Issue 4 - Loving Our Town St. Augustine Feb '22

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issue four / 2022


Eclectic, Organic, Yucatan fusion Cuisine

22 Hypolita St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

(904) 823-0787


The Story Behind the Cover Photo


from Lenny Foster’s Photo Series “Where We Stand”

March 26th-27th

in Historic St. Augustine Francis Field • 25 W. Castillo Dr. Saturday, March 26th — 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 27th — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Arts and Crafts Village closes at Sundown. Sorry, no pets or coolers on the field. Proceeds benefit Lions Charities supporting those in need.


SHUTTLE* *From satellite lots see website for details.

Some of the first steps Africans took in North America happened in St. Augustine. In 1565, the Spanish sent Pedro Menendez de Aviles to settle St. Augustine. He brought over a hundred families, twelve priests, and 500 enslaved persons. The Spanish had a different system of slavery than the English in that they were allowed to make money and could eventually buy their way out of slavery. In 1687, the Spanish began to offer asylum to Africans who escaped from the British. They offered freedom to any former slave who would convert to Catholicism and serve four years in the Spanish army. As a result, in 1738 the Spanish governor allowed those that were freed to build a settlement called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose. Known as Fort Mose, this was the first legally sanctioned settlement in the Americas for freed African Americans. While Florida switched hands between the Spanish, the French, the English, and then the Americans, the area around St. Augustine remained a refuge for African Americans. The “Where We Stand” series will be on exhibit at the St. Johns County Administration Building Rotunda 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday- Friday, Feb 15 through Apr 22, 2022. Admission is Free. Located at 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustin. Presented by the St. Johns Cultural Council.

“Hey, We’re Havin’ Fun Now!”

Visit or follow Lenny Foster on Instagram @lightseekingbeing

issue four / 2022

Publisher’s Note YOURS, NOT MINE We’re into the new year and a time for us to continue to reflect on the past and ponder the future. Many of us have goals to achieve, records to set and dreams to live. My one goal this year is to touch as many hearts, and provoke as many thoughts as possible. Loving Our Town is the publication of Saint Augustine that has quickly become its heartbeat. Our key component is community. That includes YOU. If you have something going on; an event, an idea, a charity, a local that should be highlighted, a story that needs to be told.. new possibilities – please reach out. We love hearing your thoughts, ideas, comments and suggestions. Without you, we can’t thrive. With you, we can achieve.


Live your best life. Lenny Gillette, Publisher

4 / FEBRUARY 2022

Romancing the Day Contributors Lllama Restaurant Local Music Your Fashion Fix Celebrate Black History Month Inspired Beauty by Sheryl Sherwood Pet Friendly St. Augustine Exploring Fort Mose St. Augustine Book Beat Wheels of Giving Blind But Not Captain’s Corner KC Inspections In The Weeds The Local Scene

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Romance the Day Opporunities Await Amid St. Augustine’s Glorious Backdrop

6 / FEBRUARY 2022

Photography courtesy

By Lauren Eastman


here is no question that picturesque, historical St. Augustine holds an air of romance around each corner. Hundreds of honeymooners visit St. Augustine each year for a romantic getaway, and no day is more magical than St. Valentine’s Day to feel the love. Whether you are single or coupled up, our lovely seaside town offers an unparalleled ambiance that makes embracing the unexpected with these untraditional yet special ideas to celebrate one of the world’s best holidays. Steal your sweetheart away to a hidden courtyard or stroll hand in hand along our centuries-old streets under the glow of the moonlight and imagine the history of love that has imbued this town with its ethereal charm. If you want to take your sweetheart on the town, there are a plethora of romantic options, but be sure to make your reservations in advance!

stretch of sand that glimmers between the pier and the end of the peninsula, while you gaze at wildlife, birds, and listen to the lapping waves. Or, visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse where you can see the entire town glisten below. Get a Couple’s Massage at Salt Spa St. Augustine and enjoy the centuries old therapeutic magic of salt in the romantic salt cave.

Take a Private Carriage Ride along the waterfront in an exquisitely decorated carriage with Country Carriages while you learn about the history of the city while marveling at architectural examples of splendor spanning from the Spanish Colonial to the Gilded Age period. Dine By Candlelight at Michaels Tasting Room, one of St. Augustine’s most romantic restaurants, with exquisite flavors and world-class wines as well as an attentive and a knowledgeable staff. Cook with Your Sweetheart. Grab some lobster at Fisherman’s Dock, and ask if they can crack and steam it for you! Bonus points for ordering Kilwin’s Truffles for dessert and a local bottle of dessert wine from San Sebastian Winery. Take a Hike. Washington Oaks State Park is just a short drive from downtown with moss covered pathways and various spots to sit and swoon. If you want to stay in the “heart” of the city, traipsing along St. George Street or Aviles Street hand in hand will do, while popping in and out of the various shops and eateries. Toast the Sunset. Throw a towel down at Anastasia State Park along the long

Steal a Kiss Under the Love Tree. Try your luck at forever love at the historic Mission Nombre de Dios, features a palm and oak tree that are entwined tightly around one another, which are said to bind couples who kiss under their branches together forever. Take a Sip from the Fountain of Youth. Remember the delight of young love with a little help from this magical spring, and take a walk through 15-acres of this beautiful Archeological Park along with the peacocks – a symbol of beauty, love and passion. You can stroll out to the dock with your sweetie and look back on the glimmering city. Sail into the Sunset on the Schooner Freedom or rent a private boat from St. Augustine Sailing to gaze at the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos National Monument from the water. Staycation. Book a room at Casa Monica Resort and Spa and get a pass to Serenata Beach Club for a city to sand adventure. Whatever you choose, make sure you love the one you are with – even, if it is just you! You never know who you might meet around this truly romantic town on February 14 who is doing one of the exact same things…looking for love!



Mare Martelli – Editor / Contributor Mare is originally from the NJ/Philadelphia area, where she had a long career in web, marketing as well as specialty publications for the Phila Inquirer. She fell in love with St. Augustine on her first visit in ’07 & finally made it her home in ’18, where she now lives with her husband, 2 rescue Aussies & 2 foundling cats. Mom to 2 grown sons, she’s a lover the arts, animals, good veg food & exploring all of the history, nature & magic this the area has to offer. 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. Chris Cottrell Chris is a Jacksonville, FL based is a PPA Certified photographer that specializes in Professional Headshots, Business Portraits and Lifestyle/ Branding photography. He obtained a Graphic Arts Degree from Brunel Technical College in the UK and he has been practicing the art of photography professionally for over 20 years. He has been published in various magazines including WNC and Jacksonville Magazines and has won awards for his work. 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. 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. Donald Tipton Donald received his BA and Master Degrees in Music from Columbus State University and later studied photography at The Southeastern Center for the Photographic Arts. Publishing credits include: Mergulho (Brazil), Der Stern, Lufthansa Magazine (Germany), DYK (Denmark), Dive International (England), Intuitions (France), National Geographic Explorer, Coastal Homes and Lifestyles, Sport Diver, Skindiver, (US). J.M. White Writer J. M. White’s book The Birth of Death delves into the paleolithic art in the caves of France, his book Pulling Down the Sun is about the kachina dances at the Zuni pueblo. He is currently collaborating with the fine art photographer Lenny Foster on a book of poetry and fine art photos titled On Beauty. 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 supporting healthcare startups, and freelance medical writing. Linda passionately blogs about a wide range of health topics. Follow along at

Lauren Eastman Lauren is a boy mom who chases waves, practices yoga and writes every chance she gets. For the past 20 years, she has told stories for a variety of businesses through her PR firm, Issima Communications. She launched Issima Publications in 2020 to tell her own stories, co-written with her son, and is currently working on her third book. Her Sound of Sharing Series is informed by her Yoga practice that began during International Studies at American University, then onto the mat. Lenny Foster Photographer/Contributor As a new resident of St. Augustine, Lenny is redefining his unique and spiritual vision. A community with such a rich, deep and diverse history and culture; coupled with its varied and fascinating architecture gives him a sense that he will be inspired and creating for quite some time. His Gallery One Forty Four in St Augustine has been the perfect venue to showcase his exquisite work. and IG @lightseekingbeing 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. Michelle also completed a graduate program in Health and Wellness Coaching. Her greatest joy is owning and operating the Adventure Pets shop in downtown with her husband. They specialize in adventure gear for dogs, healthy treats and interactive toys. Visit them at 51 Cordova St. or online at 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. 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. Bill McRea St. Augustine native and Veteran of the United States Air Force, Bill has over a 45 year history in the entertainment world. Known as William “The Pirate Magician of St. Augustine” Mayhem, he is the voice and face of the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. Mayhem and his crew, The St. Augustine Swashbucklers, can be found at numerous festivals and charity events throughout Florida and Georgia. 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

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 Ann Gillette Publishing Operations Mare Martelli Editor John Dickie IV Production and Design Loving Our Town St Augustine 24 Cathedral Place Suite 202 St Augustine FL 32084 Next Publication Deadline: February 23, 2022 Loving Our Town is a publication centered on community. If you have ideas, an event or other content of interest, please email:

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


Llama Restaurant

A Journey for All of Your Senses 10 / FEBRUARY 2022

Photography by Chris Cottrell

By Kelley Fitzsimonds and Mare Martelli


ikipedia defines a llama as a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the PreColumbian era. It goes on to say that it is the national image for the country of Peru. In Saint Augustine when you hear the word “llama” a particular location comes to mind - Llama Restaurant! Located at 415 Anastasia Blvd in an unassuming strip mall is Marcel Vizcarra’s beautiful restaurant. Marcel is a talented chef with classic culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu Institute in Lima, Peru but furthermore, Marcel is very passionate about his homeland in Peru. He began his love of food and cooking there at a very young age and credits having a mother, who challenged him to experiment and grow his talents, with his expansive view of Peruvian cuisine. Llama has a small but cozy dining room, eight or ten tables, but the moment you walk in the door it takes you to different place. Marcel’s hope is to give his guests an intimate experience, a feel for the culture and history of Peru and perhaps spark a desire to visit there themselves. Local chef Joseph Randle is fond of telling people that your first visit to Llama will be the most amazing culinary experience you have had, and he’s right. There is a level of art and a certain amount of theatrics that go into each plating. Take the Anticuchos which are marinated, and grilled beef heart skewers presented with Andean corn and potatoes in a smoke-filled dome tableside. Llama is not just a meal; it is an experience for all the senses.

Through it all Marcel keeps a positive attitude and pushes himself and his team to represent Peru beautifully and artistically. Taking classic Peruvian street fare with modern twists and a fine dining touch makes his restaurant stand out from the normal fare available in northern Florida. Making the exotic attainable keeps the reservations full and they’re often booked up weeks in advance. We always advise that people to make sure to leave room for dessert. They are not only uniquely delectable, but absolute works of art that also pay homage to his homeland. For instance, Sacred Valley – a combination of Quillabamba Cacao & lucuma fruit puree paired with the burning of Urubamba eucalyptus to enhance the experience and transport you to the the Cusco Mountains. Or the try the Algarrobina custard, which is a blend of black carob tree sap custard crowned artistically with spun sugar. Through hurricanes and supply chain shortages Llama St. Augustine consistently raises the bar with traditional Peruvian fare presented simply and beautifully in a relaxing environment. Marcel, recently asked about his plans for future growth, said he is interested in doing something simpler, something like authentic street foods that you would find in cities like Lima. Wherever the journey goes, we are proud to have this uniquely exquisite restaurant as part of the St. Augustine culinary scene. And truly excited to follow, learn, savor and expand the horizons of our taste buds wherever the excursion with Marcel takes us.

He is a storyteller through his dishes, from broken plates being used in service that reflect his difficult beginnings to using ingredients sourced from his beloved Peru. He takes his guests on a journey through his plating and food with well thought out details in everything from the decor to the bed of edible flowers he plants out the front door. This Llama’s trek hasn’t always been easy (not that owning a restaurant ever is). Two weeks after opening on October 6, 2016, Llama restaurant was destroyed by hurricane Mathew, that is where the afore mentioned broken plates are from. A quick rebuild and a short time later Marcel and his team are back at it full steam …only to get hit by Hurricane Irma eleven months later. And let’s not even talk about the challenges of 2020. LOT STA / 11

Rachael Akins A Rising Talent on the Local Music Scene

By Robert Waldner


y relationship with music has evolved over the years,” says Rachael Akins. “Where it was once something that I needed in order to survive, now it is therapeutic for me and an escape from everyday stress.” As she reflects on her personal and professional growth through the Ancient City music scene, Rachael acknowledges the role that making music has played thus far in her life and pays homage to those who helped her realize her passion. A native of the Florida Panhandle, Rachael moved to St. Augustine in 2010. “I was working at Scarlett O’Hara’s. I had virtually no musical experience other than singing karaoke at work,” she says. While Rachael was largely unaware of the talent she possessed, some of the musicians in her circle were less oblivious to her artistic capacity. “Chase Rideman, who plays with Chillula and TJ Brown were straight up with me about my relationship with music,” she says. “They instilled in me the understanding that to be taken seriously in music, you have to treat it as a craft and not just a talent. You have to work at it. That is what drove me to learn to play an instrument and to write my own music.” Today, Rachael fondly remembers that wakeup call as the catalyst for her fruitful music career. A self-proclaimed acoustic, folk, soul, southern blues musician, Rachael is a finger style guitarist who uses only her ten God given digits to massage sweet melodies into the hearts of her audience. “My first regular venue in St. Augustine was Hurricane Patty’s,” she says. The waterfront establishment was a casting off point for Rachael both figuratively and literally. “I left town for a while. I sailed from the dock at Hurricane Patty’s to Key West,” she says. There, Rachael found herself performing for guests at vacation resorts. “It was very commercial.” she says. “It was poolside cabana music. There was no demand for folkstyle. Management would not only dictate the genre that we were allowed to play, but also the artists that we were allowed to cover.” Eventually Rachael found herself back in the Ancient City, expanding her horizons, and building lasting relationships in what she describes as an inclusive and supportive community. “I feel like St. Augustine is more my hometown than the one I grew up in,” she says. “I’ve performed in Nashville, Austin, New Orleans, Key West, and San Diego. This is the only city I’ve played in that isn’t so cutthroat. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve popped a guitar string or even needed a guitar for a last-minute gig and I couldn’t make it home to get mine. There is always more than one musician eager to lend a hand, even if I don’t know them very well personally. ” Another highlight of Rachael’s gratitude for the local scene is the level of artistry that she is a part of. “There is such a high caliber of music here. Before I became established, I would watch a lot of local acts like Sam Pacetti, Jeanetta Cebollero, Jim Johnston, and Sailor Jane among others. I’ve learned from all of them and now they are my colleagues,” she says.

12 / FEBRUARY 2022

UPCOMING EVENTS Rachael Akins’ life and career have come full circle. She has transitioned from a starving young artist to a mother of two young children and an entrepreneur outside of her music career. The life she has made for herself, and her family is a direct result of the work she has put into it. Now, her goal is to continue connecting with others and to perfect her craft. “My spiritual urges to create my own music have come back to me,” she says. “My life has given me an abundance of high-quality material to write music about and I’m going to seize the opportunity to do so.” A collaborator at heart, it is not uncommon for Rachael to work with other artists as they strive to reach their own musical goals. “I love having opportunities to collaborate and sing backup on other musicians’ tracks,” she says. St. Augustine music lovers can find Rachael at her two current most frequent music venues, Prohibition Kitchen and Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille. “I average about one gig per week at both locations,” she says. You can find her playing at other venues around town as well, periodically including where it all started for her, Hurricane Patty’s. Also, be on the lookout for an exciting upcoming collaboration of what she describes as “The Two Rachaels,” with her good friend, Rachael Miller of Sailor Jane notoriety. “We haven’t released details yet, but it’ll be something different and something we hope people won’t want to miss,” she says. For more information on Rachael Akins upcoming live music schedule visit,,, and follow her Instagram account @whotfisrachael.

Photography by David Steele

Loving Our Music

February and March are shaping up to be exciting months in the St. Augustine music scene, with multiple venues offering big performances. Prohibition Kitchen is a local venue that schedules live music events six nights each week. “We support local artists,” says Rachael Miller, who handles PK’s Talent Acquisition through her own label, ‘Sailor Jane Productions’. Aside from their packed local music schedule, PK has booked the following National Recording Artists: • On February 18th, Nth Power, a funk band from New York will make an appearance at the venue with support from local acts opening the show. • On February 23rd, Bumpin Uglies, a national touring Reggae band will be performing a ticketed event sponsored by Deuterman Productions. • On April 1st, The Lee Boys, a Gospel Funk Band out of Miami, will grace the stage of Prohibition Kitchen. For Prohibition Kitchen’s music calendar, visit Other venues offering live music events in Feb & March: • The MillTop Tavern features regular performances by local artists such as Collapsible B, Jim Lamb, and Damon Slaughter. For more info on The MillTop’s live music schedule and full menu, visit • The Cellar Upstairs at San Sebastian Winery. With an eclectic live music calendar, you will find popular local acts such as Caleb Joye, Vinny Jacobs, Jolie, and The Committee Band playing on select nights through March. Visit for a full calendar of events. • O.C. White’s Seafood and Spirits will be featuring music from artist Trevor Compton on Friday evenings from 6-10pm throughout the month of March. Visit for more information. • Ann O’Malley’s Deli and Pub features live music by Smokin’ Joe Schauer and Denny Blue Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights through the months of February and March. Visit for more venue info and menu • A1A Ale Works also features performances by Smokin’ Joe Schauer and Denny Blue throughout the months of February and March along with select performances by Sam Pacetti, Wes Register and Caleb Joye. Visit for venue info and menu Upcoming Festivals Featuring Live Music include: • For Mose Jazz & Blue Series, at Fort Mose — Feb 18th – 26th • St. Augustine Country Festival and Craft Beer Fest — Sat. , Feb 26th 10am to 6pm. • Cathedral Festival 2022 — Fri., Feb 25th through Sun., Feb 27th. • Celtic Music and Heritage Festival Fri, Mar 11th - Sun Mar 13th. • Arts and Crafts Festival at The Pier — Two weekends in 2022. February 19th-20th and March 12th-13th. LOT STA / 13 • Lions Spring Festival 2022 — Sat and Sun, March 26th-27th.

The Best Things in Life are Sweet.

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Your Fashion Fix “Get your fancy pants on, we’re going to Publix!” By Susan Swearingen


hat exactly happened to the roaring 20’s that we were promised post-pandemic? Months ago, we talked about raging parties, hedonistic ways and vices galore - reliving St. Augustine’s wickedness during Prohibition days. Maybe it’s still too soon for the 20’s re-emergence but it leaves us wondering if party time is just a bit further beyond this new year’s ball drop. In the meantime, this has created a kind of fashion challenge that I hear about often in my store. Two common statements said by nearly every woman: “I have nothing to wear.” and “I have nowhere to go” are now combined into one bold statement “I have nowhere to go to wear what I want to wear!”

Here are a few thoughtful considerations: • Anywhere is a Place to Go This simple statement became a way of life as we pared down our travels from country hopping to grocery shopping. Our homes became our world and even a trip for food shopping became an event. In my house, it also became a reason to dress up a bit outside of our yoga pants and tanks. Fashion translation: “Get your fancy pants on, we’re going to Publix!” • Special is in the Everyday We started to see that the everyday, often overlooked events became important. The walk to get the mail was a breath of fresh air, the cuddling with our pup became pure love, and tending to houseplants became a new joy. These opportunities opened our eyes to see the beauty in what we glossed over as mundane. Fashion translation: Wear what makes you feel special right now because NOW is the best time as any. • People Want to See You Craving connection with others is something we’ve heard over and over as hugs were replaced with 6-foot air kisses and handshakes were replaced with fist bumps. Zoom calls created a whole new ‘just the waist-up’ fashion culture. We care about portraying a polished version of ourselves and know how that helps us to feel confident. We all have admired that relative or neighbor that dressed to the 9’s just to go to the doctor’s office. Fashion translation: Bring it! Have fun in expressing yourself through your clothing style because people want to see you and it simply makes your feel better. So, cheers to a new year with a brand-new bold statement: “I wear what I want, when I want and where I want.” LOT STA / 15

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St. Augustine

The Ideal Place to Celebrate and Learn About American Black History


t. Augustine, Florida is historically known for the Spanish settlers that came here and claimed the continent in the 16th century. America’s black history began here too.

St. Augustine was founded by Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565, along with 800 colonists which included Africans. The first recorded birth of a black child in North America is documented in St. Augustine Catholic parish records. The first recorded escaped slaves from the Carolinas arrived in St. Augustine in 1687. Spain granted sanctuary and freedom to escaped slaves. In 1738 Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (Fort Mose) was established at St. Augustine as the first free black community in North America. In 1763, at the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Spanish Florida came under British rule and the residents of Fort Mose and St. Augustine’s Spanish colonists fled Florida to resettle in Cuba forming the town of Ceiba Mocha. Florida returned to Spanish rule in 1763, until it became a US Territory in 1821, but Fort Mose was never reestablished until 1989, when the land was purchased by the state of Florida. The history of Black Americans in St. Augustine is long and well documented, including the civil rights struggle that took place here in 1964. Today, black history can be seen and celebrated throughout St. Augustine – from the downtown Plaza de la Constitucion to the beaches of Anastasia Island. And there’s no better time to experience this rich heritage than Black History Month. Narrated tours, museums, historic sites, and concerts are just a few ways to experience the rich history of the black experience in the Nation’s oldest city. • The Lenny Foster Photography Exhibition: “Where We Stand” will be on display at the St. Johns County Courthouse daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, through April 22, 2022. Work from this series provides a glimpse into the rich African American history of Florida’s Historic Coast. Admission is free. • The Fort Mose Militia bring the 18th century back to life by practicing their firing drills, and by teaching new members historic

weapons use and safety during this monthly Militia Muster. Visitors to the park can witness the weapons demonstrations, which include musket firings. • The Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center chronicles more than 450 years of St. Augustine’s black history through exhibits, arts, lectures and live performances. Feb 1- Eric Carter & Company and Feb. 26, Longineu Parsons II. • From February 18 - 25, 2022 Fort Mose State Historic Park will host the inaugural Fort Mose Jazz and Blues Series featuring some of America’s most well-known and accomplished performers including The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Amythyst Kiah, Gregory Porters, and more. The Series includes five unforgettable performances over two weeks. • On February 19 Resilience Family Fest will feature cultural dance and musical performances, historical reenactments and more at the city’s Solomon Calhoun Community Center. • I Lived Here as Well – A Woman’s Story, the story of urban slavery from the woman’s perspective is a guided tour led by costumed actors taking place which take place each Thursday- Saturday in February and March at Ximenez Fatio House Museum. The celebration of St. Augustine’s Black Heritage does not end with Black History month. Throughout the year, visitors are encouraged to visit the following important sites including the ACCORD Civil Rights Museum, ACCORD Freedom Trail, the Plaza de La Constitucion, Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park , and more. LOT STA / 17

Inspired Beauty by Sheryl Sherwood Pit and Raku Fired Pottery

18 / FEBRUARY 2022

Photography by David Steele


heryl Sherwood is a life-long artist. Since childhood she has worked in a variety of mediums; all the while searching for a creative medium to call her “passion”. While taking a class from a local potter in 2011, she fell in love with clay and all its possibilities.

Retired from two careers, her work experiences are deeply embedded in each organic clay piece. The first, an environmental agency, raised her awareness and appreciation for the world that has been put in our care. The second was as an elementary teacher of blind and visually impaired students at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, in St. Augustine, Florida. In this career she taught students to use tactile forms to enhance their day-to-day learning and encouraged their own creativity in class and in the art club she co-sponsored.

“It was truly God’s plan that I found clay to be my creative outlet. Each uniquely designed piece is hand-coiled and combines my love of scripture, work, and life experiences. Because of my experience with blind and visually impaired children and adults, I use natural and recyclable materials to make texture and carvings that allow them to “see” the art for themselves. ​My goal is that every pot keep its most organic form, while including movement, texture, and carvings for visual and tactile appeal. I also share words of hope on print/Braille scripture cards that accompany each piece.” ~ Sheryl Sherwood LOT STA / 19

As I pull clay from its bag, I am always inspired by a scripture of faith, hope and love. Hand coiling begins and forms into a thing of beauty. Each piece is pit or raku fired to achieve smoky rings on and around its body.

I have a small studio where I look out over the trees and see the sun rise each day. The rising sun is a beautiful promise of a new beginning. This is how I feel about the clay has a new beginning as a piece of art that I have the privilege of forming to bring pleasure and beauty to you. Sheryl’s work is available at the PAStA Fine Art Gallery at 214 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine web: IG: @ 20 / FEBRUARY 2022

Photograph by Lenny Foster

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

(408) 637-8575

LOT STA / 21

You Are at Your Launching Place.


very Second of every day you are at your launching place. You are where you are, so start from there…

When you come in contact with people be grateful for any interactions. Be grateful not only for the aligned feel-good interaction but also for the ones that feel a bit me ssy… Those very messy interactions are the lightbulbs those feelings are not the way you want to go, now start to shift from that point. And most importantly, be grateful for the thoughts that you have about yourself, even when they are messy feeling thoughts. This is your launching place at that moment. What will you do with it? Any messy interactions with you or others are opportunities to switch your thoughts and perspective.


If you’re not sure what to switch your thoughts and perspective to think about your Go-To Vision. The one that lights you up 100% of the time.


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Once this is practiced routinely, it becomes second nature to shift. And you will begin to see positive shifts in all areas of your life. The future is yours and you in are charge. Cathlene ©2022

New Year’s Resolution: Walk the Dog By Michelle Trainer


he Romans began each year by making promises to the God Janus to pay their debts. Today, we know this tradition as making New Year’s Resolutions. Each year, we resolve to accomplish our goals and change our undesired behaviors. Many of these goals are focused on diet and exercise. While it is noble to reaffirm our commitments, the majority of these resolutions fail. Not because the person wasn’t committed to their goal, but because the goal wasn’t realistic. Real change occurs when small and sustainable changes made over time become new healthy habits. If your “New Year New Me” isn’t going the way you intended, I’d like to challenge you to start over and set one small and achievable goal: walk the dog.

Make it fun! Log your time and miles each day to track your progress. Snap photos of your dog and beautiful St. Augustine with your phone or camera. Share them online and don’t forget to tag Loving Our Town Magazine. Download an app like WoofTrax Walk for a Dog, which allows you to support your favorite animal organizations just by walking! We set a goal last year to walk 100 miles in the month of January. We came in just 13 miles short of our goal, but 87 miles ahead of where we started. I hope to empower you to take action with your dog’s best interest in mind and set a goal that will benefit both of you. Now get out there. Adventure awaits!

Did you know that over 55% of dogs in this country are overweight or obese? Poor health runs up and down the leash. January is Walk Your Pet Month and there’s no better way to explore this beautiful city than on foot with your four-legged friend. Your dog provides the confidence and security to get out there and do what you might not do on your own. January in St. Augustine is the perfect time to walk your dog outdoors, without having to worry about extreme heat or hot pavement. Getting started is easy! Start where you are. If you or your dog haven’t walked in a while, start by setting a goal to walk around the block. Even 5 minutes of walking each day is a start. Once you can make it around the block, set a goal to walk around the block 2 times, then 3 times. Do this until you and your dog can build up to 30 minutes of continuous brisk walking daily. This will help you to meet the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water for your dog and some waste bags to keep the city clean.

Photography by Mare Martelli

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Exploring Fort Mose

Experience Living History in the First Legally Sanctioned Free Black Community

24 / FEBRUARY 2022

Photography by Lenny Foster

By J.M. White


he African American history in America began here in Florida in 1513 when blacks accompanied Ponce de Leon when he first set foot in Florida. The Spanish were bringing African slaves to Florida over a hundred years before the first slave ship arrived in Jamestown. The first declaration of freedom for slaves was issued for the slaves in St. Augustine. St. Augustine holds a unique place in the history of the United States, it was not only the first continuously occupied European settlement in North America, founded in 1565, but also the site of the first free black community in North America. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida, Manuel de Montiano, established Fort Mose as the first free black settlement to be legally sanctioned in what would become the United States. One hundred years before the first Dutch slave ship unloaded twenty enslaved Africans in Jamestown in 1619, Ponce de Leon brought Spanish slaves from Africa as part of his crew to explore the east coast of Florida. When Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida in 1513 he was accompanied by African slaves and freed blacks including Juan Garrido, the first recorded person of African heritage to set foot on North America. In 1565 the Spanish settled St. Augustine when Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed at the Timucua village of Seloy in what now downtown St. Augustine is. Menendez had at least fifty Africans, both free and slaves, in his crew long before the English instituted their system of plantation slavery. As England, France and Spain competed for control of the new world they all relied on African labor to develop their overseas colonial possessions. In the Spanish system slaves were allowed to make money and buy their freedom. Under the Spanish not all slaves were black and not all blacks were slaves. There were free blacks on Columbus’s first voyage and the Spanish owned slaves who were white, Moors, natives and Africans. The earliest slave trade started with Columbus who captured natives and transported them back to Spain to sell as slaves. Ironically the first

slave trade was going from America back to Spain instead of from Africa to America. The natives who were enslaved quickly died from a variety of European diseases. Consequently, within a single generation the native population of the Caribbean was nearly extinct. At that point the Spanish began to import slaves from Africa. Both the Spanish and the English economy was based on slave labor and slave traders ran lucrative businesses bringing African slaves to the Americas. These slaves fueled vast agricultural industries that created great wealth for the plantation owners. The English colony of Carolina was established in 1670 and claimed the land all the way down the coast to Cape Canaveral. The Spanish claim to this territory was much older and it was a source of continuing dispute between the two countries. In 1686 the Spanish began to put out the word that escaped slaves would be given sanctuary in Spanish Florida. The first escaped slaves to take advantage of this arrived within a year. In 1693 King Charles II of Spain issued the Edict of 1693 which stated that any male slave on an English plantation who escaped to Spanish Florida would be granted freedom provided he joined the militia and became a Catholic. This edict became the New World’s earliest emancipation proclamations. As a result, the first underground railroad for escaped slaves ran south instead of north as escaped slaves from the Carolinas and Georgia made their way to St. Augustine. The Spanish in St. Augustine were in constant fear of invasion from the English and in 1738 the Spanish governor Manuel de Montiano established Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, known as Fort Mose, as protection from invasion from the north. The fort was built about two miles north of the old city. It was

LOT STA / 25

Photos courtesy Madelyn Rubin - Ft. Mose Historical Society

located on a small stream and had palisade walls on three sides with the open side facing the creek. The fort was sixty feet square, with walls of upright logs and a moat; the bank on the outside of the moat was covered with cactus. There was a well and a few small buildings inside and a small village of wattle and daub houses outside the walls. There were up to a hundred blacks, mostly runaways from the Carolinas, living in Fort Mose. Many were skilled workers, blacksmiths, carpenters, cattlemen, boatmen, and farmers. The captain of the militia stationed at Fort Mose was a former slave named Francisco Menendez. He was a Mandingo born in West Africa who had been captured in Africa and brought to the Americas where he was enslaved on an English plantation. He helped the English fight the natives during the Yamasee Indian War but, when the opportunity presented itself, he escaped with the help of some native allies and made his way to St. Augustine. Once there the natives sold him back into slavery to the Spanish. However, in 1726 the Spanish recognized his leadership potential and made him Captain of the black militia. In 1738 he petitioned the Spanish governor and was granted his freedom. After only two years, in 1740, the fort was attacked by an English army from newly colonized Georgia. The fort was overrun by the English and the black militia were forced back to St. Augustine while the British took control of the fort. The Spanish, with the black militia, rallied and on June 26 three hundred Spanish troops fought a battle the English named

26 / FEBRUARY 2022

Fort Mose Today Fort Mose Historic State Park is recognized as a significant local, national and international historic landmark. The Fort Mose Historical Society is the citizens support organization for Fort Mose Historic State Park. They support the museum and visitors center as well as coordinate events and re-enactments throughout the year. They have also begun plans and fundraising for the construction and interpretation of a representation of the original 1738 Fort. The park also offers picnic areas, trails, an observation and birding boardwalk and a kayak launch boardwalk. Re-enactment schedule • Flight to Freedom, January 27-29 • Founders Day, March 19 • Battle of Bloody Mose, June 25 • First Harvest at Mose, November 5 • Militia Muster, 1st Saturdays- Monthly Visitor Center is open Thursday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., 365 days a year. Admission to park grounds is free. Museum entrance fee is $2. for adults. Children under 6 enter free.

Bloody Mose and killed sixty-eight of the English invaders and captured another thirty-four. However, the fort had been burned by the English. Once the English were driven back the black militia men moved to St. Augustine. It would be twelve years before the Spanish decided to rebuild the fort. In 1752 they rebuilt the fort on higher ground just to the northeast of the old fort. The militia was well equipped with twenty-four muskets, two large cannons and four iron swivel guns. By 1759 they had rebuilt the village outside the fort with twenty-two thatched huts. All the residents were Catholic as a condition of their freedom and there was a resident priest. However, some aspects of their native religion from Africa were incorporated into their life with dances and music. Fort Mose was a unique blend of African, European and native cultural influences. The residents of Fort Mose occupied the fort for eleven years until the Treaty of Paris ended the war between England and Spain. As a result, Spain ceded Florida to the English and the residents of Fort Mose were forced to evacuate. In 1763 the English took possession of St. Augustine and Francesco Menendez with his wife and four children relocated to Cuba along with over forty other men, women and children from Ft. Mose. Virtually all the Spanish in St. Augustine along with the slaves, the natives and the free blacks moved to Cuba. For any black or native left in St. Augustine living under English rule would mean a return to slavery.

The English occupied the fort for the next twenty years until 1784 when the Spanish regained control of the area. The Spanish used the fort until 1812 when it was abandoned and destroyed. In 1819 the United States took control of Florida and once again the Spanish deserted the area. The fort was largely forgotten for the next hundred and fifty years. In 1976 archaeologists determined the location of the fort and the State purchased the site. The site was excavated in 1986 by the Florida Museum of Natural History. Dr. Kathleen Deagan led a team on archaeological digs at the site and Jane Landers did research in the Spanish archives to find documentation about the fort. About a third of the area in the fort had eroded into the creek but the remaining sections have been carefully studied and a small museum has been built near the site to house the artifacts and educate the public. Fort Mose Historical Society currently supports the State Park and hosts an annual re-enactment. This “living history” event has been selected as the number one re-enactment in the State. There have been over 84,000 visitors to the site since it opened twentyfive years ago. LOT STA / 27

Photography by Mare Martelli

Maria — The Captivating Tale of a St. Augustine Midwife By Linda Dumas


o you find yourself longing to get lost in a good book? Are you interested in learning something new about the beautiful city of Saint Augustine? If so, I highly recommend “Maria” by Eugenia Price. This book made me pause from all the distractions going on in the world and left me wanting to know more about the colonization and history of our city. “Maria” takes place in St. Augustine, during the 1700s. It’s a historical romance novel with a dash of healthcare, which I greatly appreciated as the main character Maria was a midwife. The book begins when the Spanish relinquish ownership of Saint Augustine to the British in exchange for Cuba. I’ve often walked around historical downtown wondering about the people who first lived in these homes. If you’ve done the same you will notice that some of the homes have a very Spanish-style architecture, while at the same time some have more of a Britishstyle. And after reading “Maria”, I have an understanding of why this is so. When the book opens “Maria” transports the reader back to when the British first arrived in Saint Augustine on boat. The book beautifully describes the one mile stretch of downtown and left me dreaming of the coquina houses with orange groves and chickens in the courtyards.

This book captures a unique time historically for Saint Augustine, and one that is less chronicled. In the mid-1700s the Spanish were slowly leaving aboard ships and there is a general sadness throughout the city. The Spanish had been living in Saint Augustine for generations, it was the only life they knew. And as the Spanish left the British were moving into their house and making themselves right at home. Upon arrival to St Augustine Maria befriends a prominent Spanish man. Through that friendship Maria becomes known around the city as a prominent midwife and helps deliver babies all round in the city. I was drawn to Maria’s strong entrepreneurial nature as it was quite uncommon for women to work outside the home during this time period. Her loving relationship with her first husband is something to be desired. The way she cares for him after his time in the military and through all of his ailments. Their loving respect for each other is something to be admired. I could easily carry on about this book however I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it! I will say I couldn’t put it down. And after finishing the book, I took a leisurely drive downtown to revisit all the streets and landmarks mentioned throughout the book. I paused to look at the structures of the houses, looking for the details mentioned on the pages of this book. When you stop and look closely you will see the history there and will feel transported back in time!

LOT STA / 29

Wheels of Giving

The Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine’s Committment to Community Involvement 30 / DECEMBER 2021

Photography by David Steele

By Cathlene Miner


idney and Brenda Hobbs are the owners and founders of The Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine. There is always a passion behind starting a nonprofit organization and we were excited to find out more about theirs.

As their mission statement states, “Classic Car Museum of St Augustine was created to help bring memories back to life as only Classic Cars can do. Founded on the principles of sharing, charitable giving, community involvement, education, and a whole lot of fun, we strive to put smiles on everyone associated and that walk through our doors.” And that is exactly what they do. You will travel back in time the minute you walk in. The cars are spectacular! Growing up around cars myself I have great memories as I stroll through and see each car. The retro signage and atmosphere will bring up feel-good times. Every 3rd Saturday of the month, The Classic Car Museum of St Augustine hosts their club’s “Cruisin’.” They have Classic Cars and coffee once a month, many lawn events, a car donation program, sponsorships for events and so many other ways that you can get involved. You can also purchase yearly and lifetime membership passes! Go to to learn more. The idea came from the love of Classic Cars. Sidney said, “After testing models for years that would support a non-profit, we decided to put our investment into the Car Museum to showcase these amazing automobiles to the public, utilize the cars to raise money for charity, and to overall create happiness and memory recall for everyone that walks through the doors.” Sidney and Brenda never see failure as an option and are believers that there is always a way to succeed. About their dream, they say, “You just have to find it and be willing to go the extra mile to do it.”

The Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine collaborates with organizations and communities to give back. So what can you do to help The Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine? Word of mouth support and visits, of course. “Any donations to support their mission would be a blessing,” says Brenda and Sidney. They love and are amazed and humbled by the support that they receive. **The Car Museum of St. Augustine is a 501c3 documented charity, we provide visitors the opportunity to experience cars from the 1800s to modern-day sports cars with all the benefits a charitable organization provides. We believe “you can’t out-give God”, but we try every day. , “We have always tried to give back and have the motto “you can’t outgive God”. We continue to try and live that. They formed a Non-Profit that formalized what they have been doing for years. This also gives donors security with a documented 501c3.

The Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine has cars ranging from 1895 to 2020. They host many events, and their event space is available to rent out for parties, weddings, receptions, meetings, birthdays, or whatever you have in mind.

LOT STA / 31

WE FEED ST. AUGUSTINE We feed St. Augustine is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization that connects the greater Saint Augustine food service, restaurant, distribution and farming network to our neighbors.

Phone: 386-682-0245 Email:

Photography by Chris Cottrell

Blind But Not By Chris Cottrell


ll my life I had dreamt of owning a pug. The little flat faced comedians had captured my heart but my life circumstances had not been ideal for dog ownership until 12 years ago when Bodie joined our family. We had been visiting Pug Rescue of Florida’s adoptable dogs page for months and finally spotted Bodie. He was described as a “sumo wrestler pug!” He was a chunk for sure!!!! He was a delight and 3 years later we thought perhaps we could rescue a friend for him, an older pug that might have stumbled upon hard times. Enter Spanky!! Spanky had been neglected and at 10/11 years old he was blind. Could we take care of a blind pug? We didn’t see why not and Spanky joined the family. He was remarkable! He gained trust rapidly in Chris and while he was very timid about walking on the leash when he arrived he started to RUN on the leash with Chris! He was so full of joy it was the most wonderful thing to witness. We were so grateful to Pug Rescue of Florida for allowing us to rescue Bodie and Spanky and we tried to think of a way to pay it forward and help them in some way. Yes we could write a check, all rescues need money, but we wanted to do something creative that involved our growing Social Media family. I decided to knit dog scarves and sell them to our friends giving all the proceeds to rescue!!! And so it began!! Slight problem…..I didn’t know how to knit so I taught myself from a You Tube video and started making the scarves!! I trimmed them with fun buttons and they became quite popular!! I called the enterprise BLIND BUT NOT - in honor of our Spanky who was just that with his brave personality.

My initial goal was to raise $1000.00 for Pug Rescue of Florida. It wasn’t long before I was handing over the check!!!!! I did the knitting, Chris took lovely pictures of the scarves and the orders kept rolling in! We decided to continue with the enterprise and raise money, $1000.00 at a time for different pug rescues around the country (now the world!) I was knitting every spare moment of the day around a full time job, Over the next few years our total donated grew and we are currently at $50,000.00 raised for various rescues. We have also donated to a couple of charities that help families who have dogs with Cancer diagnosis as our dear Bodie is fighting Cancer. Last year, during the Pandemic I opened an Etsy store and started selling Dog Blankets and Bone pillows among other things. Blind But Not is now my full time job and we are donating more than ever to Pug Rescues!!! Our dear Spanky, the inspiration behind Blind But Not passed away 2 years ago aged 16/17. We learned so much from him and all about the joy of rescuing senior dogs!! Spanky even made it onto Good Morning America spreading the word about Senior Dogs!! Both Bodie and Spanky traveled extensively with us to Pug events up and down the East Coast spreading the word about rescue and the work that we do. I still make the scarves and little wooly hats - they, and all the other things I make can be found in our Etsy store Our next goal is to make it to $100,000.00 donated to rescues!!! @blindbutnot - Instagram, Facebook and Twitter LOT STA / 33

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Captain’s Corner Pirate Code By Bill McCrea


o many believe that pirates were unorganized, unintelligent, and undisciplined in their ways and lifestyle. Some of this belief truly comes from the stereotyped persona put forth by movies. From the very first pirate movie, L’Honneur du Corsaire, in 1908 to the most recent, the Lost Pirate Kingdom in 2021, almost all movies portray pirates as rum drunk adventurers on the hunt for buried treasure. Truth be told, pirate crews of the golden age of piracy had a very staunch look at rules and laws. In today’s world many may have a small bit of knowledge on what was known as “The Code”, but I hope to bring you knowledge of what the code meant to the men of these pirate crews and the value it hs for us today. The Golden Age of Piracy had men like Bartholomew Roberts, Edward Teach, Samuel Bellamy, William Kidd, Henry Morgan and Jack Rackem for ever etched in history as somewhat successful leaders of men. Why? In part due to “The Code” which was also known as pirate articles, or articles of agreement a code of conduct for governing pirates and crews. A group of sailors, on turning pirate, would draw up their own code or articles, which provided rules for discipline, division of stolen goods, and compensation for injured pirates First, we must understand how the men felt about “The Code”. When the articles were drawn up and read to the crew, keeping in mind many men could not read, the articles read aloud would be cheered on by the entire crew. Once the reading was complete each man would step forward in full presence of all on deck and place their “mark” on the code (remember if they could not read they most likely could not write. But here is a point most important, the men would put their mark within the body of the words, lines, sentences and columns. Not at the bottom as we would with a modern-day contract but within the body of the work itself. Why? because the men believed that “They were EQUAL to the Code - not beneath it or the code above them.” This is a very important distinction to be making now as to the genuine importance of “The Code”. The entire Idea of “The Code“ dictated punishments for dereliction of duties, drunk and disorderly, and lying, cheating or steal from ones own crew. “The Code” gave every man four upfront benefits and one most important right. Those privileges where: an equal share of the food, rum, work and money or spoils. Keep in mind it was equal “shares” because in essence to truly grasp the concept in modern

day society, “The Code” could be viewed as a contractual concept making each crew member a business partner or “a shareholder”. Another larger portion of the money was dispersed in that the ship itself. The money for the ship was used for repairs, purchase of food and rum (if not pillaged) and most importantly a way to compensate crew members for their injuries in the performance of their duties. The Right each man was given via “the code” was the power of vote. A direct quote from Roberts code stated “All men get an equal voice in affairs of the moment”. This vote gave each man a voice in the decision-making process of the ship. The Captains and Officers were put in place by the vote of the men in the crew. The Code sets up a form of Government on the ship that gives each man a say in his life and a control over his own destiny. That form of Government most free citizens of the world recognize as DEMOCRACY. Pirates sowed the seeds of democracy in the late 1600s and those seeds will grow for the next 400 years. The known codes of Bartholmew Roberts, John Philips, Edward Low , George Lowther , John Gow and Henry Morgan can be found in research via your internet. A deeper breakdown and education on “The Code” would reveal many other points that would displace the typical stereotype of pirates, such as: Many Pirates were Christian, also had a respect for others even of different races, creeds or color, and believed that who put in to the work should share the rewards of the work. They had a very healthy way of handling disputes and arguments among the crew. Again from Roberts’ Code, “No Fighting aboard ship, all men’s quarrels shall be handled by pistol, sword or knife”. It may sound farfetched, but if we looked beyond the stereotype of drunken uneducated pirates and look more into their purpose, successes and legacy left, one might just come to the conclusion that we in modern day times may owe much more to the pirates of history than just a raised tankard and a bloody utterance of rrrrrrr. LOT STA / 35

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KC Inspections Knocks Out the Honey-Do List By Monika Bernthal


rawling into the attic, climbing on the roof, testing appliances and checking the seals on windows are not most property owners’ idea of a good time. Let’s be honest. These are the honey-do items that either get pushed to the bottom of the list in perpetuity – or eliminated altogether. Fortunately for the honey-doers, it’s these tasks that excite Kyle Califf the most. Growing up around personal remodels, boat dock and home builds, Kyle has been around construction and maintenance work his whole life. From an early age, the art of construction and engineering was ingrained in him and ultimately became his passion. In 2019, armed with a business degree from Flagler College, experience as a claims adjuster and a hefty dose of entrepreneurial spirit, he established his St. Augustine-based company, KC Inspections. Today, he provides clients not only with inspections and detailed reports, but shares his passion by truly educating property owners. “While seeing all the crazy damages or ‘cleverly’ installed systems keeps me intrigued, my favorite part about this line of work is the people”, explained Kyle.

When KC Inspections isn’t onsite, the team is constantly working to remain up-to-date with codes and certifications. Their inspectors must research permits, know current building code requirements and hold a deep understanding of an array of systems such as electrical, plumbing, roof, HVAC and pools. Not to mention they must be knowledgeable about insect/termite, mold, sewer scope inspections and requirements. What many property owners may not realize, is that inspections are completely non-invasive. Inspectors do not open up walls or pull up floorboards. They are checking for those items that affect the integrity and the core engineering of the property – and ensuring all major systems are a “go”. After completing an inspection, KC Inspections provides property owners with a thorough report and then reviews the report with the client. If you’re interested in gaining a deeper understanding of your investment AND finally knocking out your honey-do list, visit KC Inspections online at to learn more, get an instant quote or schedule an appointment.

He and his team enjoy taking the time to explain key points in a way they understand. After all, a property purchase is most peoples’ largest investment they make in their lifetime. Who wouldn’t want a thorough understanding? This approach comes back to KC Inspections in spades with repeat customers and rave reviews. Insurance inspections and full property inspections for real estate transactions are the most common types of inspections the company conducts. But a general maintenance inspection is probably the most valuable – and overlooked. (That’s the one referenced above that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list!) KC Inspections recommends a quick annual checkup for all property owners. Then, the team suggests an in-depth inspection every three to five years. LOT STA /37

AJ’s Kitchen & Cocktails Comfort food with a local twist featuring tasty big plates, and small plates that will hit the spot. Featuring picturesque views of the King & Bear golf

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In the Weeds

Photography by Alise Sheppard By Kelley Fitzsimonds


n this issue we meet up with Leah Henry of Dog Rose Brewing Company at 77 Bridge St. in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood. I remember this property as Michelle Roux Absolute Americana Museum, for a bar nerd like myself, it was a cool spot. It contained all the Absolute Vodka advertising through the ages.

Fast forward a few years and now we have Dog Rose Brewing company with head brewer and owner Doug Murr, formerly from A1A Ale Works, now operating his own brewery, and a very cool one at that! Jam bands, concert posters framed on the wall, that style music playing over the house speakers, darts and shuffleboard games to play and some of the best locally crafted beer on tap make this spot a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. Fresh flavorful food 40 / FEBRUARY 2022

offerings from the Funkadelic food truck permanently on site and our featured bartender Leah behind the bar - it doesn’t get much better! We got the chance to catch up with Leah, here is our chat: How did you get started in the hospitality industry? Leah: I worked in healthcare for most of my adult life and needed a break as a mental reset. I was craving more interactions with a variety of people and wanted to see joy on their faces instead of continuous bad news. I started at a local beer bar with a friend and became intrigued with the different varieties of beer that I never experienced before. I went from a Miller Lite girl to trying and seeking out Trappist and Hefeweizens. About 1 year in at this mostly bottle beer bar, a new brewery (Dog Rose) just opened and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I was interested in not only being a part of something

new, but also wanted to really find my place in the industry doing something that I was starting to really love. I wasn’t looking to serve food, or to make craft cocktails I wanted to find a professional culture around beer. I will have been there now for almost 4 years. The socalled break I had from healthcare industry became a permanent one. I love what I do now and have never dreaded coming to work like I did when I was in corporate healthcare. What is your go to drink order? Leah: It depends on the setting. IPAs are my first choice, but I’d have to say you actually turned me on to cucumber gimlets for something refreshing and bright. What is your hangover cure? Leah: I don’t drink like I used to, but water/multivitamins and Georgie’s Diner! Coffee or tea? Leah: Most certainly coffee. The stronger the better. Favorite spots in town? Leah: We have a plethora of great places to dine and drink. I can’t keep saying Dog Rose. I prefer to enjoy music when I’m out, so Stogies and Sarbez are my easy picks for something relaxed, come as you are and with music. I also enjoy Casa Maya, Catch 27, Odd Birds, and Meehan’s! Only in Saint Augustine? Leah: A definitive food and beverage day: There is no way to cram it all in one day…Morning start off at Blue Hen for breakfast and pint glass mimosas, head to Ice Plant for a limoncello. Go to Bog to have a flight of beer and a taco at Tacos My Blessing. Go to Dog Rose for a Roadside IPA and some Brussels Sprouts from the Funkadelic Food Truck, Odd Birds for a Fernet. End with dinner at Llama with food paired wine. Dessert at Amici’s with a coffee! What ingredients or spirits are you really excited about? Leah: Working at a brewery and being immersed in what makes a fine beer, I would have to say the ever changing and growing hop varieties. I also have been into Gins lately. My first experience with it was a cheap, embarrassingly noxious one and I never gave it a change until recently. Hendricks has been my favorite Who do you look up to in the industry? Leah: I find my inspiration from the women in the brewery setting. The original makers of beer were women that began thousands of years ago. Politics, religion and economics during the late 18th century women were pushed out of the craft. Progress is being made to change the stereotypical “breweries are for men with

beards” to include women in the manufacturing and ownership of breweries as it once was. Organizations like the Pink Boots Society are pushing to help women in the brewing industry through education and networking opportunities. 7.5 percent of brewers are women. Only 2 percent are 100% female owned. The segment that employs the most women is the brewery service staff (54 percent) as well as Doug Murr for sure. He is my boss. He started with little knowledge of the craft 20+ years ago and built up to owning his own place with hard work and persistence and also taking great leaps. He is respected in many circles as a beer wizard and great businessman and is very inspiring. I also look up to many of the professional bartenders in town. The ones that get hammered in busy tourism days, and you can spot them as soon as you enter the establishment…You know the ones… they are staples of the business, and you can feel the love for the craft/hospitality from the door. Stranded on a desert island, 3 bottles if you could pick them? Leah: Sierra Nevada pale, Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Any advice that you would offer for aspiring new bartenders looking to break into the industry? Leah: 1: Hospitality is everything. People come to bars and restaurants for the experience, they can get beverages anywhere. They aren’t looking for what you can do for them, it’s how you make them feel about themselves. They want to be treated important. THAT’S your job. 2: Know your products. There is nothing worse than being asked a question about what you offer and answering “I’m not sure”. Read up on what the products are and what makes them special. If you only have a limited menu know what people are looking for by asking questions. One of my favorite parts of my job is getting a self-proclaimed “non beer drinker” or a “I only drink watery fizzy beers” to love stouts and Sours just because I could take what they love in other drinks they do like and matching the similar qualities of a beer that they never would have thought to try. (continued on next page) LOT STA /41

In the Weeds (continued from page 41)


3: Invest in your body. Standing and working behind a bar can be taxing on your body. Get good shoes, stretch/yoga, get good sleep, eat right. Also, save the heavy drinking for after your shift-it’s a profession not a lifestyle. You are representing your establishment and its reputation What do you do for fun here in town? Leah: Day off vibes, work hard, play hard what makes it all worth it? Kayaking and finding secluded places near Matanzas Inlet to day camp. I love being outdoors as a way to unplug from busy shifts and people. I’m outgoing at work but love my alone time when I’m off. Enjoying off time with my boyfriend and stepson. We go hiking, baseball games and spring hopping. Leah also wanted to share one of her favorite seasonal pours with our readers: The Lions Head Honey Sour featured exclusively in the tap room of Dog Rose Brewing company, a kettle sour with pre and post fermentation additions of local orange blossom honey 5.2% ABV and 12 IBU Cheers until the next time, Kelley Fitzsimonds

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The Local Scene Recent events raise awareness for local charities

Classic Car Museum Milk & Cookies with Santa fundraiser & toy drive was held on Dec. 17 in partnership with Champion Church Photos by: Cheryl Hodges

Sponsor Reception – Dec 2 for Festival of Trees to Benefit St Francis House and Port in the Storm Nov 29- Dec 2 at The Lightner Museum Photos by: Alise Sheppard

Jimmy Jam BBQ Competition was held at the St Johns Fair Grounds – Jan 8th Photos by: SMC Photography

Junior Service League of St. Augustine held their New Year’s Eve Gala Dec 31 at The Fountain of Youth Photos Courtesy Lauren Eastman 46 / FEBRUARY 2022

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