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10 ways to strength en our communit y

a passion for

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90994 63995


Meet our sixth annual Spirit of Gainesville winners and honorees


A journey to Cuba Witnessing history on a visit to our island neighbor









THE BIZ Long-awaited Celebration Pointe and Butler North are now open for business even as they continue to grow. Find out what’s coming next.



TREASURES FROM THE TROVES The Florida Museum of Natural History’s exhibit, “Frogs! A chorus of colors,” allows visitors to experience fascinating living species, each adapted ingeniously for survival in locations around the world.






GENERATION NEXT Malik Moore has a long list of theater credits, but this 17-yearold P.K. Yonge senior has his sights set on a grander stage.











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LOOKING GOOD Cooler temperatures bring out more extravagant looks.

UNEXPECTED TURN After a quick flight to Havana, we were surprised to find ourselves in Cuba at a pivotal point in history.


Some things in life come down to luck, but you can control how you care for yourself. Do it with love.


Striking log cabin in the Florida Park subdivision is up for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.




Garden and food events.




What do you get when you cross a lemon with an orange? A perfect blend for winter in Gainesville.

Recent development on West University Avenue has some worried that what makes the city unique may be lost.

Valentine’s Day can be a stale box of drug-store chocolates, but here are some ideas to spark your creative spirit.

GIVING BACK Get engaged in making a difference right here at home. Here are 10 local agencies that could use your help. Vine co-owners Dean Griebel and Teresa Zokovitch share their passion for fresh and organic food, one loaf of bread at a time.

Iréne Salley finds her home in Gainesville, where she has grown as a person and an artist.


MEDICINE Family medicine physician Thomas Raulerson stays busy with work, but he still finds time to care about each patient.

SHOWTIME Something for nearly everyone: a Broadway show, African harmonies and a virtuoso violinist come to the Phillips Center.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP Nick Banks, a UF grad, finds success with a focus on teamwork and a passion for community service.

DOOLEY NOTED A dozen ways we could improve sports by scrapping silly rules.

EDUCATION Rob Moramarco brings life skills and a focus on success to his math classes at Eastside High School.

Minnie’s battered life is behind her as she burrows her way into a family’s heart.


COMMUNITY SERVICE The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding grapples with social justice in very tangible terms.

We take a closer look at our city


THE ARTS Stephanie Williams uses her training as a mental health counselor to help her work in the choirs and music groups she leads.

Doing well by doing good. That’s the spirit of Gainesville we recognize again this year by celebrating individuals — and families — that are inspirations to us all.


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT The Freeman family has spent the past 35 years growing Stop Children’s Cancer into legacy that is helping others.



THE SIXTH ANNUAL Spirit of Gainesville Awards

SEEN We capture the moment. Pages of social event photos.

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DATEBOOK MAGIC MOMENT Bison wander close to the La Chua Trail on Paynes Prairie.




n New party pics n Plus, read current and past issues as they appeared in print, online at gainesville.




10 ways to strengt hen our community

Photo by Rob Witzel a passion for

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! See photos from area parties and benefits, plus, post your events


The sixth annual Spirit of Gainesville Award recipients.

giving $ 2 . 9 5 F E B R UA RY/ M A R C H 2 0 1 7

0 2>


90994 63995


Meet our Sixth Annual Spirit of Gainesville winners and honorees

InsIde FlorIda Park’s hIstorIc log home

a journey to cuba WItnessIng hIstory on a vIsIt to our Island neIghbor


Doing well by doing good — that’s And nowofwe say ‘hola’ again the Spirit Gainesville BY JACKI LEVINE


By Jacki Levine

something truly incredible about the human “How far that little candle throws his my own and timely trekour from iami and Havana. If spirit: Howfamily’s we have brave the capability to turn beams! So shines a good deed in a you grew up in South greatest Eastern Europe, — butineven more, I think the of those tragedies these two cases, weary world.” Florida in the last Cubans who transformed the slightly death of a child — into a powerful forcebland for city ­— William several Shakespeare, decades, you of my childhood. good. “Themight Merchant Venice” haveofseen the They came with all,work mostof of them, Every year, we arenothing awed byatthe relationship the way buthonorees, what we all keep our our these and, in with fact, us: of all ofculture, the comes a moment in nearly I did: akinhere to that of identical twins, who experiences, best memories ofyear home. people who are our nominated, and this is And every life doing were inseparable aswhen children butsomeended up in nothrough this, these Cubans enriched  South exception. thing good, something selfless, a feud leading to a great estrangement. But Florida beyond measure too, withwe thepresent vibrancy, the And if you are inspired, the only appropriate just like infeels any like relationship that was once so ourlanguage, the tastes, and joy at of just life that can’t Giving Back feature — the a look a few close and response. now fraught, they were never far of the be confiscated the state or stripped away, hundreds ofby opportunities here to get Whether that moment comes when from the other’s thoughts. unlike bank accounts or Abuela’s jewels or the involved and change some lives of your own. confronted with great need, ownfrom goodMiami As 228 miles. That’s the one’s distance family farm. always, there’s lots more: A visit to a fortune, glaring injustice, or closer, a tragic for personal to Havana; 100 miles example,historic Now, course, the gate is swinging logof house in Florida Park with ties open loss, than goingGainesville all-in on a cause one believes in and Miami. And despite theto aonce again between island neighbor prominent furnitureour family; tips on giftsand is an freeze effective weapon against losing hope. in relations that took place after Fidelof love us. Whatever one’s views, there is no that require nopolitical wrapping; culinary And it’s a popular one in this country, where Castro’s revolution, subtropical Florida andofferings denying that President Barack Obama’s that include how best to use those rephilanthropy is in so ourmuch common — from theluscious establishment of diplomatic with Havana Cuba shared Meyer lemons and tipsties on bread According to the Giving USA Foundation, last year — and the subsequent sandy beaches to the swaying coconut palms;baking from the experts at Vine. start of direct Americans donated $373.25 billionto inthe 2015, up from the sultry temperatures laid-back commercial flights betweenissue, the U.S. In our December/January weand Cuba — 4.1 percent from theromance year before. at the anything-goes thatAnd warms the air offeatured will transform, once again, our relationship Gainesville’s Bulla Cubana festivalwith samemany time,a64.5 million adults volunteered vacation mecca. the peoplethe next door. celebrating arts and culture of our island 7.9 billion of service. And inand thisheard issuethe of Gainesville we My hours grandmother reminisced about her tripneighbor, stories, in Magazine, their Gainesville is a example of a giving, to Cuba in thestellar old days. I imagined  what it wasown commemorate that. Noted Gainesville photogwords, of nine Gainesvillians of Cuban generous community, with hundreds of like by watching “I Love Lucy” reruns, withheritage. rapher Randy Batista, whose roots in Cuba — and thousands of hours and millions of dollars that handsome Ricky Ricardo banging on his My Gainesville — run looked deep, has turned editor’s letter at my ownhis tiesenergy donated each year to as disparatenightclub,to Cuba conga drums in causes the Copacabana and heart forofboth places what of promises — not blood but ofinto a feeling as saving environment and serving the Cokes.kinship with the a rapt audience sipping rum and to be one the largest events Gainesvlille thatof came from growing up among has homeless. It all seemed impossibly glamorous and exoticCuban seen.exiles Spanning three months, Bulla Cubana will in Miami. A little more than five years ago, inspired to me, at once slightly mysterious yet  familiar. Just encompass culturalthe venue here and as that almost editionevery was hitting streets, by the amazing work all around us, we at But of course, that was a caricature of theI fulfilled will feature the art, music and dance of Cuba in a long-held goal: visiting Cuba Gainesville Magazine andtrue ourto sister publicareal Cuba, no more everyday life theremyself. what  And Batista be a being vibrant citywide in ahopes case ofwill timing everytion,than The Gainesville Sun, created an award the fear that was evoked as we Floridathing, celebration that will bond two—cultures anew. the story I came backthe with featured to honor those in our hid community who best schoolchildren under desks during thein this And we— are so not proud feature “My Cuban issue was theto one I expected to exemplify giving spirit. Cubanthis missile crisis. Story,” the very special remembrances of nine find. But Gainesville being Gainesville, we we could As Gainesvillians whoseyou tiesfor to reading the island inform What was really happening in Cuba always, we thank and realized onefrom award adequately their memories onlyjust guess thecouldn’t stories told by the streamsupporting us. and their lives. coverofthe scope of the here, we— creThere’s more in this issue, as and always. immigrants whowork made theirsoway  by plane, And here’smuch wishing everyone a happy ated by a multitude of categories. And as2017. ever, we thank you for supporting us and raft — from the island nation to our shores,healthy This issueafter is dedicated sixth annual decade decade.our Each story so individual,  for adding your own colorful threads to the fabric Spiritbut of Gainesville Award winners. with the common refrain: As They had no  that makes Gainesville so uniquely Gainesville. you’llhome see when read their within thereyou anymore, so profiles they came to ours,   theseaspages, our honorees are inspiring, close as they could land to whattothey left   say the least. Jacki Levine, Editor behind.   In two of the categories, our informed winners areby their Everyone’s views are families. And in both casesare they childhood, and mine nopersonify different. When Jacki Levine, Editor I think of immigrants I think of the story of




| DECEMBER 2016 - JANUARY 2017




James E. Doughton EDITOR


Ali Patterson and Alan Festo PHOTO DIRECTOR

Rob C. Witzel DESIGNER

Center for News & Design CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Levi Bradford, Anthony Clark, Kristine Crane, Darlena Cunha, Ron Cunningham, Rachel Damiani, Bill Dean, Pat Dooley, Tyler Francischine, Stefanie Samara Hamblen, Patricia Klier, Zee Kristic, Jacki Levine, Aida Mallard, Peggy Macdonald and Laura Stamey CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Royce Abela, Andrea Cornejo, Rachel Damiani, Jacki Levine, Brad McClenny, Suzanna Mars, Matt Stamey and Rob C. Witzel GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE ADVISORY BOARD Alicia Antone Michael Blachly Laurel Freeman Doug Jones

Chris Machen Rebecca Nagy Barzella Papa Kristin Pickens Pamela Rittenhouse

Storm Roberts Layne Sasser Susan Spain Keith Watson

PUBLISHED BY THE GAINESVILLE SUN 2700 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, Fl., 32608 PUBLISHER


Douglas Ray

SOME OF THE STAFF WHO HELPED PRODUCE THE MAGAZINE Back row from left: Levi Bradford, Rob Witzel, Doug Ray, Alan Festo, Bill Dean, Zee Krtsic. Front row, from left: Aida Mallard, Ali Patterson, Jacki Levine, Tyler Francischine, Suzaana Mars and Peggy McDonald. 10  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017  |  GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE



Lynda Strickland PRODUCTION


Amber Anderson CONTRIBUTING writer

Vicki Gervickas

CONTRIBUTING photographer

Aaron Bailey

SOME OF THE ADVERTISING and PRODUCTION STAFF WHO HELPED PRODUCE THE MAGAZINE Front row, from left: Krystal Williams, Elias Ozuna, Amber Anderson, Lynda Strickland, Maddie Mottl, and Lisa Wiggs. Back row, from left: Diane Smith, Darian Glass, Radd Roberson, Steve Martin and Colby Smith.

Advertising Department 352-374-5079 Published By North Florida Newspapers 2700 Sw 13th Street Gainesville, Florida 352-374-5000


the biz

Work in progress: Openings continue at Celebration Pointe and Butler Plaza North

Above: Thousands of people attended the grand opening of the Bass Pro Shops Sportsman’s Center at Celebration Pointe. Photo by Brad McClenny

By Anthony Clark Business editor

The long-awaited Celebration Pointe development opened to the public with the grand opening of the 82,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops Sportsman’s Center attended by almost 10,000 people and the opening of the new overpass over Interstate 75. Future openings will include office buildings, apartments, a Regal Cinemas theater, Hotel Indigo and outlet shops to be announced. Recent openings in the Butler North expansion to Butler Plaza included the Aldi grocery store,


Total Wine & More, LongHorn Steakhouse, Culver’s burger and custard joint, a relocated Olive Garden and Sport Clips Haircuts. Next up are Taziki’s Mediterranean Grill and Keke’s Breakfast Cafe in March, and Bahama Breeze in July. TGI Friday’s will move to Butler North in the second half of

2017. Other businesses in the works for Butler North include Ashley Homestore, 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, Poppo’s Taqueria, Newk’s Eatery and Florida Credit Union. A recent event by the Urban Land Institute gave insight into ongoing and upcoming development projects. In addition to Celebration Pointe

and Butler North, ongoing construction projects include The Standard mixed-use high-rise project across from the UF campus and the small-scale Publix across 13th Street, the 521,000-squarefoot UF Health Shands hospital building south of Archer Road, Park Avenue at Santa Fe mixed-use project near Santa Fe College and the UF Innovation Hub expansion. Upcoming construction projects include more UF Health Shands buildings south of Archer Road and at Springhill on Northwest 39th Avenue, more buildings for biotech companies at Foundation Park and Copeland Park in Alachua, more office and apartment buildings in and around Innovation Square, the Project Legacy indoor and outdoor recreation facilities in Alachua, and the Heartwood homes site and expansion of the Gainesville Technology Entrepreneurship campus in east Gainesville. The University of Florida announced that it will provide $350,000 to help implement its strategic plan to better mesh the campus with the surrounding area as part of its effort to attract top faculty and encourage students to stay after graduation. The funding includes $250,000 for community research projects and neighborhood preservation, $250,000 for an arts initiative between the city and the College of the Arts, and $50,000 for environmental issues faced by the university, city and county.  Alachua and Bradford counties were added to the White House’s TechHire program that aims to train at least 300 people in computer programming and app development and place them in jobs by 2020. Santa Fe College, CareerSource North Central Florida, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce based in Starke will collaborate with the Gainesville Dev Academy, with support from

Customers make their way through the new Aldi grocery store that opened to the public in Butler North. Photo by Rob C. Witzel

An artist rendering of The Standard at Gainesville looking northwest from the corner of West University Avenue and Southwest 13th Street.

the program.

Open: Third House Books & Coffee, 113 N. Main St.; Opus Coffee, 7525 NW Fourth Blvd.; Goodbike Trailside Bike Shop, 210 NW 10th Ave.; Alcide Chiropractic, 408 W. University Ave., Suite 200.

Closed: Know Where Coffee, 1226 W. University Ave.; Market Street Pub & Cabaret, 112 SW First Ave.

Relocated: STM Seafood to 1228 W. University Ave.

Sophia Campos, 8, spray paints the parking lot during a “So Long, Parking Lot!” party at Innovation Hub last August celebrating the groundbreaking of the Phase II expansion of the building. FILE PHOTO GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE  |  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017 13




f Minnie could talk, what stories she could tell. Minnie, a pit bull, was a stray who ended up at Levy County Animal Services, emaciated and beaten up. Some volunteers from the Plenty of Pit Bulls group saw something special in her and put out the call for a foster home. Amanda McNall and her family stepped up, and Minnie arrived at their farm on June 1, 2016. Minnie, who is estimated to be 2 or 3 years old, craved attention, but she was uncertain at first — until she climbed into Amanda’s lap and relaxed. Amanda’s daughter, Audrey, 3, came up with Minnie’s name because “she looks like Minnie Mouse,” and they thought the nickname Skinny Minnie was suiting. Minnie weighed 30 pounds when she came from the shelter and had open wounds, a skin infection, and scarring on her face. Over the next few months, Minnie nearly doubled her body weight. Her wounds healed, and she learned how to behave around other dogs, farm animals, children, and in the house. She also met many doting vet students and learned how wonderful people can be. Minnie was inherently good with everyone, but she especially loved children. Audrey and Minnie became great friends. Because Minnie fit in so well with Amanda’s family, they thought hard about adopting her. “As a foster family, we realize we cannot keep them all,” says Amanda, a student at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our goal is to rehab, train, and help transition the animal into a new, forever home … but sometimes you have to keep one for yourself!” And Minnie proved to be

LEFT: Amanda’s daughter, Audrey, 3, came up with Minnie’s name because “she looks like Minnie Mouse,” and they thought the nickname Skinny Minnie was suiting.

You’ve got

irresistible. “Over the months of rehabbing Minnie, she seamlessly fit into our lives,” Amanda says. “Minnie and our other dog, Chalupa the Chihuahua, are great together, and Minnie and Audrey adore each other.” It’s a family consensus: “My husband loves having a mellow, sweet dog who will chill on the couch with him at the end of a long day,” Amanda says. “I have found Minnie to be incredibly intuitive during stressful times in my life, and a wonderful companion and friend,” she adds. “Minnie is a calming presence and often sits on my lap while I study.” Although Minnie’s scars show that her previous life was not easy, she has proven that her past does not define her future. Today, Minnie is an excellent ambassador for the pit bull breed: kind, loving and willing. She is a perfect example of why a dog should be judged by character, and together with Amanda, Minnie works to destigmatize pit bulls by winning friends everywhere she goes.   For more information about Plenty of Pit Bulls, email .  

a friend Minnie’s battered life is behind her as she burrows her way into a family’s heart By Anna Peterson

and Amanda McNall

Our goal is to rehab, train, and help transition the animal into a new, forever home … but sometimes you have to keep one for yourself! ­— Amanda McNall

Home at Last: Tales of Rescue, is coordinated by Hilary Hynes, public education program coordinator, Canine Good Citizen evaluator, Alachua County Animal Services, 3400 NE 53 Avenue, Gainesville,



Behold, the ancient ones These colorful amphibians boast a fascinating and potent history By Paul Ramey


florida museum of natural history

rogs date back more than 150 million years in the fossil record, and for centuries, the amphibians have been idolized and used in various ways by different cultures. Frog toxins are remarkably potent in the human body and may be used to treat heart ailments, infections, cancer, depression, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic pain. Some native tribes in the rain forests of the Americas use poison dart frogs to poison the tips of blow darts for hunting. Others are kept as pets, and frogs are considered a culinary delicacy worldwide: the United States imports millions of pounds of frog legs a year. While there are more than 6,700 identified species, at least onefourth of frogs are threatened with extinction. Florida Museum of Natural History herpetologists are actively involved in biodiversity research projects in the state and around the world, including Angola, Cameroon and Gabon. Current efforts focus on invasive species, such as the Cuban tree frog which is now firmly established in North Central Florida, population genetics and evolution of amphibians and reptiles, and the digitization of collections, to name a few. This work has resulted in the discovery of new species, better understanding of the evolution and natural history of poorly known species, and provided baseline information important for conservation. The Florida Museum herpetology collection is the largest in the Southeastern United States and ranks among the top 10 in North America. The collection of more than 200,000 scientific specimens from more than 140 countries is used daily for teaching, research and public inquiries. The museum’s current featured exhibit “Frogs! A chorus of colors,” allows visitors to experience fascinating living species, each adapted ingeniously for survival in locations around the world. These beautiful frogs and toads are some of the most visually stunning, vocally pleasing and remarkably adaptable life forms on Earth. For those who have never thought of frogs as beautiful, this exhibit may change minds. Guests may search for hidden frogs, activate calls and perform a virtual dissection in this hands-on, minds-on adventure allowing visitors to discover the important role frogs play — including serving as indicators of the health of our environment. The exhibit also includes information on the museum’s current research on frogs, which are among Earth’s most threatened vertebrate groups. For more information on Florida Museum collections, visit www. More information on the “Frogs!” featured exhibit is available at


Pottery vessel, clay Dominican Republic Taíno, circa A.D. 1200-1500 Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace In ancient Taíno cultures, frogs and the color green were symbols of female fertility associated with beneficial rains. The most important female deity, Attabeira, also was represented as a “Frog Woman.” This pottery vessel from the Dominican Republic is a serving bowl that would have been used to serve a beverage or broth.

VISITING THE MUSEUMS The Harn Museum of Art, 3529 Hull Road, University of Florida Cultural Plaza. Admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. For more information: Call 352-392-9826 or visit The Florida Museum of Natural History, 3215 Hull Road, University of Florida Cultural Plaza. Admission is free except for some exhibits and the Butterfly Rainforest ($13 adults, $11 Florida residents, seniors/college students, (UF students free with Gator 1 card), $6, ages 3-17). Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information: Call 352-846-2000 or visit 

Blue poison dart frog

Fire-bellied toad

Amazon rain forest ©Photo by velora

China, Korea © Photo by reptiles4all

The blue poison dart frog, Dendrobates tinctorius, is one of the live species featured in the “Frogs! A chorus of colors” exhibit. Some native tribes in the rain forests of the Americas use toxins from other poison frogs to tip their blow darts for hunting.

The Fire-bellied toad, an iconic amphibian species from Korea, China and parts of Russia. is actually a frog species and not a toad as the name suggests.

Cuban Treefrog

Guinea snout-burrowing frog

Gainesville, Florida ©Florida Museum photo by Eric Zamora

Africa ©Florida Museum scan by Edward Stanley

This Cuban Treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, was photographed in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza outside the Florida Museum. This invasive species can be difficult to identify because they may be white, gray, green or brown, and can change colors. Some have dark streaks or splotches on their backs, while others are nearly solid in color with no markings. Cuban Treefrogs eat at least five different species of native frogs, and their tadpoles compete with native tadpoles for space and food.

This enlarged, contrast-enhanced CT scan of a Guinea snout-burrowing frog, Hemisus guineensis, shows muscles (pink), skeleton (tan), glands (yellow), cardiovascular system (red) and central nervous system (purple). These frogs, only about 1 inch long as adults, spend much of their lives underground, making them difficult to locate and uncommon in museum collections. Found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, scientists are studying the anatomy of this species’ tongue, believed to have a unique hydrostatic property which allows it to capture prey to the side and not only in front of its body as most species. By soaking these unusual frogs in X-ray dense Iodine, a reversible process, researchers may view and measure low-density tissues without permanently damaging the specimen.



Goodbye, silly rules A dozen changes that could instantly improve sports

Dumb rule? Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott peeks out of a large Salvation Army kettle after jumping into it celebrating a touchdownElliott scored on a running play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was penalized for his antics. AP photo


e’re making progress. We’ve seen some change, just not enough. We move forward with two of the most aggravating things extinguished like a cigarette in a full drink. Thank you. Keep it going. The two things that were eliminated recently – the winning side of baseball’s All-Star game no longer gets homefield advantage in the World Series (just dummy) and a golfer whose ball moves on its own is no longer penalized. It’s not enough. Here are another dozen things about sports I would like to see go away.

1. Slow walks to the mound. In college baseball, they have put a clock on the pitchers to speed the game up. They need one for the coaches and for major league’s managers. It’s a slow game that has very little real action and is fighting for

the attention of millennials. Why slow it down by allowing a manager to walk to the mound like he’s going to the gallows? Let’s go, while we’re young.

2. Celebration penalties. When Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott jumped into the Salvation Army pot after a touchdown, I laughed out loud. It was fun. But the NFL doesn’t like fun. So it has a weird sense of punishment where the officials make their own judgments on what is or isn’t appropriate. And in college, it feels like it depends on the mood of the official. Let the guys enjoy themselves. Who is it hurting if a guy wants to enjoy himself and put a smile on your face? 3. Taking a charge.

The block/charge call is huge part of the college game and the reason is that the officials get it wrong so often. Just eliminate taking a charge as a defensive weapon. Look, we all know what a blatant charge is. Call those. Let everything else go.

4. The other stupid golf penalties. There are plenty. Like when a golfer


can’t find his ball and has to walk all the way back to the tee to hit another shot holding up play. Or that all golfers have to sign their scorecards and can be penalized if it’s incorrect.

5. Basketball possession arrows. Hate them. Teams so often get nothing for making a great defensive play. Let’s go back to the jump balls after tie ups on the court.

6. Ties in the NFL. We have a perfectly excellent overtime system in college football, but the NFL stays with its dumb way of doing it that allows for a tie game. Who wants to spend that much money and that much time for a non-result?

7. Sitting out a year. College coaches claim their sports will go up in flames if players don't have to sit out a year when they transfer. But they will bolt before a season is over for a bigger paycheck. It’s always been a dumb rule and I feel like we’re getting closer to it being eliminated.

LEFT: Why so slow? Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell walks to the mound to relieve pitcher David Price in the fourth inning during Game 2 of baseball’s American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. AP photo

RIGHT: Good thing Davis Love, III, remembered to signs his scorecard after finishing the first round of play of the 2002 Masters at the Augusta National Golf in 2002. Not signing it is an offense. AP Photo/Doug Mills

8. Players fouling out with five fouls. You can’t have unlimited fouls because the game would turn into a brawl. But in college, many coaches sit their best players if they get two early fouls. That hurts the game. Increase it by one and see what a difference it makes.

9. NFL non-catches. You know what a catch is. The NFL rules-makers do not. A player has to catch the ball, go to the ground, get up, take the ball to a notary public and get it authorized.

10. Designated hitters. I don’t mind the DH. I don’t really want to watch pitchers try to hit. But it needs to be the same way in both leagues. Having a DH in the American and not the National may be the dumbest thing in all of sports.

11. Double timeouts. One team calls a timeout with four seconds left. Both teams come on the court. The other team calls a timeout. Boring.

12. The sixth defender. We see this all of the time in college basketball. Coaches are four feet onto the court and the refs have to back them up. I swear, I think there are times when the sixth defender affects an offensive play. What you don’t see here is eliminating offsides for soccer, which a lot of people in America think would make soccer more popular here. Yeah, we should change the rules of the most popular sport in the world to make it more America-friendly. That’s very provincial thinking. Besides, I’ve given you enough to work on. GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE  |  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017 19


A season of


A Broadway musical, African harmonies, and a virtuoso violinist come to Gainesville

The enchanting musical “Pippin” comes to the Phillips Center on Feb. 19.




BROADWAY SMASH: Based on the recent Tony Award-winning Broadway revival, the national tour of “Pippin” will bring such hits as “Magic to Do” and “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man,” written by “Godspell” creator Stephen Schwartz, to life as it recounts the story of King Charlemagne’s son in two performances at the Phillips Center, 2 and 7:30 p.m. (392-2787)




South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be at the Phillips Center on Feb. 21.





Itzhak Perlman will be accompanied by pianist Rohan De Silva on March 11 at the Phillips Center.



SWEET HARMONIES: Long known in the U.S. for its backing vocal harmonies on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album, the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo has a history dating back 50-plus-years and has won four Grammys. Most recently, the group’s current CD, “Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers,” has received a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album of 2016. Phillips Center, 7:30. (392-2787)

SHINING STARS: Venerable ‘70s pop/soul/funkmeisters Earth, Wind & Fire remain a musical force of musical elements in concert thanks to a rich catalog of 23 albums and no less than eight No. 1 R&B hits including “Sing a Song,” “Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland.” The group remains led by the co-founding trio of vocalists Phillip Bailey and Ralph Johnson, and bassist Verdine White. St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 7 p.m. (904-209-0367)

VIRTUOSO RETURNS: Expect a triumphant return for master violinist Itzhak Perlman, who last wowed a sold-out audience at the Phillips Center in 2014 and will perform with the same pianist who accompanied him then, Rohan De Silva. The program will vary but the musical fireworks will, blissfully, be similar. Phillips Center, 7:30 p.m. (392-2787)

KEEP ON ROCKIN’ US, BABY: The Steve Miller Band will fly like an eagle back to North Florida for a night of California pop-rock including such ’70s hits as “The Joker,” “Jungle Love,” “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Rock’n Me. Opening the show will be the Texas brother trio Los Lonely Boys, known for such roots-rock hits as “Heaven.” St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 7 p.m. (904-209-0367)

The Steve Miller Band brings its California pop-rock to the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on April 2.



Life in

harmony This 17-year-old singer/actor is following big dreams to one day become leader of the land By AIDA MALLARD


alik Moore has been in love with musical theater for as long as he can remember. He discovered he could sing while at preschool at age 3, he says, and he has been singing in public ever since at school, church, and for “anybody who asks – I’m always singing.” But singing is but one of this 17-year-old’s passions.  Now a senior at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and dually enrolled at Santa Fe College, Malik has applied for admission to various schools and is waiting to hear from the University of Florida, Emory University and Morehouse College, both in Atlanta, Howard University in Washington D.C. and the University of Tampa. College will be his first step on his path to bigger and greater things. His eventual goal? To be president of the United States. “As president I feel I have more room to impact society,” Malik says. “I didn’t think I could do it, but I saw (President Barack) Obama do it, and that solidified my position, that I also one day can become president.” First he plans on becoming a civil rights attorney.  He says he is concerned about systematic racism, job inequality, immigration and social-justice reform. He  wants to make a difference. For nine years, since the age of 8, Malik has been involved with the Star Center Children’s Theatre, where he has performed in many starring and supporting roles, including as Horton in “Horton Hears a Who,” Jesus Christ in “Godspell,” Lion in “The Wiz,” Prince in “Cinderella,” Johnny

Malik Moore, a senior in the performing arts program at P.K. Yonge, at The Actors Warehouse where he regularly performs in show. Photo by Brad McClenny

Casino/Teen Angel in “Grease,” Mr. Warbucks in “Annie Jr.,” Beast in “Beauty and the Beast,” and King Mufasa in “The Lion King.” He also works behind the scenes as stage manager, house manager, and light technician. “I’ve done so much, I lost count,” Malik says. “I don’t keep track, I just like being part of it.” At the Actors’ Warehouse, he played Young Martin in “I Have a Dream,” and was in the ensemble for “Soul of Broadway” and “12 Years a Slave.” He also was in the ensemble in “The Color Purple,” produced by Felicia Walton of Dance Central, which is no longer in existence. At P.K. Yonge, Malik played Mr. Bumble in “Oliver,” Bookseller in “Beauty and the Beast,” and in the chorus for


“Every 17 Minutes.” Malik’s also a member of the P.K. Yonge voice ensemble and theater programs and also the debate team. He has been involved in the Gainesville Youth Choir for a decade. Malik sang with the P.K. voice ensemble in the Disney Candlelight Procession at Epcot in December, along with the Disney Choir and other professional singers. Malik was in eighth grade when he won Best Actor for Children’s Theatre for his role as Jesus in “Godspell Jr.” at the 2012 Florida Theatre Conference held at Santa Fe College. At the same conference, Malik won second place in a talent show where he competed against 15 high school and college students. see KING, 78


University Avenue

then and now Reflecting on more than a century of change By Peggy Macdonald Executive Director


Matheson History Museum





t the dawn of the 20th century, Gainesville did not yet have a University Avenue. Gainesville was selected as the future site of the University of Florida in 1905. Early drawings for the university included a building that would have resembled a blend of the University Auditorium and Century Tower on steroids. The road that was later renamed University Avenue was previously known as Alachua Avenue and Liberty Street, where horse-drawn wagons once traveled. Citizens who had business downtown watered their horses at a trough at the old Alachua County Courthouse.

Today, the Gainesville Police Department Mounted Patrol Units still use the trough, near the 1867 Matheson House. In the 1880s, many of the wooden buildings along Alachua Avenue burned down. They were replaced by new brick buildings that have housed a variety of businesses over the years, taking on a new flavor with each generation. An aerial view of downtown Gainesville facing west from the old Alachua County Courthouse reveals how much University Avenue has changed over the years. The First Presbyterian Church and Masonic Hall have relocated, and customers no longer park horses outside downtown businesses. While many of the residential buildings on East University Avenue have remained relatively unchanged since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, West University Avenue is expanding rapidly, prompting concerns that what makes Gainesville unique may soon be lost. Perhaps this is how some Gainesvillians felt when the Seagle Building was erected in the 1930s, or when the train stopped running down Main Street. Gainesville’s humble skyline continues to grow, both at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street. Gainesville seems to be following the same path it established more than a century ago, when it fought to become the future site of the new University of the State of Florida, as it was originally called. Growth is centered on the student population, and the university’s reach is expanding across the city. University Avenue has been a bellwether of change for generations.

Previous page, from top: University Avenue in downtown Gainesville in the ’60s. The postcard portrays a busy downtown business section on University Avenue in the early 20th century. Current page, from top: A drawing of a an early grand University of Florida building that was never built. A moment in time when cars and horses shared the streets of Gainesville, in front of the old courthouse downtown. Residential area on University Avenue around the turn of the century. Charlie Pinkoson on University Avenue site of Buchholz High School.



Salley enjoys her lush garden that is the subject of many of her oil paintings.

A life in living

For painter Iréne Salley, travels, family and an eye for detail have inspired her luminous work PHOTOS AND STORY BY RACHEL DAMIANI


réne Salley, an oil painter, walks barefoot through her lush garden in Northwest Gainesville. She wears a paint-stained sundress and a wide-brimmed hat. As she names the flora she has planted, Salley’s voice rises in excitement, like birds bursting into song around her. “My garden is my inspiration,” Salley says.  Some of her inspired landscape paintings adorn the walls of her studio, which is tucked deep within her garden. Other paintings have been displayed at a variety of galleries, including the Thomas Center and Bellamy Road Fine Art Gallery in Melrose.  As an expressionist painter, Salley says she strives to capture on canvas the feeling a place evokes within her, focusing on what resonates

with her. In her paintings of her garden, for example, the face of a flower may dwarf a pine tree. She conveys her awe of nature’s beauty through fervent brush strokes and carefully chosen color. “I use color to express my feelings to the landscape,” Salley says. “That’s why my paintings are so colorful. It’s because color is my tool.”  The colors of the flowers in Salley’s garden, including bright purples, reds, oranges and blues, are often the focal point in her oil paintings. Their hues radiate from the center of the flowers and mingle with the blue of the sky and the green of the forest.  Like her paintings, Salley’s life also has been full of color. Her childhood was spent on a sugarcane plantation on the island of Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies. At age 29, she moved to Paris where she developed a love for art and fashion, and worked as a real


estate agent and model. At 36, she joined a sister in Connecticut and opened a shop that sold French products. Then, at age 40, she moved to Gainesville where she began taking art classes at Santa Fe Community College. Today, at age 69, Salley retains a youthful spirit. “I feel 40,” she exclaims, as she tilts her head back and laughs.

Early Life in Guadeloupe “I grew up in a place where love was very important,” Salley says of her childhood in Guadeloupe, where she was reared in a family of five children. “Because it’s large families and because it’s an island, everybody is together all the time.”  Guadeloupe is part of a broader island arc, the Lesser Antilles, snugly situated between tectonic plates in the Caribbean Sea and prone

to volcanic eruptions. Salley, like the land she lived on, had a fiery nature as a child. In school, she frequently ended up at in trouble for her latest prank. One time, she hid underneath the teacher’s desk and made faces at the other students during instruction, Salley recalls, laughing.  Outside of school, she was equally fearless and wild.  “I dirtied my clothes. I ate raw fish,” she says. “I was crazy.”  Her father, who owned a rum distillery, loved horses and had a stable on his property. Some of Salley’s earliest memories are of exploring the horse stables.  Even as a young child, Salley enjoyed observing the horses and the landscape around her. She says she was curious about the textures of different objects, including fruit and freshly plowed soil. Salley dabbled in art, but says her family discouraged her attempts because they did not want her to be vain.  “It’s not like now. A child draws a sun and you go, ‘Oh my God! It’s so beautiful,’ and you frame it. It’s not like that.”  Salley put aside her artistic interests when she married at 19. At 20, she had her first child, Daniel. At 22, her daughter Florence was born, followed by another girl, Ludivine, at 26.  At 29, Salley and her husband divorced. That’s when she made her first move, to Paris, where her children were in boarding school.  “I wanted to be with my kids, so there was no fear,” Salley says.  

Iréne Salley decorated her home using pops of bright color that she says reminds her of her childhood on the island of Guadeloupe.

Celebrating life in Paris

To make ends meet for her young family, Salley worked multiple jobs as a model and seller for Estrada, a German-based fashion company, and as a real estate agent. “I got all those gorgeous clothes,” Salley says. “I love fashion. It’s a beautiful art.”  Once she developed connections in Paris, Salley also worked as an interior designer, where she honed some of her artistic skills.  Even without an abundance of money, Sally says, the family celebrated and embraced life in Paris. They took day trips by train, explored the city by Vespa and enjoyed picnics in the parks. During visits to Paris’ museums with her children, Salley rediscovered her interest in art, she says.  “We were very happy, the children and I,” Salley says.  But the one downside was the gray skies.  “After living the gray of Paris, it was starting to get on me, the gray buildings, the gray sky,” Salley says. “I was starting to suffocate.”  So after seven years there, Salley moved her family to Connecticut, after her older sister, Maryse, raved about it.

“My garden is my inspiration.” — Iréne Salley






Instead of eating out on Valentine’s Day and fighting for a reservation, let the cuisine come to you. Chef Ami delivers fresh ingredients and recipes for gourmet meals right in your own kitchen. Candlelight not included. Photo by Erica Brough

Meaningful gifts of love: A Valentine’s Day giving guide for lovers with substance By Tyler Francischine


ove over, box of chocolates. This Valentine’s Day, assure your partner of your love and commitment by flexing those originality muscles. This curated collection of gift ideas runs the gamut from self-care to the great outdoors to personalized messages that your lover will be able to appreciate long after Valentine’s Day is over. Take that, dried-up rose petals.

1. Give the gift of a class Find something your loved one has been dying to join or start practicing, and present him or her with a purchased class or set of classes. McIntyre Stained Glass Studio and Art Gallery, located at 2441 NW 43rd St., Suite 11A, in Thornebrook Village, offers lessons for everyone to create their own stained 28  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017  |  GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE

glass pieces. Tuition is $200 for six two-hour classes, each with a maximum of five students per instructor. For more information, call 352-372-2752. Santa Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development offers community education programming in areas like aerial fitness, bird watching, tai chi chuan and Pokemon Go. For more information, call 352-395-5193.

2. Go the self-help route In this fast-paced world, many find it difficult to achieve a balance between the needs of those around them and their own body’s needs. By purchasing a self-help session for your partner, they’ll be reassured that someone out there cares that they’re feeling their best. Searchlight Yoga, located at 3501 SW Second Ave., Suite O, offers classes at every level, including a Mommy and Me session. For more information, call 352-505-4090. The Gainesville Shambhala Meditation Group, located at 1899 NE 23rd Ave., offers meditation instruction to practitioners of all levels. For more information, call 352-214-1334.

3. Make a charitable gift Show your partner you know what matters most to them by making a charitable gift in their name to an organization they care about. From the Harn Museum to Amnesty International to the Alachua County Humane Society, the list of organizations that need

donations is endless.

4. Treat your partner Nothing says love like treating your partner to a full day of pampering. Cloud 9 Spa Salon, located at 6500 SW Archer Road, offers spa packages, complete with massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and shampoo and cut, for both men and women. For more information, call 352-335-9920.

5. Make every day special Personalizing a 365-day calendar by marking dates like your wedding anniversary, the date you met, and the dates of future plans or travel will show your partner that he or she is on your mind, no matter how busy your schedule may be. has a selection of day calendars with themes ranging from puppies to sports trivia to the works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Just add your personal touch.

6. Go outside A pass to a state or national park provides the perfect opportunity to bask in the warm glow of the sun together. The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series offered by the National Parks Service grants admission to more than 2,000 recreational sites across the country. For more information, call 1-888-275-8747, Ext. 3.

7. Take a load off Buying your partner a deep housecleaning session means more time to focus on romance. Pristine Clean Gainesville, located at 4040 W. Newberry Road, Suite 1300, is committed to using environmentally friendly cleaning products and offers a range of packages. For more information, call 352-278-3437.

8. Bring the five-star restaurant to your home A personal chef service, combined with a little candlelight, can transform any dining room into a cozy, romantic restaurant. Chef Ami, located at 4101 NW Sixth St., Suite B1, delivers meal kits made from fresh, locally grown ingredients to your doorstep. For more information, call 352-363-1108.

9. Make a date out of it Painting With A Twist, located at 618 NW 60th St., Suite B, is an art studio that combines painting with wine. Skip dinner and a movie for this hands-on experience. For more information, call 352-639-1746.

10. Write from the heart Never underestimate the power of the written word. Leave a handwritten note or card by your partner’s briefcase so they begin their day with a reminder that they are loved.

TOP: Learn a new skill together by taking a class like those offered by Mary McIntyre at the McIntyre Stained Glass Studio in Thornebrook Village. Photo by Erica Brough BOTTOM: Vicki Canto, left, and Shannon Haas of Cloud 9 Spa Salon. Photo by Kristin Kozelsky


Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people link feeling good about themselves to positive behaviors or giving up harmful ones like smoking cigarettes or overeating.

Feeling Good

Learning to love


For Valentine’s Day (and every other), give yourself the gift of becoming your own best friend



very Valentine’s Day my mother brought home two heart-shaped miniature cakes — one for my brother, one for me. I remember the thick white frosting, hardened like a perfect shell over the moist cake, and the simple red lettering that said “I love you.” After my mother died, I spent several years spinning my wheels, trying to replace her love, until I realized: I couldn’t. Instead I had to learn this very potent thing called self-love, which can also be a gateway to experiencing other types of love. For Robert London, a psychiatrist based in New York City, who writes frequently for Psychology Today, self-love is simply “feeling comfortable in your own skin.” He distinguishes this from narcissism, which he defines as “self-love at the exclusion of everyone else around you.” Gainesville-based therapist

Elizabeth Gottlieb Gattone adds, “Self-love is not just about selfrespect and self-care, but it’s also about believing in yourself and feeling like you can do it.” To feel this way, it’s helpful to focus on things that you’re good at and that drive you, as in your professional life, but even in the small stuff that we often overlook, this can be true. “If you want to be a good driver, stop at red lights. It’s doing what’s right,” London says. “I’m talking about you feeling good about yourself by doing things that reinforce that you are doing the right thing.” As therapists, both London and Gottlieb Gattone help people resurrect a sense of self-love that may have been beaten down during childhood or later on. Gottlieb Gattone calls the process “re-parenting yourself; becoming your own best friend; or your awesome twin sister. Think of yourself in the third person,” she says, adding that we often say things to ourselves that we would


never think to say to another person. “At best, start being the one who protects yourself and admires yourself.” She works with people on understanding where negative self-talk comes from originally — whether it was in the family or at school — and trying to understand the context for those feelings. London uses cognitive behavioral therapy to get people to link feeling good about themselves to positive behaviors or giving up harmful ones like smoking cigarettes or overeating. The benefits of self-love are first and foremost to yourself: Liking yourself ensures a better life. But it will also improve your relationships with others. “If you like and love yourself, you’re a much better benefit to others,” he says. “You’re not blinded by your own difficulties and prejudices.” People without a lot of self-love can be defensive and controlling — and needy in intimate relationships, Gottlieb

Gattone adds. “Relationships are pretty rocky if you don’t have that sense of security and comfort in your own skin. You end up demanding that the other person helps you fill that hole.” The balance will likely be thrown off because you are taking a lot more than you can give, London adds. Instead, loving couples in which both partners also love themselves express a certain comfortable reciprocity with each other. “Time and again, you see married couples refer to their partner as their best friend. They possess a tremendous amount of understanding for the other person,” London says. Finding the right partner in life might even be viewed as one of the rewards for self-love, but finding the right partner in life can is also part luck. “So much of what we do is not under our control,” London says. “But when it comes to liking yourself and getting some benefit from that, it’s very doable.”






elp thy brother’s boat across and lo! thine has reached the shore. – Hindu proverb


Life’s persistent and most urgent question is “what are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr. How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world. – Anne Frank It’s not surprising that lyrical quotes about the virtues of giving abound. There is something intrinsically uplifting in knowing that our caring can make a difference in the world. Whether it’s a gesture as simple as reaching out to a sick or lonely neighbor or as worldchanging as raising millions to eradicate disease, generosity toward others can give meaning and purpose to our own lives.  In Gainesville, we see this in action every day. We are a community brimming with people who simply want to give, not for recognition, but because of their belief in it. It’s in honor of these  people  that The Gainesville Sun and Gainesville Magazine created the Spirit of Gainesville Awards in 2011. Each year, we honor Gainesvillians in several categories who best personify this life-affirming spirit.  But the fact is that all our nominees – put forward  by their friends and neighbors – are inspiring. We thank and revere every one of them for the work they do.

Lifetime Achievement Award: The Freeman family, who took the devastating loss of their 12-year-old daughter and turned it into a lifelong mission to fight childhood cancer.

Education:  Rob Moramarco, this mathematics teacher/ coach goes above and beyond to make sure his students leave school equipped to handle the essentials of life.

Arts: Stephanie Williams, a mental health counselor and choir director,  who brings a spirit of harmony to gospel music and her work.

Entrepreneurship: Nick Banks, who learned of Gainesville's needs, and vowed to give back 10 percent of brokerage fees from his firm, Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group.

Community Service: Heart Phoenix and Jeffrey Weisberg, inspired by the life of Heart's late son, the celebrated young actor River Phoenix, the couple have created a solutions-focused peacebuilding center.

Medicine: Dr. Thomas Raulerson, whose days brim over filling the medical needs of a variety of underserved communities.

THIS YEAR’S NOMINEES: Lifetime Achievement: The Freeman family The Arts: Stephanie Williams, Bill Warinner, Alan Stowell, Michael Claytor Community Service: Heart Phoenix and Jeffrey Weisberg, John Davis, Don Gorenberg, April Schroeder, Dorothy Thomas, Sam Wesley Education: Rob Moramarco, Maria Eunice, Kirsten Flamand, Steven Kee Entrepreneurship: Nicholas Banks, David Godec, Noah Hastay, Stephanie Metz, Angela Pate Medicine: Thomas Raulerson, Sally Dahlem




dream Keeping Bonnie’s


When the Freemans’ young daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, her goal was to raise money to defeat childhood cancer for others. 35 years — and $7 million later — Stop Children’s Cancer is still her family’s passion



hirty-five years ago, doctors diagnosed a little girl in Gainesville with leukemia, leaving her family devastated. “I remember driving to our pediatrician’s office, thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’ ” says her father, Howard Freeman. “And then seeing her hooked up. It was horrible. You can’t put a feeling like that into words.” While a diagnosis like that can crush even the strongest of hearts, 10-yearold Bonnie Freeman looked instead to the future — not hers but that of all the children who would come after her. She asked her parents for help, and the Stop Children’s Cancer fund was born. Bonnie began as an active participant, stuffing envelopes and asking for donations for the first two years. She wrote down her wish in a letter shortly before she passed away, stating in beautiful childish cursive: “I feel that since the money in this fund is for all the kids in the world, everyone should want to help! We need your help to raise over $1,000,000

... I don’t want other kids and their families to have to go through all the same things which we had to.” Three and a half decades later, The Stop Children’s Cancer fund has grown steadily, and her family has helped raise more than $7 million. In honor of the their decades-long steadfast efforts to honor Bonnie’s memory and to fight the tragedy of childhood cancer, the Freeman family has been named winner of the Spirit of Gainesville Lifetime Achievement Award.  “We can’t bring Bonnie back, but we can make a better world for others,” says her sister Carolyne. Stop Children’s Cancer puts on multiple fundraisers a year through partnerships with local businesses and groups, including the Annual Stop Children’s Cancer Fantasy Event, Charity Golf Classic, Holiday Tradition concert, and a Bearathon with radio station K-Country 93.7. Now in its 20th year, the daylong event raises up to $65,000 from listeners and uses it to buy a bear for every child coming through UF Health’s Cancer Center.


“We get people calling to say they previously received a bear and would like to give to someone new coming through,” says Laurel Freeman, Bonnie’s mother. “That’s incredible news every time because it means the first child survived.” When Bonnie was diagnosed, children with leukemia had a 40 to 60 percent chance of survival, Laurel says. Today, that rate is up to 90 to 95 percent, largely due to organizations like the one the Freemans orchestrate right here in Gainesville. “What many people don’t understand is that cancer research trickles up, not down,” Howard says. “Breakthroughs found for children can be applied to adults, but not the other way around, so the children can get left behind.” Most of their fundraisers focus on raising money for research. Carolyne chaired the Fantasy event for years, a night out for donors that will take place at the Santa Fe River Ranch again this May. Guests enjoy catered food, music and a silent auction and the proceeds go to the Freemans’ fund. Other Stop Children’s Cancer fundraisers include marches,

Bonnie Freeman

Carolyne, Laurel, Howard and Bella Freeman, Carolyne’s daughter. The family is committed to fighting childhood leukemia today as when they began Stop Children’s Cancer more than three decades ago. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL

jubilees for children who beat cancer, and various giving and donation drives throughout the months. “The goal is universal, to eradicate cancer and bring the best treatment possible to people,” Howard says. “It taps into our common desire to make the world a better place.” Nearly all the money raised goes to UF Health, in particular to fund the work of Dr. William Slayton in children’s oncology there. “Instead of just giving money to UF Health in general, we like to give it to certain doctors for specific projects and programs,” Laurel says. “That way we can

tell our donors exactly what their money is going toward.” Well-staffed and consistently successful, Stop Children’s Cancer boasts a vibrant rotation of more than 100 loyal volunteers, partnerships and a board of 45 people, all of whom give their time willingly and happily for the cause. Howard, Laurel and Carolyne are all volunteers themselves. They do this work in addition to holding down full-time jobs; Howard Freeman is a national award-winning Realtor who has owned Freeman Realty since 1985. He’s worked in real estate since 1970 and taught

at Santa Fe College for more than 30 years. His daughter, Carolyne, is the CFO of the company, a Rotarian and involved in the Junior League. Laurel has been a licensed massage therapist for almost 30 years, and she holds a Key to the City of Gainesville in honor of her tireless volunteer work within the community. “We’ve always been big believers in helping, but only when you’re affected by something like this is it so intense,” Howard says. “We used to participate in fundraisers and volunteer work; now we organize it. We’re dedicated to making Bonnie’s dream come true.”






When faith provides

the melody For this mental health counselor and choir director, ‘believing you can do something’ is the music of her life


BY LAURA STAMEY tephanie Williams, a licensed mental health counselor, thinks fondly of how she helped a woman get back on track. Not only did the woman stabilize her life and get her GED, but she continued to earn an associate’s degree and a new job in a professional office environment. “That really made my heart sing,” Williams says. “She didn’t believe in herself, but I really stayed on her, encouraged her, and tried to be there for her.”  That compassion for others is why Gainesville Magazine is proud to award Williams the Spirit of Gainesville Award for Arts — wait, what?  Trust us, this makes sense.  That kindness and steadying influence Williams brings to those in her professional life also reflect in the choirs and music groups she leads at Compassionate Outreach Ministries. Because to her, teaching music and counseling others are very much the same.  “When you’re counseling an individual as well as working with someone musically, your approach has to be similar,” she says. Musicians and patients — like the rest of us — have

different personalities and react differently to instructions. “You have to be flexible, and you have to deal with people according to the knowledge you have concerning them, as opposed to a cookie-cutter mold.” Williams, the third oldest in a family with nine children, grew up in Gainesville surrounded by music. Her father plays lead and bass guitar, while her mother sings. Williams grew up singing in Church of God by Faith’s choir and started writing songs at age 12. By 16, she directed her first choir — telling adults how to perform.  In addition to her father, “who always kept instruments at home,” Williams credits Rhonda Wilson, her first choir teacher (and a former Spirit of Gainesville Award winner in the Arts), for inspiring her early musical career.  “She really believed in me and pushed me, even when I didn’t want to be pushed,” Williams says, adding that Wilson convinced her to sing her first solo. “I was very nervous, but she had the courage that I could do it.”  Williams has shared her passion and talents with gospel music with her children, Kevin, Justin and Alexis. All three are college students and musicians — Kevin and Justin graduated from Santa Fe College and now attend


Florida A&M University, while Alexis currently takes classes from SFC and is working on a budding gospel career of her own. Williams is the only one of her siblings to live in Gainesville their whole life. Three siblings have moved and returned, while five still live out of town. Williams, who divorced when her children were between 4 and 6 years old, stayed for the help of her parents and siblings. Now, she returns the favor by staying and helping her parents.  “I like that it’s not really fast paced,” she says of Gainesville. “I know it’s a college town, but you can pick and choose where to go where it’s not too crazy. I don’t have any real motivation to move. If it’s not broken, why fix it.”  The message behind gospel music resonates in how she works with the music groups in church, as well as the people she counsels at CDS Family and Behavioral Health Services and Meridian Behavioral Healthcare.  “It takes an amount of faith, regardless of if it’s music or mental health,” she says. “Believing you can do something and get through something, it mirrors one another.”  As a junior in high school, Williams took a peer counseling class. “From

there, I knew I wanted to go into the field of psychology,” she says. She attended Santa Fe College for her associate’s in psychology but got married and had children. She restarted her education in 2001 and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and, later, a master’s in psychology with specializations in mental health counseling and school guidance counseling. She works with youth and families at CDS, where she recently became the regional supervisor. She also screens people for inpatient services or crisis stabilization at Meridian — in addition to several weekly rehearsals and services at Compassionate Outreach Ministries.  “Not at all,” she says with a laugh when asks when she’ll slow down. “I’ll keep going, going, going. When I help others, it really helps me.”  Moving forward, Williams will be recording some songs and helping Alexis record an album and release a single early this year. Williams is currently working on a doctoral degree in Christian counseling and plans to open her own practice in 2018.  Whether through music or mental health, teaching and inspiring others motivates Williams to keep the demanding hours she does.  “People I’ve taught have far exceeded where I’m at, and that should always be the goal of the mentor,” she says. It’s easier to see the results as she shares music with others, but the long-term behavioral aspects of mental health counseling make those payoffs much harder to find immediately. For inspiration and motivation in the counseling side of her life, Williams remembers the words of her supervisor at CDS, Chief Operating Officer Sam Clark.  “We’re not responsible for actually seeing the tree produce, but we’re responsible for planting the seed,” she says. “We plant the trees and, eventually, the tree will bloom. Even if it doesn’t look like I’m making a difference immediately, I see the results of helping people long term.” Stephanie Williams, a licensed mental health counselor and church musical director, brings harmony to her work. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL






A legacy of peace Co-founders of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding honor the young actor’s memory with a focus on solutions to bullying and violence



lessed are the peacebuilders, for they toil away in precarious times indeed. Our politics are divisive. The racial chasm seems wider and deeper than ever. Violence and bullying are rampant. Finding common ground can be elusive. All of which means that peacebuilding must begin at home. On a family level. One troubled soul at a time. Heart Phoenix has been an activist for most of her life. Husband Jeffrey Weisberg is a state-certified mediator. As co-founders of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, they call their mutual avocation something else altogether. We are “solutionaries,” Weisberg says. “We look for best practices to deal with social justice issues,” Phoenix adds. “We seek to develop model programs that can work in this community and be exported to other communities.” Because of the center’s solution-focused work with local schools, law enforcement, social service agencies and other community organizations — and their personal dedication — Heart Phoenix and Jeffrey Weisberg are this year’s recipients of the Spirit of Gainesville Award in Community Service. They “have been on the front lines of transformational change in Gainesville for several years,” says School Board Member Eileen Roy, who nominated the pair. “She and Jeffrey have provided generous support to reduce bullying, juvenile arrests, and school suspensions ... They are members of several groups designed to help youth — especially minority youth.”

The Center is named in honor of Phoenix’s son River, the celebrated young actor and musician who died in 1993 at the age of 23. “If I have some celebrity, I hope I can use it to make a difference,” River once said. “He lived his life in the spirit of what we do here,” his mother says. If peacebuilding seems a rather amorphous phrase, and an even more elusive goal, the center’s mission statement is less ambiguous. It is to “focalize, coordinate and champion the implementation of resources relevant to the prevention, interruption, and eventual healing from conflict and violence in all forms.” Operating with a tiny staff, but in collaboration with an impressive network of community-based alliances, the center’s initiatives include: n Police-Youth Dialogues: In partnership with Gainesville Police Department the center facilitates a program that brings together 12 to 15 African-American juvenile offenders at a time with an equal number of GPD officers — to talk together, eat together and attempt to relate to each other’s life situations on a human, not adversarial, level. “There are frank conversations on both sides.” GPD Chief Tony Jones says. “The officers are learning that these are not just ‘bad kids,’ and the kids are learning that the officers are not robotic figures that just want to put them in jail.” As facilitators, Jones said, Phoenix and Weisberg “meet separately with the kids and the police officers. They do some exercises to break the ice. We needed a neutral party to move this thing along and they do


a great job. If we started out with the police trying to run this process it would have fallen flat.” Weisberg says of the program’s focus on African-American youth, “we know they have higher rates of detentions and arrests. We want to educate the officers about adolescent brain development. We want the kids to begin seeing that police officers are people. When they sit down and eat together they discover they have a lot in common.” Police-Youth Dialogues has proven so effective at GPD that the program is being adopted by the Alachua Sheriff’s Office as well as the police department at both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College. GPD is already experiencing a reduction in juvenile arrests, as officers are urged to consider non-arrest responses in their encounters with troubled young people. n Communication and Self Esteem. Working with the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Center has developed an 8-week course for young offenders that is offered at schools, detention centers and in other settings. The course teaches communication, conflict resolution, peer mediation and other life skills intended to address the root causes of juvenile misbehavior. Training is offered to probation officers as well. And some judges are requiring young offenders to undergo the course as a form of community service. To date some 200 young people have taken the Communication and Self-Esteem course. n Students to Successful Citizen: This program, which makes an array of social and counseling services available to

Heart Phoenix and Jeffrey Weisberg founded the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding to encourage a solutions-based approach to resolving differences. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL

troubled students, is now operating in eight elementary and middle schools and serves more than 100 families in Alachua County. Roy said “Heart and Jeffrey contributed greatly” to a program which offers “wraparound social services to young people with severe discipline problems or emotional trauma which renders them unable to learn” The program, she said, works on “a team approach which includes the student’s parents, a social worker, school personnel and the administrator of the program.” n Peace Through Sports: In cooperation with the University of Florida and the Gainesville Area Tennis Association, the center has developed a program that uses the sports to teach at-risk young people conflict resolution, emotional learning and physical development skills.

“Research shows that youth who participate in sports are less likely to engage in high risk behaviors,” the center’s website states. “Sports based youth development has the power to reduce youth violence, promote health and inspire academic success for kids. We see this as a tremendous leverage point to have coaches teach vital life skills while building resilience and coping skills.” Heart and Jeffrey say these and other center initiatives operate on the basis of four principles. 1. People should not be defined by their behavior, which is more often a reflection of outside, often traumatic, experiences. 2. Targeted and adequate resources are key to confronting behavioral problems. 3. Restoration, not punishment, should be the goal when

responding to violent and disruptive behavior. 4.Youthful behavioral problems need to be addressed in a timely manner — “in the moment” — rather than later in life. “Restorative justice,” is a term frequently used by both when discussing the center’s work. “We are promoting social emotional learning, conflict resolution, and selfawareness,” Weisberg says. “Our criminal justice system is profoundly flawed. We have the opportunity to repair the flaws in an comprehensive and collaborative manner.” Adds Phoenix, “it works because they (troubled young people) feel like they finally have a voice. They start to relate to others on a human level, and that’s where real change starts.”






Coaching the fundamentals

of life



magine going through life without knowing how to file a tax return, apply for a home loan or even balance a checkbook. These are the realities for many students as they graduate from high school; if there isn’t a parent or mentor who is teaching them these important life skills, they aren’t likely to learn them. It’s easy to see how many will make poor financial decisions later in life as adults. According to research from the Council for Economic Education, students who have taken a class in personal finance are more likely to engage in financially responsible behaviors such as saving, budgeting and investing. For example, 93 percent of those who have taken a class save money compared to 84 percent of those who have not.  Thankfully there are teachers like Rob Moramarco to ensure these kids don’t slip through the cracks — no matter their socio-economic background or academic abilities. Moramarco, 41, is a mathematics teacher and high school basketball coach at Eastside High School and a graduate of the school as well.  “I have enjoyed teaching all classes I have had the opportunity to teach because I have met so many interesting students over the years,” says Moramarco, who teaches geometry and liberal arts math.  “I know many teachers aspire to teach the highest possible level, but in reality, if you can inspire a teenager to have a desire to work hard and perspire, then you can get them to aspire to be the best they could be.”  In his “Math for College Readiness” class, Moramarco utilizes a mixture of

personal experience and expertise, as well as some of Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” curriculum. “I love to show students how to become wealthy — not rich. There is a big, big difference,” Moramarco explains.  In other words, students in Moramarco’s class learn what should be required learning for high-schoolers: how to create a budget, make sound financial choices and pay for things in a responsible way.  “I love to teach them everything from how to write a check (and) balance that checkbook because online banking is NOT dependable … how paying interest on a credit card or loan is a ‘stupid tax’,” he says.  Math has been a driving force in his life; in fact, it was his high school algebra teacher, Mike Kirkman, who inspired him to go into a career in education.  “When I graduated (high school) in 1993, I was hired on to work with then-Eastside High School athletic director, Mike Kirkman ... as an assistant basketball coach and as his assistant in the athletic department,” Moramarco says.  Moramarco had dreams of pursuing a career as an athletic director for a college or professional program but in the meantime applied to be a substitute teacher while attending college at Santa Fe College and eventually, Florida State University.  He was previously head coach for tennis and assistant coach for basketball at Eastside, and helps organize several tournament events including: The Al Austin Tip Off Classic at Ribault High School in Jacksonville, The Andy Hart Memorial Invitational at Lafayette High School in Mayo, The Rob Moramarco Girls Basketball Challenge at Flagler Palm Coast High School, and The Martin Luther King Holiday Classic at Boca


This math teacher and coach helps students of all ages and abilities learn practical math and budgeting Raton High School. It was “Coach K” as Moramarco calls him, who taught him important skills from how to coach two different sports (tennis and basketball) to how to become a leader, director and perhaps most important, a teacher.  “I had my moments of getting into trouble as a young immature coach … thankfully Coach K did not give up on me,” Moramarco says, recalling a time where he refused to shake a game official’s hand after a tough loss.  Thankfully, that episode was a learning experience for him. Coach K could have given up on the young Moramarco but instead continued to teach him how to be a better coach — and teacher. A humbled Moramarco now applies the same kindness, dedication and perseverance that Coach K showed him to students in his own classroom.  “Some students are motivated by the grade ... positively or negatively. Some are motivated by what you teach or how you teach but almost every student I have taught will say they get motivated when you show you care,” Moramarco explains.  Another source of inspiration for Moramarco comes from the lessons of John Wooden, former  basketball coach for UCLA. In a world where students are constantly told that their worth is based on their job title, income or possessions, Moramarco helps them focus on Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success.” “If you can get students to understand each one of the building blocks of the pyramid, they will achieve success as defined by Wooden: ‘Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction, in knowing you made the effort to become the

Rob Moramarco is an Eastside graduate who has returned to make a difference. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL

best of which you are capable,’” he says.  One of Moramarco’s personal success stories comes from a student he taught who was battling leukemia, and as a result of his health, had fallen a year behind in his math studies. According to Moramarco, the student started in his liberal arts math class and passed to the geometry class level after just 4.5 weeks, and even passed the Alegebra 1 testing requirement. “He would go on to win my ‘Top Geometry Student’ award at the end of the year and would score a Level 3 on the state Geometry test — which means he was on grade level. He finished both math courses with an ‘A’ and stated how much of an impact I had on him, but I opened up and shared with him how he inspired me,” Moramarco says.  There were times when that student went straight from cancer treatments to class, and days when he had little to no energy — but he would still listen to Moramarco’s

lesson. “I had to share with him that there were a few days where I was tired from my child waking up at 2 a.m. and being up all night — but I would look at his situation and it would push me to be the best teacher I could be,” he says.  In fact, there is a whole file of student stories that Moramarco keeps on hand so he continues to be inspired by his students. He started that folder since Day One of his education career.  “It keeps me going. I will have 30 years in the education field/retirement system in 9 years ... I made a promise to myself that if I am enjoying teaching, I would keep going (but) if the education system keeps doing this ‘testing, testing, testing ... and, oh yeah, testing,’ I will retire from the system and pursue working in college or professional sport,” Moramarco says.  His passion for teaching is only surpassed by his dedication to his faith and his family.

Moramarco is married to Martha, a stay-athome mother to their three daughters, Mia Blair (4), and twins, Gianna Noelle and Brielle Alexa (18 months old). Together, they attend Ignite Life Center Church, where Moramarco also teaches “Financial Peace” courses through Southeastern University. “On a personal level, I have learned to keep God first in the home. After God, my wife is next. After my wife, are my girls. After my girls, is my mother/family. My priorities were not always that way … I love my job/career, but if I had to choose between my family and my career, there is not even a second thought,” Moramarco says.  If there is one thing he has learned as a parent, Moramarco says it is that all of his actions, words are under constant evaluation.  “Time is the most precious commodity. How you spend it or give it is up to each individual.”






one sale at a time Supporting his community,

When Nick Banks learned of Gainesville’s needs, he vowed to give back 10 percent of brokerage fees from his firm, Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group



oming from South Florida “where wealth and poverty are side by side” to Haile Plantation west of Gainesville in 2004, Nick Banks says he thought he moved to utopia, a community with no problems. A breakfast meeting years later with the late Karen Bricklemyer, then president and CEO of United Way of North Central Florida, turned that view upside down. “The issues with low graduation rates, all the kids on free and reduced lunch and living below poverty, just the systemic problems in poverty, that was really a turning point in pulling my head out of the sand and making me realize what’s really going on in the community,” Banks says. “From that point on I’ve really been involved in helping try to change things.” Since starting a commercial real estate brokerage and management business in 2010, Banks’ firm, Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group, has donated 10

percent of its brokerage fees to charities. He also has donated time by serving on the boards of the United Way of North Central Florida, including as chairman since July, the March of Dimes, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Council for Economic Outreach and the Gainesville committee of the Urban Land Institute. For this major contribution to the community though business, Nick Banks has been named winner of the Spirit of Gainesville Award in Entrepreneurship. Having graduated from the University of Florida in 1990, Banks returned to Gainesville in 2004 for its family-friendly environment. Banks and his wife, Kelly, have four children ages 7 to 16. For the first several years, he continued to work on small development projects in South Florida. Work slowed when the recession hit and he decided to pursue brokerage and property management in Gainesville. He also decided early on to donate 10 percent of his brokerage fees to charities. “I wanted it to be about something


more than just making money. I wanted it to be an expression of how blessed I felt in my life and really be an expression of my faith,” he says. But he worried that he would not be able to attract other brokers to the company if they were expected to give up 10 percent of their income. Instead, he found he was able to recruit the right people, especially as he built a brokerage that took a team approach to serving clients instead of individual brokers working in silos. “The team-oriented person is attracted to that level of community involvement that we have, so it’s really been more of a binding force of our culture as a company than I could have ever imagined,” Banks says. Front Street has grown to 25 people with offices in Gainesville, Ocala, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Brokerage fees from the other offices are donated in those communities. Locally, Front Street has handled sales, leasing or property management for the University of Florida in Innovation

When Nick Banks realized all the need that exists in Gainesville, he decided to pledge 10 percent of his business profits to the community. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL

Square, office space in Celebration Pointe, a major owner in Progress Park, Santa Fe College, the city of Gainesville, Tioga Town Center and the owner of two Publix-anchored shopping centers and the Burlington/Ross property. Front Street’s website lists 15 charities that have benefited from the company’s Invested program. Banks has been particularly invested in the United Way. He says he believes in the organization’s process for coordinating a response to issues and leveraging local contributions with federal

matching dollars and other resources. “I think the United Way is able to take a community-wide view and vision of the issues that exist and really play a strategic role in addressing them really more than any other single provider of services,” he says. “They can look at an issue like education and figure out a way to bring all these different agencies together to work together to address a problem.” Banks says he sees a parallel in his involvement with the Chamber of Commerce. He pushed for the United Way to

hire its current president and CEO Deborah Bowie away from the chamber, partly to provide a bridge between charities and businesses. “Creating economic opportunity or economic development is so dependent on addressing some of these systemic challenges like our income disparity, the gaps we have in education, in early childhood learning. Those things are critical for us to excel as a community and either grow our own companies and retain companies or attract companies from the outside.”






Seeing the person behind the disease

Catering to communities in need keeps this physician’s days full and fuels his passion



homas Raulerson has a quality that every patient looks for in a medical professional: He believes that each person who walks through the door is a human being in need of help. “So many people are treated so poorly. They are judged for diseases they don’t have control over,” he says. “My job is to treat patients; my job is to see people. It’s when we start denying care that there’s a problem.” It would be hard to find someone more passionate about their profession, but the honoree of this year’s Spirit of Gainesville Award in Medicine never had any great childhood ambition to be a physician. In fact, Raulerson grew up on a farm in rural Florida near the Georgia line, helping herd 400 head of cattle and raising more than 100,000 chickens. “We rounded cattle, did castration and dehorning when necessary, mended fences. My father always told us to get an education so we could get out of farming,” he says with a laugh. “But I didn’t decide to be a doctor until I got into med school.

Even then, I wanted to go back into rural medicine, but Gainesville is like a black hole — in a good way. You come here, and you never leave.” Thousands of patients are thankful for Raulerson’s choice to stay, as his 70-hour work week includes four different jobs catering to four different communities very much in need. When Raulerson, whose specialty is in family medicine, isn’t consulting psychiatric and addiction patients at Shands Vista, he’s running his afterhours clinic. When he’s not at Gainesville After Hours Clinic, he’s helping kids at Job Corps. And when he’s not treating those suffering from addiction or mental illness, or those without insurance, or disadvantaged young people, you can find him at Gainesville Medical Center helping people with food allergies and autoimmune issues find ways to live more comfortably. On top of all that, he commutes from LaCrosse, where he lives with his wife and four children, and still makes it to a few Gator games. His medical journey began in 2005 when he was working in an emergency room and was tapped to consult for Shands Vista based on his interactions with patients


dealing with addiction. “These people were coming into the ER basically in the fetal position, and to detox them and get them back on their feet and support them was about as gratifying as you can get in the medical field,” Raulerson says. “I had wanted to go into rural medicine to help an underserved community, but I realized this is my underserved community. I was needed here.” Raulerson says that while there is always a variable with addiction and crisis, the disease is very treatable, particularly if the patient is given the right tools. “There’s not one person here whose life hasn’t been touched by addiction, either through family or friends,” he says. “We want to throw up a wall, but, remember, we’re all only two stressful life events away from ending up there ourselves.” On the days Raulerson isn’t consulting at Vista, he’s at his after-hours clinic, which caters to people without insurance. There’s a flat $80 fee to be seen, and Gainesville After Hours Clinic turns no one away. “We see anyone who walks in the door. We keep our prices really low, and make up for it by seeing a lot of people each day,” he says. “If they need extra tests, I can use

Dr. Thomas Raulerson keeps busy serving the medically underserved in this community. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL

my medical connections to get them as cheaply as possible.” He runs it with a partner, and it’s open six days a week. “We try to keep medical care attainable,” Raulerson says. “We see people for follow-ups; we try to be their primary care physicians to keep them out of the ER.” That’s what Raulerson does as center physician for Gainesville’s Job Corps. too. More than 300 people from late teens to early 20s use Job Corps for training in trades such as automotive repair and electric work. They earn their GEDs and learn how to navigate the professional world while there. And, sometimes, they get sick

or injured. But they’re rarely insured. “These kids have no one helping them,” Raulerson says. “A lot of them have lived on the streets; they’re foster kids. They’re just trying to get ahead any way they can, but they’ve never been taught how.” Raulerson provides not only injury and health-related services, but cosmetic services as well. “I’ll fix up their teeth, or if they’ve stretched their earlobes, I’ll close those up,” he says. “It helps to make them more employable.” Job Corps. and the after-hours clinic exist to help people who don’t have the means to acquire a primary care physician

and often end up at the emergency room for non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. “We live in a society of fear, and so many people need to learn how to seek medical attention,” Raulerson says. “They go to the ER because it seems like the easiest thing to do, but in reality it’s more expensive and time-consuming.” Raulerson spends his life educating and helping people who otherwise would fall through the cracks. He practices medicine where it’s needed most. “Did I think I’d end up working with all these groups? Not at all,” he says. “But you go where people need you.”






STRONG 10 ways (out of many) to make a difference in our community BY TYLER FRANCISCHINE Cooperation and communication within a community may be more important than ever. Community engagement can range from donating money to spending time in direct service of others to providing a safe space for someone who needs it. Here are 10 Gainesville groups that could use new volunteers. 1. Alachua County Crisis Center Founded in 1969, this volunteer-based system provides a 24-hour crisis and suicide hotline as well as mobile crisis outreach services for Gainesville residents and beyond. Director Ali Martinez says volunteers undergo a six-week, 60-hour training program, offered three times a year, to become crisis interventionists. “Our services are always important for people when they feel alone, afraid or in any way vulnerable. The hotline provides a sense of connection, that someone understands them. Our volunteers tell us this is lifechanging work.” To volunteer, contact Jan Greene at 352-264-6782. 2. Dignity Project Second Generation This organization provides refurbished cars and computers, as well as job skills training, for disadvantaged members of the community. Volunteers are needed to donate used vehicles, motorcycles or scooters, computers and smaller items like battery chargers, jump packs and tools. For more information, call

Executive Director Kim Lapan at 352-371-6792. 3. Florida Project Learning Tree This environmental education program uses forests and trees to help students not only understand their environment, but bring them closer to taking action toward protecting it. Volunteers are needed to create marketing materials, prepare exhibits, and assist with presentations. For more information, call coordinator Nancy Peterson at 352-846-0848. 4. Bread of the Mighty Food Bank This warehouse and distribution center, located at 325 NW 10th Ave., collects foods from the USDA, wholesalers and individuals for hungerrelief purposes. Volunteers are needed to sort, box and process foods and conduct food drives. For more information, call 352-336-0839. 5. Gainesville’s Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice The IAIJ is a network of local synagogues, mosques, churches, fellowships and student groups dedicated to a just solution for the national immigration crisis. Coordinator Richard Macmaster says, “When you target undocumented immigrants, you create a climate of fear and a sense of being under threat that extends to all immigrants in all communities. We need to stand together.” Volunteers are needed to provide translation and support for those facing deportation and for


A volunteer helps an agency partner at the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank. The nonprofit organization serves five different counties, distributing food and basic essentials to more than 150 nonprofit agency partners. PHOTO BY ANDREA CORNEJO

various events and relief efforts. The group meets every second Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at 1236 NW 18th Ave. For more information, call 352-371-6772. 6. The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding The RPCP’s mission is to prevent, interrupt, reduce and heal from violence by providing training, programs, services and collaborative action. The center offers workshops on communication and self-esteem, social emotional learning and conflict resolution and mediation. For more information, call 352-234-6595 or visit 7. Gainesville Opportunity Center This community-partnership program, located at 102 NE 10th Ave., Suite 2,  helps people with mental illness rebuild their lives, reintegrate into the community and re-enter the workforce. Classes are held in computer skills, wellness, art, nutrition and job training skills. Volunteers are needed to lead these activities, as well as produce marketing materials. For more information, call Executive Director Brett Buell at 352-224-5523. 8. PACE Center for Girls Alachua Founded in 1998, this center provides tools for middle- and high-school aged girls to reach

their full potential through education, counseling, training and advocacy. Volunteers mentor, tutor, plan workshops and other duties. For more information, call 352-374-8799. 9. Family Promise of Gainesville This shelter and self-sufficiency program for families with children under 18 is nearly entirely run by volunteers. Executive Director Jayne Moraski says there are more than 500 homeless children in Alachua County, and her organization’s waiting list totals nearly 40 families, many of whom are living in cars. Volunteers are needed to serve dinners, help with supply drives and other events. For more information, call 352-378-2030 or visit 10. Gainesville Equality Youth Robert Baez, stakeholder in this nonprofit organization, says its mission is to provide a safe, supportive space for the physical, emotional and social well-being of LGBTQ youth through the formation of peer relationships, community building and individual empowerment. Volunteers are needed to facilitate youth group meetings, assist with grants and funding and to help manage the organization. For more information, visit


Vine co-founders Teresa Zokovitch and Dean Griebel pose with a few of their dishes in the dining room of their Main Street space.


ingredients equal soul-satisfying bread Vine co-owners Dean Griebel and Teresa Zokovitch share their passion for fresh and organic food one handcrafted loaf at a time



he enticing aroma of fresh-baked bread is what Dean Griebel and Teresa Zokovitch are known for as co-owners of Vine on 627 Main Street. Each of their breads (for the most part) are made with just three ingredients: water, organic flour and salt. “We are the only ones that I know of committed to doing organic sourdough bread … [and] we are still handmixing and handmaking,” says Zokovitch. For Griebel and Zokovitch, creating sourdough breads, pastries and pastas by hand is more than just a vocation; it is a calling that also happened to fulfill a need in the market. “I was inspired to open our bakery from seeing other businesses starting up in the area and from hearing people talk about how hard it was to find good bread,” says Griebel. “I was one of those frustrated by lack of bakeries to choose from.




There were no bakeries making sourdough then, and no bakeries using organic flours exclusively. I felt that our community could support a sourdough bakery, that was my hope.” Griebel, who has no formal baking training, previously worked at Leonardo’s 706, where he made pizza and rolls. Zokovitch, his partner and co-founder, comes from a business management background, most recently working at Satchel’s for eight years. Together, their varied backgrounds turned out to be the perfect ingredients for Vine — along with Griebel’s sourdough starter. “[Dean] started making the sourdough bread at home and fresh pasta at home, and after filling ourselves up and our friends, we were encouraged to bring it out to the community [in May 2011]. We started bringing this out to the farmer’s markets in August 2011,” Zokovitch says. “One of the skills I learned [at Leonardo’s 706] was repeating a recipe so that the product is the same every day. The work has to be consistent,” Griebel explains. The consistent flavor and organic nature of their products helped their customer list grow and they eventually expanded from the downtown Union Street farmers market to the Haile farmers market and others. Through word-ofmouth the demand for their handmade goods spread, creating a need for a retail space that also served the community’s needs. “We feel committed to nursing the community; not just with the food but the space itself. It’s important to me to provide a space where people can produce, write music, write their dissertation ... it’s a community space,” she says. Today, their location on Main Street provides an opportunity for artists to showcase their works, and offers a space for live music and performances. As they made plans to create a space that was for the community, they found themselves funded by the community as well. According to Zokovitch, crowdfunding allowed them purchase and renovate their current space on Main Street. “The place was in such disrepair, it never would have passed any sort of food inspection … we raised around $13,000 or $14,000 and RIGHT: Decadent chocolate truffles with a beet root powder dusting.


Vegan beet fettuccine with kale, green beans, toasted walnuts, goat cheese and olive oil at Vine.

put that into the building to get it up to code,” she says. With their business up and running, Vine takes pride in continuing to make all organic sourdough bread by hand. “We believe this is better because at the base level it’s a slow-food process, it is a fermented food. Rather than using a quick rise commercial yeast, we are creating a product that predigests the nutrients,” Zokovitch says. “It breaks down the gluten so people with gluten sensitivities have an easier time digesting the bread.” In addition, the flour — one of the 3 main ingredients — is non-GMO and not enriched and not bromated. “It doesn’t have that extra junk in it that you find in flour these days,” she explains. Their pastas follow a similar organic recipe  and are also created with a small and simple ingredient list. “You see fresh pasta at grocery stores but this is different. This is handmade. The ones that are pre-packaged still have a lot of ingredients in them. Because we make [pasta] in the store, it’s still the organic durum flour, depending on if it’s vegan or not, organic eggs, olive oil, and filtered water and Himalayan salt and pepper; we keep the ingredient list very simple,” Zokovitch says. These simple recipes have led to a successful business; and the owners of Vine not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. “We were committed to feeding ourselves at home with the most natural ingredients, and trying to be really careful about what we put in our bodies,” Zokovitch explains. They have the following advice, which they also use, to keep their products as healthy as possible: 1. Use a minimal amount of ingredients that are natural, fresh and local if possible 2. Use organic, unrefined, and preservativefree ingredients as well as unbromated, unbleached and unenriched flour. 3. Don’t use as much sugar as a recipe calls for because it’s almost always too much. You can start at 30% less but we’ve used as much as 50% less sugar in many of our recipes. “I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to make food our community appreciates,” Griebel says.

LEFT: Chocolate Cranberry Walnut sourdough loaf from Vine.




Flourless chocolate torte.


Flourless Chocolate Torte

(Vine prefers to use grams where applicable; rough equivalencies to ounces are in parentheses).

Yield: 1, 9-inch springform pan 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate ½ pound unsalted butter ¼ teaspoon salt 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract 7 eggs, whole 2 cups brown sugar

Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Create a double boiler by



filling a small saucepan with about 1½ inches of water and bring to a simmer. Add chocolate and butter to a medium sized heatproof bowl and set on top of the saucepan (make sure the bowl does not touch the simmering water.) Stir constantly until melted and well combined and remove from heat, let cool slightly. In a blender or food processor add the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Blend until all ingredients are combined. Pour egg mixture over chocolate mixture and stir until everything is mixed in throughout. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes.

Lunch service at Vine bakery and cafe.

Grand Marnier Macerated Strawberries 1 pound strawberries, trimmed and diced 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier 1 tablespoon sugar

Stir sugar and Grand Marnier into the strawberries and let sit for 30 minutes. Serve with cooled Flourless Chocolate Torte.

Decadent Chocolate Truffles 1 pound dark chocolate, finely chopped ¾ cup heavy cream ¼ cup Amaretto, or your favorite liquor

Bring cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 3 minutes and then whisk until melted and completely combined. Refrigerate about 1-2 hours or until mixture is firm. Using a 1-inch small scoop or melon baller, scoop out balls of chocolate onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Roll in hands until you have formed a round ball. Roll in or dust with beet root powder.

Beet Root Powder Dusting Beets, washed and peeled

Slice beets into very thin slices. Use a dehydrator or low temperature oven

Bob Tancig prepares the pasta for ravioli.

to dry out the beets. When the beets are completely dry and cooled, place in food processor or coffee grinder until the chips become a very fine powder.

Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread 500 grams (about 18 ounces) bread flour 360 grams (about 13 ounces) water 100 grams (3 ½ ounces) ripened sourdough starter 10 grams (0.35274 ounces) salt 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 50 grams (1.76 ounces) sweetened dried cranberries 40 grams (1.41 ounces) chopped walnut pieces

In a medium sized mixing bowl add the water (close to 78 degrees F), and the sourdough starter (which should float in the water). disperse the starter, then add the flour and the cocoa powder. Mix until all dried bits are incorporated into one similar consistency, and let rest 30 minutes. Knead the dough well for about 5 minutes and cover with a makeshift lid or damp cloth/kitchen towel. After 45 minutes gently fold the dough in a clockwise fashion, four folds to one revolution of the bowl. After another 45 minutes repeat this folding process, and add the mixed cranberries and walnuts after each fold of the dough. A final folding should take place once more after another 45

minutes. Shape the loaf in whatever manner you prefer and let rest for one to two hours depending on your environment, either in a pan form or a basket. Your oven should be heated to 500 degrees F at the time your loaf is ready to go in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven characteristics. Remove loaf from pan and let rest on a drying rack. Enjoy while warm!

Vegan Beet Pasta

454 grams (about 16 ounces) extra fancy durum flour 220 grams (slightly less than 8 ounces) beet juice 10 grams (0.35274 ounce) olive oil 10 grams (0.35274 ounce) salt

In a medium-sized mixing bowl pour the flour and salt, and mix. in the center of the bowl form a well and pour in the beet juice and oil, and begin to mix. The dough will be very dense, the idea is to combine the liquid with the flour until everything in the bowl is of the same consistency, then with great pressure press the dough into a unified mass. This may take 5-10 minutes. Let the dough rest about 30 minutes. Divide the dough into four sections and roll each into sheets with pasta machine for cutting. Boil for 4 minutes and serve immediately with your favorite preparation.





When lemon met orange... There’s much to admire in this splendidly zesty citrus Meyer lemon salad blends greens with edamame, cranberries and nuts, brightened with Meyer lemon infused olive oil. PHOTO BY JACKI LEVINE


Chocolate can be found everywhere this time of year, but my favorite winter flavor is the fresh, lively Meyer lemon. This wonderfully fragrant citrus is a cross between a standard lemon and an orange. The resulting fruit is a low-acid lemon, with dark yellow to orange flesh, very few seeds and floralscented juice and zest. We owe our modern Meyer lemon to an explorer and plant collector who worked for the USDA in the early part of the 20th century. Among the 2,500 samples collected on his trips to Asia, in 1908, Frank N. Meyer brought to the U.S. a plant thought to be a cross between a regular lemon and either an orange or a mandarin orange. The fruit was named in honor of Meyer, but was later discovered to be the carrier of a deadly citrus virus, so most of the cloned plants were destroyed in the 1940s. Our modern Meyer is the result of a virus-free plant that was discovered and propagated during the 1950s and released to the public by the University of California in 1975 as Improved Meyer Lemon. Despite my well-known ability to kill plants on sight, we have managed to successfully grow two Meyer lemon trees. They love warm weather and well-drained areas sheltered from the wind, but can withstand cold snaps. With just a little water and organic citrus fertilizer, plus some gentle pruning from time to time, our 5-year-old tree has given us about three dozen fruit both last year and this year. Whether you harvest them yourself or buy them at the farmers market, fruit should be heavy relative to its size. Look for smooth skin with small pores

which indicate a mature juicy fruit. Store lemons in a cool room or in the refrigerator. So, what can you do with a bunch of Meyer lemons? Zest them all! Use a fine grater to remove all the oil-filled, fragrant yellow peel, before juicing every last drop. Both the zest and juice may be frozen with very good results, although thawed lemon zest is best suited for cooked, rather than raw uses. Use large strips of lemon zest to make Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil to add lemony goodness to all your cooking or pour it into a pretty bottle for a unique hostess gift! Looking for a refreshing way to jazz up your salad greens? Use some of the infused oil to make the Meyer Lemon Salad, a colorful combination of lemon sections, tart cranberries, protein-packed edamame and crunchy nuts. Since the salad is so healthy, dare to indulge in a decadent Meyer Lemon Cheesecake. The creamy lemon cheese filling is baked on a zest-filled shortbread crust creating a fragrant delicious dessert. We don’t need chocolate – we have Meyer lemons!

Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil INGREDIENTS 1 Meyer lemon 1 cup olive oil PREPARATION Wash and dry lemon thoroughly. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow zest with as little white pith as possible. Pour olive oil into a small stainless steel pot. Submerge strips of lemon peel in olive oil and heat over very low heat until warm. Remove from heat. Loosely cover the pot


with a clean dish towel. Allow peel to marinate for 24 hours at room temperature. Remove and discard peel. Pour oil into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. If using within a week, store at room temperature, otherwise store in the refrigerator. Makes 1 cup.

Meyer Lemon Salad

INGREDIENTS 6-8 cups salad greens 1 Meyer lemon 2 Tablespoons Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil or olive oil 1 Tablespoon honey 1/4 cup shelled edamame 1/4 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste PREPARATION Wash salad greens, wrap in a towel and place in refrigerator until ready to serve. Zest and supreme (cut into segments without any peel, pith or membranes) Meyer lemon right into the salad bowl, squeezing all the juice into the bowl as well. Stir in olive oil and honey, being careful not to break up the lemon sections. Stir in edamame, cranberries and walnuts. Add greens and toss with dressed ingredients. Taste and season as needed. Serve at room temperature within 15 minutes of adding greens. Leftovers do not store well. Serves 4-8.  

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS Crust: 1 cup pulverized shortbread cookie crumbs 1 Meyer lemon, zested 2 Tablespoon butter, melted

WHAT’S COOKING 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon butter, softened Filling: 32 ounces cream cheese, softened (four 8-ounce packages) 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup honey 1 Meyer lemon, zested 4 eggs, room temperature 1/4 teaspoon each lemon and vanilla extracts 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, sifted 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup cream or milk   PREPARATION Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare crust by combining the first 4 ingredients and pressing mixture into bottom of 10” springform pan. Bake crust 8-10 minutes, until it just begins to turn golden. Let cool at room temperature. When pan has cooled, use softened butter to coat sides of pan and set aside. Beat cream cheese with sugar, honey and zest. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in remaining ingredients until combined. Pour into prepared pan. Place on cookie sheet in oven and turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees and bake 45-60 minutes. Cake is done when center is jiggly and sides are firm to touch. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen from the pan. Cool in pan at room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Serves 12-16.

FRESH, TASTY AND LOCAL Chef Frankie Harvey poses in her kitchen with several dishes including: madeleines, talapia, escargot and a mushroom tart. PHOTO BY ROB C. WITZEL

... for gardeners, cooks and those who simply enjoy dining events. Want to include an event? Please email Levi Bradford at levi. DINING AND FOOD ORIENTED EVENTS VEG4LIFE POTLUCK, bring a vegan dish to feed 6 to 12 people, with serving utensils, your own place setting and beverage, first Saturday of each month, 6:30 p.m., $2 with potluck dish, $7 without a dish, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4225 NW 34th St. ( veg4life-gainesville) FRENCH FUN, FOOD & FOREIGN LANGUAGES, Kids, teens and adults are invited to enjoy French-themed food, music, movies, art and more curriculum, Fridays from 4:15-6:16 p.m., Saturdays from 12:30-2:30 p.m., Ecole Francaise, 8520 NW Second Place. Cost: $12 per class. (332-8198, EMBERS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL, Sample more than 200 different wines hand selected by the certified sommeliers at Embers. This event also will feature live music and a variety of creations from the Embers and Spark culinary teams, including signature rooms featuring artisan cheeses from around the world, specialty desserts, seafood and raw bar and an outdoor grilling station, April 2, 2-5 p.m. Embers Wood Grill, 3545 SW 34th St. Tickets: $100.  


COOKING WITH THE CHEFS AT MILDRED’S, learn how to prepare some of Mildred’s delicious meals, $38 per person for a five-course meal. Demos begin at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Feb. 8: Classic French. Feb. 22: Chef’s Table (luxury demo $100 per person). March 1: Africa & Morocco. March 15: Sushi & Japanese Cuisine with Chef Adam. March 22: Greek Cuisine. March 29: Spring Vegetables (vegetarian). April 5: Cooking with Bert. April 12: Sausage Making with Chef Adam. April 19: Spain & Tapas. Mildred’s Big City Food, 3445 W. University Ave., reservations required. (371-1711,, HOGTOWN HOMEGROWN PERSONALIZED COOKING CLASSES, classes emphasize cooking skills with fresh seasonal food. One class, three hours, creates meal for four people, $75. Three-class series, 2-4 hours for each class, two classes produce meals for four people,

series covers three major ways of cooking: with water, over direct heat, and in an oven, $200. Five-class series, includes everything offered in three-class series, plus weekend cooking, shopping at two farmers markets, and menu planning, $325. (hogtownhomegrown@, 374-8561, KICKIN’ IT IN THE KITCHEN WITH CHEF FRANKIE HARVEY, around-the-world cooking classes. The menus are fresh, adventurous and authentic. The ingredients are seasonal, organic and locally sourced when available. Visit website for class listings. (222-9085,


HIGH SPRINGS SEED SAVERS, gardening group meets with a different topic each time, fourth Tuesday of each month, 7 p.m., High Springs Public Library, 135 NW First Ave., High Springs. Guests are welcome to bring seeds and snacks. (Nancy Montgomery, 386-462-1828)


Alachua County Farmers Market/441 Market, 5920 NW 13th St., Gainesville, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (441market. com) Farmers Market at the Harvest Village, 22050 U.S. 441, Micanopy, Fridays, 2 p.m.-dusk, First Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Haile Farmers Market, Haile Plantation Village, SW 81st Terrace, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. ( Hawthorne Community Farmers Market, enjoy fresh local produce and artisanal goods, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 7040 SE Highway 301, Hawthorne. ( High Springs Farmers Market, Plantation Oaks, 201 NE First Ave., High Springs, Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m., and first Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (farmersmarket. Live Oak Farmers Market, 12-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Festival Park, 115 W. Howard St. Live Oak. ( liveoakfarmersmarket) Melrose Farmers Market, 4-7 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Heritage Park, Bellamy Avenue, State Road 26, Melrose. The Farmers Market at Midway, located on the grounds of Faith Presbyterian Church at the intersection of State Route 21 and County Road 21B, across from the Midway Plaza, Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. between Melrose and Keystone Heights. (marketatmidway. com) Tioga Monday Market, Tioga Town Center, 13005 W. Newberry Road, Newberry, Mondays, 4-7 p.m. ( Union Street Farmers Market, Bo Diddley Community Plaza, 111 E. University Ave., Wednesdays, 4 -7 p.m. ( Waldo Farmers & Flea Market, 17805 NE U.S. 301, Waldo; 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, honey, spices, fruit trees and an area with farm animals, including chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, pigs and calves. (468-2255, GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE



Home and garden

At home with history ABOVE: The Cox Family Cabin rests on 2.43 acres in the Florida Park subdivision. The yard is peppered with trees and down the sloping hill lies an old natural pool, built by the Cox Family. OPPOSITE PAGE: Bob Mounts and Eunsook Park have lived in the log cabin since 2014. The fireplace is made of chert stone, like the two original chimneys.

A couple writes a new chapter in the life of a striking 80-year-old log cabin, the oldest home in Florida Park





alking up the path toward the rambling 3,400-square-foot log cabin with the sun setting behind the cluster of bamboo on the right side of the large yard, it was difficult to tell that bustling Northwest 13th Street and all its current-day commerce and travel was just down the road. Here, at the first home built in Florida Park, citrus trees mingle with oaks, pines and maples, giving the open area plenty of shade before the dense thatch of shrubbery and woods encase the home and its property in its own private wonderland.




The log cabin, built by the Cox family in 1937, is up for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, pending a decision by the Florida National Register Review Board and the U.S. Department of Interior. It is the oldest in the Florida Park subdivision and one of  three log cabins built there. Current owners Bob Mounts and his wife, Eunsook Park, hope this will be a step in the direction of obtaining historic recognition for the entire neighborhood. But more than just a historic landmark, the log cabin is a loving home and has been for 80 years. What looks like a small pond in the backyard of the house located on Northwest 11th Street is actually an old natural swimming pool, a traditional Florida spring dammed so that it wells into a man-made stone-walled pool with cement steps and a diving board. It’s covered in duckweed now, but the piping is still visible and the spring continues to run its course into Rattlesnake Creek. A newer pool is screened in closer to the house, with a patio of flagstone and a matching spa. The cabin was meant to be a companion to a larger home on the block. O’Neal and Mary Cox owned a thriving furniture business at the time, but just a year later, before construction on the mansion began, a devastating fire in Gainesville’s downtown area at the corner of South Main and University burned their furniture store to the ground. The Coxes sold the salvageable inventory in a “fire discount” and used their stockpiled funds to buy a new building for their wares, funneling money into their business instead of their residence. They lived in the cabin for the next 35 years and eventually sold pieces of their lot to their sons, who also built homes in the Florida Park subdivision, which roughly covers the area from Northwest 13th Street to Northwest 22nd Street and north from Northwest Eighth Avenue to Northwest 16th Avenue.

The Cox family log house is distinctive in that it is one of only three log cabins in Florida Park. The wide, white chinking is visible both on the outside and the inside of the home.


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The panel window in the living room overlooks a sloping lawn peppered with maples, oaks and pines. Though the couches have been reupholstered, they also came with the house. | The master bedroom has a high, open ceiling with four visible beams across the space for support. In addition to the king-sized bed, it houses a small living area with couches and a television. | The Oriental rug in the dining room was left by the home’s former owners, the Riffees. Bob Mounts and Eunsook Park kept much of the furniture and knickknacks that were left by families who once lived here.


Entering the home today, a breathtaking mix of preserved heritage and modern luxury permeates the atmosphere. On the front wall, encased in glass, hangs an original blueprint of the house. The walls look on the inside as they do on the outside, cypress logs, requiring no hammer and nails, but fitted perfectly together to stand the test of time. The high, gabled ceilings give a roomy air to each room, and much of the original fixtures and décor remains. Permanent shelving and storage is etched into the very framework of the house, in nearly every room. “I have trouble finding things to put in all these nooks and crannies,” Park says. She and Mounts bought the historic home in 2013 and have lived there for two years now. Over time, the house has had five owners, landing in the hands of former Gainesville Mayor Gary Junior in 1983. The Juniors preserved and improved the log cabin during the 13 years they lived there, eventually selling it to the Riffee family, who carried on the tradition.

Each set of hands adds to the home and leaves pieces behind, from swimming pools to furniture to knickknacks. “The couches in the living room belonged to the Riffees,” Mounts says. “I reupholstered them, but they belong here as much as anything else.” In the home’s current “game room,” old timey barrels, an antique saddle and even snow shoes hang on the wall, a testament to and celebration of the the house’s past melding with the present. Even the attached guest house, which Mounts and Park rent to tenants, used to be a one-room servants’ quarters. After a fire ruined the original guest house, the Riffee family expanded and upgraded it, using the same cypress wood technique to keep the cabin true to its roots. In the kitchen, modern, shiny amenities stand in stark contrast to the Cypress wood structures riddled with slits and holes. “That’s where the Cox boys used to practice throwing their knives,” Park says. Her favorite feature of the house is the large panel window in the master bedroom, a room large enough to have a proper sitting area around a television set apart from the bed. The Cox family log cabin has long been unofficially recognized as part of Gainesville’s rich history, but the home’s latest owners bring to it unique and compelling histories of their own. Mounts is returning home to roost. Having grown up in Gainesville, he received his law degree from the University of Florida before serving more than 25 years in the U.S. Air Force. He then served as the senior civilian international advisor in Seoul, Korea, where he met his wife, who worked as a general manager for the U.S. Embassy Association there. She now works for Infinite Energy Inc., and teaches at the University of Florida. Mounts is retired but serves on several local and neighborhood boards, including as president of the University Park Neighborhood Association. They’ve been married for more than eight years, and much of the log cabin’s appeal comes from the eclectic mix of culture the two bring to it.

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: The porch, now encased in glass, serves as an indoor sitting room with wicker furniture. | The cabin has an attached apartment, expanded after a fire in 2011 ruined the original structure, which had been a servant’s quarters. Mounts and Park lease the space to tenants.


TOP: This traditional Korean step-cabinet is a conversation piece brought back by many Americans, according to Park. “It’s uniquely Asian, and Americans tend to love them,” she said. BOTTOM: The natural-looking pool attached to the patio is a newer addition to the log cabin, fit with slate, flagstone and a matching hot tub. 58  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017  |  GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE

Hanging on the cypress log wall across from the main entrance, for instance, is a vintage watercolor painting of a North Florida cypress swamp, a pool of spring water surrounded by cypress trees, and a few white herons. It’s framed in cypress wood, making it cypress upon cypress upon cypress. Mounts has carried it with him all over the world for the past 45 years. It belonged to his mother. Upstairs, there is a Korean step cabinet, which Park calls “a signature piece that every American brings home from Korea.” Park also displays a Korean flag and a picture of her son when he was a small child. “I have to keep some of my heritage somehow,” she jokes. Together Mounts and Park have five grown children, and their relocation to the U.S. coincides with Park’s now 21-year-old going to university here in the States. “It’s been wonderful to have been able to raise Mina,” Mounts says. “He’s a young man now and will be a naval officer in a few years.” Parks said even though they share a country, the two-day drive to her son’s college is overwhelming, as is the privacy of American living. “If you send your kids to college in Korea, they are close,” she says. “And you’re always surrounded by people. We lived on the 19th floor of a 25-story apartment building in Seoul and had to make a complete transformation from urban lifestyle.”

While the home has dozens of cabinets, closets and built-in shelving now, originally, the cabin only had one closet.

While the isolation of single-family homes is something that took getting used to for Parks, to Mounts, there’s no place like home. “The hoot owls at night, running into old friends at every turn, even the rattlesnakes,” he says, “this is home.”


LOOKING GOOD TAKE THE PLUNGE Looking to stand out at a social gathering or formal event? Morgan Hunter, 27, commands attention with a elongated statement piece that moves with her. Hunter is the face of Gainesville-based Morgan Hunter Designs, where she’s hard at work bringing her own personal style to life with accessible pieces for many occasions. This purple agate druzy necklace ($132, etc boutique) is finished with a brass tassel that brings fluidity to any neckline. Opt against a dainty pendant and go for gold with this bohemian influx of coconut wood beads on this opera-length piece. Hunter also models an array of her bracelets, available online at and retailed at etc boutique (prices vary).


Material Girl Elevate your winter wardrobe with locally made selections of powerhouse accessories and fresh designs STORY BY ZEE KRSTIC PHOTOS BY ROYCE ABELA


ven if you aren’t a fan of cooler temperatures, midwinter is the time to explore fashion you simply wouldn’t consider in warmer weather. North Central Florida’s chilly season is an opportunity to elevate your approach to both everyday and formal wear by playing with layers and strikingly fun pieces. Accessories are the key to bringing elegance and fun to your wardrobe. Knitwear, millinery, bold-statement jewelry and local artisanal accessories are the go-to this season. While our temperate climate requires us to be practical more often than not, now is the time to be bold and extravagant. Accessories can help your style stand out among peers who don’t dare to dream big, fashion-wise. When you accessorize for brisk temperatures, it’s all about composition — don’t be afraid to pick up items that play with alternative materials or uncommon textures. Take a leap of faith and invest in felt, flax, wool, silk, bouclé, or even polymeric faux fur. Bring a new tier of sophistication to everyday practical looks with items that are striking against layered cotton and polyester. With the right pieces, turn heads and make those around you want to reach out and touch. Find a strong foundation for your winter look with trusted and simple staple pieces —and then elegantly transform them with accessories.

GO BIG OR GO HOME Vimarilyn Cardeñas, who spends most of her time working in the OB-GYN department of Shands UF Health, isn’t afraid to play with a dramatic silhouette in lieu of a fitted tailored coat. Give them something to look at this season with this knitted plaid poncho available at Banana Republic ($98). The 21-year-old highlights the neutral triadic tones of her grayscale look with an artisan oversized turquoise and silver necklace ($75), available at Malgorzata’s. The patterned motif continues with a custom Hardware by Renee patchwork clutch ($62), crafted from marine vinyl and bolstered by a balsa wood base, available at Malgorzata’s.




LAYERED REFINERY Classic hues of silver and gold can always be reinvented and revitalized. Hunter takes on understated femininity with this princess-length design that dazzles on a shorter neckline for a soft approach to almost any winter staple. Her dendritic opal layered rosary ($117, etc boutique) features a rutilated quartz horn that is a nuanced alternative to a traditional pendant. The graceful construction of the necklace is complemented through Hunter’s vermeil teardrop earring with a pyrite dangle ($48), also available at etc boutique.



SIMPLE ELEGANCE A single, lone statement piece can augment a formal look where floor-length silhouettes and conservative, receding colors can often blend into any setting. This silver-stacked agate druzy pendant designed by Morgan Hunter ($88, etc boutique) is ornate yet contemporary and rests at the perfect matinee length on an oxidized sterling chain. It’s Hunter’s shining example of her promise in the jewelry space after more than three years in the business. Her designs are a careful blend of on-trend feminine, approachable styles for a fashion-forward customer, she says.




WRAPPED TRENDS Scarves are a staple for anyone in the winter, but you couldn’t imagine the endless ways to style one to stand out this season. Hallie Ann Zimmerman, 22, incorporates a ever-popular streetwear trend into formalwear by styling a hand-dyed periwinkle silk and rayon Devore scarf ($35, Malgorzata’s) as a fitted choker here. Fold your scarf in half and tightly wrap your scarf in a circle shape for a similar effect. Zimmerman, who has worked as a leasing agent with Trimark Properties for nearly two years, prefers a lighter layer for the evening chill and wraps this handwoven, handdyed patterned silk shawl ($200, Malgorzata’s) loosely around her shoulders. She’ll be able to easily fold it into a purse or on the back of a chair inside without the fuss of a heavier option, and the bright pastel hue will characterize the look.



FEELING SUEDE Taking a note out of Parisian culture, the wrapped kerchief can be a novel addition to any handbag when the bag’s hide itself is a textured one. Zimmerman uses a hand-dyed lavender silk patterned Devore scarf ($35, Malgorzata’s) to bring a pop of cool intensity to this Italian Suede Duffle ($168, Banana Republic). Buoyant and knit don’t normally find themselves in each other’s company, yet this handwoven noir and sand Kimono top from Malgorzata’s ($130) manages to be both snug and gossamer. Don’t forget to finish off the attention paid to suede with this emerald crystal embroidered necklace ($68), available at Banana Republic.




LIGHT ON YOUR FEET What’s a winter adventure that doesn’t take you outside into the natural wonders of North Central Florida? Should you find yourself on a stroll along the La Chua Trail in cooler temps, play into your surroundings and throw on this felt fedora ($78) from Banana Republic. Travel locally in comfort and stylishly by donning a fringed scarf ($58, Banana Republic), looping the fabric twice around the neck before tying the two ends together at the bust. Fashionable streetwear gurus often advise the adventurous risk takers to keep their hair tucked under the scarf for a fresh look.



SPECIAL THANKS: A big thank you to the women of the Sigma Kappa Beta Tau chapter for hosting Gainesville Magazine in their new home on the University of Florida campus.


Banana Republic The Oaks Mall, 6495 W. Newberry Road (352) 332-9142, etc boutique 4138 NW 16th Blvd. (352) 378-8222, etcboutique Malgorzata’s Thornebrook Village 2441 NW 43rd St. Suite #9 (352) 215-8689, malgorzatas. com Morgan Hunter Designs available at etc boutique

SOUPÇON OF FUR Texture, texture, texture. Cardeñas cavorts with two different types of coarse elements with these winterforward accessories. While fur (or faux fur) is a classic go-to for a season where layers are needed, you may attract too much attention in a full fur piece or even an ostrich feathered duster-style coat below the Mason Dixie Line. Bring the winter staple to life with this pull through faux fur scarf from Banana Republic ($78), and accentuate the unique texture of such a piece with this rope-length labradorite teardrop lariat ($48, etc boutique) by Morgan Hunter designs. And if you’re really missing the sun, who says you can’t pay homage to the summer season? Try this oversized black felt sun hat ($61.99, Banana Republic).






CROSSROADS A journey to the vibrant island becomes an encounter with history STORY AND PHOTOS BY JACKI LEVINE



t’s our first night in Cuba and we happily wander the cobblestone streets leading to Plaza Major in the vibrant heart of colonial Trinidad, four hours from Havana on the Caribbean coast. Rum bars beckon, with windows flung open — all the easier to order a minty and sweet mojito or Cuba Libre. Wide steps in the square create an al fresco internet cafe where visitors, bent over their phones, hope to connect in one of the few places in town with the promise, at least, of “Wee-Fee.” We are excited to be, at last, in Cuba, that next-door neighbor whose tall fence we’d longed to peer over. Thanks to the recent ease in restrictions, we are traveling as a family — husband, brother, sister-in-law and niece — and not as part of an organized tour. And with the inexpensive cost of the tickets and short flight time — less than an hour from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara — it seems almost absurd to be finding ourselves in a place that feels so foreign and like a step back in time. Four of us grew up in Miami, raised amid a kind of Havana-in-exile, so the Cuban story feels interwoven with ours in a way that may be uniquely South Floridian. We are filled with curiosity and eager to learn, as much as you can on just a weeklong trip, about the people and the lives they lead. I had read that Trinidad was a prettified town, a UNESCO World Heritage site well-preserved in its Spanish architecture, and wondered if it might be a bit sanitized and Disney-esque, Old Cuba shined up for tourists. With its pastel-hued 16th-century buildings and wrought-iron grill work, there is a certain veneer of bygone elegance harkening to when it was a wealthy center of the sugar trade. But it’s simply a veneer, and in the few hours since arriving from the airport in Santa Clara, we have seen both the preserved-against-time facades of the plaza and the crumbling, weathered houses of the residential backstreets; the jauntily painted American cars of the ’50s and the workaday horse-drawn carts that are a common mode of transportation all over the island. (In fact, while driving on the highway through the green and hilly countryside from the airport, we see every manner of vehicle turned into makeshift buses — from dump trucks to bicycle-powered three-wheelers — but few cars.) Back at Plaza Major, mojitos in hand, we are drawn up the steps by the irresistible sound of a salsa band, filling the air with a joyous, percussive beat. People are clustered around,

A taxi tour of Havana reveals a surprising view of the city, which includes well-kept and affluent-looking suburban neighborhoods and a lush and forested urban park.

laughing and dancing in the night. We savor the moment, soaking it in. We have no way of knowing that this night — our first — will be the last time we’ll experience the raucous pleasure of live music on our visit. That tomorrow will prove the wisdom of the traveler’s most essential mantra: Expect the unexpected. … Travel offers quirky surprises, and the next morning begins with one. As I sit for a moment in the rocking chair on the balcony of our Airbnb, a horse-drawn cart with two men onboard pulls up the narrow street to make a delivery. The older man is wearing a ... is that a Florida Gators cap? “Buenos dias,” I call down, “Mi gusto tu sombrero. Gators!” The man takes off his hat and looks at it, then looks at me quizzically. It’s abundantly clear he has no idea why there’s a Gator on his hat, but shyly smiles anyway.

At left, a view of Colonial Trinidad and the surrounding hills from the tower of the Municipal History Museum, a former sugar mill owner’s mansion. GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE  |  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017 69

Amid the greenery on our Airbnb’s second-floor terrace, we begin our day with a feast of cheese-scrambled eggs, crepe-like pancakes, fresh-squeezed juice, cafe con leche and a fruit salad of bananas, pineapple and papaya (note to self: call it “fruta bomba,” never “papaya,” naughty slang in Cuba). “Casa Bernardo,” owned by the affable Bernardo and assisted by the friendly Bitalia, is one of the hundreds of Airbnbs and “casa particulares” (B&Bs), which, through recent reforms, allow average Cubans to earn extra money from the flood of visitors. We have the multistoried house, with its colorful tiled floors and creaky wooden stairs, to ourselves for about 40 CUCs a room and five additional CUCs for breakfast. CUCs, aka Cuban Currency, is the monetary system used by tourists and is equal to a bit more than a U.S. dollar. In this dual economy, the Cubans themselves use CUPs, Cuban pesos, which are equivalent to about 4 cents, U.S. Tiny inroads of a type of capitalism — whether the ability to own and sell your own home, rent a room, sell internet cards, bread, handicrafts or cigars on the street — augment the official average salary, which, according to Cuba’s National Office of Statistics, was some $25 a month in 2015. (College professors, we learn later, earn the equivalent of $35 a month). Health care and education are free, housing is subsidized, and items purchased in the scantily stocked government shops are in Cuban pesos, so cost little. After breakfast, we explore Trinidad, stopping at the architecture museum, where our guide explains how the steel for the town’s beautiful grille work came from Pennsylvania; and the Municipal History Museum, a former sugar mill owner’s mansion. There, we climb to the top of the tower for a vista of red-tile roofs of town and green of countryside. In the heat of the afternoon, we taxi to Playa Ancon, the Caribbean beach resort, with its turquoise sea, ’50s-style hotel and beachside cafe, where we sit down for lunch. I ask for fresh coconut milk, noticing a wiry man nearby rhythmically hacking off the tops of a stack of the fruit. My brother and niece order cerveza — beer — and the waitress’ answer confuses us.

From top: This tee-shirt clad guard stands at attention in the municipal building in Cienfuegos, where condolence books are set up to pay respects to the late Fidel Castro. Many of the people lining up to sign a condolence book for Fidel Castro brought flowers handed out on the street. Crowds line up to sign the condolence book for Fidel Castro at the Munical Building in Cienfuegos, Cuba. Notable by its absence was armed military members. While there were many in uniform, few seemed to be armed. 70  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017  |  GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE

A view from the living room window of an Airbnb in central Havana.

Did she just say something about El Presidente, the brand of beer? Si, my niece replies to her, “dos Presidentes, por favor.” No, the waitress says, in words we can translate but not compute: “Ninguna cerveza hoy; del Presidente esta muerto.” “No beer today; the President is dead.” We look at each other. Fidel Castro is dead? We have come to Cuba wanting to soak up everything, but have stumbled onto more than we bargained for: A moment in history. ... The death at age 90 of Fidel Castro means nine days of public mourning, no alcohol and no music. But what, we wonder, will it mean to the Cuban people? In Miami, we know as surely as if we are standing on Calle de Ocho, there is dancing in the streets. But here, will there be tears or will there be joy? And that’s the number one question people have asked upon our return home. My sister-in-law Ellen describes the next week as “seeing Cuba at half-staff.” We are transformed from ordinary travelers to witnesses — and guests — at a national wake. Though my Spanish has fallen on hard times, I do know “lo siento” (sorry), and in the week that follows I use it often. Am I sure every Cuban is sorry? Of course not, but my instinct is to err on the side of courtesy. Our first conversation is with a group of 30-somethings on the beach. We offer condolences and are met with averted eyes and sheepish smiles. Finally, one bathing-suit clad man laughs quietly: “I’m sorry — because there will be no alcohol for nine days.” Back at our Airbnb, the kindly Bitalia, 46, accepts our sympathy with what appears to be genuine regret. She nods and her eyes brim with tears, but they do not flow. On the first day we arrived, we came upon no likenesses of the man who has dominated Cuban life for more than half a century. Once Castro’s death is announced, posters with his image, sometimes with the words “Gracias Fidel,” or “Siempre Fidel” begin to appear. But they may prove temporary. Later, his brother and successor, Raul Castro, will announce that before his death Fidel forbade monuments or statues in his honor, desiring to avoid a cult of personality. In contrast, we see images everywhere of Fidel’s late comrade-inarms, the revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara: On billboards, coins, sides of buildings and in government offices — such as in the everpresent Committee in Defense of the Revolution — Che is memorialized. Our next destination, two hours from Trinidad, is Cienfuegos, known as the “Pearl of the South” on the southern coast. There we find ourselves unlikely VIPs. The streets of the small city teem with people, but the atmosphere is subdued, hushed. We walk past open doorways, where occupants stare at boxy televisions with images of Fidel as a boy, a man, a revolutionary, filling the screen. We follow the crowd, many of whom appear to be clad in the uniforms of their professions, carrying flowers, heading toward the square. The next thing we know, we are plucked from the stream by officials who gesture for us to move to the front of the line leading to the city’s municipal building. We hold back, but then obey. In the entrance, a military guard stands at attention next to a portrait of Fidel, flanked by

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Getting there: JetBlue flies between Orlando and Havana for about $150 round trip. Southwest Airlines offers flights for the same price between Tampa and Havana.; You’ll need a passport, and a visa, which you will purchase for $50 at the airport when you check in for your flight. While travel restrictions have eased greatly, when you buy your ticket you still must check one of the “legitimate” reasons for travel, such as education or culture. We picked education. Your American credit and ATM cards will not work in Cuba, so bring cash, and exchange for Cuban Currency (CUCs) at the airport or in banks or exchange offices. Hotel rooms can be expensive and scarce, so casas particulares (like B&Bs) and Airbnbs make good, less expensive options: about $30$50 a night, with an extra $5 for a sumptuous breakfast. View options and check reviews on Important: Confirm reservations before you go. Arranging ahead for a taxi company to take you from city to city is a good, affordable option. We found Taxi Vinales Cuba extremely reliable with comfortable, newer vehicles. ( ( Bring an English/Spanish phrasebook.


Plaza de Armas, which doubles as a street market for sellers of antiques and second-hand books and posters.

wreaths of flowers. Finally, we are in front of an open condolence book. Should we sign, and if so, what to say? “Love to the people of Cuba,” my name and “Gainesville, Fla.,” are now forever transcribed, alongside those of visitors from Italy and Canada, in a condolence book for a Cuban dictator. Expect the unexpected, indeed. Has Fidel Castro outlived his own history, we wonder? We see signs of a somber melancholy, but no visible tears. And we also witness a kind of impatient disgruntlement, a readiness for change. Walking through a quiet Cienfuegos neighborhood, we chat with neighbors sitting on a stoop. On the sidewalk nearby, a boiling cauldron is rendering pig fat into cooking oil to be shared. They are friendly, curious about us, and compliment President Barack Obama on his recent historic visit. One man and his wife have turned their home into a “casa particulares” to raise extra income. The man sums up the underlying frustration as we talk about the new travel opportunities that have brought us to Cuba: “For you,” he laughs ruefully, “it is easy to come; for us, it is too expensive to go anywhere.” Before we go, he offers us a taste from his glass of rum, and we all drink to better days. Later that day, we speak to an older Cienfuegos woman, whose well-kept home, with its mahogany furniture and family china, belonged to her husband’s family since the years before the revolution. Her television is tuned to a Spanish-language version of CNN. I gently mention the death of Fidel. She smiles and hesitates only a moment before looking me in the eyes: “I am not sorry for the death of a dictator,” she says “A man, yes, but not the dictator.” Once in Havana, we notice the ban on alcohol seems to be widely ignored, though the mourning period is still underway. In shops, bottles of Havana Club rum are safely out of reach behind plastic sheets. But alcohol is easy to come by in


most restaurants, though some have peculiar rules. One will only serve beer, justifying it as a form of needed “refreshment;” another refuses to sell beer, only drinks with juice, because they are easier to disguise. The biggest surprise is at the Hotel de Nacional de Cuba, the storied luxury palace associated with pre-Revolutionary decadence, in its heyday hosting everyone from Frank Sinatra to Winston Churchill to Meyer Lansky and other members of the mafia. Today it’s run by the government, so we expect the bar to be closed and have come only to admire the glamour of days gone by. But before we leave we find ourselves enjoying pricey mojitos on the terrace. No problem. In Havana, our Airbnb is owned by a Belgian married to a Cuban woman. Under new rules, foreigners may buy property if they are married to a Cuban national. We step out of our cab to find ourselves in a barrio that could easily pass for war-torn Beirut. Streets are carved up as if plumbing projects were begun and then abandoned; buildings are missing roofs, others, crumbling and partially occupied, while others seemed to have evaporated, leaving only crude outlines. Across the street, uncovered meat hangs in a tumbledown market with a corrugated roof. Despite the disheveled appearance of the neighborhood, our Airbnb, five floors up a creaky iron elevator, is a spacious sanctuary, with tall ceilings, carved columns, and colorful, intricately designed tile floors similar to those we see in many buildings. We feel safe on the streets here, as we do everywhere in Cuba. Havana is truly a city of contrasts. Just a few minutes’ walk from the dramatic decay of our neighborhood, we are in the heart of Habana Vieja, Old Havana, a shining UNESCO World Heritage site that has been restored, street by street, to its ornate historic Spanish glory. Government buildings, including El Capitolio, loosely based on our own Capitol, glow like jewels in the sun.

Old Havana is compact and we easily walk the shopping street, Obispo, and three of the five historic squares: Plaza de Armas, which doubles as a street market for sellers of antiques and second-hand books and posters; the baroque and striking Plaza de Catedral, site of the Cathedral of Havana, and the 16th-century Plaza Vieja, once home to some of the wealthiest denizens of the city and now a center for art galleries and exhibits, and a towering sculpture of a naked woman riding a rooster. Go figure. The rooster was pointed out to us by the warm and engaging Cuban folk artist and photographer Nancy Reyes Suarez, whose work brings to life magical imaginings of Afro-Cuban folklore. Nancy is one of the featured artists in Gainesville’s ongoing “Bulla Cubana” festival, highlighting the arts and culture of Cuba, and her art is on display until mid-February at the Cofrin Gallery at Gainesville’s Oak Hall School. We connect with her through photographer Randy Batista, the driving force behind Bulla Cubana and a friend of Nancy’s and her daughter, Jesse Rodriguez, a ballerina with the National Ballet of Cuba, who is a visiting dancer with Gainesville’s Dance Alive. We meet at Nancy’s Santa Fe Gallery studio in Old Havana, where we’re dazzled by the colors and intricacy of her prolific collection of paintings — many now on display in Gainesville — and delighted by her friendly openness as we pass a day with her visiting shops and art galleries and having a leisurely lunch. Nancy tells us about her art — inspired by her interest in things spiritual — and the life of an artist in Cuba. There’s a healthy and bursting art scene in Havana, where, Nancy says, artists are respected (although we assume that does not guarantee total freedom) and paid by the government roughly the same as other professionals. If you’re a tourist in Old Havana, you won’t be able to resist the rainbow rows of restored American classic convertibles of the ’50s now employed as taxis. Drivers hawk tours of the city for about 30 or 40 CUCs. Their cars are as colorful and tempting as jelly beans, and we pick a flashy red early ‘50s Chevy convertible for our drive. We later agree it may have been wiser to choose based on the English skills of the driver/guide, rather than the sexiness of the car. But never mind: Our 90-minute tour pulls back the curtain a bit on Havana, as we drive past the tree-filled Plaza de la Fraternidad, with its bust of Abraham Lincoln, along the romantic oceanside Malecon boardwalk, past the elegant embassies of Miramar, with neighborhoods as lush and well-kept as Coral Gables (who lives in these houses, we wonder), to a stop at a forested park. Later that day, we visit the Museo de Revolución, whose riveting collection of photographs and artifacts chronicling the story of the revolution is housed, ironically, in the grandeur of what was once the Presidential Palace. With fewer than three whole days in the city, we miss

Horse-drawn carts, such as these in Trinidad, are a common form of transportation in Cuba, as are threewheeled bicycle-powered taxis.

some of what we had hoped to see: Only one of us visits the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, with its collection of Cuban arts from Colonial time to today, the rest of us opt instead for the massive Almacenes San José Artisans’ Market. We don’t make it to Fusterlandia, the creation of artist José Rodriguez Fuster, who turned his neighborhood into a colorful wild mosaic wonderland. We miss toasting Ernest Hemingway at El Floridita fish restaurant/bar, the author’s favorite Old Havana hangout. Most regretfully, we don’t experience the intoxicating music and dance that enlivens many a Havana evening and is the soundtrack of Cuban life. Castro’s death and official mourning put an end to that. It will be at the top of the list when we return. Finally, our time in Cuba is over and I think back to our arrival a week before: Leaving Fort Lauderdale on our JetBlue flight, we noticed that most of our fellow passengers appeared to be from the island — some visitors to the U.S. on their way home, others Cuban-Americans returning to their homeland. In what felt like just a few minutes from takeoff, we were ready to land. As we descended through the clouds, Cuba’s verdant island patchwork came into view below, and there was a growing buzz of excitement on the plane. And then we touched down, and the plane erupted into applause. We had come to Cuba to see what we could see. And it will take many trips, if ever, to truly understand this complicated country. But crystal clear from the moment we landed is the pure affection with which Cubans — those who left and those who remain behind — hold their island home. As we walked out of the tiny tropical airport, blinking in the bright Caribbean sun, our first glimpse of Cuba was the sight of a waving, smiling, laughing crowd, brimming with excitement as they greet their loved ones returning home. Though it wasn’t meant for us, we felt joyously welcomed, too.






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A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe 1. Amy Varnedoe, left, and Kendall Petrik pose for a photo at the Santa Fe Fine Arts Hall. 2. The Dexter, Howard-Holmes, and Denn Lyndy families take a photo with Frosty the

Snowman at A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe. 3. Felicia Watson and her granddaughter Cadence Lynnsky Daniels at A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe, on Dec. 3 in Gainesville.



4. Yolanda Smith and Frank Brinson attend A Children’s Holiday at Santa Fe.


Kickoff party for Bulla Cubana Held at Omi’s Tavern 1. University of Florida Performing Arts Director Brian Jose, from left, with Patty Candella and Randy Batista at the kickoff party for Bulla Cubana. 2. Nancy Hunt, University of Florida professor of History & African Studies, left, and Amy Vigilante at the kickoff party for Bulla Cubana. 3. Latina Women’s League President Victoria Condor-Williams and University of Florida Director of the Center for Latin American Studies Philip Williams at the kickoff party for Bulla Cubana at Omi’s Tavern on Nov. 10 in Gainesville.







Noche de Museo Discovering art and culture from across Latin America at the Harn Museum of Art 4


1. Evelyn Luna and Tom Torres at the Harn Museum of Art’s Noche de Museo on Nov. 10 in Gainesville. 2. Libby Thompson and Ken Farfan pose for a photo at the Harn Museum. 3. Omar Paz, left, and Licinio Miranda at the Noche de Museo. 4. Alexandra Olszekwski, from left, Tomasz Tyminski, Bryan Kozik and Emily Kozik gather for a photo at the Harn Museum.


Black Tie and Blue Jeans BBQ Alachua County Republican Party event at Canterbury Showplace



1. Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser, from left, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and Layne Sasser at the Ronald Reagan Black Tie and Blue Jeans BBQ at the Canterbury Showplace on Nov. 3 in Newberry. 2. Morgan Frazier, from left, Arielle Boudreaux and Kathryn Kastner at the Ronald Reagan Black Tie and Blue Jeans BBQ. 3. Lewis Stokes, from left, Melanie Anderson and Jay Anderson pose for a picture at Canterbury Showplace. GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE  |  FEBRUARY – MARCH 2017 75


Gujarati Samaj of Gatorland 2016 Diwali Festival of Lights Held at the Senior Recreation Center 1. Gainesville City Commissioner Helen Warren, back center, poses with a group of elementary and middle school students at the Gujarati Samaj of Gatorland 2016 Diwali Festival of Lights at the Senior Recreation Center on Nov. 12 in Gainesville. 2. Parita Patel, from left, Vani Patel, Keyul Patel, and Vidhi Patel at the Gujarati Samaj of Gatorland 2016 Diwali Festival of Lights.

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Save Our Springs Florida Springs Institute’s annual fundraiser at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

1. Tom Nutter, from left, Lee Bloomcamp and Rachel Nutter at The Florida Springs Institute’s Save Our Springs Annual Fundraiser at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens on Nov. 4 in Gainesville. 2. Diane and Jim Heaney at The Florida Springs Institute’s annual fundraiser.

3. Florida Springs Institute staff, from left, Emily Taylor, Ron Clarke, Dr. Bob Knight, Paul Donsky, Heather Obara and Melissa Redon. 4. Ron Clarke and Lindsey Kelly at the fundraiser. 5. Whitey Markle and the Swaprooters with, from left, Whitey Markle, Barbara Smith and Jack Piccalo, performed at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.




Gathering of the Artists Held at the Gainesville Woman’s Club 1. Sandy Matasick, left, and Lynn Fisher at The Gathering of the Artists at the Gainesville Woman’s Club on Dec. 4


2. Wes Lindberg, from left, GFAA President Karen Koegel, and Steve Howell at The Gathering of the Artists.


3. Christine Brundige and Leslie Peebles at The Gathering of the Artists. 3

4. Patrick Rogan, from left, Clyde Kiker, Jason Straw, Martin Gates and Paul Bracchold gather for a photo at the Gainesville Woman’s Club.






Holiday Tree Lighting Held at The Thomas Center

1. Kyle and Khloe McManis at The Thomas Center. 2. Sofia Boom, left, and Ella Persons at the 2016 Holiday Tree Lighting. 3. City of Gainesville Assistant City Manager Paul Folkers and Morgan Folkers attend the 2016 Holiday Tree Lighting event at The Thomas Center on Dec. 3 in Gainesville. 4. Leon Jones, from left, Leauni Jones, Nyasia Johnson and Nyshaun Johnson attend the tree lighting at The Thomas Center.

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5. City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Steve Phillips, from left, Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe, and Poe’s daughter, Elizabeth, at the Holiday Tree Lighting.





Malik says he likes theater because it reaches people. “It’s easier to touch people and you make people see things in a different light,” Malik says. “Theater allows people to be more open minded and it shows a world perspective and different views.” While in the ninth grade in 2013, Malik went to Nanjing, China, for two weeks as part of a student exchange program, taking Chinese language classes at Nanjing International Experimental School. P.K Yonge students stayed in the dorms, and on the weekends, each student stayed with a host Chinese family. He says the interaction within the family unit is very similar to families in the United States, but the food, he says, is very different. “They were regular kids and we had fun,” Malik says. This summer, Malik will go to Ireland for

Malik King in his role as Mufasa in The Lion King. SUBMITTED PHOTO

two weeks with the Gainesville Youth Choir. Malik is the only child of Stanford and Teresa Moore. Stanford Moore says Malik’s strength is his ability to adapt to different life situations. “He doesn’t let life’s ups and downs take him away from his path,” Moore says. “Pretty much he has been that way from Day One.” Stanford Moore works in facilities for the Alachua County School District, and prior to that, worked for 17 years as a behavior

Self-reliant in Connecticut

owned a house here. Salley and Ludivine settled in Gainesville.

After moving to Bristol, Connecticut, Salley opened Natural, a face cream store that sold French products. But the move was not without some cultural adjustment.  “Connecticut was the opposite of everything that I had known,” Salley says. “They did not celebrate life the way that I was used to. They did not see life the way that I saw life. Life was stern and rigid.  “I never understood why they asked me about my religion and what did I do because I was thinking, I’m not what I do. What does my religion have to do with who I am?” she says.  In this very different place, Irene said she became even closer with her children. Her youngest daughter, Ludivine, says she recalls laughter and joy around the family dinner table.  While in Connecticut, Salley’s oldest two children graduated from high school. Daniel attended college in Florida, while Florence moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design.  As the house grew emptier, Salley decided it was time for a move of her own.  After four years in Connecticut, Salley and Ludivine packed up their light burgundy Oldsmobile and journeyed south. At the time, Salley’s two younger siblings were attending the University of Florida and her family

Salley worked part time in a furniture store drawing cabinets and enrolled in at Santa Fe Community College to study interior design. In the course of her studies, she gained an influential mentor, the late Lenny Kesl, a well-known artist who died in 2012, who fostered Salley’s passion for painting. “He would comment on my paintings and say, burn this one, or this one is good,” Salley says. “He was a good mentor.”  Under his auspices, Salley grew as a painter and realized her preferred medium of oil paints. Unlike acrylics, she said, oil paints do not dry quickly, allowing her to actively work and re-work her piece.  “I’m always covered with paint,” Salley says. “I like the texture and I like to touch it. I think the sensuality of the matter is very important to me.”  Salley also is hands-on in her home’s garden. When she and her second husband, Craig Salley, first moved into their house, Salley longed for the bright island colors of her childhood and the pops of flowers from French gardens. She began her garden with an idealistic vision, sowing seeds native to her past.  She found the Florida climate and soil unconducive to growing the plants of her island childhood, so she switched to flora native to Florida. 


Growing in Gainesville


intervention specialist at Horizon Center, an alternative school that closed at the end of the 2015 school year Teresa Moore is a purchasing coordinator for the Alachua County Clerk of the Court. Stanford Moore says Malik is self-motivated and a blessing to his family. Malik’s encouragment, his father says, motivated him to take a leap of faith to pursue a second career in heating and air conditioning, which he wanted to do, but was hesitant. Stanford Moore says he is now taking evening classes at Santa Fe College and “Malik keeps tabs on my school progress.” Malik said his late grandmother, Ernestine Moore, is his inspiration. “She always encouraged me to be my best,” he says. Malik’s motto: “Never let anyone dictate your future, you can do anything you set your mind to do. Thank the people that helped you get to where you are.” “It doesn’t have to be a fight,” Salley says. “It has to be fluid. I don’t want to fight with the garden because I tried that and it doesn’t work.” Salley, too, has adjusted to the soil beneath her feet. After her divorce from Craig Salley, she started a business buying, renovating and leasing properties in Gainesville. Ludivine Kail, her youngest daughter, an interior designer who lives near her mother, says her mom taught her to be independent and she is her role model.  “She really showed us we could do anything,” Kail says.  Salley loves cooking, spending time with her daughter and close friends, hosting parties and dancing. And she has rekindled her childhood love of riding horses. For the first time, she has begun painting horses instead of landscapes.  “For me, horses are special,” Salley says. “They have fragility, sensitivity. They are very intuitive.”  In her paintings, she emphasizes a horse’s eyelashes, the curve of its belly, or the black eyes, as she strives to convey a horse’s energy.  Although Salley misses the colors and texture of Guadeloupe and the vibrancy and celebration in Paris, she says she has found her home in Gainesville, where she has grown as a person and an artist.  “I have the freedom to know and finally understood that paint is no big deal. It’s just paint on a canvas and you can burn a canvas,” Salley says. “You can destroy it. You can do anything that you want.”


Earth, Wind & Fire will mix it up with pop, funk and soul at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on March 9.




Ben Hill Griffin Stadium,157 Gale Lemerand Drive. (375-4683) Bo Diddley Community Plaza, 111 E. University Ave. (393-7527) Constans Theatre, 687 McCarty Drive, UF campus. (392-1653) Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 3201 Hull Road. (392-2787) Florida Museum of Natural History, 3215 Hull Road, UF campus. (846-2000) Gainesville Community Playhouse, 4039 NW 16th Blvd. (376-4949) Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. (373-5968) Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, 4700 SW 58th Drive. (372-4981) Matheson Museum, 513 E. University Ave. (378-2280) Mcguire Pavilion Black Box Theatre, McCarty Drive, UF campus. (392-1653) Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road, UF campus. (392-9826) Squitieri Studio Theatre, inside the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 3201 Hull Road. (392-2787) Stephen C. O’Connell Center, 250 Gale Lemerand Drive, UF campus. (392-5500) The Fine Arts Hall Theatre, Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd St. (395-5000) The Historic Thomas Center, 302 NE Sixth Ave. (334-5067) University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive, UF campus. (392-2787)

SAMUEL P. HARN MUSEUM OF ART Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 5-10 p.m. Thursday for Museum Nights, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road, UF campus, (392-9826 or

“THE ART OF CUNDO BERMÚDEZ,” four prints by the Cuban artist

who was active as a painter, muralist and printmaker. He is best known for his vividly colored paintings celebrating the themes of his native Cuba. Runs through May 31. “MEANT TO BE SHARED,” the Arthur Ross collection features 18thto 20th-century Italian, French and Spanish prints. Runs through May 28. “Elusive Spirits, African Masquerades” exhibit featuring masks from the mid-20th century to the early 21st century showing the continuity of masking and also featuring new directions in masquerades, such as the fancy dress masks of Ghana, ongoing. “HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE ASIAN COLLECTION,” more than 680 works are showcased in the Cofrin Art Wing, featuring works from China, India, Japan, Korea and South and Southeast Asian art, ongoing. “HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE MODERN COLLECTION,” exhibition featuring highlights from the museum’s American, European and Latin American art from the mid-19th century up to the first half of the 20th century, ongoing. “Into the Fold,” collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics, continues through Feb. 12.

FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, includes Butterfly Rainforest, a 6,400-square-foot screened, outdoor enclosure, fossil exhibits, replica cave and more, Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road, UF campus. (846-2000,

“FROGS! A CHORUS OF COLORS,” experience frogs adapted for sur-

vival in all different parts of the world. Runs through Sept. 4.


“EXPLORING OUR WORLD,” Catch a behind-

the-scenes glimpse of the museum’s vast natural history collections, including the skull of UF’s first live mascot, Albert the Alligator, permanent. “FLORIDA FOSSILS: EVOLUTION OF LIFE & LAND,”

encapsulates the last 65 million years of Earth’s history, permanent. “OUR ENERGY FUTURE,” learn about alternative energy sources, the rooftop solar array that powers part of the museum and tips to reduce energy at home with handson activities, permanent. “NORTHWEST FLORIDA: WATERWAYS & WILDLIFE,” follows the path of water as it flows

through Northwest Florida habitats, from limestone caves and springs to the Gulf of Mexico, permanent. “SOUTH FLORIDA PEOPLE & ENVIRONMENTS,” a 6,000-square-foot exhibit dedicated to the environments and history of South Florida, permanent. “OUR CHANGING CLIMATE: SEA LEVEL RISE,”

exhibit focusing on the science behind sea level rise and possible effects on Florida.

UNIVERSITY GALLERIES Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday, hours adjusted for home football games, 400 SW 13th St., UF campus. (273-3000)

“LIGHTS, CAMERA, CUBA!” Vintage Cuban

Movie Posters from the EfrainBarradas Collection of UF Libraries, UF University Galleries, through Feb. 10.

MORNINGSIDE NATURE CENTER Park hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through April, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. May-Oct. Living History Farm is open 9 a.m.4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 3540 E. University Ave. (334-3326)

BARNYARD BUDDIES, meet and greet farm

animals by helping staff with afternoon feeding on the Living History Farm every Wednesday at 3 p.m., September through May. FROGS AND FRIENDS, a program featuring live amphibians and reptiles, the first Friday of each month at 2 p.m., September through May, in the Education Building. LIVING HISTORY DAYS, interpreters portray day-to-day life on an 1870 Florida farm on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., September through May, at the Living History Farm.

KANAPAHA BOTANICAL GARDENS Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. or dusk Saturday-Sunday, closed Thursdays, $7 plus tax, children (6-13) $3.50 plus tax, children under 6 are free, 4700 SW 58th Drive,

entrance on Archer Road. (372-4981, www.

GUIDED WALKS, 10 a.m. first Satur-

day of every month.

THE HISTORIC THOMAS CENTER GALLERIES Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays, 302 NE Sixth Ave. (332-2787)

MATHESON MUSEUM Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 513 E. University Ave. (378-2280, Highlights of the museum’s permanent collection include over 20,000 historic Florida postcards from every county in the state, a large collection of photographs and more.


“The Art of Cundo Bermúdez,”prints by the Cuban artist who was active as a painter, muralist and printmaker, is on display through May 31 at the Harn Museum of Art as part of the Bulla Cubana festival.

ing the arts and culture of Cuba

“SPOTLIGHT: LATIN AMERICA,” Harn Museum of Art, through October. “THE ART OF CUNDO BERMUNDEZ,” Harn Museum of Art, through May. Special Cuban Menu, available everyday except Tuesday, Curia Off the Drag “CUBANISTA: THE ART OF NANCY REYES SUAREZ,” Cofrin Gallery, Oak Hall School, through Feb. 10. “82 W / SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION: THE WORK OF CONTEMPORARY CUBAN ARTISTS,” Main Gallery,  Thomas Center, through March 18 GAINESVILLE ORCHESTRA PRESENTS BULLA CUBANA!, Fine Arts Theater, Santa Fe College, 7:30 pm, tickets required, Feb. 24 “MY CUBAN STORY: A CUBAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY PANEL,” Harn Museum of Art, 3-4 p.m., March 12 DISLOCATION AND MIGRATION OF THE YAMASEE INDIANS: A SCIENCE CAFÉ EVENT, hosted by Florida Museum of Natural History, Burt Gill Quality Foods, 6:45 – 7:30 pm, free, registration required, March 13 “MY LITTLE SISTER” A Play by Carlos Francisco Asse, Hippodrome Theatre, 7 p.m., March 13, 20, 27 RAUL VILLAREAL PRESENTS “HEMINGWAY’S CUBAN SON,” Alachua County Library District Headquarters, 2 to 3 p.m., March 18 CUBAN DINNER, Uppercrust Bakery, tickets required , March 19 “ENDEMIC BIRDS OF CUBA,” Photographs by Ernesto Reyes, Hippodrome Theatre Gallery, March 22 through April 2 CUBAN FILM FESTIVAL, Hippodrome Cinema,  schedule and films TBD, tickets required, March 24, 25, 26 “THE CUBAN AMERICAN DREAM” EXHIBIT, UF George A. Smathers Library Gallery (2nd floor), March 27 – June 2 ‘CUBA AND THE UNITED STATES IN THE 21ST


CENTURY’ CONFERENCE, open to the public, registration fee required, UF Center for Latin American Studies,  March 30 – April 1 SWEET DREAMS CUBAN HELADOS NIGHT, 5 - 10 p.m.,  Sweet Dreams Ice Cream, March 31 ART OF THE MOJITO,  tickets required, location TBD, March 31  


PERFORMANCES TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA, a music performance geared toward children 4-12, Feb. 12, 2 p.m. Squitieri Studio Theatre, 3201 Hull Road. DANA LOUISE AND THE GLORIOUS BIRDS, a mix of jazz and indie folk, Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m. Squitieri Studio Theatre, 3201 Hull Road. “THE ACCIDENTAL HERO,” a young man explores his grandfather’s past in World War II, Feb. 17-18, 7:30 p.m. Squitieri Studio Theatre, 3201 Hull Road. THE WHO’S TOMMY is based on the 1969 rock concept album. Feb. 17-March 5, Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. “PIPPIN,” a young prince’s search for passion, adventure and meaning in life, Feb. 19, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. THE GET UP KIDS AND ALKALINE TRIO, Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids and Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio will perform. Feb 19, 8 p.m., High Dive, 210 SW Second Ave. Tickets: $13-$15. LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO, a SouthAfrican-based vocal group, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road.

BECKY’S NEW CAR is a Comedy/drama about Becky’s midlife crisis. Feb. 22-March 19. The Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. Tickets: $25-$35. MASTERS OF HAWAIIAN MUSIC, George Kahumoku, Jr., Nathan Aweau and Kawika Kahiapo will perform, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive. FOREIGNER WITH KANSAS. Feb 24, 7 p.m., St Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340C A1A S. St., Augustine. Tickets: $44-94. ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE LYON, a 115-year-old orchestra, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road.

EVENTS A VALENTINE’S NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, trivia, scavenger hunts and light snacks. Feb 14, 7-10 p.m. Florida Museum of Natural History, 3215 Hull Road. Cost: $10 per person, $15 per couple. PALATKA BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL to benefit Rodeheaver Boys’ Ranch. Line-up includes The Del McCoury Band, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage and more. Feb 16-18, Rodeheaver Boys’ Ranch, 380 Boys Ranch Road, Palatka.



PERFORMANCES WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY WITH SPECIAL GUEST DWIGHT YOAKAM. March 7, 7 p.m., St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340C A1A S. St., Augustine. Tickets: $40-$125. ROSI GOLAN, singer-songwriter. March 8, 7:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $25. ITZHAK PERLMAN AND ROHAN DE SILVA, violin and piano. March 11, 7:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $45-$75. “HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING” A window cleaner finds a copy of the book “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and decides to apply the tactics in the book to his own life. March 16-April 9, The Gainesville Community Playhouse at the Vam York Theater, 4039 NW 16th Blvd. Tickets: $12-$22. ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA, with violinist Nicola Benedetti. March 19, 7:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $40-$65. ADA/AVA, by Manuel Cinema. Shadow puppetry, live action, imagery and an original score. March 22, 7:30 p.m. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $20. Germán López, playing the timple. March 26, 7:30 p.m., University Auditorium, 333 Newell Drive. Tickets: $15-$25. MOMIX: OPUS CACTUS, visuals using props, costumes, lighting and movement. March 29, 7:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $25-$40. WE THE KINGS, 10 year anniversary tour. March 29, 8 p.m., High Dive, 210 SW Second Ave. Tickets: $14-$79.

EVENTS CHANGEVILLE MUSIC AND FILM FESTIVAL with line-up featuring Amy Ray of Indigo Girls, Talib Kweli, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, David Bazan and more. March 2-3, Downtown Gainesville. RACE THE TORTOISE, a family-friendly running/ walking event promoting a healthy lifestyle and the beauty of O’Leno State Park. Race for prize money and awards along the park’s paved roadway. March 4, 8 a.m., O’Leno State Park, 410 SE O’Leno Road,

High Springs. PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ, a fundraiser for the Children’s Home Society of Florida. Live music, food, silent auction and dancing. March 11, 7-11 p.m. Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St. LIBRARY AUTHOR SERIES, award-winning author Ann Hood will speak, March 12, 2:30 p.m. Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave. SUWANNEE VALLEY QUILT FESTIVAL, hundreds of quilts and quilt and craft demonstrations. March 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Downtown Trenton. SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL features about 175 booths offering plants, landscape displays, garden accessories, arts and crafts, educational exhibits and foods. Also featured are a children’s activities area, live entertainment and live auctions. March 18-19, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, 4700 SW 58th Dr. TRADING CLOSETS, Altrusa International of Gainesville fundraiser. Upscale resale event. Food, wine, silent auctions and raffles. March 31-April 1, Gainesville Woman’s Club, 2809 W. University Ave.



PERFORMANCES THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS, bluegrass, folk and roots music. April 2, 7:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $25. STEVE MILLER BAND WITH SPECIAL GUESTS LOS LONELY BOYS. 7 p.m. April. 2, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340C A1A South, St Augustine. Tickets: $54-$104. STEP AFRIKA! performs percussive dancing called stepping. April 7, 2:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $15-$25. COLUMBINUS explores the fallout of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. April 7-23, Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. Hamlet. April 12-May 7, The Hippodrome Theatre, 25 SE Second Place. Tickets: $25-$35. DAVID SEDARIS. April 18, 7:30 p.m., Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road. Tickets: $30-$50.


Chief preparator Michael Peyton, right, and preparator Tim Joiner, left, prepare to hang Claude Monet’s “Champ d’avoine (Oat Field),” 1890, upon its return to the Harn Museum of Art. FILE PHOTO BY ERICA BROUGH GAINESVILLE MAGAZINE  |  FEBRUARY–MARCH 2017 81


Grazing on a sunny afternoon



hen I heard the bison had made their way close to the tower at LaChua Trail due to the low water levels throughout Paynes Prairie, I took the one-mile hike out there to see for myself. To my surprise, I found the bison had congregated there in a large number. I trained my lens at a pair of the woolly animals and spent the rest of the afternoon shooting away. — Brad McClenny is a photojournalist for The Gainesville Sun


Gainesville Magazine - Spirit of Gainesville Awards - Feb/March 2017  
Gainesville Magazine - Spirit of Gainesville Awards - Feb/March 2017