Issue 2 - Loving Our Town St Augustine

Page 1

issue two / 2021 $6.99



Feed Your Dreams

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

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(904) 770-2179 @za_salon 1803 US HIGHWAY 1 S St. Augustine, FL 32084





issue two / 2021





on the cover








biz bites


flash 20 | 41 day Trippin






















in the weeds





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 Associate Publisher. All material is compiled from sources believed to be reliable, published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™ and the Publishers assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Loving Our Town St. Augustine™ Text copyright © 2021 Photography © 2021 Digital © 2021 Introduction ©




Colorful Fashion + Positive Vibes Unique Apparel + Accessories A portion of all sales go to random acts of kindness!

9 Spanish Street • St. Augustine, FL 32084 In the heart of historic district. (904) 523-1261 Monday—Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday 10am - 5pm

Publisher’s Note

issue two/2021

We here at Loving Our Town Saint Augustine have a new motto, “Let’s grow together.” We love sharing the stories of our community and are always looking to share more. We invite all our readers, supporting businesses, friends and family to reach out to us and to join us in our excitement for watching our town grow. We support buying local. Every one of the businesses and organizations in our publication have been vetted by us and have the same involvement and dedication to our community as we do. Thank you for inviting us into your home and sharing your lives with us. Here’s to you and your family - live boldly, enjoy our community, be involved and truly live your best life! Let’s Grow Together! Lenny Gillette, Publisher

Introducing Spirit of St Augustine

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


Associate Publisher

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Two awesome-creative characters don this issue’s cover, Jorge Rivera and Shannon Hart. They are responsible for creating the upcoming “Music Under the Moon” (Musica Bajo La Luna) on October 30, 2021 (see page 10). It’s going to be spectacular! The one and only Jorge Rivera will play host for the evening and Shannon has offered to dress me up for the occasion! We plan to tell you all about her talents, achievements and ideas in the next issue. The pair had worked on this Halloween festival for the past couple years, but that worldwide horrible plague put the kibosh on it. But no more, here is a reason to put on a mask, to get out, to be there. I hope you enjoy this issue of Loving Our Town as much as we enjoy putting it together for you. Merging editorial and advertising with style and grace so they speak with one voice that represents our community is my goal. Our success depends upon giving you an enjoyable and informative reading experience. Your ideas and suggestions are more than welcome. I want to hear from you! Email me at to share. Peace and Blessings, Yvette Monell, Associate Publisher

The Fine Art Photography of John William Brown Shop online:




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

Monika Bernthal A huge proponent of the go-local movement, Monika Bernthal takes special interest in promoting our local businesses, organizations and events through STA Marketplace, a full-service PR and marketing agency. With a background in journalism, Monika is a seasoned writer who regularly shares local stories in Loving Our Town’s STA Marketplace Spotlight. A 15-year resident of St. Augustine, Monika’s three children, husband of 20 years, and two furkids keep her deeply engaged in and committed to our community.

Chris Bodor Chris Bodor relocated from New York to Saint Augustine in 2003 after working for ten years in NY City. In August of 2009, Chris started hosting monthly poetry open mic readings on the last Sunday of every month, here in St. Augustine, under the name Ancient City Poets. The name was created by Glenda Bailey-Mershon for a National Poetry Month event in April of 2009 and recently celebrated twelve years. Chris has had his poems, flash fiction, and journalism articles published in local and national publications. His poetry has been translated into French and Polish. 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. Kelley Fitzsimonds Special needs dad and loving husband first. Kelley is a twenty-plus year bar professional heading up the spirits department at Amici Italian Restaurant. Kelley loves to mentor and support others in the bar community and has been bartending in Saint Augustine for sixteen-years since moving here from the Atlanta area.

Special Thanks: 08

Amy Lauer Goldin Tracy Bradley


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!”

Please remember to dine, shop and support local business. Let our advertisers know that you discovered them while Loving Our Town!

Our Advertisers

Glo MacDonald A recent transplant to our area from South Florida, Glo has immersed herself into the arts community in St. Augustine, namely as a board member of Romanza and A Classic Theatre. She is an award-winning graphic designer with a career that started in television and continued for many years with her own graphic design firm. Glo recently switched gears to pursue other artistic endeavors which have been on the back burner and dedicating more time to her early passion or photography. Though still a graphic designer, she has turned her professional career towards photo editing and retouching, having done so for many years as part of her design career.

52 AJ’s Kitchen & Cocktails

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.

19 Hasty’s Flooring

Cathlene Miner Cathlene was born and raised in the Sunshine State and loves her life as a mentor, entrepreneur, bestselling author, Founder, and CEO of Hopefull Handbags Global Nonprofit, homeschool mom, wife, mother of four, and grandmother (Sea), and a love of anything that brings a smile and joy as a self-professed glass overfloweth kinda girl.

50 Solar Energy 4 Inc

13 Ancient City Brunch Bar 30 Bright Shine Pressure Washing 30 Fall Fling 44 Family Tree Financial Group 21 Flowers by Shirley 27 Fresh Market Island 15 Global Island Treasures 21 Le Petit Salon 02 Incredible Kitchen & Bath 05 Inspirited Life 28 ReCHIC Unique Boutique 49 St. Augustine City Tours 21 Safe Floor Solutions 41 Silver Dollar City 06 Spirit of St. Augustine 16 Swashbucklers 32 TD Jones Group 43 Taco Libre Co. 46 Tanks Sushi Bistro 45 The Gifted Cork 51 Roof Max

Aaron W. Towle A regular contributor to (SAM) St Augustine Magazine & 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.

29 Wren Beach Rentals 03 Za Salon



Shawn Wilson CEO and founder of Biz Advisory Consulting in St. Augustine, Florida, is an entrepreneur who gets to do what she loves every day—making a difference in people’s lives! As a woman of purpose and passion, she is committed to helping other small business owners reach their goals. With over 20 years in sales, marketing, customer service, communications, and business development—seeing others experience success is Shawn’s greatest reward. Would you like to be a part of the next issue? Please send in any business-related questions, challenges, or thoughts to to answer for all of our readers in our next issue.



on the cover

photo by Yvette Monell

Shannon Hart [Art & Life in 3D] and Jorge Rivera [St. Augustine Tonight Show] have joined forces to bring a night of “Music Under the Moon” (Musica Bajo La Luna) to the Plaza de la Constitución in the center of the Oldest City Historic District. With the generous support of the St. Johns Cultural Council, the evening will showcase the sounds of Caribe Groove, a Latin fusion band and the Mariachi group, Mariachi Primera Costa. This festive, outdoor musical event is intended to honor St. Augustine’s Latin culture and heritage and - bring the local community together through music and dance. Taking place on Halloween weekend as part of the celebration of October’s National Arts & Humanities Month. The Mariachi group will stroll the central part of the Historic District on October 30th from 5:30pm to 7pm with live music at the Gazebo from 7pm to 9pm.

Music Under the Moon October 30th at the Plaza de la Constitución in St. Augustine

“We can’t wait to celebrate the Hispanic heritage of America’s Oldest and most haunted city at this new Halloween weekend event! The St. Johns Cultural Council is pleased to present performances by two talented local Latin bands during Music Under the Moon on October 30th.” —Christina Parrish Stone, Executive Director, St. Johns Cultural Council

“We want to encourage everyone to “get creative” and don their favorite costumes or exhibit their own personal style at this event.” —Shannon Hart, Art & Life in 3D

“ArtBox and other galleries in the San Sebastian Arts District will be participating in the festivities with flamenco guitar, outdoor silent film and staying open late. These cultural events are so important in promoting art in our City.” —Laura O’Neal, ArtBox Gallery

“St. Augustine is such a beautiful city with such a diverse cultural background. It is the perfect backdrop for a vibrant celebration of art and culture. We hope our celebration will grow in size every year…” — Jorge Rivera, St. Augustine Tonight Show

Caribe Groove is a local Band from Jacksonville FL formed in 2017. The members are originally from different countries: Colombia, Venezuela, Republica Dominicana and Puerto Rico. The band’s music gets its influence from a wide variety of modern genres including: Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop, combined with traditional Latin genres including Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Latin Jazz, and Afro-Latin rhythms. 11



I Love A Parade


by Shirley D. Jordan

t the end of my sophomore year in high school, my parents sold our home and moved. The oil Field was drying up around Salem, Illinois and my father knew nothing other than oil field work. I was devastated. I was leaving behind my friends from first grade on. I was one of the lucky ones, you know, the popular ones. I was a cheerleader. I loved my life! At my new school in Grayville, Illinois, the cheerleaders had already been chosen. But the band did need a majorette as one had graduated the previous year. I knew how to twirl a baton. It had only been a hobby in the past but now it was a chance to have an in with the other students. So, I did a baton routine for the leader and was handed a short white satin skirt, a braided jacket and a faux fur pill box hat. What I did not realize was I was also handed my future. Thus, my experience with parades went from watching them to marching in them. There was one other majorette and a drum major. Barbara and Sue appeared to be two of the most popular girls in school. They were best friends, and sadly I was an outsider. Sue and I would become friends as adults. Each time we lined up for practice, this annoying trombone player standing right behind me, would flip the edge of my skirt with the tip of the trombone slide. The routine was always the same. He would flip my skirt, then I would turn and glare at him. He would smile and wink. A cute but most irritating boy! I soon learned he was not only in the band but was a star baseball player as well as making both the football and basketball teams. But he was still most annoying. Let me jump ahead for a moment. When this guy passed away at age 73, we had been married over fifty years. Yes, I had kept on marching and he had kept on flipping my skirt and winking until he won me over. But that is another story for another time. Now, when I watch a parade in person or on television I am transported back to high school and that annoying young man who first winked at me. A parade is a chance to show off something. A school proudly sends their band to march. A company wants their logo or product on display. Yes, it is a way to boast of accomplishment. Western riders not only showcase their magnificent horses but their riding skills as well. Those marching behind the horses view them in a different way. Marching often loses its gait as side-stepping the horses’ contributions become necessary. I know the long parades in cities are spectacular, drawing thousands to view the huge, inflated animals and professionally designed floats but there is nothing like a parade snaking its way down the main street of a small town. A town where the entire population stops for an hour or so to watch and clap and laugh as the parade passes by. Shop owners often simply step outside to watch the event leaving their doors unlocked, knowing all their customers are also watching the parade. Trust is prevalent in small towns.

People watch from their front porches with glasses of lemonade on side tables. Lawn chairs are set up along the route where families sit waving flags. Smaller children sit straddling their father’s shoulders for a better view. A variety of floats from the local businesses are decorated and people ride them throwing candy and trinkets to the children. These floats are often pulled by tractors driven by local farmers who would normally be plowing fields and baling hay. They take their jobs of driving in the parade very seriously. One of the most popular entries in these parades are the Shriners. Their member wear tasseled hats. They sit atop or in a wide variety of tiny, motorized vehicles. They ride in tandem and garner loud claps and yells from the audience. Groups like the American Legion or VFW often roll out a tank to add to the festivity. These big lumbering obsolete relics of World War II are often driven by older lumbering members who try their best to keep headed in the right direction. Generally, they do stay in line and out of trouble. Later they park these monstrosities in front of their buildings or halls until asked to participate in the next parade. Homecoming parades are especially fun as they are usually followed by a football game. Those players all want to bring home a victory for their hometown and the alum who attend. The game is usually followed by a dance at the high school gym. Dancers will consist of current students and aging alum who still like to move around the dance floor. Having often been a part of both groups, I can truthfully say… I love to dance, and I love a Parade! g



210 ST GEORGE ST C3 | ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 32084 | (904) 342-0890


Historical Treasure Hunters Marc Anthony and Darrell Miklos

by Derek Boyd Hankerson, M.A.



aint Augustine is the oldest occupied European settlement in North America and is known for everything historical first.

Saint Augustine’s wonderful retail stores sell everything from candles, cigars, souvenirs, local food favorites and everything else under the Florida sun. My favorite store and where I spend many of my weekend’s learning, is at Spanish Main Antiques. The atmosphere there transports you to the historical past of the Nation’s Oldest City and will truly take your breath away. Imagine, if you will, a journey to the past arriving in Saint Augustine which was the Spanish capital and at the center of the world’s international affairs from the 15th to 19th centuries. The Spanish King’s treasure ships and fleet of galleons would sail the Atlantic Ocean from Spain to the New World carrying booty or resources mined from the Americas. Those fleets of galleons encountered many pirates and privateers who would steal the booty from the ships. However, hurricanes were the bigger fear and threat. These hurricanes would literally ravage the galleons, split ships in half and spread goods all over the Atlantic Ocean floor. As of 2021, not all these treasures have been recovered. Thankfully, here in Saint Augustine, we have divers, treasure hunters and historians who know their history, ships, galleons and shipwrecks. Two of those historical and treasure hunting experts are Marc Anthony and Darrell Miklos. As partners, they explore the

bottom of the oceans, domestically and international, on dives to try and recover lost history and artifacts. A powerful team, their combined knowledge, background and experience becomes part of the visit to Spanish Main Antiques as they share the story of the treasure they sell and create for customers who want to buy a piece of history. Darrell Miklos has a long family history of success in underwater discoveries. As a young boy, Miklos stowed away on his uncles and father’s boat as they recovered spent booster rockets for NASA’s Apollo Program. He and his sisters were tasked with collecting pieces of eight along the Treasure Coast shoreline for their dad. Darrell and his father pursued their first shipwreck, Nuestra Señora de Atocha of the 1622 Spanish fleet, near the Marquesas Keys in 1979 and 1980. As life would have it, Darrell’s father met with astronaut Gordon Cooper. The two men developed a close personal relationship that fueled Darrell’s continued interest in underwater discoveries. Cooper, now deceased, worked very closely with Kip Wagner’s Reale Eight Corporation, famous for discovering the locations of the wrecks of the 1715 Fleet. In 1997, Darrell worked very closely with Cooper on a recovery project in the Bahamas. He and Gordon set out on expeditions ranging from visits to ancient Mayan ruins in the Yucatan and Campeche, Mexico, and Caribbean shipwreck exploration. Darrell has continued to pay homage to Gordon Cooper’s legacy by pursuing his passion for historic shipwreck discovery. more >



770-757-5321 - Custom & Retail

Wednesdays Beach Market & Saturdays Amp Market Now at ArtBox - the Gallery at 137 King Street, St. Augustine -

Public Viewings 7-9 PM October 22nd & 23rd and 29th through 30th

continued from page 14

Marc Anthony has had a passion for diving since the age of ten. His passion turned to treasure at the age of 16 when he found his first Spanish treasure coin. He learned the jewelry business by working in his family’s jewelry store, and then enrolled in a jewelry school of design and manufacturing. After graduating from Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, Marc took a course in marketing. With combined education and passion, he started a notable reputation for owning a very successful business in the Treasure Industry.

As a youth, Marc had the opportunity to work alongside some of the most recognized names in the Treasure Industry such as Mel Fisher, Robert Marx, Bob Weller, Darrell Miklos, Dr. Eugene Lyons and countless others. He is an accomplished underwater diver of shipwrecks off the coast of Florida and around the world, to including the 1715 Fleet, the Atocha, and others. As Marc was working on the 1715 Fleet Shipwreck, he was part of the team that found a solid gold box containing a rosary and rings valued at over $300,000. This rosary was featured on The Hunt for Amazing Treasures. Over the years, he’s obtained some of the rarest pieces of treasure known to man. In 2000 Marc decided to open his own retail store here in the Nation’s Oldest City. The Spanish Main Antiques has provided authentic treasure and historical artifacts for many well-known restaurant chains, movie sets, actors, VIP’s and museums, he was even featured in a 2006 treasure documentary. Anthony grabbed the attention of news media outlets worldwide in 2018, captioning Marc’s phrase as “the holy grail of shipwrecks” during an interview off Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida where he helped identify a very large portion of a shipwrecked hull that had washed up from the 1800s.

Public Viewings December 10th &11th and 17th &18th 7-9 PM

In 2015, Marc moved Spanish Main Antiques store to uptown Saint Augustine to expand and become Florida’s largest retail Treasure store. Today, the Spanish Main Antiques preserves, displays and sells shipwreck artifacts and nautical antiques as well as designs and creates wearables.

It truly takes creativity, ingenuity, vision and perseverance to create the master pieces that Marc designs which are for sale to customers. Together Marc and Darrell are an incredible team of treasure hunters that love history and sharing the story behind each and every piece which is certified, sealed and dated for authenticity. Learn more at g


Pirates and Miracles


byCapt. William Mayham


irates pillaged and plundered the Nation’s First Coast, especially when it came to the existence of the Spanish colony of Saint Augustine. From 1565—1668, the City lost many forts, at least nine to be exact to the likes of Sir Francis Drake and Robert Searles. But now we come forward four years after Searles sacking of Saint Augustine of 1668 and the City now has the blessings and permission of the Spanish Royal Family. It is now 1672 and the construction of the Castillo de San Marcos begins. The Castillo de San Marcos, Spanish for St Mark’s Castle, would take 23 years to complete, and during its construction at least three recorded pirate incidents would happen. This story is of one. The year is now 1684 and Andrew Ranson is about to step on the beaches just north of Saint Augustine. He is in a long boat with less than ten men, dispatched from a British ship under the command of Thomas Jingle. The Spanish had become very diligent in their watchfulness of the waters of the Atlantic, keeping a weathered eye for pirates. No sooner had Ranson and his men stepped forth from their long boat, when Spanish militia jumped from the thickets and capture them all. The Spanish governor, Juan Marques Cabreara, was delighted at the opportunity to execute pirates in the town square of Saint Augustine. The method of execution would be the garrote - a slow strangulation. Ranson’s men would turn on him and plead and lie that Ranson was a pirate and their captain, for this they would be rewarded with ten-years hard labor on the fort while Ranson himself would receive an execution by garrote. On said day of execution, in the town square, Ranson would find his back against the garrote pole, his neck in the noose, clutching his

rosary, which immediately caught the eye of many of the Spanish citizens. The town square was filled that day by many to witness the execution of a pirate, among those was Father Perez de la Mota, the priest of the church. The executioner would turn the handle six-times, twisting the rope tight around Ranson’s neck. When Ranson ceased all movement, the executioner gave the handle of the garrote a seventh-turn for good measure. At this last dastardly turn, a resounding snap was heard and then a gasp from the crowd. But is was not the neck of the pirate, but the snap of the rope breaking, droppin Ranson to the ground. Father Perez rushed to the body only to find Ranson to still be alive and barely breathing. Believing that the rosary had played a part in the surprising end and that Ranson was still alive, Father Perez was convinced this was, against all odds, a miracle of God. There would be three years of arguments between the church and the governor before a compromise was reached with the newly appointed governor Don Diego Losada, who offered to give Ranson amnesty if he would live at the construction site of the new stone fort and use his excellent building skills to hurry its completion. Ranson agreed and eventually helped to finish what eventually would be known as the Castillo de San Marcos in 1695. In 1702, he was granted full freedom for helping to defend Saint Augustine against a British invasion. And so ends the story of pirate execution that, in the end, helped save the City of Saint Augustine from invasions, pirate or otherwise. I close this story with a bit of irony, to think the fort’s construction was overseen by a pirate to protect Saint Augustine from pirates. g

Bill McRea aka Capt. William Mayhem 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.

Thank you to these fine supporters who help make it possible for The St. Augustine Swashbucklers to support these fine charities and events!


biz bites

Extraordinary Customer Experiences by Shawn Wilson


t’s no surprise that local business owners have a lot of ground to cover, from developing extraordinary customer experiences to creative marketing ideas, and most importantly, finding the right employees. It seems like our to-do list never ends. Once we master one thing, there’s another challenge waiting for us around the corner. In business, we are faced with two things that never leave us: problems and looking for solutions to problems. As a business owner, I know that owning your own business can be both rewarding and challenging—but it’s worth the effort! With larger crowds of customers flooding our local Florida businesses, it can become difficult for our employees to handle every customer’s needs or wants at the level every customer deserves. How do we maintain a great customer experience during peak times? “You’re only as good as your team!” We all know this to be true in many professions, especially local business owners who need a great team and happy customers to be successful. Managing a small business can be difficult because we don’t have the time or resources that larger companies do. Still, when customers count on you every time for an “A+” experience, they deserve nothing less than our best! But what does that mean? It is more than just being cordial; it’s about creating an extraordinary experience for our customers that will keep them coming back again and again. We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started with a few tips to ensure your team is ready to face any obstacle with the skills and tools required to create unforgettable experiences for your customers. So, what can you do to make sure customer service stays at a high level, even when there are more customers than your staff can handle? Are you ready to go beyond your typical approach and do something different?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou


• Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Your team must believe in you before they can buy into your vision and understand how you want your customers treated. Take care of your team because these are the folks on the front lines that can make or break your business’s reputation when it comes to customer service. • Create a culture of ownership where your team takes pride in coming up with creative ways to exceed customer expectations. Share those ideas with everyone on your team, from the top down. Keep an eye out for new innovations that are rewarding customers more than they ever thought possible. • Encourage your employees to give feedback on how your business can better serve customers and what changes could be made. Whether it is implementing small or large-scale change, employee feedback is truly invaluable in making the right decisions for your business’s future success. • Use incentive programs and goal tracking to give your employees that extra push they need. What are some ways you can motivate? How are you rewarding the right behaviors? Establish performance metrics – KPI’s (key performance indicators). You can’t improve what you don’t measure. • Offer training programs that will teach your team to provide extraordinary customer experiences. Role-playing is an effective way to teach how best to manage customer requests under pressure. So, offer training programs that will give customers the experience of a lifetime when they walk into your business, so you never have another unsatisfied customer walk out because one of your employees didn’t know how to serve the customer.

• Don’t allow your employees to get complacent with any aspect of their job. Make sure they are always looking to improve from one day to the next – strive to be better than you were yesterday. • Make your customers feel like they are top priority, and always give them 100% of your attention when talking to them. For the customer, nothing is more uncomfortable than having you pulled away from their conversation by a phone call or text. • Paraphrase what the customer says to help ensure everyone’s on board before proceeding with a customer request. Practice good listening skills by repeating back to the person you’re speaking with so that they know everything has been understood correctly. • Smile – this is the most important part of your service. Make eye contact, be cheerful and friendly to customers whenever they enter your business! Warmly introduce yourself. • Identifying the best people to join your team can be challenging, but it is well worth spending time on. To develop your team, you will need to find individuals that are willing and able to do their job with excellence. First, you need to identify what characteristics you want them to have so you know what kind of employee you want them to be. These characteristics let employees know how to act under pressure and serve customers better by becoming stronger, more equipped, and confident individuals. These qualities should instruct your new hires on the behavior standards to follow while at work and inspire all members of your staff - including yourself. • Communicate clear expectations to your team with a strong sense of leadership. You need to provide both directives and goals so that everyone knows what they are striving for and can work together toward the vision you have set forth as the leader—for example, post clear instructions and visuals for standard work practices that project expected outcomes. There’s something inherently different about being made to feel special. Think back to any customer service interaction: whether pleasant or otherwise, all customers should leave remembering their experience regardless of the outcome at hand. In this world where a customer’s loyalty can be won and lost in seconds, excellent service is expected and paramount. g


photos byYvette Monell & Tracy Bradley

Our first Bridal Show at World Gold Village Not only did we share the premier issue of LOVING OUR TOWN with the brides to be, but Tracy Bradley made a big announcement. We will be launching LOVING OUR WEDDING! We’ll be sharing all the details really soon!


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Henry Flagler’s Whitehall


photography & story byFrank E. Berna

side from Ponce de Leon, no other name is more synonymous with St. Augustine than that of Henry Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil. The man who essentially opened up the entire state of Florida with his Florida East Coast Railway left an indelible mark on America’s Oldest City by establishing two monumental hotels: the Ponce de Leon (now Flagler College) and the Alcazar (now the Lightner Museum). But St. Augustine wasn’t the only place where Flagler turned Florida into the Gilded Age’s resort capital. About 250 miles to the south, in West Palm Beach, Flagler built another world-famous resort, the Royal Poinciana, in 1894. At the time, it was the largest hotel in the world. Later, in 1901, the hotel was renamed to the moniker it bears today: The Breakers. That same year, Flagler, then 71, married his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan, aged 34. As a wedding gift, he presented her with a 75-room, 100,000 square foot mansion that would be their winter retreat, known as Whitehall, just to the west of the Royal Poinciana. Today, the building houses the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum. To enter the grounds of the museum, one passes through Whitehall’s original, 120-yearold, black wrought iron gate. The mansion was designed in the Beaux Arts style by John Carrère and Thomas Hastings, the same architects who designed the St. Augustine hotels. The facade of the three-story edifice features a portico supported by six colossal columns, four large urns and topped with orange barrel roof tiles, as well as a rarity among Florida homes – a full basement, and a 23,000 square foot one at that! Entering Whitehall through its massive bronze front doors, one encounters the Grand Hall; at 4,750 square feet, it was the largest room in any private home of the period. The immense oval painting in the center of the ceiling represents the Oracle of Delphi.


day trippin

Each of the public rooms of the first floor is decorated in a specific historical style. The Library, for example, with its dark woods and deep red fabrics, reflect the rich opulence of the Italian Renaissance. The Music Room was decorated in the French Second Empire fashion, the preferred style of theaters and opera houses of the Gilded Age; it also served as the picture gallery, where paintings were hung salon-style. The South Hall’s coffered, barrel ceiling with its novel recessed electric lighting, led to the Billiard Room; this room’s masculine tenor is underscored by its Gothic Revival look. The 3,200 square foot Grand Ballroom was designed in the Louis XV style, with its large mirrors and gold leaf.


more >

continued from page 22


The Dining Room was designed in the French Renaissance style, with the ceiling incorporating a dolphin design, as a reference to French royalty. Decorated in the style of Louis XV, the Drawing Room served as Mrs. Flagler’s salon; the fabrics on the walls are silk, and molded plaster is highlighted in aluminum leaf, which, at the time, was more valuable than gold! On the second floor, in addition to the master suite, were fourteen guest rooms. Each of the rooms had their own unique ceiling and door moldings. The Colonial Chamber was the most elaborate, and reserved for Flagler’s special guests. The master bedroom, decorated in the lavish Louis XV style, epitomized the high style which was the hallmark of the Gilded Age.

photography: Frank Berna

In addition to Whitehall, the Flagler Museum features the Flagler Kenan Pavilion. The Pavilion, constructed in 2004 to ensure the preservation of Flagler’s private railcar (simply designated Railcar No. 91), was designed to look like a 19th century railway palace.


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photography: Frank Berna

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Ultimately, Whitehall figured prominently in the death of Henry Flagler. In March 1913, Flagler had a serious fall down the marble steps of Whitehall. He never recovered and died of his injuries on May 20 in West Palm Beach at the age of 83. Transported by train back to St. Augustine, Henry Morrison Flagler was interred in the Flagler family mausoleum which is adjacent to Memorial Presbyterian Church located at 32 Sevilla St. The church, which was also designed by Carrère and Hastings, was constructed by Flagler and dedicated to the memory of his daughter, Jennie Louise Benedict, who died following complications from childbirth. Along with Flagler and his daughter, the remains of his first wife, Mary Harkness Flagler, and his infant granddaughter Margery are also entombed there. A trip to the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum is approximately a four hour drive from St. Augustine. For more information, visit the museum’s website: g


Owners Pieter Nel & Donah Parent

We stock a great selection of Gourmet Cheeses, fresh Baked Bread, fresh Soups, Chowders and freshly prepared Take Out Meals. Plus Hanger Steak, Outside Skirt Steak and Picanha Brazilian /Top Sirloin Cap, Rack of Lamb, and Leg of Lamb in addition to all of our other great meats! Our new signature line of Gourmet Spices to complement you purchase.


International Gourmet Market

Offering local Grass Fed Beef, Prime Beef, Wagyu Beef, Duroc Pork, Organic Chicken, Organic Eggs, Fresh Seafood, prepared take out meals, Specialty Wines, Craft Beer and more.

South African specialty meats manufactured on site include Biltong, Droewors and Boerewors.

110 Anastasia Blvd. Suite A, St. Augustine, FL 32080 (904) 417-0550 • •

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. Weather 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

Vegan Wine


very year I write about organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines, but most people don’t realize there is such a thing as “vegan friendly wines.” I know this sounds nutty. Shouldn’t wine, from grapes, that ferment in a barrel, be vegan? Well unfortunately, thanks to scientists who want to speed up processing for impatient winemakers, many techniques get far from vegan practices. Commercial wineries don’t want sediment. To speed things up, some winemakers use an assortment of sticky animal ingredients called fining agents. These substances attach to particulates in the wine, so they can quickly be filtered out. Filtering almost entirely removes fining agents from the wine but there is still the residual and knowledge of animal particles. Additionally, the use of non-vegan fining ingredients supports industries that exploit animals. Winemakers tend to use fish bladders, gelatin from cow or pig body parts, egg white and animal milk protein to get a gooey substance. Some winemakers use the old-fashioned method of just giving the wine time to settle before decanting it into bottles. Now for something a little more appetizing, I’ll quickly review Organic for those who missed my past articles. Organic farmers grow


byJeanne Maron ~ The Gifted Cork grapes using no pesticides, then send them along to the winemaker who doesn’t add additional sulfites at the end of winemaking in his process. There are naturally occurring sulfites that are a natural preservative, but not additional sulfites are introduced. There are some other basic rules but that is that main premise of organic wine. I hate it when I see “no sulfites” on a bottle label – it is virtually impossible to have no sulfites. You can’t stop Mother Nature from doing her job. Biodynamic gets much more extreme. It goes back to the old days when farmers planted the grapes based on the phases of the moon. They use the Farmer’s Almanac as a guide for timing. They also use upside-down horns buried in the dirt as a “good luck charm” per se. They eliminate the use of chemicals and use only natural materials and composts, recycling all farming practices. Farmers only pick grapes at certain times when the grapes are ready. So, you see, it is a different practice, and not for everyone. Wines that fall into these categories are very specialized, sometimes expensive, and may not last for long periods of time if the tannic structure is not good because of the lack of sulfites for preservation. No matter what your wine of choice is, drink good wine, and in moderation. Most doctors will tell you a glass of red wine daily is good for your heart. I know it makes my heart feel good. Cheers to you! g

Luxury Ocean Front Vacation Rentals in South Ponte Vedra Beach


For Reservations and House Information David Cell: 904-349-0614 Daphne Cell: 904-504-7501

Ancient City Poets






immy Van Kooten is first and foremost a wife and mother of 11 children. She has been inspired by her journey from her birthplace in New Jersey to Pennsylvania, where she and her 15 siblings resided on a seventy-acre horse farm. In 1994, she and her children moved to Saint Augustine from Daytona Beach. Kimmy now attends Flagler College, pursuing her lifelong dream of obtaining her BFA in Fine Arts. In her spare time, she illustrates children’s books, book covers, and writes poetry. She also might be found downtown playing on her red conga drums. Her collection, Peace of Language (Avenue U, 2013), features many of her playful, spirited poems as well as several of her inspiring illustrations.

Roofs Pool Enclosures Fences Sidewalks Driveways



See My World


byKimmy Van Kooten


See my world on its spinning axis blending all the people all the Jones’ with the Jack’s.


See my world inputting our cultures respecting traditions no rations for vultures.

Saturday & Sunday October 23 & 24, 2021

Imagine it just one big market of goods no one feels hungry no one wants in the hoods.

10 am - 5 pm, both days

Join us for 2 days of homegrown fun featuring artisans, crafters, Barktoberfest, kids zone, car show, live music, raffles to benefit our nonprofit organizations and so much more!

See my world on this one great feel-loving whirl pain, hate, and dishonesty all flung in a hurl Chucked to oblivion and out that black hole. Do you see our world? g

Bring your lawn chairs, your blankets and plan to spend the day!

St. Johns County Fairgrounds 5840 SR 207 - Elkton FL

The Ancient City Poets gather on the last Sunday of every month. Present two or three of your polished poems or share some fresh ink from your notebook during Saint Augustine, Florida’s longest-running open mic poetry event. Poetry fans are needed, just as much as poets. In August the group celebrated their twelve-year anniversary. Invite a friend or two or three to cheer you on. If you would like to share a poem, please show up at 2:30pm on the day of the reading and get your name on the list. There is space on the list for 15 poets at 5 minutes each. At 3pm, the readers will be called to the podium in the order their names appear on the sign-up sheet. Please share your words and embrace the local poetry scene. Please go to www.bodor. org to find out the location of the reading and more info about the group and go to to find out all about the poetic change events happening all over the world.




story & photo byAaron Towle


n a recent business trip, I passed by an open field littered with junky old cars. Everywhere I looked, abandoned hulks remained dormant across the landscape. Many were on cinder blocks, others had doors hanging off, even more had windshields decorated with bullet holes. My creative eye was fixated. It was my destiny to stop and photograph some of these relics of yesteryear. Beyond the perimeter of this rusty grave, just inside the tree line of a hot, stinking swamp... that is where my prize snapshot awaited – a beautiful little school bus filled with decaying educational books. Anchored in time, this lonely school bus remained a monument to public transportation, only there were no bells ringing, no childish laughter, no innocence for the American dream... only the dense aroma of muck and moisture. After snapping an array of compositions, I was on my way again... but the memory of the school bus remained etched in my conscience. It forced me to reflect upon current affairs, on a culture divided across multiple spectrums, on how things are so much more difficult for this generation of children then it was for mine. As a parent, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to lecture or judge, because times have certainly changed. Like any faithful taxpayer, I have a wide variety of complex opinions, especially in regards to education – but I will suppress them for the duration of this article. There is enough tension simmering beneath the surface in 2021 and it is not my goal to instigate further acrimony. However, I will say that children today are trapped in an otherwise adult environment. We endure raging cultural debates that spill out onto social media – hot trigger subjects such as mask vs. no mask, vaccine vs. no vaccine, critical race theory, home schooling vs. traditional. Raising children is challenging enough, let alone educating them and keeping them safe from drugs, violence or pornographic material. Unfortunately, children today are in complete lock-step with the cadence of division. We indoctrinate them into collective mental warfare. Family dynamics are driven into Red Camp A or Blue Camp B. Yes, those two spoiled political colors, each representing a polarized vision for what America should be. Instead of teaching academics, we introduce children to Philosophy A or Philosophy B, immediately imprinting them with our own political bias or jaded world views – open minds be damned. It’s true. Instead of shaping formative minds with facts and fig-

ures, we hustle and deprive our children of the freedom to think and choose for themselves, to present new solutions to old problems based on their own life experience or expectation. It seems we have all become so hardened in our own self-righteous dogma that intolerance and indifference are the only gifts we bestow on their young developing minds. Instead of nurturing and fostering an independent sense of identity, we are raising cheap carbon copies of ourselves, each of them preaching the CNN or FOX gospel. We are programming them, forcing these little beings to choose sides. We are substituting basic fundamental knowledge and fun for adult lessons in political branding – to choose between traditional conservative values or liberal progressive values. There seems to be no other choice. We have removed any potential for alternative thinking. Any reality beyond Red or Blue is forbidden. How very sad and arrogant...

While both sides certainly have pros and cons, children must not be forced to absorb, let alone understand some of these deeper complicated subjects. Time alone will provide them due compass. Educators and parents alike need to stop forcing children into the same rigid squares and circles in which we evolved from. We need to step back and realize just how toxic our adult language has become. Let’s leave the political garbage out of childhood. Let children play. Let them understand the rules of dodgeball before expecting them to grasp the greater concept of why a killer virus was manufactured in a foreign laboratory. It’s not that difficult people. It’s childhood. Let them enjoy theirs as much as we enjoyed ours. God bless and stay safe... g


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


Changing Lives

byCathlene Miner

Fostering Connections St. Johns


Aubrie Simpson Gotham

here is always inspiration, passion, and a story behind every nonprofit and charity work, and I have the pleasure of sharing those stories with you. I have had the honor of collaborating with Aubrie, through mentoring and Hopefull Handbags non-profit. Aubrie shared her story with me and I was inspired by her positivity and resilience during her journey in founding Fostering Connections St. Johns, a nonprofit she started in her college years when she met a new friend who grew up in foster care. Aubrie’s friend shared with her how kids in foster care really needed help and support and Aubrie wanted to help, but at that time she wasn’t sure how to help. When she began to look, she didn’t see a lot of information and resources available to the general public about how to help kids in foster care. Aubrie went on to graduate college with her degree in Elementary Education from Flagler College and began teaching kindergarten in a high poverty school. Many of Aubrie’s students were in foster care or very much at risk of being in foster care. The families she worked with had many needs like, parenting classes, tutoring, mentoring, and adequate housing but she knew the families of the children she worked with needed more, but resources were limited or nonexistent. At the young age of 23, Aubrie know that resources were limited and didn’t feel equipped to help with these needs, yet. During her time teaching, she saw firsthand the consequences of poverty and childhood trauma. Aubrie said, “I didn’t fully understand at that time how trauma and poverty impacted the behavior and learning of my students and their ability to build positive relationships with others. I struggled to connect and engage with my students and their families. The conventional wisdom and strategies given to me by veteran teachers didn’t work.” Aubrie knew her students needed more. She knew she had to step out of the classroom to find those resources. So, Aubrie began volunteering in the community and learning about the resources available in the community and how she could help fill in the gaps. She immersed herself in volunteer work and during that time the school she taught at closed. This gave her the opportunity to leave teaching and transition to working in the nonprofit field. This set Aubrie on the path to founding Fostering Connections St. Johns. Fostering Connections St. Johns was founded In her volunteer work, Aubrie had the opportunity to serve with Kids Bridge Family Visitation Center, a local nonprofit organization that primarily serves kids in foster care and their families by providing a safe, home-like environment for supervised visitation and the opportunity for parents and their children to build stronger relationships and get reacquainted as parents work towards reunification. Aubrie started with the organization as a board member at Kids Bridge, then became an Auxiliary Board Chair and eventually became a staff member coordinating special events, volunteers, and marketing. Through her work with Kids Bridge, she learned about the foster care system that her college friend had grown up in and the many needs. Aubrie shared with me that St. Johns County is the only county in Florida in which the work of foster care is run by the county and not a nonprofit organization and that this can create many funding challenges. Aubrie wanted to help all St. Johns County kids in foster care and bring them the resources and support they need to lead happy, healthy lives and achieve their dreams. So, she got together with some friends and together they started Fostering Connections St. Johns in February 2019. They have since expanded their services to Putnam, Flagler, and Volusia counties.

What can you do to help, in Aubrie’s words There are many things the community can do to help kids in foster care. The most important thing is to show compassion, kindness, and empathy. All kids in foster care have been through significant trauma and abuse. They may express sadness, be withdrawn, or display behaviors that may be confusing or difficult to understand. What kids in foster care need most is positive relationships with other adults and peers. Positive relationships help kids who have been through trauma begin to heal. Through showing kindness, meeting the child where they are, showing nonjudgement of their family situation, and being there to give support, you can make a difference with any child in foster care you meet. Sharing your time and talents with a child in care is another way to make a difference. From leading a cooking class, hosting a student intern, or filling backpacks for our Back to School Bash, there is something everyone can do to support kids in foster care. Kids in foster care have many needs for essentials and support programs for enrichment, life skills, and college/career readiness. You can help through financial contributions to these programs to help uplift children and youth impacted by foster care through providing needed essentials and educational programs. Becoming a teacher has shaped who she is today Since teaching is the heart of her work at Fostering Connections St. Johns, Aubrie teaches every day by educating our community about the foster care community and ways to help and mentor the youth they serve. By educating families about resources in the community, Fostering Connections is positively impacting families and lives. Aubrie is currently going through training to become a Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) practitioner. Once she graduates in October, she will be able to provide training to families, schools, and organizations about how to care for children impacted by trauma and build positive relationships. What is Aubrie’s next plan Professionally, Aubrie will expand Fostering Connections St. Johns services statewide, open a transitional housing program for girls aging out of care to include a working farm and a community center that will serve as the hub for foster care, offering classes and support programs for youth and their families. Fostering Connections St. Johns will continue to help build healthy families and children. What else Aubrie would like for us to know Through collaboration and working together as a community, we can make a difference. One donation or a few hours of volunteering can have an incredible impact on children and youth in foster care. Aubrie said, “We had a client who aged out of foster care and needed a car to get to work. He had been through many obstacles in his life and felt that good things just didn’t happen to him. A member of the community stepped in and gave him a car. The gift of a car changed his life! Today, he is employed and has his own apartment and his outlook on life has become more positive. The work of Fostering Connections St. Johns, with the support of our community and donors, is changing lives. If you would like more information on Fostering Connections St. Johns please g




Fine Art Photographer Lenny Foster 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, The Snite Museum at The University of Notre Dame and The Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center in St. Augustine. Gallery One Forty Four at 144 King Street, St. Augustine is his gallery and studio. In addition, he is honored to have his work in many private collections worldwide.

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The Right To Vote

Through his unique approach to visual storytelling, award—winning photographer Lenny Foster shines light on the largely unknown atrocities, struggles, and triumphs that tell the story of African Americans in St. Augustine.


The Shrimper


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continued from page 36

In addition to documenting the spaces where important historical events unfolded, Foster brings each scene to life by strategically placing shoes in his compositions to represent the individuals and the groups that stood there. Foster explains that his decision to use shoes as a vehicle for story- telling initially came as a result of the controversy surrounding the kneeling of professional athletes protesting racism in America and has expanded from there.

MLK At The Door

First School

Her Sanctuary

“I aim to show who we are and where we have been as a people in this area.” —Lenny Foster




A Classic Theatre

byGlo MacDonald

Back in Action in St. Augustine


ince March of 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of society, and the Arts are no exception. Most local theater companies went dark during the worst of it, including St Augustine’s long running A Classic Theatre (ACT). Behind the scenes however, the Board of ACT was using that missed season as an opportunity to rethink, revise and reinvent their mission and structure. ACT was able to do a couple of productions during the pandemic period, including The Independents at the Art Association, and Cox and Box|Penelope Ann’s Revenge, in collaboration with First Coast Opera. With the sad passing of their much-admired stalwart board member Anne Kraft, and the retirement of founder Jean Rahner, new members were installed, incorporating fresh ideas into the signature classic framework. The result will be on display during their upcoming 2021-22 season, showcasing five diverse productions with some of the best local talent in the area. A musical revue fundraiser, The Lullaby of Broadway, will kick off the season on a high note at the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, 102 M L King Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Directed by Clifford Parrish, this is A Classic Theatre’s new initiative to add music to their repertoire. There will be two performances. The first on Saturday, October 9th at 7:30pm and a Matinee at 2pm on Sunday, October 10th. Debuting in October is The Dining Room by A. R. Gurney, asking the question “Does anyone even use a dining room anymore?” Using that room, and its declining

importance, to comment on the state of American society and its evolution, for better and worse. The result is hilarious and touching. All performances will be at the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center. Dates are Friday, October 29th and 30th at 7:30pm and Sunday October 31st at 2:30pm, and Friday and Saturday, November 5th and 6th at 7:30pm and Sunday, November 7th at 2:30pm. Premiering in February, 2022 is an original play, The Sisters O’Toole by local playwright Amy Lauer Goldin. This comedic drama reveals the struggles of a complicated Irish Catholic family riddled with secrets, scandal and mommy issues. Join them as they deal with crises of faith, unfaithfulness, prejudice, hypocrisy and the unlikely possibility of love, all with dark Irish humor. March, 2022 introduces an intriguing modern reimagining of Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit, as three characters slowly realize the true meaning of Hell. Part psychological thriller, part farce, this new adaptation of an absurdist classic, updates the language and setting but the ideas are as relevant as they were when the play was first performed in Nazi occupied Paris. The final production of the season, The Immigrant, written by Mark Harelik is coming in May, 2022. Haskell Harelik, a nineteen-year-old Russian émigré, arrives at the port of Galveston, Texas in 1909. Far from his native land and struggling with an alien language, Haskell becomes a penny-a-piece fruit peddler in and around the small town of Hamilton. In the decades that follow, he attains success, love and family. Religion meets religion, culture meets culture, fear meets fear, and love meets love in this heartwarming, uniquely American story. g

For more information and tickets go to 40

photos byGlo MacDonald


A Classic Theatre Annual Gathering

It was time to catch up with all the exciting things happening, to meet with friends old and new at WB Tatter Studio Gallery where ACT members gathered with anticipation for their upcoming season. A Classic Theatre takes pride in producing a wide range of offerings that fit its mission of producing Classic, Historic and/or original works. Since 2005, ACT is known for presenting works that would not ordinarily be seen in our fair City. Check out ACT’s 2021-22 Season lineup:


Way Cool


“Once we tested the initial prototypes, I n a time when so many knew right away that we had a product that conversation topics are could make a positive impact for people,” says controversial, it’s nice to Bowman. “I just never realized how big the know everyone can still market would be for keeping people cool.” agree about the hot and The concept of the Cooling Hat Insert humid weather here in is relatively simple. You initially freeze the Florida. For local entrecooling pads and then place them directly preneur Peter Bowman, into your hat where they stay cool for up to hot weather is more than just small talk; thirty to forty minutes. The product is sold it’s his business. in 2-packs so as customers use one insert, For Bowman, hot weather is not just they can recharge the other insert in a coolan inconvenience, it’s a serious health iser. This allows users to simply interchange sue. According to Bowman, millions of the inserts for an all-day cooling solution. people suffer from the adversity of heat Bowman launched his Cooling stress - a medically recognized condition Hat Insert in June 2021 and immediLocal Entrepreneur Peter Bowman that attacks the body to the point of both ately received orders from all over the physical and mental risk. For some, exInvents a Cool Way to Beat the Florida Heat world. What he thought would be a cessive heat exposure and heat illness cooling solution for active sports enthusiasts quickly turned can even become fatal. For Bowman, heat related illness presented out to be much more. People from all walks of life began a problem that he was determined to solve. “I tried every cooling product on the market,” says Bowman. “Cooling purchasing the product for reasons that keeps expanding the towels, moisture wicking shirts and personal misting fans but nothing gave market opportunity for the product. “I knew the cooling products market was a growth area,” says me any kind of sustained relief. So, about 2 years ago, I decided to invent a solution.” Bowman, an avid tennis player, golfer and outdoor lover set Bowman. “I had no idea just how big the reach and appeal of out to develop a cooling solution that would help people stay cool - even this product could be.” Bowman quickly segmented customers into three markets; Sports, Work and Recreation and began to target in the most heated conditions. “It took me about a year of trial and error,” says Bowman. “Then, advertising efforts to very specific groups of people that deal with in 2019, I realized we could potentially turn the hats people wear into a extremely hot conditions. “Aside from our sports market for golf, tennis and pickleball personal cooling solution that could provide instant and long-term cooling relief.” After developing prototypes and significant testing, Bowmans’ type activities,” says Bowman, “we noticed a huge demand from new cooling solution - The Cooling Hat Insert - was born. The Cooling people that are forced to work outside like roofers, landscapers Hat Insert is a poly-gel freezing pad that easily fits into most headwear. and even first responders. We also became very popular with peoBowman knew at this point the Cooling Hat insert could revolutionize ple that fish and hike and enjoy recreational activities but want to avoid the harsh, hot weather.” how people wear hats and keep cool in hot weather. As part of his new mission to keep people cool, Bowman formed “Millions of people wear hats and headwear to avoid the heat,” Bowman says, “but hats are really only good for blocking out the sun. his company Chiller Body, LLC and is now working on designing sevWearing hats can trap unwanted heat and create a greenhouse effect eral new cooling products that he believes will help his company grow inside your head. This can ultimately raise your body temperature; in the future. “We are more than one cool product,” claims Bowman. “We are a brand and a movement to reverse the negative health affects especially during physical activity.” While working on his invention and developing a scalable manu- of heat stress for people in all walks of life. We won’t stop until everyfacturing supply chain, Bowman hired a local patent attorney to in- one has a chance to be cool.” Bowman says the one question that almost everyone asks is when vestigate how to protect his cool idea. After months of research and will we see this product on Shark Tank. design, Bowman filed for patent protection for his Cooling Hat Insert For more information about the Chiller Body Cooling Hat Inserts, in the US and China as well as other countries where hot weather visit g presents a serious health issue. 42

Authentic Mexican food, from nachos and ceviche, to enchiladas, burritos, and (of course) tacos. Taquería with a full bar, prepares and serves authentic Mexican food, and offers a wide variety of Mexican beverages from Coca Mexican to Margaritas. Dine-in & Curbside pickup.

TACO LIBRE #2 ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH (904) 679-4230 1001 A1A Beach Boulevard

TACO LIBRE #3 ST. AUGUSTINE (904) 679-5279 2600 N. Ponce De Leon Blvd.


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

Fine wines from Argentina Australia California France Italy Spain


eekin´ of Jimmy Buffet while rockin’ their tourist apparel Sergeants Mathew Doornbos, Brandon Austin, Adam Lorey, all recruiters for Washington Army National Guard were seen having breakfast at Georgie’s Diner. These guys Googled Vacations Florida and decided to take a weekend to journey to the Oldest City. The National Guard is a unique and essential element of the U.S. military. Founded in 1636 as a citizen force organized to protect families and towns from hostile attacks, today’s National Guard Soldiers hold civilian jobs or attend college while maintaining their military training part-time, always ready to defend the American way of life in the event of an emergency. Citizen-Soldiers As a Guard Soldier, their primary area of operation is their home state. Any governor or the president himself can call on the Guard at a moment’s notice. Typically, Guard Soldiers live at home, where they can be near friends and family while holding a civilian job. Drill is scheduled for just one weekend each month. Two-week Annual Training takes place once each year. Mission The National Guard National Guard Soldiers serve both community and country. Their versatility enables them to respond to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more. The Guard always responds with speed, strength, and efficiency, helping to defend American freedom and ideals. Their motto: “Always Ready, Always There!” Thank you, gentleman, for all that you do. You are respected and admired [even if you do dress funny]. 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


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


St. Augustine Fall Fling Brings It All Home byMonika Bernthal


he concept is simple. A homegrown, hometown festival. The impact is enormous. An annual event that celebrates all the Nation’s Oldest City has to offer. And that’s exactly what’s happening on October 23rd and 24th at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds. The St. Augustine Fall Fling will showcase local musicians, the most talented local artisans, artists and crafters, local food trucks and a myriad of nonprofits. But this two-day event is not your average festival – it will be an experience that touches that feel-good part of your soul and leaves you longing for the next annual event. The 2021 St. Augustine Fall Fling will be jam-packed with activities such as the Barktober Fest pet costume contest, two full days of music and entertainment, a classic car show, a kids’ zone, a petting zoo, a Jeep show, and more. The diversity of the festival’s offerings means there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, raffles and contests will abound to benefit a variety of local nonprofits. “We wanted to create an event that supports as many charitable organizations as possible,” explained co-creator Julie Olsson. That’s why the event offers free participation to any charitable cause and has created festivities that will directly benefit local nonprofits. Organizations that have already signed on to participate in the event are Daniel Kids, Costumers for a Cause, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of St. Johns County, Girl Scout Troop 1912, One Blood and ACE Alliance. Co-created by Julie Olsson and Cindy Dennison, St. Augustine Fall Fling answers the need for a fun, hometown event. Meanwhile, the event supports and celebrates our local businesses and organizations – and everything the Nation’s Oldest City has to offer. With Julie and Cindy’s commitment to the community, creating St. Augustine Fall Fling was only natural. Julie has deep roots in St. Augustine’s history dating back

Julie Olsson & Cindy Dennison Co-creators of St. Augustine Fall Fling Happening October 23 & 24, 2021 at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds to the original Minorcan settlers from 1565. As a result of her heritage along with decades of experience in the hospitality and event industry, Julie wanted nothing more than to create a hometown gathering featuring good old-fashioned fun while celebrating all the nation’s oldest city has to offer. Likewise, Cindy, who has worn many hats (everything from first responder to construction worker to managing Whitney Lab to artist to maker) always dreamed of putting on a festival. She wanted to provide a platform for artists and vendors to showcase their talents and help them achieve their goals of being successful small business owners. Through the St. Augustine Fall Fling Julie and Cindy both have realized their dreams through the creation of this fun community event. So, grab the kids, your picnic blanket and celebrate all our hometown has to offer in one place for two days at the beautiful St. Johns County Fairgrounds. Learn more and get your tickets at g

Browse STA Marketplace to discover the best local products, services, restaurants, organizations and happenings. Fnd fun local events, markets, shopping opportunities and fundraisers happening in and around St. Augustine.


the weeds

Catch 27’s

by Kelley Fitzsimonds

Marcus Osterhause


he Weeds is a new article (with a bit of industry lingo) featuring the best and brightest bartenders in our town that might be under the radar of many of our locals. Hardworking, top notch hospitality professionals that keep our towns beverages flowing.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Marcus Osterhause from Catch 27. Marcus is a bright person with an easy smile who definitely holds his own at Catch 27’s bar. I call Catch’s bar the biggest little bar in town - with four seats and one of the most jam-packed full-liquor selections around! Everything from allocated bourbons to one of the finest rum selections in town. But back to Marcus, we sat down for a few minutes, and this is what we discussed.

“We don’t sell the lighting that we keep at the right levels based on the time of day and we don’t sell the music that we keep at the right tempo and volume based on the amount of people in the room. We also don’t sell the books, bitters and barware that line our retail shelves. We certainly don’t sell the well thought-out and simply but beautifully presented cocktails and mixed drinks that we serve night after night. What we do sell is hospitality. All the aforementioned comes included in the price. And I want it to be a bargain that guests are happy and excited to pay us for again and again. It seems to work to everyone’s advantage.” —Sother Teague @creativedrunk of NYC’s @amoryamargo

LOT: so Marcus, how did you get into the hospitality industry? Marcus: Kind of by accident. I moved down here about six years ago from Maryland. My brother roomed with owner Stephen Hutson at Flagler College, so I vaguely knew him. I knew of and visited Catch before moving here and one day Stephen asked me if I want a job. So, I was like yeah and he started me in the dishpit where I was for about a year. That started in October of 2015. Then I started food running and hosting, and that’s when I really started to enjoy it. I liked interacting with people and creating an experience for someone. That’s when it changed from, you know clock-in clock-out. It started to become fun for me. There was talk of a bar program for a longtime, pretty much as long as I’ve been working here. As soon as we got the ball rolling on that, Stephen approaches me about becoming a bartender and I said, ‘Yes! That sounds fun but, I don’t know anything.’ I was 21 at the time and Stephen said, “No that’s ok, there is a lot of training that goes into it. You’ll work as a barback learning spirits, classic cocktails, things like that.” I had two shifts as a barback and then they just kind of threw me in there. LOT: So, Marcus, what is your go-to drink order? Marcus: I am very simple, I like bourbon, so an old fashioned or a Paper Plane. LOT: You’re stranded on a deserted island, and you can have as much of any three bottles, what do you have? Marcus: Like I said, ‘I am a bourbon guy.’ My original thought was stockpile the bourbon, but I get three, so Buffalo Tace for bourbon. You can sip it or shoot it, it’s super versatile. But, on a deserted island, I’m probably going to want some rum. So Probitas for rum. Then I figured I would probably want some tequila, so Corralejo Reposado. LOT: Okay, sounds like you almost have a full bar! We imagine that there are fruit trees and sugar cane growing here on our island. Next question, your hangover cure? Marcus: I really wish that I had a better answer for this one. I don’t get them a lot but when I do it’s just miserable but sleeping more - kind of sleep it off. Waking up and drinking lots of water and then the one thing that really helps is getting outside and doing something, like biking. But leisurely biking, not like a sprint, and getting some sunshine. LOT: Coffee or tea? Marcus: Coffee, not like in a coffee nerd way. My sister-in-law roasts all of the coffee for the Kookaburra which is awesome, I respect that, I like the idea of good coffee but I am happy with like 711 coffee that’s been sitting on the burner for two days. LOT: Right on, let’s talk favorite spots in town, lets limit that to two. Marcus: Ooh, okay I’ll go Ice plant and Odd Birds. Both cocktail bars. LOT: Give me your only in Saint Augustine Day, you have folks in front out of town and want to give them the full experience? Marcus: Start with breakfast at the Blue Hen, lunch is Floridian, happy hour at Barley Republic, dinner at Ice Plant and late night at Odd Birds. 48

LOT: Okay, sounds like a full day. So any ingredients that you are excited about right now? Marcus: Spirit wise, Zach Ramsey introduced me to CHAWAR Andean Spirit that has been super fun to play with, it so different but really versatile. I put a drink on the menu with it and playing around with new whiskies. I’m really into American whiskey, some scotches, I don’t like them heavily peated ones. (CHAWAR is an agave spirit made by women from the Andes mountains of Ecuador). LOT: Who do you look up to in the industry? Marcus: I thought a lot about this one. I came into this industry knowing nothing, so a lot of on-the-job training, Greg Goldstein was immensely helpful. I think he was a little bit weary of me because I didn’t know anything, but he stuck with me. I completed Bar Smarts, but basic things about spirits and cocktails, I texted him every shift. You can google how to make a Manhattan and get a dozen different builds, but I wanted to know how he wanted me to make a Manhattan. LOT: So, Marcus to wrap things up, what makes the juice worth the squeeze, what do you do to have fun and relax? Marcus: I like going rock climbing. I’m excited about the new place going in by Epic Theatres. I love going to the beach, soccer, and I am really involved with my church youth group. g

Our names are Brian & Deborah Mileham. Proud owners of St. Augustine City Tours. We are both experienced international travel tour guides that settled in St. Augustine in 2015 and absolutely love the town and its history. We want to share the colorful history of this town with you, tourists and locals alike. From 16th Century architecture and culture to 19th and 20th century entrepreneurs that made this town what it is today. Facts, myths and legends abound. It will be our privilege and pleasure to share St. Augustine’s mystique with you.


www.staugustinecitytours .com

Marcus has a Cocktail that he is particularly proud of that he wanted to share with our readers.

The Members Only CHAWAR Andean Spirit lemon juice Creme de Violette tarragon simple syrup

Catch 27 40 Charlotte St, St. Augustine


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AJ’s Kitchen & Cocktails Comfort food with a local twist featuring tasty big plates, and small plates that will hit the spot. Featuring picturesque views of the King & Bear golf course. The back patio has relaxing chairs and firepits that will ensure your event will keep going after the sun goes down. Specialty drinks, beer samplers, and a verity wine are available for enjoyment.

1 King & Bear Dr St. Augustine, FL 32092 904.615.1868 —