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Retirement Redefined

JAN/FEB 2020

TM

G On Top Of T he World, Th e Villages, Oa k Run, Ston e Creek, Spru ce Creek, an d all of Ocala’s Retirement Communitie s!

The Ultimate

Ocala Staycation From zip lining to glass bottom boats and world-class dining, you don’t have to venture far from home to have a memorable experience!

PLUS—

Artman’s BBQ

This Oxford pitmaster’s restaurant is a family affair.

Ocala Food Walks Touring downtown while eating. What’s not to like?

Taking Flight

Meet Anita de Villegas, both a pilot and a bird-lover.

INSIDE: Becoming Patsy Cline | Touring Bok Tower | Helping Our Heroes

OCALA’S

GOOD LIFE

SERVIN


WE SEE TREMORS MORE

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Ocala’s

GOOD LIFE

TM

TM

JAN/FEB 2020

departments

features

8

Good Team

20

A Bird’s-Eye View

10

The Editor’s Desk

BY AMANDA CLARK

48

Taking A Culinary Tour

My Florida

BY RICK ALLEN

Out & About

on the cover

16

18

24

26

28

31

42

44

52

53

58

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Revisiting Ocala. By Dean Blinkhorn

Good Start

Quick looks at our community. By Dean Blinkhorn

Out & About

Hoofin’ it for Hospice. By Steve Floethe

Just My Type

Blending families, part one. By Mary Ellen Barchi

Anita de Villegas has experienced many roles in life, including that of a bush nurse, pilot, and bird rehabilitator. “I stick to flying things,” she observes.

Ocala Food Walks is a cool concierge-level guide to all the best spots to eat downtown. That you don’t know where you’re going to go until you’re actually on your way there is just a bonus!

Becoming Patsy. By Melody Murphy Helping our heroes. By Steve Floethe

Daycation

Touring Bok Tower. By Dean Blinkhorn

32

Out & About

A feast for CF. By Steve Floethe

Recipes

Be better balanced in 2020.

Good Eats

Good barbecue at Artman’s. By Rick Allen

Cuisine Queen

The Ultimate Staycation

A professional writer, popular blogger, and self-proclaimed “foodie,” the Travelling Foodie ventures from Toronto to visit the Ocala area for a press-sponsored trip that shows the very best that Marion County has to offer. BY RAYMOND CUA PHOTO BY TREVOR BYRNE

GOOD LIFE

SERV

Retirement Redefi ned

The Ultimate

Ocala Staycation

All the latest restaurant news. By Paula DiPaula

Dining Guide

Highlights of some of the area’s best restaurants.

From zip lining to glass bottom boats and worl don’t have to vent d-class dining, ure far from hom you e to have a mem orable experienc e!

PLUS—

Plan Ahead

Artman’s BBQ

Lots of reasons to get out of your easy chair. What are you waiting for?

This Oxford pitma ster’s restaurant is a famil y affair.

Ocala Food Walks Touring downtown while eating. What’s not to like?

Taking Flight

Meet Anita de Villeg as, a pilot and a bird- both lover.

Puzzle Page

Spend a few minutes with the crossword or Sudoku.

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

IN

On Top Of G The World Villages ,T , Oa Creek, Sp k Run, Sto ru all of Oc ce Creek, an ala’s Re tir Commun emen ities!

TM

5

| Touring Bok Towe r | Helping Our Heroe s

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INSIDE: Becoming Patsy Cline

The talented staff behind Ocala’s Good Life.

OCALA’S


Confused about Medicare?

“Rio”

Ocala’s

GOOD LIFE

TM

MAGAZINE

ocalasgoodlife.com JAN/FEB 2020 Publisher/Art Director Trevor Byrne

Let me explain the latest changes to Medicare and show you what it does and doesn’t cover.

trevor@ocalasgoodlife.com

Publisher/Editor Dean Blinkhorn

dean@ocalasgoodlife.com

Project Manager Cynthia Brown

cynthia@ocalasgoodlife.com

Writers

Rick Allen, Mary Ellen Barchi, James Blevins, Amanda Clark-Rudolph, Paula DiPaula, Melody Murphy

Photographers Steve Floethe John Jernigan

Graphic Designer Wayne Smith

Proofreaders Karen Bradley Sally Tinkham

Advertising Sales Carol DeWitt

(302) 377-9142 carol@ocalasgoodlife.com

Kaye Schultz

(352) 427-4005 kaye@ocalasgoodlife.com

Gail Patel

Unit Sales Manager Insurance Agent

Direct: 352-775-7093 Office: 352-205-7032 Cell: 352-216-1680 gail.patel@bankerslife.com

Sally Tinkham

(352) 427-4006 sally@ocalasgoodlife.com

Distribution

Jammie Crawford • Heidi Justice

Florida License Number W094702

BankersLife.com

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

Published bi-monthly by Good Life Publishing Inc. ocalasgoodlife.com • (877) 622-5210 OCALA / MARION COUNTY

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FORWARD ©2020 Good Life Publishing Inc. All rightsMOVING reserved. No part may be reFORWARDfrom the publisher. printed in whole or in part without writtenMOVING permission MOVING FORWARD Unsolicited material will not be returned. Publisher is not responsible for MOVING FORWARD advertisers’ claims or content of advertisements.

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This is a Medicare Supplement Insurance solicitation. An Insurance agent/producer may contact you. Medicare supplement insurance policies are underwritten by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company. Colonial Penn, Bankers Life and their licensed agents are not connected with or endorsed by the US Government or the federal Medicare program. This policy has exclusions and limitations. For costs and complete details of the coverage, contact your insurance agent. Policy forms CPL-GR-A80 Plans A, B, F, FH, G, K, L, M, N. Bankers Life is the marketing brand of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Medicare Supplement insurance policies sold by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and select policies sold in New York by Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company (BLIC). BLIC is authorized to sell insurance in New York.

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a good team

staff & contributors 4

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When Paula DiPaula is not visiting new 1 restaurants in the area, she’s working off those calories with kayaking, boating, camping and exploring trails in her Jeep. Born in 1958, she fits right in with Ocala’s Good Life magazine’s demographics, showing our readers that she’s more of a seen-ager than a senior. She’s also the proud mom of an adventurous and beautiful daughter, a high school teacher. Paula believes that keeping active, positive and having an open mind leads to longevity.

and photography at his website, smithandfritzy.com.

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Carol DeWitt is living happily ever after in On Top of the World with her husband Bruce, having relocated from Wilmington, Delaware. They have many community interests and are always out and about trying every new restaurant and learning all about Florida. Carol brings her long career experiences in many areas of marketing and media to Ocala’s Good Life.

mercial clients all over the country.

Sally Tinkham and her husband, Alan, 11 have lived in Dunnellon more than 35 years after living in Connecticut and Rhode

Island. She loves her 5 cat-kids and hiking with her grandchildren on the local trails. She is researching the history and families of Gaiter, an early southwest Marion County community, for a potential book. She’s also an avid fan of Cote, the Elvis tribute artist, as seen in this photo!

Dean Blinkhorn is a past Florida MagaKaye Schultz has been working in the Mary Ellen Barchi is a native New 2 zine Association Editor of the Year who 7 publishing business for over 23 years. 12 Yorker residing in Ocala since 1990. loves publishing. When he’s not working on She recently bought a new home that she is As a columnist, she writes from personal Ocala’s Good Life or the CEP annual directory, he’s probably catching up with his favorite subscriptions. Rolling Stone, Bicycling, Classic Rock, and Reader’s Digest are on his monthly must-read list because of the great storytelling. When the weather’s nice, he may even go outside for a long bike ride.

Steve Floethe has been Ocala’s Good 3 Life’s photographer/writer since it was first launched in 2010. In addition he is a

freelance videographer, covering breaking news and feature stories in Marion County for Orlando’s TV stations. Before semi-retiring to Ocala, Steve had a long and varied career in broadcast and print journalism — from newspaper, radio, and cable news to TV as a reporter/photographer, news producer, nightly news anchor and TV news director.

remodeling and has (hopefully) moved into by the time you read this. Five of her six cats will not be joining her on this move, but they are now happily patrolling for mice at Grand View Clydesdale horse farm.

experiences and the good life around Ocala, peppered with her quirky sense of humor. But life happens, and Mary Ellen has entered a new chapter as she looks forward to happier adventures in the future.

five turned out to be roosters. Two were quickly rehomed, but the remaining three were just too cute, so they remain part of the flock to this day. Amazingly, the one adult rooster they already had has accepted the new guys and everybody is getting along just fine. Of course, mornings are little louder than they used to be with four roosters now crowing at the break of dawn, but the daily fresh eggs make it all worthwhile.

sheet queen.” She and her husband, Larry, have two crazy boys, a 100-pound Bulldog, and a cricket-eating Bearded Dragon. The whole family loves spending time in the water.

Trevor Byrne and his wife Dawn hatched Cynthia Brown has 20 years of local 8 chickens for the first time last spring. Out 13 publishing experience and is a self-deof the seven adorable chicks that hatched, scribed “organizational nerd” and “spread-

James Blevins is a recipient of the Louis Native Floridian Melody Murphy has a 4 Chazal Journalism Award from the Col9 Bachelor’s in journalism from UF and is lege of Central Florida. When he isn’t writing the marketing assistant at Ocala Civic Thefreelance feature stories, James is writing poetry. For James, writing is life—a good life, you might say—and he’s happy to do it for as long as there’s hot coffee to drink.

5

Wayne Smith is a designer and illustrator from Ocala. He spent some time urban sketching with ink and watercolor this past summer in Tokyo and near Mount Fuji. You can catch up on his travels, illustration

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atre, where she also performs. She owns 13 kinds of hot sauce.

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As a child John Jernigan would often be found drawing and coloring with leftover prisma color pencils and supplies from his father’s photography studio and art supply store. It was only a natural progression to photography. Today, John stays busy shooting for various magazines and com-

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

Rick Allen spent the final 16 years 14 of a 45-year journalism career as an award-winning feature writer while also covering the Marion County culinary landscape as dining editor for the Ocala Star-Banner. Currently he’s just mostly retired.

Amanda Clark-Rudolph ventured 15 from Vermont to Ocala with her husband to start a family and teach English. Af-

ter having her second son, Amanda left the classroom to work at home and pursue freelance writing for local and worldwide publications. She’s excited to bring her passion for interviewing and sharing other people’s stories to Ocala’s Good Life.


UPCOMING PROGRAMS AFTER DARK IN THE PARK MOVIE SERIES

Fridays | 7 p.m. The movies are FREE and refreshments will be available for a small fee. Remember to bring your lawn chairs and blankets!

“THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY” [NR] Jan. 10 | Fort King National Historic Landmark | 3925 E Fort King St.

“THE HELP” [PG-13] Feb. 15 | Webb Field | 105 NW 12 Ave

HEALTH AND WELLNESS SERIES

Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center 830 NE Eighth Ave. Thursdays | 9-11 a.m. Are you ready to take your health by storm? Come out to our new speed learning and interactive health sessions sponsored by Walgreens. Register one week prior to program.

Jan. 16—Diabetes Education Feb. 20—“Brown Bag” Medication Education March 19—Blood Pressure Screenings April 16—Senior Vaccination Awareness and Pneumonia Shots May 21—Summer Heat Awareness

CATTLE DRIVE & COWBOY ROUND-UP

Downtown Ocala to Tuscawilla Park | 800 NE Sanchez Ave. Saturday | Feb. 8 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Follow the cattle from downtown Ocala to Tuscawilla Park where the festivities begin. Live entertainment, kid’s corral, authentic vendors, Cowboy Tom, vittles, beer, waterin’ hole and more!

OFF YOUR ROCKERS SENIOR SOCIAL

Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center | 830 NE Eighth Ave. Thursdays | 1-3 p.m. Feb. 13 - Come dressed with a “RED” twinkle in your eye. March 12 - Do the twist in your 50s attire April 9 - The “SENIOR” Prom May 14 - Spring Fling Come dressed to impress and dance the afternoon away while enjoying good music and meeting new friends at our new themed Off Your Rockers Senior Social sponsored by Humana. BINGO players will receive a free king or queen pass to BINGO in March if you attend the February dance. $3/person.

For more information call 352-368-5517 • www.ocalafl.org/recpark


the editor’s desk Discovering Ocala’s Riches by dean blinkhorn [dean@ocalasgoodlife.com]

F

or a local magazine editor, checking email is a vital connection to the communities we serve, the clients who support us, and the readers who have questions about the various things we’ve published. Sometimes, though, a random email can be like an editorial Christmas present. Such was the case with the one I got from Raymond Cua, a Toronto-based writer and blogger, earlier this Fall. He had recently done a tour of Ocala through a VCB-sponsored trip of our fair city. It was simply a request to share his posts with our online readers, but the more I thought about it, this seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up. Sure, “The Ultimate Staycation,” which you’ll read in the pages to come, could have been written by any number of our regular freelancers. How different could the angle be if it were penned by someone not familiar with Ocala, but who was instead a highly interested outsider on a tour for a whirlwind couple of days? Raymond and I corresponded back and forth until we had the slant that would work best and we matched it with a set of really cool pictures. For us, we felt Raymond’s piece would be a great reminder to all of you about how many cool things exist in our very own backyard. He sampled some high-end barbecue at Big Lee’s, visited the iconic Silver Springs attraction, had dinner at Sky Asian Fusion, ziplined an abandoned limerock quarry, hit the Appleton’s latest exhibits, and enjoyed a memorable meal at La Cuisine. How many of these have you not done in a while? Or ever? Living in Ocala is a pretty good life. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that our backyard is an awesome place in which to explore. May Raymond’s fast-paced recollection inspire you to put some things back on your to-do lists in the months to come.

Sometimes a random email can be a like an editorial Christmas present.

SPEAKING OF LA CUISINE, we have a couple mentions of it in this issue, but I’d like offer my personal congratulations to owners Patrice and Elodie Perron for being named to Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame, an honor very well deserved for the hardworking pair of European transplants. I’m not 100 percent sure of the magazine’s process of selecting the restaurants that comprise this distinctive list, but

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

I can tell you why I think they’re incredibly well deserving of this accolade. Every time I’ve eaten there with colleagues, friends, or family, we’ve been warmly greeted by a series of familiar faces, served delicious food that’s held to an incredibly high standard, and been surrounded by an atmosphere that felt both classy and comfortable. My family and I have discovered authentic French wines, enjoyed more than our fair share of their sublime crème brulee, and feasted on duck, beef burgundy, and many quiches-of-the-day. Patrice and Elodie, so humble in their approach, are two of our favorite people in Ocala. Here’s to many more years of memorable meals to come. In the meantime, we salute you! All the best,

Everyone who knows me well is aware that I love music of all kinds, so...

What’s Dean Playing? Lyle Lovett, “Anthology, Vol. 1”—This compilation that pulls from his wildly eclectic first three records will get you ready for the country singer’s January 30th concert at the Reilly. “God Will” and “If I Had A Boat” reveal Lovett’s exceptional songwriting skills and his wry, disarming singing style. Marc Cohn, “Marc Cohn”—A week later, the Reilly gets Marc Cohn. After surviving a Best New Artist Grammy and a shot to the head, he’s released a series of low-key albums, but his distinctively husky voice is best served on his self-titled debut that features the classic “Walking In Memphis” and the sublime “True Companion.” Electric Light Orchestra, “From Out Of Nowhere”—Bespectacled, frizzed-out maestro Jeff Lynne is back with another disco-infused, keyboard-drenched set of new tunes. Put killer new tracks “Help Yourself” and the title cut in an ELO hits playlist and you’ll be jamming in no time.


Your responses are safe. Your responses to the 2020 Census will never be shared with other government agencies. It’s the law. It’s also an oath every Census Bureau employee must swear to uphold.

For more information, visit:

2020CENSUS.GOV D-PO-GP-EN-047


good start

Written & Compiled By Dean Blinkhorn

CELEBRITY SIGHTING:

A-Rod & J-Lo

OCT Names New Artistic Director

Look who stopped by Katya Vineyards downtown: Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez! Also pictured are owners David and Patricia Sokol. The celebrity couple was in town and arranged for the restaurant to host them for a private function.

T

he OCT board of directors and staff are pleased to announce that Katrina Ploof has been named the new Artistic Director of Ocala Civic Theatre. Katrina has served as Interim Executive Director since the death of long-time OCT Executive Director Mary Britt in April 2019. She has been involved with OCT as a director and choreographer for the past seven seasons. “The board of directors is thrilled,” says George Kirkland, OCT board president. “We look forward to her insight in advancing Mary Britt’s dream of maintaining OCT’s outstanding national reputation.”

CENSUS FAQ:

• What is the census? In early 2020, you will be asked to count everyone who lives in your home as of April 1. Responding to the 2020 Census is a chance to shape your future. • What’s in it for me? Your responses inform where over $675 billion is distributed each year to communities nationwide for clinics, schools, roads, and more. Census data gives community leaders vital information to make decisions about building community centers, opening businesses, and planning for the future. Responding also fulfills your civic duty because it’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The United States has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. Your responses are used to redraw legislative districts and determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

• Is my information safe? Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics. They cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE. • When can I respond to the census? In early 2020, every household in America will receive a notice to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that have yet to respond. • What will I be asked? A few simple questions, like age, sex, and the number of people who live in your home, including children. • What won’t be asked? The census will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything related to political parties.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 2020census.gov

CLUB CORNER:

Ocala Figurative Artists

They meet every other Monday at the Webber Gallery and draw from live models. “There are some outstanding professional artists, now retired, that produce amazing sketches in just a couple of hours,” says Lila Ivey, who works in a variety of capacities at the Appleton Museum including this group. A recent model included an Army Ranger and his service dog. There are currently 25 artists on the group’s roster. Look for them on their Facebook page for more information.

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

Sherese Mesko, winner of many awards; Esta Mann, former Ralph Lauren accessories designer and amazing portraitist; Joyce Cusick, studied with many well-known artists; and OFA leader Don Borie, a professional artist who captures not only the resemblance but the essence of his subjects.


A Watershed Moment? Coach Bob Kane and Assistant Coach Anne Simonsen are hoping to lead their team to gold in the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival, the sport’s premier racing event, in Vancouver in June 2020. The Sparta 70 Dragon Boat Team in The Villages is the first-ever over-70 dragon boat racing team in the United States. “Our goal,” says Bob, “is to makes history by putting a women’s and a mixed team on the water this year.” Look for a feature article in future issues. In the meantime, wish them luck!

REMEMBER WHEN: 1964

GOOD REPLY:

La Cuisine Wins Big!

W

hat owner Patrice Perron had to say after learning that Florida Trend was putting the popular French restaurant in its Hall of Fame. “Ten years ago, Elodie and I made a decision to pack up our family and move to this country with nothing but faith and a dream. We had no idea then how much this decision would impact our lives in the best way possible. Special thanks to this community for your unending support and for encouraging creativity, which allows us to express our skills and passion. Without you, we would have never been able to give our dream a purpose. This one’s for you!”

My Little GTO

Originally to be named the Super Tempest (try putting that on a slick sales brochure), the GTO is now widely considered one of the classic muscle cars of this era. A big hit with the youth segment not lured by the Ford Mustang, the GTO moved a larger-than-expected 32,450 units by the end of the year. Rumor has it that Car & Driver received a betterthan-stock edition of the GTO for its review with a barely distinguishable, but more powerful engine from Pontiac’s full-size lineup. If you have one in your garage, though, just follow Jan & Dean’s advice: “Turn it on, wind it up, and blow it out!”

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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good start

A GOOD CAUSE:

Need Some Cat Care?

Photo: Sean Dowie

Saving The Orange Lake Overlook

A

nyone who has driven north on Hwy. 441 in McIntosh has come upon this amazing view. “This is an incredible wildlife corridor,” says Sean Dowie at alachuaconservationtrust.org. “There are eagles’ nests all over the place. Every morning in the winter, the sandhill cranes use the hill as a runway. It’s also a microcosm for Florida’s cultural heritage, beginning with Timucuan Indians, who used the site as a winter campground. “In the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” he continues, “it became part of a very affluent and prestigious agricultural scene.” At one point the overlook was going to be developed for large residential homes, but then the Great Recession hit and the plan stalled. On November 22, 2019, Alachua Conservation Trust purchased the 71-acre property through $1.3 million in loans. But funds are still needed to help pay off the loan and help turn the area into a public park.

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WANT TO HELP? alachuaconservationtrust.org (352) 373-1078

Ocala’s Good Life’s own Sally Tinkham took two cats to Sheltering Hands in Fellowship on Hwy. 27 recently. “What wonderful people,” she says. “They only cater to cats. They spay and neuter for only $35, which includes shots for rabies, distemper, flea and tick treatment, nail cutting and worming if needed, among other things. All this is the same day and then the cats come home. They also offer adoption services and assist in finding foster homes for their residents.”

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 840-0663 shelteringhands.org

99 The age when artist Grandma Moses received her last commission.

Source: homeseniors.org

Appleton Announces New Director

J

ason Steuber has more than 20 years of curatorial and project management experience with American Alliance of Museums-accredited museums. He is an award-winning Asian Art historian and has been an art museum leader and financial decision maker for the past 10 years. “I am honored to become part of the College of Central Florida and Appleton Museum team,” says Steuber. “I am well aware of the community’s passion for the arts and appreciation for the museum, and I look forward to cultivating that passion to bring the Appleton to the next level.”

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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OUT & ABOUT

5 Tim & Beverly Lafferty 5 Dominick Pacitti and Edie Weinman 5 Ed & Flo Feltman

Hoofin’ It for Hospice The two-day weekend annual fundraising event, part dance party, part walk-a-thon, was held this past November in Oak Run. All the proceeds went to Hospice of Marion County’s Legacy House. Event organizers Damian and Audrey Romano say the 2019 event raised more than $20,000. In its 13-year history the event has brought in more than $200,000 for Hospice. Photos By Steve Floethe

5 Val & Steve Stazak

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5 Bob & Shirley Krug

3 B.J. Johnson, Paula Wargo, Damian Romano and Jerri Shorey 5 Bill & Linda Thomas

3 Emily & Paul Pike

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

5 Tim & Beverly Lafferty, Audrey Romano, Rick & Peggy Bourne and Damian Romano


January 25–May 24

From Spain to the U.S.

This exhibition has been organized by the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico and is circulating through GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions. This exhibition is sponsored by Fine Arts For Ocala and CAMPUS USA Credit Union.

Museum, Artspace and Appleton Store Hours

Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday: noon–5 p.m. 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. | AppletonMuseum.org | 352-291-4455 -an equal opportunity college-

Elder Law Experience Nursing Home Planning Estate Planning For Long Term Care (Medicaid & VA) Guardianship • Probate • Wills • Trusts Power of Attorney Advance Directives & Living Wills Tax Advice & Advanced Wealth Planning Shannon Mulkey, Esq.

FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFIED ELDER LAW ATTORNEY

J. Warren Bullard, Esq.

NEW FLORIDA RESIDENTS:

Let us review your will. Final directive packages available. Please call for appointments.

(352) 732-5900 probatelawyerocala.com

310 SE 8th Street, Ocala, FL 34471

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

17


just my t y pe

by Mary Ellen Barchi [maryellen@ocalasgoodlife.com]

Blending

T

he definition of blending is the action of mixing or combining things together. For the purpose of this column, I’d like to stir “mixing homes and lives” into that metaphorical cake batter. My November/December column focused on beginning life again after the loss of a spouse or loved one. In my case I began the next chapter of my life with a wonderful man I’m about to marry. The natural progression of that relationship is to blend our homes and lives together, a process that is exciting and sometimes overwhelming. But although blending our lives has been the easy part, fitting two homes into one has been our most daunting challenge. As most of you will agree, keeping the clutter at bay is an ongoing task and one that I expect to work on well into my married life. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” is a quote by US Army General Creighton Abrams that accurately describes how to deal with a seemingly impossible problem. But I took my first bite of the elephant long before I ever set eyes on my fiancée. Shortly after my husband passed, I made calls to see who would take or buy my unwanted accumulated belongings. Like most men, the garage was his domain and the first place I decided to clean out and organize. A garage sale was the first option that came to mind, but the community I

Fitting two homes into one has been our most daunting challenge.

18

live in does not allow homeowners to have such sales. So I rented a space at a Lion’s Club-sponsored garage sale and loaded as much as I could in my car, confident I would sell everything in one day. OK. Maybe a little too confident because, although I did make some money, not everything sold and I was tempted to take my leftover items to the recycling center. But despite my late husband’s reluctance to part with just about anything he had acquired in his entire lifetime that ultimately ended up in the garage, I knew most of it did have value so I researched Google for a business that specialized in cleaning contents of homes, hoping to make a little money in the process. The first person I called came to my house, looked around, shook his head and said, “It’s all junk. I could take it away in three truckloads.” Now because I was in shock at his next words, I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was something like this. “The first load will cost $275.” “What? I would have to pay you?” I thought and quit listening. But he kept talking. When he was done, I declined his offer with the sick feeling in my stomach that he was trying to take advantage of me. But all was not lost. Someone I met at the Lion’s Club sale gave me the number of a friend who cleaned out and bought the contents of homes for a living. I contacted him immediately and not only did he agree to take everything I had, he offered to pay me $950! Tears came to my eyes when I heard this, and I wanted to hug him. I couldn’t believe how close I came to being cheated before. I contacted this honest man three more times and was always paid a fair amount for my items. That was three years ago. Now my house has been sold and I’m in the final stages of cleaning it out. Note: Look for the story to continue in Mary Ellen’s next column, “Blending: The Sequel.”

Follow Mary Ellen Barchi on her blog, fromawriterspov.blogspot.com, and on Twitter: @writer_mebarchi

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


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GOOD NEIGHBORS: ANITA DE VILLEGAS

‘A Bird’s-Eye View’

Anita de Villegas has experienced many roles in life, including that of a bush nurse, pilot, and bird rehabilitator. “I stick to flying things,” she observes. BY AMANDA CLARK • PHOTOS BY STEVE FLOETHE

W

hen I pull up to Anita de Villegas’ house in the aviation community Love’s Landing, she’s in her garage showing a neighbor her plane’s engine. Once she sees me in my mommish minivan, she motions me over to park by her green golf cart. Through her friendly mannerisms and greeting, I immediately

20

feel like a welcomed family member, even though we had never crossed paths until that sunny Saturday. Anita sports a flowered polo and tan capris, her golden airplane pendant glistening in the sun. Without skipping a beat, she points to her golf cart covered in bird stickers. I barely identified a Tweety one and some parrots before

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

Anita says in her Belgian accent, “Let’s take a ride.” “Okay,” I hesitantly respond, weighed down by my heavy computer bag that she tells me to “throw on in.” And before I knew it, we’re zipping around Love’s Landing, where it’s normal to house your plane in the garage.  As Anita drives, she shares that she


previously lived in a residential aviation community in Ocala, but moved to Love’s Landing in Weirsdale because she’s allowed to keep birds on the property. As I quickly find out, Anita not only rocks a pilot’s license, she rehabilitates birds, too. You see, planes are just part of the story. “I have three lives,” Anita says. “One with people, one with planes, and one with birds.” She pauses in reflection and then says, “I stick to flying things.” ORIGINALLY FROM BELGIUM, Anita spent the first part of her life as a bush nurse in Africa and South America. She studied tropical medicine and flew doctors around to provide care for people who didn’t have access to medical facilities.  In Africa, she got tired of seeing once-flourishing hospitals disintegrate into rubble, so she decided to stop nursing and moved to the states. Here, she opened a glider business and refurbished and sold airplanes. She eventually retired and now flies for leisure. During our meeting, she points to her white amphibian plane and playfully says, “I love to go gator watching with that one.” She also shows me her tow plane that she still uses for the glider club. “We use 200 feet of rope,” she explains while sketching a diagram of the exhilarating process. “At 2,000 feet, the hook comes off and I let that glider go.” And although it’s more than easy to get lost in Anita’s life of nursing and planes, I find that birds are where the meat of her story lies. As Anita reminds me, “I’m a bird nurse now.” SHE SHARES THAT SHE’S ALWAYS loved birds, and after retiring, she started to volunteer at a wildlife center in Sarasota then another in Ocklawaha. She later decided to start her own bird rehabilitation center. “I thought,” she emphasizes, “‘It’s a need, so why not do it yourself?’” Now, Anita estimates that she receives around 150 calls a year to pick

up injured birds. On my visit, she shows me her backyard that serves as part of her bird rehabilitation center. After introducing me to two perched owls, she emerges with two half-eaten mice. She casually sets them on a tree stump and says, “This is good stuff and won’t go to waste.” During my time with Anita, I discover that she’s always thinking about the bigger picture and remaining conscious of the role we, as humans, play in our environment. In the distance, she points to the ten acres of lake property she bought so she could release her feathered friends there on the water. “Birds do not belong in cages,” she tells me a few times during our time together. “The goal is to get them to go free.” Anita calls her center Feather Land and explains the extensive rehabilitation process. Most of the time people call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but they only deal with big game like deer, not birds, so then Anita usually gets the call. “If it’s not too far out,” she says, “I pick them up.” This seems simple enough, but she explains that sometimes the birds are gone by the time she arrives. She told me that she’s put over 10,000 miles on her car on rescue missions alone. “Many don’t realize that even injured birds can be quick,” Anita says. “I can’t catch them all.” But she tries. If she captures the bird, she brings it to the veterinarian where they take an x-ray. Then they decide whether to perform surgery or put it down. Anita rehabs the birds that make it at her Love’s Landing property. Then there’s the complicated process of letting the birds go. Anita used to drive half an hour away to do so, but she now releases them on her lake property. She says that many birds make their way back to her yard each season anyway. But Anita’s bird rehabilitation is not all happy endings. She candidly

shares that they have to put around 80 percent of them down. You see, a significant part of Anita’s mission involves allowing birds with no chance at survival to die humanely. “That must be tough,” I offer. “We make it quick,” Anita responds. “It’s painless and they aren’t alone.” WHEN I ASK ANITA what she wants readers to get out of this story, she answers,

Anita de Villegas receives around 150 calls a year to pick up injured birds. “For people to have an awareness that we unknowingly affect birds’ lives.” She tells me that we can interrupt the chain without even realizing it. “For example,” she explains, “when people spray their property, the birds eat contaminated bugs and get sick.” She describes another familiar scene of a flying golf ball breaking a sandhill crane’s leg. Since these birds need their legs to catch food, this injury results in putting them down an estimated 90 percent of the time. She also sees many birds of prey with broken wings caused by cars. More

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

21


often than not, they are put down, too, because they need their wings for survival. “And,” Anita adds, “I see a lot of fishing line.” Many fishermen don’t think that the line can get tangled in the bird or

“I have three lives. One with people, one with planes, and one with birds.” —Anita de Villegas that the hook can also injure them. This is a common problem for water birds like Anhingas, Cormorants, and the Sandhill Crane. Anita also explained that trash bags get stuck easily in an Anhinga’s beak because it’s designed to keep fish in. Unfortunately, it will keep a bag in, too.

22

“We need to learn to share our territory,” Anita says. “I would not put poison out because there’s a lizard, and that lizard is important. That lizard is a bird’s food.” She then says that she encourages others to keep their cats inside. “Cats kill so many lizards and birds,” she says, “even the little mouse they kill is someone’s food.” Anita turned some heads when she discussed this topic at a recent wildlife symposium where she stated that cats are not native, unlike the lizards that the birds eat. “That lizard is part of the chain,” she reminds me. “When we have no more lizards, the other animals starve.” She pauses and then repeats that line from earlier about being “part of a bigger picture.” Before leaving, Anita offers to take me out on her airplane, and just like I had been whisked into the golf cart, I soon find myself strapped into a small plane. That was my first time on an aircraft that didn’t have its own gate,

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a tad nervous, especially when I see the glowing letters spelling, “Low Fuel.” “We have enough, right?” I ask half jokingly. Anita laughs and reassuringly responds, “Of course.” We fly over The Villages, Ocala, and parts of Sumter County where Anita points out various landmarks. Awestruck, I keep repeating how beautiful it all is. I finally manage to ask what she loves most about flying. “There’s more than one thing,” she answers, “but I like to fly like the birds.”  Seeing an aerial view of Ocala provides such a different perspective than cruising along SR 200, and it’s high in the sky when it hits me that Anita’s all about looking at life from different points of view. After landing and disembarking the plane to head home, Anita smiles and offers a pun that packs a heavier punch than I first realized. “Now,” she nods, “you really did get to see a bird’s-eye view.”


Changing People’s Lives For Over 30 Years

Feel better. Live better. of Marion County Feel better. Live better.

Families encounter many challenges on the road of life.

When advancing illness affects your family, hospice care may be the right choice... because when you feel better, you live better. And living well is what life is all about. Hospice of Marion County • 3231 SW 34th Ave, Ocala, FL 352-873-7400 • www.hospiceofmarion.com

Jan 14th at Trilogy of Ocala

Not Your Typical Travel Show

ays! Vendor Spotlight w a e Giv lots and lots of ! s fun! ent tions & WHEN: Tues, January 14 nta

Luxury Travel

ur unique agency specializes in cruises, escorted & custom tours, safaris, expedition travel, resorts & fine hotels. Each trip is customized to meet the needs of the travelers. Guests will immediately notice the difference in our heightened level of service and customer appreciation, which really sets us apart. Stop by Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm.

352-355-3223

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS for Directions Luxury Travel’s annual travel show. This fun-filled event is a must-not-miss, no cost event. Vendors from numerous ocean & river cruise lines, escorted vacation & tour companies as well as custom vacation suppliers will be in attendance. Learn about the various types of travel, different price points and varying inclusions from the many vendors. Enter prize drawings, attend vendor presentations, learn about the Savvy Travelers Club (free to join) & enjoy light refreshments.

6124-1 SW Hwy 200 (Jasmine Square) DirectionsLuxuryTravel.com

Independent Affiliate, Avoya Travel Network. FL Seller of Travel Ref # ST36781

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WHERE: Trilogy at Ocala Preserve Oak House (Grand Living Room) 4021 NW 53rd Ave Rd. Ocala, FL OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

23


My Florida

By Melody Murphy [melody@ocalasgoodlife.com]

Patsy Cline & Me, We Go Way Back

I

was raised on country music. My grandmother was tone-deaf, but she knew a good thing when she heard it, and she liked Patsy Cline. “Crazy” was one of my dad’s favorite songs. My friend Leigh and I always sang Patsy Cline in the car. The movie “Sweet Dreams” came out when I was nine. A friend saw it and with breathless enthusiasm related the tragic tale of Patsy’s short life. In my bedroom we acted out the drama: her final concert, the radio broadcast about her death, her funeral. Children are morbid and take a dark delight in such things. In my twenties, the Ritz Hotel bar had a margarita special and karaoke night on Wednesdays. I went once, for the margaritas. For a performer, I am surprisingly shy and disinclined to sing in public. I’d never done karaoke and had no intention of it. After six margaritas, karaoke seemed like a fine idea, and thus did I find myself in the spotlight, singing “Walking After Midnight.” My last visit to Alabama, I went to my cousin George’s weekly bluegrass jam session. Someone told Buddy the mandolin player that I sing, and he made it his mission to get me to do so. There is a great deal of charm to a Southern gentleman in a Roll Tide hat, when he puts his mind to it. I’d also sampled some scuppernong wine. Next thing I knew, I was singing “The Tennessee Waltz.” Buddy grinned. “That was real good. I bet you can sing Patsy Cline.” The band launched into “Walking After Midnight.” I sang it. “Now sing ‘Crazy,’” said Buddy. I sang every Patsy Cline song they knew. In 2008, Ocala Civic Theatre first presented “Always... Patsy Cline,” a musical about the legendary singer

Crazy but true. I’m live on stage as Patsy and my dearest friend is playing Louise.

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

and her greatest fan, Louise. I worked for the company that designed OCT’s show logos, so Patsy’s “autograph” was my handwriting. And I’ve since discovered the show was written by my friend Alana’s uncle and premiered in Greenville, South Carolina, where it turns out half my family is from. Never dreaming I could play Patsy, I auditioned unsuccessfully for Louise. But I still wanted to be involved, so I was the assistant stage manager and one of Patsy’s dressers. I tromped out on stage in Western wear with the Grand Ole Opry mic. I had a ball. Not once did I think, “You know what, we’re going to do this show again, and next time, I’m going to be Patsy.” But that’s exactly what happened. Crazy but true: I’m live on stage in “Always... Patsy Cline” and my dearest friend Laura, perfectly cast, is playing Louise. Who is ever lucky enough to do a two-person show with their best friend? Those are some lucky stars right there. And we did all manner of hoodoo to get them to align. Whiskey and wishing on stars was involved. The full moon before auditions, I went out walking after midnight and sang the song seven times. My grandparents square-danced during the Patsy Cline era, so my grandmother had Western earrings. For good audition juju, I wore the cowbells and Laura wore the cowboy hats, and we snapped my Thanksgiving wishbone before marching in together. It’s double good luck and a win either way if you’re making the same wish, right? And we had worked hard, too, practicing the music and memorizing monologues for months. Whatever did the trick, we were lucky enough to get our wish–—and to be together when we got the call. That was some I-fall-topieces celebrating, let me tell you. It’s exciting but daunting, and an honor, to play an icon. I hope I can do her justice, but I’m sure going to have a good time trying. So come on in, sit right down, and make yourself at home to see us. You can decide if the moon and stars aligned correctly. We’d be proud to have you. “Always... Patsy Cline” Ocala Civic Theatre January 30-February 23 ocalacivctheatre.com 236-2274


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INTRODUCING

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25


OUT & ABOUT

5 Gary Callahan and Bill Brooks

5 Joseph & Georgiana Hilchey, David & Catherine White

Operation Helping Heroes Gala

5 Becky Howard, and Lanie Dean

ward

Jeff Dean, Tom Ho

On Top of the World joined forces with Shield of Faith (SOF) Missions on Veteran’s Day weekend to host Operation: Helping Heroes Gala at the Circle Square Cultural Center. The gala, which featured a catered dinner and keynote address by SOF President and decorated combat veteran, Dr. Damon Friedman, was held to raise funds to sponsor warriors through a four-component holistic wellness program know as The Resiliency Project.

5 Richard & Helen Knecht

Photos By Steve Floethe

5 Sal & Sharon Caruso

5 Philip & Gina Becker

5 Doug & Patty Holcomb

5 Dr. Rudolph Earl von Zieten, F. Austin Easterling, Charlie & Michelle Stone

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

5 Harriett & Lawrence McManus


SPECIAL TO OCALA’S GOOD LIFE

Expert Advice: Medicare

By Kristi Foret

Happy New MEDICARE PLAN Year

D

id you enroll in a new Medicare health plan? Stay with the same plan for 2020? Either way it is likely your coverage may have changed for 2020 even if you stayed with the same plan. Before you get concerned there are three things you should know. 1. Changes can be good. Your plan may have added benefits or lowered costs. 2. It’s not too late to have a licensed agent explain your coverage changes. 3. You still may be able to switch your insurance plan*. For those who were enrolled in a health plan in 2019 you would have received an Annual Notice of Change letter in September. The letters are usually very detailed and often confusing. In addition to the changes there may be other things to consider. For example, your doctor may no longer accept your plan. It happens. If you are impacted by this it is important to have an agent represent you so you can explore all of your plan options. You may be able to pick a new plan your doctor accepts. Open enrollment period. Again this year Medicare will allow enrollees of Medicare Advantage plans to have another chance to change their plan during the first few months of the year. The option is only available for those enrolled in certain plan types and you can make only one change. We can help make your one choice the right choice. Special Enrollment Periods. Sometimes you may be eligible to enroll into a plan or switch coverage outside of the annual election period. These special election periods can occur because you moved, have Medicaid, a

chronic condition such as diabetes, or want to enroll in a five star plan. Financial Assistance. If you need financial assistance and aren’t sure if you qualify for Medicaid assistance, even if you have been turned down before, we can walk you through the application process. There are also plans which refund over $1500 a year into your social security check. Many Veterans use this program while continuing to obtain benefits through the VA. Employer Coverage. If you receive health plan coverage from an employer, or former employer, and you are eligible for Medicare it is very important to understand your options and the impact of your decisions. If you are working strictly to provide insurance coverage for a non-Medicare eligible spouse, we may be able to offer you a non-Medicare health plan for your spouse and help you enroll in a Medicare plan all for less than the cost of your current insurance plan. Retirement may be closer than you think. There are many resources to help you select a Medicare health plan and all of them should be without a fee. However, many resources represent only one health plan or aren’t specifically trained to present all health plans. Medicare can be complex and you may be overspending if you don’t look at all your plan options. Every agent who works for Best Plan Choice is licensed and in good standing with the State of Florida. Each year our agents complete extensive training and testing for product knowledge. We never charge a fee for any of our services. Call your local agent, Kristi Foret at 352389-9700 today for free and personalized assistance.

You still may be able to switch your insurance plan.

Kristi Foret is a licensed health insurance agent with Best Plan Choice. She specializes in Medicare policies and is a member of the equestrian community living in Ocala. Call her to schedule your in-home appointment for a FREE personalized review and see what Medicare benefits may not be in your mailbox.

Call Kristi today!

Kristi Foret, Health Agent

(352) 389-9700

*this is based on your eligibility and available plans in your county.

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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Photos Courtesy Bok Tower Gardens

DAYCATION: BOK TOWER GARDENS

‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ By Dean Blinkhorn

Step back in time and take in Florida’s highest view from the shadow of a rare carillon tower in nearby Lake Wales. Nature- and music-lovers are always welcome, 365 days a year.

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Y

ou’ll see the majestic art deco spire miles before you need to make the turn onto the aptly named Tower Boulevard, and if you roll down your car windows and listen carefully, you might even hear a few chimes from the 60 bells perched at the top. A short, meandering drive on the grounds is all that separates you from the modern world. WHY GO? I’m a sucker for historic landmarks and Bok Tower is literally the biggest in the Sunshine State, towering—pun intended— over nearby Lake Wales from its 50-acre grounds and 205-foot

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

perch. The sanctuary is lovingly preserved and you can spend a pleasant afternoon enjoying the trails that meander through the lush canopy to the main attraction. The bell music that plays at regular intervals is the only interruption, albeit a pleasant one, to your verdant escape from modern-day Florida. A LITTLE HISTORY: Well, actually there’s a lot of history at Bok


Tower Gardens—and that’s exactly the point. Edward Bok was an author and writer and would famously helm The Ladies’ Home Journal for over 30 years as editor. During that time, he not only amassed a fortune, but he championed causes that were well ahead of their time, like women’s rights and environmentalism. The tower would ultimately become his gift to his adopted state, but during his lifetime, it was his sanctuary from bustling city life. In 1930, he died within sight of his tower and is now buried, at his request, just outside of its massive brass door at the end of the long mirror pool. As you would expect, the complete history of the tower is fascinating, but can’t all be explained here. When you go, be sure to spend some time watching the short video and touring the historical exhibits before making the short trek to the tower itself. INSIDER’S TIP: To borrow a phrase from Ernest Hemingway—like Bok, another Florida expatriate—you are “for whom the bell tolls,” so take your time meandering through the intricately planned gardens surrounding the spire. Take pictures, watch the fourlegged and two-winged residents, and imagine what life was like for Edward Bok and his family from that same crest of land over a hundred years ago. Of course, it’s not called the singing tower for nothing. Every 30 minutes, the bells will remind you of their

melodic presence and there are concerts at 1 and 3pm daily from recordings made from these very bells. If you check the website carefully before your visit, though, you may get a rare treat—a live concert from resident carillonneur Geert D’hollander. We plan on returning for that reason alone soon, perhaps when the grounds are once again decorated for the season and Christmas music fills the air. WHERE TO SHOP: Like any respectable tourist attraction, the gift shop will probably snag a few of the bills from your wallet. We added a refrigerator magnet to our collection and perused the fantastic selection of local plants and books. WHERE TO EAT: Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by the selection and quality of the offerings of the on-site Blue Palmetto Café. Nestled within the main visitor center, this charming spot boasts many tables inside but also an outdoor seating area that affords your first glimpse into the lush, manicured grounds. When we chose a spot, a family of herons posed nearby and the overhead fans stirred the mild morning air. Choosing what to eat was difficult. The salad selections take up the entire left side of the menu and each features fresh ingredients and a nice blend of veggies, meats, and nuts with fresh dressings, including a tangy blueberry pomegranate. They also make an assortment of sandwiches and wraps to order. After leaving the grounds, we

opted for a nearby dinner recommendation from a veteran employee of Bok Tower Gardens, always a good idea. Crazy Fish Bar & Grill is at the intersection of Hwy. 60 and US Hwy. 27 and is well worth the few minutes it takes to get there. All the fish is extremely fresh—as in just unpacked and prepped from the boat—and the service is fast and friendly. Go for the catch of the day and be sure to split a large bowl of the gumbo or chowder. Lots of locals had stopped by for an early dinner, and everyone knew each other by their first names. Again, always a good sign. NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: With a two-hour drive each way, you probably won’t need much in terms of diversions, but an authentic slice of Old Florida is just a few minutes from your ultimate destination. The Davidson of Dundee Citrus Candy & Marmalade Factory has been stopping traffic for decades for good reason—all the candy is made on-site and they give tours when a crowd gathers, well worth the extra 10 minutes or so. They’ve been featured on the Food Network (a nearby TV plays the segment), so you have a good excuse to make this sweet

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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Bucket List Time part of Florida history is a nostalgic detour and might even give you some unique gift ideas. Also nearby is the kid-friendly Legoland attraction, on the site of the former Cypress Gardens. Unless you plan to spend the night, however, I’d recommend getting your plastic toy overload on another trip.

Turn that extra unused car into an unforgettable trip. We’ll buy your car, regardless of age and miles—and we’ll pay top dollar for it! –Chris Spears, Owner

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HOW TO GET THERE: You might be tempted to just go straight down US Hwy. 27 south to Lake Wales, but unless you plan on leaving really early, take the Florida Turnpike instead because the traffic snarls around The Villages seem to get worse each year. This way, you skip all that and really won’t see much congestion at all until you cross US Hwy. 192 and exit in Clermont. From there, you’ll be rewarded with a nice stretch of orange groves that line the road, just like it was statewide decades ago. .

KNOW A GOOD DRIVE?

“Where Friends Send Friends”

2261 SW College Rd. • (352) 694-1234

Prestige4U.com

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

Send your favorite daycation destination to dean@ocalasgoodlife.com and maybe it’ll be featured in an upcoming issue. Or if you want to keep your getaway all to yourself, that’s okay too.


OUT & ABOUT

5 Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, Mary & Dr. Patrick Watson

5 Matt & Pamela Wardell and Jeanne & Dr. James Henningsen

Feast Under The Stars

5 Bill Shampine and Margitta Claterbos

The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, hosted a gala dinner for supporters on November 16 at the museum. The gala fundraiser was held in connection with a new exhibit at the Appleton, “Across the Atlantic: American Impressionism Through the French Lens.” More than 65 paintings and works on paper are featured to help tell the story of the “new style of painting” that developed at the end of the 19th century.

5 Rolando Sosa and Elodie Perron

Photos By Steve Floethe

3 Carol Bruno and Nancy Brassert

5 Dr. Kanagalingam and Vanitha Gopalan

5 John Welch, Dr. Betty Ann & Dr. Felipe Korzenny

5 Mary Delancey and Barbara Fitos

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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The Ultimate

Ocala Staycat

Glass bottom boats at Silver Springs State Park

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


ion

A professional writer, popular blogger, and self-proclaimed “foodie,” the Travelling Foodie ventures from Toronto to visit the Ocala area for a press-sponsored trip that shows the very best that Marion County has to offer. In all, it was a whirlwind couple of days spent zip lining a canyon, visiting cultural diversions, and sampling some awesome local cuisine. So, dear Ocala’s Good Life reader, how many of the things on his list have you done? BY RAYMOND CUA Photo: Trevor Byrne

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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W

elcome to Ocala, the Horse Capital of the World! Unlike the typical Florida vacation of beaches and theme parks, the Ocala area offers classic Florida adventures with canyons, a national forest, horse farms and stables, and one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions. I explored the area for two days, enjoying its natural charms and growing food scene, and I’m sharing them all here.

DAY #1:

Big Lee’s Serious About Barbecue I started the day for lunch at Big Lee’s, one of Ocala’s most popular BBQ joints that serves Southern-smoked barbecue. Try to arrive when they open at 11:30am or earlier to avoid line-ups. Big Lee’s Barbecue was already a local favorite, then it got even more popular when owner and pitmaster Rashad Jones won “Guy’s Big Project” by celebrity chef Guy Fieri on the Food Network in 2017. The most popular items at Big Lee’s are the brisket, burnt ends, and massive beef ribs. You need to come early or pre-order ahead if you want to try the beef ribs. They were sold out already when I went around 12:15pm. My love for brisket first started after my trip to Austin where I did a barbecue tour. Now I’m always on the lookout for brisket in any barbecue place I visit. The brisket here was spot on—flavorful, fatty, and moist—and smoked using kiln-dried Central Florida oak wood. If you want to take it to the next level, get the burnt ends. The burnt ends at Big Lee’s are the dry version, which I love. I’ve always felt that the sauce took away from the raw goodness of the meat.

Silver Springs State Park After lunch, I headed over to Silver Springs State Park, one of the best

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Big Lee’s Photos courtesy Big Lee’s, SKY, and Symmetry

attractions in Marion County for the past five decades or so. The glass bottom boat tour here is a must since it is one of Florida’s oldest attractions and also a unique experience. It was definitely my first time doing something like this. When I entered the boat, I saw a long rectangular glass floor at the center that allowed us to see underwater. It became evident why it’s called “Silver Springs” as the tour progressed. When the sun hits the cypress trees under the water, it sparkles like silver. The tour is also a great way to see some wildlife like alligators and birds. The guides are quick to point out animals as they see them. I liked how different this tour was. Whereas most boat tours point out things around you, this tour leveraged the glass bottom and mostly talked about things under you, like the rowboat in the depths that was brought by early

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

SKY Fine Dining


Symmetry Coffee & Crepes

Spanish settlers. It was interesting to learn that Silver Springs has been used in film productions like “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (the guide will point out the 33-feet deep section where the creature lived), the James Bond movie “Never Say Never Again,” and the TV show “Sea Hunt.” You can also wander around the park, which has nature trails and doubles as a sculpture park with various art pieces. Legend has it that taking photo with the twisted cypress tree would bring you five years of good luck. This means I need to come back here every five years.

SKY Fine Dining For dinner, head to SKY Fine Dining, Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon winner 10 years in a row! Located on the top floor of the Holiday Inn & Suites Ocala Conference Center hotel, you can enjoy delicious Asian-inspired food with views of the city. When I exited the elevator, I was surprised that a Holiday Inn had a restaurant like this. I was impressed with the interior of the restaurant, as it’s decked with Asian statues and symbols in a relaxed-yet-intimate setting. There is a variety of spe-

cialty cocktails made in-house but also a wide selection of spirits, including limited and rare whiskey selections like the discontinued Nikka Coffey malt whiskey, which I love. For appetizers, a safe-yet-delicious choice is the calamari, which had a light breading that didn’t take away from the squid. SKY Fine Dining has done a great job incorporating Asian elements to the dishes like the impressive tuna bruschetta. They were able to take a traditional Italian dish and make a proper Asian twist by changing the usual olive oil

I can honestly say that it was the first time I’ve seen a Holiday Inn have a restaurant like this. and salt with edamame puree and sweet soy aioli. Similarly, an Asian mango salsa replaced the usual tomato topping. What I tasted was a flavor explosion of sweet, salty, sour, and umami. Be sure to also check out their Specials Menu, which has things like Bacon Wrapped Scallops with a unique blueberry barbecue sauce. I enjoyed the Chef ’s Cut New York Strip Steak, which was perfectly cooked and came with a nice Asian twist of house specialty soy. You’ll definitely want to try Pan Seared Citrus Scallops, which I found to be their most creative fusion dish

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Photo courtesy The Canyon’s

The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours

with the use of sweet coconut sauce and the unique blueberry jasmine rice. The bread pudding here was the best one I’ve had to date. What made it so good is they use croissants instead of regular bread!

DAY #2:

Symmetry Coffee & Crepes For the second day, I headed to downtown Ocala for breakfast at Symmetry Coffee & Crepes, a local cafe specializing in locally roasted coffees and delicious crepes. Symmetry has a roaster inside the café where they roast their own beans. They use the Slayer machine for their espresso drinks and have a Slow Bar with six different manual brewing options: Chemex, V-60, Aero-

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press, Kalita Wave, French Press, and Syphon. I’m glad they specialize in crepes, because I prefer them over pancakes. They do a build-your-own crepe where you choose your batter (sweet, savory, gluten-free), toppings, drizzle, and up to five fillings from a wide variety of vegetable, protein, fruit, egg, cheese, and sweet options. I highly recommend the crepe I built, which I dub the “Travelling Foodie Crepe,” made of sweet crepe batter with avocado, bacon, sausage, fried egg, and smoked gouda.

The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours After breakfast, I headed to The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours to take the Taste

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

of History Tour. This 1.5-hour tour gets you on the “Mine-NWine” wagon to explore the The Canyons’ 100-acre park while learning about the park’s history, zip line, and nature facts, all while enjoying a tasting of local wines from Island Grove or chocolates from Peterbrooke Chocolatiers. I got to sample four different wines: Blueberry Moscato, Kinda Dry Blueberry, Sorta Sweet Blueberry, and the Sunshine State Berry Sangria. I’ve had blueberry wines once before and enjoyed them a lot. The Sunshine State Berry Sangria was my favorite. The Canyons used to be a limestone quarry back in 1915, so you’ll see remnants of its history during the tour. With how much is unexplored in The Canyons, the staff still uncovers new places by spelunking. One

Photo: Trevor Byrne


Sayulita

cave is unofficially called “Steven Tyler’s Mouth.” Being the Horse Capital of the World, you can’t not see horses. I visited a stable as part of the tour where I was able to pet some horses. Similarly, The Canyons offers horseback riding tours as well. But the zip lines are the star attraction because they have the fastest, the highest, and the longest zip lines in Florida. You’ll be flying over the canyons in no time on a memorable adrenaline rush!

Sayulita Taqueria For lunch, I headed to Sayulita Taqueria (or “Say Taco”), Ocala’s new modern-leaning Mexican restaurant. Since opening, this place has quickly become a local favorite downtown, so be prepared for line-ups. In fact, one local told me she ate here at least twice a week. A staple starter in Mexican restaurants is chips, and it’s usually tough to decide which dip to get, so you’re best bet is to get the Tres Amigos, which comes with all three of their dips! But you can’t go to a taqueria without ordering tacos! The tacos at Sayulita Taqueria come with your choice of flour or homemade corn tortillas. I enjoyed the taco selection, which is less traditional but still delicious. If you want that instagrammable taco, check out their taco inside a bag of Doritos! The Avocado Taco had crispy avocado and rich crema which made for a

Photo: John Jernigan

Tuscawilla Art Park

delicious bite, the Cowboy Taco was a meaty goodness of marinated steak and apple smoked bacon, and the Mahi Mahi Taco had a fresh tasting crispy mahi that goes well with the chili-lime spice. I recommend removing some of the pickled cabbage to get more out of the mahi.

Tuscawilla Art Park After lunch, I took a stroll along the 102-year-old Tuscawilla Art Park, home to a variety of artwork and sculptures. When you visit the park, you can’t miss the

The most iconic sculpture in the park is that of headless Marie and Jean. most eye-catching sculpture of the headless Marie and Jean sitting on a bench. This sculpture became headless after vandals took off the head. But rather than hiding the sculpture, it’s now there to symbolize the need to take care of public art.

Appleton Museum of Art I continued to let my creative juices flow by visiting the Appleton Museum of Art, an 81,610 square-foot museum that houses about 18,000 objects in permanent collections including American, Asian, African, Contemporary, European and pre-Columbian art and artifacts.

La Cuisine French Restaurant The last stop on my trip was a meal at another Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon winner in historic

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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downtown, La Cuisine, which is run by Patrice and Elodie Perron. It’s clear why they’re a Golden Spoon winner for nine years when you dine here. They serve authentic French food made perfectly in-house with traditional techniques, fresh produce, and ingredients. I started with the seared foie gras, which was mouth-wateringly good. I loved that they put a homemade gingerbread under the foie gras to soak up the fatty goodness. One of La Cuisine’s signature dishes is the Grouper Meuniere, with its fresh-tasting grouper with a soft, crispy bite. The simple lemon butter sauce helped highlight the grouper even further. The rack of lamb was perfectly cooked, so it’s juicy and tears off the bone. I honestly didn’t use much of the demi-glace sauce for it because it was already very good as-is with the herb and dijon mustard crust. I used the sauce for the white truffle mashed potatoes that came with it instead.

La Cuisine

Appleton Museum of Art

WANT MORE OF THE TRAVELLING FOODIE?

www.travellingfoodie.net Photos courtesy La Cuisine, The Appleton

Want To Know More?

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Big Lee’s Serious About Barbecue

mybigleesbbq.com

304-1905

Silver Springs State Park

silversprings.com

261-5840

SKY Fine Dining

skyfinedining.com

291-0000

Symmetry Coffee & Crepes

symmetrycoffeecrepes.com

525-0495

The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours

zipthecanyons.com

351-9477

Sayulita Taqueria

facebook.com/saytacoFL

629-4700

Tuscawilla Art Park

maxocala.org/tuscawilla-art-park

629-8414

Appleton Museum of Art

appletonmuseum.org

291-4455

La Cuisine French Restaurant

lacuisineocala.com

433-2570

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


UPCOMING EVENTS t — Just For You n e m n i a t r e The Best in Live Ent

Party Music Dr. Raymond Chobaz, guest conductor

Matthew Wardell music director and conductor

Saturday, January 18 at 7:30pm Sunday, January 19 at 3:00pm Pamela Mireles, Violin

Colas Breugnon Overture....... Dmitry Kabalevsky Violin Concerto ..........................Aram Khachaturian Symphony No. 6 .....................Dmitri Shostakovich

DRINKS ON US!

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long Friday, January 24, 2020 at 7:30pm

Joyfully Sponsored by Chuck and Anne Koch Let us know that you heard about this show from Ocala’s Good Life during checkout, and be entered to win complimentary pair of drink tickets to be enjoyed at the show!

Joey Dee and The Starliters

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 7:00pm

Celtic Tenors

Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 7:30pm

A John Williams Spectactular!

Friday, February 14, 2020 at 7:30pm Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 3:00pm

For a listing of all upcoming shows and to purchase tickets visit ReillyArtsCenter.com or call the box office at 352-351-1606.

500 NE 9th St., Ocala, Florida 34470 • Box Office Hours: 10am-2pm

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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RENEW HOME SHOWCASE: Michele & Jim Bress

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

3It’s all about the details. The quartz column was specially designed to have the grain pattern flow around it. The walk-in shower means easy accessibility.

‘A Great Concept & Wonderful Suggestions’ ReNew in Ocala is the place to go to fix outdated floors, bathrooms, and kitchens on a budget. Satisfied clients Michele and Jim Bress love their beautifully updated home in the Villages.

M

ichele and Jim Bress love their tranquil home in the Villages that they’ve lived in for less than a year. They moved from Pittsburgh back in May after Jim retired as medical oncologist of 45 years and Michele from a career as an actress and fox hunter, the latter of which she did for 25 years. The former included TV commercials and independent movies. Knowing they plan to remain in the house they picked out in the active

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retirement community, the Bress couple knew they needed to get started on some renovatations in order to update the look of the somewhat-dated portions of the house. “The home is 10 years old, and the master bathroom was very choppy and separated,” Michele says. “It felt like a cave.” They decided to start there, obviously one of the most-used rooms in any given house. They wanted a more

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

modern style and for it to be wheelchair-accessible so it will be ready to go as they age. Once they found their target space, Michele and Jim called several companies and received varying offers and costs. Jim LaValle with ReNew was the most responsive. “He was the only contractor to mention keeping the vaulted space in the ceiling,” Michele recalls. “Jim helped pick everything out and made


O CA LA

SAVE

LS

make for a spa-like feel. A walk-in shower means no uncomfortable movements to get in and out of the space. It’s a nice touch that will keep them in their home for a long time to come. For Jim LaValle, it’s another job well done, something that never gets old for him or his crew. They take pride in every single assignment, and he’s more than happy to guide his clients every step of the way. “You have to have that vision of what the final product is going to look AFTER like,” Jim explains, “and the product 3One of Michele’s favorite parts knowledge to get the job done.” of the new bathroom is the showMichele and Jim would definitely er floor and the “amazing” tile. recommend ReNew for anyone looking to remodel their kitchen or bathrooms. AFTER Jim liked that the company’s work was superb and that Jim kept everything well within budget. some really great suggestions.” favorite parts of the bathroom is the So would they use ReNew again? Once they selected ReNew, Jim im- shower floor and the “amazing” tile. She “I highly recommend Jim’s commediately came out to show them lots also has a bidet, which is a nice touch, pany,” Michele says. “He came up with of examples of previous work and many and a chandelier above the sink area. a great concept for the bath and had physical samples they’d want to consider The new white countertops, the wonderful suggestions. If we choose to while remodeling this important space, dark-wood cabinets, white towels, and remodel anything else in our new home, a daunting task for anyone unfamiliar sleek gray walls and tile throughout we would definitely use him again.” with the myriad choices for each part of the process. From This… Recognizing that they Rethink were going to have a lot of work done on their house, Remodel they let Jim and his crew come Reface and go as needed. ReNew worked efficiently, and the Refinish couple liked the work they were doing. Renew. The Bress couple noticed E F I S L PEC IA OOD that Jim’s subcontractors took ’S G To This pride in their work and tried 6000 $ r to ensure that the couple’s e v ff job o ,000 usual home life was not $500 O ff job over $11 ,000 O 16 disrupted by their tasks. The $1,000 Off job over $ 1,000 2 0 couple enjoyed their interac$1,50 Off job over $ 2501 SW 57th Ave, #805, Ocala 0 hen tions and the care they took $2,00 is ad w Call to schedule your free consultation tion th ointment. n e m in making sure everything was Must uling app Call Jim (352) 857-9604 sched done to their satisfaction. RenewKandB.com “The remodel took about two months, partly because of Ferguson ordering the wrong parts to hook up the bidet,” Michele says, also mentioning FINANCING AVAILABLE the crew. “The tile guy was awesome, and the painter and Professionally managed projects from design to completion electricians were all great.” Now the couple loves Cabinets • Countertops • Flooring • Showers Jim LaValle —“The Design Guy” the results. One of Michele’s

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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Photos courtesy Getty Images

BETTER BALANCED EATING Make Nutrition A Priority in 2020

D

FAMILY FEATURES

iscovering a better version of yourself is all about striking balance. That’s especially true when it comes to making smarter food choices that you can maintain over time. A sustainable, long-term healthy eating approach, such as the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, emphasizes variety and balance. Start planning a low-carb menu filled with high-fiber carbo­hydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats with these tips from Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins. Fill up with fiber-rich foods. Foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, lowglycemic fruit (like berries) and whole unrefined grains are considered carbohydrates, but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Try to eat between 25-35 grams of fiber a day. Reduce inflammation. A low-carb approach eliminates refined and processed foods and sugars that can cause inflammation. Focus on foods that decrease inflammation, such as colorful low-glycemic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. The ground turmeric in this Golden Milk recipe offers an easy way to fight inflammation without sacrificing flavor. Kickstart your morning. Start your day with a protein-packed choice such as these Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats. You’ll get the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants from the chia seeds along with protein and healthy fats to keep you energized while avoiding highsugar breakfast alternatives. Find more recipes like these for Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan or Spicy Crispy Chickpeas and ideas for a balanced, low-carb approach to eating well at Atkins.com.

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

SALMON AND ASPARAGUS SHEET PAN

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Servings: 2 Net carbs: 4.41 1 bunch thin spear asparagus 1 tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided 2 salmon fillets (4 ounces each), no more than 3/4-inch thick 1 pinch black pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil- based mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 F. Wash asparagus and remove woody ends. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Arrange in single layer, leaving space for salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on sheet. Brush with remaining olive oil and season with remaining salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 12 minutes. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic. Remove sheet pan from oven, sprinkle asparagus spears with cheese and cook 3 minutes, or until fish reaches 145 F and asparagus spears are tender and beginning to brown on tips. Plate one fillet and half the asparagus, drizzle each plate with about 2 tablespoons mayonnaise sauce and serve.


GOLDEN MILK

Prep time: 8 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes Servings: 3 Net carbs: 3 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk 1 cup water 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

SPICY CRISPY CHICKPEAS

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Servings: 8 Net carbs: 8.3 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas 1 tablespoon ghee (or clarified butter), melted 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 10 drops liquid stevia extract In small pan, whisk coconut milk, almond milk, water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Warm over medium heat until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in sweetener and serve.

Heat air fryer to 390 F 3 minutes. Using fine mesh sieve, drain and rinse chickpeas. Use towel to gently pat chickpeas dry, removing skins. In small bowl, toss chickpeas with ghee and salt. Cook in single layer in air fryer 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 3 minutes. In separate small bowl, sprinkle chickpeas with spices and toss to evenly coat. Chickpeas can be stored in open container at room temperature up to 3 days.

CHOCOLATE BANANA PROTEIN OVERNIGHT OATS

Prep time: 5 minutes Chill time: 3 hours Servings: 2 Net carbs: 6.84 1 Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake 2 tablespoons rolled oats 2 tablespoons chia seeds 2 tablespoons hemp hearts 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds 2 tablespoons sliced almonds fruit, such as sliced bananas or berries (optional) In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine shake, rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut and almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Top with fruit, if desired.

SATISFYING, LOW-SUGAR ALTERNATIVES

Eating on the go can easily cause you to grab a high-sugar option, but there are simple swaps to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Satisfy your hunger with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar. Made with sweet chocolate and rich, creamy peanut butter, this bar offers 16 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar to satisfy your hunger without the guilt.

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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GOOD EATS: ARTMAN COUNTRY SMOKEHOUSE

‘We Don’t Do Leftovers’ By Rick Allen • Photos By John Jernigan

Clark Artman’s “retirement” is a little different than most of the folks he serves from his namesake restaurant on the northern edge of The Villages. The aromas from the cookers out back are a slight hint as to how he spends most days.

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ome might say our national dish is the hamburger or apple pie. But I suspect if you asked all Americans, odds are most would say barbecue. No matter where you go you can find the savory smoked flavors of beef, chicken and pork. Different regions might have their traditional sauces for local tastes, but the slowly saturated meats fresh from the smoker typically taste the same wherever you are. My first real encounter with barbecue was in the early 1980s working in Winter Haven. The staff would occasionally do lunch at a small rustic spot near Auburndale that served only

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

during the summer in a screened-in, open-air shelter surrounding its massive smoke pit. I don’t remember the name of the place, but I still recall the food. It wasn’t fancy—it didn’t need to be—but the taste was sufficient. I found the same vibe when I visited Artman Country Smokehouse, on the northern edge of The Villages. It’s a complete building, but the meats coming out of owner Clark Artman’s cookers out back are about as tasty as protein gets. He wasn’t always a pit master, says his wife and co-owner Gayla. “About 10 years ago Clark started


cooking out in the backyard,” she says. “He started with ribs, then pork butts.” Then came participation in public barbecues in The Villages, where he was encouraged to go pro. “Clark says this is what he was going to do to retire,” Gayla says. “And it gives me something to do every day.” She personally prepares the day’s supply of sides, desserts, and moinks (we’ll get to them later). They built and opened the place nearly four years ago, and it’s been steadily growing in popularity. “We jumped into this wide open,” she adds. Everything is made fresh from scratch every day. “It’s a guessing game sometimes, how much meat to cook and sides to prepare,” says Valerie Crenshaw, a daughter-in-law and operations manager. Sometimes they run out of things. It’s the nature of a place where the cooking is done over hours only once a day. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

WHERE: Artman’s is at 6900 Southeast County Road 42, a deep sniff from US Hwy. 301 right next to the railroad tracks, close enough to 301 to lure in hungry motorcyclists. “Some of our best regulars are bikers,” Gayla says. “They were once stopped at a red light at 42. They could smell the smoked meat so they decided to come find it.” And now some 20 of them make this a regular stop on their monthly poker run, Valerie adds. WHY GO: This is where knowledgeable locals go. At least it used to be; an article in The Villages recently stripped Artman’s of its “hidden treasure” mystique. It’s better-known now, so lines are common. And they run out of favorites more often. I’m pretty sure this won’t help. YOU’LL BE IMPRESSED BY: The down-home atmosphere. There’s nothing particularly special about the building. Rather, it’s the personality crafted by the staff, who strive to ensure each customer’s needs are met quickly and efficiently. YOU MUST TRY: The brisket, one of their top-sellers. I’ll admit, I’m a brisket man. Here it’s succulent, yummy, and fork-tender, even when warmed in my microwave the following day, which is a good thing because you’ll likely take some home with you. It’s some of the best brisket I’ve had hereabouts. Add to the

list the cobblers—my wife reluctantly shared her pecan cobbler—and the moinks. Again, moinks? So what the heck is a moink? Seriously, it’s a thing. Essentially, these are meatballs made from a 50/50 blend of beef and pork wrapped in bacon with a cheesy surprise center. But “moink?” The word is a portmanteau of “moo” (for beef ) and “oink” (for pork), Valerie says. Gayla says she first encountered them in New

The meats coming out of owner Clark Artman’s cookers are about as tasty as protein gets.

York, and decided they’d be perfect here. “I had to decide just how I wanted to make them,” she adds. They are handmade fresh every day, unlike one competition barbecue pit master who admits online he begins with a “good, quality bag of frozen meatballs.” Artman’s averages about 10 dozen a day, so it’s not surprising they routinely sell out. Gayla encourages anyone wanting a bulk order of moinks to call at least a day ahead. NOT A FAN OF BARBECUE: Hey, it happens. Options are limited, but Artman’s does offer a scrumptious Angus hamburger and a battered fried cod sandwich. Valerie says one regular comes in weekly just for the cod. FRIENDLY STAFF: Yup! If you’re not already family when you walk in the door, you’ll feel like you are by the time you walk out. Nearly everyone working here is family or a close family friend like our attentive server Chris. BEST TIME TO GO: Is between 2 and 4pm, Valerie says. It’s between the lunch rush and before the supper crowd. “You can pretty much be sure

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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46

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INSIDE TIP: Because the meats are slow-smoked, it’s a guessing game each day how much of each meat to cook, of each side to prepare. Favorites do sell out as the day progresses, often by 5pm. And it’s not just the brisket and moinks. The day my wife and I visited, they were out, of all things, of the collards side and the blackberry cobbler. If you really want to ensure your menu favorite is available, go early. Nevertheless, if they do sell out of something, they have some kind of stash back in the kitchen, so you won’t leave hungry. FINAL WORD: Gayla and Valerie promise that everything served here has been prepared right there that day. “We don’t do leftovers,” Valerie says. “We cook only what’ll be needed each day.”

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Artman Country Smokehouse 6900 SE County Road 42, Summerfield 307-6240 Open 11am-7pm Wednesday-Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday.


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Katya Vineyards Photo courtesy Karen Grimes

OCALA FOOD WALKS:

Taking A Culinary Tour By Rick Allen

Ocala Food Walks is a cool conciergelevel guide to all the best spots to eat downtown. That you don’t know where you’re going to go until you’re actually on your way there is just a bonus!

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T

he past two decades have seen a culinary explosion in downtown Ocala. Ocala Main Street recently produced a list of 28 eateries in and around the Downtown Square. Twenty years ago when I first began chronicling the area’s culinary landscape, there was maybe a third of that number. It wasn’t a memorable scene. Savvy Ocalans knew finer dining was beyond the square—College Road, east Silver Springs and such. But that was then. Today it’s possible to dine downtown every day for a month and not visit the same place twice. Moreover, many of the names on the Main Street list have opened in the past

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

five years. There were more than a few I’d never heard of. But thanks to Karen Grimes, in just one afternoon I’m back in the know. How? By tagging along on one of her daily Ocala Food Walks. “It’s a great way to sample places to eat,” she says. “I guarantee you’ll be back.” The idea is simple. Over an afternoon, Grimes guides a tour group—usually limited to 10— from stop to stop like a museum docent. She spices the trek with tidbits of Ocala’s past. Then there’s this: “Here’s the best part,” she said at one stop. “You eat and I pay for it.” 


Photo: Ralph Demilio

It’s a three-hour tour you almost hope leaves you stranded. Gaylee and Dean LeDour moved here from Minnesota three years ago. They joined this day’s tour to find new dining options. “We used to think Ocala was slow, boring,” Gaylee says before the tour began. “Things certainly have changed. It’s amazing how much there is to explore.” Grimes said she has a dozen or so downtown eateries to choose from. The walks visit five and change daily. The mix-and-match practically guarantees no two tours are identical. The daily Ocala tours are an offshoot of her successful Farm Tours of Ocala, that go “behind the gates” of some of the area’s finest horse farms. And not long ago, she launched a food walk in Cedar Key.

Downtown Dining Through New Eyes On a cloudless Wednesday recently, with the mercury inching down, our tour took off from the gazebo on the square to Big Hammock Brewery, one of downtown’s newer sites. On the board here were a cup of chicken miso ramen (“Bet this isn’t like the ramen you ate in college,” quipped brewer/owner Jason Delaney) and bao, a steamed bun with marinated pork belly seasoned with Sunshine Sauce. Delaney was among the first eater-

Big Hammock Brewery

Olive Oil Market

ies to sign on for the Food Walks. “I thought it was an interesting concept,” he says. After some consideration he said, “Yeah, let’s do it.” That was the challenge, Grimes said—to convince wary restaurateurs to agree to something that had never been done before. But Grimes was persuasive. “I used the tools I learned from the Farm Tours,” she says. “I think it’s a cool idea,” Delaney says, convinced. “It exposes people to places they haven’t been.” The next stop is Feta Mediterranean for dolmades, which are stuffed grape leaves, and a chunk of spanakopita. Roger Spanjer says he remembered the Feta building from before its restaurant days. “My wife, Rachel,” he says, “is really into this kind of thing.” Off again, and after a quick stop at The Corkscrew for a tasting of locally vinted wines, we headed to the innovative downtown shop, the Olive Oil Market, for 20 minutes of sampling—You guessed it!—olive oils and vinegars.  But these are not your everyday vinegars. They are thick, creamy, and smooth and some are actually kind of sweet. Except for the slightest bit of bite, these could be finer liqueurs. Owner Tony Procida has a wall lined with various flavors of Photo: Ralph Demilio

these aged vinegars. “What’s more important than the aging is how much wine vinegar is added after the aging,” he explains. “All of these have only ten percent added. The vinegars you get at the supermarket have as much as 40 percent.” With these vinegars, “Take the experience of food,” he adds, “and make it into something special.” “I never thought I’d spend an afternoon sipping vinegar,” says Cheryl

It’s possible to dine downtown every day for a month and not visit the same place twice. Hunt. “My mother-in-law drinks apple cider vinegar. I tried it once, thought I would die. But this is pretty yummy.” Off to Sayulita, a designer taqueria in the site that long hosted Brick City Café, and Cowboy Tacos, which are piled with marinated steak, applesmoked bacon, fajita cheese, and cilantro. “I’ve put a lot of time into this,” Grimes says, “tasted everything myself.” As the chill intensified, we headed

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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Farm Tours Of Ocala Cedar Key Food

Walks

to the Katya Vineyard at Silver Springs and Northeast First Avenue, where we were welcomed with warm mulled wine followed by a fanciful flight of exotic cheeses for sampling. “This is how people eat in Europe,” Grimes says. “You won’t get anything like this out [on SR] 200.” Executive Chef Tony Deras dropped by. “I believe in the experi-

“It’s a great way to sample places to eat. I guarantee you’ll be back.” —Karen Grimes ence,” he says. And the experience here is sublime elegance. The tour wrapped at Ocala’s Chocolate & Confections shop on Fort King and some sample goodies there. Gaylee and Dean gave the tour a thumbs up. “It’s a nice way to discover what’s downtown,” Dean says. But Gaylee was curious about the equine experience. “Do you still do the farm tours?” she asks. “Absolutely,” Grimes replies.

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Photos courtesy Karen Grimes

“That would be interesting,” Gaylee says to Dean.

It All Started With Farm Tours Grimes says she moved to this area 30 years ago for the horses, and then began to sell real state. Ten years later when real estate crashed, she went to work for the Hilton, where she often was asked about touring Ocala’s famed horse farms and was surprised to find there weren’t any such tours. So she started one. These take place in the morning, when the farms are more active. The only walking involved is at the farms themselves. She shuttles her group to the three farms in a large van. “When I first started,” she says, “all I had was a beat-up school van.” Like the food tour, variety is the rule. “Depending on the day of the week and time of the year,” its promotional brochure notes, “tours may include retired former equine champions, stud farms, newborn foals, show jumping, dressage, and polo.” The really lucky ones get to help wash a thoroughbred after a morning run.

Discovering Cedar Key A fan of social media, Grimes says she noticed repeated questions about food tours in the picturesque Gulf of Mexico community. Of course she filled

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

the void, but here seafood is the focus. Launched in October, the Cedar Key Food Walks take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. Like the Ocala Food Walk, this is an amble to five restaurants—four savory, one sweet—in the small town. Of course it includes a stop at Tony’s, the three-time world champion of New England clam chowder. Along the way are sprinklings of local history. Total mileage is about 1.5, and comfortable shoes are recommended.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? OCALA FOOD WALKS: 2pm, Wednesday-Saturday. Departs from gazebo on Ocala Downtown Square. $49 per person, includes all foods. By reservation only: 4625737; ocalafoodwalks@gmail.com FARM TOURS OF OCALA: 8:45am, Monday-Saturday. Departs 9am from Florida Thoroughbred Breeder’s and Owner’s Association, 801 SW 60th Ave. $55 per person. By reservation only: 895-9302; www.farmtoursofocala.com CEDAR KEY FOOD WALKS: 2pm, Friday-Sunday. Departs Cedar Key Arts Center sculpture garden, 457 Second St. $50 per person, includes all foods. By reservation only: 462-5737; ocalafoodwalks@gmail.com


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cuisine queen

by Paula DiPaula [paula@ocalasgoodlife.com]

The Biggest Spoon Of All For La Cuisine

A

ccording to Three Dog Night, one is the loneliest number—but not for La Cuisine French Restaurant, 433-2570. In this case it’s quite prestigious to be the only restaurant in Ocala to receive an award for the Golden Spoon Hall of Fame. Presented by Florida Trend magazine, the Golden Spoon is awarded to restaurants that show consistently high standards and longevity in their fine dining establishments. Eligible for the Hall of Fame are those that receive multiple Golden Spoons. From 2011 to 2019, La Cuisine has earned nine Golden Spoon Awards, and out of 31 Florida cities and 52 restaurants, La Cuisine is the only Ocala restaurant recognized for this award. Even more complimentary, Florida Trend displays La Cuisine’s roasted garlic photo on the slideshow of their Golden Spoon home page. Breakfast Station, 4627188, is now serving mimosa and bloody mary cocktails. The twist is that they use a wine-based vodka. My first thought was Merlot and Clamato? Ugh! But wait! Winebased liquor is taking over the industry to help with the high cost of getting a full liquor license because this is a high-alcohol-content liquid that’s clear and fermented, not distilled. It comes in strengths between 14 to 24 percent and in other flavors. Call your local Breakfast Station to see if they are serving these cocktails as well. I had the pleasure of experiencing eggplant parmesan on a stick at a recent Ocala CEP function catered by Milano Ristorante Italiano, 304-8549. Strips of fried cheese and eggplant were S-folded onto a skewer

La Cuisine is the only Ocala restaurant recognized for this award.

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and then dipped into a wonderful marinara sauce, an ingenious appetizer. Milano moved into the beautiful establishment that was Chefs of Napoli IV on SR 200. See their menu and delicious photos at milanofamilyrestaurant.com. Are you looking to dine and dance in one place? Pin High Pub, 861-0118, is located in the Spruce Creek Preserve Golf Course Pro Building. The menu is simple and includes steak, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Some nights they feature “Karaoke with Bubbles” and other nights, fantastic dancing entertainment. Give them a call or check their schedule on Facebook. Tidbits: The Moose Supreme Council has voted no smoking in Moose Lodges. You can now enjoy a meal and entertainment, smoke-free, starting January 1. Speaking of moose, you’ve probably seen the one standing in front of the building where Carmichael’s used to be. Locos Grill will be opening and no, it’s not Mexican. More next issue. Would you like to open a restaurant? Woody’s Wild Wings, 895-9648, on 441 is for sale. Turnpike Mike’s has closed its Dunnellon (Rainbow Springs Golf & Country Club) and SR 200 Ocala locations, but opened a location in SummerGlen. Another restaurant, River Run, will open in the Dunnellon location. MAE Beer & Tapas, 877-8500, was founded by the Natera Brothers and has opened in Six Gun Plaza. Hiatus Brewing Company, 509-4867, on SR 200 has opened. See their menu at hiatusbrewing.com. Eggs Up Grill and Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar are coming soon to Market Street at Heath Brook. In Dunnellon, Just A Cupcake Bakery & Café, 601-0047, is under new ownership, but with the same hours and a few more items, including delicious soups, added. Gyros King, 547-6774, is growing, now serving beer and wine, featuring entertainment and delivery. See their ad in this issue. Also, check out Rick Allen’s story on page24 for Ocala Food Walks, a culinary tour of Downtown Ocala. It’s a fun excursion either solo or with friends.

Got A Hot Tip For The Cuisine Queen? E-mail me at paula@ocalasgoodlife.com

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


DINING GUIDE Birt A Grea hda t Ch y Ce oice lebra For tions !

Eating at Tony’s Sushi isn’t just dining—it’s entertainment! Grab a seat at the tableside grill and watch as the expert chefs flip knives, crack jokes, and flare up the flames as they prepare your chicken, steak, or seafood just the way you like it. Of 3405 SW College Road, Ocala course, the real star of the show is (352) 237-3151 • tonysushi.com the sushi—easily the best in town. Using only the freshest of ingredients, Tony’s boast an impressive Specialties: Inventive sushi menu of sushi rolls. Ask your server rolls; grilled steak, chicken for suggestions because many of and seafood. FUN! the best rolls aren’t on the menu. In fact, there are over 100 off-menu Hours: sushi rolls! With plenty of seating Mon.-Thurs. 11am-10pm and a lively, festive atmosphere, Fri.-Sat 11am-11pm Tony’s is the perfect place for large Sun Noon-10pm groups and birthdays.

FULL BAR!

Enjoy our outdoor seating!

48 SW 1st Avenue, Ocala (352) 433-2570 • lacuisineocala.com Recently named a Golden Spoon Award Hall of Fame Winner by Florida Trend Magazine, La Cuisine is conveniently located in the heart of Ocala’s beautiful and vibrant historic downtown. Ideal for a quick bite at lunch time or a leisure dinner, the menu is filled with classics such as onion soup, escargots and quiche. Traditional French baguettes are the perfect accompaniment to the charcuterie or cheese platters. Duck a l’Orange and Beef Bourguignon pair perfectly with the diverse selection of wines on the expansive wine list. Come indulge yourself in a unique French Bistro atmosphere that Patrice and Elodie have been operating since 2009. A full liquor bar offers decadent cocktails while you enjoy the blissful live music on Fridays! Specialties: Escargots, Frog Legs, Organic Half Roast Chick-

en, Beef Bourguignon, Ratatouille, Creme Brulee, Parmesan Truffle French Fries

Dinner Hours: Tues.-Sun. starting at 5:30pm.

Miranda Madison

Lunch Hours: Tues.-Fri. 11:30am-2pm Brunch: Sunday

11am-2pm

CLOSED MONDAYS

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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! e it t e p p a r u o y g in r B

DINING GUIDE

Great American food in a warm, friendly atmosphere! For breakfast, you can’t beat Red’s–fluffy pancakes,

perfect eggs, hot coffee. And there’s a reason why folks will wait for a table during lunch! Homemade hamburgers so big you can barely get your mouth around ‘em, delicious soups and salads. Don’t be fooled by the address–Red’s is just past Stumpknockers on SR 200. Come see what so many have already discovered about Red’s! Menu Items Include: Eggs, Pancakes, French Toast,

Bacon, Homemade Burgers & Fries, Country Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Soup, Salads, Wraps, Sandwiches

Hours:

Tues.-Sun. 7am-2pm Closed Mon. 54

Red’s

Breakfast & Lunch

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

(352) 344-4322 8411 North Carl G Rose Hwy, Hernando Directions: Take SR 200 west. Located 1/4 mile past the Withlacoochee river

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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DINING GUIDE

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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DINING GUIDE

A Culinary Tour of Downtown Ocala

F

8810 SW Hwy 200, Ocala (across from Pine Run) (352) 509-7721

ormerly Carmine’s, Marcelina continues the tradition, serving your favorite Italian dishes in a friendly, comfortable environment. Little details make the difference, like fresh hand-grated cheese over your salad and warm, crusty bread to dip in the dish of olive oil loaded with fresh garlic. As one online reviewer says, the sauce is just like his Sicilian grandmother made. Another reviewer says the pizza (available only at lunchtime) is the best she’s had since moving to Ocala! See for yourself why Marcelina’s earns a 4.5 star rating on Yelp. Serving beer and wine.

Food ls. : NEW ar Keyfor detai d l l Ce lks! Ca Wa

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11am-9pm Sat. Noon-9pm Sun. 2pm-8pm

Can’t decide where to eat downtown? Try five restaurants in three hours with a Local Foodie!

ocalafoodwalks.com • (352) 462-5737

Make a full day of it! Start out with a river boat tour and end with a delicious dinner—all from one scenic location!

ST. JOHNS RIVER TOURS Departs from Blackwater Inn (866) 349-0674 www.stjohnsrivertours.com Before dining at Blackwater

Inn, take a leisurely boat tour to the many tributaries of the St. Johns River. Discover exotic plant and wildlife steeped in history dating back to ancient Indian and Spanish civilizations. Call 866-349-0674 to book your boat tour with Capt. Bob. Accomodating groups of up to 21 people. It’s the perfect daycation!

55716 Front St, Astor, FL 32102 • (352) 759-2802 www.blackwaterinn.com Info: Fun, food & spirits will greet you at William’s

Landing atop Blackwater Inn. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner or just some drinks and appetizers, you can be assured of a great time. Find a seat inside to cool off from the heat, or sit on the shady outdoor deck to enjoy the balmy breezes and panoramic view of the St. Johns River, watching the constant parade of boaters and wildlife cruise up and down the river.

Specialties: Catfish Nuggets; Chicken Wings;

1/3rd Pound Gourmet Burgers; Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp; Alligator Bites; Beer, Wine and Full Bar.

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

Blackwater Inn Hours:

Tues.-Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Mon.

4:30pm-9pm 4:30pm-10pm 11:30am-10pm 11:30am-9pm CLOSED


DINING GUIDE

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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PLAN AHEAD WRITTEN & COMPILED BY CYNTHIA BROWN

Do you have an event that you’d like to include in our calendar? Email your submissions to cynthia@ocalasgoodlife.com

Ongoing

BINGO AND POPCORN—

Bring $1.50 in quarters, nickels and dimes to play, popcorn provided. 3pm. Every Monday, Thursday and Friday. Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center, 830 NE 8th Ave. ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517. CONTRACT BRIDGE—

This is a free event with complimentary coffee, cards and score sheets. 12:45pm. Every Tuesday. Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center, 830 NE 8th Ave.

ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517. PINOCHLE—Enjoy a game of

strategy in teams of two, three, or four. This event is free with complimentary coffee. 9am. Every Wednesday and Friday. Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center, 830 NE 8th Ave. ocalafl. org/recpark or 368-5517.

KARAOKE & OPEN MIC—

Come ready to sing, dance or spectate! Instruments welcome. 2pm. Every Friday. Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center, 830 NE 8th Ave. ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517.

Through April 26

POLO AT THE PARK—The

Florida Horse Park is joining forces with Team Resolute

LLC members David Eldredge and Lauren Proctor-Brown to bring polo back to the Florida Horse Park. Chukkers are held Monday and Wednesday at 4pm through April, with matches and additional practices held dependent on the park’s schedule. teamresolutepolo.com or 307-6699.

Through June 21

Through May 24

January 1-12

FLAMENCO: FROM SPAIN TO THE US—An in-depth and

multi-dimensional examination of the history and culture of Flamenco dance and music that features close to 150 objects, dating from the late 19th century to the present. Appleton Museum. appletonmuseum.org or 291-4455.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY BILLY JOE HOYLE—Photographer

Billy Joe Hoyle has spent the last two decades traveling the world and documenting diverse customs, beliefs, and lifestyles. Appleton Museum. appletonmuseum.org or 291-4455.

WINTER CLASSIC I AND II—The Florida Horse Park is

excited to host the 2020 Florida Horse Park Winter Classic I to be held January 1-5 with Winter Classic II January 8-12. Spectators can expect this to be a world-class event, with plenty of entertainment, shopping, beverages, and great food. flhorsepark.com or 307-6699.

January 2-19

MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL—Celebrate “The

Change” in this hilarious parody of popular music from the baby boomer era, as four women bond over the shared sisterhood of hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and sexual woes. $30. ocalacivictheatre.com. or 236-2274.

January 4, 11, 18, 25

WINTER MUSIC SERIES—

HOGGETOWNE MEDIEVAL FAIRE January 18-19, 25-26, 31- Feb. 2 For three magical weekends, a medieval village comes alive, showcasing more than 160 talented artisans and craftspeople from all over the country. Find one-of-a-kind blacksmithing, jewelry, stone and wood carvings, weaving, hand-blown glassware, leather crafts, and period fashions. Master crafters will also show how they create their works of art. If walking through the market makes visitors hungry, they can head to the food court for a feast fit for a king. Tasty blooming onions, giant turkey legs, fresh-baked pastries, sweet potato fries and succulent ribs are just some of the foods available. Craft beer and mead will be poured as well. $10-19. 10am-6pm. Gainesville. hoggetownefaire.com or 393-8536.

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Featuring live music on the outdoor stage and a wine-andcheese bar inside in the winery. 12-4pm. Lakeridge Winery. lakeridgewinery.com or 800-768-9463.

Jan. 6-Feb. 17

EXPRESSIVE HEARTS—

Presented by Hospice of Marion County, the arts can help journey through grief. 9:30-11am. Legacy House, 9505 SW 110 St. hospiceofmarion.com or 873-7456.

Jan. 6-Mar. 2

NOVEL FRIENDS BOOK CLUB—Presented by Hospice

of Marion County. Purchase the OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


book in advance: “It’s OK that You’re Not OK” by Megan Devine. 2:30-4pm. Monarch Center, 2895 SE 62nd St. hospiceofmarion. com or 873-7456.

the loss of a loved one. 3:305pm. Monarch Center, 2895 SE 62nd St. hospiceofmarion.com or 873-7456.

January 7

SPANISH FOR SENIORS 101—This entry level class

QUIT SMOKING NOW—A

four-week tobacco cessation program on Tuesdays, 10:30am12pm to help you prepare to pick your own quit date in order to stop using tobacco for good. There is no charge for the program, and you’ll receive up to a free month’s supply of nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum or lozenges). 10:30am-12pm. Senior Wellness Community Center. ocalahealthsystem.com or 401-1338.

Jan. 7-Feb. 11

HEART STITCHES—

Presented by Hospice of Marion County, this event is for any child ages 9-12 who has experienced the loss of a loved one. 5:307pm. Monarch Center, 2895 SE 62nd St. hospiceofmarion.com or 873-7456.

January 8

U.S. HISTORY FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO WWI—

Richard Kirk will look at this defining moment in our history. $30. Wednesdays, Jan. 8-Feb. 12. 1:30-3:30pm. University Center, Building 20 at the College of Central Florida. Register at seniorlearners.org or call 239-8780. ROMEO AND JULIET—

The National Ballet Theatre of Odessa, Ukraine, brings 55 of Ukraine’s brightest and talented ballet stars to present the most passionate romantic tragedy of love. $49-65. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl.edu or 800-905-2787.

Jan. 9-Feb. 13

HEART STITCHES—

Presented by Hospice of Marion County, this event is for any child ages 6-8 who has experienced

January 10

will help you learn the basics. $20. Fridays, Jan. 10-31. 1:303:30pm. University Center, Building 20 at the College of Central Florida. Register at seniorlearners.org or call 239-8780. AFTER DARK IN THE PARK MOVIE SERIES—“The

Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” The movies are free and refreshments will be available for a small fee. Remember to bring your lawn chairs and blankets! 7pm. Fort King National Historic Landmark. 3925 E Fort King St. ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517.

January 11

ONCE UPON A 5K—Race #7

in the Big Hammock Race Series, a 10-race series throughout North and Central Florida that allows runners/walkers of all levels to achieve prizes and perks as they move through this fitness challenge. 8:30am. Tuscawilla Park. Register at bighammockraceseries.com.

Bucket List Time

WROCLAW PHILHARMONIC—Passionate

about promoting Polish music, the group will present a program featuring works by Lutosławski and Chopin, as well as Brahms. $40-65. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl.edu or 800-905-2787.

January 11-12

EXTREME COWBOY RACE & OBSTACLE CHALLENGE—Horses and

Turn that extra unused car into an unforgettable vacation. We’ll buy your car, regardless of age and miles—and we’ll pay top dollar for it! –Chris Spears, Owner

riders will be challenged to race through a course consisting of water crossings, bridges, jumps, and other technical obstacles. 8:30am. The Florida Horse Park. flhorsepark.com or 307-6699.

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OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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January 12

OCALA YOUTH SYMPHONY CONCERT—

This group is comprised of 35-50 students who audition for positions in the orchestra. Performance selections will include pieces by Gershwin and Pachelbel. The concert is free with a love offering. 3pm. Countryside Presbyterian Church. 7768 SW Hwy 200. 237-4633 or 609-213-9125. AN EVENING WITH LEO KOTTKE—Known for

his fingerpicking style that draws on blues, jazz, and folk music, and for syncopated, polyphonic melodies, Kottke is regarded widely as a master of his instrument. $20-70. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606.

January 14

AN AFTERNOON WITH MITCH ALBOM—Tickets are

$35 and include a signed copy of his new book, “Finding Chika.” All proceeds benefit Hospice of Marion County. $35. 2pm. Klein Center. hospiceofmarion.com or 291-5143.

January 14-19

THE BOOK OF MORMON—The New York

Times calls this nine-time Tony Award-winning play, “the best musical of this century.” $49119. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl. edu or 800-905-2787.

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January 15

January 18

How to recover energy after the holidays, presented by Chiropractic USA. Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, so please call to reserve. 12:15pm. Jasmine Plaza. 7668 SE 60th Ave., Ste. 500. chiro-pros.com or 351-2872.

This presentation details the avoidable and unavoidable threats to our existence. 2pm. 8413 SW 80th St. masterthepossibilities.org or 861-9751.

HEALTH WORKSHOP—

January 16

GRIEF CARE—Presented by

Hospice of Marion County, learn about the grieving process and take home suggestions to help you cope. 3-4pm. Monarch Center, 2895 SE 62nd St. hospiceofmarion.com or 873-7456. DIABETES EDUCATION—

Take your health by storm. Come to these new speed-learning and interactive health sessions sponsored by Walgreens. Register one week prior to program. 9-11am. Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center. 830 NE 8th Ave. ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517.

January 17

SOUNDS OF SOUL—A

combination of Motown classics mixed with some of the greatest songs of all time by a group known for their recognizable choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy upscale stage persona. $2224. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670.

safe. 10:30-11:30am. Senior Wellness Community Center. ocalahealthsystem.com or 401-1338.

ASTRONOMY LECTURE—

CHANTICLEER—Their

repertoire spans ten centuries and includes everything from Gregorian chant and music of the Renaissance to jazz, spirituals, and pop. This Grammy award-winning ensemble brings their precise and emotional voices to major concert halls throughout the world. $20-40. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl. edu or 800-905-2787.

January 19

FLORIDA FUN MINI MATCH—Dancers of all ages

will compete in waltz, tango, foxtrot, salsa and two-step from the early afternoon into the evening for a chance to be first place in their heat and win fabulous prizes all while benefitting Marion Therapeutic Riding Association. 10am-6pm. Circle Square Cultural Center. Dancedancedance.biz or 732-7300.

January 23

CANCER AWARENESS LUNCHEON—Featuring two

January 21

VETERANS BENEFITS AND ASSISTANCE—There have

been many changes to veterans benefits including VA healthcare, presumptive service connected conditions for veterans, and state laws that affect veterans. Age, physical condition, or income may now qualify a veteran for financial help. 3-4pm. Senior Wellness Community Center. ocalahealthsystem.com or 401-1338.

January 22

ARE YOU SAFE?—In today’s

tumultuous world, we face many dangers to our personal safety. Learn how you can use situational awareness to keep you and your loved ones

guest panelists who will discuss liver and pancreatic cancer and what’s new in prevention and treatment. 11:30am. Ewers Century Center at the College of CF. cf.edu/shoptalk or 854-2322, ext. 1236.

Jan. 24- Feb. 16

LONE STAR SPIRITS—A

fast-paced comedy that takes a hilarious and sympathetic look at family. $28. The Hippodrome Theatre, Gainesville. thehipp.org or 375-HIPP.

January 25

MUSIC FESTIVAL & CAR SHOW—Tin Roof Shack

Productions presents its annual music festival and car show. Live bands, craft and food vendors. $15. 10am. Rock Crusher Canyon. rockcrusherevents.com or 472-2703.

LIKE TO SING? The Marion Civic Chorale Community Chorus members come from throughout the area, with a wide variety of backgrounds and musical experience. Rehearsals are held Monday evenings at 6:30pm at St. George Anglican Cathedral at 5646 SE 28th Street. Rehearsals begin on January 13. Visit ​marionchorale.org​ for more information.

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined


CLUB SOUL—Presented by

Hospice of Marion County for teens dealing with loss. 9am1pm. Marion County Humane Society, 701 NW 14th Rd. hospiceofmarion.com or 873-7456. THE LONG RUN—This

tribute group reproduces the sound that made The Eagles one of the most successful musical groups in rock and roll history. Tickets from $2535. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606. UF PERFORMING ARTS ANNUAL GALA—Experience

a lavish evening complete with decadent food, lively entertainment, delightful dancing, and casino games for all. $250. 7pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl.edu or 800-905-2787.

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE—

Formed in 1968 in New York and had their first of many hit records, “The Worst That Could Happen” in 1969. They’ve shared the stage with Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, Dion, The Righteous Brothers, The Beach Boys, and Steppenwolf. $2228. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670.

January 25-26

CAMELLIA SOCIETY FLOWER SHOW & SALE—

Featuring more than 1,000 blooms in a variety of colors, sizes, and types. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and may enter blossoms for judging. 1pm. Silver Springs State Park. silversprings.com.

January 26

JOEY DEE AND THE STARLITERS—The band is

best known for their successful multi-million selling record and dance phenomenon, “Peppermint Twist.” It’s been

more than 50 years since they continue to perform for audiences from coast to coast with their high-energy show, that includes their hits interspersed with a wide range of selections from pop, rock n’ roll, and mixed with spirited dancing and comedy. $3035. 7pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 3511606.

January 28-29

SHEN YUN—Travel back to

the magical world of ancient China with a unique blend of stunning costuming, high-tech backdrops, and an orchestra like no other. $85-155. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl. edu or 800-905-2787.

January 29

BASIC SELF DEFENSE—

Learn some simple-but-effective techniques that may help protect you from an attacker. 10:30-11:30am. Senior Wellness Community Center. ocalahealthsystem.com or 401-1338.

January 30

KNOWING ROCKWELL—

Ardis Clark is teaming up with her granddaughter/local freelance writer, Amanda ClarkRudolph for a one-of-a-kind presentation in which they will share Rockwell memories, photographs, video clips, and trinkets. Ardis will also show images of paintings that feature her mother, grandmother, and siblings, since modeling for the illustrator was a family affair. $5-$10. 10-11:30am. 8415 SW 80th St. Suite 2. masterthepossibilities.org or 861-9751. LYLE LOVETT AND HIS ACOUSTIC GROUP—

Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a conventiondefying manner that breaks

SOUND OF MUSIC SING-A-LONG January 24 This is your chance to sing-a-long to the most successful movie musical of all time. Tickets from $10$21. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606. down barriers. Tickets from $55-75. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606.

30. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 3511606.

ARBOR DAY PRESENTATION & TOUR—

BREW FESTIVAL—This

Rachel Slocumb will give a talk about the soon-to-open Ocala Wetland Recharge Park and how the existing oak hammocks have been influential to the park’s ecosystem. A docent-led tour of flora-themed works in the collection will be available after. Free for Appleton members; included with museum admission fee for nonmembers. 11am. Appleton Museum. appletonmuseum.org or 291-4455. CATHERINE RUSSELL—Back

by popular demand, this singer’s booming, brassy vocal power and honeyed smoothness is sure to be an absolute treat. $35-50. 7 & 9pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl. edu or 800-905-2787.

January 31

MAJESTY OF ROCK—This

Journey tribute band pays special homage to the years (1977-1998) when Steve Perry fronted the supergroup. $25-

February 1

craft beer event will feature home brewers as well as craft breweries from the region and around the state. Unlimited brews to sample, food trucks, live music and a silent auction. $10-95. 6-9pm. Rock Crusher Canyon. rockcrusherevents.com or 726-1231. DWIGHT ICENHOWER—One

of the very few Elvis Presley tribute artists that have made a full-time career out of keeping the legend alive. $24-28. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670. AEROSMITH TRIBUTE—

WIND FM Rocks the Reilly presents Jaded, a tribute to the bad boys from Boston. $2030. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606. CRISTINA PATO QUARTET—A master of the

Galician bagpipes, a classical pianist, and a passionate performer, she explores various Latin-rooted rhythms found

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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worldwide. $25-35. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl.edu or 800-905-2787.

February 5

INVERTIGO DANCE THEATRE—An evening of

virtuosic narrative-driven dance theatre set in overlapping worlds, where cold, high-stakes mathematics meets a vivid, twisted palette of fairy-tale beauty. $25-40. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl.edu or 800-905-2787.

February 6

MARC COHN—The Grammy-

Award winning singer-songwriter is best known for his soulful ballad, “Walking in Memphis.” Rooted in the rich ground of American R&B and gospel, he weaves vivid, detailed, often drawn-from-life tales. $3565. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606.

February 7

ALMOST ABBA—The

longest-running North American tribute to the Swedish super group. $15-35. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606.

February 7-9

enjoy all the fruits of a bountiful harvest. Our full range of awardwinning table wines, from dry to sweet, are sure to entice newcomers as well as draw rave reviews from longtime devotees. Enjoy live music on outdoor stage throughout the entire weekend. $10. 10am-5pm. Lakeridge Winery. lakeridgewinery.com or 800-768-9463.

February 8

CATTLE DRIVE & COWBOY ROUND-UP— Follow the

cattle from downtown Ocala to Tuscawilla Park where the festivities begin. Live entertainment, a kids’ corral, authentic vendors, Cowboy Tom, vittles, beer, waterin’ hole, and more! Tuscawilla Park. 10am2pm. ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517.

February 10

ARTRAGEOUS: THE INTERACTIVE ART AND MUSIC EXPERIENCE—This

troupe of 12 artists, singers, dancers, and musicians bring a high energy performance that combines fine art, live music, singing dancing, humor, and interaction in a frenzy of movement and color. $10-30. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606.

WINEFEST—An opportunity to

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ALWAYS PATSY CLINE Jan. 30-Feb. 23 This sentimental, songpacked tribute musical is a love letter to legendary country music star Patsy Cline (Melody Murphy) Melody Murphy and her friendship with Louise Seger (Laura Bradford), one of her greatest fans. Based on a true story, the show explores the unlikely bond between two women who met only once, yet became close friends through their correspondence. $13-27. ocalacivictheatre.com. or 236-2274.

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

February 12

ELVIS PRESLEY:THE KING OF ROCK N’ ROLL—In

this story of his life and times, Gary McKechnie will share rare images, videos, and recordings to remind you why Elvis will always be admired as The King of Rock n’ Roll. $5-$10. 1-2:30pm. 8415 SW 80th St. Suite 2. masterthepossibilities. org or 861-9751.

February 13

OFF YOUR ROCKERS SENIOR SOCIAL—Come

dressed to impress and dance the afternoon away while enjoying good music and meeting new friends. 1-3pm. Eighth Avenue Adult Activity Center. 830 NE 8th Ave. ocalafl. org/recpark or 368-5517.

February 14

PINK FLOYD TRIBUTE—

The Machine is celebrating 30 years of creating the most authentic Pink Floyd concert experience in America. $25. 7pm. Rock Crusher Canyon. rockcrusherevents.com or 746-4000.

February 14-15

A JOHN WILLIAMS SPECTACTULAR—A concert

of epic Hollywood proportions to celebrate John Williams’ 88th birthday! The Ocala Symphony Orchestra plays the very best of John Williams’ amazing movie scores side by side with images and clips from some of the most endearing films of our time. $23-28. Friday 7:30pm. Saturday 3pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 3511606.

February 15

AFTER DARK IN THE PARK MOVIE SERIES—“The

Help.” The movies are free and refreshments will be available for a small fee. Remember to bring your lawn chairs and blankets! 7pm.Webb Field.105 NW 12th Ave. ocalafl.org/recpark or 3685517.

DANNY SERAPHINE’S TAKE ME BACK TO CHICAGO TOUR FEATURING CTA— Chicago

co-founder and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Danny Seraphine and the world-class band CTA perform the legendary music of Chicago. $24-28. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670.

February 16

CELTIC TENORS—The

only Irish tenor group with a truly global audience, Celtic Tenors will give you a night to remember. Whether playing a neighborhood cathedral or major concert halls in international cities like New York, Amsterdam or Shanghai, you are assured of a professional, sparkling and most of all, good-humored performance. $25-35. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter. com or 351-1606.

February 19

HEALTH WORKSHOP—

Boost your immune system in 21 days, presented by Chiropractic USA. Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, please call to reserve your space. 12:15pm. Jasmine Plaza. 7668 SE 60th Ave., Ste 500. chiropros.com or 351-2872.

Feb. 20-Mar. 19

PERSONALITY—A look at

the individual differences in patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. $25. Thursdays, 10am-12pm. University Center, Building 20 at the College of Central Florida. Register at seniorlearners.org or call 239-8780. “BROWN BAG” MEDICATION EDUCATION—Are you

ready to take your health by storm? Come out to our new speed learning and interactive health sessions sponsored by Walgreens. Register one week prior to program. 9-11am. Eighth


a soaring musical experience. $28. The Hippodrome Theatre, Gainesville. thehipp.org or 375-HIPP.

DUCK DERBY February 8

February 29

The Rotary clubs of Marion County will race more than 5,000 rubber ducks on Lake Tuscawilla in Midtown Ocala. If “your” duck is one of the first three ducks to cross the finish line, you’ll win an amazing cash prize! Duck sales will primarily benefit the Discovery Center. 10am-2pm. duckrace.com/ocala.

Avenue Adult Activity Center. 830 NE 8th Ave. ocalafl.org/recpark or 368-5517.

February 26

February 21

founded Supertramp in 1969 and was with them until his departure in 1983. During the 14 years that he was with the band, he wrote, sang, and arranged most of the enduring rock standards that made Supertramp a worldwide phenomenon. $46-129. 7pm. The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. getoffthebusconcerts. com, thesharon.com or 753-3229.

LOVELAND—From Cinderella

to rock and roll, the Dance Alive dancers embrace the world with their gifts of expression and talent. $10-35. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606. STAYIN’ ALIVE—This Bee

Gees tribute band offers the songs and sights of a full Bee Gees playlist, singing blockbusters like “Night Fever” and poetic ballads like “I Started a Joke.” $24-28. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter. com or 854-3670.

February 22

JIVE TALKIN’—The original

and best Bee Gees tribute band is back on tour with a stunning new show and lineup. $1535. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606.

February 24

MTRA GOLF TOURNAMENT & FUNDRAISER—There will be

a deli lunch, silent auction, and awards to include cash prizes, team prizes, closest to the pin, longest drive, and raffles! Register as an individual or a team of four. $135/player or $400/foursome. 7:30am. Country Club of Ocala. Register at mtraocala.org or call 732-7300.

SUPERTRAMP’S ROGER HODGSON—Roger co-

THE KNIGHTS WITH GIL SHAHAM—An adventurous

collective dedicated to transforming the concert experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and orchestral music. $40-65. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl. edu or 800-905-2787.

ELIVS IN CONCERT—Two

of the world’s best Elvis tribute artists, Cote Deonath and Riley Jenkins, take the stage to recreate two sets that will show how Elvis transformed the music industry as we know it. $15. 7pm. Rock Crusher Canyon. tributeticket.com or 566-0093.

my Eyes Open,” “If I Could Make Living,” “This Woman and This Man,” and “Rumor Has It.” $4095. 7:30pm. Reilly Arts Center. reillyartscenter.com or 351-1606. THE FAB FOUR—This Beatles

tribute band offers a precise attention to detail, with three costume changes that represent every era of the Beatles everchanging career. $30-34. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670.

Feb. 28- Mar. 22

THE UNITED STATES NAVY BAND—They’ve been

performing public concerts and participating in high-profile events for over 85 years. Free. 7:30pm. The Phillips Center, Gainesville. performingarts.ufl. edu or 800-905-2787. THE ULTIMATE NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE—Jay

White’s every movement, sound, and expression give new luster to the life of the man and his music. $30-34. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670.

MARIA AND ROSETTA—A

story of letting loose, finding your voice, and freeing your soul in

February 27

ARTIST TALK—Join us for a

talk with photographer Billy Joe Hoyle and Appleton Curator of Exhibitions Patricia Tomlinson as they discuss the work in Hoyle’s solo exhibition “At Home in the World.” Free for Appleton members; included with museum admission fee for nonmembers. 2pm. Appleton Museum. appletonmuseum.org or 291-4455. CLAY WALKER—He’s placed

31 titles on Billboard’s singles chart including “Dreaming with

CTA CHICAGO EXPERIENCE February 15 Chicago co-founder and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Danny Seraphine and the world-class band CTA perform the legendary music of Chicago. $24-28. 7pm. Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of the World. csculturalcenter.com or 854-3670.

OCALA’S GOOD LIFE retirement redefined

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FREE HEALTH SEMINARS

All workshops will be held @ 12:15. A light lunch/refreshments will be provided. Space is limited, so please call to reserve your seat.

More Pills

JAN 15: Energy - How to Recover After the Holidays

ARE NOT

FEB 19: Boost Your Immune System in 21 Days

the answer!

As soon as you step into a Chiropractic USA office, you are greeted by caring professionals who will give you a tour of the facility. State of the art diagnostic tools allow accurate documentation of functional loss. There’s no guessing—you’ll see your progress in detailed before and after results. The doctors at Chiropractic USA are here to help you achieve optimum health through Natural Corrective Care.

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New Location Coming Soon! Ocala East

942 SE 17th Street Ocala Fl 34471

Dr. Renny Edelson

Profile for ocalasgoodlife

Jan/Feb 2020 Issue  

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