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table of Issue 19 | Spring 2011 Copyright © Pulse the Magazine, Inc. PO Box 1896 • Tavares, FL 32778
Ramblin’ with Richard Safeguard This!
Publisher Calvin Arnold
Natural Florida Blue Spring State Park
Writers One Flight Up A Tribute to Randall Cadman
“General” Al Wittnebert
The Green Scene Green on “Being Green”
Managing Editor Richard Huss Marketing & Development Mari Henninger Design Director Kimberly Smith Ditto’s & Design 352.735.2512 Advertising Design Lorri Arnold Photography Bill Casey Steven Paul Hlavac Marc Vaughn Steve Williams Illustration Jennifer Cahill Harper Contributing Writers Nike Bolte Beth Hughes Jeanne Fluegge Susan Green Jaillet Mari Henninger Tony Marzano
Assistant Editors Nancy Butler-Ross Susan Green Jaillet
Welcome to the Kingdom of Fungi Discovering a New Universe Within Our Own
“Ferran’s Redux” Michael’s at A Third Place
Pisces Rising Flash Fiction Contest Winner
Palm Ridge Reserve “...whiskey the way it’s supposed to be...”
Advertising Sales Calvin Arnold 407.421.6686 Don Thibodeau 352.552.2655 Pulse the Magazine is published quarterly. We are advertiser– supported and available without charge at participating businesses in the Mount Dora, Eustis and Tavares area. Mail subscription information is available upon request. All opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers. Letters to the Editor are welcome. Please type or print clearly. Letters must carry the writer’s name and city of residence, a signature if sent through hard mail, and at least one type of contact information: E-mail address, phone number, or physical address. Only the writer’s name and city will be published. All letters sent to Pulse the Magazine may be published in print and/or at our website. We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, brevity, clarity, legality, and taste. Letters should be e-mailed to email@example.com or hard mailed to Publisher at Pulse the Magazine, PO Box 1896, Tavares, FL 32778.
PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 4
Our cover photo for this issue is by Taylor Lockwood. The mushroom featured, Mycena interrupta, was found in New South Wales, Australia. Taylor travels worldwide ﬁlming and photographing thousands of these colorful, unusual, some edible and some poisonous, all mysterious, fungi. See feature story page 20.
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Pulse continues to attract new writers and widen coverage. Tony Marzano takes us to Umatilla where Palm Ridge Reserve, a distinctive whiskey, is distilled. Nike Bolte journeys to Blue Spring State Park in Orange City â€“ winter home for Florida manatees. The inaugural â€œPisces Rising - Writers One Flight Up - Pulse Flash Fiction Contestâ€? winner is Jeanne Fluegge. Her story is on page 30. Congrats also to Barb Henny and Erica McFarland, ďŹ nalists in the contest. Their stories are on the Pulse Website. Also on our Website, you can explore a special â€œHorseless Carriageâ€? photo feature. This club visited Mount Dora for a week at the Lakeside Inn displaying their pre-1916 automobiles to a fascinated public. And as always, thanks for your continued support. Cordially, Calvin Arnold, Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org www.pulsethemagazine.com
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Safeguard This! Do you feel safe? Secure? Can we talk? The U.S. is the number one economy in the world; but we have no budget. The mideast is collapsing on television. Talk about a reality show. Japan may well be collapsed by the time you read this...or not. photo by Michelle Pedone© A sitting congresswoman was shot by a lunatic, nearly killed. Our daily lives are surrounded by threats and warnings whether from Homeland Security, “steroidical” weather forecasters, ﬁghting chefs, or dysfunctional New Jersey housewives. OMG, no wonder I feel “not safe.” All of us want to feel secure, to be secure. We want to create a secure environment. So what do we do? We seek ways and means to protect ourselves. Because I don’t believe in carrying a gun, I alarm everything. I have an alarm on my car in case someone breaks into it or tries to steal it. I also have an alarm system in my house in case someone breaks in when I’m at home or away from home. Do I feel secure because I have these “security systems?” Let’s take a look. Whether in the dead of night or the hustle of day, when’s the last time you responded to a blaring car alarm? The fact is, a car alarm is one of the most obnoxious sounds we hear – and one of the most ignored. I don’t know about you, but my ﬁrst reaction
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is, Why can’t that #&%$ bozo learn to use his remote key system without hitting the alarm button? I discount that there might be something to be “alarmed” about. I don’t even glance toward the noisy disruption to see if a live evildoer is making my environment less secure. Then there’s my home alarm system. On every window. Every door. Motion detectors. Smoke detectors. Glass breakage detector. Carbon monoxide detector. Extreme noisemaker. Telephone monitor. A foolproof and safe environment? Let’s take a look. My system is battery powered and wireless. Oops. Can you tell me why the #&%$ alarm company calls me at 3 a.m. to let me know the battery on station number whatever is low? I mean, what’s wrong with a call at, hmmm, let’s say maybe 8:30 in the #&%$ morning? What are they going to do about my low battery at three a.m.? And back in Connecticut I allegedly had a more sophisticated alarm system. All the same stations and types of monitoring devices plus more – the system was hard-wired and had a backup wireless silent radio alarm just in case I met up with a thinking B & E type, instead of a moron, trying to make his living breaking into houses. This backup radio alarm connected with the cell tower in the area. When the radio backup lost contact with the tower, a frequent occurrence in our locale, the loss
of signal was picked up by the monitoring station and the police immediately called. After several encounters with the local gendarmes, once when they barged into my home with ďŹ rearms drawn demanding to know who lived there â€“ were we okay â€“ could they search for intruders â€“ I had the radio backup removed. Still, the false alarms occurred.
Several false alarms, numerous calls to the security company, unending apologies to the local constabulary â€“ and a few ďŹ nes later, we learned that the technician removed the backup radio alarm without deactivating it. All was okay as long as his van and the radio, now snuggled in the rear of the van, traveled within reception distance of cell towers. But as soon as the van was out of a reception area, no matter where in the state it happened to be, the backup radio lost contact with the alarm company, causing an alarm disruption whereupon the police were promptly dispatched.
There was the time the local ďŹ remen joined my rousing Kentucky Derby party. We were in full derby regalia, snockered on my high octane mint juleps. The ďŹ remen were fully outďŹ tted in ďŹ reďŹ ghting regalia looking for smoke and ďŹ‚ames, very serious and very unhappy when they found none. They werenâ€™t even molliďŹ ed when I offered them mint juleps. I was ďŹ ned.
So it appears that my attempts to secure my personal safety seem to be insecure. Maybe Iâ€™m better off if I cancel my contract and just prominently display my front yard sign that reads, â€œSecured by #&%$.â€? At least I wonâ€™t have annoying 3 a.m. phone calls â€“ or the monthly fees.
Because I donâ€™t believe in carrying a gun, I alarm
Or, the time a policeman, sidearm drawn, ran through our sunroom while my wife was receiving an in-home massage. Fortunately, this cop knew my wifeâ€™s masseuse. They all had a good laugh, but I was ďŹ ned again.
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story and photography by Nike Bolte
Blue Spring State Park ... A Lesson Learned I’m an explorer by nature and have always pushed the boundaries of my personal envelope. Twenty years ago, fate transplanted me from New York state during the colder months to my new second home – Florida. Having visited each coast, the Keys and, of course, the amusement parks, I thought it ﬁtting to explore the vast central regions of my new home. Eager to embrace the state’s more natural areas, I was immediately drawn to Florida’s springs. My love of kayaking would propel my explorations and broaden my horizons. And so it was, in my initial journeys, that I came upon Blue Spring State Park, 50 minutes by car from my newly adopted Mount Dora home. Opened as a state park in 1972, Blue Spring provides numerous viewing points along the tree-shaded wooden boardwalk that leads to the head of the spring. Signage along that pleasant short stroll through magniﬁcently lush vegetation provides a wealth of information about the park’s wildlife, history, and distinct geological features. My initial attraction to Blue Spring was the unique opportunity to observe the West Indian Manatee in an essential part of its winter habitat. The nearly constant 72 to 73 degree water temperatures in Blue Spring provide lifesaving warmth over the coolest months of north-central Florida winters. During this time period, a daily morning manatee count is taken along the length of the boardwalk before the park opens. Additionally, a count from the river by canoe identiﬁes repeat visitors. Unfortunately, most of the mantees’ identifying marks come in the form of nicks and gashes – sad evidence of their interaction with our world. But interaction is
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Blue Spring’s iridescent blue-green waters with wintering manatee (top center).
...this special place is much more than manatee viewing...
inevitable, as they must leave the shelter of the spring to forage for food in the St. Johns River.
A federally-listed endangered species, manatees are protected, but human interaction and degradation to their feeding and breeding habitat continue to take their toll on the population. Although they can move fairly quickly underwater on a lateral basis, their encounters with motorboat propellers near the surface increase exponentially, as they regularly come up for air. They have a comparatively slow rate of reproduction…one calf, carried for 13 months and nurtured for another two years. Not exactly statistics for the rapid replenishment of a threatened species! But this special place is about much more than just manatee viewing. An absolute abundance of ﬁsh, birds and other wildlife call Blue Spring home and depend on its resources. The boardwalk and a 4.25 mile hiking trail provide opportunities to observe and listen in this richly diverse gem of a state park. The expansion of a new hiking and mountain bike trail will provide public access to previously inaccessible parts of the park’s 2,600+ acres. The current trail winds through several different plant communities whose ﬂora and fauna have adapted to different types of soils and moisture levels. Trail building sessions are offered, and individuals and groups are welcome to join in. Contributing a few hours work can make a signiﬁcant impact...so consider volunteering! My last visit to Blue Spring left me with the following powerful image.
tip of the alligator’s snout ﬂoated just above the manatee’s body, and well behind its ﬂippers. I witnessed a common trust between reptile and mammal in that moment of peaceful coexistence. It impressed upon me the importance of sharing and respecting the rights of all to utilize a mutually beneﬁting environment…and the powerful responsibility of our position in that process. Many thanks to park manager, Robert Rundle and his staff, who graciously gave of their time and knowledge. For details about Blue Spring State Park, go to www.ﬂoridastateparks.com
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I stood at one of the observation areas, periodically photographing. Someone nearby pointed out what they thought to be the head of an alligator protruding from under a tree that had fallen in the water. I turned my lens, zoomed in and was astounded to see not only the head of an alligator above the water, but a manatee, perpendicular to it and nudging its head directly underneath the alligator’s jaw-hinge and eyes. The manatee stopped and let the alligator’s head rest on top of its own. After a moment, the manatee turned and repositioned itself farther underneath the alligator, its nose within inches of the alligator’s front feet. The 9 • PULSE • SPRING 2011
photography by Michelle Pedone
A Tribute to Randall Cadman 1930-2011 A friend told me that the world will end when the last poet dies. We are one step closer to that end with the loss of the poet Randall Cadman â€“ a member of Writers One Flight Up and The Mount Dora Writers ÂŠ photo h by b Michelle Mi h ll Pedone P d Guild. Randy published volumes of poetry and won numerous awards. He was a proliďŹ c rhymester. He mastered many different poetic forms and never failed to entertain us with his work, whether it was a risquĂŠ limerick, a lofty sonnet or the more difficult villanelle or pantoum. Randy will be missed, but his spirit, his ĂŠlan, his special humanity will stay with us forever. Randy made us happier. We always felt better after being with Randy, and his poetry will be a part of us forever. We will miss hearing Randyâ€™s voice, his laugh, his quirky ideas. We will miss his sparkling eyes, his gentlemanly manner, his dinner jackets, his ascots, and his deep baritone. But Randy will always be in our hearts and minds. Thank you for gracing us with your presence. Write on, good friend!
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Godâ€™s Fool Thereâ€™s a need in the poet, While tending the ďŹ‚ame, To believe that the future Will honor his name, That the notes he has bottled, And the legends they bore, Will be rescued and treasured On Tomorrowâ€™s bright shore. Though heâ€™s labeled a dreamer, Heâ€™ll struggle and cope, Wearing rags of rejection And garlands of hope. When the proud spires of power Have fallen to rust, When the child in her cradle Is mingled with dust, When the faith of the moment Is yesterdayâ€™s news, And the merchants of madness Have lit the last fuse, With the toll road of doomâ€™s day Expensively paved, Still some poet will thunder, â€œThe day can be saved!â€? From the ashes of splendor, He will somehow contrive The Quixotic conviction That Man will survive.
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â€œOnce Greenâ€? is an example of Randyâ€™s ability to handle the myriad of poetic forms. Dedicated to Maryanne Napoleone, American poet, the poem is a Beymorlin sonnet, an Italian sonnet form where internal rhymes are used as well as the traditional end rhymes.
Once Green When I consider how my once-green days lie thrall to autumn leaves I walk among, I sigh to view the bitter ghosts they raise, and gall lies like a wafer on my tongue. I chose the Word, not action, as my mode to chart a course or praise a friendly ďŹ‚ag, yet close with life an undeciphered code, my heart still blind and wild â€“ a wounded stag. Since fame is not a mean or small pursuit, I gaze for ďŹ‚ecks of gold in ancient streams, and claim that man can rise above the brute. In days to come, unlikely as it seems, these scrawls may win remembrance for me like fallâ€™s bright leaves from a barren, once-green tree.
Randy, like his momâ€™s apple tree, â€œgave up the ghost this spring.â€? We at WOFU mourn and praise Randy for all he brought into our lives.
Ring of Life The apple tree in Momâ€™s back yard this year stands stark and bare, deleafed at last of stubborn grit, with only me to care. Mom brought it south in sapling form, much ridiculed for hope. Though Florida heat was not its norm, it somehow seemed to cope. Just half the size of northern kin, its fruit was hard and tart. When boiled for hours, a seasonâ€™s yield sufficed to cheer Momâ€™s heart. The apple tree in Momâ€™s back yard gave up the ghost this spring. I guess it didnâ€™t feel the need to add another ring. 04/2010
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“General” Al Wittnebert In 1962, astronaut Wally Schirra returned home to New Jersey for a hero’s welcome. Before police cordoned off the building where the famous astronaut was to speak, Al Wittnebert hid in the bathroom. A policeman nabbed the gutsy twelve year-old and tossed him out, but not before Al cornered his hero and snagged his ﬁrst autograph. He didn’t know this boyish prank would shape his career into an autograph expert and fund-raiser. He also couldn’t imagine that thirty-ﬁve years later he would be in New York City toasting Wally Schirra and cosmonaut, Aleksei Leonov, with glasses of vodka at the astronaut’s scholarship beneﬁt he was hosting. A corporate career in the airline business sidetracked Al early on. “When work wasn’t fun anymore, I changed to a job I could have fun with,” he said as we sat squeezed in his small office piled high with papers and books. Al ﬂew across the country setting up shows selling autographs, posters, and memorabilia until 1997 when Mount Dora grounded him with her small town charms.
story by Jeanne Fluegge photography by Steven P. Hlavac
A space on Fourth Avenue started out as an office and warehouse for Uncle Al’s Time Machine online business. Then, according to Al, the three-block-town warmed to his abilities and his wife, Irene, began turning his storage rooms into a retail gallery space. Perhaps it was Al’s reputation as an autograph authority and appraiser that endeared him to the town, but I suspect his tireless work as Rotary president and passionate fund raising talents were the real reasons. Sitting at a command post at the front of his shop or in his back office headquarters, Al is a tenacious general who compares himself to George Patton. “When there’s peace, we’re not the right men for the job.” The comparison is ﬁtting. General Patton symbolizes a warrior’s ferocity and aggressiveness; Al Wittnebert is called the “Guardian of the Library.” When Al ﬁrst arrived in Mount Dora, Harry Potter books were stirring up cauldrons of controversy. The library’s board of directors was concerned about how parents might react to the series. Al, who admits to being outspoken, impatient, and a little arrogant, pushed into the fray, helped diffuse the situation and was hooked on being a protector of the library. Ironically, his high school guidance counselor considered Al a lackluster student. Yet, while in high school, he was clever enough to invite TV’s Buffalo Bob to his house to raise money for charity. When Buffalo Bob, with a stringless Howdy Doody by his side, shouted to an older Peanut Gallery, “Hey kids, what time is it?” and they all yelled back, “It’s Howdy Doody Time!” Al knew he had discovered his avocation. Over forty years later, he’s still doing fundraisers and making
Al Wittenbert – Shows the “Write” Stuff PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 14
“When there’s peace, we’re not the right men for the job.”
Baby Boomers shout out with nostalgic joy. His “An Evening With” concert series for the library has the town singing along with the likes of Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Kingston Trio. The volunteers needed to pull off this event are a well-oiled machine that Al claims could do without him. Al stayed around offering moral support and to ensure the sponsors got VIP treatment. But after the handshaking was done, Al and his wife slipped out early. It seems the man who creates the party isn’t as adept at being the life of the party.
Instead, Al focuses his energy on bringing home the next volunteer project “under budget and ahead of time.” This happened with the Historic Society’s farmhouse, donated to the library when renovation estimates were beyond the Society’s budget. Al convinced the town’s “doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs” to fund the renovation. He slashed costs with the help of a cooperative builder and 12 diligent amateurs. His crew labored on weekends for four months doing all but the most complicated construction. Before the farmhouse garden bloomed and its fountain gurgled, Al had lost 45 pounds and gained enormous respect for the crew and his talented brother-in-law, Steve Flynn. Nonproﬁts hold meetings there for free, and the old farmhouse is booked solid. Referring to his shop ﬁlled with autographs, iconic images, and artifacts from the 20th century, Al says, “People either get what we do or they don’t.” But he could be talking about the library just as well. Both tell about where we’ve been and who we are. Collectors are the caretakers of our tangible past, and librarians are the caretakers of our thoughts and ideas. No matter how arrogant or impatient a general may appear, when Al Wittnebert discovers a letter written in 1884 that proclaims Mount Dora is the handsomest place to live in Florida, or he declares, with the passion of King Lear that, “As long as I have a breath, there will always be a library,” we can rest assured our history has a guardian and a general. For details about certiﬁed autographs and Uncle Al’s online memorabilia, go to www.signhere.com, Uncle Al’s Time Capsule Website.
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We will be celebrating the Marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton during the month of April 2011, with special events. We will also be carrying Commemorative English Bone China along with our regular selection of teapots, cups and saucers and decorative plates and gift items.
Our restaurant is situated in beautiful historic downtown Mount Dora. We have been charming our guests since 1991 in a friendly Victorian style atmosphere. The menu is a creative culinary offering of daily specials and traditional English fayre, we also have a selection of tea, wine and beer. We can also accomodate baby and wedding showers, birthday parties, private party bookings or school outings. Call: 352 735 2551 for more information Or visit: www.windsorrose-tearoom.com
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The Green Scene
by Susan Green Jaillet illustration by Jennifer Cahill Harper
Green on “Being Green” What is “being green,” anyway? A political movement, an environmental movement, a movement started by those commune living hippies back in the ‘60s? It’s all of the above, parts of the above, and it can be confusing and complicated. To some of us, Green means a product or service certiﬁed by a reputable group as organic. No pesticides, no chemically enhanced fertilizers. Free of pollutants. Another popular Green slogan is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” A resounding Yes! So we try to use less, to reuse what we can and to recycle. We faithfully take those yellow bins out to the curb. Take our unneeded and unnecessary stuff to Good Will, the Cat Protection Society, our used books to the library or another favorite charity. For others, Green means reducing our carbon footprint. Sounds like a good
PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 18
thing, but can we do it? Where would we be without pesticides and fertilizer, without heating and airconditioning, without carbon-based transportation? Florida didn’t become a popular place to live until after WW II and the advent of air conditioning and pesticides. The website Ecoki.com has information on how the U.S. rates compared to other countries. It’s not a surprise to ﬁnd we’re at the top of the consumption list. And of course, Green has traditionally meant the money we have in our pocket–cold, hard cash. How much of our personal green are we willing to spend on being Green? Autos, organically labeled products, and eco-friendly construction often cost more, and we’re left wondering if they are worth it? Can they live up to their claims?
Green begins at home, in our pockets, in our hearts.
Here’s my personal answer and I hope it helps you.
Green begins at home, in our pockets, in our hearts. Our awakening has to take place on a personal level. Thereâ€™s a Navajo saying, â€œYou canâ€™t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.â€? When we face too many choices, too little truth, too many conďŹ‚icting ideas, itâ€™s confusing and complicated. Often, we pretend to be asleep so we can avoid the choices we need to make. By default we give most of our personal decisions to othersâ€“how to live, how to die, what we consume, how products get to us. Our modern-day world has changed from running on personal decisions and interactions to adhering to corporate and government policies. Many of our values, therefore, are willingly adopted, never doubted, seldom reexamined. But to learn on a personal level, we have to look at each and every action we take today. We have to look at our thoughts. In an old Cherokee parable of the Two Wolves, a grandfather is teaching his grandson about life. â€œA terrible ďŹ ght is going on inside me,â€? grandfather tells the boy. â€œItâ€™s a terrible ďŹ ght, between two wolves, and one sits on either shoulder, whispering in my ear. One is evil â€“ he whispers words of anger, resentment, greed, lies. This is the voice of the ego. The other wolf is good, the voice of love, serenity, kindness, truth, faith. The same ďŹ ght is going on inside you, inside each of us.â€? The grandson thinks a minute and asks, â€œWhich wolf will win?â€? The old grandfather replies simply, â€œThe one I feed.â€? Today, these two wolves sit on our shoulders and constantly whisper to us. We need to take some time, look around, be aware of our thoughts, our actions. Ask ourselves, What does being Green mean? Itâ€™s a simple question without simple answers. It may be even a life and death issue, not just for me or you, but our neighbors, our countrymen, our brother and sister citizens on this earth, the planet known as Mother Earth in most every culture... but rarely in ours. How important is our personal health, our drinking water, our breathable air, the beauty of bird songs? The answer may be different for each of us.
Because itâ€™s confusing and complicated, please donâ€™t pretend to be asleep. If we listen, we might hear the voice of our good wolf, asking to be fed and whispering in our ear, â€œYou can be green...personally. And, it will make a difference.â€? To calculate your personal carbon footprint, visit the Nature Conservancy Website: www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator To discuss being green with Susie Jaillet, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sometimes we donâ€™t hear what nature is saying to us because of our noisy world. But Mother Earth speaks to us always. And when we donâ€™t listen, she turns up the volume. Flood, famine, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, ďŹ re, the list goes on in greater magnitude. Her sounds are near deafening, she is in agony. And you know, â€œWhen Mama ainâ€™t happy, nobodyâ€™s happy.â€? In a way, weâ€™re a lot like Wall-E, the garbage robot in the ďŹ lm. In the right place and at the right time, we each hold a critical key, even if itâ€™s just a single plant. Like Wall-E, itâ€™s time to clean up our personal devastation, piece by piece, decision by decision. Become personally Green.
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19 â€˘ PULSE â€˘ SPRING 2011
PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 20
Welcome to the Kingdom of Fungi Discovering a New Universe Within Our Own Who knew there was a shimmering, scintillating parallel universe existing within our midst? A world within our world, largely invisible, inhabited by many tribes so diverse in color and form that it stretches the imagination to grasp they’re all from the same genetic stock. Some resemble garden gnomes, others penitents on a mission of mercy and a few could be ﬁrst cousins of Star Wars’ Jabba the Hut. Welcome to the Kingdom of Fungi – more commonly known as mushrooms. As with other parallel universes, a number of its inhabitants have been frequent visitors to our own, mostly shrouded in brown and beige, belying the beauty of their fellow tribesmen.
I want my work “to be like hearing about a new solar system and seeing it at the same time.”
Only a few intrepid human travelers have been willing to brave the hardships required to meet the most colorful and reclusive members of the Kingdom of Fungi. Taylor Lockwood, a world-renowned Tri-City photographer, author and speaker has made it his mission to seek out these exotic creatures and share the diversity and beauty of their world.
by Mari Henninger photography by Taylor Lockwood Taylor Lockwood portrait by Steve Williams
and trod through miles of mud and muck to reach the most fertile fungi habitats. Once found, he cajoles these shy ephemeral creatures to share their beauty, ﬁrst by ﬁnding the most photogenic members of the local tribe and then carefully grooming, framing and lighting them to convey their radiant beauty. Taylor’s stunning photographs, as well as his visits with mushroom lovers across the globe, have made him an ambassador of the Kingdom of Fungi. Taylor came to this role by a circuitous route. Though he’s always been an adventurer, traveling across Europe and South America in his late teens, he was ﬁrst drawn to music. He worked with rock-and-roll groups for twelve years writing songs and performing, ﬁrst in San Francisco, then in Los Angeles. Seven years in southern California and three bands later, he was “burned out by Hollywood.” Tired of the smog and heat, he relocated to Mendocino, a small community in northern California. Within a week of moving to his new home, he became so enchanted by the dazzling beauty of the colorful mushrooms surrounding his rain-drenched cabin he felt compelled to buy a camera and photograph them. That day a passion was born and he’s never looked back.
Taylor, who looks more like Indiana Jones than a mycologist (one who studies mushrooms), has trekked across six of the seven continents in search of the most exotic members of the fungi kingdom. Led by local guides, he has climbed mountains, braved mosquitoes Mycena Penitents on a mission of mercy?
Excida recisa A cousin of Jabba the Hut? 21 • PULSE • SPRING 2011
PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 22
23 • PULSE • SPRING 2011
As he says in his recent book, Chasing the Rain, “In 1993, after ﬁnishing a presentation to a group on the east coast, I had an epiphany. I realized that through my photography, I was in a special position to help raise awareness of and appreciation for mushrooms and other fungi... and I really believed mushrooms needed me.”
Taylor says his a mission is “to bring light to the beauty of mushrooms.” He believes “mushrooms are nature’s art” and wants his work “to be like hearing about a new solar system and seeing it at the same time.” So, thanks to Taylor, welcome to the parallel universe of the Kingdom of Fungi. I, for one, have been seduced by its beauty and confess to having become a mushroom groupie.
In addition to photos and books, Taylor makes educational videos where he confesses to “clandestinely” placing exquisite photos of his fungi friends to connect students with the beauty of mushrooms. As you watch his videos, you are quickly drawn in by an intoxicating mixture of his quirky sense of humor, tales of his mushroom-hunting exploits and irresistible photos of his “mushroom stars.” And before you know it you’ve been led down the garden path to – what else – a sudden mushrooming of your appreciation for fungi.
“Wherever he goes–from the Amazon to Tibet, from New Zealand to Nigeria–Taylor Lockwood brings back the most welcome and most ancient of news: that the world is rich in miraculous beauty that will astound the mind as well as dazzle the eyes. Taylor bears a great gift from the kingdom of fungi directly to the human spirit, a gift that nourishes and inspires our love for the diversity of the world.”
“I really believed mushrooms needed me.”
For more information on Taylor Lockwood, his mushroom photos and publications, visit www.kingdomoffungi.com
–Malcolm Margolin, Publisher, Heyday Books
Taylor Lockwood, “On the Hunt” photo by Steve Williams PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 24
25 â€¢ PULSE â€¢ SPRING 2011
“Ferran’s Redux” Michael’s at A Third Place To the delight of many, a Eustis landmark is experiencing a revival. Michael Hill, chef and owner, and his wife, Kit, have packed up their hugely successful Umatilla Michael’s restaurant location and moved to the sprawling former Ferran’s Department Store in historic downtown Eustis and are now Michael’s at A Third Place. Upsizing in this economy, you ask? Fine dining in Eustis? The answer to both is a resounding YES! The Hills were looking for an opportunity to expand, and had previously catered many special events at the cavernous venue with soaring 20-foot ceilings and notoriously squeaky ﬂoors. Boasting classic Revival architectural styles, the 12,718 square foot building was home to Edgar L. Ferran’s popular mercantile establishment which opened in 1926. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the space has housed several restaurants and watering holes in the interim. Michael and Kit hope that together with surrounding business owners, they will breathe new life into the Eustis historic district. “We’ve been doing well,” says Kit. “It’s a great place,
by Beth Hughes photography by Steven P. Hlavac
a great opportunity and a great town. It‘s a great ﬁt for us.”
...casual dining ...fine dining ...full bar ...boutique label beers...
Growing up in Windermere, Michael developed his passion for food with guidance from a neighbor and former CIA (Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY) professor, Virgil Frey. Frey took 10year-old Michael under his wing and schooled him in the classic culinary methods and the ﬁne art of making pastries. Virgil sponsored eighteen-year-old Michael as a student at the equally prestigious Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. He graduated at the top of his class with an associate’s degree in Classical European Culinary Arts. Although a highly trained chef with a reﬁned palate, Michael still succumbs to the occasional fast food craving. When I asked what his choice for a last meal was if he were ever on Death Row, he answered with a big smile, “Taco Bell.” “He would eat that every day if he could,” says Kit. After graduating, Michael returned to central Florida and began his career as a sous chef with Wyndham Hotels in Orlando. He also had stints at various other resort hotels including The Peabody Hotel’s Capriccio’s restaurant where he developed his Mediterranean ﬂavor proﬁles. He even tried his hand at restaurant management with the Classic Sports Restaurant Group but says, “The front of the house just wasn’t my thing.” He’s always been lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time and met
Michael and Kit Hill serve you a taste of good food with a taste of historic downtown Eustis. PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 26
Kit when she was working at a nearby resort. He quickly learned that the front of the house was Kitâ€™s thing. â€œI canâ€™t cook and he canâ€™t balance a checkbook,â€? states Kit. So she handles the public relations and day-to-day management while Michael occasionally slips out of the kitchen to schmooze. â€œWe make a good team,â€? she says. Michael was always drawn to his â€œextended familyâ€? of friends and hunting buddies in the Umatilla area so he and Kit decided to live there and opened Michaelâ€™s restaurant. Soon they added catering services and were off and running. The modest facade of the building on Central Avenue gave no hint of the elegant atmosphere inside. Fine dining in Umatilla â€“ Indeed! Michaelâ€™s food became so wildly popular, the need to relocate to a larger space couldnâ€™t be delayed. They moved down the road a piece to Eustis, polished the brass, shined the squeaky ďŹ‚oors at Ferranâ€™s and tried to ďŹ gure out what to do about the acoustics. Their menu offerings range from casual and tasty burgers, sandwiches and salads to ďŹ ne dining â€“ decadent options such as oysters Rockefeller, pancko crusted Ahi tuna in a ginger sesame glaze, or perfectly executed prime rib with a side of Michaelâ€™s famous mashed potatoes jazzed with garlic, wasabi or truffle oil. Michael and Kit hope to separate the space to give diners a choice ... casual dining down and ďŹ ne dining upstairs. Local musicians provide excellent tunes on weekend nights. The new location also allows them to have a full bar offering patrons an array of specialty cocktails. Michael also features craft industry boutique label beers and â€œbeer ďŹ‚ightâ€? samplers. To maintain the historic feel of the building, Kit consulted Tim Totten of the Eustis Historical Society. Tim plans to use an array of artifacts left behind from the old department store to recreate the window box displays. Already on display are many signs, photographs and other items collected throughout the buildingâ€™s history â€“ all dusted off and resurrected. Kit says customers often show her the Ferranâ€™s label in clothing they still proudly wear. Come by and enjoy a little Eustis history, some great food, and see what theyâ€™ve done with the place. If you have any stories of bygone days, Michael and Kit would love to hear those, too. To learn more about Michaelâ€™s at A Third Place, go to www.michaelsthirdplace.com, or www.facebook.com/#!/Michaelsthirdplace.
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29 • PULSE • SPRING 2011
Pisces Rising Flash Fiction Contest Winner!
introduction by Richard Huss photography by Bill Casey
The winner of the inaugural Pisces Rising-Writers One Flight Up-Pulse Flash Fiction Contest is Jeanne Fluegge. The contest, based on the painting pictured to the right by local artist Norm Rinne, generated entries from throughout Florida and from Michigan and Pennsylvania. In addition to her creative writing, Jeanne is a regular contributor to Pulse and also presents onewoman shows featuring women in history. The 2nd place winner (Barb Henny) and 3rd place winner (Erica McFarland) are featured on the Pulse Website along with Jeanne. Below is Jeanne’s winning Flash Fiction piece, “A Sensible Woman.”
“A Sensible Woman” By Jeanne Fluegge Mount Dora, FL Before Sue spent her summer afternoons at Pisces Rising drinking Sauvignon Blanc at the bar, she had been a sensible woman. Only her spiked hair, stiff and tall like a crown, hinted at something unpredictable, perhaps even excessive. Every afternoon Norm set heavy silverware and thick cloth napkins beside her small plate of Portobello mushroom appetizers; then he captivated her imagination with his dazzling stories about the landscape he’d painted and hung on the wall behind the bar. He ﬁlled her head with the scent of frangipani on dry night air, with the taste of ripe ﬁgs soaked in honey, and of golden tiger skins to lie on. Soon Sue’s mind swam in romantic notions, and her veins warmed with wine. She wanted to believe in Norm’s stories, wanted the domed building in his picture to be real. He smiled when she asked about the painting, replaced the damp napkin under her tall stemmed glass with a dry one and told her another story. After a second and sometimes third glass of PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 30
Contest Finalists: Left, Jeanne Fluegge: 1st place. Center, Erica McFarland: 3rd place. Right, Barb Henny: 2nd place.
wine, Sue walked back to her efficiency apartment off Donnelly Street. She climbed beneath her Egyptian cotton sheets and dreamed about the sweet taste of dates and the musky scent of men wrapped in turbans. By July, most of her jeans and tee shirts had been shoved to the back of the closet, and Sue bought soft silky blouses, billowy satin pants, silver sandals and toe rings to wear. She replaced her practical gold studs with her grandmother’s dangling garnet earrings and grew her spiky hair long enough to hold antique crystal necklaces she’d found at Oliver Twist’s Antiques. She ordered green curries at the Thai Sushi Restaurant so spicy and hot they made her nose run. But nothing could dampen her eagerness for late afternoons when her brown eyes bored into the heart of the painting behind the bar. In the fall soon as the snowbirds returned to Mount Dora, Norm was too busy pouring glasses of Chardonnay and serving crab cakes nestled on beds of greens to wonder why Sue hadn’t been around. But when one of the regulars asked where she had vanished to, something clicked in his brain. He froze in mid-pour
My God, I donâ€™t believe it,â€? he said; but there, inside his painting, was Sue sitting on the boat.
â€œ... Norm was too
Under the boatâ€™s red and white striped canopy her spiked hair wrapped in crystal necklaces, blinked hello in the afternoon sun; her tiny garnet earrings danced to the splashing of the little boatmanâ€™s oar as it dipped into the painted blue water of Normâ€™s imagination.
busy to wonder why Sue hadnâ€™t
â€œSo, ladies, who needs a reďŹ ll?â€? said the bartender, another bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in his hand. The two women sitting at the bar, wearing comfortable shoes and small diamond studs in their ears, looked in the bartenderâ€™s direction and nodded. His stories and the painting behind the bar had already captured their attention and they didnâ€™t notice when the bartender replaced their soggy cocktail napkins with fresh ones and ďŹ lled their long stemmed glasses with chilled white wine. He set heavy silverware and thick cloth napkins beside their small plates of black bean pancakes smothered in spicy salsa. But the women were already tasting ďŹ gs drenched in honey and smelling frangipani in the afternoon air.
TRI-CITY KUDOS Are you smarter than these ďŹ fth graders? Eustis Elementary School took ďŹ rst place in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competitions for Lake County elementary schools. STEM is a part of the national â€œEducate to Innovateâ€? program. Try answering this question: â€œArielle is paddling her kayak up the river against the current. Every time she paddles 300 yards she has to rest. While resting, the current pushes her kayak back 20 yards. If this pattern continues, how many times will Arielle rest before she travels 1,400 yards?â€? Our â€œKudosâ€? to the Eustis team, prepared by Curriculum Resource Teacher, Debbie Hartog.
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of an apple martini, twisted around to look at his painting, and set the martini shaker down on the bar to take a closer look. What Norm saw dazed him like a jolt from the hilt of a saber in one of his stories.
Pictured left to right: Haylee, Marion, Audrey, Amala and Rickey. 31 â€˘ PULSE â€˘ SPRING 2011
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MAY 6 - 29 At a cocktail party overlooking Boston Harbor, will buttoned-down banker, Austin, have a chance to rekindle the flame with devil-may-care Ruth, with whom he had a brief romance 30 years ago? The sparks fly â€“ as a wild variety of colorful characters cause endless interruptions â€“ in a sharply funny look at living life to the hilt, at any age.
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33 â€˘ PULSE â€˘ SPRING 2011
Palm Ridge Reserve
story by Tony Marzano photography by Marc Vaughn
“...whiskey the way it’s supposed to be.” In today’s marketplace Madison Avenue advertisers spend a lot of their marketing dollars on branding, inundating us with ﬁctional stories about the origins of some of our favorite adult alcoholic beverages. You’ve seen them. Stories like the old man in Tennessee who sits on his front porch and in his spare time makes whiskey. And one of my favorites, the devoted spirits craftsman who leaps overboard into a stormy sea and rescues his barrel of hooch. Commercials like these are sometimes comical and most always absurd. Such historical branding stories are an attempt to bridge the gap between the mom-and-pop family businesses that handcraft their products, to publically-traded global corporations. And, when it comes to our beer, wine and liquor, it seems we all love and trust the handcrafted items made by real humans more than those made by international conglomerates.
A few hundred yards down an unmarked gravel road in Umatilla rests a nondescript barn that on the inside has been modiﬁed into Florida’s one-and-only handmade micro batch whiskey distillery: Florida Farm Distillers, makers of Palm Ridge Reserve. Here, right here in central Florida, the backstory that Madison Avenue advertisers spin about ﬁctional handcrafted spirits is the real story. No gimmicks, no smoke and mirrors, no automated, lifeless, robotically engineered whiskey distilleries. Just two people, a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, producing a ﬁne whiskey by hand. From start to ﬁnish. Dick and Marti Waters undertook this labor of love a little over three years ago. Prior to that, they both had nineto-ﬁve jobs while simultaneously maintaining their small cattle farm. Hoping to make a full-time living off the farm and stay closer to home, the idea of starting their own whiskey distillery came from a news story that Marti Dick Waters and Florida’s one-and-only, Palm Ridge Reserve.
PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 34
“...tasting a whiskey so delicate and refined from such humble origins...”
saw about Midwest farmers supplementing their income by producing distilled spirits from leftover grain. Marti thought that might be a fun way to make a living – and Dick has been known to enjoy a ﬁne whiskey from time to time. So why not give it a shot? Things started small and slow for Dick and Marti as they honed their crafting skills. They began brewing different combinations of whiskey searching for a ﬂavor that was distinct, unique, and appealed to a wide range of whiskey drinkers. Over a two year period, batch after batch was produced, and brought to family parties and friends’ houses to be blind sampled against other well-known whiskeys. Marti laughs when she recalls those days, “We would walk up to a party with arms full of clear vials of different samples of whiskey and all of our friends and family would be like, ‘Oh no, here they come again.’”
But it was in that long, two year arduous trial and error process that the ﬁnal recipe for Palm Ridge Reserve whiskey was born. And it is now with scientiﬁc accuracy that Dick and Marti carefully distill each batch. The ingredients Dick and Marti use are simple: Florida corn, barley malt, regular rye and toasted ﬂake rye. The grains are placed into barrels and soaked in water, then allowed to ferment for a week or so, producing a liquid called “whiskey wash.” This liquid, separated from the solids, is then placed in the eight-foot-tall copper, custom-built distiller. Powered by propane and kept at a constant temperature that is carefully monitored, the still comes to life by releasing a clear substance called “white dog,” which is un-oaked whiskey. I tried a dewdrop of the warm “white dog” and instantly the space inside of my mouth involuntarily expanded from this devilish noxious concoction. The aftereffect of “white dog” on the mouth is a serene smile. At this point in the process, it’s a ten-hour day for the Waters. For quality assurance purposes, Dick carefully samples and records every two quarts that come off the still. Next, the “white dog” is placed in ﬁve gallon charred oak barrels and aged for 8 to 10 months. Aging in the charred barrels gives the whiskey its familiar brown hue and also adds to the ﬂavor of the spirit. Finally, after the waiting game is over, the bottling and labeling takes place. All by hand, of course. The end product, which I happily sampled, didn’t disappoint. It was inspiring to taste a whiskey so delicate and reﬁned from such humble origins.
With only 500 cases produced per year, Palm Ridge Reserve is a true micro batch whiskey. “Taste the grain. Whiskey the way it used to be…Whiskey the way it’s supposed to be,” proclaims the proud artisan, Dick Waters. Give it a try. I bet you’ll come back for more of this mellow, smooth, softly ﬂavored tawny-golden whiskey. By county law, Florida Farm Distilleries is not allowed to hold tours, tastings, or receive visitors, etc. For reviews, more information and where Palm Ridge Reserve is served or sold locally, visit www.palmridgereserve.com.
35 • PULSE • SPRING 2011
Pulse Contributors Nike Bolte :
Bitten by the wanderlust bug at an early age, Nike infuses her love of travel and nature into her
snowbird lifestyle. An avid kayaker, landscape and nature photographer, and budding writer, she is an enthusiastic contributor to Pulse with her Natural Florida stories and photography.
Jeanne Fluegge :
Jeanne loves to write, and participates when time permits in the writing groups in Mount
Dora. Primarily a ﬁction writer, she has turned to magazine articles as one of her creative outlets. Since retiring from teaching, portraying historical female characters has kept her involved in education. She splits her time between Mount Dora and Michigan where she summers on 24 acres devoted to wildlife. You can contact Jeanne at jeanneﬂuegge@provide.net.
Jennifer Cahill Harper :
Jenny is a native of Mount Dora. After many years in New York illustrating for
Random House, she moved with her family to China where she taught art at an international school. Jenny now lives in Eustis dividing her time between family, making art, and volunteering at her daughters’ school. Her illustrations appear regularly in Pulse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mari Henninger :
Mari is the President of ProActLLC, a strategic marketing and research company working
with Fortune 100 companies and large arts organizations.
Originally torn between English literature and
psychology, Mari chose to complete her doctorate in psychology and statistics. Working with Pulse allows her to reconnect with her love of writing, use her marketing skills to support the local community, and have a lot of fun in the process. You can reach Mari at email@example.com.
Beth Hughes : A self-proclaimed foodie, Beth combines her passion for great food with her love for writing.
She is actively involved in the local horse community with her retired quarter horse, Wellington, and enjoys walking trails with her dog, Buster. Claiming Lake County as her home since 2000, Beth works as a Mount Dora Realtor during her day job. You can contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan Green Jaillet : After serving her time in public education, Susie embarked on a new career as a writer
and assistant editor for Pulse. Susie is also a member of Writers One Flight Up, a local Mount Dora creative writing group. She promises to let it “all hang out” as she explores “Being Green” and what it means to make a difference when and where we can. You can reach Susie at email@example.com.
Tony Marzano :
Tony has wrote on a boat, prosed on a plane, conscripted in a car, and inscribed in space.
He is currently completing an epic masterpiece, but found some time on the side to share his talents with Pulse
because he believes it was a serendipitous happenstance. You can reach Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a Reminder
You can go to www.PulseTheMagazine.com and connect with Websites of our advertisers and supporters, see back issues of Pulse, read selected articles and items, and view additional photos. www.PulseTheMagazine.com – Visit now. PULSE • SPRING 2011 • 36
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OF YOUR FUTURE.
Call or visit your local financial advisor today.
Financial Advisor .
4701 Highway 19A Suite 2 Mt Dora, FL 32757 352-357-2282
5HEHFFD%6DUJHQW &)3ÂŠ &)3ÂŠ Financial Advisor Financial Advisor 4701 Highway 19A Suite 2 .
4701 Highway 19A Suite 2 Mt Dora, FL 32757 Mt Dora, FL 32757 352-357-2282 352-357-2282
Create and implement a strategy designed to help you achieve your long-term financial goals. Do something positive for yourself. Call today for a no-cost, no-obligation portfolio review. Together, we can create a strategy thatâ€™s right for you based on your current situation, objectives and risk tolerance.
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PULSE The Magazine of Mount Dora, Eustis and Tavares