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issue number one / 2021 $6.99



Meet The TD Jones Group

Servicing Northeast Florida Damorow Jones got his start in real estate after to moving to Florida from Pennsylvania where he owned a material project management company. Looking for a new start in Florida, he realized that being a Realtor aligned with his skill set as well as gave him the opportunity to do what he loves which is helping people get what they want out of life. After getting his license, he worked as a Realtor for a year before accepting the job of Director of Career Development at a large brokerage where he recruited, trained, coached, and mentored real estate agents. After a year in this position, he decided (smartly) to join forces with his wife to create the TD Jones Group in order to further his passion of helping people get what they want out of life through real estate. Damorow enjoys Karaoke, cornhole, and softball.

Toni & Damorow Jones

Toni Jones got her start in real estate while recovering from a double mastectomy. Yes, you read correctly. After her second bout with breast cancer, the Registered Nurse decided to chase her dream of working in the real estate industry. Real estate has been a passion of Toni’s for as long as she can remember and comes second only to her passion for helping people. Toni brings a warmth and joy to the buying process that only a care giver can. An amazing listener, she is able to internalize her clients’ wants and needs in such a way that she often finds her clients home on their first day looking. When working with Toni, you will quickly learn that you are not only working with a professional, you are becoming family. We have 3 children and a dog. Kaysyn 16, Brienna 14, and Kingston 2. Our dog Juno is 7. Toni loves books and watching movies.

The Perfect Family Home From its sit-a-spell, Craftsman-style front porch to its covered lanai overlooking a huge, flat, and fenced back yard – backing to woods! This 3 BR/3.5 BA home was built for families. Come into the home through its side-door mudroom with built-in bench and storage to stash backpacks and sports equipment. It leads through a butler’s pantry to a sweeping, sun-drenched great room with family relaxing space, a breakfast nook and sliders to the lanai, and a gourmet kitchen that features a gas cook-top, a massive Sub-zero refrigerator, wall ovens, and pantry. A stunning, quartz-topped kitchen island that easily seats four, serves as the cook’s command center of this open family space, all with panoramic views of the lush, private back yard. Enter the home through its formal, front door into a two-story foyer also filled with natural light. To the left is an office; to the right is a spacious formal dining room featuring wainscotting, crown molding, and a striking modern chandelier, a beautiful blend of the traditional and the contemporary. The master bedroom suite is also on the main floor, an adult sanctuary with walk-in closet and large bath with tiled shower, two oversized vanities, and windows to add natural light. A half bath, and a laundry room that features storage, a folding table, and a utility sink, round out the main level. Stairs to the second level end with a small nook overlooking the foyer that is perfect for reading or quiet time. The upper floor also includes two bedrooms with baths and another large gathering space, a game room with windows overlooking the backyard. This 3,246 square-foot home pays attention to detail: ceiling fans in each room, wood plank flooring that runs throughout the main level common areas to create continuity, kitchen pendants that mimic the dining room chandelier, the same pavers on the lanai floor as the those on the front porch and walkway. It also offers excellent function, with ample storage throughout, and an expansive, tandem garage that can fit 3 cars.

(904) 679-2777 13475 Atlantic Blvd • Suite 8 • Office S206 • Jacksonville , FL 32225

Photograph by Lenny Foster

ReCHIC Unique Boutique is a shopping experience. From the time you open our front door to the unique packaging of your purchases you will get the feeling of being special. Lisa and Tom are very knowledgeable about our one-of-a-kind items. Whether it is a vintage hat from our collection of over 600 hats to our repurposed antique sterling silver jewelry pieces. ReCHIC Unique Boutique takes you back in time. Come by and say hello. Our store is your destination to the UNIQUE items that are as “UNIQUE” and “SOPHISTICATED” as YOU!

(408) 637-8575


Publisher’s Note

issue number one/2021

Live your best life! Welcome to the premier issue of Loving Our Town Saint Augustine. We are inspired by community and living your best life. We hope this magazine inspires you! We are thrilled to be your source for all great things local living in and around town. As you flip through these pages, you’ll be drawn into the incredible stories behind the people that call our community home. If anything, this past year has taught us how important it is to live your best life and define what that means to you. That is why we wanted our first issue to be inspirational, colorful and fun and share with you, stories on how others are living their best lives through their craft and talent and love for what they do, helping others to do the same. Thank you for letting us share our lives with you. We can’t wait to see you around Town.

Introducing Spirit of St Augustine

Now located at: 14 H St. George Street, St. Augustine, Florida 978.417.1987

Lenny Gillette, Publisher

Associate Publisher

Luke 5:5 “... nevertheless at Thy word, I will let down the net.”

I’m calling this the “summer read” issue. Not only is this break-out issue filled with good content from dedicated local contributors, but we feature two local authors who’ve just released their new children’s books! We got to meet and hear the story of READ USA founders at the She Is Fierce! Women’s Wednesday event (page 26-27). READ USA gives books to low-income children and promotes the love of reading. Educational research shows that vocabulary strongly relates to reading comprehension, intelligence, and general ability. My truth: growing up, I hated reading because I struggled with dyslexia, a condition our education system didn’t recognize back then, but it never stifled my passion for learning. As a young child, my brain was thirsty for the information of the world. I learned to find the stories in images and art. I morphed into a very visual person who can tell a good story. By creating magazines, I get the privilege of providing a platform of discovery for readers, contributors, and the advertisers to learn, share and grow – that’s my reward. Today, I average two books a week (most audio, simply because I love being read to). I want the experience of doing everything; books are the process of getting there. I hope you enjoy reading this issue. We’d love to hear your opinions and ideas. Peace and Blessings, Yvette Monell, Associate Publisher “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” —Mark Twain

The Fine Art Photography of John William Brown Shop online:





Frank Berna Frank has over 35 years of experience in various aspects of photography. He began his career in Pittsburgh, PA as a commercial and fashion photographer, and as the co-publisher of a fashion/lifestyle magazine, Pittsburgh Style. Moving to south Florida 25 years ago, he managed several camera stores on both the east and west coasts. Currently, Frank owns and operates the Photographic Institute of Naples, an organization dedicated to the advancement of photographic education.

Tracy Bradley Tracy followed her dreams and moved to the beach! A Georgia peach with a little southern sass. Having successfully devoted a lifetime to parenting two successful young men, is now eager to explore a new home town, Saint Augustine. She enjoys time at the beach, time with family and friends, and thrift shopping with a vengeance. A proud mother, mother-n-law, and grandmother, loving life and others are her passions.

Lenny Foster Photographer & Owner of Gallery One Forty Four, Lenny continues to turn his inspired and unique eye on the history of the African American experience here locally and document its people’s evolution, including places and landmarks of historical significance. His work is part of permanent collections in the Muhammed Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, The Ross Museum at Ohio Wesleyan University, Oklahoma University’s College of Allied health and The Snite Museum at The University of Nortre Dame. In addition, he is honored to have his work added to many private collections worldwide.

Shirley D. Jordan Shirley is the middle generation in three generations of writers. Her mother wrote and illustrated children’s stories. Both her children are well published. At age fifteen she had her own column in a city newspaper titled Calling All Kids. Later in life she was county editor for a large newspaper in Ohio. She’s been fortunate to be published in a variety of magazines. In 2008, she won a national poetry award from The Edward Gorey Foundation. “Once you have ink in your veins you simply must write!”

Derek Boyd Hankerson Derek is a 9th generation Floridian whose family is native to St. Johns County. He is an award winning documentary film producer with Two Taills and Hankerson Henry Productions who has produced and co-produced four documentary films on accurate American Florida history. Several of his films have aired on PBS and nationally. Hankerson was the catalyst for the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, National Park Service Underground Railroad Conference, Rails to Trails, Sea Island Loop and East Coast Greenway cycling trails. He too is a faculty member at UNF, historian, avid cyclist and published author. 06

issue number one / 2021

Jeanne Maron Owner/Operator of The Gifted Cork & Gourmet, Jeanne likes to think of herself as a wine geek and has been collecting wines since she was old enough to drink. She is a member of International Wine & Food Society, as well as La Chaine Rotisseur, Nord ‘Est Chapter. She is a first level sommelier, from the Court of Master Sommelier’s. Jeanne loves to travel and since she opened the store 11 years ago, she has visited over 10 foreign countries and over 24 wine regions. She leads a group tour every year to a wine destination and opens the trip to any of her friends and customers. Jeanne is married to Howard Caplan and has three sons, all in their twenties. She has lived in Jacksonville all her life and currently resides in St. John’s County. Bill McRea Saint Augustine native and veteran of the United States Air Force, Bill has over a 45-year history in the entertainment world. Known as, William “The Pirate Magician of Saint Augustine” Mayhem, is the voice and face of the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. Mayhem and his crew, The St. Augustine Swashbucklers, can be found at numerous festivals and charity events throughout Florida and Georgia.

Cathlene Miner Cathlene loves her life as an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, homeschool mom, wife, mother of four, and grandmother (Sea) to three. As a self-professed glass half full kind of girl, she has a love of anything that brings a smile and joy. A native Floridian, who loves to spread her wings globally by mentoring teens and women with her business, books, and non-profit — Hopefull Handbags.

Angela Moonan Born and raised in a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario, Angela developed affinity for being near or on the water. When visiting with her daughter (a student at Flagler College) she became hooked on Saint Augustine’s natural beauty, its’ music, its’ history, and of course, it’s food! Angela will launch Loving Our Food Saint Augustine, a sister publication to Loving Our Town, in the fall 2021. After twenty-five years of running my own marketing and media consultancy, to now help bring to life and celebrate the finest dining experiences in the city I’ve come to love and call Home, is truly such an honor and an incredible gift. Visit

Aaron W. Towle A regular contributor to SAM & Old City Magazines, Aaron currently lives in Green Cove Springs and works as a Technical Writer in the Defense Industry. He is passionate about art, literature, and photography and looks forward to sharing more of his unique perspective on all things creative.


Special Thanks: Tiffany Bonitatibus Alison Byers Alex Golden Heather M. Leide Fabulous Ladies of Mod Mari Gloria( Glo) MacDonald Laura O’Neal Donald Tipton




issue number one / 2021





on the cover




flash 14 | 26 | 30



























last call


guide to the arts





Authentic & Unique Pearl Creations by Donna Moody Gray

Now at ArtBox 137 King Street St. Augustine

770-757-5321 Custom & Retail

Model: Natalie M. Aponte / Clothing: e.Kaye / Photogrpaher: Rudy Arias

on the cover

FRONTWOMAN Jeanetta Salyer

by Yvette Monell


organization. They have committed to supporting movers and shakers: those service industry workers who dedicate their craft and livelihood to the culture of tourism, entertainment and hospitality. The big white building with the string lights at 124 King Street will be the brick and mortar home for the nonprofit. Villa Magnolia will open late 2021.

t’s a beat you hear walking down St. George Street. Line out the door at Prohibition Kitchen, Jeanetta Salyer is on stage. Frontwoman and vocalist, she is also known as Ramona. Ramona is a fullscale entertainment experience, ranging from duo, trio, seven to ten pieces playing high energy soul power, hip-hop, R&B, and fluid improv jazz. The name Ramona derives from Beverly Cleary’s children’s novel series based on the objective of readying girls for leadership. The character Ramona Quimby inspired the strong female role Jeanetta performs both on and off the stage today. “For me, I’m a mom. Everything now is to show my daughter, ‘Hey, you get married young, and you have a kid you can still have the job of your dreams. You can still kick ass on stage. There’s no limitation! It’s your accountability for yourself that makes or breaks you.’ And I really believe in that. I meet so many cool people with my job that the process of being inspired is always re-invigorated. Because I’ll get involved with a project or something and I’m like, ‘Oh this is cool I’ve never did this before.’ I’ve never met people like this. We have a lot of that in our community. We have a lot of people who have ideas, are willing to say, ‘I don’t know —how do I do it?’ There is a lot of space to create here.” “If you’re in a market like New York, Orlando, or L.A., there is competition. There’s probably nine more me’s in L.A., but there’s only one me in St. Augustine. This town isn’t big enough to be competitive – it’s only big enough to be collaborative and if you’re not interested in being collaborative, and having a good attitude, I’m not interested at all. I’m pretty direct.” ACE Alliance provides fellow artists and industry members disaster relief and wellness impact. Jeanetta and husband Alberto Cebollero formed ACE Alliance, a 501c3 charitable

“Villa Magnolia will function as a café when we’re not doing ticketed performances, but the tickets and performances will benefit the nonprofit. We’ll probably have private events on the weekends, but if we’re not, we’re definitely going to have ticketed events several times a month. And the last Sunday of every month we want to donate the use of the facility to another community nonprofit free of charge.” “It’s going to be a concert venue for small listening room style shows. It is very beautiful. We don’t have high-end music here in the downtown sector, we just have tourism music. Just cover music, very popular music which I play full-time, so I’m not anti-popular music by any means. I think it would be cool to have an experience where you could go to have a glass of wine and a dessert, see a harpist, see something that necessarily isn’t just cover music. To have a smaller venue with 100 people in it watching someone play where you’re seated, there’s no smoke, you can hear, no one’s talking. That’s what I’d like to facilitate for artists to play shows that they are proud of and want to be a part of. There’s nothing else in St. Augustine like what we’re trying to create.” “Beer, wine, French press coffee and dessert. We’re doing desserts with Crème de la Cocoa, and we have these really cool champagne pops which are big glasses with a Hyppo Pop in them, and they’re cute. We wanted to be kind of whimsical ‘a place to fall in love’. You stop in for a dessert and a place to have a corporate event or rehearsal dinner. Pretty exciting.”


more >

Jeanetta has been a singer her whole life. At age 34, Jeanetta also heads up Ancient City Entertainment, a multifaceted live event company, which in addition to booking her own band, specializes in event entertainment booking, talent acquisition, venue programming, and artist promotion. In May, Ancient City Entertainment held AS IF! 90s Fest at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine. It was a family-friendly event with an all-day concert line-up to benefits ACE Alliance. “I got so scared leading up to the festival. Even when we sold all these tickets, the day of, when the whole Festival was set up, I thought, ‘Man I’m gonna look like a loser if no one shows up’. I’m going to be standing out here like, ‘Please come to my party—I’m nice?’ The little chubby kid with a birthday party nobody comes to…I felt that imposter syndrome.” “We pre-sold 3400 tickets and the day of we were prepared to sell another 1500. We doubled it the day of. The peak of the day we had 7000 people on the field. If something went wrong because that level of drinking, that level of music, I felt like it was well done. Because we didn’t have any incidents, the police were very happy, so that was a blessing. The hand of God was on the festival because the weather was perfect. The mask mandate got lifted, so it was a lot of happiness! I was very nervous doing an event that size. The City and I struck a good relationship because everything they suggested we did. We knew that it would have the propensity to get rowdy, so by making sure we left the field immaculate, that’s what they wanted to see.” Jeanetta’s 2021 Fest was a big success, and the next AS IF! 90s Fest is scheduled for May 21, 2022. g

Are you an industry professional in need of assistance? ACE Alliance is here to help. Please reach out to us at: 11


A Labor of Love The Birth of Team A.Maise

by Heather M. Leide


n Gaelic, Ashlyn means “to dream” and Maise means “beauty.” Our daughter, Ashlyn Maise, was our beautiful dream come true. Most babies are carried for nine months, but our family carried the dream of Ashlyn in our hearts for over two years. We have three biological sons, Finnegan 13, Liam 10, and Brennan 7. After Eric’s retirement from the Navy, we thought it would be a great time to add to our family once more. Eric and I always wanted to adopt, and we thought this the perfect time. Our adoption journey was a long process filled with countless paperwork, numerous state and federal background checks, twenty hours of adoption education, Red Cross Certification, health physicals, and two home studies conducted by a social worker. After two years of anxiously waiting, we were matched with a birth mother. We developed a great relationship with her, and she asked me to be in the delivery room for Ashlyn’s birth. On August 18, 2019, I watched my daughter come into this world and take her first breath. Ashlyn was a sweet and cuddly baby. We also learned quickly that she could be feisty. She had these big beautiful brown eyes. On her first few visits to the pediatrician, the doctor became concerned that she was not putting on weight. This started our weekly weighin visits, formula adjustments, and blood work to eliminate any underlying causes. The blood work came back normal. We continued our weekly weighins trying to get Ashlyn to thrive. She may not have been gaining weight, but she was hitting all her developmental milestones such as smiling, giggling, babbling, and cooing. Ashlyn’s failure to thrive became a big issue on her first Halloween. Ashlyn was refusing to eat. On the morning of November 1, 2019, I took her to Wolfson Children’s Hospital Emergency Room. She was admitted immediately with low oxygen levels. After spending two days in the hospital, Ashlyn was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in respiratory failure. We were told at the time that Ashlyn had pulmonary hypertension. When Ashlyn got sick, we were devastated. She had a very strong spirit that fought four major setbacks during her one month stay in the PICU. Her strength and determination earned her the nickname Sassy. Ashlyn Maise managed to let her light shine and stole the hearts of the dedicated and compassionate nurses and doctors at Wolfson. On December 4, 2019, our sweet baby girl passed away in my arms at three-months old. We later learned that she had a rare and fatal lung disorder called aveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of the pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV). ACD/MPV has only two hundred reported cases. Many infants go misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Infants with ACD/MPV have not been known to survive past one year. Most infants die within hours or days from birth.

While we were in the PICU, a nonprofit called Project Renewed Hope provided us with journals and gift cards. We were so touched by that kind gesture. It gave us a sense of comfort and normalcy despite our situation. Eric and I wanted to come up with a way to honor and continue Ashlyn’s legacy. She touched so many lives in her short time on earth and we wanted to continue impacting people and pay forward the kindness we received. In February 2020, we were contacted by Lisa Solwold, a chaplain at Wolfson, about taking over Project Renewed Hope. We saw this as a perfect way to help others. We began working with Lindsey Sima, President of Project Renewed Hope. We decided to start our own nonprofit when the original organization was dismantled. In July 2020, Team A.Maise, Inc. was founded and certified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. On November 1, 2020 we launched Team A.Maise. It was the one-year anniversary of Ashlyn’s admittance into Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The doctors, nurses and staff do an incredible job taking care of the patients. Team A.Maise focuses on taking care of the caretakers of the patients in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units. We had sat countless hours at Ashlyn’s bedside. When you are in that hospital room, the world as you know it has completely stopped. Often families are left unprepared for the sudden changes that occur in their daily lives and routines. The programs we developed aim to reduce the stress that often comes with those changes by offering items that provide comfort and encourage self-care. We offer several programs benefitting families at Wolfson and UF Health in Jacksonville, Florida. These programs include our Parent Pack, The Gift Card Program, The Comfort and Care Packages, and the Snack Cart/Coffee Bar Program. In her short life, Ashlyn received more love than many people hope to experience in their entire lifetime. We encourage people to spread that love by helping others. Our motto is Be A-Maise-ing! We ask you to find the best in yourself and share that gift with others in Ashlyn’s memory. Team A.Maise, Inc. is a 501(c)3, veteran founded, nonprofit organization working to bring the gift of hope and comfort to families and children as they walk through some of life’s darkest valleys. We believe that with simple acts of kindness and love, the light of hope will shine through and help the families feel renewed and encouraged. g Team A.Maise, 432 Lake Monroe Place, St. Augustine, FL 32092 • 904.940.1802 Information about ACD/MPV:


flash photos byYvetteMonell

Unveiling at ArtBox

McCormick painting benefits United Way On Friday, May 7, The United Way of St Johns County held their Givers Gala at The Casa Monica. One of the items auctioned was a giclee of the Casa Monica Bar with the high bidder hand painted into it. Congrats to Mark and Alicia Bailey who were the recipients. After the Auction, artist Harry McCormick photographed them at the bar and went to work painting them in. A month later, an unveiling at ArtBox celebrated the finished piece. Melissa Nelson of UnitedWay gave a short talk. The Bailey family and a large guest list were in attendance. The event was catered by Culinary Outfitters and a good time was had by all.

United Way Mission & Vision To positively impact lives in Putnam and St. Johns Counties. To inspire and lead a community in providing transformative health, education and financial stability for all generations by collaborating with donors, partners and volunteers. 14

The San Sebastian Art District is always a great way to spend your day. Shops open until 9pm during 1st Friday Art Walk. All these businesses have free parking available. 1 GALLERY ONE FOURTY FOUR Showcasing the exquisite and well collected work of award winning photographer, Lenny Foster. 144 King St. • 904-466-8305 • 2 ARTBOX A mixed experience! Features FINE and FUN Art. Jewelry, painting, parties, workshops and classes. 137 King St. • 904-377-2901 • 904-704-1121 • 3 BUTTERFIELD GARAGE ART GALLERY A leader in the presentation of traditional and contemporary visual arts and fine crafts since 1999. 137 King St. • 904-825-4577 • 4 WILDHEART BOUTIQUE Fabulous Fashion with an eclectic and mix of unique clothing and accessories. 137 King St. • 904-436-3150 • 5 REMBRANDTZ Voted BEST by locals for 25 years. Local original art, stained glass, jewelry, pottery and gifts. 131 King St. • 904-829-0065 • 6 ALMA RAMIREZ ART STUDIO Contemporary artist painting and showing work in her studio. Appointments welcomed. 134 Riberia St. #105 • 904-553-7986 • 7 MARIA REYES JONES The artist paints and exhibits large & colorful art in her studio/gallery. 134 Riberia St. #101 • 407-619-1338 • 8 BLANTONS Heather & Holly Blanton, twin artists shared working studio. Open by appointment only. 134 Riberia #5 • 904-588-8935 •


Standing On The Promises

My Summers with Mom Boo


ost stories start at the beginning, but I would like to start this one at the end. It is the story of my maternal grandmother Mary Edith Brewer, fondly called Mom Boo. She received that name because her first grandchild, my sister Pat, could not say Grandma Brewer. I never heard her called by any other name.

At my grandmother’s funeral, the young minister said these words, “Mary Edith Brewer - Mom Boo - was the closest thing to a saint I have ever known.” His words may have choked me up a bit, but they in no way surprised me. My grandmother truly believed in Christ and I truly believed in my grandmother. She has always been the person I wanted to become - A goal I never achieved but a goal that helped me become a better human being. Now to the story: As soon as school ended each year, my mom, Pat and I left our home in Southern Illinois and travelled to an old, wind-swept tin roofed farm house near Bristow, Oklahoma. Thus began my favorite time of year, my summers with Mom Boo. The house had no electricity and no indoor plumbing. Come dark, coal oil lamps were lit in each room. Trips to the outhouse were made carrying a flashlight. Water was obtained from a well on the property and hauled in a huge barrel placed by the kitchen door. A barrel usually lasted three days unless someone needed a bath, then it only lasted one. Baths were taken in a large tin tub.

Come lunchtime, I would head across that field to the only tree left standing for noontime shade. I would be carrying my uncle’s lunch made lovingly by Mom Boo. Lunch usually consisted of a sandwich, an apple and two cookies - one for Henley and one for me. Sitting under that tree with my uncle I learned about farming, animals and how difficult, yet rewarding life could be. No classroom ever gave me such an education. The time with Mom Boo was always eventful as shown by me and the Rhode Island Red. I was sitting near the kitchen door, squatting down in the dust petting a fairly newborn chicken. In the blink of an eye, that mean old rooster crossed the yard flying at me leaving a hole in my cheek. Before my scream was completely out of my lungs, Mom Boo was out the kitchen door. I remember the loud sound as the screen door clapped shut. Suddenly that rooster was off the ground, flying in circles as Mom Boo wrung its neck. I sat there in total amazement, fear being replaced by pride, pride in my heroine. At four foot eleven inches she was a tower of strength. She was also the most loving human being I have ever known. That evening, sitting on a phone book in my chair at the round oak table, we were all enjoying our supper of fried chicken and mashed potatoes with white gravy. As I took a bite of a drumstick I looked across the table to my grandmother. She stopped her conversation long enough to smile and wink at me. The band aid on my cheek suddenly felt like a badge of honor.

The kitchen contained a wood cook stove and a round oak table surrounded by mismatched chairs. Often that kitchen held aromas of fresh baked bread. That kitchen was my idea of heaven.

Each morning while there, I was awakened to the sound of music. My grandmother would be singing one of her favorite hymns, like Standing on the Promises. Those lovely spirit-filled notes bypassed her throat and came directly from her heart to my ears.

My Uncle Henley also lived there. He ran the farm and was the kindest man I have ever known. Henley had red hair and a thousand freckles, made brighter by hours in the sun plowing the field behind a mule. He would call out orders of “Gee and Haw” which that mule understood meant left or right.

My eyes would slowly open, greeting bright morning sunlight. The light streamed through the window onto the quilt made lovingly from scraps of shirts, dresses and other discarded clothing. Those beams of sun sent the quilt pattern dancing until the pieces finally settled back into their original pattern. The sun and the singing


by Shirley D. Jordan

were accompanied by an aroma of biscuits baking and bacon frying. Yes, this was as close to heaven as a child could ever get. Mom Boo was not raised in Oklahoma. She was born in Indiana to a Catholic family. She grew up, and received a degree in nursing and married A.G. Brewer, a school teacher. Her husband accepted an offer from the government to teach on an Indian reservation near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border. There was no Catholic church nearby, so she soon found herself a member of a small Baptist Church where she was introduced to the hymns she grew to love. Shortly before I was born, my grandfather became gravely ill, and they moved to the farm in Oklahoma. She used her nursing skills to care for her husband who died after a few months, leaving her and the four children to run the farm. My mom was the first child to marry and move away. She and my father followed the oil boom across Texas and into Southern Illinois. Once there, they bought a home, and my sister and I entered school. Thus began our summers traveling to spend time with Mom Boo. My mind works like a sieve. Much as a person would pan for gold, minor hurts and pain are washed away leaving only to recapture, shiny, precious fragments of experience such as my summers with Mom Boo. Those summers and her singing were golden nuggets. So, as my sister and I stood around her grave with our cousins, we held hands and sang one of the hymns she had so often sung to us when we were children. “Standing on the promises of Christ my King Through eternal ages let his praises ring. Glory in the highest I will shout and sing” She’s standing on the Promises of God. g



Men of the Sea


ome called them pirates, others called them privateers. The determination was made by what end of the weapon you found yourself on when you came face to face with these “Men of the Sea.” With over 450 years of history, Saint Augustine is the oldest, continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States. The town has had more than its share of pirate activity. Florida’s Historic Coast, to include Saint Augustine and Ponte Vedra, holds a unique place in history. It is the area with the most pirate activity in its history and, I dare would say, more pirate attacks on this coast than any other area in the continental United States. Let me share with you a few bits and pieces of the pirate history of Florida’s great Historic Coast. French Naval Officer/pirate, Jean Ribault, and fellow Huguenots (Protestants) were sent by France in 1562 to establish a foothold on the Spanish claimed land of La Florida. They erected a stone in what is now known as Jacksonville, Florida, claiming the area for the French before heading north. First building Charlesfort in present day South Carolina, they returned south to Jacksonville and built Fort Caroline. In the eyes of the King of Spain, the acts of piracy committed from these newly acquired outposts made the

by Capt. William Mayhem

French encroachment on Spanish soil a dangerous nest of pirates. This story ends with the death of Jean Ribault and several other hundred men, who did not profess their allegiance to the Catholic Faith, at the hands of Pedro Menendez in 1565. Thus, begins the story of Saint Augustine. Sir Francis Drake is termed a privateer in the history books of England, granted that status by Queen Elizabeth I. This designation is contrary to the accounts of Drake in the history books of Spain. According to Spanish narratives, when Drake arrived in Saint Augustine in 1586, his mission was to pillage, plunder and burn the entire city to the ground. He arrived upon the shores of Saint Augustine with 23 ships and over 2,000 men in his command: making short work of the complete destruction of Saint Augustine. The “1668 Sacking of St. Augustine” was committed by the dreaded Captain Robert Searles. Under cover of the night, the privateers snuck into the sleeping town; pillaging, plundering and killing over 60 people. The devastation and terror of this attack was the final trigger for Spain to build the Castillo de San Marcos. Still standing tall today, as the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, the building of the fort began in 1672 and was completed in 1695. Castillo de San Marcos is a National Monument and a must see for all who come to the oldest city in the nation. more >

photo: Glo McDonald

Each year, you can visit Saint Augustine and experience the re-enactments of these two raids upon the city. The Historic Florida Militia’s, Men of Menéndez, provide fine re-enactments of Searles’ raid each year in March, and Drake’s raid in June. For over four centuries, Florida’s Historic Coast has stood against all forms of attack by pirates, and this is only part one of the pirate history of Saint Augustine. Thar be pirates about! g



Alice Hankerson

was Afforded Justice in 1917


n a recent, first time visit to the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, as I was walking up to and through the museum, learning and relating things personally, I was inspired. I wish to thank the Historical Society for having history on women’s voting and women’s rights to bring me to an epiphany on focusing on the women in my family in Florida. In the early 1900s, some women did not appear to have many rights; in fact, the Civil Rights Act was not passed until 1964, which is the same year I was born. That Civil Rights Act “outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” The story of Mrs. Alice Hankerson, my great grandmother, does not read that way. She was a resident of St. Johns County, Florida and she had rights. Alice was quite the independent-minded individual, and wife of Rev. Joseph H. Hankerson. Joseph was employed as a Federal Officer, serving as the First Black Postmaster of Cokesbury/Armstrong Post Office from 1915-1918. The community of Armstrong was founded in 1886, a rural agricultural community off of Route 207, located a few miles outside of St. Augustine, Florida. Knowing of this remarkable Southern and Northern family history, and traveling with my parents to many of the family homesteads on family vacations, the knowledge and experience inspired me to produce several documentary films relating to accurate Florida and American history that included my family as examples of leadership in the community, the state of Florida and beyond. My great grandmother Alice was very protective and aware that she had an inalienable right to protect herself and her family. Joseph and Alice married on July 12, 1900 in Bradford, FL. They had four children, who were born in 1901, 1902, 1907 and 1913. My great grandparents then relocated to Armstrong, where Joseph was employed and served as the First Black Postmaster in St. Johns County, one of the first in Florida.

I continue to this day to research my family history. I recently discovered, as it is recorded with the County of St Johns, Florida, “on December 4th, 1916 In the Year of the Lord,” my great grandmother Alice, at age 32, a mother of children ages 16, 15, 10 and 4 found herself involved in a dispute with another woman of the County and Alice was charged with pistol whipping the woman. The official indictment on April 25, 1917 read “ Assault with intent to Murder.” “... the County and State aforesaid, with a certain deadly weapon, to-wit a pistol which she then and there had and held, in and upon one woman with a premeditated design and intent her the said woman then and there unlawfully to kill and murder, then and there an assault did make, and her the said woman did then and there beat, bruise, wound and ill treat; contrary to the form of the Statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State of Florida.” According to the Clerk of Court Records, the woman had four additional witnesses testify on her behalf, while my great grandmother had one testify on her behalf. It was then recorded on May 25, 1917, that the Jury concluded that Alice was “guilty of Aggravated Assault.” Alice’s sentence: $100 fine or six months in jail. Alice paid the fine of $100 in 1917, an equivalent to $2,245 in 2021. This wonderful great grandmother of mine was afforded JUSTICE in a Court of Law in St. Johns County Florida in 1917. In 1918, my great grandparents and three of the four children relocated to Port Huron, MI and Rev Joseph Hankerson served as Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Port Huron. Their daughter, Annie Mae, remained in St. Augustine. She became Dean of Women of Florida Normal Industrial and Memorial College, which later became Florida Memorial College, and which today is Florida Memorial University located in Miami, FL. My great, great grandfather, Rev J.P.Hankerson, served as the President of the board of Florida Baptist General State Convention, who was one of many ministers who helped establish this College.


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by Derek Boyd Hankerson, M.A.

It was recorded in the Detroit Tribune, on July 11, 1940, Rev Joseph H. Hankerson and Mrs. Alice Hankerson celebrated 40 years of marriage at their home on Vancourt Street in Detroit. It was recorded in the Detroit Tribune July 20, 1950 that Rev Joseph H Hankerson and Mrs. Alice Hankerson celebrated 50 years of marriage at their home on Vancourt Street in Detroit, with two sons and their wives and four granddaughters in attendance. My great grandmother Alice passed in 1955 and my great grandfather Joseph passed in 1957, they enjoyed many Years of the Lord together. g 21


The Boy Who Blocked Out the Sun



August 2021 Ancient City Poets celebrates 12-years of continuous monthly gatherings in the Nation’s Oldest City.


ast year, during every workday of the global pandemic, I would drive downtown to la or. The empty roads re-minded me of a scene out of a Road Warrior movie. I was Mad Max on a search for water. It wasn’t long before I realized that it was unhealthy for me to begin my day listening to the news. I’d turned the car radio off and sing the first song that came into my mind. I meditated. If a poem fragment formed then I would pull over to preserve it—write in a notebook, on a coffee shop napkin, or scrap of paper. My poem, The Boy Who Blocked Out the Sun was inspired by that time in between the days of late February and mid-March, before the clock springs forward one hour and the sun makes you squint. Perhaps you would like to join the audience and experience the longest-running open mic poetry event in St. Augustine. You are invited to read two or three of your polished poems or share fresh ink from your notebook on the last Sunday of the month. The writing prompts are suggested but you are free to follow it or not. What is important is that the audience gets to know you and your creative words. There is room on the list for fifteen poets at five minutes each. At 3 p.m., the readers will be called to the podium in the order their names appear on the sign-up sheet. Please go to the group’s website to get up to the minute information on the downtown location of the reading in St. Augustine at

here must be a way T to block the sun

my eyes are blinded on the morning drive to work. Grow a taller tree Build a higher building A pyramid perhaps Don’t fault me for trying. Squinting on the drive to work, I fantasize about constructing a wall to block out the infuriating, interfering sunshine. If my plan comes true, what riches will be won? a certificate stating: “Congratulations: to the boy who blocked out the sun.”


My name is Ken Vallario. I create art.

(781) 242-0102 | Ken’s completed works at 137 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084

Wondrous Pony by Shirley D. Jordan

This exciting new band covers all the musical bases. Jazz, R&B and Latin grooves. Amazing musicians, amazing music, E-Jazz.


was just a child of four When he came knocking at our door. This camera toting older man That had a pair of chaps in hand.

For bookings please call Donald Tipton at (706) 888-7633

He asked if I would like to ride His pony and while there astride, Have our picture taken, too. For fifty cents, this he would do.


I ran outside and there indeed Stood a mighty Shetland steed. He twitched his tail to shoo the flies Then looked directly in my eyes.

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I donned the chaps and kerchief red; Had a hat placed on my head. My father put me up astraddle A brown hand tooled leather saddle.

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The pony held his head up high And stood quite still so he and I Could get the perfect photograph. I see it now and have to laugh

CD: Tranquil Transitions

Remembering how I felt back then, A cowgirl with a small horse friend Who’d take me to a far-off place. A grin adorned my childish face. But when the photo time did end. The man left with my Shetland friend. He headed for the house next door. I watched and cried, for just one more

Rates & List of Services Available Upon Request

Wondrous pony ride. g


AMICI ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1915 A1A S St Augustine Beach, FL 32080 904.461.0102 Price Range $12—$25 Entrees Reservation Online or Phone Dine In & Takeout Accepts Credit Cards Free Parking

FOOD Italian SERVING Brunch Burgers Coffee / Espresso Dessert Dietary Family Fare Fine Dining Gluten-Free Gourmet Local Ingredients Pizza Sandwiches Seafood Soup & Salad Steaks Vegan Friendly HOURS Sunday Brunch 11am ~ 2pm Sunday Dinner 4pm ~ 9pm Monday ~ closed Tuesday 4pm ~ 8:30pm Wednesday 4pm ~ 8:30pm Thursday 4pm ~ 8:30pm Friday 4pm ~ 10pm Saturday 4pm ~ 10pm

MENU HIGHLIGHTS Pancetta Candita This signature appetizer was inspired by a breakfast in Sausalito and after six months of test kitchens, is finally where it needs to be! Fresh Catch Weekly Fresh Catch specials are high quality, sourced locally and hand cut by our chefs Meatball Wellington Amici jumbo meatball, stuffed with pesto and fontina cheese, wrapped in bacon and more pesto and fontina THEN wrapped in puff pastry. Served with a side of spicy marinara

AMENITIES 150 Seat Restaurant Banquet Facility Meeting Space Catering Corkage Dine In Entertainment Extensive Bar Internet Access Kid-Friendly Takeout Wedding Venue Wheelchair Accessible ATMOSPHERE Variations Casual Cozy Fine Dining Intimate Local Open Air Relaxed Spacious

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT AMICI Homemade Pasta Fresh sheets of pasta made on site with high quality semolina and local fresh eggs are used in our lasagna, manicotti and various specials Pizza Amici’s pizzeria is completely separate from the main kitchen, one of the first things you see upon entering, with it’s Brooklyn style crust and generous toppings, this pizza is the best around The Milano Room Large banquet facility for 20—150 people capacity with it’s separate entrance and private cocktail bar. The perfect private space for any event or wedding

Although Amici has been part of Saint Augustine for over two decades, Freddy and Jenn Underhill’s dream came true when they purchased Amici in March 2020. However, a week later, they were shut down for dine-in service due to COVID-19. The combination of hard work, determination and amazing community support, kept the restaurant alive during the pandemic! They are a husband and wife team determined to provide a unique dining experience while using the freshest ingredients and supporting local as much as possible.

1915 A1A S, St Augustine Beach, FL 32080 904.461.0102 •


photos byYvetteMonell

Women’s Wednesday

Cocktails, Connections & Inspiration The She Is Fierce! team, speakers and partners gathered at the beautiful Treasury on the Plaza to celebrate women of service from all walks of life who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of those around them. Two fierce women, Ellen Wiss and Lakesha Burton shared their own inspiring-personal stories and the moving history behind READ USA, a nonprofit with the goal of putting books into the hands of every low-income child, employing teens as tutor leaders and promoting the love of reading and a culture of literacy for lifelong learning, social justice and an end to the cycle of poverty. She Is Fierce! is a global women’s network that connects established leaders & women on the rise...

Letti Bozard, Lakesha Burton, Kelly Youngs, Ellen Wiss

Allie Smith Gianna Repicky, Mandi Koski Makayla Timmons Comander Jennifer Michaux, Officer Caroline Drouim

Tyronda, Lakesha Burton

Lindsey Rodea, Erin Wallner Brittany Coronadl, Jennifer Wills

Fierce Women!

Terry Hoffmann, Charlene Landen Della Shaw, Jenn Vogel

Sharon Williams Shanna Wise


Name Here Amber Gentile

Fierce Women!

Schuyler Siefker Robin Burchfield

Cherry Willis, Tracy Nierth Tiffany Willis

Grace Alexander Kim O’Connell

A Wine & Gift Boutique as Unique as St. Augustine is Ancient

Fine wines from Argentina Australia California France Italy Spain


EAD USA began as a voluntary project created by Ellen Wiss and teacher Vanessa Tussey at George Washington Carver Elementary School. As a tutor in Vanessa’s classroom, Ellen witnessed the gains from some of the most struggling students and became hopeful and passionate about expanding the impact for transformational change in one severely impoverished neighborhood. Asking Vanessa what was needed most, her response was “this school has never had a book fair and kids need books. Parents care about their kids, but they don’t have the resources to organize and run a book fair like traditional PTA’s in more affluent schools. Even if they could organize the fair, the kids don’t have the resources to buy the books. Think about it, when you’re faced with keeping a roof over your family or putting food on the table, books don’t rank. Our kids don’t have books of their own and book ownership is key. When kids can read, they can succeed.” Together, they successfully carried the project out with funds they raised from private donors and additional volunteers they recruited from established education organizations, non-profits and several corporate sponsors. Partnerships with Duval County Public Schools, City Year Jacksonville, Scholastic, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, The Community Foundation for NEFL Teach for America, Seniors on a Mission, corporations, community volunteers and many others make it possible to keep costs low with almost 100% of funds going toward new books. A new partnership in 2019 with Jacksonville’s Kids Hope Alliance allowed READ USA to provide jobs to teens with training, supervision and successful implementation of a research based peer-to-peer tutoring program for positive impact on both the teen tutors and the younger students they lead. Another partner, Jacksonville University, analyzed and verified the reading gains for the 88 teen tutors and the over 300 younger students they led. Expanding the board with committed leaders, and the continued collaboration with many more partners, READ USA is now serving most all of Duval County’s highest need elementary schools and many community centers. The vision is to scale the model throughout the country one day. The goal is to put books in the hands of every low-income child, employ teens as tutor leaders, promote the love of reading, encourage a culture of literacy for lifelong learning, social justice, and to end the cycle of poverty. Through your donations, students in high-need neighborhoods get to choose FREE new books to own and build onto their home library. Book ownership is key to student success, because… READERS are LEADERS! g

Wine Tasting Daily Sample 5 Wines for $5 Hours Mon-Thu 11-7 Fri & Sat 11-10 Sun 12 noon - 5:30

64-A Hypolita Street

St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 810-1083


N. Jane Quackenbush

by Yvette Monell

photography: Glo McDonald

Releases The Dark Unicorn


er first book sprang from a dream she had at age four, The Rocket Ship Bed Trip. That book, endorsed by record-breaking astronaut, Dr. Kathryn Thornton, won the Gold Medal for President’s Best Children’s Picture Book from Florida Authors and Publishers Association in 2014. Since then, N. Jane Quackenbush has pointed out that the moon shines in the day, that some worms have hair, we follow Grace Newton on her adventures, and N. Jane Quackenbush takes us to a Horrible House. What a fun name to say; Quackenbush. Not one you hear every day, fitting for an author of children’s books. Her Amazon profile describes her like this: Nancy Jane Quackenbush is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida. She enjoys being outside, observing curious habits of our natural world, stargazing, playing games, imagining quirky realities, talking to strangers, eating gobs of chocolate and is amazed by all the wonders of the universe. We’ll just

describe her as a delight, and you can meet up with her on just about any Saturday morning at the Amphitheatre market. “I personally love kid’s books. They’re so magical. Even now as an adult. And I love kids movies. They have to be smarter to be good because a lot of these grown-up movies follow the same format. I do get disappointed by the reality of things, so I decided that I can always have an amazing ‘here.’ I can always have this fantasy life in my head that I can create, that I am in charge of creating so that’s where my brain loves to dwell. And what I love about fiction is that you learned so many things that are non-fiction as you’re reading a story. Factual things. And I love putting those things into my books as well.” “My favorite way of communicating is through literature. Poetry is my first and favorite way of communication. I would dream in poems. When I study literature, I wake up reciting a poem of my own. I realize I need my own voice. Everyone has their own perspective. Everyone has their own point of view that is something that you don’t want to copy.”


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“I love those completely original starts to a new form of literature or art. And we see that in so many ways in history. In attempt to make people who are different from normal, I don’t see a problem with helping children who are confused but I don’t ever want to add some more confusion. All I can speak for is what comes to or from my creative cloud and bring it forth.” “That’s what I wrote this for. The people who don’t feel like they can identify with anyone else. There’s always someone else out there who feels like that. I wanted to let them know however I could, message in a bottle type style, “You’re not alone.” “The story was born when I was driving back from a writing retreat. I was going up I-95. This dark unicorn came to me. I love the juxtaposition of something so innocent and pure and beautiful and something a little bit more like dark and why is it not the way it supposed to be? Having a lot of questions about, why did it happen? Why is this unicorn like this? What’s different about this? Why does the story need to be told? You can tell a story about an ordinary, normal unicorn but what would the point be? So, I started asking the story some questions.” “We have this idea of a white unicorn, always, with rainbow colors. So, I thought well I wonder if this unicorns under a spell? And also, the idea of this unicorn being so beautiful and dark. And that’s what the kids find out. There’s a brother and sister and they go to see their grandfather’s mansion called Mulberry Mansion. They didn’t want to go.” “When they go to their grandfather’s house it’s very odd. He’s a retired circus freak. Instead of gargoyles, there are Jack-in-the-Boxes that poke at you as you enter in the mansion. Kids are into to the idiosyncrasies and oddities that they observe around the mansion. The grandfather‘s favorite meal is microwave butter. They find they love being there and there’s always places to explore but after a while they have nothing to do. It gets boring. So back home they always had chores that they had to do and they asked if they can be of assistance. They end up being tested to play in the attic. The attic is a magical place where everything so whimsical.” “It’s a linear land and the first creature they encounter is Prism the dark unicorn and she stuck in the fall forest. At the very end is Winterwood they learn this whole land is under the spell and they’re the only ones they can travel to and from win to win because they’re not under the spell.” “It’s about stretching yourself and learning that you’re capable of way more than you think you are when you put yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. A lot of the times, we only want to do what we know how to do. But when you put yourself in a situation of discomfort, you realize so much more than you can do and then you’re thinking, “What more can I do?” When I’m gone I hope to leave something positive. It’s not about me. It’s about if I was created to do something—I want it to be something positive. I was created to live in impact. I hope it’s a positive one. And never to be remembered, then that’s fine too. g 29

flash photos byDonald Tipton & Yvette Monell

1st Annual St. Augustine Swashbucklers

Mid Summer Night’s Gala Something new for the St. Augustine Swashbucklers: they moved away from the pirate genre and into a medieval gathering of wizards, fairies and fantasy. The Swashbucklers began as a social group that got together, put on their best pirate gear and went to dinner and social outings around the Old City for the pure joy of entertaining all the on lookers with their Fine Pirate Attire. Over the years this group, a grand and glorious history of givers, has raised money for local charities and organizations that could well be over a half million dollars. This midsummer event marked the First Annual Swashbucklers Accolades of Honor Awards. Held at Amici’s Milano Room with more the $2,700 of silent auction items, door prizes and games. Proceeds from the event to benefit SAYS (St. Augustine Youth Services).




The Land of No

by Author Sharon Goldman

This humorous and inspiring story about the townspeople of The Land of No, who for generations were stuck in their old ways. Residents are suspicious of this upbeat, kind and colorful new family, who moves into town, they make a positive difference in the lives of the unhappy, closed-minded, intolerant people in The Land of No. The journey takes the people of this ‘down’ town to the realization their negativity is positively wrong. This book teaches us about real life issues regarding tolerance, coexistence, positivity and happiness. Also included is a page on how to say YES and NO in several languages, plus a coloring page. Great conversation starters for teachers, parents, grandparents or guardians to discuss the importance of accepting those who are different. Readers travel through the land as pages transform from black and white to color as residents embrace change. An agreeable ending takes place when the mayor decides to rename the town “The Land of Yes!” g The testimonial on the back of the book says it all:


he good derived from the pandemic; it gave us opportunity to take a step back, pause, sort through one’s things, thoughts and ideas. It was her daughter who insisted Sharon Goldman sort through that pile of ideas for a draft she’d written 15 years ago. Encouraging mom to work on it because of its relevance today, the draft was the infrastructure of a town, “The Land of No: A Children’s Story of Positivity.” Normally, she would have been teaching art classes to her adult and young students after school. But Sharon wanted to do something meaningful while sheltering during covid-19. She began writing the book when her children were in elementary school. She gathered and used old pictures of the kids, their friends, and neighbors as subjects. Painting 34 illustrations, writing and revising copy until she was satisfied enough to launch the book in March of this year.

“Sharon Goldman did it once again. This extraordinary human handed me a book that is not only timely in this world of hate and zero tolerance but planted the seed of hope. The combination of her words and magical illustrations will provide a reader and their audience thought provoking questions about one’s own prejudices. Please do not hesitate to share with our youth to create our own ‘Land of Yes’.” —KK Cherney, V.P., Kid Literacy, Inc., Advisory Council, Literacy Pros of Jacksonville Kudos: “The Land of No: A Story of Positivity” just got an honorable mention in the Purple Dragonfly worldwide book competition, exclusively for children’s books. Sharon Goldman is a finalist in the FAPA (Florida Authors & Publishers Association) awards for children’s books, 4th-6th grade level. Closing the out the 2021 school year, KK Cherney also read the book at the Chets Creek Elementary School (Duval County Public Schools) 5th grade graduation ceremony instead of making a traditional speech because she believes the book was so relevant today.



Water Kick

Artist Sharon Goldman

Practice what she Paints

Sharon Goldman lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and has taught art to more than 200 children in her home studio. Her artwork has been featured in galleries throughout North Florida, including several solo shows. Among her favorite subjects, she paints landscapes, seascapes and underwater swimmers. Sharon describes her painting style as “painterly realism.”

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Water Woman 5


Water Woman 4

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photo: Richard Goldman


Aritist Sharon Goldman 36


Freedom Never Dies by Aaron

W. Towle

This article was inspired out of love for my country. Whether it is Memorial Day, July 4th or Veteran’s Day, we owe this rebel anthem to our brave military defenders. These words are dedicated to our active military forces and the countless veterans who came before – may your sacrifice and courage never be taken for granted. Indeed, freedom goes far beyond the political spectrum and their means to divide. It’s now time to put aside our differences, to look each other in the eye and work together for a brighter future. We only have one shot at freedom, so let’s make it ring by standing tall – one nation, under God, indivisible…


hat is freedom but a soft whisper from oppression? What is freedom beyond knowing you can vote and not be murdered for your beliefs, the ability to speak with your own voice, to earn your own dollar? Freedom is quite simple. Freedom is wearing your heart on your sleeve when the chips are down, using your power to spread compassion and courage. Freedom is not forced, it is not beaten into the pavement by faceless thugs, it is not sealed in a bottle filled with kerosene. I have seen freedom – it is my drug of choice – it flows heavy through my veins. Nobody will ever sacrifice greater than those who came before, their blood upon foreign soil, their bitter resolve to stomp out tyranny. I will never surrender my heart to politicians, never bow before some God that demands violence. I will not be fooled by hidden agendas or silenced by the sinister gears of corruption. Most importantly, I will never apologize for my interpretation of freedom. Always know who you are, and never be a pawn to circus politics, because the clowns will always leave you naked and hungry. What is freedom? I am freedom, and you can never buy my allegiance. My blood flows in three colors, red, white and blue. How about you? g 37


Summer Sippers


s you prepare your summer dishes for friends and family in the record-breaking heat, consider some new wine choices to pair with lighter fare. Please don’t forget about some lovely rosé wines or Pinot Noirs, some of my favorite wines of choice. Rosé’s are a form of red wine. Basically, it is a red wine that is fermented with the skins left in the juice for only about two-three hours, just enough time for some color and flavor to introduce into the wine. Many wineries make rosé’s with left over grapes or conscientiously plan to have a quality rosé each year. Rosé’s go back to the early Greeks and Romans. Many of the first recorded wines were rosé, light libations made by watering down field blends of combined white and red grapes. In ancient Greece, it was considered civilized to dilute wine. There was a widespread belief that only barbarians – drunkards who raped and murdered – drank pure wine. During harvest, workers would crush red and white grapes together with their feet, holding onto suspended ropes for balance. The juice would then be placed into pithoi, large ceramic containers, for fermentation, resulting in an oxidative style. This pink juice was slightly off - dry and tannic from contact with the grape skins, seeds, and stems, a far cry from the rosé’s today. Eventually, the Greeks and Romans explored separating grapes by color, and then red and white wines were born. For quite some time, the general preference was for the less harsh, lighter-colored wines: rosé. It remained the beverage of choice for centuries.

byJeanne Maron ~ The Gifted Cork

Rosé’s should be drank cold, at about 40 degrees, just like white wine. In fact, it will pair with most food items white wine would pair with, as well as many food items red wine pairs with. That is why I love this wine. It is cool and refreshing, and with the proper grape as the base, has a wonderful flavor profile. Some rosé’s even have acidity like a white wine. Consider a French Provence rosé for this profile. Another favorite summer libation is Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a fickle grape and one that is most difficult to grow (so I’ve been told). My favorite comes from Willamette Valley, Oregon, Santa Barbara County, California, and Burgundy, France. Interestingly, Burgundy and Willamette are on almost the exact same latitudes. Oregon wineries claim that is one of the main reasons that their wines tend to take on such a Burgundian style (not to mention their growers and winemakers use the same processes). I love their wines! These all have something in common; they are light for food pairing, have deep earthy flavors, and have notes of rich dark cherry goodness. Also, Santa Barbara has it going on as well. Their wines are complex, rich, and full of flavor. The cool climates and the varied soils do make a difference. If you haven’t seen the movie “Sideways”, I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, it killed the Merlot industry, but Pinot Noir sales went up 400%. It’s great for a good laugh and it’s educational, too. No matter what your libation of choice is this summer, make it light, cool, and yummy. Support your local wine shop and have a hydrated summer! Cheers! g



Cortesses Bistro a new 172 San Marco


byYvette Monell

oce Sipinkoski likes to make things happen. When asked what to expect, Sipinkoski states emphatically “This will be ‘the place to be!’ The Best food: pasta, risotto, paella, lots of fish, many salads for the ladies to keep them slim. Round tables with tablecloths will be the setting, like 1940s. And we’re going to put over there: PROPER ATTIRE. I don’t care who they are, but they gotta look good. When you go out, you go out. Go home take a shower if you want to come here. If you don’t, they have other restaurants.” They call him Mr. G. He’s not looking to turn tables but to provide a place for people to come enjoy taking it easy – no rushing. “Now is a time to relax,” he says. “People, who are at a table, let them stay, no reason to rush. Take it easy…enjoy life.” Take your time and enjoy the brick patio: outdoor seating with flowers, fountains, live bands and cherubs. Currently, beer and wine is served, with intentions of having a full bar in the near future. Mr. G. started in the service industry as a dishwasher. “It was a Friday or Saturday…very, very busy. I looked in a mirror, saw dishes up to my neck and said, ‘This job isn’t for me.’ A beautiful restaurant was looking for a bus boy, suit and bowtie! Within a few months they could see my talent with the ladies. After many years, I had two doctor friends, and they said, ‘Mr. G, you open a restaurant, you’ll be our guy.’ ‘I don’t know,’ I said. ‘I don’t write, I can’t speak English. They told me, ‘No, you don’t have to speak English.’ I had the best time of my life…like in the movies.” “At a job or a day with family, you can come here to just enjoy a couple of hours. We love the people, very human, we like to make making people happy. We will make a difference here in St. Augustine,” Mr. G speaks with a voice of experience. He’s opened several restaurants, including Aqua Seafood & Steaks and Mr. G’s Italian Restaurant in Naples, Florida. Originally from Macedonia, land of Alexander the Great, Goce Sipinkoski now lives in Ponte Vedra. He says, “Everything has to be done with character so I can sleep at night. I came to America 40 years ago, I’m very American. I want to fall in with love St. Augustine. I just want to be here.” g

The bistro will be Mediterranean cuisine and the chefs Italian. His brother, known as Mr. Easy, is Head Chef. The signature dish will be whole fish served at the table: Dover sole, branzino, shepherd’s pie, shank of lamb, shank of veal, shank of pork. “We’re going to have an extended menu. Each day we’ll have a special. Private dining room, music and dancing, weddings, divorces, everything.” “Let’s forget your troubles and problems when you come in the door. We’ve over 200 employees in Naples, Florida. In the service business, there’s always problems. Always problems. I never fire anybody. I manage them, I make them better. To make people love to come to work. We’re looking for a few good people. Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen – that’s my motto. Money is not a priority. It’s okay to build something. Some people don’t care how things happen. I want to make things happen because that’s how I am.” 39

Goce Sipinkoski, Zlate Sipinkoski, Miguel Barrios Christen the Courtyard 1st Time Releasing on the Fountain


Stop, in the Name of Love of Yourself


byCathlene Miner

ehind every nonprofit is a passion, a reason for abuser. Do you see how easy it would be in some situations to the founding. You see, my mother grew up in feel like you have no choice, but to stay? Hope helps us get over a home where there was a lot of abuse. My the hump and there have been many times in my life where that grandmother, my mom, and her siblings were very hope has changed my life! the targets habitual physical and mental abuse From there, I created Hopefull Handbags Global, a non-proffrom my grandfather. I still have young mem- it, to open that conversation, so that those still in abusive situaories of living across the street from my grand- tions feel safe and confident to reach out for help. To give hope parents and my mom’s youngest siblings, who were close to my to the survivors and raise awareness. Raise awareness that dosister and my age. Each time an abusive episode would happen, my mestic abuse is not okay. mom would run across the street to break up all of the chaos and Survivors need to know that there is help and support out send her two younger siblings to our house. I remember looking there. There are services that will assist them with creating a through the chain-link fence hearing yelling and chaos, thinking to safe exit plan for them and their children to leave when they are myself, “Why does this keep happening?” Memories of sitting in ready. Help them know that they deserve a life of success and the back seat with the other children as my mom drove my grand- this life is limitless—our past does not dictate our future. mother to the emergency Room many times. My young brain kept Hopefull Handbags’ Self Perception Workshops have been thinking, “Why does my grandmother put up with this? Why does very successful in sustainability and are open to all women, not she go back?” Questions that would just survivors. The worklinger with me as I raised my own shops do this by changing four children. This history led me to the way survivors think and become a Domestic Abuse Advocate. feel about themselves, so Thinking I would finally be they can begin to address isable to answer that question for sues, such as low self-esteem. myself, the first thing I found out This helps them creates a very quickly was that there is no foundation upon which a one reason. Each case is so unique, long-term recovery is built. even if they seem to be alike on Without addressing these the outside. Once emotions are issues, the pathologic cycle involved, it’s always a unique sitwill repeat itself ! uation. One thing that is alike is At Hopefull Handbags, power and control. Another simonce loved handbags are ilarity is they do not think very donated and filled with nemuch of themselves, they have an cessities and other things to photo: Justin Snavely Hopefull Handbags Founder Cathlene Miner unhealthy self-perception. make women feel amazing! My grandmother was literally (We donate Man bags as physically and mentally beaten down. Seeing this in her and well because domestic abuse is not gender specific). We are here other survivors of domestic abuse, they no longer believe their to give the survivors of domestic abuse and other situations Hope. worth in this world and are very manipulated. Some even stay Hope to let them know that we are rooting for them. because the abuser will threaten harm to abused or take the We are raising money for our Carolyn’s Haven of Hope children. Some grew up in the same environment and for lack bridge housing to fill the gap between those leaving the shelter of better words, it is a familiar life. and/or staying with friends and family to start their journey on It happens in all socioeconomic backgrounds and the children a happy, independent, sustainable life. If there are resources are detrimentally affected, as well. In many cases, the children that we do not have at HH, we will locate the resources nearest are threatened to stay quiet or their mother’s will be harmed. to that survivor. Some have no access to money and some forcefully made to What Can You Do? Be open to listen, educate yourself on take drugs. All of which leaves the abuser with the upper hand. where to direct friends & family to available resources. Hopefull Domestic abuse is not just the bruises that you can see. Handbags is one of them. Get involved in Hopefull Handbags I always wonder if my grandmother knew that there was a workshops, events, and programs that are available in your losafe place to reach out to…that would not judge her…meet her cal area and globally to get yourself on a path to a limitless where she was… allow her to begin where she is… and permit abundant life. You can donate your once loved handbag and/ her and her children to stay, so they wouldn’t have grown up in or necessities. You can make a tax-deductible donation of a few such horrible, physical and emotional environment. Would it nights stay in bridge housing or help fund a new bridge house! have made a difference? We do not yet have a thrift store, but we do have items available I have seen firsthand while working with survivor’s parents, online through our website. So, as you can see, it is more than the encouragement from their grown children to stay with the just a Handbag! g 40


Photographer Glo McDonald captures images here in the Nation’s Oldest City for our reader’s to discover and appreciate. Do you know where this location is, or have a tale to tell about it? Go out to find and share your story when you do – we’d love to hear from you. Please remember to dine, shop and support local business. Let our advertisers know that you discovered them while Loving Our Town! 41


46 Tuscan Way Ste 303, St. Augustine, FL 32092 904-940-8799 Monday through Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Sunday 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Need a Lifestyle Change?

Not MLM Not BitCoin Not a Start-Up Call Brett (904) 826-5489

“Growing up in an Italian family, food represents celebration and connecting to our neighbors, churches, and community. The blessings abound here in our Nation’s Oldest City. Loving Our Food. What a thrill! After twenty-five years of running my own marketing and media consultancy, to now help bring to life and celebrate the finest dining experiences in the City I’ve come to love and call Home, is truly such an honor and an incredible gift.” —Angela Moonan, Co-Creator of Loving Our Food

LOVINGOURFOOD.COM | 315.559.5530

A premier flooring company who specializes in Hardwood Flooring and Tile. Providing professional installations and service while creating lasting relationships.

Commercial & Residential Installation

904.554.0975 | St. Augustine


last call

French 75 Recipe

Daniel Thompson Relocates byYvette Monell



Photographer: Sam Gomez

he Perfect Pour is celebrating their Seventh Year! What better way to celebrate than toasting with a tasty summer cocktail - with bubbles of course! The classic combination of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne are known as a French 75. The champagne brings out the best in each ingredient and leaves this comeback cocktail tasting tart, refreshing, herbal and effervescent. Whether you are enjoying a sunny day by the pool or a backyard dinner with some friends, this summer sipper is sure to impress. CHEERS!

Bride: Christine Sahyers-Valentine

am getting the place with approximately three times more space than what I have for almost half the price. It’s beautiful, on the main street with other shops nearby. I’ll be ‘a pioneer for the new Palatka!’”, declares Daniel Thompson, owner of Daniel Thompson Bridals. “Apparently, Palatka is upand-coming. There are a lot of new restaurants that are opening, and going to open. And they just redid the building right over the bridge. And the big brick factory-looking building: that’s going to be a restaurant and attorney’s office.” “I think it’s a good move. My kind of business is a destination business. People drive from everywhere to a bridal designer. I’m working with two people right now from Tallahassee.” All of Daniel’s gowns are custom made, meaning that each bride’s individual personality is represented throughout the design process. Daniel’s philosophy has always been a one-of-a-kind bride deserves a one-of-a-kind dress. “I do have about 50 gowns hanging at any time. It’s a good way to show them – different fabrics actually made up.” “I am a designer - I’m not a salon. And I can pretty much make anything a bride wants. The way it works is we discussed the ideas. Everybody comes in with an idea. Whether she had it from when she was a little girl or whether she just came up with it. I sketch from the idea down on paper for them to see. Then we look at fabric, we look at lace, I’ll take her measurements, and then make the gown up in muslin. That’s just a mockup for me, so I have her put that on and then I panic. We do all of that first. Every-once in a while a bride will say, ‘Now that I see it I think I want to do something a little bit different.’ But that’s very rare.” “After that I cracked my pattern and cut out the real dress. We start fittings in the real dress, and there’s probably seven or eight fittings until it’s finished. It’s a very wonderful experience. The bride has so much input into what she’s getting.” Palatka’s Old Florida charm is nestled within a bend of the St. Johns River, one of the few rivers that flow north. Palatka is a historic Northeast Florida city that proudly showcases its past, known for the Florida Azalea Festival, St. Johns River Catfish Festival, Blue Crab Festival, Bostwick Blueberry Festival and the Palatka Mural Tour, featuring more than 30 artistic renderings that depict the historical, cultural and natural riches of Palatka and Putnam County. g

320 St Johns Ave, Palatka, FL 32177 |


• 1 oz Gin • ½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice • ½ oz simple syrup • 3 oz Champagne • Garnish: lemon twist

Steps: 1. Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled 2. Strain into a Champagne flute 3. Top with the Champagne 4. Garnish with a lemon twist


“To reflect Saint Augustine’s positive image, inspiring readers to explore their surroundings and create a joyful and meaningful life.”


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. All material is compiled from sources believed to be reliable, published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™ assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™ Text copyright © 2021 Photography © 2021 Digital © 2021 Introduction ©


guide to the arts

Helping you plan excitement

A Classic Theatre

Florida Division of Cultural Affairs 850.245.6500

St. Augustine Art Association 904.824.2310

Ancient City Poets

Jacksonville Children’s Chorus 904.353.1636

St. Augustine Community Chorus


Jacksonville Symphony 904.354.5547

Saint Augustine Concert Band

Crisp-Ellert Art Museum 904.826.8530

Lightner Museum 904.824.2874

St. Augustine Film Festival 904.461.3993

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens 904.824.2310

Limelight Theatre 904.825.1164

St. Augustine Film Society 904.254.9524

Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach 904.280.0614

Lincolnville Museum 904.824.1191

St. Johns Cultural Council 904.808.7330

EMMA Concert Association 904.797.2800

The Music Mission 904.481.9212

Tale Tellers 904.540.0402

First Coast Opera 904.417.5555

Rising Tide Productions

The Adventure Project

Florida Chamber Music Project



Vilano Beach Art Program

Feed Your Dreams

4193 Oldfield Crossing Drive g Jacksonville, Fl 32223 904-352-1422 g

(904) 297-4110

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