampshire awoke to the sound of trees snapping and crashing to the ground. Upon further inspection, we discovered the unbelievable devastation that had been caused by the weight of the ice that had frozen on everything. Trees were uprooted, limbs were scattered about, and power lines were ripped from their poles. Because of widespread power outages and freezing temperatures, many families had to live without electricity for up to two weeks. Like those who survived the hurricanes in Florida, the New Hampshire families needed to develop a way to explain the natural disaster to young children. Inspired by their teacher, Betsy Gordon, third graders at the Peterborough Elementary School in Peterborough, New Hampshire, were asked to view the ice storm from a perspective


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BY... Mrs. Gordon's

3rd grade clas


defined by Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The students’ stories and artwork were compiled into a book that is safeguarded by the Peterborough Historical Society.

Beautiful But Dangerous The Power of Ice It was a time of sweaters; it was a time of itchy sweaters. It was a time of beautiful ice trees; it was a time of danger and destruction. It was a time of Christmas; it was a time of no Christmas lights. It was a time of no clean clothes; it was a time of wearing my aunt’s clothes. It was a time of eating Ritz crackers in bed; it was a time of running out of crackers. It was a time of lying on the couch; it was a time of no video games. It was a time of playing board games; it was a time of storms and I don’t like storms. It was a time that could have been worse; it was a time that could have been better. We survived the storm and can’t wait for spring!

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Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach Digital Graffiti is a celebration of digital artistry, from short films to abstract animations to surreal electronic imagery-all projected onto the white stucco walls throughout the entire town! Saturday, June 6, 2009 · 8:30–Midnight Online: $15 adults; $5 kids At the door: $20 adults; $5 kids ALYS BEACH is a trademark of EBSCO Industries, Inc. © 2009


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VIE - People + Places / Summer 2009  

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