Issue 5- Loving Our Town St Augustine - March 2022

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issue five / 2022

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issue five / 2022

Editor’s Note

Each month I am grateful to collaborate with some of the most talented, creative, and giving women in this town, who share their gifts through their contributions to our publication. This month that sphere expanded even more. In working on this edition with an eye towards Women’s History Month, I’ve had the chance to meet and work with so many amazing women. In digging a bit more into our history, I learned about the women of St. Augustine who stepped up outside the ‘acceptable norm’ - making brand new strides for us all. By expanding my circles in the present, I got to spend time with courageous and fierce women who carry on, bring about new change, and always stand ready to support each other. All out here... making a difference. So, this month’s publication is dedicated to all the women out there shaping St Augustine, whether in business, education, homes, charities, health, government ... keeping history alive or making it… holding it all together… making it happen and continuing to bring life, change, and new light to our city.

CONTENTS

With Gratitude, Mare Martelli - Editor

Your Fashion Fix What Does a Scientist Look Like? Contributors Hats, Horses, and Hope All The Single Ladies Painting Our Town Getting Fired Up at Urban Asado Pet Friendly St. Augustine Local Music Scene The Women Who Shape St. Augustine St. Augustine Book Beat The Creations of Enzo Torcellitti Treasure Found In The Weeds Owning A Piece of History ACE Alliance As If! Returns The St. Augustine Orchestra The Local Scene

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By Susan Swearingen

I

n the history of women, we can agree that fashion has a big impact on women’s role and function in society. This is exactly why I stopped watching The Handmaid’s Tale after seeing how the infamous red cloak evolved season after season into terrifyingly oppressed uniforms. I felt my breathing constrict just watching the shows. So, take a deep breath with me as I share positive and uplifting women who have greatly impacted our style today.

Photography by David Steele

Clothes Aren’t Going to Change the World

…the Women Who Wear Them Will

“The first advice I give to anybody is that the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself.” - Diane Von Furstenberg DVF is most known for the wrap dress, an ageless style made of lightweight bold printed jersey that fits all bodies. A game changer in the 70’s, she started a liberating style movement for women echoing the rise for women’s rights. We gained a flattering garment without zippers or buttons, didn’t have to iron and could be put on (or taken off) in a minute. Her styles clearly come from a groundedness within and that is what she encourages other women to find through her fashions. Greatly influenced by her mother Lily, a Holocaust survivor, “I feel it is my duty to make up for all the suffering she endured, to always celebrate freedom and live fully.”. Her clothing line captures that spirit and I’m now on a hunt for a DVF wrap dress of my own. “Fashion… means that you should be able to express yourself the way you want to. It’s your body, your life and your world. That’s why I don’t think fashion is frivolous. It enables every single individual to express themselves - how great is that?” -Vera Wang Vera Wang launched her wedding dress design business in 1987 at age 40 after having a hard time finding a dress for her own wedding. She gave us a fresh perspective on how brides could dress for what is still known as one of life’s biggest events. Her designs, influenced by her younger years as an accomplished figure skater, push the boundaries of what bridal wear including a black wedding dress collection that shifted the industry. She designs with the tenets given to her by her mom “that every age has its style, its taste, every kind of woman is beautiful in her own way”. Even as the ideals of wedding days may be changing, Vera Wang stands for celebrating the way that we are and the freedom to express ourselves through our fashion choices. “Every woman deserves to feel sexy, We are sexy and multifaceted, and I want women to embrace that the fullest.” - Rihanna Oh, where do I begin with this enigma of a woman who has only one name: Rihanna. While Vera Wang was redefining the bridal industry, Rihanna was born. Before turning 30 years old, she ran the torch for female empowerment and immersed fashion and beauty with diversity and inclusion. In 2017, she offered 40 different shades of foundation, unseen in any line of make up and immediately fired up major companies to produce shades across the truer larger range of skin tones. She produced fashion shows as online streaming entertainment highlighting real people with real differences, her models redefined rules across all categories. Rules that essentially stripped Victoria’s Secret angels’ wings and ushered them right out the back door. Her lingerie line is a celebration of ranges of bodies and is created for the female gaze dispelling what many woman have thought, “I can’t try that on because I’m not made like that.” Rihanna gave us more reference points to look at and basically helped me feel like I could survive on more than a celery juice and a yoga class. That old adage, clothes make the man, while true is paled in comparison to the words of Anne Klein, “Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will.”.

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challenge the public perception of what a scientist looks like,” Vance says. Bold signage piqued visitors’ curiosity by asking, “do women in science have to work harder to stand out?” or, “have you ever been disrespected, overlooked, passed over, silenced, or rewarded differently because of your identity or gender?” As I made my way through the exhibit, I pondered its central question, “What is the consequence to science of leaving people out?” Finally, I reflected on all the female scientists I have met and felt inspired to draw on a celebratory mustache, posing in solidarity with female scientists. The Bearded Lady Project provides challenging questions for some entities, but not at AMCD; we leave no one out. Photography by Mary Bellavista

What Does a Scientist Look Like? By Trish Becker

T

he late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg used to say, “Women belong in all places decisions are made.” I am a non-partisan County Commissioner at the Anastasia Mosquito Control District (AMCD) of St. Johns County. I am also the Educational Chairperson, focusing on engaging public outreach. Since it is Women’s History Month, I wanted to share some statistics about women in science. I am in the fourth year of my term, and I can tell you from experience that men dominate the science fields. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics data, less than 30% of researchers worldwide who identify as women or a minority are in scientific and engineering fields. Meaning vast discrepancies occur in who receives funding, professional development, advancement, and publication. When women get excluded from decision-making, a vital perspective – belonging to a significant portion of the population - is left out. Governments and businesses must make essential decisions inclusive and intersectional.

AMCD offers environmentally friendly mosquito control services, community education, and scientific research of mosquito-borne diseases. Our goal is to protect citizens, and visitors from the nuisance and life-threatening viruses’ mosquitoes can spread. Scientists around the globe visit our state-of-the-art facilities because we ensure everyone feels empowered to succeed, no matter their identity. At AMCD, women make up 50% of management, 60% of the Science/Applied Research Programs, 45% of the staff, and 100% of the Commissioners Board. Not only that, but we are also the highest cited Mosquito District globally, and our Science Manager, Entomologist Dr. Whitney Qualls, has an impressive list of publications. It is outstanding to have such a diverse team of women and men from different backgrounds, using their diversified talents to fight the world’s number one killer of humans: the mosquito. This summer, I hope to inspire future female and minority scientists at the opening of the AMCD Disease Vector Educational Center. The center will be the first-of-its-kind in the U.S. and will provide an indepth look into mosquito and insect biology and the vectors they carry. It will be accessible, hands-on, and perfect for all ages to learn about vector control’s past, present, and future. In addition, the AMCD center will make St. Johns County a top destination for scientific conferences, training, and research. The center is autonomous, and it will create a positive economic impact without increasing the millage rate because of its Green construction. It features a floor-toceiling glass insectary, a theater for presentations, live beehives and ant wall, a full-size helicopter and flight simulator, an Armed Forces exhibit, and eighty interactive displays and microscopes. In addition, the exterior has an insect-themed playground, a twelve-foot-long mosquito sculpture, bat houses, and a reflecting garden. At the center, everyone can see first-hand what it looks like to be a scientist. Hint, it’s full of amazing humans. The next time you wonder, “what does a scientist look like?” the answer is simple. Whatever she/he/they want to look like.

In 2021, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit the Smithsonian museums, including a Natural History Museum exhibit titled Outbreaks. It was about mosquitoes and the deadly viruses they spread, killing over one million people worldwide each year. Afterward, I entered the Bearded Lady Project, a traveling exhibition by photographer Kelsey Vance. It featured thirty-eight female scientists working while wearing a fake beard. “The purpose is to LOT STA / 7


CONTRIBUTORS 8 / MARCH 2022

David Steele David was raised in Florida and graduated from The Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach. He worked for more than decade in New York City as a freelance editorial and advertising photographer. Clients include: ABC, CBS, Martha Stewart Living, As If Magazine, Harrell and Harrell, Connect Agency and the Jacksonville Symphony. Cathlene Miner Cathlene was born and raised in Florida and loves her life as a mentor, entrepreneur, bestselling author of The 30 Day Self Perception Makeover Method. Founder, and CEO of Hopefull Handbags Global Nonprofit, homeschool mom, wife, mother of 4, and grandmother (Sea), and a love of anything that brings a smile and joy as a self-professed glass overfloweth kinda girl. www.CathleneMiner.com www.HopefullHandbags.org Jennifer Flynt Jennifer is the Administrator of the St. Augustine Art Association. Originally from Miami, FL, Jennifer graduated from Miami International University of Art & Design with a degree in graphic design and a passion for art and history. After four and a half years of working in communications, she walked into the STAAA in 2016, and never left. Jennifer oversees all of the exhibitions, programs and Permanent Collection at the Art Association. John Moore John is a native of Key West, Florida who holds a degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University. John is a competition-level Craft Cocktail bartender, an award-winning Craft Spirits executive, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the US Bartender’s Guild. He proudly calls St. Augustine his home. Alise Sheppard Alise is a second-generation Realtor who combines her love of real estate with her passion for photography and design. She has 30+ years experience as a professional photographer and was also a design consultant for her parents’ Real Estate and construction company in RI. Her greatest desire is to provide exceptional service to her customers whether they are buying or selling their home. She joined the Watson Family of Real Estate Professionals in 2017. Mary Bellavista Mary is a local photographer who started her business in 2015 after the birth of her first child. She loves photographing families, food and everyday lifestyle in St. Augustine, Florida. She is a mother of 3 and loves the flexibility and creativity her business has provided to her the last 6 years. IG@marybellavistaphotos Stefanie Kite Stefanie had over 15 years of professional experience in hospitality and student tourism before joining the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum two years ago. Stefanie manages daily operations, museum staff, marketing, and special programming. Stefanie is a self-described “History Nerd” and enjoys historical fashion, genealogical research, and planning her next big travel adventure. Linda Dumas Linda is a Bostonian turned Floridian, mom of 2 littles, local pharmacist, healthcare blogger, and most happy at the beach with her family. After receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy, she moved to St. Augustine with her husband in search of sunshine, warmer temperatures, careers, and happily found it all here! In 2020, she launched Apothea Co. - a pharmaceutical consulting company. Linda passionately blogs about a wide range of health topics. Follow along at Apothea.co


Lauren Eastman Laura is a boy mom who chases waves, practices yoga and writes every chance she gets. She loves fine stationery, ripping pages from dreamy magazines, and arranging flowers. For the past 20 years, she has told stories for entrepreneurs, chefs, yoga instructors and Fortune 500 companies through her PR firm, Issima Communications. She launched Issima Publications in 2020 to begin telling her own stories, co-written with her son. They live on Anastasia Island along with Benny, their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and cat Dorian Grey. Trish “the Commish” Becker Trish is a mother, wife, and pet owner committed to protecting the health and well-being of her fellow St. Johns residents, our economy and our environment. She has long been a community advocate and helped establish the local Women’s March Alliance. When “Trish the Commish” isn’t tackling districtwide issues; she often can be found playing the drums, volunteering at the Lincolnville Museum, or camping and riding dirt bikes with her family.

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

LOVING OUR TOWN Lenny Gillette Publisher 904-540-8672 lenny@lovingouttown.com Ann Gillette Publishing Operations

Michelle Trainor Michelle has served our community as an RN for the past 5 years since moving to St. Augustine from the Northeast with her husband and dogs; 2 Siberian Huskies and a Corgi.Her greatest joy is owning and operating the Adventure Pets shop in downto wn with her husband. They specialize in adventure gear for dogs, healthy treats and interactive toys. Visit them at 51 Cordova St. or online at adventurepets.dog

John Dickie IV Production and Design

Robert Waldner Robert Waldner grew up in the Greater Boston area. He fell in love with St. Augustine at a young age and moved here in 1999. A writer of poetry and essays since the age of 15, Robert has been a contributing member of the Ancient City Poets since 2013. He currently lives in St. Augustine with his wife and three children.

Loving Our Town St Augustine 24 Cathedral Place Suite 202 St Augustine FL 32084

Susan Swearingen “Embrace life with an open heart and fierce soul” is the mantra and lifestyle of this WildHeart Boutique owner. Her King Street storefront provides a unique shopping experience serving women of all sizes and shapes looking to express their own authentic voice through fashion. She combines her business savvy gained from a 25-year career as a corporate business consultant with her background as a mindfulness and yoga teacher resulting in a unique environment for her customers. IG@wild_wildheart Amy Alloways A native of Maryland. Amy Alloways is a REALTOR with Berkshire Hathaway, she considers herself “Commdential” able to assist customers in residential but specializes in Commercial Real Estate. Amy is the newest member of the Board of Directors for St Francis House and Port In The Storm. She has one daughter Tabitha and an adorable little Italian Greyhound named Mia. Kelley Fitzsimonds Special needs dad and loving husband first. Kelley is a 20 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 St. Augustine for sixteen years since moving here from the Atlanta area. Monika Bernthal A huge proponent of the Go-Local movement, Monika 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, she is a seasoned writer who regularly shares local stories in LOT’s STA Marketplace Spotlight. A 15 year resident of St. Augustine, Monika’s 3 children, husband of 20 years, and 2 furkids keep her deeply engaged in and committed to our community

Mare Martelli Editor

Next Publication Deadline: April 6, 2022 Loving Our Town is a publication centered on community. If you have ideas, an event or other content of interest, please email: editor@lovingourtown.com

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 ©2022 Photography ©2022 Digital ©2022 Introduction

LOT STA / 9


Hats, Horses, and Hope A Derby Day of Sipping, Shopping, Style and Support

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By Cathlene Miner and Lori Long-Colburn

M

ay 7th, 2022! Join us for an afternoon of sipping, shopping, style, and support of a great cause on Saturday, May 7th, 2022 at the Raintree Restaurant, 102 San Marco Boulevard. Bring out your finest Derby Hat and celebrate the Kentucky Derby, with Hopefull Handbags, at the Raintree Restaurant in uptown St. Augustine from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $80 per person in advance; $90 at the door Act quickly, as we sold out well in advance last year. . Tickets are available at www.hopefullhandbags.org

Bring along a new or gently used handbag, donations of journals, scarves, and necessities, we will pass it on to HH. For your kind donation, you will receive tickets to enter our raffle of prizes.

Come ready to be welcomed with bottomless champagne upon arrival. Trot on over to the Photobooth, purchase tickets for incredible raffle items, and shop with our amazing vendors. You will be treated to a fabulous lunch; including Salmon baked with a Lobster Champagne Cream Sauce, followed by their classic brownie bites dessert. . Free-flowing champagne will continue and Mint Juleps, are always available, for purchase at the bar.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence found that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. In one year, this equates to more than 10 million people a year!

But hold your horses, there is so much more! Everyone who wears their most imaginative millinery will be in the running for the “Mane” event - The Best Hat Contest. Jockey around the vendors’ stands and purchase everything from jazzy jewelry to stylish apparel, fine fillies will be parading chic fashions. It will be an afternoon of galloping fun with your best friends!

“We hope this fun Kentucky Derby-themed event will bring area businesses and community members together to raise awareness about the issue of domestic abuse, providing hope and support to survivors and their children because there can be a safe, healthy, happy life after abuse,” said Cathlene Miner, Author, Selfperception and fitness Mentor, Founder of Hopefull Handbags Global. “We believe in a world without domestic abuse and invite you to join us in creating that world. Together we are stronger.”

Derby Day at the Raintree Restaurant raises funds for survivors of domestic abuse and their children. Providing hope through Hopefull Handbags. (a non-profit 501-3C)

All net proceeds will go directly to Hopefull Handbags to further the mission. Our Vision Project is Carolyn’s Haven of Hope Bridge Housing which will be the bridge to the other side. Go to Hopefull Handbags.org to read about our vision. The base of what we do at Hopefull Handbags began by coordinating community donations of once-loved, beautiful handbags, filling them with necessities, and delivering them to domestic abuse survivors residing in abuse shelters, groups, organizations, or participating in Hopefull Handbags programs. This work has grown to include supporting “Pop-up Shelters” in hotels and other temporary housing when shelters are full, creating Safe Spots for survivors with information on resources to give them hope. Self Perception, Self Defense and Journaling Workshops are available to improve the self-esteem and confidence of survivors. We provide other holistic approach workshops, and, as a preventative step, we offer workshops to teens and the public.

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All the Single Ladies The Women of the Ximenez-Fatio House

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Photography by Julia Delbecchi


By Stephanie Kite

H

orses clip-clop down the narrow brick of Aviles Street carrying snuggling lovers past the bustling galleries and eateries deeper into the quiet neighborhood of the Old Spanish Quarter. What lies ensconced behind the wooden doors and coquina walls of the oldest neighborhood of the Ancient City? The big white Spanish-Style house on Aviles Street has enchanted visitors to St. Augustine for more than two centuries. Aptly named the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum for the family who built the house, Ximenez, and Fatio (Fay-she-oh) for Louisa Fatio. Written about as a must-see in every local tourism guide, the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum has continually reinvented itself as a tourist destination for over 223 years just as the enterprising women who have operated their businesses there since 1798. A gathering place to show grandchildren and retell old stories about how great grandma helped save the buildings, the many weekends of hard work and restoration, the antiques researched and purchased to fill the rooms, and memories of luncheons with ladies in hats and heels. Their names may be familiar to the locals of St. Augustine. Whitehurst, Anderson, and Fatio are still names heard in the social and political circles of our town. The house serves as the American version of an “ancestral home” for many of these descendants. Who were all these ladies? These single ladies? Juana Teresa Pellicer Juana Teresa Pellicer was born at the New Smyrna colony as the child of Menorcan indentured servants Francisco Pellicer and Margarita Femanias in 1776. Francisco was one of the Menorcan’s who fled the colony for St. Augustine in hopes of convincing the Spanish government of Turnbull’s horrors to save their families. At the age of seven, Juana’s mother passed away and her father quickly remarried, having nine additional children with his new wife. At the age of 15, whether to escape her crowded household or as part of a business transaction by her father, as it is not known, Juana met and married Don Andrés Ximenez, 25 years her senior, in 1791. Despite their difference, by all accounts the marriage was

a happy one and produced five children. Ximenez was a successful merchant and the couple purchased a lot on Hospital Street in 1797 and built the large three-story coquina home still standing today. Juana was a businesswoman in her own right and operated a tavern on the first floor. The establishment, not unlike the kind found on nearly every street corner in the business district today, served as a neighborhood quick-stop of sorts for residents. After a long day fishing or working at the Castillo, one may stop at the Ximenez store for a sip of madeira, buy wedge of cheese for the Dona, choose their numbers for the week’s lotteria, play a round of billiards, and catch up on the neighborhood gossip. Their story unfortunately had a tragic end, however. In 1802 at just 26 years old, Juana succumbed to yellow fever. Two of the Courtesy St. Augustine young children, Francisco Historical Society Collection and Antonio, three and one years old, then passed in 1803. Andrés, now a widower with three small children, remained in the home until his death in 1806 at 55. The children would live with their grandparents until moving to Key West and Cuba in the early 1820’s with many of the Spanish townspeople. Unfortunately, with their parents dead and the United States possession of Florida in 1821, we lose track of lives of the Ximenez children from this point onward. (Continued on the following page) LOT STA / 13


(Continued from the previous page) Margaret Cook and Eliza Whitehurst Florida became a U.S. Territory in 1821, bringing people to see this “foreign” land. In 1830, Margaret Cook purchased the property from the Ximenez heirs and converted it into a boarding house. Margaret Cook was a well-to-do widow from Charleston, South Carolina who was married, became a mother, widowed, married again, and widowed again by the age of 20! Owning a boarding house was an accepted career for a widow in 19th century America. Afterall, this is a time when unmarried women were “given” to their brother to manage their finances after the death of their father until they married or their death. Having escaped being passed from one male family member to another, Margaret was fortunate enough to have had both of her husband’s leave their real estate interests to her and she was able to claim her inheritance. Margaret enclosed two warehouses Ximenez had built to make four guest rooms and a large parlor. The billiards room was converted into a grand dining room and the tavern into the guest lobby. Margaret hired Eliza Whitehurst, also a widow, to be the live-in manager of the boarding house. Eliza was likely Margaret’s sister, although this has yet to be proven. Eliza managed the boarding house for nine years and raised two children in the home. Not much is known about Margaret and Eliza’s day to day lives at the house. We do know that Eliza often had money troubles and borrowed from Dr. Seth Peck more than once. After a year of ill health, Eliza passed away in the home on 1838. She is buried at Huguenot Cemetery with a beautiful grave marker dedicated to her by her children.

Sarah Petty Anderson Sarah was born in North Carolina in 1782 as Sarah Petty Dunn but spent her adolescent years in the Bahamas. She married George Anderson in 1800. The couple moved to Florida and purchased Mt. Oswald Plantation in present-day Volusia County. The death of Sarah’s mother left George the owner of the Dunn family’s plantation, just west of Mt. Oswald. The management of both plantations proved to be too stressful for George and he died in 1830, leaving yet another one of our ladies a widow. A very wealthy widow. Sarah sold Mt. Oswald and purchased a sugar plantation in present-day Port Orange, in 1832. She named the plantation Dunlawton and sons and brotherin-law ran the property while Sarah lived in the safety and comfort of St. Augustine. Sarah then made another real estate purchase, the great house on Hospital Street. Rough times were ahead, however, and on December 24, 1835, Dunlawton was burned by marauding Seminoles along with 25 other plantations throughout the state. After Sarah purchased the property, she went to work right away sprucing it up. John Hammond Moore, a lawyer from Charleston, South Carolina, wrote: “The society in this place is good. I spent the evening at Mrs. Anderson’s – where I had the pleasure of being made acquainted with General Hernandez.” (1837) A South Carolina Lawyer Visits St. Augustine. (pp. 36). In 1850 Sarah met Louisa Fatio in St. Augustine and offered her the job of a lifetime… Manager of Mrs. Anderson’s Boarding House. Louisa Fatio Louisa Fatio was a woman of elegance and a “most estimable and popular lady” as noted by author Charles Lanman in 1856. Louisa was born Luisa Phelipa Patricia Fatio on March 17, 1797 at St. John’s County Florida. Louisa was the first child born to Francis Philip Fatio Jr. and Susan Hunter. Susan died early, leaving one son and three daughters. Louis would marry again having another three children. The Fatio family was influential in 18th and 19th century Northeast Florida. Patriarch Francis Philip Fatio Sr. was a native of Switzerland who moved his family to British East Florida in 1771. By the time of his death in 1811 he owned 10,000 acres of land he called New Switzerland with twelve miles of riverfront where he grew oranges, indigo, and turpentine. Although Louisa lived a life of privilege for 19th century Florida it is safe to say her life was one of constant uncertainty and fear. Her childhood home burned to the ground during the Patriot Wars of 1812. The family narrowly escaped in a small boat and retreated to a family home in Fernandina, which was heavily damaged by a hurricane. They eventually decided to rebuild New Switzerland and moved back in 1824. Tensions between the Seminoles heightened, and the plantation was among twenty-five burned to the ground on December 24th, 1835. The family moved to St. Augustine and did not rebuild. Although rumors of a British officer fiancé persist, there is no written evidence of this suitor and Louisa remained unmarried her entire life. Due to her unmarried status, it was expected she would live with her family until the death of her father where she should go on to live with another married sister or brother. Louisa had other plans, however. Big plans. Louisa inherited a number of acres of her father’s land and after receiving her inheritance, and her independence, she began her life

14 / MARCH 2022


as a businesswoman. In 1851, at the age of 54, she came to Mrs. Anderson’s to work as the boarding house manager. In 1855 she purchased the property for $3,000.00. Louisa added a second story to the house adding an additional four rooms. Folks from all over came to St. Augustine for the fresh air, delightful food, and famed southern hospitality. In addition to her keen business sense, Louisa was an accomplished woman. She spoke English, French, Spanish and always Italian at meals. She travelled extensively, most notably to Central and South America. The table at Miss Fatio’s was a culinary dream. Meals of venison, turtle soup, oysters, sour orange pie, curlew stew, were guest favorites. Imagine Thanksgiving dinner every single day! You may also imagine the unseen hands behind the preparation, serving, and cleanup of these elaborate meals. Louisa was a beloved aunt to her nieces and nephews and godmother to thirteen children. After the death of sister Leonora Colt in 1848, she took in her five children adopting them as her own and they lived in the boarding house. Her half-sister Sophia also lived in the house and helped to care for the children and the management of the business. Louisa’s life in St. Augustine was one of happiness surrounded by her family and her loved ones managing her business as a single woman entrepreneur. Louisa passed away in the house in 1875 at the age of 78.

The Dames After the death of Louisa the future of the house was uncertain. Nephew David Dunham was the first male owner in 45 years as Louisa left the home to him in her will. The newly constructed Hotel Ponce de Leon was just blocks away with electric lights and indoor plumbing, and boarding house lifestyle soon fell out of favor. Various businesses operated from the building and the structure soon fell into disrepair. Enter: The ladies of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Florida (NSCDA-FL). After members successfully saved the Old City Gates, the NSCDA-FL set their eyes on the Old Fatio House. The property was purchased in 1939 and restoration work set about immediately. For almost 10 years, weekends were spent in St. Augustine restoring woodwork, re-limewashing walls, purchasing antiques, and planting gardens. In 1946 the house was opened to the public as the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum. For over 75 years the museum has served the community teaching women’s history, Florida history, and African American history, among other topics. The museum is managed by women, just as the boarding house was for over 50 years and still owned by the NSCDA-FL. The NSCDA-FL and the staff of the museum see that it is their responsibility to teach the history of days gone by in a fun, but thoughtful way. Their newest program “I Lived Here, As Well – A Woman’s Story” is a one-woman performance with local actress Charmin Russell as the lead. The program follows the stories of six enslaved and formerly enslaved women who lived and worked in the house and for its various owners from 1806 to 1891. The performance runs from now until April 2nd, 2022. For more information visit www.ximenezfatiohouse.org.

Photography by Julia Delbecchi

LOT STA / 15


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Painting Our Town 6th Annual St. Augustine Plein Air Paint Out By Jennifer Flynt

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he St. Augustine Art Association will host the 6th Annual St. Augustine Plein Air Paint Out taking place throughout our historic city April 27 – May 1, 2022. This event brings St. Augustine’s art history into present day as artists converge on the streets, committing to canvas the old-world charm of our city. The French phrase peinture en plein air translates literally to English as painting outdoors, and although we could say outdoor painting, en plein air sounds more elegant. Prior to the early 1800s, artists painted solely in a studio because they had to mix and make their own paints. Once paint tubes became readily available, plein air painting took off. In the 1860s, plein air painting became a key method of the Impressionist movement. Art students at the Barbizon School in France painted outdoors to learn how weather and time of day affect lighting, color and shadows, while artists like Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renior spent hours painting the same scene over and over again at different times of the day or year to capture those intricate differences. Plein air painting has been a common practice in St. Augustine, Fl., in fact many of the early members of the St. Augustine Art Association were plein air painters. In the 1940s, artist Anthony Thieme put St. Augustine on the map for collectors in New York City with his vibrant plein air paintings of St. Augustine, he even dubbed the town, the “first choice of all Florida for artists.” Other plein air artists from New England gravitated toward St. Augustine’s warmer climate like Tod Lindenmuth with his wife E. B. Warren, Nunzio Vayana, and William and Lucy L’Engle. In more recent years, and probably most notably, Emmett Fritz painted in the streets and sold paintings as souvenirs to visitors and passersby. Today, St. Augustine’s art scene thrives like never before, and the annual Plein Air Paint Out is a highlight of the year for local artists

and collectors. “Painting on location offers me a better perspective of the subject and a truer sense of color. It has its challenges, but the experience can be rewarding, as well as very exciting,” says local artist Martha Ferguson, who is well-versed in plein air painting and can often be seen around downtown bringing her canvas to life. Artists Eric and Nikki Rakov also enjoy the allure of plein air painting in St. Augustine, “The event affords the unique opportunity to create art in an environment that has rich history and visual treasures. While we’re putting paint on canvas, the artists are also absorbing all the sights, sounds, smells and tactile sensations happening in all parts of the Ancient City. We like to think that manifests itself somehow into the work.” This year, highlights of the Paint Out will include a collaborative painting event with the St. Augustine Fashion Week, a workshop and demo focused on how plein air painting has influenced the arts in St. Augustine, and a closing party and art sale at Otters on the Water on May 1st from 4-7pm. From April 27-May 1, works-in-progress and finished paintings can be viewed (and purchased!) from the St. Augustine Art Association “Wet Room,” open 9-5 daily. After the five days of painting, the Plein air Paint Out culminates into a month-long exhibition at the St. Augustine Art Association’s gallery in May. For complete details on the St. Augustine Plein Air Paint Out, including where to find the artists during the event, visit www.staaa.org/pleinair-paint-out . LOT STA / 17


Getting Fired Up at Urban Asado By John Moore and Kelley Fitzsimonds

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s America’s oldest city, it’s easy to imagine how much of St. Augustine has been reclaimed and repurposed: Old warehouses give a home to new businesses; old waterways are reengineered into high-end vacation destinations… and thus, the character of our heritage contributes to the majesty of our collective future. One such local story is richer and more inspiring than most would have guessed: Urban Asado, on the banks of the San Sebastian River, lives in a workshop in what once was a fish house during the 1950’s. Inspired by founder Nick Carrera’s family lineage as immigrants from Argentina, Urban Asado is, first and foremost, a fabrication and production facility: They make and sell some of the finest Argentinean-style woodfire grills available anywhere, and they ship these grills worldwide. In 2020, Garden & Gun Magazine featured Urban Asado as “Outdoors Winner” in their annual “Made in the South Awards,” and you only need to have one bite of a meal prepared on their grills to understand why! And yet, one may ask whether family heritage is enough of a reason to spend 18 / MARCH 2022

Photography by Alise Sheppard

your life fabricating gaucho grills? As it happens, the answer is no. Nick makes grills because he also makes food. At his core, Nick is a chef. And when any craftsman needs a tool that nobody makes, they do what they have to do. Fine Dining Chef Matt Brown, former Executive Chef at Collage here in St. Augustine, got sick of doing what he called “dots on a plate” and wanted to do something he was passionate about. Chef Matt did some reflecting, and then he set about to recruit some deeply talented local Chefs (known among their group as


“the Chef ’s Collaborative”) to help him develop what you might call “the ultimate food truck.” In 2020, Chef Matt worked with Urban Asado to build a hyper-modern food truck called Lana which loosely translates to “fire wood.” You may have seen Lanya at various events around town, including 2021’s Taste of St. Augustine where it was deployed to help his team lead guests in a master class on grilling steaks. But Lanya’s main function is to prepare dinners at their location down on the river every Friday and Saturday night. Anyone who’s ever attended one of these events can tell you, there is not a finer carnivore’s meal to be had in North Florida! All this would be interesting enough if it stopped right there, but this is a story about reclaiming and doing better. With the reintroduction of “Sunday Asado,” The Chef ’s Collaborative has flared up like an Argentinean wood-fired grill: A handful of these very talented Chefs (typically three per event) bring their own equipment and ingredients and work different stations around the property where they create dishes that reflect each Chef ’s own personal style. They’re showing off for each-other, so the quality of this food is astonishing. And by extension, they’re showing off for the guests! But more than anything, they’re doing it to raise money for a very clever charity: At just $49 per person, the goal is to raise $1,000 per event to benefit EpicCure, a charity dedicated to simultaneously ending food waste and ending hunger. EpicCure reclaims food that would otherwise be thrown out and sees that it makes its way to local families in need.

In the right hands, what’s old can become new; what’s lost can be found. Sometimes what we find is an incredible assembly of Chefs who care deeply about their community; other times, what’s found is hope. For more information, to get on their email list or to buy tickets, please go to www.urbanasado.com/asado-dining.

Elegant Service and Unforgettable Sights Located on the picturesque, pedestrian-only St. George Street, our boutique hotel in St. Augustine encompasses both the east and west side, with two magnificent courtyards overlooking the imposing Castillo de San Marcos and City Gate. Our accommodations range from intimate rooms to elegant suites; all rooms and suites have captivating views of the city’s many landmarks, many with balconies, as well as thoughtful features to add luxury to your stay. The St. George Inn has proudly blended timeless surroundings with legendary hospitality for nearly two decades, and we look forward to welcoming you to St. Augustine to celebrate this tradition.

4 St. George Street #101, St. Augustine, Florida 32084 Local: 888-827-5740 | Toll-Free: 888-827-5740

www.stgeorge-inn.com


Pet Friendly St Augustine

HappyTrails & Tails Photo by Jamie Gonzalez

Photography by Jayme Gonzalez

By Michelle Trainer

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here’s nothing like the exhilaration of hiking with your dog. Navigating tough terrain and making it to the top of a summit together is an unparalleled experience. At Adventure Pets, we have a passion for helping facilitate the bond between pets and their owners by inspiring you to turn every day into an adventure. We also recognize that the difference between an awesome hiking trip and a disappointing one lies in being prepared and having the right adventure gear.

Given our expertise in this area, we want to share with you the top 3 products that are a necessity for hitting the trail with your pup this spring: • A High-Quality Trail Pack Not all trail packs are created equal. A quality trail pack doesn’t just look cool, it’s also functional. Your pup loves having a job to do, so carrying their own water, travel bowl, waste bags, and treats is a great way to get exercise and build confidence. Our biggest concern when finding the perfect pack is a form-fitting harness with appropriate pack placement. This will reduce shifting of the packs when the dog walks. We prefer packs with removeable saddle bags, so your dog can drop their packs and still have a harness for walking. Another must-have for us is a solid handle that allows you to lift your dog, helping them to navigate tough, steep terrain or climb over rocks. We also love a water-resistant that will keep your pups gear dry when going across streams or getting caught in the rain. Pro-Tip: Evenly distribute the weight in each of your pup’s saddle packs to keep them from shifting. Keep the pack load at less than 30% of your dog’s body weight. For example, a 60 lb. husky should carry no more than 18 lbs. evenly distributed between the packs.

Photography by Mary Bellavista As we fit their pups for gear, dog parents often ask us, “How did you get into this?” That’s actually an interesting story. In 2015, we were preparing for a local humane society 5K, and we wanted to find our husky, Sascha Fierce, a pair of good quality trail boots and a backpack. Unable to find anything locally, we started searching for suppliers. Seven pairs of boots and five backpacks later, we had found what we deemed to be the best. Needless to say, Sascha was a hit at the 5K! When other dog owners approached us to ask how we found a pair of boots that would actually stay on the dog’s feet, we realized that pet owners needed guidance. We liked helping people find solutions for their pets so much that our hobby turned into the Adventure Pets retail shop. 20 / MARCH 2022

• A Properly Sized Pair of Trail Boots Paw injuries are the worst way to end a hike. A properly-sized pair of boots will provide paw protection from sharp rocks, rough terrain, and hot surfaces. We recommend choosing a boot with a rubber treaded sole for traction. The most common mistake when buying boots is improper Photography by Chris Cottrell sizing. Most people overestimate the size of their dog’s paws, and this is why the boots don’t stay on the dog’s feet. When shopping for boots, know your dog’s paw size in advance. Many boot companies use a measurement of paw width. Most dogs have slightly


wider front paws than back paws. Certain breeds will have vastly different front and back paw sizes. If this is the case with your dog, choose a brand that accounts for this by sizing front and back boots differently. Or choose a brand that sells the boots in a set of 2, so you can purchase different sizes for back and front. To properly measure your dog’s paw width: 1. Stand your dog on top of a hard surface 2.Place paw on a piece of paper 3. Draw a line along the widest part of the paw on each side 4. Measure between the lines for paw width. • K9 Sport Sack Backpack Carrier K9 Sport Sack is a backpack carrier that allows you to safely carry your dog on walking, hiking, and biking adventures. K9 Sport Sack is great for carrying small to medium sized dogs who love to adventure, but tire before the hike is over. It also works well for larger dogs who get injured on the trail. K9 Sport Sack offers pack options that include ample storage for water, bowls, leashes, phones, keys, etc. It can function as your hiking pack, and your dog’s human Uber service! We hope these tips have been helpful in preparing for your next hiking adventure! Having the right gear for your next hike will make your experience so much better.

Your best four-legged friend will thank you!

16TH ANNUAL ST. JOHNS ALL-COUNTY

HIGH SCHOOL ART SHOW March 4 - 27, 2022

22 Marine Street | in historic downtown (904) 824-2310 • www.staaa.org Tues - Sun • 1-4pm • Free Admission


The Fish Tank Recordings specializes in producing, songwriting, melodic vocal and instrument coaching, symphonic arrangement, hi quality recording,

We Define the

AUDITORY EXPERIENCE

mixing, mastering independent musicians, original scoring, and post-production sound design. ADDRESS

24 Althea Street Saint Augustine, FL 32084 PHONE

(904) 377-7611 WEBSITE

thefishtankrecordings.com

Brave Summit Quarter Page

earn community service hours for attending!

To qualify, students must: Register for and attend the entire Summit Bring the event ticket and passport (obtained at the Summit) back to their school Bring information learned at the Summit back to their school and share with their peers


Fierce. Fabulous. Fashion.

Free Parking in front and back!

137 King Street #101 St. Augustine, FL 32084 904-436-3150 www.wildheartboutique.com


Bad Dog Mama St. Aug’s Musical Powerhouse Duo

By Robert Waldner

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or Chelsea Saddler and Lauren Gilliam, making music together is as natural as an angry child scolding their mother…. So to speak. “My daughter was really upset with me one evening,” says Lauren. “So, she pointed her finger at me, looked me dead in the eye, and told me, ‘You’re a Bad Dog Mama!!’. That’s the day that our stage name was born.” Ironically, the musical duo named by an indignant toddler has gained a loyal following, not by making other children cry, but by engaging their audience with lighthearted stage banter, storytelling, and soulful music that covers many genres. When they started playing together about five years ago, Chelsea and Lauren were already well-established Ancient City musicians both as solo artists and as members of other bands. With St. Augustine being a tight knit community, cross pollination between musicians and genres is a frequent occurrence. That is how Bad Dog Mama came to be. “There was this ensemble of eight female musicians, including myself and Amy Hendrickson,” says Chelsea. “We were just sort of jamming, working on our chemistry, and seeing how far we could take it.” While she wasn’t in the group’s original lineup, Lauren knew it was an opportunity 24 / MARCH 2022

she wanted in on. “I really wanted to be part of an all-female musical powerhouse,” she says. “Even though Lauren’s not really a drummer, she became our percussionist and did really well with it,” Chelsea adds. Alluding to their short tenure on the scene, Lauren elaborates, “We practiced a lot and played a few gigs.” Though the eight female troupe was a short-lived venture that dissolved almost as quickly as it materialized, it is still making an impact today and lives on, in large part, due to the timeless duo that it spawned in Bad Dog Mama. “Through our performances we’ve been able to develop deep connections not only with other musicians, but with those we’ve met along the way, especially our audience,” says Chelsea. Today, both ladies view their music as a gateway to deeper personal and professional goals. “Our collaboration has been a launching pad for many other things that we’ve wanted to do,” says Lauren. “I’m a DONA Certified Doula as well as a Certified Lactation Counselor. I’m passionate about working with moms and babies.” Figuratively speaking, Chelsea has aimed for the sky as a musician. She applies her recipe for success in a more literal sense in her career outside of recording and performing. “I have my Private Pilot’s License and I’m working towards my Commercial License,” she says. “I feel at home among the clouds.” With music still being a strong focus


for both ladies, they are happy with the versatility that their craft provides in their lives. “We get to choose when we want to play and we can both book solo gigs when the other is not available,” says Lauren. A local testament to women’s roles in the music industry, Bad Dog Mama are advocates for the inclusion and empowerment of women in all aspects of business. “I think for the most part, strong and confident females tend to be more encouraging of each other,” says Lauren. “Being a woman in this musical community, I feel well supported by my female counterparts.” The interpersonal and musical connection that Chelsea and Lauren share with each other is a concentrated version of the support system that is evident among the core group of Ancient City female artists. “As a duo, our skill sets mesh well together. Where one of us lacks, the other shines.” says Chelsea. Each busy with their own family lives, their strong friendship is the basis for their musical cohesion, and it nurtures their wholesome desire to help one another be happy and successful. “We are always excited to see each other excel,” says Lauren. “There’s really no sense of competition with us, only support and collaboration.” Today, the experience of a Bad Dog Mama live performance at one of their many regular St. Augustine venues consists of abundant audience interaction, funny recollections of personal experiences, and songs that may never otherwise be heard from a bluesy, Americana style duo. On any given night their playlist can consist of songs by Brittany Spears, Dolly Parton, Nancy Sinatra and 4 Non Blondes. A crowd favorite is always Chelsea’s original track ‘Hammer’ which showcases her earthy, resonant, vocal spectrum that is reminiscent of the likes of Janis Joplin. “When you can captivate people long enough to inspire them, then that’s a pretty magical moment,” says Chelsea. Lauren adds, “Inspiration is a reciprocal thing. If we couldn’t share those moments with our audience, we probably wouldn’t be doing this.” Chelsea and Lauren’s mutual moments of motivation also shine through on stage. It is not uncommon to hear Chelsea encouraging Lauren to vocalize as deeply as she does. “All she has to do is sing like she’s been smoking for thirty years,” jokes Chelsea. You can catch Bad Dog Mama’s expressive antics at many St. Augustine venues including Borrillo’s Pizza, Ancient City Brewing Tap Room, Odd Bird’s, and Meehan’s. For more Bad Dog Mama venues and their performance schedule follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Photography by Mary Bellavista

LOVING OUR MUSIC Upcoming Events

March is the beginning of the Spring season here in St. Augustine. With the days and nights warming up, so is the live music scene. Here is a sampling of some of the live music events you’ll be able to catch during the month of March. • Ann O’Malley’s Irish Pub will feature artist Ian Opalinski every Sunday evening throughout the month of March. Smokin’ Joe Schauer will also play every Tuesday evening throughout the month. You can also catch Denny Blue on Friday and Saturday March 4th and 5th as well as Scuttered the Bruce on Saturday March 12th. For specific showtimes visit annomalleys.com. • Borrillo’s Pizzeria and Beer Garden will feature Bad Dog Mama on Thursday March 3rd and again on Thursday March 24th. God’s City Duo will take the stage every Wednesday evening throughout the month. Other band’s taking the Borrillo’s stage in March include Duffy Bishop Band, Dewey Via, Carpetbaggers, and Yael and Gabriel on select evenings. For further event info Borrillo’s Pizzeria and Beer Garden on Facebook. • Prohibition Kitchen will feature a variety of live performances throughout the month of March. Ramona And The Riot will take the PK stage on Saturday March 26th. Other local acts playing at PK during the month are Alberto Cebollero, Jim Johnston, Colton Mckenna, Chelsea Saddler, Micah Gilliam, and The Space Heaters among many others. For Prohibition Kitchen’s full music calendar visit pkstaug.com. • One of St. Augustine’s newest eateries and live music venues, Otter’s on the Water will feature Dewey Via on Wednesday March 2nd, Wednesday March 16th, and again on Wednesday March 31th. Side 3 Band will take the stage on Friday March 4th, Saturday March 12th, and Thursday March 17th. • Tradewinds Lounge will feature Smokin’ Joe Schauer every Wednesday afternoon throughout March from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Blistur will take the Tradewinds stage on Friday March 4th and Saturday March 5th at 8:30pm both nights. For more information visit tradewindslounge.com. • Hurricane Patty’s will feature live music from Jim Asselta every Wednesday evening and Walt Kulwicki every Thursday evening throughout the month of March. Start time is 5:00 pm for all performances. For more information visit hurricane-patty’s.com. • Another of St. Augustine’s newest venues, Pierre’s Place has a jam-packed live music lineup for the month of March. You can catch performances on select evenings by Chelsea Saddler, Lauren Gilliam, Jim Johnston, Dewey Via, Sam Pacetti, Micah Gilliam, and Brett Blackshear among many others. Follow Pierre’s Place on Facebook for more information. Upcoming Festivals Featuring Live Music Include: • Celtic Music and Heritage Festival Friday, March 11th through Sunday March 13th. • Arts and Crafts Festival at The Pier-March 12th-13th. • Lions Spring Festival 2022-Saturday and Sunday, March 26th-27th


The Women Who Shape St. Augustine Inspiring Female Leaders, Past & Present

26 / MARCH 2022

Photography by Mary Bellavista


By Lauren Eastman

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t. Augustine’s survival is essentially due to women, and its future success will continue to depend on them. Spanning back to 3,000 BC, when athletic Timucua women could hold a baby above the water with one hand while swimming across the river, women’s numerous tasks included raising families, caring for the ill, growing and preparing food for their households and serving their community at large. As St. Augustine grew, so did the role and responsibilities of women. Some things never change. But women continue to evolve their roles and contributions to society.

It was just before 1580 in St. Augustine when Francisca de Vera’s soldier husband died. She turned her home into a boardinghouse to support herself and housed soldiers. At that time, men vastly outnumbered women and often lived in comrade groups mandated by Pedro Menéndez to pool rations and share household needs. In the 1600’s, Isavel de Los Rios an independent entrepreneur in an age when such a status was difficult for women. A free citizen of mixed white and black ancestry, she baked rosquetes, spiral-shaped cakes and honey door to door as well as from her home. By 1885, a business directory for St. Augustine listed at least nine women business owners or managers. Mary Archer operated the Morgan Hotel in Tallahassee; Mrs. R. J. Slager ran the Jewish Boarding House in Jacksonville; Eartha M. M. White founded Clara White Mission in Jacksonville to provide food and shelter for the homeless, and Sarah Ann Blocker cofounded a school that later became Florida Memorial University. These businesswomen, leaders, artists and activists were frequently recorded as someone’s wife, mother or daughter and their contributions were often untold. In honor of International Women’s History Month, we shine a spotlight on the women of St. Augustine’s past who have shaped the city what it is today and the inspiring women who continue to pave the way for its future.

ACTIVISM Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was an American abolitionist and educator who became the most famous writer in America for authoring Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel advocating for the end of slavery. She also wrote The Plains Indians at St. Augustine. When Stowe met President Abraham Lincoln in 1862, he reportedly said, “So you are the little lady who started this Great War.” In fact, Harriet was one of the first and greatest proponents of Florida as a popular tourist destination. Spending her winters in Mandarin, Florida along the St. John’s River shortly after the Civil War ended, she could sit on her porch and enjoy the natural environment. She traveled to Silver Springs, St. Augustine, and Tallahassee, and wrote about her experiences, which she would publish in periodicals up North to entice “Yankees” to visit. In 1872, an account of her Florida travels, Palmetto Leaves, was published and was called one of the best travel promotions ever written for St. Augustine and Florida. The book may have played a large part in influencing Henry Flagler to bring his railroad and hotels to Florida. She became actively involved in Florida’s new tourism industry in the late 1800s. The steamship companies that brought tourists down the river paid her to stand on her porch and wave to their passengers. Some credit her with utilizing her journalism to entice a more progressive populace toward the south. While Dr. Dorothy “Deeh” Headly Israel’s move from Harlem to St. Augustine happened after her retirement, her influence on St. Augustine is just as impactful as the rest of her life story filled with far flung trips, closely held friends, and a lifetime of service to others. The 97-years young woman has a youthful heart kept strong by walking two miles along a stretch of beach on Anastasia Island just north of where Frank Butler developed a beach area resort that was open to African Americans between 1927 and 1937. Deeh grew up during the Harlem Renaissance, dancing at the Savoy to the tunes of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald at the Apollo Theater. She was friends with Coretta Scott when she was still dating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She described him as (Continued on the following page) LOT STA / 27


“The role of women is to maintain the courage, determination, faith and resilience not to be deterred by opposition,” said Deeh. It’s in our DNA. No matter what men do to try to keep us down, we always rise again.” Last year, the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center named her a “Living Legend”: a person who has given of themselves for the St. John’s County Community. She calls the museum her “baby” and credits the teachers at Excelsior High School where it is housed, particularly Rosalie Gordon-Mills for her constancy of teaching during the Jim Crow era with such power to overcome issues like torn books or no books at all. “Teachers, lawyers and doctors came out of that school because of Rosalie and her fellow teachers,” Deeh recalls. Fun Facts: Deeh first met her husband as a young woman, and they dated for some time before going along separate paths. Fifty years later, they reunited after his wife had passed. He unsuccessfully invited her out for weeks and sent flowers before she finally allowed him to take her to a jazz concert downtown. where she met one of his daughters for the first time. (Continued from the previous page) charming and passionate about Ghandi and non-violence. Later, Deeh wrote letters for Coretta to people contacting her for help with housing, husbands and money during the Civil Rights years. She, along with a committee of women across the country would refer them to people within the community. “Coretta was marvelous about being a great extender of connections. She made sure that she could help and involved the entire community along with her.” Deeh said, smiling at the memory. Deeh received a social work certificate in education from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the Union Institute and University, and taught at New York University and Columbia University before joining the Stony Brook School of Social Welfare where she remained for 23 years as head of the Human Behavior Department and director of an international program. After retirement, she served as Guardian Ad Litem for youth in Harlem, ran a mental health clinic in Bed-Sy and provided scholarships for students to attend college. Once she and her husband Rudy moved to St. Augustine in 1994, she got involved with St. Cyprians Episcopal Church in Lincolnville which provided the first neighborhood health services in St. Augustine, writing the proposal for seed money for what is now the multi-million dollar Wildflower Mental and Dental Clinic. Her work as a longtime board member of National Historic Landmark, Fort Mose provides her with a beautiful sense of history. She has been pushing to feature women more prominently in exhibitions and has highlighted more than once that women are the glue not only to family but to society.

28 / MARCH 2022

“He knew that I liked jazz,” she smiled. When they were married, he called it the “second coming.” She was also selected as one of The St. Augustine Record’s 10 Who Make a Difference, and authored the memoir, From Harlem to the Sea—A Life Well Lived. She claims St. Augustine to be the most beautiful place in the world with its culture and art. It inspired her to become a poet. Life Challenges Overcome: While Deeh loved to eat, she was turned away at more than one meal and faced constant discrimination through adulthood. As a teen, only one Scandinavian restaurant would serve her downtown. When traveling by train to college, she was shocked when a curtain was pulled around her, lest she upset the other passengers just for being seen. She lost her appetite, and promptly left the dining car. In 1947, she went to Detroit for an internship “up north”, thinking that bias would be less abrupt. She proudly ordered her first meal of soft scrambled eggs, a fresh muffin, crisp bacon and a coffee. After waiting and watching guests come, eat, and leave, she asked the waiter where her meal might be. He simply retorted, “We don’t serve your kind.” Even in 1994, her step-grandchildren experienced racism when swimming in the pool of her St. Augustine condo. As soon as they jumped in, everyone else got out. Two years later, she was pleased to report that the incident did not recur. Deeh’s Advice to Women: “Never give up. If you see something you don’t like, find others who share your views and fight for it. The advances we have made are largely due to women standing together, with God’s help.” Her Most Impactful Moment in History, Experienced: On the bus from Manhattan from DC with the NAACP during the March on Washington, she recalls people waving to her along the way in support of her efforts. There were only two buses enroute


at the time, and many of the people whom she traveled with have sadly, passed by now. Deeh’s Role Model: Rosalie Gordon-Mills, who was the first Black woman in 400 years to run for public office in St. Augustine, was an admired mentor, teacher and friend to Deeh. In 1986, she received a Presidential Award from President Reagan for Private Sector Initiatives because of her outstanding leadership beginning the St. Augustine Council on Aging and establishing the first multipurpose senior citizen’s center for the city. What she loves about her long lifetime: “It’s so nice to be alive and see how young people are so active in the world today. Even with this new era of re-discrimination and re-segregation, watching both whites and blacks trying to learn more about each other is a testament to human kind.”

released. When they returned to St. Augustine, they were praised by the African-American community, thus earning the name, The St. Augustine Four. Today, Gayle is building her board to provide moral and financial guidance and hoping to hire an events manager soon. “I could immediately see the potential, the light and thought of the people who made this community what is today. So many professionals came through this school and went on to change the world. While Civil Rights issues had a national impact, they are just beginning to be embraced and understood.”

CIVIL RIGHTS Katherine Twine (1925-2002) was known as the “Rosa Parks of St. Augustine” for her leadership role in the civil rights movement. She was arrested so often that she carried a large-brimmed hat, which she called her “Freedom Hat” to provide shade from the outdoor stockade at the crowded jail. She participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. She and her husband, who served as president of the NAACP in St. Augustine, facilitated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed visit to the city in 1964. The Twines continued to work for equality after the Civil Rights Act was passed. She was honored with the City of St. Augustine’s prestigious “de Aviles Award” and Twine Street and Twine Park memorialize her and her husband. Following in Katherine’s footsteps along the same roads of Lincolnville established by free men and women in 1866, Regina “Gayle” Phillips is resurrecting the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center located in the Excelsior School, which highlights celebrating the 450 years of black history in St. Augustine. She began as a volunteer in 2015, and now serves as Executive Director: managing operations, writing grants, coordinating events and installations – the latest being the addition of the original Woolworth Counter formerly displayed in the Wells Fargo Bank branch on King Street. It was site of sit-in demonstrations in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. The four African-American teenagers sat in the summer of 1963 and asked for a Coke and a hamburger included two females: Audrey Nell Edwards and JoeAnn Anderson Ulmer along with Willie Carl Singleton and Samuel White. Because it was a whites-only lunch counter, the four were arrested and asked to give up their rights to protest. They refused and after six months of jail time, the four were

The youngest of 13 children, Gayle credits her mother with frugality and discipline. Widowed when she was six months pregnant with Gayle, her mother cooked for a nearby family and often brought home meals that wouldn’t necessarily be served at their table. She always encouraged Gayle to try new things. Gayle credits her mother and grandmother for instilling a love of food and cooking within her. She remembers using manual egg beaters to make meringues. As they lived in the country in Mandarin, they always had access to fresh eggs, pork, and produce, and ate dinner together at the table each evening at 6 p.m. The entrepreneurial spirit has always led her. Following a brief yet, illustrious career in journalism, Gayle opened a catering business, Gayle’s Gourmet near University of Alabama. It immediately garnered the attention of local pharma reps and the nearby college, leading to a massive amount of business, and the need to hire. Finding good labor was a challenge, and she had two employees quit on the same day. A University of Alabama business school graduate showed up on her doorstep and learned how to cook while finishing her culinary program. Gayle credits her with being the best employee ever. (Continued on the following page) LOT STA / 29


(Continued from the previous page) Gayle’s Advice: “Always follow your passion and it will never feel like work, whether the final product is dinner or resurrecting a museum from the ashes. The labor of love shows through.” Her Inspiration Today: “The young women who work here put in hard work, contribute their brilliance and a commitment to excellence.” Her Place in History: “Black people have always said we matter, particularly intellectually. But is the hard, free labor, that has resulted in so much value: the planting of corn, cotton, tobacco; the construction of homes, federal buildings and beyond. This is a new era of awakening for many, but there is still a big difference between inclusion and equity. You can’t have us at the table if you don’t want us to have a say in the outcome.” RELIGION Jennie Louise Flagler Benedict (1855-1889) inspired Henry Flagler’s Memorial Presbyterian Church, which he built in her memory within one year of her passing from complications from childbirth. The women in Flagler’s life had great influence on him. Flagler’s remains along with his first wife Mary, Jennie Louise, and his infant granddaughter Margery, are in a mausoleum within the church. Should you have a chance to visit the grounds of this historic church on a Wednesday morning, you may have the opportunity to meet or even take a yoga class on with Rev. Amy Lehr Camp, Parish Associate of Memorial Presbyterian Church, who leads the congregation with her husband, Rev. Dr. Hunter Camp. Her grief ministry and Stephen Ministry programs at Memorial have been impactful for the community and tie back to Flagler’s own personal losses, while inspiring others to take loss seriously. Amy has also been a driving force on breaking the silence on mental illness and addiction, offering support groups for over a decade. Amy preaches, teaches, offers free yoga classes to the community and pastoral care to those who are hurting and grieving. She first felt the call to ministry and seminary in the mid-90s in upstate South Carolina. Her church and 12-step recovery groups helped her get sober after college and she felt called to give back and help others as her Presbyterian pastors had helped her. “I looked around at large multi-church gatherings when I became an ‘inquirer ‘and ‘candidate’ and all I saw were men in navy blazers,” she recalls. “I knew just one 30 / MARCH 2022

female pastor who served in an urban ministry setting, but not a church. I was ordained in 2001 to be a solo pastor, both churches’ first female pastor. I was pleased to discover that Virginia had many more female pastors than South Carolina.” Women of Influence: While a student at Columbia Seminary, she first learned of Rev. Dr. Mattie Hart of Flagler College in St. Augustine. She was the first woman to earn a M.Div. at Columbia in 1965 and the first woman to be ordained in the deep south by Atlanta Presbytery in 1970. Mattie taught religion to hundreds of Flagler students, including Amy’s husband Hunter. Mattie is one of her heroes, along with Amy’s mother, Dr. Judy Brown Guarino. Amy saw her mom reach for the stars, gaining both her masters and her Ph.D. in the 1970s. Judy became Principal of South Carolina’s best elementary school, and a university professor for twenty-seven years before retiring and moving to St. Augustine. Amy reflects, “My mom is the strongest, most positive woman I know.” Proudest Professional Moment: Amy served as the Plaza Speaker for MLK Day on January 19, 2015. When the MLK Celebration Committee asked her to speak, she was terrified, but didn’t feel she could say no. She reached out for help and life coach, Isobel McGrath mentored and encouraged her. Amy was inspired put herself and her love and esteem for Dr. King out there. “As I spoke on that day in 2015, I feel like I was given a glimpse of MLK’s dream for America, a dream that’s rooted in the power of love and community. The light was shining brightly in all the faces who had gathered in the plaza, and light was shining on the water and on the Lion’s Bridge. Light seemed to envelop all who had gathered to pay tribute to MLK’s dream. On that day in 2015, I ended my speech with the call to become lovestruck, for when we love another person, we see the face of God,” she recalls.


Words of Advice: Be fearless. Pay attention to your breath and heart. Slow down. Live the life of your dreams. Take risks. Ask for help. And love yourself fiercely… No matter what! BUSINESS Ponce De Leon may have discovered the healing waters of this magical spring, but it was Luella Day McConnell who created the experiences, exhibitions and historical attractions at the 15-acre Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park as it is enjoyed today by thousands of visitors annually. Rumored to be a German spy from WWI, Luella was known as the Mother of the Fountain of Youth, and among America’s tourist attraction pioneers. She arrived in St. Augustine in August of 1904, leaving behind two husbands and claiming to have survived several assassination attempts. As her former husband put it, “Diamond Lil” as she was known, had a “most “fantastic and romantic frame of mind.” In 2000, St. Augustine erected a “Great Floridians” plaque in Luella’s honor. While it implies that she was 57 upon her death, by her own early accounts she was ten years older than that. Perhaps drinking all that Fountain of Youth water kept her young.

Her Advice to Other Women: “We ask women at each of our events to share their ‘Words of Wisdom,’ and my favorite is ‘Start believing in yourself sooner.’ I love this advice because it is true if you’re five, 50 or 105. Every single one of us has something we have been wishing and hoping would happen ‘to us’ or ‘for us’. Often, we go years without taking action because we don’t believe we can achieve that dream, or that we don’t believe we deserve it. So my advice is to start believing TODAY. The best way to start believing something is possible is to take action. The momentum of movement won’t make your dreams less intimidating, but it will make them more possible!

Today, Kelly Youngs, founder of “She Is Fierce,” is nourishing women by creating an empowering community that helps them increase their impact and influence by connection, education and growth. Her mission is to elevate women’s stories and give women the tools we all need to live ‘on purpose.’ She works with entrepreneurs in industries across the board, navigate the challenges and opportunities of today’s marketplace, digital landscape, and economic realities. Kelly started She Is Fierce! As a young mother with a two-year-old and a baby. While taking on those dual challenges could definitely be considered crazy, it made her so much stronger and risktolerant. Becoming a business owner and a mother at the same time was incredibly transformative as those two life-changing decisions forced her out of her comfort zone, taught her perseverance, resilience and how to prioritize what really matters.

Women of Influence: Leading an organization dedicated to celebrating and elevating women’s stories has given Kelly the chance to meet and learn from so many incredible female leaders, innovators and changemakers. Women like Special Olympics Gold Medalist Loretta Claiborne and bestselling author Brenda Jackson have taught her the power of grit and faith in your own abilities. Women like St. Augustine’s own Letti Bozard and Cindy Chaconas have taught her the power of valuing community and giving back when you have enough. At this year’s Summit, women like Pink Stork founder Amy Upchurch and Mermosa Founder Desiree Noisette taught Kelly to dream even bigger and focus on what is possible, not what you don’t have already.

“Being a mother has made me a much more empathetic person,” she says. “Raising two humans has been the greatest joy of my life… and the biggest logistical nightmare!” Experiencing the ups-and-downs of entrepreneurship and motherhood at the same time also helped her relate to the challenges that women in the St. Augustine community go through each day as they try to make a difference in their families, communities and the world.

“But, like most women, the woman who has had the greatest influence on my life so far is definitely my mom,” she said. “She taught me to be fierce. She taught me by example to set high goals. She taught me to believe in myself and that hard work always wins. I have been so lucky to witness and learn from how she lifts others up when she sees something special in them. People tell me all the time that I’m just like her - and I can’t think of a higher compliment,” says Kelly. (Continued on the following page) LOT STA / 31


(Continued from the previous page) COMMUNITY In 1866, eight sisters, the Sisters of St. Joseph, arrived in St. Augustine from France to teach formerly enslaved children and adults. They sold lace, music and art, gave French lessons, and boarded invalids to support themselves. In 1874, they opened St. Joseph Academy followed by St. Benedict the Moor School in Lincolnville in the 1890’s, a school for black youth. They successfully opened hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, homes for unwed mothers, and served in pastoral ministries and migrant missions in their time Today, Aubrie Gotham Simpson, Founder & CEO of Fostering Connections St. Johns, helps children and young adults impacted by foster care or trauma rise above circumstances, supporting them by providing basic needs, educational technology, educational programs focusing on career and college readiness, life skills, and connections. Girls in foster care are at higher risk twice that of their peers for teen pregnancy, becoming a runaway, and becoming victims of human trafficking. This is largely due to

…………………… Whilst there are far too many other women who have and continue to shape the city of St. Augustine, Florida, the United States and the world that would have easily been incorporated into this article from both past and present, what encouraged this writer is that so many mentors, inspirations and advocates were mentioned by each of the women interviewed. “Call her, she has an incredible story, she has done so much,” they said. It was challenging to whittle down to these shining examples of community leaders, but heartening to feel the inclusivity of what it means to lift one another up in our collective contributions to one another and society as a whole. Happy International Women’s History Month to all who continue to shape all that we continue to become.

the fact that they lack consistent role models and mentors that can uplift and assist them with navigating the challenges of being a young woman in today’s social media driven culture. The average size of the social network of a youth who has aged out of foster care is seven people. A positive mentor, internship, and needed resources is life changing for youth who have been impacted by foster care or trauma. Biggest Female Influences: While she credits her success with the support and mentorship by so many incredible, inspirational women, her mother Laura Simpson, and Dawn Bell, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of North Florida have impacted her the most. A gifted local educator, Laura taught Aubrie the importance of compassion and serving the local community. Dawn has been a mentor to the new nonprofit leader, teaching Aubrie how to lead by example and empower her team. 32 / MARCH 2022


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“Where Did All the Pleases Go?” A Book by Local St. Augustine Author and Mom Lauren Eastman By Linda Dumas

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ood Manners are of the utmost significance, and are a time honored lesson. Raising a child to have good manners is arguably just as important as any other life skill; tying your shoelaces, brushing your teeth, and using utensils.

Saying “please” and “thank you” is often instilled early on and with repetition it simply becomes a habit. Having good manners is a representation of a good upbringing and shows respect. But just like other habits, sometimes it can be forgotten here and there. Especially with young children, often all you need is a good reminder. Maybe you’ve been in a situation where your child didn’t ask as politely as you would like. You could view this as a good teaching moment, but instead of scolding or asking for your child to use their manners, you could remind them of a book you’ve read together. If you are nodding your head in agreement then this is the book for you! Local St. Augustine author and mom Lauren Eastman was feeling the way a lot of moms often do when their children forget their manners. How do I remind my son to say “please” without nagging or scolding? So, she got creative and decided to write a story about it. “Where Did All The Pleases Go?” is a fun story that gently reminds children the importance of using good manners. The book paints a picture of “pleases” as an abstract thing which goes missing and makes a young boy and his mom wonder...just where did they go? Readers are brought along on an adventure, wondering did they float away, or get lost? It’s a whimsical journey as a mom & son go searching for the “pleases”, missing their sweet sound. As a mom, I can personally tell you that there is nothing cuter than when your child says “Please” with their adorable little smile. It gives me such pride when my son asks politely. Next time I notice that the “pleases” go missing, I’ll pull this book off the bookshelf, snuggle my children on our favorite reading chair, and go on a journey to find the missing “pleases” once more! LOT STA / 35


The Creations of Enzo Torcelletti Contemporary and Eclectic Sculpture

36 / MARCH 2022

Photography by David Steele


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nzo Torcoletti was born in Italy and attended art school there before moving to Canada at age 16. He received a B.A. in English Literature and a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Printmaking from the University of Windsor. In 1971 he completed his M.F.A. in Sculpture at Florida State University and then came to St Augustine. He continued his creative pursuits while teaching Sculpture, Drawing, and Art History at Flagler College, which he did for 30+ years. Enzo’s sprawling homestead on Moultrie Creek could be a story unto itself with his sculpture creations displayed throughout the grounds. He crafts his work in marble, a variety of stone, metals, bronze and wood in his outdoor studio there. He also keeps a studio in his native Italy, where he visits and creates most summers.

When asked, he explains that his sculptures are inspired in part by his youth in Italy – being exposed to ancient art much of which were fragments of the originals. He sees his work similarly, but with a modern spin. He says he views sculpture like a tree .. it’s not just in the now.. It exists, yet evolves and grows over time.

“I see my works as contemporary and eclectic, invoking sensuality as well as being thought-provoking… emotional and at the same time sparking the intellect” Enzo Torcoletti LOT STA / 37


Enzo’s sculpture has been shown extensively and is included in numerous private and public collections here and abroad. His sculptures are also included in the collections of The Mint Museum; The Cummer Museum of Art; The Philips Lighting Museum, Eindhoven, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Denison University; Urbino Resort, Italy, and numerous private collections. His works can be seen locally at Plum Gallery, St Augustine Art Association, The Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art and Jacksonville’s South Light Gallery.

38 / MARCH 2022


Treasure Found:

Local Treasure Hunter Finds Coin Clump in Vilano Beach Area By Marc Anthony

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illions of people come to St. Augustine each year, whether it is to visit our beautiful beaches or the rich history it has to offer dating back to 1565. Our history is everywhere to see. There’s the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, built prior to 1720 or the St Augustine Lighthouse built in 1874 but sits in the area where the first lighthouse was lit in 1737. Maybe even our greatest prize the Castille de San Marcos which was built between 1672 to 1695. What ever it is you do, one thing is for sure, people leave things behind.

Now researching areas of known treasure by other local treasure hunters he knew it wasn’t just about the skills or the areas but also about the timing. Nor’ easter storms and hurricanes plaque the Florida coastline and with these storms come huge tidal surges. They can strip hidden shipwrecks of layers of sand exposing the wreck along with many artifacts such as ships parts, and even coins. These storms can also unearth many layers of sand along the shoreline which makes using a metal detector easier to find treasure and expose items that have been buried hundreds of years.

Ever since 1565 when St Augustine was first occupied by the Spanish for over 200 years, then Great Britain from 1763 to 1783 and then returned to Spain and then ceded to Florida to the US in 1819. With over 457 years of continuously inhabited settlement is what caught “Treasure Hunter Jim” (as he often is called) attention. From a young boy he has always paid attention to the amazing finds of rich treasure offshore of Florida. Famous shipwrecks and amazing beach finds which have yielded close to a billion dollars since the 1930’s. St Augustine after all was the last stop for the rich treasure galleons sailing the Spanish Main back to Spain with treasure ships busting at the seams with silver and gold from the new world.

Millions of dollars of shipwreck treasure have been found after storms along the treasure coast from the famous 1715 Fleet disaster. St Augustine beaches, other than an occasional Nor’easter, have not been hit directly by a major hurricane since Hurricane Dora in 1964.

Jim retired 2 years ago and moved to Ponte Vedra where his wife inspired him to purchase his first metal detector. He figured he had a shot at success knowing there were still $100’s of millions of dollars’ worth of treasure still scattered and unaccounted for below the surface of the sand. The first metal detector was a fun start, but Jim realized after talking to other beach going treasure hunters, that salty sand gives off strange signals. Salt water amplifies the normal ground minerals causing many land-based detectors to chatter and provide false signals. So, after investing in his most recent metal detector with better capabilities, it was game on. Even though tens of thousands of beachgoers off the coast of Florida have lost some pretty good finds that have kept the hunt interesting, Jim’s sole mission was to find lost treasure. Some of these beachgoers have left behind diamond rings, gold bracelets, necklaces, fancy watches and at times Jim has been offered a monetary reward to find items lost like keys to a car. After a year of fine tunning his skills with the new detector, Jim scored a heavy 14kt gold band which looked very beat up from being moved around in the ocean and sand for who knows how long. The $300 dollars that he received at a local jewelry shop sent him out for bigger and better finds.

In October of 2016 Hurricane Matthew and then again in 2017 Hurricane Irma moved a lot of sand giving Jim an opportunity to find shipwreck artifacts, and treasure coins. Since 2017 items have been steadily found by other treasure hunters. So now, after 2 years of hunting, Jim’s dreams have come true. Once his heart rate slowed down from what seemed to be an imminent heart attack, he raced up to the local treasure shop to show them what he found. After careful examination and cleaning by experts in the field, it was determined that Jim had found a clump of coins with one coin showing a date of 1806. The clump appears to be 3 silver Spanish eight reales or what is commonly known as “pieces of eight”, encrusted together. This clump may have been washed ashore from the recent Nor’easter or unearthed from a past storm. However, the treasure came ashore, Jim will never forget that moment that gave him the treasure bug for life. Congrats Jim! And as I tell my friends, “If you are not looking, you are not finding.”

LOT STA / 39



Photography by Alise Sheppard

In the Weeds By Kelley Fitzsimonds

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hen I started “In the Weeds” I said that I would only feature bartenders from locally owned bars and restaurants. This article is an exception to that rule. The reason that patrons sit at bar as opposed to a table is to be engaged with, to have someone to chat with while they eat or drink. The goal of the bartender is to connect with these people in the hope that they come back. It gets easier and easier the more often you get repeat visits for both parties, this is how one builds regulars, and regulars are what makes this job great. Our “In the Weeds” bartender for this issue, Steven Hancock, started at Outback Steakhouse (located at 245 FL 312 St. Augustine FL ) 25 years ago and has built up regulars ever since, both locals and visitors alike. LOT: Welcome! How did you get started in the industry? Steven: I started at Outback 25 years ago as a dishwasher, I was super quiet, super shy. No one would believe that now but it’s true. I remember one employee asking me, do you even talk? I started to open up more and they said we got to get you out front. So, I started bussing and hosting, serving tables and next thing you know I’m behind the bar. LOT: What is your go to drink order? Steven: My go to drink order if I’m going out is probably a Miller Lite and a shot of Jameson. It all depends on where I am, I drink different things at the Conch House than I do at say Meehan’s. LOT: OK, deserted island you get to bring three bottles, now we imagine there is citrus fruit and sugar cane or honey, so we are just focusing on the spirits. What do you bring? Steven: Definitely Casa Azul & Four Roses. I really enjoy Four Roses and I also enjoy vodka so a bottle of Tito’s LOT: Everyone has a hangover cure, what is yours? Steven: A big greasy burger and some sleep. They say ‘hair of the dog’ but I need rest. ha-ha LOT: Now the hard-hitting question. Coffee or tea? Steven: That’s funny. Tea all day. Ask anyone I work with or anywhere that I frequent for breakfast, they always want to bring the big tea display box!

LOT: Your favorite spots in town? Steven: I enjoy Meehan’s, It’s one of my favorite places. I love the people who work there, good friends. Same thing with the Conch House. I know all of the employees and management, you feel comfortable there, you know? LOT: OK! You’re only in Saint Augustine 1 day and you’re showing this town off to someone who has never been here before. What do you do? Steven: It would have to be on a Sunday, that’s my only day off. I love brunch so we start with that. I like the Roosevelt Room, Amici’s and Uptown Swinery. Then downtown, Boat Drinks, Meehan’s and probably wrap it up at No Name. LOT: Any new ingredients out there that you’re excited about? Steven: We just started doing a smoked old fashioned at Outback - that I enjoy. A corporate restaurant generally doesn’t embrace new things so it’s nice to have this. LOT: Who do you look up to in the industry? Steven: I worked under Doug Willis at Outback for years and I learned so much, I even stuck around because of him. I learned so from him much about business and hospitality. LOT: Any advice for aspiring young bartenders trying to break into the business? Steven: Treat everyone like you would want to be treated. Keep it light and fun, a smiling face goes a long way. Try and get them to come back, regulars make the hours fly by. LOT: OK last one. What makes the juice worth the squeeze, what makes it all worth it? Steven: Travel, I work a lot, and I do this so that I can travel. I like going to hole in the wall places in other cities and just getting away. Stevens featured drink will be his smoked old fashioned with Woodford reserve. I would like to ask our readers to go and visit him and see what keeps a hospitality worker in one place for so long and maybe you will find yourself to be one of his regulars. LOT STA /41


Photograph by Lenny Foster Photograph by Lenny Foster

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Owning a Piece of History An Investment in Civic Pride By Amy Alloways

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t Augustine is the perfect setting to own a piece of history and start your own legacy. Cuna is a side street just steps from old St. George Street: home of the walking mall with unique and charming shops, museums, historic St Augustine sights and beautiful views. Nestled in the Historic City on Cuna Street is the Pomar House. This two–story wood frame residence at 62 Cuna Street was constructed between 1899 and 1904. Housing members of the Pomar family for many years. Members of the Pomar family descend from Minorcan colonists who migrated to St. Augustine from New Smyrna in 1777. James N. Pomar was a tinner who maintained a shop behind the house which eventually grew into a business of J.N Pomar Sheet Metal Works. Edith Pomar was secretary and then manager of the business and also operated a novelty and gift shop from her house. James’ wife, May E. Pomar, was the proprietor of Pomar Cottage, a boarding house and apartment operating in the residence. 62 Cuna Street, the Pomar House starts the next chapter with new owners Ricardo Rosado and his father Dr. Santiago Rosado. Ricardo, born and raised in St Augustine and his dad a well-respected practicing physician and business owner, this venture is a continuation of their family legacy. Both father and son enjoy giving back through charity work and their chosen professions. When asked “Why the interest in 62 Cuna?”. Ricardo responded with “We both love this city and have always been in awe with the history and the people who live here”.

Purchasing a historical building in a historic city can be an emotional investment. But older homes come with soul. They have a quality not found in any other home. They give owners and visitors a trip back in history and a sense of civic pride. What better way to invest in history than to make it a part of your legacy? It is possible to own a piece of history, contact an agent that will help you avoid many of the expected pitfalls along the way and manage any unforeseen ones. 62 Cuna was recently purchased from The Arc of the St. Johns Inc., who owned the property since 1982. The building was utilized as a school. The historical property is currently undergoing construction to include four suites on the top floor and the bottom level will be fitted to accommodate a commercial retail business. The 2nd floor suites will be complete and ready for booking sometime in April. Come stroll by the Pomar House and see the charm and history for yourself !

LOT STA / 43


ACE Alliance Keeps their Finger on the Pulse Local Nonprofit provides Disaster Relief and Wellness Impact to Movers and Shakers in Need By Monika Bernthal

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hile it is St. Augustine’s rich history that landed us on the map, it is without a doubt, the current-day movers and shakers who make our city pulse.

Often taken for granted, our town’s entertainers, tourism and hospitality workers not only contribute to the town’s appeal, but provide huge economic impact to St. Johns County. However, as they serve as the heartbeat of our city taking care of locals and visitors alike, they often face extreme personal challenges and even disaster with no relief in sight. Owners of Ancient City Entertainment and professional musicians, Alberto and Jeanetta Cebollero knew it was high time to turn the tables and provide these industry professionals the positive impact they continually provide so many others. “St. Augustine’s entertainers, tourism personnel and hospitality workers are the core of our city’s charm and appeal and contribute greatly to our tourism industry,” explained Alberto. “But it is these same industry professionals who are often uninsured, might be facing emotional and/or physical challenges and often live paycheck-topaycheck with a family to support. A sudden crisis can be completely devastating and wreck their livelihood.” To answer the needs of those in dire straits, the Cebolleros created ACE Alliance, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides wellness impact and disaster relief to these individuals who keep our city’s lifeblood pumping. The Cebolleros conceptualized the non-profit after experiencing devastation first hand. Both career musicians and parents, the Cebolleros lost their home in 2016 after Hurricane Matthew. While they fared better than many of their peers, the tragedy brought to light just how many in their industry were tragically impacted. They certainly were not the only ones in their industry who in one fell swoop lost their home and their livelihoods. While the idea of ACE Alliance was born in response to a natural disaster, the Cebolleros know that personal crisis comes in all shapes 44 / MARCH 2022

and sizes. Today, ACE Alliance provides assistance to all types of industry workers facing a myriad of hard times. Just in the past 6 months, they’ve provided assistance to St. Augustine locals including Jamal Wright, Irie Lange, and Colton McKenna. Jamal Wright is the drummer for the local band, Steelin’ Peaches. Last fall, he developed an infection rendering him unable to work. Uninsured, he also could not afford treatment or prescriptions. ACE Alliance stepped in and helped alleviate the financial crisis while he recovered until he could go back to work. Irie Lang is a bartender at The Ice Plant and Boat Drinks Bar. His bike - i.e. his means of transportation to work - getting stolen was an unexpected bump in the road. ACE Alliance helped get him a new set of wheels and back behind the bar. Colton McKenna is a local musician, husband and father of two kids (5 and 8 years old). His pregnant wife faced a medical emergency landing her at UF Shands for three months. Mounting medical bills (even though he does have health insurance), caring for two young children, the stress of worrying about his hospitalized wife and their unborn child – topped by the inability to work – left Colton in dire straits. ACE Alliance provided him a grant to alleviate expenses and help him through this difficult time. (AND on February 3, 2022, his wife delivered a beautiful healthy baby. Mom and baby are doing great!) These are just three of dozens of ACE Alliance grant recipients over the past year. Moving forward ACE Alliance is planning to expand their relief efforts and increase focus on providing assistance designated for mental health with a goal of providing 100 tourism/ hospitality workers and entertainers counseling for a year. The non-profit’s largest annual fundraiser, As If! The 90s Fest, raised more than $50,000 in 2021 making this type of assistance and disaster relief possible. The Cebolleros and their team are looking to raise even more money during this year’s event happening May 21st. To learn more about ACE Alliance, get involved, donate, or if you know someone who would benefit from their grants, please contact Jeanetta at jeanetta@ancientcityentertainmentgroup.com.


As If ! 90s Fest Returns Featuring national headliners, regional musicians and celebrates all things from the raddest decade. By Monika Bernthal

I

f you used to jam out to a Sony discman, communicated using (dial-up!) aol, stayed in touch via beeper and called friends on your clear phone - then you grew up in what was arguably the best decade ever.

Sporting your Doc Martens with your plaid shirt and jean shorts, you’d meet up with your peeps to garner wisdom from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, Steve Urkel and the docs on ER. And on Friday nights, you’d grab your Blockbuster card and cross your fingers that an actual VHS tape was still waiting for you behind the Dazed and Confused box. In your Honda Accord on the ride home, the mixed tape your honey made blasted the latest chart toppers spanning genres from hip hop to pop, rap, alternative, grunge and country – all of which you sang to with equal enthusiasm. In summary, not to state the obvious, but growing up in the 90s was nothing short of da bomb. Jeanetta Cebollero knows this to be the case and created As If! The 90s Fest, an annual event to celebrate everything from the greatest decade. “Growing up in the ‘90s was incredibly influential to me as a musician, event producer, and creative,” explained Jeanetta, owner of Ancient City Entertainment and the festival organizer. “From the fashion and the pop culture to the hip hop and the rock, the 1990s were by far one of the best decades.” In its second year, As If! 90s Fest will again take over Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine on May 21st from noon to 9 p.m. Headliners for the 2022 event include Grammy-nominated singer, Montell Jordan, who rose to fame in the 1990s for tunes like “This is How We Do It,” “Somethin’ 4 da Honeyz,” and “Let’s Ride.” Also headlining is national performing artist Eve 6, a Southern California rock band with hit

singles such as “Inside Out,” “Here’s to the Night,” “Promise,” and “Victoria.” Multi-platinum group Quad City DJs, known for the original “Space Jam” theme song as well as “C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)” will also take the stage. Not only will the event feature a full concert line-up with national acts as well as regional and local performers, As If! The 90s Fest will again feature fly products, sweet activities, and bangin’ grub making it the raddest festival northeast Florida has ever experienced. After the 2021 event garnered a 2.6 million measured engagement reach with people flying from as far as Seattle to attend, St. Johns County awarded the festival a Tourist Development Council grant to help make this year’s festival even bigger and better. But what really makes this festival phat, is that the non-profit event benefits ACE Alliance, a 501(c)(3) that assists movers and shakers who dedicate their craft and livelihood to the culture of tourism, entertainment, and hospitality serving Northeast Florida. Last year’s event raised more than $50,000 for ACE Alliance and Cebollero and her team are looking to raise even more money this year. “I hope everyone in northeast Florida and beyond will join us on May 21st for the official kickoff to summer and the best day of the year!” THE 411 FOR AS IF! THE ‘90S FEST: The 2nd Annual AS IF! The 90s Fest will be held on Saturday, May 21st from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Francis Field, 25 West Castillo Drive in downtown St. Augustine. This action-packed, family-oriented, one-day event will feature live music, games, water slide, vendors, food trucks, and more. General Admission tickets are $20. Children ages 0-10 are $5. VIP tickets are $60 each and include lounge area, top shelf cash bar, air conditioned restrooms, and free sponsor swag. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.asifthe90sfest.com. Follow along on social media Facebook @asif90sfest and Instagram @asifthe90sfest. LOT STA / 45


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Inform, Enlighten and Entertain The St. Augustine Orchestra

O

ne of St. Augustine’s longest running cultural entities; St. Augustine Orchestra (SAO) is a foundation of cultural, artistic and historic legacy in St. Augustine and St. Johns County. With over 50 volunteer members who’s motivation for participation in SAO is a love of music and the joy of sharing that love with the public. Through the years, the orchestra has given the community their best musical efforts. The result has been a continued, fine tradition and an increasingly sophisticated level of performance. ​ Guided by the mission to expand awareness and music appreciation, the SAO approach is to provide quality live performances at an affordable cost to the community, to provide outreach programs to seniors and youths, as well as to offer educational opportunities to budding and prospective musicians. Each SAO program carries a theme which aims to inform, enlighten and entertain audiences. With the many nearby notable institutions such as Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida, and Stetson University, each offering undergraduate degrees in music, SAO is privileged to have a pool of young talented soloists participating in the orchestra, furthering SAO’s mission to challenge and inspire local youth in music careers. SAO invites local musicians meeting minimum capability standards willing to devote time for weekly rehearsals to join. Members range from 13 to 80 years of age including professionals, music teachers, business leaders, retirees, music amateurs and accomplished students. SAO also encourages other musicians to play with the orchestra; we have sponsored solo vocalists and musicians, groups of single instruments, choruses, and small instrumental groups to participate in our programs. ​ SAO relies on both corporate and individual sponsorships that include program advertising, to offset musical production costs in addition to funding music education programs. Corporate and individual sponsors can take pride in supporting local musicians providing a valued program of performing arts and supplementing youth instrumental instruction and performance opportunities.

History the St. Augustine Orchestra The St. Augustine Orchestra was founded in 1961 by Jack Van Brederode who served as conductor for several years. Originally called the St. Augustine Symphonette, the ensemble went through a number of name changes, finally settling on the St. Augustine Orchestra (SAO). After Van Brederode’s death, Kenneth Hueninck became conductor followed by David Middleton, William Turnbull, James Peronto, Ramona Peronto, Ira Strauss, John Bush, and from 2010-2016, William McNeiland. The current conductor, Maestro Scott Gregg, took the helm of SAO in the fall of 2016 and continues to guide the group to new musical heights. Among the most notable former members was violinist Hugo Ohlms, whose murals and colorful decorations still grace the interior of the Basilica Cathedral in St. Augustine. Emil Maestre, internationally known cellist (the Emil Maestre Music Association was named in his honor) played with the ensemble whenever his busy performance schedule permitted. William Turnbull, a music director in the Putnam County Schools, originally played the violin and bass viola, and later became conductor. Ultimately he gave up the baton and returned to playing. David Middleton, music teacher at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, served as coordinator during the early years. Orchestra member Jack Page took the position of business manager and was elected president of the Board of Directors and held both posts until his retirement from the orchestra in 2002. Currently, orchestra member Allyson Breger holds the position of Executive Director. ​ Since its inception, SAO has welcomed requests by local government and civic groups to perform at special functions. Concerts have been given at civic events such as Pedro Menendez Day, the traveling Vietnam Memorial ceremony, and the first graduation ceremony for the First Coast Technical Institute. In 1964, SAO performed with the St. Johns River Community College singers in their production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” in Palatka, Florida. In addition, the orchestra played in the Little Theater of St. Augustine production of “The Pirates of Penzance.” Later, SAO members played in the orchestra that accompanied Flagler College’s performance of (Continued on the following page) LOT STA / 47


(Continued from the previous page) “Man of LaMancha.” SAO has performed at retirement homes and churches in St. Johns County and the surrounding contiguous counties. Concerts have also been presented in the Jacksonville Landing, the Friday Musicale, the Palatka Community Center, the Palm Coast Amphitheater, the Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra, Del Webb Ponte Vedra, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium, the River House, Anastasia Baptist Church, and the Flagler Auditorium in Flagler County. SAO has been scheduled multiple times by the EMMA Concert Association to perform in Lewis Auditorium of Flagler College and the Flagler College Ballroom. In celebration of St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary, the orchestra performed with other notable community arts organizations at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. SAO performed a benefit concert in the Lightner Museum, donating all proceeds to the United Way providing aid to local residents who sustained home damage during Hurricane Matthew and most recently performed at the Sound Connections annual fund raiser in support of their music therapy outreach program for children with special abilities. ​ For many years, SAO called the Lightner Museum its performance home. The Lightner Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888 as one of Henry Flagler’s grand resort hotels. SAO performs regularly each season in what was known as the world’s largest indoor swimming pool of its time. Rumor has it that television actor Johnny Weissmuller, best known for his role as Tarzan, and an Olympic swimming gold medal winner, used the pool for training. THE 60TH SEASON OF THE SAO WILL INCLUDE: March 24th Cinematic Symphony at the Lightner Museum March 27th Cinematic Symphony at the Athens Theater, Deland, FL April 9th Afternoon Tea with the SAO May 11 & 12 60th Season Finale premiering a commissioned work by Bob Moore to commemorate our anniversary For more information, you can visit their website at: www.staugustineorchestra.com Maestro Scott Gregg serves as the 10th Music Director of the St. Augustine Orchestra - an organization that has performed in the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine, Florida for 60 years. Maestro Gregg has held the positions of Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestras, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the First Coast Youth Orchestras, and Music Director for Education of the Jacksonville Symphony, among many others. Mr. Gregg helped found the First Coast Community Music School and served as that institution’s Artistic Director. Maestro Gregg has degrees from Harvard College, Johns Hopkins University, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He was a conducting fellow at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals. Mr. Gregg is also an accomplished violinist having made his solo debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. Mr. Gregg and his wife Camille currently reside in Jacksonville, Florida. 48 / MARCH 2022

Formerly the Lions Seafood Festival

March 26th-27th

in Historic St. Augustine Francis Field • 25 W. Castillo Dr. Saturday — 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Arts and Crafts Village closes at Sundown. Sorry, no pets or coolers on the field.

www.lionsfestival.com Proceeds benefit Lions Charities supporting those in need.

FREE

SHUTTLE* *From satellite lots see website for details.

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The Local Scene

Recent events and fundraisers around town

Members of the Fort Mose Historical Society at the Fort Mose Jazz and Blues Festival that ran Feb 18-26. Photos by: Miles Bullock

Hopefull Handbags has been busy! Fundraisers in February with Music & Moonlight and Women with Vision Council of St John’s Chamber of Commerce as well as Gift Card/Letter Deliveries Photos by Cathlene Miner

Fine Art Photographer Lenny Foster’s “Where We Stand” Exhibit Opening Reception Feb 16 at St John’s Co Administration Rotunda. Exhibit runs through April 22. Photos by: Trish Becker

50 / MARCH 2022


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