Ocala Style May '19

Page 1

MAY ‘19


IN ART Meet Laura Walker


A PATH Local women who were among the first in their fields

GIRLS’ GETAWAY Make it the best trip ever!




70 Acre Farm – Close to the Villages

10.84 Acres – Close to Florida Horse Park

Whisper Crest

The Arbors

Turning Hawk

18.72 Acres- Close to Florida Horse Park

Golden Hills – Close to WEC

3 Acres – NW Ocala - Close to WEC

2.53 Acres- NW Ocala – Close to WEC

Spring Grove

Via Paradisus

Pending Properties 247.58 Acres – NW Ocala Close to WEC

20.24 Acres – Close to the Villages

52.50 Acres – NW Ocala Close to WEC

Country Club of Ocala

20 Acres – Listed and Pending in 72 Hours

Alamar Village- Close to Florida Horse Park

33.90 Acres – NW Ocala – Close to WEC

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today! List your property with Joan Pletcher... Our results speak for themselves.

For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.

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Publisher’s Note

s I write this, our community is mourning the loss of one very special woman, Mary Britt. Like many of you, I’ve been reminiscing about Mary and the kindness she extended to everyone she knew. In my case, I enjoyed the timeliness of her grace a few years ago when the Ocala Culinary Festival was in its infancy and we were trying to garner support. Mary had heard about it and arranged to meet to discuss the festival. I remember sitting on the bench with Mary in the lobby of the Ocala Civic Theatre, answering her questions but eventually pouring out my heart with all the frustrating aspects of organizing a new event. Her knowing encouragement and confirmation that my frustrations were par for the course strengthened my resolve. As I reflect on her generous heart and personal experience that intuitively told her to reach out to me, I can’t help but ask myself, wouldn’t it be great if we were all like Mary? It’s so important to take the initiative and reach out to the next woman who’s working up the courage to take on her own exciting, challenging endeavor. Imagine what a city full of women like that could accomplish!

Women need each other. Sure, our families and careers may take the bulk of our time and energy, but the camaraderie and empathetic encouragement you enjoy with girlfriends provides everything from carefree opportunities to let your hair down to mentoring that propels you forward, stronger because of the tribe of women you have on speed dial. One of my favorite movie quotes was said by Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own. As he addressed the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, he told the discouraged women, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.” The movie’s fictional account of the women’s baseball league is just one of the many great stories of American women who have overcome what seemed like insurmountable obstacles to enjoy equal opportunities afforded to their male counterparts. In this issue, we set out to spotlight just a few of the women in our community who had the guts to be “first” in their fields. I hope you join us in celebrating the gumption, resilience and strength of these trailblazers. They made their own path and, in doing so, made a trail for the rest of us to follow.

Jennifer Hunt-Murty Publisher

May ‘ 1 9


C O N T To wn






A guide to our favorite happenings and can’t-miss events.

People and events from around town.

Co u ntr y




THOUGHTS OF A MILLENNIAL Making the everyday special, just like Mimi did.









Local ladies who uphold the law.

The importance of closing arguments.

Seriously ill children enjoy summer camp at Boggy Creek.

Celebrating local couples’ love.


Tab le





ROSES OF GLASS Kentucky Derby glasses are considered the most popular of all the famed race’s collectibles. We check out one local’s collection.



Crystal Fernung has traveled a unique path to success in the Florida thoroughbred industry.

A SAFE HAVEN Marion County steps up for farm animals in need.

Lauren DeIorio talks family favorites and beloved traditions.

Go-to meals guaranteed to please the whole family.

Your guide to some of our area’s best eateries.

E N T S Ro ad


Ar ts

THE ROAD TO ADVENTURE Jesse gets behind the wheel of a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara.





Community members share their favorite moments and memories of Mary.

Turns out going to the museum just may be good for your health.


101 104 106 108

DIY STYLE April Rose shows us how to turn the everyday into the extraordinary.

IT FIGURES Dressing for your silhouette.

ARTFUL ARRANGEMENTS A collection of plates or trivets adds a pop of color and interest to your space.

BETTINA LOONEY: A STYLE STORY An Ocala native finds success in the London fashion scene.

ON THE COVER: Laura Walker Photography by Jonathan Walker Hair & Makeup by Bethany Ulmer, Just B Hair Studio



C O V E R 56







Meet four local women who have blazed a path to success for future generations.

Looking for an excuse to start planning that girls-only getaway? We’ve got it for you!

With encouragement from teachers and family, Lauren Walker chose to make art her career.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS Whether medicine or law, real estate or design, these local professionals share their insight and expertise.


EXPO Saturday, May 18, 2019 | 11AM - 4PM College of Central florida, Klein Center

• • • • • • •

Inspiring guest speakers Hands-on demonstrations Unique shopping booths Networking opportunities Food Giveaways Plenty of fun

Tickets $5 - available at OcalaStyle.com/WomensExpo For vendor and sponsorship information call (352) 732-0073 or email marketing@magnoliamediaco.com.

All ticket proceeds will benefit

PACE Center for Girls




As men mature, the prostate grows from a walnut-sized gland to sometimes as large as an orange. This growth causes outflow problems from the bladder in the passing of urine, resulting in symptoms from a slow stream, getting up at night to urinate, or even worse—the constant urge to urinate, even to the point that urination begins before they reach the bathroom. These inconvenient, and often embarrassing symptoms, can be resolved by proper treatment of the enlarged prostate. PAID PROMOTIONAL FEATURE


r. James Young is a very successful urologist who has been practicing in Lake County since 1982. “The treatment of BPH (an enlarged prostate) has always been my focus, and that is the primary reason I moved to Florida when I finished my medical training as Chief Resident of Urology at the University of Arkansas. For many decades, the only treatment for BPH was a surgical procedure, the TURP, more commonly referred to by men as a “roto-rooter.” Dr. Young performed more 3,000 of these procedures, however they were very invasive, required anesthesia, hospitalization, and could have serious complications, including massive bleeding and at times, death. Then medications were approved that relieved symptoms but after a period of time, the medications lose their effectiveness or caused side effects, usually sexual in nature. There had to be a better way. In the late 1990’s a new procedure, transurethral needle ablation of the prostate (TUNA) was approved by the FDA. “I was never a fan of jumping on new technology quickly because, as we know, not everything delivers the results as promised,” says Dr. Young. However, after the procedure was used for five years, Dr. Young began doing TUNAs, later known as Prostiva RF therapy. This procedure was done in the office under local anesthesia

for not jumping on with few complica“Even though I have a new technology, tions. The procedure reputation for not jumping I completely worked by inserton new technology, I understood the ing wires into the completely understood science behind prostate, then low Rezūm, so as soon frequency radio the science behind as it was available waves were transRezum, so as soon as it to me, I switched mitted through the was available to me, to this procedure wires and heated immediately.” prostate tissue to The science driving 115 degrees Celsius. this technology is This heat was transfascinating. Using low mitted in a conducfrequency radio waves, tive manner (radiate water is transformed from the wires) but —James W. Young III, MD into steam and then the heat dissipated nine seconds of steam rapidly as it traveled is infiltrated into the away from the wires. prostate tissue, once again in the office The heat was reduced by the formula of under local anesthesia. The major difference 1/r2 with r being the distance from the wires. is the heat is transferred in a convective, as Basically, cores of prostate tissue surroundopposed to conductive manner. ing the wires were destroyed. Dr. Young As Einstein said, “Energy cannot be had tremendous success with Prostiva RF created or destroyed, it can only be therapy and ultimately did almost 3,000 changed.” So once the steam is infiltrated procedures. His success with Prostiva into the prostate, and returns to liquid, it gave him the distinction of being placed on Castle Connelly’s Top Docs list for five consecutive years. However, more than five years ago, Dr. Young heard rumors of a new technology JAMES W. YOUNG III, M.D. that was similar in some ways, but completely Nationally recognized board-certified urologist different in others. This new therapy was Practicing in Lake County since 1982 with FDA approved in 2015 and was known as extensive experience in evaluation and Rezūm. “Even though I have a reputation management of prostate problems.

I switched to this procedure immediately.”

releases all the energy that changed the water into steam. This is a tremendous amount of energy and destroys much more prostate tissue than the conductive heat did conveyed by Prostiva. There is much less discomfort with Rezūm and when patients leave the office (usually in under 30 minutes), they experience no pain what so ever. Since June 2016, Dr. Young has performed just under 300 Rezūm procedures, almost twice as many as any other urologist in the United States and many, many more than any other urologists in the state of Florida. “The results have been so amazing and the patients have been so happy that Healthgrades.com notified me that based on my recent reviews and clicks on my site, I am now ranked in the top 100th percentile of all urologists in the United States. While I am very proud of that, it is also very humbling. I personally think this is biggest leap forward in the treatment of BPH that I will see in my lifetime.” COMPREHENSIVE CARE If you are a first-time patient of Dr. Young, you will receive a detailed examination.

Charles King, MD

“When I see a new patient I perform physical examinations and properly evaluate the patient’s symptoms, thus diagnosing the underlying problem(s),” Dr. Young said. “Next, I describe to the patient what’s normal and then explain what is abnormal with him. Lastly, I teach him his treatment options. If I’ve done a good job of teaching, he will select the correct option for himself.” While prescribing medications for enlarged prostate can be done by primary care physicians, only urologists are trained to thoroughly evaluate the bladder and prostate (including ruling out prostate cancer), as well as providing extremely effective minimally invasive, office-based therapies as alternatives to lifelong medical therapy. With an office staff with nearly as much experience as the doctor (many have worked with Dr. Young for 25 years), you don’t spend a great deal of time waiting to see him. “We pride ourselves in being timely in seeing our patients. We respect our patients’ time as much as we do our own. Patients appreciate this; many of our patients tell me I have the best office staff on the planet. I consider that a huge compliment.”

Emily Perry-Hartlein, ARNP, CUNP

Erin Zimmer, NP

James W. Young III, MD

So if you are waking up at night and have difficulty falling back asleep because you’re worried what may be wrong, then it is time to check in with Dr. Young and have him examine you. “Many men accept frequent bladder urges as part of aging. And while it is part of the aging process, it’s not like death and taxes. There is something you can do about it.” Prostate cancer screenings recommended annually over 50 years of age (At age 40 if family history or African American)


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LIVE ON STAGE! eepy and the kooky, mysterious and spooky” “The cr

Publisher Jennifer Murty


Magnolia Media Company, LLC 352-732-0073 1007 E Fort King Street, Ocala, FL 34471 Home of Ocala Style Magazine

Production Manager

Melissa Peterson melissa@magnoliamediaco.com

Art CREATIVE DIRECTOR Maureen Fannon maureen@magnoliamediaco.com

Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

May 16 – June 9 It’s a gleefully Gothic good time!

Tickets $27 adults / $13 full-time students with school ID


ACT 4 • Blanchard, Merriam, Adel, & Kirkland • Ocala’s Good Life Magazine • WIND FM

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Lisa Anderson lisaanderson@magnoliamediaco.com Kristy Taylor kristy@magnoliamediaco.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Ralph Demilio Meagan Gumpert John Jernigan Dave Miller Isabelle Ramirez Carlos Ramos ILLUSTRATOR Maggie Perez Weakley ASSISTANT FASHION EDITOR Elizabeth Martinez elizabeth@magnoliamediaco.com

Marketing MARKETING MANAGER Kylie Swope kylie@magnoliamediaco.com

352.236.2274 | OcalaCivicTheatre.com

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4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL 34470 In The Appleton Cultural Center



SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST Vianca Torres vianca@magnoliamediaco.com ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Cynthia Zamboli cynthia@magnoliamediaco.com

Editorial MANAGING EDITORS Karin Fabry-Cushenbery karin@magnoliamediaco.com Lisa McGinnes lisamcginnes@magnoliamediaco.com FOOD CONTRIBUTOR Chef Randal White CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kevin Christian Jim Gibson JoAnn Guidry Jesse James Cynthia McFarland Katie McPherson Judge Steven Rogers Patricia Tomlinson

Sales ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Evelyn Anderson evelyn@magnoliamediaco.com Kyle Bernhard kyle@magnoliamediaco.com Sherry Erhardt sherry@magnoliamediaco.com Skip Linderman skip@magnoliamediaco.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES Sharon Morgan sharon@magnoliamediaco.com

Distribution Dave Adams Rick Shaw

CONTRIBUTORS KATIE MCPHERSON WRITER Katie is a freelance writer who started her career in the office of Ocala Style. Today she lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Zack, and two extremely needy dogs. Outside of work you’ll find her listening to true crime podcasts, looking for excuses to go to Target or ordering Mexican food.

LISA MIDGET T WRITER Lisa Midgett has lived in Ocala for 25 years. She has an extensive background in management and has owned several small businesses. When she is not traveling with her husband, David, Lisa can be found horsing around at the couples’ farm, Redfish Farms Paso Fino.


CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION 352-620-9100 · Rothenburglaw.com Steven Rothenburg Attorney At Law 500 NE 8th Ave., Ocala, FL 34470

ISABELLE RAMIREZ PHOTOGRAPHER With formal education in biological sciences and a position as a coach at CrossFit Iron Legion, Isabelle is inspired by the human form and movement and photography is her passion. Originally from New York, she’s now raising her two small children in Ocala with her partner, Rocky, and dog Zoe.

APRIL ROSE WRITER & DIY’ER April Rose is a home, business and food stylist known for sharing DIY styles, making a room feel inviting and creating elaborate edible art displays. From grand events to grand spaces, she has been successfully leaving her mark since late 2017. Follow her on Instagram @aprilrosedesignco.


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MAGGIE WEAKLEY ILLUSTRATOR Maggie has been creating illustrations and portraits for companies and private collectors for over 30 years. Maggie is also the administrative coordinator for Fine Arts For Ocala. She is married to Kent and has two sons, Lucas and Max. View her work at www.MaggiesAngels.com.

Dr. Andrew Franklin, DPM, PHD

Dr. Sheila Noroozi, FACFAS

Dr. Kathleen Telusma, AACFAS

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Sugar Free Mint Julep ½ 1 6 3

teaspoon of monk fruit sweetener teaspoon water mint leaves ounces of bourbon crushed ice

Clap the mint leaves in your hand twice to bruise them, and then wipe the inside of your glass with the bruised leaves and leave them in your glass. (If you choose to muddle the leaves in the glass instead, be careful you don’t over bruise the leaves or you’ll get a bitter taste to your drink!) › Dissolve the monk fruit sweetener (to taste) with the teaspoon of water in the same glass with leaves, and fill glass with crushed ice. › The glass should start to frost on the outside shortly after you add the ice. Pour the bourbon over the crushed ice, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Bourbon tip: Use at least 100 proof bourbon because it will get diluted from ice melting. Crushed ice: Everyone should have a bag of Sonic ice in their freezer for times like these.

May ‘ 1 9





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TOWN Up, Up & Away! The Villages Balloon Festival The Villages Polo Club May 31, 1-9pm | June 1-2, 6:30am-9:30pm It’s a whole weekend of balloon fun—come for the hot air balloon flights, glows and tethered rides and stay to enjoy the “Fly Me to the Food” vendor alley with diverse food offerings from 20 food trucks, the “Bottoms Up” beer garden with refreshing beer and wine selections, and the Kids Zone with free entertainment for the youngsters. There will also be 85 vendors and plenty of live entertainment to keep you busy throughout the day. “We are thrilled to put on this event,” says Paige McCabe, The Villages director of polo. “This is a new and exciting way to bring entertainment to the area. We’re always looking to shake things up a little bit, and we intend to do this event bigger and better than ever!” www.thevillagesballoonfestival.com


Editors’ Picks A guide to our favorite monthly happenings and can’t-miss events. Written & Compiled By LISA MCGINNES

Ocala Downtown Criterium Brick City Center for the Arts May 4 | 12-6pm

Photo by Tammy Griffin

What is a criterium? It’s an official USA Cycling bicycle race through the downtown streets. Think super-fast road cyclists zooming around a six-corner course. This event is returning after nearly 20 years. Get a seat on a downtown patio to take in the action! www.topviewsports.com

Ride for the Arts Gran Fondo Brick City Center for the Arts May 5 | 8am-2pm

BHRS PACE Derby Day Florida Horse Park May 4 | 6:30-10:30am This annual event to raise money for the PACE Center for Girls is much more than the usual 5K run. Participants can choose a scenic 5K or 10K route along the Cross Florida Greenway or a 1-mile fun run. T-shirts are modeled after the jockey silk of 2018 Kentucky Derby winner JUSTIFY and winners’ ribbons are inspired by horse racing events. This is the final race in the Big Hammock Race Series, a year-long series of fitness challenges to support local charities. www.bighammockraceseries.com



Ride 15, 40 or 70 miles of the most scenic cycling routes in Marion County, over rolling hills dotted with giant live oak trees and passing by majestic horse farms with their spring foals frolicking in the pastures, to support the Marion Cultural Alliance. Now in its fifth year, the event is bigger and better with more post-race fun, including a catered lunch, beer garden, massages, prizes, a vendor village, art and entertainment. www.rideforthearts.com


The Addams Family: A New Musical

Photo by Ralph Demilio

Ocala Civic Theatre May 16-June 9 The iconic TV show comes to life in this marvelously morbid musical, a 2010 Broadway hit. Wednesday Addams is all grown up and in love with an ordinary young man from Ohio. On a dark and stormy night, the future in-laws arrive at the macabre mansion to meet the “creepy and the kooky, mysterious and spooky” Addams Family: Morticia and Gomez, Pugsley, Uncle Fester, Lurch and Grandma. www.ocalacivictheatre.com

Discover Downtown Ocala Ocala’s Historic Downtown May 8 | 5-10pm

2019 Symphony Gala Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club May 10 | 6pm This annual fundraiser gala to support the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and the Reilly Arts Center always sells out, so reserve your tickets right away. Enjoy an evening of live entertainment by Swing Theory, dinner, cocktails, dancing and a top-tier silent auction. www.reillyartscenter.com

Photo by Carlos Ramos

The second Wednesday of the month is the new night to stroll, shop and sip downtown. Start anytime between 5-8pm at The Wandering Soul; purchase something at any of the many participating locations, including Agapanthus, Ivy on the Square Boutique, Marion Cultural Alliance, Ocala’s Chocolates and Confections and many more; then bring your receipt to the afterparty at 8pm at Courtyard on Broadway and you’re entered to win prizes. www.facebook.com/feeldowntown

Symphony Under the Stars Ocala Golf Club May 12 | 4-9pm This annual Mother’s Day favorite presented by Fine Arts For Ocala just gets better and better: Gates open earlier this year at 4pm, kids 17 and under get in free and once again local songstress Miranda MADison will open the show at 5pm. As always, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Matt Wardell, will perform a family-friendly concert beginning at 7pm, and the event will end with the crowd favorite: an elaborate fireworks display at 8:45pm choreographed to the music. Bring your chairs and a picnic or rent chairs and purchase food on-site. Kids can make mom a gift at the free kids’ art tent, and there’s plenty of space for family fun and games. www.fafo.org

Ocala Skatepark Grand Opening 517 NE Ninth St. May 18 | 11am-3pm Get on board and come skate, finally! Ocala Recreation and Parks is excited to cut the ribbon for the new Ocala Skatepark, located just north of Tuscawilla Park. All ages are invited to this celebration, which includes a live DJ and food truck on-site. For more information, call (352) 368-5517.

May ‘ 1 9



Tyson Gurnsey

Caleb Ray

Bill Miller, OMBA local trail builder

Fat Tire Festival SANTOS TRAILHEAD Photos by DAVE MILLER Mike and Renee Blane, OMBA


linics, vendors, competitions, deals and lots of wheels! The 2019 Santos Fat Tire Festival, held March 8-10, offered riders of all skill levels three days of action-packed adventure along with the chance to take on the “Epic 50 ride” on the Santos mountain bike trails. With over 80 miles of trails for riders, this is a local treasure worth exploring. Mario Ayala, Maxwell Gledhill, Mark Audette

John Betancourt, Alex Crespi, JP Castro

Jack Martel, Angel Burgos of Santos Bike Shop

Cameron Johnson



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Joe Krens

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Pia Vanlangendonck, Deanna Eckhard, Anastasia Bohsali

Chef Kenny Gilbert

Ocala Culinary Festival Photos By DAVE MILLER


fter months of planning and prepping, the Ocala Culinary Festival returned for its third year April 4-7. Ocala celebrated chefs from far and wide, each offering an array of instaworthy meals alongside Ocala’s most brilliant local chefs. With four days of fine dining and a collaborative display of skills, each event and chef offered a different theme with carefully curated bites, craft cocktails and entertainment.

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Kellie Pesola, Krista and Danny Zack

Chef Digby Stridiron

Real People, Real S tories, Real O cala

Rusty Branson and Barry Gibson

Rashad Jones of Big Lee’s BBQ

Cody Chestnut of the Roots

Mike Rossignol of Roz Cigars Dr. Letef Vita aka DJ Cavem

Brooke Hall , Daneen Muscato

Mike and Kathy Holloway, Valerie and Hugh Dailey

May ‘ 1 9



Jorge Garcia-Bengochara

Parade of Nations DOWNTOWN OCAL A Photography by RALPH DEMILIO Leo


Driver Dwight Hughes

he Live Oak International Parade of Nations on March 7 offered a showcase of more than 25 breeds strutting through downtown Ocala. This year’s event hosted a new family area, beer garden and children’s activities. After the parade, attendees enjoyed music, including a live performance by Jeff Jarrett, as they met equestrian competitors from all over the country.

Cat Zimmerman

Elizabeth and Nicole Graff

Soja Weiss Haught



Anthony and Giada Ortiz

Real People, Real S tories, Real O cala

Aoife Reynolds

True Barup and Vilma Rosario

Holly Cartier



1st place: Niran Townsend and Shelby Kretchman, 2nd place: Stephanie Burns and Kassie Batten, 3rd place: Danielle Cordes and Alex Stevens

Karen, Kiera and Ted Dreaver

onuts, barbells and community support were on display at this year’s Down for Donuts event on March 23. CrossFit enthusiasts participated in fitness contests while local businesses competed in the truck pull competition, which was won by. Allen & Rogers AC & Refrigeration. Proceeds from this event raised funds for Gigi’s Playhouse of Gainesville, a Down syndrome achievement center.

Vilma Rosario

Truck Pull Winners, Allen & Rogers AC & Refrigeration

Ted and Kiera Dreaver

May ‘ 1 9



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Susan and John Morris

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ood and philanthropy met at CF’s annual Taste event on March 2, a night of culinary bites from local restaurants, craft beer tastings and live music, all to raise scholarship funds for College of Central Florida students. For the first time, the event was held at CF’s Vintage Farm Campus, which houses agribusiness and equine programs.

Jill Schuck, Beth Eiland, Sarah Roberts, Anastasia Bohsali

Larry Galyean

Stephen and Renaye Quintyne

Monica Hampton, Guy Lemieux, Elaine Lemieux, John Barber, Jena Brooks, Martha Carrasco, Lisa Herndon, George Carrasco

May ‘ 1 9



TREES Ocala Electric Utility, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program, is offering a limited number of FREE trees to customers through June 30, 2019 (while supplies last). By planting the right tree in the right place, you can reduce energy consumption by up to 20% each year. But the benefits don’t stop there: •

Trees improve air and water quality, help relieve stress, and make yards more enjoyable.

Trees help clean our water by reducing stormwater runoff and keeping chemicals, oil, and pollutants out of water supplies.

Studies have shown that children and youth living in greener neighborhoods are calmer and healthier.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and filter airborne pollution, reducing the conditions that cause asthma.


Communities are the Responsibility of Everyone

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Making The Everyday Special, Like Mimi Written By KATIE MCPHERSON Illustration by MAGGIE PEREZ WEAKLEY


y grandmother, Rita, always carried a stylish pocketbook that held her signature red lipstick and powder for her nose. She accessorized from her collection of beautiful bracelets and brooches, and her hair was always in place. For Easter lunches and Christmas dinners, she’d set out fine china place settings with gold flatware, crystal glasses, color-coordinated napkins, placemats and table runners and then cook enough for a family twice the size of ours. She was every bit the “Are you hungry? Did you get enough to eat? Here, have some more” grandmother we’ve all heard of. When my grandma, who we called Mimi, passed away in February, I spent time with my mother and sister sorting through old photos to find pictures for her memorial. It was healing to see her looking so vibrant and youthful. In every snapshot, she looked beautiful. We talked about how put-together she always looked and how she always made the holidays extra special when she hosted. Even when we would visit her in her last few months, she’d exert her last ounce of energy to put on a fresh shirt and comb her hair before we arrived. On the contrary, my mom, my sister and I have no qualms about leaving the house in leggings, no makeup

and a messy bun. We use paper plates on holidays, and everyone serves themselves buffet-style. My mom made a great point about why: “I miss holidays with her, but I value the time with my family more than washing and drying the china for an hour after dinner.” Mimi brought us up in a tradition of putting your best foot forward and making special occasions feel special, but something about the world today is a little less buttoned up, prim and proper. We gals are all aboard the hot mess express. We have jobs in addition to being mothers, wives or homemakers. Maybe the three of us are products of a different time, less concerned about bumping into someone we know in town or keeping up appearances. Now I have a set of Mimi’s china, trimmed in light blue flowers and gold edges, and the gold flatware I grew up seeing at every holiday. I plan to use some of these pieces when we host friends for dinner or our families for Thanksgiving. I agree with my mom about investing her time wisely, so doing the dishes can wait until everyone goes home. My hope is that the hour of washing and drying will be worth it because the effort made everyone who came feel special and cared for—just like Mimi always did so well.

May ‘ 1 9



Female Crime Fighters Written by LISA MCGINNES Photography by LISA ANDERSON


even female recruits are scheduled to graduate from the College of Central Florida’s criminal justice institute this summer. They’ll be in the minority—nationally about 15 percent of sworn officers are female—but the women who came before them have set them up for success: women like Kat Kelley, the college’s criminal justice coordinator.

“We’ve come light years,” says Kelley, who graduated from the state police academy 39 years ago Kelley was compelled this month. She vividly remembers to shift her focus, her first pair of uniform boots, devoting the next which symbolized the challenges female officers faced in the 1980s. two decades of her Because they didn’t come in life to advocating for women’s sizes, she had to stuff appropriate equipment the toes with paper for female officers… towels. And she’ll never forget the permanent bruising that came from a service belt that wasn’t made to fit women’s figures. However, none of the challenges deterred her, and she would go on to have a long, successful career with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. When another young female officer, Peggy Park, was murdered in Pinellas County in 1984, Kelley was compelled to shift her focus, devoting the next two decades of her life to advocating for appropriate equipment for female officers and traveling around the country on her time off to train both male and female officers to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible. “I told Peggy’s mother her death would not be in vain.” While earning her master’s degree in education, Kelley learned a lot about the physiological and psychological differences between men and women, which helped her develop defensive tactics training curricula as well as the first female officers’ survival course. “All officers should play to their strengths whether they’re male or female,” Kelley says, adding that mentoring is crucial. Kat Kelley




“Mentoring is so important, not just for women officers. Male officers could have a female supervisor. No matter what your social feelings are about a woman’s place, it’s important to mentor good, strong, ethical females, for everyone. Here at the academy, we support all our officers. But is there a soft spot in my heart for the females? Yes. You make friends for life.” Kelley points out that both the Marion County Sheriff ’s Office and Ocala Police Department have female officers who’ve worked their way up to the rank of major and who she says are excellent role models for young women: Tara Woods, major of special operations for OPD, who’s been on the force for 29 years Sandra Duryea and in 2011 was the first black female to advance to the rank of “I don’t know if it was my age, being naïve, I didn’t realize that lieutenant at the agency; and Major Alicia I may have a hurdle to overcome by going into a male-dominated Walker of MCSO, who’s been in the field for role,” she says. She does remember someone telling her she was 28 years and is now the bureau chief of the hired just because she was a woman and that “they were just law enforcement bureau. waiting for her to fail.” Her response? “I’m not going to fail.” “Women bring a different dynamic set of Duryea says she was lucky to have a mentor in Major Robin skills to the law enforcement profession, and Ford, who has been her supervisor at various times over the years. it is truly a benefit to their “She’s helped me a lot. She would tell agencies,” Major Walker me if she was disappointed in me, in a very says. She has sound advice constructive way. I totally trust her, and I Women bring a for young women: “If you would go to her because I knew she was going different dynamic set are looking into becoming to be straight up with me.” a law enforcement officer, As a single mom, Duryea says the support of skills to the law I implore you to never lose of her family was paramount. enforcement profession sight of why you chose My parents were totally supportive,” she and it is truly a benefit remembers. “Without their support I couldn’t this honorable profession and never second-guess have done the shift work and gotten my son to their agencies. your intuition. Always to daycare and school and extracurricular remember to treat activities.” Duryea’s son, Michael Fernland, - Major Alicia Walker everyone with respect now 27, graduated from college and works at because they will always remember how an Ocala insurance office. He knew even at a young age that law you treated them, and that is the positive enforcement was a tough career path for his mom, but he also impression you want to leave.” knew she loved it. It’s been 23 years since Sandra Duryea, “Even though she had to sacrifice her time with me, she lieutenant of evidence services at OPD, never sacrificed opportunities for me,” he says. “I remember my graduated from the academy at CF. She mother waking up and shining her boots and medals, pressing remembers there were two other females in her clothes and working long hours. My mother doesn’t believe her class, but she doesn’t remember being in quitting, and she instilled that in me growing up. Because of intimidated that she was choosing a maleher boldness, I know I can do anything I set my mind to, and I dominated field. appreciate her so much for being who she is.”

May ‘ 1 9







Photo by Ralph Demilio


aseball season is upon us, and baseball fans know one of the most important people on the team is the pitcher who is called upon near the end of the game. Despite all the events that unfold during the game, nothing is as important as getting the last few outs and securing his team’s win. The title given to this pitcher is, appropriately, “The Closer.” Similar to how baseball may be won or lost in the final moments of a game, the same may be said of how important the attorneys’ closing arguments may be. Closing arguments are the final opportunity for the attorneys to speak to a jury before the jurors begin their deliberations and (hopefully) render a verdict. Closing arguments in civil and criminal cases are very similar in that both sides have equal time to give their final arguments. The party with the burden of proving the case—the plaintiff or prosecution—has the opportunity to divide this time between an opening argument and a rebuttal after the defense has given its closing argument. When determining how much time each side desires for their closing arguments, trial courts are afforded the discretion of setting a time limit. However, I generally permit the attorneys to set their own time limit for closing arguments. Most trial lawyers would agree that having the final opportunity to speak to the jury is often viewed as an advantage. Knowing this, I’m always interested to see how the attorney for the plaintiff elects to divide their time for closing arguments. Years ago, I presided over a civil trial where the attorneys agreed to 30 minutes for closing arguments. Despite having the right to apportion this time as he wanted,

the plaintiff ’s attorney used 27 minutes for his initial closing argument. He played a portion of the video deposition of a doctor that did not appear to be crucial to the case. The defense attorney then made his closing argument and ended it by reminding the jury of the plaintiff ’s burden of proof and posing several rhetorical questions to the plaintiff ’s case. The plaintiff ’s attorney appeared frustrated when he stood for his rebuttal argument, Trial lawyers and I informed him that he had three typically pride minutes remaining. The plaintiff ’s themselves on their attorney simply had not reserved enough time to address the issues ability to deliver presented in the defense attorney’s closing arguments. closing argument. Just like the end of The trial judge instructs the jurors that what the attorneys say during closing a baseball game, the arguments is not evidence and the jury is verdict in a jury trial not to consider it as such. But this does may be decided by not mean the attorneys can say whatever they want. One of the common errors the very last pitch. made by attorneys is when they ask jurors to “imagine how they would feel” or to “put themselves in the shoes” of one of the parties in a case. These statements are characterized as improper “golden rule” arguments. Trial lawyers typically pride themselves on their ability to deliver closing arguments. Just like the end of a baseball game, the verdict in a jury trial may be decided by the very last pitch.

Judge Steven G. Rogers currently serves as a circuit court judge. He lives in Ocala with his wife, three children and an extremely spoiled Australian Shepherd.


and practices of local judges, which can be advantageous in the litigation process. At King Law Firm, your attorney is personally involved in every aspect of your case—from preparation and evaluation to resolution, unlike out-oftown mass advertising law firms that generally run their practices with nonlawyer case managers.

Given that we’ve chosen to live and raise our families in this community, we consider our clients as neighbors. We take it personally when fighting for those who have suffered by the negligence of another.

Greg King, Jarrod King, Chris Polak



o doubt you’ve been bombarded with advertisements and commercials for attorneys, but your choice doesn’t have to be complicated. You want to hire an attorney with a proven track record of taking cases similar to yours and resolving them for their full value—whether by settlement or trial. You want an attorney who has gone head to head in numerous high-powered negotiations involving millions of dollars every year. Ocala’s King Law Firm has that track record. Many attorneys who advertise for personal injury cases prefer out-of-court settlements. Why? They simply don’t have the skill to take cases to trial, forcing their clients to accept less than the case is worth. Insurance companies love attorneys who have a reputation of settling rather

than litigating. It takes the risk off the insurance companies, and they never offer these attorneys the fair value of their clients’ claims.

Insurances Companies Are “In The Know” Insurance companies know who “settles” as compared to who negotiates effectively and drives a hard bargain. They know that when King Law Firm represents a client, the case will go to trial and the attorneys will obtain jury verdicts for their clients. The truth of the matter is that most personal injury cases are settled prior to trial, but if your attorney doesn’t know the fine art of negotiation, you won’t get full value for your claim. A local lawyer also has personal knowledge of the past rulings

- Jarrod King

“We routinely talk to people who have fired the out-of-town law firms and tell us they never met or talked with a lawyer,” notes King Law Managing Shareholder Greg King. “What you’ll get with us is an attorney who is on your side and 100 percent committed to providing quality personal service and detailed attention to each client.”

Taking It Personally “Given that we’ve chosen to live and raise our families in this community, we consider our clients as neighbors. We take it personally when fighting for those who have suffered by the negligence of another,” says Senior Partner Jarrod King. “We’ll see to it that you are fully compensated and that those whose negligence endangers our neighbors are held accountable. If you or a loved one has been injured, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us for more information on how our local team can help you.” King Law Firm › 2156 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala › (352) 629-8747 › www.kinglawfirm.org May ‘ 1 9






Boggy also boasts an on-site, stateof-the-art medical center, with a 24-hour team of volunteer doctors and medical professionals. Camp provides as much relief for the parents as the children. They know their kids are well taken care of, and they have the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings and talk to other parents and volunteer counselors—many of whom were once campers here—and share their experiences. “It’s really just so heartwarming to see how good it makes them all feel,” Clark says. Boggy Creek is funded by donations, grants, sponsorships and corporate partners, which enables them to welcome kids free of charge, lifting yet another burden from families. It’s a labor of love that honors the original intent of its creators. “He was heavily involved here,” Clark remembers of Newman. “He’d walk the property before it was built and came back every year to interact and help encourage the kids. We still feel his presence every day.” Newman and Schwarzkopf left behind a nurturing, empowering legacy to cheer these kids on and give them the chance to do what they’re meant to do: Play. Get silly. Have fun. Get a moment away from the fight. For more information about Boggy Creek Camp, visit www.boggycreek.org.

Photos courtesy of Camp Boggy Creek


or kids battling serious and sometimes terminal diseases, it’s challenging to find a moment of respite to rejuvenate and recharge. “Fun” isn’t always an easy thing to manage for ill children and their families. Kids need to play. Kids should play. They shouldn’t have to fight disease. Sometimes a referee needs to call a timeout. Paul Newman and Norman Schwarzkopf understood that on a fundamental level. In 1996 the duo founded Camp Boggy Creek, a sprawling Shangri-La tucked into Central Florida where kids dealing with chronic or terminal illnesses come from all over the state to play all week long, free for a while from their usual routine. Here, the only responsibility is to simply be a kid. “These kids are often isolated when they’re going through surgeries and hospital stays,” explains June Clark, president and CEO. “They can’t go to a ‘regular’ camp like other children because of their medications, treatments or possible emergencies they may have. So when they come to Boggy, it’s empowering for them, because they’re able to do things they don’t normally get to do.” The 232-acre facility offers swimming, boating, fishing, horseback riding, indoor and outdoor games, archery, woodshop, a theatre and woodworking and craft shops. Camp


Class Acts

School news from Marion County Public Schools By KEVIN CHRISTIAN, APR , CPRC

First-Try Perfection These three Vanguard High juniors aced the ACT college entrance exam on their first try! Joshua Nwakoby, Conrad Hellwege and Graham Cope all scored a 36 on the exam. The average score is 21. All three juniors are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Vanguard and say they relied more on the testing format, timing and other technical components in addition to just academics to reach the perfect score.

Expo Preps Tomorrow’s New Hires Hundreds of middle and high school students focused their efforts on one recent event to prepare for successful futures: the fourth annual Youth Career EXPO held at Circle Square Cultural Center. A joint effort between CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion and Marion County Public Schools, industry leaders shared the importance of high demand careers in our community. Students spoke directly with business leaders about the importance of soft skills in today’s job market. Other partners included the Chamber and Economic Partnership, the College of Central Florida, the Public Education Foundation of Marion County and MidFlorida Regional Manufacturers Association.

STEAMed for Success Hundreds of students presented STEAM-based projects for the second annual STEAM Showcase recently at West Port High, not to be confused with the annual science fair! The event offered plenty of displays about science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics. Following several hours of judging, district leaders handed out awards in the school’s auditorium.

Hurricanes Hit The Windy City The Marching Hurricane Band from Lake Weir High School traveled in two buses for hours to reach Chicago in time to march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Director Michael Jennings and nearly 100 members made the trek north just in time to kick off spring break.

May ‘ 1 9




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Screening 3D Mammography discovers even tiny abnormalities that may require additional testing. Luckily, most abnormalities are harmless – but to be certain, Breast MRI provides fine details so your RAO radiologist and clinician can gain a complete picture of your health, for the best possible outcome.

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Weddings Celebrating Ocala’s Newest Brides And Grooms

HEATH & KINLEY MORGAN December 8, 2018 Photography by Eighteenth Hour Photo Venue: The Home of Kinley’s Grandmother, in Ocala’s Historic District “Her favorite memory: The venue: my grandma’s house. Her house has been the setting for our crazy Christmas parties, Easter Sundays and other celebrations that serve as a fun excuse to get together as a family. Both my parents and my aunt and uncle held their receptions at Grandma’s, so it’s a special tradition that I was excited to carry on.”

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FORREST & BROOKE OPITZ February 9, 2019 Photography by Brittany Bishop Venue: C Bar Ranch Her favorite memory: “Dancing the night away with our family and friends. We had such a great time, and I loved seeing everyone enjoying their evening and helping us celebrate our marriage.”

CHRIS & BROOKE PERRIN September 14, 2018 Photography by Dalton Hobbs Venue: Dunnellon Train Depot Her favorite memory: “Our ceremony was completely focused on God and our commitment to each other and our daughter.”

May ‘ 1 9


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An Unexpected Journey Written by JOANN GUIDRY Photography by ISABELLE RAMIREZ


nlike most in her profession, Crystal Fernung was not a horse-crazy kid. There was no first pony, no riding lessons. And yet over the course of four decades, Crystal and her husband, Brent, who didn’t have a horse-based childhood either, have gone from young horse grooms to leading Florida thoroughbred breeders. For the past five years, the Fernungs have been among the top 10 Florida breeders, recording earnings of more than $1.5 million in 2018.


“I grew up in Sharpsville, Indiana, a small town with no contact with horses of any kind,” says Crystal. “I was 17 and thinking of joining the Navy when I met Brent. He was pre-vet at Purdue University. He had gotten the thoroughbred bug when he picked up a Daily Racing Form at a newsstand near Purdue. He quit school and went to work at Lasater Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.” At 18, Crystal married Brent, then 22. He came back to Indiana to work for a state highway company for the next year but Crystal knew thoroughbreds were never far from Brent’s mind. “As luck would have it, Brent’s brother, John, was working at the Ocala division of Lasater Farm,” says Crystal. “We came down for vacation in 1977 and got offered groom jobs at the farm. I fell in love with the farm. It felt like home right away.” It was a decision that would shape the rest of the Fernungs’ lives, both personally and professionally. “We lived on the farm, and I began learning about thoroughbreds,” says Crystal. “I cleaned stalls, groomed and worked in the office. And I would help Brent with foaling the mares.” For Crystal, her first foaling experience was a significant moment in her evolution as a horsewoman. “The first thing that surprised me was how quiet the whole foaling process was. the mares, foals and the stallions.” Everyone and even the mare was so calm,” Over the course of the next 13 years, she recalls. “Then, as soon as the foal was Lasater Farm would become Southland born, I was so amazed at the mare’s instant Farm. And by that maternal instincts: She time, Brent had licked her newborn foal become farm manager. and urged it to stand We came down for When Southland and nurse. It was such a vacation in 1977 and Farm later changed beautiful moment.” ownership and became In 1980, Crystal and got offered groom Franks Farm, the Brent became parents jobs at the farm. Fernungs decided it with the birth of their I fell in love with was time to venture daughter, Casey. out on their own. In “When I had Casey, the farm. It felt like 1989, they established I remembered that home right away. Journeyman first foaling and then I Bloodstock Inc. understood that instant “We picked maternal bond,” says Journeyman because we felt we weren’t Crystal. “While Casey grew up, I stepped apprentices anymore. Although in the back a little from being so involved on the thoroughbred industry, you really never farm. I concentrated on raising my child stop learning,” says Crystal. “We started and focused on my art, another love of out with three mares, two yearlings, mine. Of course I painted the farm horses,



rented stalls and paddocks. Later, we bought 52 acres in Reddick and moved our operation there.” As the operation grew and Casey went off to college, then law school, Crystal was again immersed in the business. In 2000, Brent became the general manager of CloverLeaf Farms II, a position he would hold for the next seven years. “Brent and I had always been a team. But his main focus now was CloverLeaf,” says Crystal. “Now I was in charge of Journeyman’s day-to-day operation. I took mares to the breeding shed, did the foaling, did the sales prepping, set up and handled the sales. Those seven years are when I really came into my own as a horsewoman.” Included among its many successes, the Fernungs’ Journeyman Bloodstock bought and sold two mares who later produced Kentucky Derby winners: Eileen’s Moment, the dam of 1992 Kentucky


May ‘ 1 9



Derby winner Lil E. Tee, and I’ll Get Along, the dam of 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones. When CloverLeaf Farms closed in 2007, the Fernungs established Journeyman Stud, a subsidiary of Journeyman Bloodstock. They built a 9,000-square-foot, 14-stall stallion barn and office complex on their farm in 2008. Wildcat Heir, the leading Florida stallion from 2010-2015, stood at Journeyman Stud until his death in 2015. Currently, four stallions stand at Journeyman Stud. Additionally, the Journeyman Bloodstock training division is based at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales (OBS) Training Center. The Fernungs also own the 90-acre Journeyman II, four miles from the stud farm and where their broodmare band



into the world is very special,” says Crystal. resides. From January to June, foaling “When every foal is born, I always say, season dominates the Fernungs’ life. ‘Welcome to the world, little one. Are Typically, 60 foals, their own and those you the one?’ Everyone of clients, are born in the business is annually on the farm. hoping for that one big “But it’s not just What I learned horse, and every new foaling season, it’s foal renews that hope. also breeding season, along the way is My recommendation training season, sales that being a woman to anyone interested season,” says Crystal. is not a hindrance in getting into the “So our days start at 5am; then you get up to in the thoroughbred thoroughbred industry is to buy a broodmare and foal mares in the wee industry. breed their own foal. It’s hours of the morning, the most gratifying part usually 2-4am. There’s of the industry to watch a foal grow up and a lot of sleep deprivation.” become a racehorse. Horses can change And yet foaling mares is still Crystal’s owners, but you’ll always be the breeder.” favorite aspect of being in the industry. Outside of their business, the Fernungs “Helping and seeing a new foal come are involved in other aspects of the industry and community. Brent is in his third year as board president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association. Crystal is on the board of the Marion Cultural Alliance and was previously on the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) Equine Committee. “The thoroughbred industry is a big part of the Ocala/Marion County community. It’s why we’re known as ‘The Horse Capital of the World,’” says Crystal. “I encourage everyone to visit some farms and go to the OBS sales. You don’t have to know anything about horses, and you’ll learn a lot. I didn’t know anything about thoroughbreds when I came to Ocala, so I can relate.” Today, some of the paintings that Crystal did of the Lasater Farm stallions hang in the Journeyman Stud office. On Crystal’s desk, there’s a black and white photo taken by a young Casey of her parents walking together through a paddock after turning out mares and foals. To Crystal, both are reminders of her journey. “What I learned along the way is that being a woman is not a hindrance in the thoroughbred industry. There are a lot of amazing women in the industry,” says Crystal. “For Brent and I, our lives have been entwined in the thoroughbred industry for more than four decades. As a young girl, it was not the life that I imagined for myself. And now I can’t imagine having any other life.”

Perseverance. A powerful element in fighting cancer.


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Written by JOANN GUIDRY Photography by JOHN JERNIGAN


he 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, aka the Run for the Roses, is Saturday, May 4, at Churchill Downs. Kentucky Derby glasses are considered the most popular of all the famed race’s collectibles. A gift glass began Tammy Gantt’s 62-piece-andcounting Kentucky Derby glass collection. “I won a sports journalism award in 1994 and part of that honor included a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum,” says Gantt, associate vice president/member services and events for the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association. “At the museum, we were given the 1994 Kentucky Derby glass, and that started my collection.” Over the years, Gantt received other glasses as gifts and bought many more at flea markets and garage sales. Her collection, on display in a glass case in her FTBOA office, is complete from 1954 to the present. “People collect glasses from the derbies they attended, from the year that your favorite horse won or the Triple Crown glasses. People buy them to give away at their Kentucky Derby party,” says Gantt. “It’s a fun collectible.”



Kentucky Derby Glasses 101


Churchill Downs management noticed that those attending the 64th running of the Kentucky Derby were pilfering a souvenir—water glasses used to serve mint juleps in the dining room—and an idea was born.


The Libbey Glass Company of Toledo, Ohio, was contracted by Churchill Downs to create a true colored mint julep glass. Patrons were charged an extra 25 cents per meal to keep the souvenir glass. The 1939 glass is considered by collectors to be the first true Kentucky Derby glass.


There were three variations of the 1940 Kentucky Derby glass: an aluminum tumbler, a glass without the date and a glass with the date. The aforementioned 1939 glass and the 1940 dated glass are the most rare and valuable, worth $6,000-$16,000 depending on their condition.

Sources: derbymuseum.org; churchilldowns.com

Roses Of Glass



Due to glass and aluminum rationing during World War II, the Kentucky Derby glass was a ceramic-type tumbler of various colors produced by the Beetleware Corporation. These can fetch $2,500 and up depending on the color.



The second variation of this year’s glass had the 1957 winner Iron Liege printed at the top and was sold only in the Churchill Downs infield.


With the end of WWII, the Kentucky Derby glasses were again made of glass. There were three different glasses produced: a tall frosted, short frosted and a jigger or juice glass.

This is the first year the glasses were available for sale in retail outlets outside of Churchill Downs. There was also a mistake on the 1974 glass: Canonero II, the 1971 Kentucky Derby winner, was listed as only Canonero. That error, once corrected, led to four variations of the 1974 glass.





For unknown reasons, only blank undecorated Kentucky Derby glasses were produced, and most collectors do not recognize any glasses from these years.

This is the first year that a list of all Kentucky Derby winners was printed on the glasses, a tradition that continues today. However, no one is sure why, but the list of Kentucky Derby winners was omitted from 1950, 1952, 1958 and 1969.

About 100,440 Kentucky Derby glasses mistakenly had the Triple Crown symbol by 1932 Derby winner Burgoo King instead of 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral.

PB Licensing USA began to manufacture the Kentucky Derby glasses, which have been designed by SME, a branding agency, for the past 13 years. Each year’s glass sells for $6-$7 and 750,000 Kentucky Derby glasses are produced each year.

May ‘ 1 9



A Safe Haven Written by CYNTHIA MCFARL AND Photography by DAVE MILLER


he sun has already set, but a lingering splash of gold and pink still stains the western sky. Shadows are lengthening as a motorist driving along the two-lane county highway glimpses two dark shapes in the brush not far off the road As the driver slows, she realizes the bulky silhouettes are two large cows, hard to see because they are mostly black. Pulling safely to the side of the road, the motorist reaches for her cell phone and dials 911 to report the exact location of the cattle before continuing on her way. A sheriff ’s deputy is quickly dispatched to the location and a call is made to Marion County Animal Services (MCAS). That’s right, in addition to dogs and cats, MCAS is the agency that steps in whenever livestock within the 1,600-square-mile boundary of Marion County need help. This includes loose or stray large animals, such as the



cows spotted by the good Samaritan driver, as well as farm animals that are confiscated due to cruelty or neglect. The facility is known as Shocker Field, because it is located adjacent to the Shocker Park softball complex. Covering 40 acres in the southeastern part of the county, the farm has multiple large pastures, a pole barn and several smaller shelters and corrals. MCAS has owned and operated the In addition to dogs farm for about 10 years. Jim Sweet, MCAS and cats, MCAS acting director, explains is the agency that how an animal might steps in whenever come to be at the facility: Upon notification livestock within of a stray or loose Marion County livestock animal, need help. Marion County Animal Control responds and temporarily secures the animal to ensure its safety while the animal control officer attempts to locate the owner. “If an animal’s owner is not located within the time deemed safe for the stray animal to remain in temporary holding, we impound the animal and transport it to the

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COUNTRY farm,” Sweet says. “We hope this relocation is temporary and that the owner contacts Animal Control to reclaim their animal.” The “stray hold” of four days applies to all pets except cattle, which must be auctioned per Florida statutes. When Animal Control receives a complaint about an animal being neglected, an animal control officer responds to the site and assesses the animal. “Before leaving the area, the officer will communicate with any neighbor and leave notices requesting the owner contact Animal Services,” Sweet explains. In cases of cruelty or neglect, Animal Services can legally confiscate the animal and the owner loses custody. Soon after arriving at the MCAS farm, each animal receives a thorough evaluation and assessment by a veterinarian who works with the county. Staff then follow the veterinarian’s recommendations for care and rehabilitation. Impounded animals may be seriously underweight and malnourished, so it often takes time and careful attention to bring them back to health before they can be adopted. Although the majority of livestock animals are housed at the Shocker Field location, Sweet notes that animals such as foals, calves, goats, ducks and chickens that



aren’t suitable for a pasture environment the idea of adopting one pig as a pet for her are cared for at the main MCAS location. sons. That quickly changed after meeting On occasion, some rather unusual the personable pigs. critters end up in MCAS custody. Some “I decided our family needed all three; of the more unexpected my boys wanted to keep animals have included them together!” says Impounded animals Mullins, adding that ostriches, emus, turtles and even a large they named the porcine may be seriously bearded dragon lizard trio Crisco, Pugsley and underweight and that a Marion County Hamlet. The Mullins malnourished, so it resident was surprised family couldn’t be to find rummaging in her often takes time and happier with their fouroutdoor garbage can. legged family members careful attention to As of this writing, and even bought the pigs bring them back to there are 16 horses their own soccer ball to and four pigs at the play with. health before they Shocker Field farm MCAS is happy to can be adopted. up for adoption. Fees work with new owners are quite reasonable, by explaining feeding with horses adopted for $125, and a $25 and care requirements for horses and adoption fee for animals such as pigs and other livestock. goats. As in the case with dogs and cats, Even those not able to adopt can make the farm operates as a “no kill” facility; a difference through making donations, animals remain in MCAS custody until which save taxpayer dollars. Horse and they are adopted. livestock equipment are also welcome, Last summer, Marion County Animal says Sweet. Control brought in three potbellied pigs after they were reported as strays. Since Learn more › Marion County Animal they were never reclaimed by their owners, Services › www.marioncountyfl. the pigs went up for adoption. They were org/animal ›www. facebook.com/ only at the Shocker Field facility for about a marioncountyanimalservices › month before Amy Mullins stopped in with (352) 671-8700





right here in Ocala, while id you know that FIFA World keeping fees affordable Cup champion and Olympic gold for families. Supporting medalist Abby Wambach got her soccer is a natural fit for start at her local soccer club? So did Clint Ocala Health, according to Dempsey, who would go on to play for the Lauren Debick, Ocala Health director of U.S. in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With public relations and communications. the opportunities Big Sun provides for “Ocala Health Marion County is excited for the kids, the sky’s Building character and opportunity to the limit! The be the premier No. 1 goal at Big developing lifelong skills sponsor for the Big Sun Youth Soccer like good sportsmanship Sun Youth Soccer League is to keep and giving back to the League because kids playing locally. we believe in the Thanks to a community is part of the importance of new partnership Big Sun culture. youth sports and with Ocala Health, the commitment to Big Sun’s 2019- Josh Scroggie an active lifestyle,” 2020 season will she says. “Many of our employees have offer more young people the chance to kids and grandkids who participate on receive quality training and play soccer



local sports teams, and we are thankful for the coaches and parents who dedicate their time and encouragement to make it possible for these kids to get involved in organized athletics from a young age.” For more than 30 years, Big Sun has been the soccer club for Marion County kids of all ages—3 to 99. Playing youth soccer has many benefits; not only does it keep kids active physically, it helps with brain development and gaining valuable experience in teamwork and conflict resolution. “Our ultimate aim is to support individuals and teams in pushing the boundaries of their personal development, whatever their level may be,” says

Matt Weston, Ocala Premier Soccer director of coaching. “Big Sun has qualified, high-impact coaches and trainers on and off the field,” says Josh Scroggie, executive president and recreational league president. “Building character and developing lifelong skills like good sportsmanship and giving back to the community is part of the Big Sun culture. I think the game is a great teacher for the skills of life and healthy living.” Scroggie was on one of Big Sun’s very first teams as a kid in 1983, which sparked a lifelong love of soccer that would lead him to play and coach in high school and return to Big Sun as a coach after college. The volunteer-run nonprofit started in 1981 at Ocala’s Jervey Gantt Park and moved to its current location across the street in 1989. Over the years, as soccer became more and more popular, Big Sun added competitive (travel) and adult programs, and last year it added the elite program, Central Florida United, taking soccer to the next level. Coach Abbie Camargo wants to make sure kids have the same opportunities she had—to play soccer recreationally, then competitively and then through college. She and her twin sister started playing at Big Sun as young kids, with their dad as their coach. “Half of us went on to play college soccer,” she says. “All of us wanted to play at the next level, and we enjoyed going to practice and giving 110 percent.” Although the competitive and elite programs do have paid coaching staff, Big Sun relies heavily on volunteers—from the governing board to administration to recreational coaches—and families are encouraged to actively participate. “The best way to contribute to the improvement of our league is to get involved,” says Executive Board Member Dana Parker, whose daughter and son have played at Big Sun for the past five years. “Volunteering at Big Sun is a great way to earn required hours counting toward scholarships and educational requirements.” Big Sun offers three youth programs and two adult programs. In the youth division, all children are welcome to play at recreational beginner and intermediate levels. Parents pay a registration fee, which

Want To Get Involved? » Sign up now for youth Recreational soccer for the fall. » Pre-register for Ocala Premier Soccer. Tryouts are May 14-16 for next year. » Pre-register for Central Florida United. Tryouts are coming in June. covers uniforms and medals. Twice-weekly practices and Saturday morning games are held at the Big Sun Complex. At the competitive level, young people can try out for Ocala Premier Soccer teams, which practice two to four times per week at Ocala Rotary Sportsplex and play weekend games against other Greater Central Florida Youth Soccer League teams. At the elite level, players from six area clubs come together to represent at high-level tournaments both in and out of state under the brand Central Florida United. Big Sun Youth Soccer League 2811 SE 36th Avenue, Ocala (352) 694-4778 www.ocalasoccer.org

» Sign-up for Adult recreational and competitive soccer for the fall. » Join us for the Annual General Meeting on May 13 at 7pm in the Big Sun conference room. » Visit our website for upcoming summer camps and tournaments. To register or get more information, visit www.ocalasoccer.org.

May ‘ 1 9


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Women Trailblazers Written by Cynthia McFarland and Katie McPherson Photography by John Jernigan

Throughout history, fearless women have stepped up to become the first in their fields. Four local women share their inspiring stories.

May ‘ 1 9



Jo Ann Doke Smith

hen Jo Ann Doke Smith was barely 9 years old, she was helping her father move a group of cattle across the highway when one of the calves broke away. “Daddy lassoed that calf and told me to hold onto it. The calf took off, and I held on, even though I took some flips and falls and got gravel in my knees. When Daddy caught up with me, he said, ‘Why didn’t you let go?’ I said, ‘You told me to hold on!’ I wasn’t about to let that calf outsmart me,” Jo Ann laughs, remembering. That recollection speaks volumes about this fourthgeneration Floridian who grew up in a family that raised crops and commercial beef cattle and later became the first woman president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the country’s largest agricultural organization. “My dad served in World War I; he promised the good Lord that if he got back to the U.S. he would help feed people,” relates Jo Ann. Lacy Doke did make it back stateside and fulfilled his promise. He grew string beans and Irish potatoes to help feed the troops during WWII, in addition to farming and raising cattle for the rest of his life. “My sister Mary and I had no brothers; we were Daddy’s tomboys, and we loved that,” says Jo Ann. “We loved to ride horses, but even more important was that my interest in the farming and cattle meant I got to spend time with my father. He was a very strong influence on me. He was a marvelous farmer and cattleman, and a wise gentleman. He taught



us that whatever we did, we needed to care about people and leave things better than we found them.” Jo Ann was just 18 when she married Cedrik Smith, a farm boy from Wacahoota, a tiny hamlet outside Gainesville, whose family were cattle and vegetable producers. The couple had two children: son Marty, who is a cowboy and attorney in Ocala, and daughter Terri (Kane), now a CPA in Ocala. Jo Ann worked as accountant and office manager in the family business, Smith Brothers Farming, Ranching and Construction Companies. Her influence soon spread far beyond the border of their Wacahoota ranch as she became active on multiple agriculture councils and committees, including serving as president of the Florida Cattlewomen’s Association from 1970 to 1972. She was also chairman of the board of then Munroe Regional Hospital in the ‘70s. In 1985 she was selected Woman of the Year in Agriculture by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. That same year she became president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and to this day is considered one of the organization’s most effective leaders. In addition to numerous appearances before Congress and on television, she traveled to Japan and China on successful trade missions to open up Asian markets to U.S. beef imports. Jo Ann notes that a major highlight of her career has been getting to know cattle producers across the U.S. and around the world. She was founding chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, under which she spearheaded and developed the highly successful Beef Checkoff Program. “We worked hard to get this program through Congress and implemented,” says Jo Ann. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush appointed her as the Assistant Secretary of Marketing and Inspection of the U. S.

Department of Agriculture. During the 1990s, while still working on her family’s operation, she served on corporate boards for Purina Mills, Iowa Beef Producers and Tyson Foods Inc. Throughout her career, Jo Ann has worked on vital issues such as food safety, consumer awareness and nutrition. In 1982 and again in 1988, she was named “Man of the Year in American Agriculture” by Progressive Farmer magazine, the “man” part of the title making her chuckle. In 2015, she was inducted into both the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and the International Meat Association. Although Florida has seen a great deal of development in Jo Ann’s lifetime, she’s glad there are still plenty of farms and ranches in the state. In fact, five of the nation’s top 10 cow-calf operations are located in Florida. Despite all she has accomplished off the farm, Jo Ann is most proud of her children and family, including her four grandchildren. “They are wonderful people with tremendous values,” she says. “I have been blessed, and I know it. I’m grateful to God every day.” Retirement isn’t really in her vocabulary. Jo Ann continues to live on the ranch where the family runs some horses and cattle and produces timber. She also stays active serving on the boards of Community Bank & Trust and Clay Electric Cooperative. “I can look out my window and see the bulls in the pasture. I like to dig in the dirt and garden some,” says Jo Ann about life these days. Hearing the wind through the pines and seeing cattle in her fields still makes this cowgirl smile.

Trailblaz May ‘ 1 9


azers 60



Mary Sue Rich

desire to work hard and help others was instilled in Mary Sue Rich as a young girl. It’s a lesson she obviously learned well, as she’s continued to do just that throughout her life. Born in Ocala, Mary Sue was raised in a loving home by parents who adopted her as an infant. “I was fortunate to have been adopted by wonderful people who really loved me,” she says. And that love of family has always remained strong. Mary Sue was married to Franklin R. Rich for 52 years; he passed away in 2011. The couple was blessed with four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, all of whom give her great joy. Her city also brings her joy. And Mary Sue Rich is quick to acknowledge that she has seen plenty of changes in her hometown over the past seven decades. “When I was growing up, State Road 40 was an unpaved road,” she recalls. “The city was also segregated, and a lot of people believed in that. I’ve seen a lot of growth, most of it for the betterment of Ocala.” After earning a degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida, Mary Sue worked for the Florida Department of Corrections as a correctional probation senior supervisor. In 2003 she retired after 27 years with the department. “You can help so many people working in probation and parole,” says Mary Sue. “People on probation don’t want to be there; they made a mistake, and they

want to turn their lives around.” While working in corrections, she was instrumental in starting 1st Step Inc. and has served as president of that program for nearly 20 years. Through 1st Step Inc., Marion County judges require someone sentenced to probation to pay $1 for each month they’re on supervision. This money is then used in a variety of ways, including buying groceries and paying rent to providing Christmas toys for their children. For her efforts, Mary Sue received Distinguished Service Awards from the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency and Central Florida Community College. In the mid-1990s, Mary Sue ran for the Ocala City Council, believing it was a way to do more for the citizens of Ocala. She was the first female African-American elected to the council and has represented District 2, which encompasses the city’s far west side, since November 1995, making this her 24th year of service. “I’ve really enjoyed being on the council and have met a lot of wonderful people,” she says, emphasizing that serving is about many people working together rather than anything she’s done as an individual. Mary Sue Rich has seen a great deal of change in her lifetime, and if she has her way, there will be more, particularly for the part of town she calls home. She would love to see infrastructure in west Ocala similar to that on the east side of the city. For example, the area needs a grocery store where residents can buy fresh produce, a bank and a community center, ideally with a library. Whether it’s working with young people through organizations like Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) or participating in community-based programs like the Weed and Seed Task Force to help “weed out” crime and “seed in” positive actions, Mary Sue has been a bright light throughout the neighborhoods of west Ocala.

In recognition of her involvement in many community service projects, Mary Sue received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Way of Marion County in 2005. “What’s near and dear to my heart now is the homeless situation in Ocala,” she notes. “All cities have homeless, and we have a lot. While there are different organizations that help feed and clothe them, we’re trying to get homes for them. The city is planning on building a shelter; we want to have a place for them to come in off the street during the day and be able to look for the services they need.” Mary Sue chairs the Racial Harmony and Cultural Awareness Task Force, which she helped start in the early 2000s, inspired by a lecture on racism she heard at a national event. The task force holds their Unity Breakfast every October and observes a week of diverse activities for all citizens of the city. “It’s open to anyone to join,” says Mary Sue. “We come up with ideas on how we can get to know each other and better associate with each other. We all want the same things: for our children to have safe schools, to have a good job and food on the table. We’re more alike than we are different.” Of all she’s done in a lifetime of community service, Mary Sue is perhaps most proud of starting the Racial Harmony and Cultural Awareness Task Force and 1st Step Inc. “I feel these have made a big difference. I definitely think we’re getting better as a community,” says Mary Sue. May ‘ 1 9



Janet W. Behnke

anet W. Behnke has practiced law in Ocala for more than 47 years, serving clients in almost every area of civil law. Today, her practice is focused on family law, wills and probate, and real property litigation. She is also a mediator, with certifications in circuit civil, family, county and appellate mediation. Her legal career has included years of positions held, lessons learned and barriers broken. Janet’s family moved to Ocala in 1959. She attended Ocala Junior High School (now Osceola Middle School) and Ocala High School (now Marion Technical Institute). She has lived here ever since, except while in Gainesville attending the University of Florida from 1963 through 1971 and seven months in Lexington, Kentucky, right after completing law school. “The women’s movement helped make my legal education possible. I might not have considered it had I not read Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique, written in 1963, the year I graduated from high school. I was admitted to the Florida Bar on November 19, 1971 and returned to Ocala to practice law in early 1972. My legal education and my admission to the bar opened doors for me that had not opened for other women in Ocala prior to 1972,” Janet says. Back in Ocala in the 1970s, she was the only practicing female attorney in the entire five-county judicial circuit. In her career, Janet has represented clients before the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission, the Florida



Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida’s First and Fifth District Courts of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Florida and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. But none of those things came easily. “The most common stereotype in the late 1960s and into the 1970s was that a woman was not as capable as a man by virtue of her gender,” she recalls. “A woman was simply a different class of citizen. Even with my law degree and admission to the bar, my law firm questioned whether it was appropriate for me to attend the monthly luncheon meeting of the local bar association, since the only members were men. At my first court appearance in Ocala, opposing counsel told the judge that he would not remain in the courtroom with ‘that female lawyer.’ I replied that I had no objection to his leaving, but I was staying.” In 1977, Janet became a charter member of Altrusa International of Ocala, of which she has now been a member for 42 years. Her leadership was recognized again in 1980 when she became the first woman president of the Marion County Bar Association—her welcome at the monthly luncheon meetings no longer in question— and again in 1981 when she was named the first woman president of the Ocala Marion County Chamber of Commerce. After being passed over as county school board attorney in 1978 because the majority of the board did not think a woman was appropriate for the job, Behnke earned the appointment in 1984 and held the position for 10 years. Janet even served as a Marion County court judge from 1994 to 1995, as only the second woman judge in Marion County. There are four serving female judges in Marion County today. “I had been practicing 22 years, and I served as a judge less than a year. It was an honor and a privilege and gave me insight that has helped me be a better lawyer,” she says. Janet maintains a passion for Marion

County today, because in her words, “What’s not to be passionate about?” “Ocala inspires community service. I grew up swimming in Silver Springs, Juniper Springs and Rainbow Springs. We have amazing horse farms, HITS and the Ocala National Forest. We have such a vibrant arts community— the Appleton Museum of Art, the Reilly Arts Center and the Ocala Symphony Orchestra. We have the Ocala Culinary Festival. We have FAFO. Our downtown gets more fabulous every time I turn around. We have so many bighearted charitable organizations. We have so many opportunities to participate in so many different areas and such generous people with whom to participate,” she says. Aside from her practice, Janet enjoys community service, spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, cooking and streaming BBC mysteries. She has been a member of the YMCA since the early 1990s and still walks, swims and strength trains to stay in shape. “I have a loving family that is very supportive and a very full life,” Janet says. “Going to law school was against the norm for women in 1969. There were three women in my class of approximately 70 students and only nine women in the entire law school of 700 students. Now, at least half of law students are women. Although I was the first woman to practice law in the circuit, other women before me had law degrees and at least one had been admitted to the bar. I stand on their shoulders, and I hope my successes have helped the women who have come after me.”

Trailblaz May ‘ 1 9




ail Cross and her husband, Scott Cross, have lived in Ocala for 42 years. In the late 1970s, Cross was working in the Gainesville school system and had become an adjunct professor at the University of Florida, and her husband was beginning a law practice in Ocala. When the couple decided they liked Ocala enough to call it their forever home, she began looking for ways to embed herself within her new community. That opportunity soon arose. “I was winding down at the university, and some people here in town talked to me about running for the county commission, and I said, ‘No, thank you. I’m not interested in zoning and roads,’” Gail says. “They said, ‘That’s the whole point. We want to do something broader.’ Frankly, when I first decided to run, I thought it was public service and was very naïve about how political it was. I decided to do it and trudged all over this county talking to people, and then ended up getting elected.” Gail was elected to the Marion County Board of Commissioners in 1984, becoming the first woman to be elected to the commission. So it was time to get to work. She met with colleagues and county residents to develop a vision for Ocala’s growth. “You read in the paper now all these brouhahas about development changes and zoning changes. Back then there was no comprehensive plan at all, no long-term vision of what we would look like in the future,” Gail explains. “We were experiencing sudden growth, so the question was, if we don’t want to end up looking like Orlando, what do we do instead? How were we going to manage our growth in a positive way

Gail Cross so we don’t have urban sprawl everywhere? That was difficult for people to understand, people in the building industries and such.” After years of spearheading the effort, Gail was able to enact a comprehensive land use plan and impact fees to help manage the county’s exponential growth during the 1980s, '90s and beyond. But being the first woman to serve on the commission was not without its challenges. “A lot of people had a hard time transitioning with that, specifically since it was considered to be a male position. They didn’t exactly know what to do about me,” she laughs. “It was a boys’ club. I think if they had questions, they would call another commissioner to ask him instead, and that’s OK. Change is hard for people. I was the first woman to be elected to the county commission, and there has been one on the commission ever since and two today.” After eight years of serving as county commissioner, Gail was ready to serve her community in a new way. “That means running for office twice, and that’s enough, believe me,” she says. “After I left the county commission, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I served a couple of years on the United Way board, including chairing the countywide fundraising campaign, where we raised the total earned after three years of same amounts. I was on the board of directors for Marion Senior Services, and the longtime executive director retired so they were advertising for a new director. I had familiarity with the organization and with grant writing and government regulations, so I applied.” In 1996, Gail was named the executive director of Marion Senior Services, where she would spend the next 13 years improving life for senior citizens in the community. “We made several big changes in that time. We moved to finally computerizing the scheduling we had to do with transportation and Meals on Wheels, so that was a huge jump in efficiency. We established a formalized volunteer program. We expanded the transportation program with more vans

and a couple more congregate dining sites,” Gail recalls. She says the location of Marion Senior Services at that time was a rented space in a complex, which was difficult to find. The different departments of Marion Senior Services were divvied up between different buildings, which were old and had pest control issues. Gail and her team drafted a landmark grant to fund the construction of today’s Marion Senior Services building, which is clean, on a bus route and easy to locate. “This biggest thing we accomplished is that we wrote the first community development block grant for a nonprofit in the county and were able to get a new building, which was hugely needed. I think that really set a precedent because several nonprofits since then have used that as a funding mechanism to expand their facilities.” Gail officially retired in 2009, but for many years filled her time volunteering with Interfaith Emergency Services. Although the places and titles may have changed, Gail’s work always seemed to revolve around bettering life for Marion County residents. “I’m kind of a sucker for that; I have been for a long time,” she says. “It really started when I was on the county commission because I got around the county and got to meet a whole lot of people. One thing I recommend to everyone is to get in a plane and fly over the county. You can see the interaction between the land, the springs and the rivers and the urban growth patterns. It shows you that this is a beautiful place and we need to manage it well, and we need to help the people who need help.” May ‘ 1 9


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In The Kitchen With Lauren DeIorio Written by ANGEL A DURRELL Photography by ISABELLE RAMIREZ


s she slides her praline French toast into the oven—a delectablelooking concoction of Challah bread, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, Lauren DeIorio explains that it’s the ideal dish for getting people around a table.


Lauren is the executive director of the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County; her husband, Tony, is a surgeon and their kids are constantly engaged in sports and extracurricular activities. “The moments we get to spend The moments we get to with the kids spend with the kids and and together together are few and are few and far between. far between. You try to You try to find find things that are easy things that and quick to do, so you are easy and quick to do, so can spend time together you can spend over a meal. time together over a meal,” Lauren says. Prepared the night before and ready for baking the next day, this French toast dish is a staple of her cooking routine. The idea is to get the preparation done so you can enjoy the time with people. It’s a practice she’s perfected over a number of years. Lauren’s family is Southern, from Kentucky, while Tony’s is New York Italian, and most of their extended family members are still in Kentucky and New York. It was an adjustment being so far away from relatives, and they had to create traditions that were unique to their life in Florida. That included mealtimes together, just like when Lauren was growing up. “That was an important time. You didn’t disrupt when it was time to sit down and eat dinner,” she remembers. Lauren learned how to properly conduct herself among various relatives who would gather at the table. “In my family, there’s only about 20 years that separates the generations, so you’d have greatgrandparents and grandparents there at the table, and we’d all sit together. You shared a meal, you had conversation. And nobody got up until everyone was finished, because that was considered rude.” It wasn’t all serious and straight-laced, though; in the middle of dinner conversation, someone might initiate the “hanging of the spoon” challenge. The prim and proper protocol was instantly abandoned as everyone attempted to hang a spoon from the end of their nose and see who could keep it there longest. “It wasn’t just the kids; it was the adults, too,” she laughs. “The funny thing was to see if you could eat while you still had the spoon on your nose. It was hysterical.” Lauren remembers her husband’s slight shock at




the prospect of a true Southern country breakfast. “He’s like, ‘gosh, you’re putting the bacon and lard in the fried eggs,’ and my mother would fry mush. I told him to think of it as a version of polenta.” Tony was also f lummoxed by the almoststereotypical Southern tradition of frying everything in bacon fat or lard. Like most Southern-bred cooks, Lauren keeps a jar of bacon fat, just as her mother did. “It’s got that flavor,” she says. “Even when I make green beans, I’ll put a big spoonful of that in while I’m cooking, and my husband will just shake his head like, ‘Oh, that can’t be good for you.’ But it tastes good!” The food experience Tony added to the family collage is equally rich. “I always thought people from Italy ate spaghetti and meatballs,” she says, describing her ‘big introduction’ to authentic Italian cuisine when she met his family—lots of risotto dishes, vegetables and meats—but in much smaller portions than most Americans are used to having. “They’ll eat some pasta, but it’s cooked very differently. The sauce simmers all day, with fresh tomatoes that have been hand-picked, olive oil, salt and pepper. So it was really different.” The common thread, however, was what she values most—gathering loved ones around a table to share a meal. The French toast is done, and it comes bubbling out of the oven, ready for the praline sauce that adds an almost caramelized finish to the bread. It looks amazing, and she assures us that it’s insanely easy to make. “The idea of this recipe is, ‘Hey, kids, this is easy enough that you can do it, too,” Lauren laughs. “Serve mommy breakfast in bed, and oh, by the way, I need my coffee.”

Praline French Toast Casserole 1 8 2 1 2 1 ¼ ¼

13- to 16-ounce loaf of Challah bread (sliced into 1-inch slices) eggs cups half & half cup milk tablespoons sugar teaspoon vanilla extract teaspoon cinnamon teaspoon nutmeg Dash of salt

Arrange bread in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish, overlapping the slices. › Combine eggs, half & half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. › Beat with a whisk until blended but not bubbly. › Pour evenly over bread slices, spooning some of the mixture in between the slices. › Cover and chill overnight. › The next morning, add praline topping before baking.

Praline Topping: ½ ½ 1 1 2 ½ ½

cup butter cup margarine cup packed light brown sugar cup chopped pecans tablespoons light corn syrup teaspoon cinnamon teaspoon nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until melted. › Stir frequently until mixed. › Spread over the bread. › Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until puffed and light brown. › Serve with maple syrup, and enjoy! May ‘ 1 9



Dinner In An Instant

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

THE ESSENTIAL INSTANT POT® KETO: 210 Delicious Ketogenic Recipes To Fuel You Every Day by Casey Thaler, NASM-CPT, FNS. Copyright © 2019 by Casey Thaler. Reprinted with permission from Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Makes 5-6 servings Prep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 30 minutes, Pressure: High, Release: Natural Gluten Free, Soy Free, Kid Friendly Cheesecake is a great indulgence, but this chocolate chip keto cheesecake is much healthier, as it cuts out all the sugar, replacing it with Swerve zero-calorie sweetener. With only five ingredients, it is also a treat you should be able whip up at almost any time—no complicated shopping list required. The Instant Pot makes preparing this classic recipe much faster, too, from ingredients to dessert in just 30 minutes.

Cake Ingredients: 16 ½ 2 4

ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened cup Swerve, confectioners (or more, to taste) eggs teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping: 5

tablespoons sugar-free chocolate chips

Combine cream cheese, Swerve, eggs and vanilla together in a large bowl, and mix thoroughly. › Pour mixture in a well-greased springform pan, then cover with aluminum foil. › Pour 2 cups of filtered water into the Instant Pot, then insert the trivet, placing your covered pan on top. › Move the valve to sealing and close the lid. › Use manual/pressure cook mode to set the timer for 25 minutes, at high pressure. › Let pressure naturally disperse. › Remove pan and let cool for 30 minutes. › Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 45 minutes. › Take the cheesecake from the refrigerator, and remove the foil. › Sprinkle and evenly distribute the chocolate chips over the top of the cake, slice, serve and enjoy! 70



Cola Marinated Ribs Recipe from 101 Things To Do With an Instant Pot by Donna Kelly, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients: 2 2 4 1 1

pounds baby back pork ribs tablespoons salt cups regular cola (not diet) cup water

cup barbecue sauce of choice

Place ribs in a gallon size Ziploc bag. › Add salt and cola; seal the bag and turn a few times to coat ribs. › Refrigerate for 12–24 hours. › Place wire trivet in Instant Pot and add the water. › Remove ribs from marinade and arrange on the trivet. › Place lid on pot and lock into place to seal. › Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. › Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. › Use quick pressure release. › Preheat oven broiler. › Place ribs on a baking sheet and brush barbecue sauce over ribs, covering completely. › Broil at top of oven until the barbecue sauce begins to bubble, about 3 minutes. › Turn ribs over and broil other side until sauce is bubbly and browned.

Weeknight Mac and Cheese Recipe from 101 Things To Do With an Instant Pot by Donna Kelly, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients: 16 2 4 2 1 8 ¼

ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked tablespoons butter cups water teaspoons salt can (12 ounces) evaporated milk ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Add macaroni, butter, water and salt to Instant Pot. › Place lid on pot and lock into place to seal. › Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. › Use quick pressure release. › Stir milk into macaroni and then stir in the cheddar and Parmesan cheese. › Place lid back on pot and let sit for 1–2 more minutes. › Remove lid and stir until cheeses are melted and combined. May ‘ 1 9



Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque Excerpted from the I Love My Instant Pot® Gluten-Free Recipe Book: From Zucchini Nut Bread to Fish Taco Lettuce Wraps, 175 Easy and Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes by Michelle Fagone (CavegirlCuisine.com) Copyright © 2018 Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Photographs by James Stefiuk.

When choosing tomatoes for this soup, select ones that are very ripe, as the natural sugars and brightness of the soup will be enhanced. If tomatoes are out of season, use a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes with juice, decrease the chicken broth to 3 cups and follow the recipe accordingly.

Ingredients: 1 2 1 1 8 1 4 1 ½ 1 1

tablespoon olive oil teaspoons balsamic vinegar small sweet onion, peeled and diced stalk celery, thinly sliced medium tomatoes, seeded and quartered jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and diced cups chicken broth tablespoon cooking sherry cup fresh basil leaves, julienned and divided in half teaspoon salt teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup whole milk Press the sauté button on the Instant Pot and heat oil and balsamic vinegar for 30 seconds. › Add onion and celery to pot. › Sauté 5 minutes until onions are translucent. › Add tomatoes and sauté 3 minutes until tomatoes start to break down. › Add roasted red peppers, broth, sherry, 1/4 cup basil, salt and pepper to pot. › Lock lid. › Press the manual or pressure cook button and adjust cook time to 7 minutes. › When timer beeps, quick-release pressure until float valve drops and then unlock lid. › Add milk to pot. › Use an immersion blender to purée the bisque in pot or use a stand blender to purée the bisque in batches. › Ladle bisque into four bowls and garnish with remaining basil. › Serve warm.




All Mother’s will receive a complimentary carnation while supplies last. Please make reservations in advance. Happy Mother’s Day! Book your party at Tony’s today.

Mother’s Day is May 12th— make your Mother’s Day reservations early.

Tony’s Sushi & Steakhouse 3405 SW College Road, Ocala

(352) 237-3151 › tonysushi.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › Sun Noon-10p With abundant menu choices and over 100 off-menu rolls, you certainly won’t run out of options at Tony’s Sushi. If you can’t decide, the waitstaff is excellent at suggesting items you’re sure to enjoy. Every roll and sushi dish is made to order from the freshest ingredients. In the steakhouse area, highly trained chefs prepare a memorable meal as they cook on the tableside grills, preparing chicken, steak or seafood just the way you like it. Entrées include soup or salad and rice. Tony’s Sushi has a family-friendly, casual atmosphere, along with a full bar, including imported Japanese sake and beer selections.

Braised Onion

754 NE 25th Ave., Ocala

(352) 620-9255 › braisedonion.com Tue-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p › Sun 11:30a-8p Braised Onion Restaurant, where you’ll experience “Comfort Food with Attitude” in a fun, warm and colorful but casual atmosphere, is open for lunch and dinner. Winner of Culinary Combat and Taste of Ocala for four years and most recently voted Ocala’s Best of the Best; the menu options are plentiful and guaranteed to make your taste buds explode with happiness. And don’t forget the dessert menu, which includes our prize-winning bread pudding and coconut cream pie. So call today to make your reservation; you won’t regret it.


Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar 10 S Magnolia Ave., Ocala

(352) 512-9458 › brickcitybbq.com Sun-Wed 11a-10p › Thurs 11a-11p › Fri-Sat 11a-12a Located in downtown Ocala’s historic town square, Brick City Southern Kitchen’s aroma is recognized for several blocks around. Once inside, you are met with a wall of over 400 whiskeys from around the world and a collection of custom folk art from Nicklos Richards. To the rear of the restaurant is their scratch kitchen where all the sides, barbecue sauces, dressings and seasonings are prepared. But the heart of this kitchen is the custom-built smoker, where the low, slow heat of burning hickory smokes beef brisket, ribs, pork shoulders, whole chickens and turkey breast.

May ‘ 1 9



Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 2707 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala (352) 622-2110 › brusters.com Sun-Thur 12p-10p, Fri-Sat 12p-11p You scream ice cream, we scream Bruster’s. More than just any ol’ ice cream parlor, Bruster’s knows how to satisfy the needs of any ice cream lover. Their large variety of premium flavors and desserts is made right in the store where they are served, including crunchy handmade waffle cones, customized sundaes, candyfilled blasts, thick milkshakes, frozen yogurts and no-sugar-added flavors. If you really want to crank up a party, Bruster’s will bring their scrumptious sweets to you. Sweeten your next big day with Bruster’s, and choose from endless flavors such as Blueberry Cheesecake, Peach Melba and Black Raspberry.

El Toreo

3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala

(352) 694-1401 › 7 days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala › (352) 291-2121 › 7 days 11a-11p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Mondays, $5.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $5.45; Quesadillas on Wednesdays, $7.95; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $6.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $5.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $10.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $8.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $9.95; and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $9.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy $1.95 children’s meals (take-out not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Happy Hour daily, 3-7pm. Everything is 2-4-1 (exceptions may apply).

Louie’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant 422 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, FL (352) 304-5199 Mon-Sat 11a-9p

This family-owned and-operated restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients and everything on the menu is made to order. To get your meal going, try the mozzarella caprese, garlic knots or fried calamari. The antipasto and Greek salads are two more favorites! Entrées include a huge variety of chicken, seafood, pasta and veal options. If you crave it, chances are they make it. The pizza, though. You have to try the hand-tossed pizza. Pile it high with your favorite toppings, or try the Sicilian with its one-of-a-kind meat sauce. No matter what you order, you’ll be satisfied and ready to call Louie’s a new family favorite.



Don’t forget their free doggie sundaes and baby cones, with purchase, for children under 40 inches. Banana Thursdays: Bring your own banana and get 1/2 price on a banana split!

Wednesday: 99¢ House Margaritas All Day Thursday: Trivia Night, 7-9pm (Blvd. location) Thursday: Mariachi band at the 200 location, 6-9pm


NOW SERVING WINE & BEER! Dine-in, take-out and delivery available.


Locations: 3351 W Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala; (352) 789-6001 › 3400 N Pine Ave., Ocala; (352) 877-7900 › 2900 SW 27th Ave., Ocala; (352) 861-9234 › 6033 SW Hwy 200, Ocala; (352) 351-1541 › 13451 SW 17th Ct., Ocala; (352) 347-5775 › 868 E SR 44, Wildwood; (352) 748-0221


Six locations in Ocala and Wildwood zaxbys.com

Try the absolutely craveable chicken, Zalads and Zappetizers, or enjoy any one of the many Party Platterz catered for your next game, party or event. Always fresh and made to order, Zaxby’s offers family-friendly, fast service featuring daringly zesty chicken fingers, wings and more. Open seven days a week with six locations to serve you throughout Ocala and Wildwood, you can drive thru on the go or dine in with family and friends. ZAXBY’s: Always so Zatisfying!

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille

24 SE 1st Avenue, Ocala Happy Hour Specials: 2-7p every day, $3 Draft Beer $4 House Wine & Premium Cocktails $5 Super Premium & Signature Cocktails Every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday at Harry’s. Happy Hour all day long!

Our special mother, “Mimi,” would like to invite you to treat your special mother to a lovely dining experience on May 12th at Ivy on the Square. Reservations only. For information on catering, contact Waica or Evelyn at wmhivyhouse@yahoo.com.

(352) 840-0900 › hookedonharrys.com Mon-Thu 11a-10p › Fri & Sat 11a-11p › Sun 11a-9p Located in the heart of downtown Ocala, Harry’s offers traditional Louisiana favorites like Shrimp and Scallop Orleans, Crawfish Etouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole, Blackened Red Fish, Louisiana Shrimp and Southern Grouper Fingers (as pictured). Other favorites, like Harry’s Signature Crab Cakes and Bourbon Street Salmon, are complemented with grilled steaks, chicken, burgers, po’ boy sandwiches and salads. Their full bar features Harry’s Signature Cocktails, such as the Harry’s Hurricane, Bayou Bloody Mary or the new Southern Mule. They also feature wines by the glass and a wide selection of imported, domestic and craft beer. Harry’s menu is sure to have something for everyone!

Ivy on the Square 53 S Magnolia Ave, Ocala

(352) 622-5550 › ivyhousefl.com Closed Sun-Mon › Open Tue 11a-9p › Wed 11a-9p › Thu 11a-10p › Fri-Sat 11a-11p

106 NW Main St, Williston

(352) 528-5410 › Sun-Wed 11a-2p › Thu-Sat 11a-8p “Come on home, it’s suppertime!” is our motto. We want you to feel you have come to our home to eat. The family-owned Ivy House Restaurant now has two locations, Williston and Ocala. The downtown Ocala location has added several specialty items, and the restaurant has been named by Florida Trend as one of the “Top 500 Best Places to Eat in the State” for several years. Specials include Southern Fried Lobster (pictured), delicious hand-cut steaks and our famous Baked Krispy Chicken. Trying our delicious homemade desserts like the Key Lime Pie or Chocolate Midnight Cake is a must when dining here.

May ‘ 1 9



Pasta Faire Italian Ristorante 10401 US Hwy 441, Belleview (352) 347-3100 › pastafaire.com Mon-Sat 11a-10p › Sun 11a-9p

Owner Kathy Funk, along with managing partner Brandon Magnuson and Chef Santos Cruz, invite you to experience the culinary delights and warm atmosphere of Pasta Faire in Belleview. For over 26 years, Pasta Faire has served Marion County and surrounding residents with a wide array of Italian specialties, pasta creations, wood fired rotisserie chicken, New York-style pizzas and much more. Pasta Faire would like to thank all of our wonderful patrons who have voted us “Best of the Best” Italian restaurant the past three years and Taste of Ocala winners the past two years. Hope to see you at the “Faire.”

Feta Mediterranean Cuisine 306 SW Broadway St., Ocala

(352) 433-4328 › fetaocala.com Mon-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p

Open Mother’s Day. Choose from holiday menu and Chef’s Specials. Full-service catering & drop-offs. Call for catering (352) 260-5807. Taste of Ocala Winner 2018

Rated “excellent” on TripAdvisor. Follow @fetacuisine on Facebook for specials. Full menu at fetaocala.com

Feta in downtown Ocala is the only place for authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. The guiding philosophy for the Pomakis family is that all recipes must start with the freshest, healthiest ingredients available, locally sourced when possible. Chef Dimitri interprets your favorite Mediterranean dishes with an artistic flair that ensures the flavor, texture and aroma will excite your senses: from the perfect Greek salad and succulent grass-fed lamb chops to wild-caught branzino and flaky, melt-in-your mouth baklava.

The Corkscrew Winery and Brewery 16 SW Broadway St., Ocala

(352) 402-0158 › thecorkscrewwinery.com Tue-Thu 12p-9p › Fri-Sat 12p-10p The Corkscrew on Broadway is so much more than a wine bar! Sip locally crafted wine and craft beers and enjoy live music on the patio. The Corkscrew is also the only place in downtown Ocala where you are the winemaker or brewmaster! Local owners Joe and Kelli and their team can help you plan a fun girls’ night out and customize your very own vino, personalize your own varietal for your wedding or event, or brand corporate gift bottles for your customers.



Make your own custom wine and craft beer, or drink ours! Live music Fridays and Saturdays 7-10p Make reservations online Room rentals available

Coming Soon... The Drifters





Hotel California

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TheVillagesEntertainment 1545 N Buena Vista Blvd, The Villages, Fl | 352-753-3229

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© 2018 Holding Company of The Villages, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


South Marion Counseling and Hypnosis, Inc.


We are: Caring | Compassionate | Confidential


• Adolescent & adult therapy for anxiety, depression, family counseling, grief counseling • Mediation- Divorce without lawyers • Hypnosis for smoking cessation, overeating, and other personal issues

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352-897-0839 | 7014 SE HWY 25-A, Belleview Come live in Marion County’s premier apartment community. CARLTON ARMS OF OCALA offers our residents country club-style living with outstanding services and value. Visit us today to select your apartment as your next home in which to live, work and play.

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Freshwater Fishing Children’s Playground Pet Friendly / Dog Park Car Care Center

Ocala’s New Plant Shop! • Unique Houseplants • Fun Classes

5001 SW 20th St. Suite100 Ocala, FL 33474

Fairy • Garden Gifts Gardens • Supplies

Located in Chelsea Square 3243 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala 352-624-0116 • thepeacockcottage@gmail.com Like us! facebook.com/thepeacockcottage




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The Road To Adventure Written by JESSE JAMES Photography by DAVE MILLER



sk around, everyone has a Jeep adventure of some sort, especially around these parts. The Jeep Wrangler is an icon, and if we are honest, a must-have if you plan an adventure off the beaten path. I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, an extraordinary machine that takes any Jeep experience to the next level. I owned a 1989 Jeep Wrangler when I was around 21, and it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had owning a vehicle. With that being said, the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara promptly brought me back to those moments, which led to a weekend of fun, exploring and a bit of adventure. The Wrangler is tried and true, a reliable SUV that has been around since before SUVs were even a “thing.” The Wrangler is a purpose-built SUV, offered in two- and four-door body styles with a variety of trim packages and accessories available. The Wrangler Unlimited Sahara is powered by a 285-hp, 3.6-liter V6 which is paired with an 8-speed transmission, 80


all while rocking Jeep’s reliable and functional fourwheel drive system. This bad boy was ready to roll over, through and into whatever was in front of it. Although it’s not the greatest on gas, it’s worth the sacrifice if you are looking for an experience and some fun. The 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara comes with a modern interior, nothing like the minimalist, utilitarian designs of the past. Instead, Jeep has focused on a comfort and quality-forward approach, offering all the creature comforts we’ve come to expect. From its handy USB charging ports to an immersive sound system, Jeep has really stepped it up from the designs of the past. The Sahara model features a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Jeep has also added a new level of comfort from the seating to the materials used throughout the interior. However, the best part was the automatic sliding top that opens up the cabin to the world around you!

The new Wrangler Unlimited Sahara is incredibly fun, functional and exciting to say the least. For those looking for the perfect adventure and outdoor companion, this is it. Tough, rugged, comfortable and spacious, the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara is sure to take you places you never would have gone. Thanks to the good folks at Phillips Jeep for allowing me to put their Wrangler to the test. It was more fun than I had imagined! Aside from driving and sharing his experience behind the wheel for Ocala Style and his journeys with the blog stupidDOPE, Jesse is passionate about creativity and style, with broad interests in music and sneakers. Follow Jesse on Instagram at @Thee_JesseJames.


MidState Skin Institute

is pleased to announce our newest office location in Paddock Park! ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS!


1630 SE 18th St, #400 Ocala, FL 34471

CLINICAL DERMATOLOGY: Acne Eczema Psoriasis Skin Cancer Vitiligo Hair Loss Liver Spots Rosacea


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Call today for a complimentary lunch or dinner tour!

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3211 SW 42nd Street, Ocala, FL 34474 352-237-7776, Ext. 254 www.hawthornevillageofocala.com May ‘ 1 9





ooking for an excuse to start planning that girls-only getaway you’ve been daydreaming about? If you’re searching for inspiration, we went to the experts: two local women who have been traveling with their girlfriends for decades. Martha Pullian of Citrus County takes one or two vacations each year with her BFFs, one of whom she’s known since they were teenagers. Tina Galvin of Marion County has been traveling with the same core group of girlfriends for 15 years now. Any successful vacation requires good planning. Both Tina and Martha are the organizers for their respective girls’ trips and were happy to share practical tips and suggestions.

Save The Date

With today’s hectic lifestyles, this may be the toughest challenge. You’ll need to start planning many months—even a



year—in advance. Once you agree on a date, everyone puts it on their calendars and considers it “set in stone,” with a lifeor-death emergency being the only valid reason to not attend. Years ago, Tina and her friends set aside the week before Labor Day as their designated annual girls’ getaway and have stuck to that ever since. If it works for your group, this is a great way to simplify the “when” of your trip.

Money Matters

Your getaway can be as frugal or extravagant as you wish, but in order for the trip to be fun for all involved, finances should be discussed during the planning stages. Agree on the overall per-person budget and how you’ll handle expenses during the trip, such as excursions, activities and eating out. You can split everything evenly, or each person can be responsible for her own

expenses. (The latter could be appreciated if, for example, one person isn’t a drinker and the others polish off a couple bottles of wine each evening at dinner.) There’s no hard-andfast rule here, but deciding ahead of time will simplify things so no one is left guessing.

Final Destination

One option is to pick a destination that is the same general travel distance for all attendees. Another choice is picking a destination none of you have visited before. Martha and crew chose Chicago one year for this reason. On the other hand, once you find a destination you love, you might want to make it your pick every year. Tina and her friends went to several different locations before they settled on Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Everyone loved the setting and available activities, so now they go to the same town every year, but stay at different places for a change of pace. “If your schedules are flexible and you can


be spontaneous, sometimes you can book a cruise close to your available dates,” says Martha. “We did this one year because we got a great deal.” Just make sure everyone in your group has a valid passport! Then there’s the accommodations. Should you stay in a resort, rent one big house or cabin, or opt for separate rooms in a B&B? Any of these can be excellent options, but the accommodations you choose should be based on your specific group, including individual quirks and sleeping habits. This is when knowing your traveling companions is important. And be honest during the planning stages; if you absolutely don’t want to share a room (or bed), speak up ahead of time. It could save hurt feelings down the road. “One year we rented a big house where each person had their own bedroom; other years we’ve shared bedrooms,” Tina relates. “I’m fine with sharing a bed,” adds Martha, “so long as it’s king-size.”

If you do share rooms, pair up friends who have similar routines. For example, the gal who’s up at 6am to get in a morning run is not the best roommate for the friend who prefers sleeping late and can’t function without that first cup of joe.

Staying Busy... Or Not

Don’t assume you have to do everything together to have a fabulous time. You can decide on several “non-negotiables” (that restaurant with the rave reviews, the highly touted museum exhibit, etc.) where everyone will show up, but let people feel free to go their separate ways the rest of the time. “We always make plans to have dinner together each evening, but often split up and do different things during the day,” says Tina. “There’s a 5-mile hiking loop that some of us do every morning, but not everyone wants to hike and that’s fine.” “On days when some want to sleep in,

others will meet for an early breakfast, and then we all catch up mid-morning,” says Martha. Take f lexibility into account when planning and packing, but whoever’s in charge of organizing should let everyone know if there are any specific wardrobe requirements. Do you need to dress up a bit for that great restaurant? Are flipf lops and a bathing suit cover-up as fancy as you’re going to get? If the destination climate is radically different from home, be sure to pack accordingly. “One of the reasons we love going to the mountains the last week of August is that it’s about 30 degrees cooler than Florida,” says Tina, “but you have to remember that when packing!” If you plan your trip around a specific event, at least part of your itinerary is set. For example, two different years Martha and friends planned their getaway around the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New

May ‘ 1 9



York. This meant a good part of the days would be spent at the tennis tournament, while additional activities were tacked on at the beginning and end of the trip.

Planning vs. Spontaneity

Yes, it takes planning to make the trip happen, but once you’re there, every minute doesn’t have to be scheduled. This is, after all, a vacation, a chance to escape the pressure and responsibility of everyday life. If you don’t want to wear makeup all week and you feel like having a glass of wine in your PJs after lunch, that’s OK. You’re in the company of friends. “The best part is seeing everyone in a relaxed setting with no agenda,” adds Tina. “Sometimes we just sit around, drink wine and catch up. The time flies by.” “When we took a cruise, we enjoyed the fact that we could do lots of activities and go to all the shows, or we could just chill and relax,” says Martha.



Avoiding Tension

Much potential for irritation and frustration can be eliminated by simply being considerate and planning ahead. For example, be sure the steakhouse where you’ve made reservations includes meatless options for the vegetarian in your group. Cut some slack for your friend with the fear of heights so she can skip the zipline outing without guilt. “And make sure the friend who snores gets her own room,” laughs Tina. Some women are fine going with the f low and letting someone else plan activities, but if something is important to you, speak up. Finally, if you know these friends well enough to travel together, you’re probably already aware if certain topics of conversation can get awkward. Respect differences while making the most of everything you have in common. After all, you’re with “your girls,” so savor every

memory-making moment. And in case you needed an added bonus for booking the trip, those very friends you love to hang with do more than just make you laugh. It turns out they’re good for your overall health, too. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, adults with strong social networks have reduced risk of depression, high blood pressure and unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Research released by the Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association, reveals that travel is linked to decreased risk of heart attack and depression and also promotes brain health. So if friendship and traveling have both been linked to healthier living, then traveling with friends might be just what the doctor ordered.

Grab Your favorite besties for A Weekend full of sun, sand, spas, seafood and Insta-worthy spots

Skip the crowds and head to the charming seaside community of Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches. Located approximately two hours outside of Ocala, this beach is known for its coquina colored sand and miles of unobstructed ocean views. Here are some of the top spots for where to stay, eat, and explore!


– DINING & DRINKS – Flagler Fish Company

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

White Orchid Inn & Spa

Flagler Beachfront Winery

Marineland Dolphin Adventure

Si Como No Inn

Golden Lion Café

Ripple Effect Eco Tours

Hammock Beach Resort








No credit needed. Financing 90 days same as cash. Monday–Friday 9:00AM–5:00PM | Saturday 9:00AM–3:00PM 352.245.4809 | 14335 S Highway 441, Summerfield

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Nancy Porter

Graduate Gemologist, Diamond Setter, Designer




t an age when most children were playing with dolls or toy cars, Laura Walker discovered that a simple pencil could turn a blank piece of lifeless paper into anything her creative mind could imagine. Her talents blossomed and when, in middle school, teachers, family and friends encouraged her artistic abilities, Laura decided to make art a career.

Photo by Carlos Ramos

Photo by Jonathan Walker


She grew up in Evansville, Indiana where she received a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with an emphasis in fine arts and a Master of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in cultural studies and art history at the University of Southern Indiana. While in school, Laura worked for a contemporary art gallery, and following graduation, worked in a I love it here. Ocala is museum of arts, such a friendly town. history and It has a small town feel science. In 2012, Laura moved to with all the amenities Salem, Oregon, of a big city. When it where she lived comes to art, this town with her husband, Jonathan, and really has a lot going on. three children, Lilly, Oliver and Aeva until 2017, when she moved to Ocala expressly to take the position of Cultural Arts and Sciences Division Head for the City of Ocala’s Recreation and Parks Department.



“I love it here,” she says. “Ocala is such a friendly town. It has a small town feel with all the amenities of a big city. The downtown is hopping until 10 o’clock and you don’t even see that in cities like San Francisco. It also has a very strong art scene. When it comes to art, this town really has a lot going on.” Part of what’s going on is Laura’s art. She is an accomplished artist, producing stunning prints in both block print method and in the multicolor technique called intaglio, paintings comprised of acrylic on Masonite. “In college I took printmaking under Michael Aakhus, and I fell in love with intaglio,” she says. “In making prints, you have to determine what is negative space and what the end print will be. It is actually the opposite of what you draw. It’s intriguing just processing the end result in your head. There are special tools, but I actually use construction nails to etch into an asphalt medium spread on a copper plate. I then dip the plate in an acid bath, renew the asphalt and then etch it again. Each new etching can be a different color or different shade. Then you can make as many prints as you want from the final product.”


1957 by Laura Walker


Honoring A Local Legend Our entire community is mourning the loss of Mary Britt, who died on April 3, 2019. As executive director of Ocala Civic Theatre for 31 years, this dynamic lady was a champion for the arts and made a lasting impression on all of us. A special fund has been set up at OCT for donations in memory of Mary, and a celebration of her life will be announced at a future date.

“Mary and I shared many conversations about theater and life over the years. She was always ready to lend a hand to my own theater program at West Port High School.” -Janet Shelley “Mary loved Ocala, OCT and her theater family to the depths of her being. I would give anything for one more night of sitting together on the counter of the concession stand and listening to the latest cast album, drinking a glass of wine, laughing and dreaming about the next show until the wee hours of the morning. I am eternally grateful for her.” -Greg Thompson “Mary taught me that you shouldn’t put in the long hours, sweat, blood and tears just for the ovation. You should do the work because you love the work and you believe in the work. Thank you, Mary.” -Angie McCormack “I’d known Mary for over 20 years, and she always greeted me with a hug and a smile. Seeing Mary’s dedication and love for the theatre and all those involved made my love for the theater and my respect for her grow. I will treasure the memories of our talks and her contagious smile. This beautiful woman not only helped nurture my love for theater, she watched me grow as a person, and I will always miss her.” -Angie Brahim



“We truly have lost one of the brightest stars in our community. I grew so much as an arts leader through watching and listening to Mary. The Marion Cultural Alliance Board of Directors voted in June 2017 to establish the Lifetime Achievement Award to be conferred on someone for ‘exceptional contributions to the arts.’ Mary Britt was unanimously selected to be the first recipient for her 30 years of service to the arts community and the Ocala Civic Theatre. The award was presented to Mary at the 2017 Applaud the Arts.” -Jaye Baillie “Mary left a legacy of love, a love of the community and a love for her organization and what it could bring to the community and what they could give back. I think of her as a cultural ambassador. She was beloved in this community.” -Chris Jorie “Mary’s vision and dedication have enriched so many young lives, including that of my daughter, Sarah, for which I am forever grateful. I will always remember Mary’s beaming face as she interacted with her wonderful theater kids.” -Janet Behnke “Mary had an impact we don’t even understand yet. She was involved in the theatre at all levels and never missed an opportunity to recruit volunteers. My kids grew up in the theater; all three were on stage at OCT, and the entire family was involved. It all started with Mary. The theater was her life, love and passion, and the theater is going to continue to thrive in her honor.” -Philip Leppert


Photo by Dave Schlenker



A New Prescription For Pain By PATRICIA TOMLINSON




pain and dementia. Furthermore, British dementia researcher Daisy Fancourt studied over 3,000 adults aged 50 and older over a 10-year period and tracked how often they visited museums. She found that those who visited museums every few months or more had a lower rate of dementia than those who visited less frequently. Turns out the engaging, enjoyable and socially interactive act of going to a museum really does have a positive influence on a person’s wellbeing. Who knows, in the future your doctor might prescribe a trip to the museum for your health instead of a new prescription! In the meantime, come by and visit us at the Appleton Museum of Art and enjoy the health benefits of art right away. Learn more › Appleton Museum of Art › 4333 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala › appletonmuseum.org › (352) 291-4455 Photo by Ralph Demilio

e all know that museums are important for teaching people about different kinds of art and preserving beautiful things for the public to enjoy, but did you know that going to a museum is actually good for you? Research shows that for people over age 50, a one-on-one interaction with art helps lessen chronic pain and keeps a person sharper mentally, even more than going to the movies. Why, you ask? Going to a museum is multifaceted. You must leave your home and travel to the facility. Once there, you interact with others and exercise to travel from gallery to gallery. While admiring artwork, you become absorbed in it and use your critical thinking skills to contemplate what the artist was trying to communicate. All of these elements combined engage the whole person— socially, physically and mentally—and are key to one’s overall wellbeing, especially as we age. It’s no secret that one of the biggest issues with chronic pain is that it makes you focus on how uncomfortable you are and not much else. When you get lost in a painting or concentrate intently on a sculpture, pain can be lessened because you experience something known as “embodied cognition,” which is the ability to step outside your body and imagine yourself as part of the artwork. There have been studies that explore how the brain, when reacting to a beautiful painting for example, can affect a person’s nervous system in a positive way, which helps manage pain. Don’t take my word for it, though. Two groundbreaking studies from 2018 published in The Journal of Pain by the American Pain Society and the The British Journal of Psychiatry cite the health benefits of museums, especially with regard to chronic

A former professional archaeologist, Patricia Tomlinson joined the Appleton Museum of Art as Curator of Exhibitions in 2016 after having served as curatorial staff in the New World Department at the Denver Art Museum for eight years.

Women In

Bus ness Whether medicine or law, real estate or design, these local professionals share their insight and expertise. In the following pages, they introduce us to themselves, their companies and what sets them apart—so you can keep your business local.


Valerie Dailey


Showcase Properties of Central Florida

fter nearly 25 years of success in real estate and other businesses, Valerie’s motivation continues to be her commitment to our community. “I’m passionate about making a positive difference for our community, no matter what I’m working on,” she says. “Here at Showcase, it’s helping buyers and sellers realize their dreams and goals. It’s a great place to work, and it’s a great group of people. Real estate can be challenging at times, yet helping

people successfully navigate through the process is always rewarding. I’m also passionate about being an advocate for a variety of organizations, like 4-H, the arts and the FTBOA.” Throughout her career, Valerie has taken time to support local charities. “I truly love where I live,” she explains. “Giving back is a privilege, and I’ve been blessed to be able to support causes near to my heart and worthwhile charities I’ve been introduced to over the years. There is a business aspect to community involvement; however, when you are connected to your community, it’s much, much more than that.” Her recent Realtor of the Year award was a sign for Valerie that she’s “doing something right.” “It makes me feel humbled to be recognized by my peers. I enjoy promoting home ownership and what it truly means to be a Realtor. And I’m keenly aware I had help from everyone around me. My agents, my family, my real estate colleagues—I sincerely appreciate all the support and cherish this recognition.” Valerie says her family’s support has helped her to succeed as a business owner while prioritizing her roles as wife and mom. “My entire family is involved in our businesses—real estate, raising thoroughbred horses and cattle, and boat building,” Valerie explains. “We stay busy with all the things we love. My husband, Hugh, is deeply rooted in this community, and my daughter, Samantha, who recently graduated from UF, still lives on our farm. Along with our dog, Bella, I’m really enjoying a very blessed life. I hope this is reflected in our dealings with others.” Showcase Properties of Central Florida › 5780 SW 20th Street, Ocala › (352) 351-4718 › www.showcaseocala.com


Suzanne Rice

Suzanne Rice Design Consultants


uzanne Rice, a state licensed interior designer, has degrees in economics, psychology and interior design. Originally from Fort Lauderdale, she has enjoyed consulting with her clients to create functional and beautiful homes, offices, barns and medical facilities for 35 years. Suzanne attends trade and market shows to stay current with trends, but her designs start out the way they always have, with a unique drawing. “Although capable of computer drawings, I still keep a drafting table for renderings and detailed drawings,” she says. “I’m more creative when I’m designing with pencil and paper.” Each client is unique, and I believe it’s important for them to participate in the creative process; that way the finished product is a true signature of what their home or office should reflect,” she adds. “By listening and collaborating, the process combines function, expense and design into the best imaginable results.” Suzanne Rice Design Consultants › (352) 208-7509 › suzannericedesign@gmail.com › www.suzannericedesign.com

Nilam Patel

Nirvana Medical Spa


t Nirvana Medical Spa, the goal is to make their clients feel confident and comfortable in their own skin. A clinical esthetician and hyper-pigmentation specialist, Owner Nilam Patel understands what each client needs to look their best when it comes to their complexion. “How we feel about ourselves reflects in how we look, so I want each client to leave our spa feeling beyond-satisfied and confident,” she says. Common treatments include laser hair removal, fat and cellulite reduction treatments, facials, eyebrows and injectables, but that’s just a small sampling of what Nirvana offers. “I have a genuine desire to help people with skin issues feel and look better,” Nilam says. “I want to be able to pamper my clients and guide them to optimal results and true dermal repair, all while treating each client with integrity and respect. I am always brainstorming ways to enhance our clients’ experience here at the spa.” Nirvana Medical Spa › 310 SE 29th Place, Ocala › (352) 671-1591 › www.nirvanamedicalspa.com


Terri Schaffer


Garden Thrift & Boutique

t’s not every day you see a beautiful woman wearing designer clothes and hugging her pet camel. Then again, not many people wear as many hats as artfully as Terri Schaffer does. Businesswoman, animal lover, wife, mother and self-described “go-getter,” Terri consistently makes things happen. She is at her best while juggling the things she loves most: her faith, family, friends and love of animals. Once a successful thoroughbred breeder, Terri now concentrates her love of animals at the Garden Worship Center’s Walk of Faith. With her flair for design and impeccable taste, she is totally in her element running the one-ofa-kind Garden Thrift & Boutique store located on the same sprawling 20-acre grounds as the Garden Worship Center, which is pastored by Terri’s husband, Norman Lee Schaffer. Terri’s business sense, creative flair and her meticulous eye for detail are evident in every corner of the Garden Thrift & Boutique store. She takes great pride in presentation, customer service and extraordinary prices. A perfectionist, Terri claims her store to be the neatest, cleanest and best-priced thrift and boutique shop in the area. Regular customers agree and have continued to stalk the store for new bargains since the shop opened in 2010. There are values to be had daily; those in the know visit often in anticipation of great finds. Some shoppers come every day. Terri’s two adult sons live in South Florida where they are third-generation estate dealers. Often, they come across high-end items that they generously donate to the Garden Worship Center. In addition, the store’s inventory comes from donations, estate sales and furniture auctions throughout Florida. Terri proudly shares that she recently sold a gorgeous new leather sofa that

was acquired at auction. Although it retailed for $3,500, a lucky buyer was able to “steal” it for the low boutique price of $375. Sofa prices typically run anywhere from $45 and up, while dining tables generally start at just $25. The store’s purpose is to sell quantity in order to benefit the ministry of the Garden Worship Center. Furniture prices are generally negotiable, especially for large quantity sales. Recently, the church outfitted an entire apartment at no cost for a family in need. The store is a way for the Garden Worship Center to minister and give back to the community and beyond. The church’s generosity is not limited to their parish; they give to other charities and have even shipped containers to overseas ministries. “I’m blessed to have Terri as my wife. She is vital to the success of the Garden Worship Center,” says Pastor Norman. The store’s Boutique Room, known as The Dusty Rose Room, gives Terri the opportunity to showcase her impeccable skills. It is only open a few days each month depending on designer acquisitions that have been curated by Terri. During those days, shoppers will find a tempting collection of designer label items such as Coach, Chanel, Ferragamo, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, St. John, Michael Kors and many more. Because you never know what treasures you’ll find, one should never miss the opportunity to shop at these sales, which are generally attended by over 300 people. Considering that prices are pennies on the dollar for high-end designer items, it is well worth the visit during the special boutique sales. Merchandise moves quickly— and understandably so. Shoppers are invited to stop in at the Garden Worship Center Cafe next door for a hotdog and soda for only $1 or a cup of coffee and a Danish. While there, be sure to visit the Garden’s Walk of Faith, a spiritual experience only a short walk or golf cart ride away. The path winds through the adjacent woods and quarry, ultimately leading to full-size replicas of Jesus’ Tomb and Mount Calvary. Farther down the trail, tucked between the trees, an impressive array of life-size animal statues awaits discovery. Eventually, the scenic path leads to the stable that is home to a “nativity” herd of live animals: a donkey, goat, sheep, birds and even Isaiah, the famous camel, who may have a trace of Terri’s lipstick on his nose from a recent smooch. Garden Thrift & Boutique › 12740 SE County Highway 484, Belleview › (352) 245-7404 › www.thegardenworshipcenter.com/thrift_shop


Nicole Musick Ideal Image


lthough medical aesthetics wasn’t her initial career path, once Nicole was on board, she was hooked. “I love the opportunity to make our guests look and feel their best,” she says. “The confidence they’re given with our services is incredible and rewarding.” What began as a position in guest services in 2013 has morphed into Nicole managing both the Ocala and Gainesville Ideal Image clinics. Her role is to support the team members in giving guests the best possible experiences. “Our providers, consultants and guest services team members are the real dream makers,” she says. “We have only highly trained nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants doing our treatments and have served Ocala since 2006. Every team member is here for a relationship and partnership with our guests. Our goal is to meet and exceed their expectations.” Ideal Image › 4701 Southwest College Road, Suite 102, Ocala › (352) 835-0860 › www.idealimage.com

Stacey Rollins Realtor


tacey Rollins has a natural desire to help people. Her background in hospitality was a natural segue to a successful career in real estate. She recently joined Hudson Phillips Properties, the sister company to Ocala Horse Properties, the most successful farm sales company in Marion County. “Our primary focus is in residential, country club estates and small farms,” she says. “Hudson Phillips Properties offers elite luxury homes in extraordinary locations, including Ocala, Palm Beach and Charleston, South Carolina. A mom of two young girls, Stacey is teaching her daughters that you can be a brave woman by owning a business and spend quality time with your children. She understands the importance of a familyfriendly home, or a good school zone. “I love Marion County, and I was asked to take this job because they felt I was a strong ambassador for this community. Buying a home is an emotional experience—it’s my job to guide you through the process and make it a successful transition.” Hudson Phillips Properties › 6998 N US Hwy 27, Unit 114, Ocala › (515) 422-0135 › www.hudsonphillipsproperties.com


Dr. Ashley Cauthen


MidState Skin Institute

id you know your skin is your body’s largest organ? Dr. Ashley Cauthen and her team of medical professionals know that your skin is just as important as any internal organ and deserves the same conscientious, high-quality medical care. “Our staff is uniquely qualified to provide care ranging from simple topical treatments to complex surgeries,” Dr. Cauthen says. “We address all of your skin, hair and nail disorders and concerns—from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.”

MidState Skin Institute was the long-awaited dream of Dr. Cauthen, who grew up in Marion County and returned after graduating from Florida State University’s College of Medicine. She and her husband, Thomas, chose their hometown as the place they wanted to raise their children and build a medical practice devoted to helping our community look and feel their best. She’s made it her life’s work to care for our local residents with genuine concern and personalized attention. “We truly value the patientprovider relationship and are extremely grateful for being a part of our patient’s lives,” says Dr. Cauthen. She has built a team of qualified, experienced medical professionals who love what they do and treat every patient with compassion. “We put great emphasis on empowering our patients— with knowledge, tools and support—to become important factors in the success of their own health care solutions,” Dr. Cauthen explains. “Our mission is simple: to provide highly professional, patient-focused care that consistently exceeds the expectations of our patients and their referring physicians.” As our community’s leader in state-of-the-art medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology, MidState Skin Institute welcomes men, women and children at their three convenient locations. MidState Skin Institute Deerwood office › 1630 SE 18th Street #400, Ocala › (352) 512-0092 Jasmine office › 7550 SW 61st Ave., Suite 1, Ocala › (352) 732-7337 Paddock Park office › 3210 SW 33rd Road, Suite 101, Ocala › (352) 470-0770 www.midstateskin.com


Elisha Lopez


Ocala Realty World

early 20 years of success in real estate was not enough for Elisha Lopez—she feels compelled to “pay it forward” by sharing what she’s learned with new realtors. “We are fortunate that we were taught the right way and it’s a blessing for us to be able to pass it along to our agents so they can be successful,” she says of herself and Luis, her husband and business partner. “We do all the training ourselves. We know that when you’re learning from or being mentored by somebody who’s very experienced, that’s how you

learn all the ‘golden nuggets’— the right way to sell and the right way to handle your business.” Elisha explains that, although many people don’t consider a career in real estate because they “aren’t good at sales,” it’s actually a skill that can be learned. “I always tell my agents that we don’t sell homes, the home sells itself, and we’re there to facilitate the transaction,” she says. ORW School of Real Estate outgrew the conference space at their office, and the new, dedicated training facility they opened this past year can accommodate 60 students at a time. “Each class gets a little bigger,” Elisha says. She adds that training new realtors is the best way she can set them up for success. “It’s amazing; it’s life changing!” And their success is obvious: for four years running, Ocala Realty World has been honored for the most rookies of the year by the Ocala Marion County Association of Realtors (OMCAR). That means these brand-new realtors are selling at least $1 million in their very first year. Elisha believes that real estate is a great career option for anyone, and as a working mom, Elisha believes real estate offers an unparalleled opportunity for modern women. “This business really enables moms to still be a mom, to attend all the events at school and be with their kids,” she says. And it’s obvious that Elisha has found her perfect work-life balance. “I love my agents, I love my team, I love the office,” she says. “I just really truly enjoy being able to help everybody. It’s so gratifying.”

Ocala Realty World › 2709 SW 27th Ave., Ste. 103, Ocala › (352) 789-6746 › www.ocalarealtyworld.com

STYLE DIY Style Written by APRIL ROSE Photography By CARLOS RAMOS


nterested in creating a fresh new space that speaks to your soul and reflects who you are without having to spend all of your life savings? Me too! It’s what I live for. It’s my absolute fave, and it’s actually quite easy.





Here’s the thing: Home styling is all about expressing who you are. So many people have expressed to me their hesitation on styling their own space or even having input on it due to all of the rules to make a space look “just so.” And yes, there are many rules you can choose to follow. But the key to finding yourself in the space you inhabit is to be yourself in the process of creating it. For me and my personal taste, there’s one word that I focus on with my styling choices: natural. I want to be surrounded by as many raw materials as possible in my space because the feeling of nature for me is peace. I want to walk in and feel loved, understood and welcomed. Maybe your word is family or glamour or minimal. The easiest way to come to a resolution on how you want your home to represent you is to ponder what really brings you happiness. Be patient with yourself. You’ll find it. Just listen to what is happening around you and what lights you up. One way that I incorporate nature into my space is by using unexpected items as art interests.

For instance, my husband loves coffee, and I love the natural fibers of a coffee bag, so for art interest above my gathering place, I framed out a coffee bag with pallet wood that I whitewashed with watereddown paint. It’s one of my favorite pieces displayed in our home. When I see it, I think of all the coffee shops we’ve visited over the years, I smell the fresh ground beans and I smile at the conversations had over some of the best brews around. I DIYed this piece because to purchase something similar at a boutique or online store could cost around $150. I spent $5 at a local thrift store on the coffee bag, and the pallet wood was free. (Tips: Go in to any store you see pallets behind and ask for them; the answer is usually yes. Also, look for the letters HT [heat treated] branded on the pallet to ensure no chemicals were used.) Here’s the process I used: Measure the bag. › Cut the wood to fit using a jigsaw (an inexpensive purchase at any local hardware store, or better yet, borrow one). › Build the frame, using hammer and nails. › Lay the two side pieces on the f loor.

› Rest the top and bottom pieces on the side pieces, making sure they are lined up. › Nail them together. › Put a dollop of white paint into a paint mixer bowl. › Add a splash of water, and mix. › Apply paint to the front of the frame. › Once dry, turn the frame over. › Staple the coffee bag to the frame, pulling the burlap tight as you staple. › Once complete, attach jute rope to both sides of the frame and to hang it on the wall. Now I have an intentional piece of art that can be used with many styles, including farmhouse, French country, minimal and rustic boho chic. You can also frame a favorite fabric, yard art or even leave the frame open and hang something separately within it. A DIY project is so much fun because you get to put your own stamp on it. Give it a try; you can do it, too! Pictured: DIY coffee bag art, sugar mold with faux succulents and DIY 10-foot-long gathering table that I built from furniture store pallet wood—so it was free! For more details, follow @aprilrosedesignco on Instagram.

May ‘ 1 9 1 0 3



Apple: Layer it up.

Hourglass: Accentuate the waist.

Rectangle: Structured ďŹ t.

Pear: Bring the eye up.



How To Savvy Up Your Silhouette Written by LISA MIDGETT


“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” —Hubert de Givenchy


age advice from one of the best designers who ever lived. However, ladies, how many times have we done just the opposite of this? (I just raised my hand here.) Control top hose, shapers, corsets, butt lifters, breast lifters, thigh squeezers… what if we stopped the madness and learned to dress for our body type? What if the dress followed our shape, instead of the dress demanding we conform to it? Let’s look at four basic body types: the pear, the apple, the rectangle and the hourglass. First, the pear (or triangle, as it’s sometimes called), is characterized by having a narrower upper body and shoulders with more fullness in the lower abdomen and hips. Often, these gals wear a larger size in bottoms than in tops. Next is the apple (or inverted triangle), which is wider through the shoulder and abdomen. She has slimmer arms and legs, and usually takes a larger top than bottoms. The rectangle body shape is defined by being the same measurement in the shoulders as the hips, with little definition in the waist, and her clothing sizes for both top and bottom are generally the same. Finally, there is the hourglass shape. Her shoulders and hips are more or less the same measurements, but her waist and bust are very defined, and her bottom is round. To find your shape, stand in your skivvies and look in the mirror. Move your arms and legs out slightly. Look—but don’t judge. Which form do you see? Got it? Ok, now let’s get dressed.


Here’s your best look for your shape: keep the attention on the top and bottom thirds of your body to draw attention away from your midsection. Go for blouses that have soft shoulders and are not too structured, and look for V-neck or scoop neck blouses and sweaters to accentuate your bust, drawing attention away from the midriff. Pair your top with bootcut or flare leg pants, or a skirt that hits just at the knee for the most flattering line. Finally, avoid dresses with belts or those that nip in too much at the waist as this will accentuate your midsection.


Lucky you, hourglass—you have a defined waist, so

play it up! Tailored clothing is your friend. Use belts to complement your waistline as well as dresses that curve in at the midsection without much fuss—a wrap dress is perfect for you. V-neck blouses will accentuate your bust, and you should pair it with an A-line or pencil-cut skirt or pants with a slight f lare. Most hourglass figures have naturally full hips and busts. Avoid fussy tops with ruffles, straight-cut dresses and skinny jeans as these looks will tend to make you look frumpy


Rectangular body types tend to be long and lean with a smaller bust and hips and little definition in the waist. To appear curvier, look for details that enhance your natural attributes. For example, a belt at the waist, a padded pushup bra or embellishments on the bust of your blouse will improve your silhouette. Skinny jeans are great for you, as well as skirts that end well above the knee and show off your long legs. Sometimes women with rectangular body shapes tend to wear baggy clothing in an attempt to create curves, but this can result in an unkempt appearance. Avoid baggy sweats, boxy jackets and shapeless dresses.


Overall, you want to create a balanced look when dressing. To achieve this with a pear body shape, first make sure that you have a well-fitting bra that will lift and enhance your bust. Next, choose a top that accentuates your shoulders so that your top and bottom are more in sync, but be sure that your top or jacket ends either above or below the fullest part of your hips. Next, don’t narrow your legs. Go for straightcut pants to lengthen the look of your legs and create balance. Avoid flare legs as they can make your legs look heavy. Once you know your body type and adopt a few simple tips to dress your best, shopping will be a breeze. Remember, the dress fits you, you don’t fit the dress. Use clothing to accentuate your best attributes, and love yourself, no matter your body type. You are not just your shape—you are uniquely, beautifully you. May ‘ 1 9 1 0 5


Artful Arrangements Written by SUZANNE RICE


ho says plates are just for eating? If you’re tired of boring framed prints and dusty shelves adorning your walls, spice them up with a bit of creativity. A collection of plates or trivets, old or new, may be just what you need to add a pop of color and interest to your space. Interior Designer Suzanne Rice shares some of her go-to arrangement ideas and display tips for creating a classic but contemporary look.




You may want to paint a darker accent wall if you are using light-colored objects or opt for a lightcolored wall if featuring colorful plates.

To determine your arrangement, lay the items out on the floor or table first to decide on spacing.

The simplest way to get the hangers in the right spot on the wall is to put paper under the arrangement on the table, attach all the hangers and mark each object hanger location. Then use painters tape to attach the paper to the wall. I like to use large format floor cover paper. Once on the wall, tap nail holes through the paper to mark the proper location of each hanger.

If you want to be more creative with your hanging techniques, I have used old silver platters and attached plates to them by drilling through the silver before hanging the plate on it. My favorite is hanging saucers on two piano knockers (precisely known as hammer, shank and flange) from my dismantled piano of late. Just be on the lookout for free pianos!

May ‘ 1 9 1 0 7


Bettina Looney: A Style Story Written by NICK STEELE

Photos courtesy of Bettina Looney


he oft referred to “muse”—be it in the context of a fashion designer like Hubert de Givenchy and his 40-year relationship with legendary actress Audrey Hepburn or Truman Capote’s obsessive interest in such highWhen I was little, my society socialites as Babe mother would have to Paley, who he gave the title “swans”—was once a rarified drag me to the mall. and intimate association. The idea of shopping But over the last decade, was my worst within the fashion industry, the word muse has slowly nightmare. I was the been replaced by the word biggest tomboy! influencer. And thanks to social networking apps like Instagram and the obsessive sharing of street style photos of impossibly chic trendsetters on their way to various fashion events, the once intimate exchange has become a global conversation. Today, the sphere of inf luence for these picture-perfect swans has increased exponentially and become something of a numbers game. If you create beautiful, engaging content and score some media coverage, designers and enthusiasts from around the globe will sit up and take notice. Today’s top social media influencers not only serve as the inspiration for fashion designers and may be courted to become ambassadors for their brands, but they also motivate consumers to continue shopping. That’s something that Ocala-native Bettina Looney is banking on as the founder of a new London-based concierge fashion business that grew out of her experience as a personal shopper. The raven-haired beauty with an exceptional sense of style has captured the attention of top fashion publications like Vogue, as well as followers from around the world. In a relatively short amount of time, this bright young woman (she’s a mere 28 years old) has collected close to 40,000 Instagram followers and scored


Some of my favorite places that I have visited are in the Middle East, Oman, Doha and Dubai.

relationships with such iconic brands as Chanel and Fendi. We caught up with her for a chat in between her recent jaunts to Milan and Paris. Were you always interested in fashion? It’s so funny that I ended up in fashion because when I was little, my mother would have to drag me to the mall. The idea of shopping was my worst nightmare. I was the biggest tomboy! How did a girl from Ocala become a top fashion influencer in London? Sometimes, I still ask myself this question! Throughout my life, I‘ve always put myself out there, and when I graduated from the University of Florida, I thought that this was the only time in my life that I could randomly move somewhere spontaneously, with no obligations or set plans. So that’s exactly what I did. I chose London, and who

knew that this move would pave the way to me finding my true passion. How would you describe your personal style? Adventurous and eccentric! Tell us about your new company and how it’s different from being a personal shopper? We still very much specialize in personal shopping. The concept behind the business is a fashion concierge service, where we offer everything fashion related to address our client’s needs, whether that be personal shopping, styling, wardrobe refreshes, reselling pieces they no longer want or seasonal wardrobe edits. Is it true that you often travel to work with your clients wherever they live in the world? That’s one of my favorite parts about this job, being able to meet incredible women from different cultures around the world.

What has been your “personal best” fashion moment? Two years ago, one of my favorite clients took me to my very first fashion show. I was completely stressed trying to figure out what to wear. Finally, I pinned up a skirt so it was a bit more fun, wore a chunky H&M sweater and a pair of gold Gucci mules. When we walked up to the show, I was asked by a photographer if he could take a picture of what I was wearing. When I turned around, there were more and more photographers lined up to do the same. That image and outfit ended up being my first Vogue feature, and that’s when it all really began! The most magical event you’ve attended? My first ever Chanel fashion show! It was such a surreal moment to be there amongst some of the most incredible people in fashion while also experiencing a collection that was designed by Karl Lagerfeld, one of the greatest designers in the world. What are some things you like to do when you come home to Ocala? When I am in Ocala, I honestly love just being home and hanging with my family. But some of my go-to places are Stella’s for a yummy lunch, the Shannon Roth Collection to stock up on home accessories, The Corkscrew Winery for some natural wine and, if there’s enough time, I like to go horseback riding.

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Photos courtesy of State Archives of Florida


A Forgotten Industry


Sources: Floridamemory.com, cfmemory.org

Photos courtesy of State Archives of Florida

lthough Florida may be known for its citrus and sugar cane production, turpentine was once one of Florida’s largest industries, picking up speed and becoming a profitable trade in the early 1800s. The substance was used readily as an ingredient in many household products, including paint, hairspray and cosmetics. The original use, however, was to seal the ropes and wood used to build ships in order to combat leaks. Because of this, turpentine products became known as “naval stores.” As it turns out, Florida’s longleaf pine trees have just the sticky ingredient needed to make the substance. Unfortunately, harvesting the necessary oleoresin came at a price—the destruction of many acres of forestland. To collect the resin, workers would scar the tree, allowing the sticky material to run. At the base of the tree, a Herty cup or pot, like the one shown here, was used to collect the resin before it was transferred to the still to be used to make turpentine and other products. By 1970, after decades of consistent decline, the Florida turpentine industry had all but disappeared. Today, turpentine is mainly used as a raw material throughout the chemical industry. It can be found in a variety of paints and pottery. In folk medicine, the oil from turpentine is used topically as an analgesic for rheumatoid and neuralgic disorders, and it’s also used to help relieve bronchial conditions.

Photo by John Jernigan

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