Bay County’s Most Eligible Say ‘It’s a Date!’ for Charity
» The Area’s Top Salons Battle in a Fierce Makeover Competition » Italian Baroque Art Comes to Northwest Florida » Kids and Social Networks — Online Safety Tips
COME SUPPORT YOUR SINGLE FRIENDS, AND YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY!
Thanks to you, we’ve found Bay County’s 14 most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. They’re unveiled in this issue of Bay Life Magazine. BUT THE FUN IS JUST BEGINNING … Join us to fête the winners at our Top Singles event that’s sure to be one of the most fun evenings of the summer of 2011! The party is at the Marina Civic Center, promising highenergy entertainment, with food, music and libations. Lunch dates with our select singles will be auctioned off for charity.
LOVE YOUR STYLIST? ADORE YOUR SALON?
Thanks to your nominations, the top salons have been selected to compete for the title of BAY COUNTY’S TOP SALON! Now the competition begins. Mark your calendar for the Top Salon celebration APRIL 9 AT THE MARINA CIVIC CENTER. Ten salons will make over a contestant at this exciting event, and the transformations will be unveiled in a runway show. A panel of judges and all attendees will cast votes to determine the Top Salon of Bay County. The competition is sure to be ﬁerce, but only one establishment will earn the right to call themselves BAY COUNTY’S “TOP SALON”! Bay County’s Top Salon wins an advertising campaign developed by Rowland Publishing and a year-long ad campaign in Bay Life Magazine. Plus, a portion of the PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE WINNER’S FAVORITE CHARITY.
April 9, 2011 6 pm�–�MIDNIGHT AT THE MARINA CIVIC CENTER Go to BayLifeMagazine.com to purchase tickets now! Tickets are $28 in advance/$35 at the door and include: two drink coupons, heavy hors d’oeuvres and automatic entry to win a 3-day/2-night getaway.
PRESENTED BY: 4
Get to know Bay County’s most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes as they share their ideas on love and life while sporting the area’s latest spring fashions.
The Italian Job
Art lover Bill Weiller used his connections to help secure an unprecedented exhibition of Italian Baroque art at the Mary Brogan Museum in Tallahassee.
46 photo by scott holstein, Fashions by Bot Boutique and Feathers Shoe Boutique
Each of Bay Life’s Top 10 Salons will primp and pamper one lucky gal, revealing her new look on a runway show for charity.
On the Cover:
As one of Bay Life Magazine’s Top Singles, entrepreneur and single dad John Walker poses on the pier at Bay Point Marriott Golf Resort & Spa. Photo by Scott Holstein. Fashions by Dillard’s at Pier Park.
In Every Issue 9 From the Publisher 11 From the Editor 74 The Last Word
Quick Reads 13 One to Watch
Award-winning author Michael Lister pens his fourth book in a series based on an ex-cop turned prison chaplain who solves crimes in the Florida Panhandle.
Talk therapist Ken Finch counsels patients on marriage, sex and body image issues.
16 Gen Next
Teach your kids appropriate online behavior with these social networking tips.
72 Dining Guide
Walk, run or dance for charity. Celebrate spring at area events.
22 Social Studies
Check out photos from Holly Fair, the Bay Medical Gala, Covenant Hospice Mask Parade & Gala and Death by Chocolate.
Dining 69 Flavor
Chocolate â€” the sweet, melt-in-yourmouth candy â€” has had a fascinating evolution from the spicy drink of ancient days to the delicious treat it is today.
74 For celebration meals or dining on the go, look here for inspiration.
53 Junior Service League
For 60 years, the JSL of Panama City has created and contributed to projects that have a lasting, positive impact on Bay County.
From the Publisher
We’re Topping Off Spring with a Top Event Singles from throughout Bay County were nominated by our readers, and they’re a fascinating group of young professionals who live and work in our area. We have selected 14 finalists who have graciously agreed to be “auctioned off” for a lunch date — with all the proceeds from the winning bids going to charities chosen by the singles. Those charities cover a wide variety of worthy causes that contribute much to our community. Ten area salons have also been picked to participate in our Top Salon contest. (To even be considered, they needed at least 100 nominations from our readers.) Each salon has selected a person on which they will perform a complete makeover the day of the event. A panel of celebrity judges will evaluate each individual’s appearance based on strict criteria. But to select the overall winner, we will also take into consideration votes cast by those who attend the event. Tickets ($28 in advance and $35 at the door) will include two beverages, plenty of food to snack on and entry into a drawing where the winner will get a Tallahassee getaway weekend that includes accommodations at the chic new Hotel Duval, dinner for two and tickets to area venues. The evening will be fast paced with lots of fun and surprises. Check out our singles and salons at our website, baylifemagazine.com, and the photo spread inside this issue — and plan to attend this inaugural event that will bring the community together for a night to benefit local charities.
Brian Rowland, Publisher
PHOTO by David eggleston
Several years ago, on a trip to Nashville, I had the opportunity to meet a member of the staff at Nashville magazine to talk about the world of publishing. During our discussions, the subject of magazine-sponsored events came up and I was frankly amazed at the wide range of activities they organize each year. I was particularly captured by the many benefits these events have brought to the community and to the magazine itself. The magazine’s efforts have definitely fostered a stronger connection between it and the community. Nashville’s most successful event is the annual Top Singles of Nashville, which sells out the civic center (and apparently creates unlimited opportunities for the scalpers who congregrate outside on the night of the event to hock their tickets to the highest bidder.) Of course, I had to remember that this is Nashville, with a population base of more than 570,000 to draw from and where residents routinely flock to celebrity-packed local venues. Still, I was intrigued by how this type of event might go over in Northwest Florida. So, I set my sights on developing a similar event with my own magazine titles in Tallahassee, the Destin/ Fort Walton Beach area and Panama City. Last summer we put together a Top Singles event in Tallahassee. We sold out the house and raised $20,000 for charity. In early February we hosted another event in Tallahassee to pick the area’s Top Salon. Again, we packed the house to the limit. This spring, we have decided to bring these exciting events to Bay County. We will be combining the two events and have reserved the Marina Civic Center for the evening of April 9, when we will introduce some of the most interesting and talented singles who call Bay County their home — and the area’s best salons will be on hand to showcase their makeover talents. We’re expecting a high-energy night packed with fun for everyone.
Vol. 5, No. 4
Publisher Brian E. Rowland
Editor Wendy O. Dixon
Lead designer Marc L. Thomas
Staff writers Jason Dehart, Lilly Rockwell
Contributing Writers Holly Brooks, Wendy O. Dixon, Lilly Rockwell, Antonio Rosado
Editorial intern Holly Brooks
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Scott Holstein
Traffic Coordinator Caroline Conway
account Executives Chris St. John
online baylifemagazine.com facebook.com/baylife twitter.com/baylifemag
President Brian E. Rowland
DIRECTOR OF PUBLISHING Lisa Carey OPERATIONS
Creative Director Lawrence Davidson
Production DIRECTOR Melinda Lanigan
Director of Linda Kleindienst Editorial Services
Manager of Finance Angela Cundiff HR/Administration
Client Service Caroline Conway Representative DIRECTOR OF Dan Parisi INTEGRATED SALES
administrator of sales McKenzie Burleigh and events Assistant Saige Roberts Creative Director traffic Coordinator Lisa Sostre
art director Tisha Keller
Senior editorial Beth Nabi designer Graphic Designers Marc L. Thomas, Daniel Vitter Network Administrator Daniel Vitter
Web Site rowlandpublishing.com Receptionist Amy Lewis
Bay Life Magazine is published quarterly by Rowland Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 1932, Tallahassee, FL, 32302. (850) 878-0554. Bay Life Magazine and Rowland Publishing, Inc. are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork. Editorial contributions are welcomed and encouraged but will not be returned. Bay Life Magazine reserves the right to publish any letters to the editor. Copyright March 2011 Bay Life Magazine Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Member, Bay County Chamber of Commerce and Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. One-Year Subscription $24 (Four Issues)
(850) 878-0554 Bay Life Magazine can be purchased at Borders Books in Pier Park and at Books-A-Million in Panama City or through our website at baylifemagazine.com
Proud member Florida Magazine Association and Florida Press Association
From the Editor
Save the Date The springtime social calendar in Northwest Florida is packed with events. But there are a few happenings I’m especially looking forward to. If you’re in Tallahassee in the coming months, visit the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science. The Brogan is featuring a special collection of paintings from the Brera Museum (Pinacoteca di Brera) in Milan, Italy. “Baroque Painting in Lombardy from Pinacoteca di Brera” features artists who worked in the 16th through 18th centuries, including Daniele Crespi, Nuvolone, Sofonisba Anguissola and Vincenzo Campi. In a unique collaboration, the Brogan is not paying a fee to display the works, but has agreed to finance painstaking restoration work on nine paintings. Anyone can become an arts patron by logging on to baroquepaintings.org to donate. Viewing is free with general museum admission. For more information, call (850) 513-0700 or visit online at thebrogan.org. Before you visit the museum, check out our feature on Bill Weiller, a retired businessman who now lives in Seagrove Beach. Weiller, a lover of Italian art who spends much of his time working in an art restoration studio in Italy, is partially responsible for the Brera exhibit coming to the Brogan. Also in this issue, we unveil the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in Bay County in the first Bay Life Top Singles issue. We introduce you to some accomplished, fun and sexy singles who represent Bay County with style. And be sure to join us Saturday, April 9, at the Marina Civic Center for Bay Life Magazine’s Top Singles and Top Salons event, where you’ll get a chance to mingle with the singles and get in on the bidding for a date with one of them. And our top salons will unveil their models, who will be transformed during the Top Salon makeover contest. The soiree promises to be the event of the season with a stage party featuring high-energy entertainment, cocktails, food, a fashion runway show and live auction for the singles and additional packages. All of the proceeds from each single will go to his or her favorite local charity. Tickets are $28 in advance and $35 at the door. Order your tickets at baylifemagazine.com. And the Junior Service League of Panama City is hosting “Mystique” an interactive play at the Martin Theatre May 14 at 6 p.m. VIP tickets are $35 and include access to the cast and after party. General admission is $25. Purchase tickets by calling Cindy Reimers (850) 271-9041 or visit online at jslpanamacity.org. It’s a date!
Wendy O. Dixon, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have something to say? If you have a comment about or correction to Bay Life Magazine, send a message to email@example.com.
photo by Scott Holstein
Behind the scenes with the singles: Bay Life photographer Scott Holstein photographs Jeramey Martin (below left), David Demarest (below center) and Kimberly Dill (below right) at the Bay Point Marriott Golf Resort & Spa. For more behind-the-scenes photos of our two-day shoot with the singles, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/baylife. Photos by Wendy O. Dixon and Hillary Fosdyck.
QUICK READS people | items | places
Photo by scott holstein
ONE TO WATCH
» Michael Lister
As the youngest chaplain for the Florida Department of Corrections, Michael Lister served at three facilities in the Florida Panhandle. His background in the prison system served as fuel for the acclaimed author’s literary works. His fourth book in the fictional John Jordan Mystery series, which chronicles Panhandle ex-cop and prison chaplain John Jordan, is titled “The Body and the Blood” and was released in September 2010. “Several things that are in the John Jordan Mystery series come directly from my experiences inside,” says Lister, who is also a poet
and columnist. “The encounters I had give a vividness, credibility and authenticity to the stories that are fiction.” Today, Lister spends more time working on his passion for writing fiction. His affection for the environment and culture in Northwest Florida influences the setting of his literature. “I write fiction so nothing is exact or direct, but they are definitely inspired by ideas I got from just living here and just soaking up the atmosphere and the environment and the culture,” Lister says. He says no book ever comes out perfect,
but his novels “Double Exposure” and “The Body And The Blood” are the two most satisfying publications to his credit. While his past endeavors have brought him much success, Lister says he is very excited about 2011. In addition to another novel, he will be writing the scripts and doing the screen play for a movie production of “Double Exposure.” “It’s going to be shot here in the Panhandle where the book is set,” he says of the production. His next novel titled “Goodbye” is set in Panama City during World War II and is due to be released in the spring. — Antonio Rosado
QUICK READS Q&A
and “Umbrella of Grace Vol. 2 Making Marriage Last; a Quick, Practical and Informative Guide,” is working on a book about battling obesity, due to be released later this year. Sitting in his Harrison Avenue office, the 52-year-old therapist and author shared with Bay Life Magazine editor Wendy Dixon information he has gleaned over his 17 years of counseling. BL: For what patients is weight-loss surgery an obesity treatment option? KF: The BMI (Body Mass Index, a ratio of weight to height) is used for classification of obesity. Patients with a BMI greater than 40 or BMI greater than 35 with co-morbidities such as diabetes or reasonable attempts (six months) of a comprehensive medical program can be candidates. Bariatric surgery is considered the gold standard in the management of morbid obesity.
Ken Finch An intimate conversation with talk therapist Dr. Ken Finch about weight-loss surgery, body image issues and sex
By Wendy O. Dixon
en Finch, marriage counselor, clinical sexologist, cognitive behavioral therapist and trauma therapist, works with patients dealing with a variety of issues, including eating disorders, pornography addiction and other sexual addictions. He’s also an associate member of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. This type of weight-loss surgery works by 14
restricting how much food your stomach can hold, preventing your digestive system from absorbing all the nutrition in the food you eat, or a combination of the two. This year, Finch launched a consulting practice focusing on executive coaching, talent assessment, conflict resolution and leadership development. Finch, author of “Umbrella of Grace; Spiritual Abuse, Addiction & Recovery”
BL: Do you find that people who tell of sexual problems have a broader range of issues that affect other aspects of their personal lives as well? KF: Absolutely. It’s the first thing that falls in the relationship and the last thing to get back because of the lack of communication, problem-solving and sometimes trauma. BL: How do you get away from it all? KF: I value my relationship with God and my church family. I also like spending time with the family on “Group Therapy” (the name of my boat) on Shell Island and doing some offshore fishing. n For more of Dr. Finch’s answers, please visit baylifemagazine.com.
Photo by scott holstein
MENTAL MEDICINE: Ken Finch helps patients deal with the emotional issues that come with extreme weight loss.
BL: You’re also a clinical sexologist, what are some common issues you’ve seen in patients? KF: Sexual problems that deprive many couples of a satisfying and rewarding sexual relationship, such as a lack of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, female orgasmic issues and sexual behaviors that can be offensive or undesired by one partner are common. I have seen an increase in the number of couples that present with problems in the marriage as a result of the Internet and pornography. In the couple relationship, the offended party may feel a betrayal or a violation of the marital vows, and trust is shattered.
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QUICK READS gen next
Parents need to be one step ahead of teens when it comes to social networking By Lilly Rockwell
hildren 18 years or younger have grown up in a social media era that is often unfamiliar to their parents. Teens are better acquainted with Facebook and Twitter than using a pencil and paper. Cell phones aren’t phones — they are mobile computers. And it’s not just older teens — children as young as 11 have profiles on social networking sites. Along with this technological intimacy comes risk. Cyber-bullying is an increasing problem, with some children even taking the extreme step of committing suicide as a result of vicious taunts on sites such as Facebook. Unflattering or sexual pictures and videos of teenagers regularly make the rounds of social media sites, including video sharing site YouTube. (And if you didn’t already know, YouTube is the preferred form of entertainment, above even television). “We have dealt with kids threatening other kids, saying they are going to go after someone at school, (and) putting obscene pictures (online),” said Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt. “They don’t see how public it is and how wide open the Internet is. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.” 16
Bay County schools are increasingly involved in mediating online disputes and monitoring behavior. “Anything that causes a disturbance or issue at school, you can be disciplined for,” Husfelt said. In addition, an online posting that is obscene or threatening is considered a crime and referred to law enforcement. Parents should become as technologically savvy as their children, experts say. Panama City parents Kathy and Jeff Pitts keep a tight rein on their children’s cell phone and computer activities. Caleb, 15, and Lauren, 12, each have Facebook profiles and own cell phones. Their parents also have accounts on Facebook. Jeff Pitts uses his smart phone to check what his kids, and their friends, are writing on Facebook. “Anytime they make a post, I can see what they write,” he said. “It’s no different from being on the computer.” The Pitts will also do random “text checks,” in which they scroll through their children’s texts to ensure nothing inappropriate was sent. Kathy Pitts said she also checks her phone bill to see whether her kids are deleting texts. “We really watch the pictures (Lauren) and Caleb take,” Kathy Pitts said. “We don’t want anything out there that could
HOW TO OUT-SOCIAL YouR TEENS Insist on knowing all of their logins and passwords and periodically log in under your child’s name. This is especially useful in checking private messages or determining whether your child has “blocked” you from seeing certain posts or photos. Speak their language. If your teenager uses the phone to access the Internet and social media sites, you should do the same. Ask your children to send you links to YouTube videos they like and occasionally comment on their Facebook posts. Don’t be embarrassed about asking for help. Ask your children to show you how to use social media sites. Chances are, they will be eager to show off their knowledge.
illustration by marc l. thomas
impact them in the future. I tell these girls in my Bible study class ‘Do you want your pastor to be seeing you in that outfit?’ ” She explains to her children and their friends the ease with which someone could download photos posted online. Panama City therapist Robbie Cutler says teenagers and pre-teens are unable to comprehend long-term consequences. Misbehavior online is “an act of independence and control,” Cutler said. “Whether it’s social networking or staying out ’til 12 instead of 10, in their mind, it’s them growing up and we, as the older people, are overreacting while they minimize the danger.” Cutler says she works in family therapy to discuss the very real dangers that social media sites pose. “These kids know nothing other than instant contact and instant gratification,” she said. “They know nothing other than the electronically advanced society we live in.” n
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calendar of events APRIL through JULY 2011 | Compiled by Holly Brooks
First Fridays April through July Friday Fest Downtown Panama City comes alive with music, food and fun on the first Friday of each month. Local shops and restaurants stay open late and the festivities run from 6–10 p.m. FREE. For information, call (850) 785-2554, pcfridayfest.com. April 1 Arts Alive in Bay! Enjoy a champagne reception, silent auction, dinner and an exciting performing arts event showcasing the artistic talents of Bay District Schools students, faculty and staff through live musical, theatrical and dance performances. Proceeds will support Bay District Schools visual and performing arts programs and Take Stock in Children scholarships. Tickets are $125 per person or $1,000 per table. Edgewater Beach Resort, Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach. 6 p.m. For details, contact the Bay Education Foundation at (850) 873-7157 or bayeducationfoundation.org. April 10 Inaugural ‘Red Run’ 5K Run/Walk Get active while benefiting the American Heart Association. $25. Aaron Bessant Park, 8795 S. Thomas Drive. 8 a.m. To register, call Tammy Turnmeyer at (850) 630-9623 or visit active.com. April 13–17 Seabreeze Jazz Festival Immerse yourself in a weekend full of soothing jazz music. The festival features full shows by multi-Grammy Award-winning artist George Benson along with top saxophonist Boney James. A smooth jazz dinner cruise aboard The Lady Anderson at 7 p.m. Wednesday kicks off the weekend. Thursday, a special evening with Boney James and George Benson starts at 6 p.m. $80 per person general admission, $135 dinner cruise, other packages available. Pier Park Amphitheater, 600 Pier Park Drive. Event times vary. (850) 267-3279, seabreezejazzfestival.net April 29 American Cancer Society Relay for Life Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and
best bet April 8
Bay Heart Ball The American Heart Association’s premier fundraiser brings “An Evening in First Class” to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. The event features live entertainment from the Go Big or Go Home band, silent and live auctions, red carpet photographs and gourmet food stations. $300 per person. General Aviation Facilities at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, 6300 West Bay Parkway. 6:30 p.m. For sponsorship or ticket information, call Amy Cope at (850) 687-3149 or visit heart.org/bayheartball.
fight against the disease. The overnight event begins with the Survivors Lap at 6 p.m., followed by the Luminaria Ceremony and additional fundraising opportunities. $100 team commitment fee per person. Bay County Fairgrounds, 2230 E. 15th Street. For more information, contact Alisha Townsend at email@example.com or visit relayforlife.org/panamacityfl.
April 23 Corvette Beach Odyssey Emerald Coast Corvette Club hosts a show for “America’s true sports car,” the Corvette. The show will have entertainment and a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the Taunton Children’s Home. FREE to the public. Pier Park, Panama City Beach. 9 a.m.– 2 p.m. emeraldcoastcorvetteclub.com
May 13–22 America’s Great Plein Air Paint-Out Being able to freely express yourself is an art. This is a limited opportunity when artists can create portraits by trusting their own interpretations in finding the truth within nature. Six exhibits across the coast will be presented along with art sales. FREE. Events are held at various locations and times between Mexico Beach and Alligator Point. (800) 378-8419, pleinairfl.com May 14 Mystique Enjoy an evening of mystery, excitement, food and stage entertainment during this interactive play hosted by the Junior Service League of Panama City and sponsored by Bay Bank and Trust. VIP tickets $35 per person (includes access to the VIP Cast Party BAY LIFE
Calendar at the Visual Arts Center), general admission $25 per person. Seating is limited. Martin Theatre, 409 Harrison Ave., Panama City. 6 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact Cindy Reimers at (850) 271-9041 or contact the Junior Service League office at (850) 785-7870 or visit jslpanamacity.org. July 6–10 28th Annual Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament and 40/40 Shootout The Gulf Coast’s premier Billfish tourna-
ment is pushing the envelope with innovative changes. A staggered entry fee allows participants to save big bucks. With staging areas in Destin, Perdido Pass and Tampa, participants now have the opportunity to depart from ports outside Panama City. The weekend includes the 40/40 Shootout, which features a field of up to 40 boats, all of which are 40 feet or less in length, fishing for tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Entry fees vary. Bay Point Marina, 3824 Hatteras Lane. (850) 628-1740, baypointbillfish.com
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regional best bets April 9–16
Tallahassee Tennis Challenger Competitors from all around the globe will find their way to Tallahassee to play world-class tennis — while supporting Vogter Neuro-Intensive Care Unit and the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. In this year’s 12th edition, the events will include a qualifier tournament, main draw, and final for singles and doubles. The excitement isn’t only for adults; children are also welcome to join the fun. Since its start in 2000, more than $375,000 has been donated to the Vogter NICU and more than $40,885 has been raised to support to the Walker endowment. This year, $6,000 was given to the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department in order to help improve tennis around Tallahassee. For a copy of the full schedule and ticket information, call (850) 545-8740 or visit tallahasseechallenger.com.
Through July 24
‘Baroque Painting in Lombardy from the Pinacoteca di Brera’ The emotion and passion of Italian Baroque art comes to the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science with the opening of the exhibit “Baroque Painting in Lombardy from the Pinacoteca di Brera.” Fifty paintings worth $32 million from Milan’s Brera museum are on display — the first time the museum has exported a complete collection outside of Italy — and feature the works of artists who worked in the 16th through 18th centuries including Daniele Crespi, Nuvolone, Sofonisba Anguissola and Vincenzo Campi. In a unique collaboration, the Brogan is not paying a fee to display the works, but has agreed to finance painstaking restoration work on nine paintings. Anyone can become an arts patron by logging on to baroquepaintings.org to donate. Viewing is free with general museum admission. Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science, 350 S. Duval Street, Tallahassee. For more information, call (850) 513-0700 or visit online at thebrogan.org. 20
6 8 7 HOLLY FAIR: 1. Aimee Pulliam, Kathy Cate and Connie Cate 2. Pete and Kim Gleason 3. Camellia Johnson and Brittany Merchant BAY MEDICAL GALA: 4. Rena Slate, Janice McEuen, Paula Freeman, Mike McLaughlin, Cynthia Gardner, Shelley Frazier, Janelle Robinson and Nanisa Anderson 5. Kristen Molander, Jennifer and Lance Fairbanks, Kristen Sholtis and Sheila Sheehan 6. Tammy Saylor-Ramey and Scott Ramey 7. Curtis and Kristina Williams 8. Wendy and Sean Dixon [Photos by Wendy O. Dixon and Tammy Saylor-Ramey]
Covenant Hospice Mask Parade and Gala: 1. Michael Hanna and Morgan Morrow 2. Cynthia Gardner, Shannon Hernandez, Jamie Hamm, Liz French, Sarah Hutchison, Stephanie Gagnon 3. Wendy and Sean Dixon with Susie and Kevin Clagett 4. Bill and Martha Cordell 5. Tracy Melvin, Steve Sutherland and Michelle Perez DEATH BY CHOCOLATE: 6. Nancy Luther and Tricia Culpepper 7. Tasha Henderson, Jessica Faulk, Mia Pankey and Misty Burnett 8. Michelle Weiss, Teresa King and Nicole Chessbro [Photos by Nathan Creel, Wendy O. Dixon and Tommy Hamm]
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David Demarest Demarest David What do you find attractive in a date? Someone who is interested and interesting. Bored is boring.
What is a relationship deal-breaker? When you’re in a relationship, you have to be on each other’s team. When people in a relationship start working against each other, it’s time to get out.
32, Internet reporter/noon show producer at WJHG-TV NewsChannel 7
How would you revive a bad date? Sometimes a change of venue helps. What’s your secret talent? I’m not a bad photographer, actually. Can’t stop watching: I really like the HBO series “Bored to Death.”
How can a woman impress a man in 30 seconds? A smile and a compliment go a long way. I think that’s true for men and women.
What’s your best feature? I’m pretty good at making people laugh. It’s not always on purpose, but it’s pretty consistent, so I’ll take it.
What would a perfect date be like? As a guy, it’s natural to feel responsible for how the date’s going, so if my date’s happy and having fun, it’s a good date. If she’s not, well, chances are we’d both rather be somewhere else at that point.
Favorite book: “Whisper of the River,” by Ferrol Sams. I think he’s one of the greatest Southern voices of the last 50 years, and I’m always surprised that more people haven’t heard of him.
What is on your nightstand? “Don’t Stop the Carnival,” by Herman Wouk, “Franny and Zooey,” by J.D. Salinger, the last few issues of Outside Magazine, two books on journalism, four books I pick at when I can’t find anything better, and seven books that I finished long enough ago that they really have no business still being out. Beer or champagne? Champagne for toasting, beer for just about everything else. What do you wish you knew five years ago? I think the not knowing is a lot of the fun. Charity: United Way of Northwest Florida On David: Jos. A. Bank Suit $750, shirt $87.50, tie $79.50, pocket square $18 from Jos. A. Bank.
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What do you find attractive in a date? A guy who is tall, has broad shoulders, nice eyes and smile, a sense of humor and confidence. What is a relationship dealbreaker? Emotional or financial irresponsibility. How can a man impress a woman in 30 seconds? With a sincere compliment and eye contact. What would a perfect date be like? Great conversation and chemistry in a cool location. How would you revive a bad date? DNR (do not resuscitate). If it is bad, end it. What’s your best feature? My eyes. What’s your secret talent? It is a secret. What’s your biggest pet peeve? People who use their charm to manipulate and take advantage of people. Can’t stop watching: “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Real Housewives.” Yep, I am admitting to it. Favorite book: Anything by Pat Conroy, Dorthea Benton Frank or Anne Rivers Siddons. What is on your nightstand? An alarm clock, TV remote, books and lotion. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? On a beautiful beach in Hawaii. Beer or champagne? Beer. Early bird or night owl? Night owl. Old school book or e-reader? Old school. What do you wish you knew five years ago? That it is impossible to try to make someone into something they are not, no matter how good your intentions are. Charity: The Dr. Sue G. Cochran Scholarship On Kimberly: Betsy & Adam gown $150, Nadri necklace $400, earrings $55, bracelet $80, Tivoli ring $20 from Dillard’s in Pier Park. BAY LIFE
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What do you find attractive in a date? Confidence and intelligence. What is a relationship deal-breaker? Drugs, infidelity and men who wear skinny jeans. What would a perfect date be like? It would have to include watching my favorite college football team win the national championship, a few adult beverages, incredible company and the best kiss of my life. How would you revive a bad date? Leave, or order a round of shots. What’s your best feature? The small of my back. What’s your biggest pet peeve? People who walk around with a sense of entitlement. Can’t stop playing: Between work, school and life I rarely have time to watch TV. But, I am a big fan of Twister. Favorite book: “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. It’s one of the few books I have read multiple times, and the only book, despite having read it over and over again, that can still make me cry and laugh, often at the same time. Favorite smart phone app: Either Weather Bug or NFL Mobile. I’m actually not sure if they are my favorite but they are the two I use the most often. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Aboard a chartered sailboat in the Greek Isles. Beer or champagne? Beer. Early bird or night owl? Depends on what I’m doing and who I’m with. Old school book or e-reader? Old school book. Give me the real thing, baby. What do you wish you knew five years ago? Besides the winning lottery numbers, absolutely nothing. Charity: Children’s Home Society On Jennifer: Flirt by Maggie Sottero gown $320, Nightmoves Silver Shimmer heels $69, Dream Gowns necklace and earring set $68, bracelet $48 from Dream Gowns. 28
Miguel Fuller Fuller Miguel
25, Island 106 Morning Show co-host
How can someone impress you in 30 seconds? By being direct and at ease with themselves. Not cocky, just confident.
Can’t stop watching: “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes.” I’m loving the new Oprah Winfrey Network. Watching how she works is truly amazing and inspiring.
What would a perfect date be like? Talking. A date doesn’t have to be thrilling or life changing. A simple conversation getting to know someone can go a long way.
Favorite book: “A Density of Souls” by Christopher Rice.
How would you revive a bad date? By injecting a little spontaneity. What’s your best feature? Hopefully my personality and goofy humor. What’s your secret talent? My random memory. I always confess to having the worst memory ever. Sometimes I surprise myself with the random details I can pull up.
Favorite smart phone app: Twitter. I can force my thoughts onto the world. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Italy. I would love some old-world Italian pizza.
I’m a super early bird during the week. On the weekends, I’m a night owl. Old school book or e-reader? Books, books, books. While in college I worked at a bookstore so I’m all about paper and ink. No e-readers for me. What do you wish you knew five years ago? To put the credit cards down. As a person who is 25, I’m looking at 30 thinking it’s not that far off. I don’t have my finances in order. I would have told myself over and over and over to put the credit cards away and pay them off.
Beer or champagne? Vodka. I’m not classy at all.
Charity: Basic NWFL
Early bird or night owl? Because of my early wake up call at 4 a.m. Sunday through Thursday,
On Miguel: Jacket, shirt, vest, tie, pants, cufflinks and shoes $119.95 for rent from Black Tie Formalwear.
JerameyMartin Martin Jeremey What do you find attractive in a date? A confident smile and a pretty personality. How can a woman impress a man in 30 seconds? If she can beat me in arm wrestling, she’s got my heart. What would a perfect date be like? A perfect date leaves me feeling that we are naturally supposed to be together, that I can’t wait to plan our next interactions. What’s your best feature? I’m a good listener. I feel that I can understand most situations in life and give decent wisdom. What’s your secret talent? I can’t discuss that in public. You will have to find out on the date.
25, seventh assistant at Smurfit-Stone
Do you have a recurring dream? Dreams are not ambitious. I make them come true, if memory serves me correctly. What’s your biggest pet peeve? I don’t appreciate someone who lies. TV or video games? Neither. I enjoy being outside. Favorite book: “The Love Dare” by Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick. Favorite smart phone app: Google Maps. It’s always handy. What is on your nightstand? Picture of my best friends and an alarm clock.
Beer or champagne? Beer, of course. Bud Light. Early bird or night owl? Early Night Owl. Old school book or e-reader? Neither — magazines. What do you wish you knew five years ago? How to better handle a woman’s heart in relationships. Charity: Wear Gray On Jeramey: Jacket, shirt, vest, tie, pants, cufflinks and shoes $99.95 for rent from Black Tie Formalwear.
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What do you find attractive in a date? Being fit physically and intellectually. I like someone who can challenge my intellect but still make me laugh. What is a relationship dealbreaker? Someone who smokes cigarettes. How can a man impress a woman in 30 seconds? With a sincere compliment and a smile. What would a perfect date be like? Maybe an offshore fishing trip or golfing. Something outside that’s relaxing. How would you revive a bad date? Take him to an arcade. What’s your secret talent? I’m pretty good at limbo. Can’t stop watching: “Project Runway” and “Wheel of Fortune.” I’m also a fan of Nick at Nite, every night. It’s a funny way to end the day. Favorite smart phone app: I don’t have a smart phone. My phone is more like a “Zack Morris” phone. What is on your nightstand? Both of my nightstands are pushed together for my television. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Either in Los Angeles or at a resort on the beach with no technology. Beer or champagne? Neither, I prefer wine. Port wine, to be more specific. Early bird or night owl? Early bird, for sure. Old school book or e-reader? Old school, but not books. I read magazines like Glamour and Self. Charity: Anchorage Children’s Home On Leslie: Lotox dress $48, Ashton Nichole earrings $24, necklace $144 and bracelet $74, City Gypsies cross and pearl necklace $22, Rhinestone ring $25 from Bot Boutique. Claudia Ciuti sandals $310 from Feathers Shoe Boutique.
n o s o a s JJa anddooee VVaarrnna g sales r tisin 34, adve logy at Kno
How can a date impress you in 30 seconds? With good eye contact and a smile. I’m impressed with a woman who’s sociable, smart and fun. I think that can be done in 30 seconds. What’s your secret talent? I can cook extraordinary breakfast foods. For example, I make these silverdollar banana pancakes that are ahh-ma-zing! What’s your biggest pet peeve? People who argue to prove they are right. There is a better way. Can’t stop watching: ”True Romance” — (Quentin) Tarantino’s first screenplay starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken and Samuel Jackson. Favorite smart phone app: I use my phone as a camera a lot. Pic Say is good for photo editing, color correction, effects and graphics. FxCamera takes pics as Polaroids, Warhol style, fish-eye effects and mirror lenses. What is on your nightstand? My laptop, cell phone, truck keys, golf tee, a random Lego and whatever else happens to find its way there. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Staying in a ski lodge on top of Mammoth Mountain in California. Thermal hot spring mud baths by day and hot tub time machines by night. And if you get to the top of the mountain right as the sun sets, the clouds will roll in with the temperature change and it can be the most romantic surreal moment you may have ever had. Early bird or night owl? A very early bird. Getting up at 4 a.m. isn’t all that early for a weekday. I get up at 6 a.m. on the weekends. That’s livin’. Old school book or e-reader? Either or. What do you wish you knew five years ago? That it would all turn out like this. Why did I worry so much? Charity: American Cancer Society – R.O.C.K: Reaching Out to Cancer Kids On Jason: Murano shirt $50, Buffalo jeans $89, Murano belt $40, Movado watch $250, Cremieux cap $25 from Dillard’s at Pier Park. 32
Summer (Hachmeister) (Hachmeister) Scott Scott Summer 28, physical therapist, director of rehabilitation at Community Rehabilitation Center What do you find attractive in a date? I tend to notice guys who are more reserved and not the “in-your-face” types. I like guys who have some ambition and are self-motivated.
What’s your biggest pet peeve? Road rage and dishonesty get under my skin. I think that dishonesty is the hardest thing for me to swallow. It is just so disrespectful.
What is a relationship deal-breaker? Someone who doesn’t enjoy kids and kidfriendly activities would be a deal-breaker for me. I have a 9-year-old son, so I really enjoy going to his sporting events and doing fun things with him. If someone doesn’t enjoy those things, we aren’t going to be compatible.
Can’t stop playing: I have been playing “Dance Central” on Xbox Kinect almost every day. I think I get more of a workout from the amount of laughing I do than the actual “dancing.”
How can a man impress a woman in 30 seconds? I am always impressed by a guy who acts a little chivalrous without being prompted. So, if you open the door and hold it for me, I’m pretty impressed.
What is on your nightstand? A few books, two phones, lots of pens, my camera, eye glasses, 20 highlighters and dog toys. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? The equator. I love hot weather and if the equator ran through the panhandle of Florida, it would be heaven.
Early bird or night owl? Oh, this is the easiest question so far — early bird. Old school book or e-reader? I don’t have an ereader but I’ve been seriously considering it. I’m in school, so textbooks are all I really read lately. What do you wish you knew five years ago? Five years ago, I was making a real estate purchase, so it would have been nice to know in advance that the market would tank. I would have waited to buy. Charity: The American Cancer Society On Summer: Angie dress $30, Turquoise necklace $45, bracelet $42, cuff $60, ring $30 from Bot Boutique, 1883 by Lucchese boots $359 from Feathers Shoe Boutique.
Josh Wakstein Wakstein Johs What is a relationship deal-breaker? Smothering. Everyone needs his or her own space sometimes.
How can a woman impress a man in 30 seconds? If she can tell me a joke that can make me howl with laughter or blush, I’m impressed. What would a perfect date be like? Low key is perfect. You really get to know each other better when you are both relaxed, so I’d have a casual dinner somewhere in the open air with soft music. Then we could do something corny like bowling. It’s tough to not have fun when you’re wearing goofy shoes. What’s your secret talent? After years of “refining” my palate, I have won two local blind beer tastings. Good craft beer is the new wine.
Can’t stop watching: I really hate the fact that I can’t stop watching “Jersey Shore.” So far I’ve learned that any T-shirt looks better when it’s new (they call it “fresh”) or bedazzled. And wearing sunglasses in nightclubs lets everyone know you’re cool. I’m not a fan of reality TV in general, but this show hooked me. It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Favorite book: “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway. The way he describes the festival of the running of the bulls and the lifestyle of an expatriate is very alluring.
eggs Benedict on the patio at Blue Heaven in Key West. Old school book or e-reader? Old school books. I love being able to go back and find quotes I’ve highlighted. Also I never have to worry about recharging my book. What do you wish you knew five years ago? There isn’t anything I wish I would have known differently. Who I am today is a result of my life experiences. To change any of them would change who I am. On second thought, knowing the winning Powerball numbers would be nice.
What is on your nightstand? Three remote controls (one doesn’t work but it looks good there), an alarm clock, a coaster and a lamp.
Charity: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Eating surf and turf
On Josh: Peter Miller shirt $98.50, sweater $98.50, Martin Dingman belt $95, Vineyard Vines pants $98 from Hy’s Toggery.
Meellaanniiee M MccLLiinn M M Maannnniinngg 34, local ma rketing admi for Carr Riggsnistrator & Ingram
What do you find attractive in a date? I enjoy dating someone with a great sense of humor. I love to laugh, and if he happens to be an Alabama football fan, that’s an added bonus. What is a relationship dealbreaker? I couldn’t pursue a relationship with someone who isn’t a Christian. My faith plays a vital role in my life. How can a man impress a woman in 30 seconds? Tell me a funny joke, but just having the nerve to approach someone you don’t know and be sincere, that is impressive. What would a perfect date be like? I think a perfect date is one in which the guy takes time to plan — a great local restaurant, going boating, to the beach, anything where you can talk and get to know each other. Just put some thought into it. What’s your best feature? I like my smile, but friends say my eyes. What’s your secret talent? I am the best shower/car singer ever. This means I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I would love to be able to sing. I really am an excellent party planner. What’s your biggest pet peeve? Gum smacking. Can’t stop watching: Hello, my name is Melanie Manning and I am a reality television addict. Favorite book: It’s a tie between “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Day After Tomorrow” by Alan Folsom. I love to read. Favorite smart phone app: I really need to update to a phone that has apps. Embarrassing, but true. Old school book or e-reader? Old school books. I like to turn the page. What do you wish you knew five years ago? I wish I really understood how fast my little girl would grow up. She is the love and joy of my life. She turned five in January, and it just seems like the time literally flew by. Charity: Remember John Wesley — The John Wesley Foster Foundation On Melanie: Tommy Bahama dress $128 from Hy’s Toggery, Stuart Weitzman wedges $375 from Feathers Shoe Boutique, Dillard’s turquoise necklace $50, bracelet $28 and earrings $26 from Dillard’s at Pier Park. BAY LIFE
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What do you find attractive in a date? Confidence, but with who they are, not what they have. What is a relationship dealbreaker? Someone who’s materialistic or narcissistic. How can a woman impress a man in 30 seconds? I enjoy a good sense of humor, confidence and intelligence. If she can convey that in 30 seconds, then I’m impressed. What would a perfect date be like? It depends on the date. For a first date, something casual. I’m a little old school and partial to dinner, a movie and maybe drinks somewhere. Not necessarily in that order. What’s your best feature? I think my shoulders. What’s your secret talent? Don’t know about secret, but I’ve played guitar for 17 years and should be better than I am. What’s your biggest pet peeve? Ignorance. What is on your nightstand? A lamp, an alarm clock, a picture of my children and my phone. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. Beer or champagne? Definitely beer. Early bird or night owl? Night owl. What do you wish you knew five years ago? That the housing market was going to go down, so I could have invested in gold. Charity: Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida On John: Guess shirt $54, Mek Denim jeans $135, Converse sneakers $39.99, Diesel watch $120 from Dillard’s at Pier Park.
Noelle Stevens Stevens Noelle What do you find attractive in a date? A sharp dresser, wicked sense of humor and someone who carries himself well. What is a relationship deal-breaker? Someone who is inconsistent. How would you revive a bad date? Some things just need to R.I.P. (rest in peace). What’s your best feature? My eyes. Do you have a recurring dream? I finally make it to see the Sistine Chapel and look up and I’m in the middle of a Far Side cartoon.
24, recruiter at Gulf Coast State College
What’s your biggest pet peeve? People who think cruelty is funny. Can’t stop watching: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on Comedy Central. Favorite book: “The Moral Animal” by Robert Wright. What is on your nightstand? A travel book, iPod loaded with tunes and a crystal decanter of water. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? On a river cruise through the Norwegian Fjords.
Beer or champagne? Champagne. Early bird or night owl? Early bird. Nighttime is for sleeping, which I love to do. Old school book or e-reader? Old school. I’m a purist. What do you wish you knew five years ago? That maturity is not determined by age, and that intellect is not determined by education. Charity: Alaqua Animal Refuge On Noelle: Copper Key tank $10, Miss Me jeans $108, Gianni Bini heels $69.99, Anne Klein necklace $50, Dillard’s Crystal Collection earrings $40, Natasha bangles $48 from Dillard’s in Pier Park.
Anthony De De La La Torre Torre Anthony What do you find attractive in a date? I like a confident woman, someone who has a positive attitude, likes to have fun and dance and is not afraid to put me in check if I step out of line. What is a relationship deal-breaker? I’m pretty open-minded so I would not like to say there is such a thing as a relationship deal-breaker. Well, maybe if she doesn’t like to dance. How can a woman impress a man in 30 seconds? Smile, have a good presence and make a witty comment. What would a perfect date be like? Something simple but different (i.e. playing tennis). How would you revive a bad date? Address it, then order another drink.
What’s your best feature? My smile. What’s your secret talent? Dancing, maybe I’ll demonstrate at the charity event. What’s your biggest pet peeve? People being late. Can’t stop watching: SportsCenter. Favorite book: “Success is a Choice” by Rick Pitino. Favorite smart phone app: Spel Chek What is on your nightstand? A book of famous quotes.
27, executive vice president at Brown and Brown Insurance
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? In the Bahamas enjoying a Miami Vice. Beer or champagne? Beer. Early bird or night owl? Early bird. Old school book or e-reader? E-reader. What do you wish you knew five years ago? That the iPhone and iPad were going to come out. I would have bought a lot of Apple stock. Charity: Early Education and Care, Inc. On Anthony: Jos. A. Bank jacket $395, shirt $89.50, pants $79.50, belt $65 from Jos. A. Bank.
SStteeffaanniia Maarrkkooau M u 30, dir ect Planet or of ope r ation Beach s at Contemp o Spa
What do you find attractive in a date? Intelligence and charm. What is a relationship dealbreaker? Having to make decisions for the other person because they can’t make them themselves — babysitting. How can a man impress a woman in 30 seconds? With a strong handshake. What would a perfect date be like? Going hiking or skiing. How would you revive a bad date? I’ll be honest and tell the person that this is a bad date and we need to do something else that is fun for both of us. What’s your best feature? I’ve been accused of being an optimist. I like to stay positive when situations get tough, but I do create a backup plan in case something goes wrong. What’s your secret talent? I can fix motorcycles and street bikes. Favorite book: “Warrior of the Light” by Paulo Coelho. What is on your nightstand? Three books, an alarm clock and a small lamp. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Barcelona, Spain. Beer or champagne? Neither. Early bird or night owl? Night owl. Old school book or e-reader? Old school for sure. What do you wish you knew five years ago? The future of the next 10 years. Charity: Toys for Kids Foundation
The hottest and most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes gathered at Bay Point Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Panama City Beach to show off the hottest fashions from area retailers. It was a fun two-day photo shoot. And it wouldn’t have been possible without friends and partners who helped Bay Life Magazine’s Top Singles look their absolute best.
On Stefania: Isabel tunic $90, Jessica Simpson jeans $49, Dillard’s ring $18, bracelet $26, Etienne Aigner earrings $22, cuff $45, bracelet $35 from Dillard’s in Pier Park.
Hair, Fusion Spa Salon’s Brittany Johnson. Makeup, Fusion Spa Salon’s Sydney Husome. Fashions and accessories, Black Tie Formalwear, Bot Boutique, Dillard’s at Pier Park, Dream Gowns, Feathers Shoe Boutique, Hy’s Toggery and Jos. A. Bank. Location, Bay Point Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.
Arezzo A zo Rome
A View of Italy
Bill Weiller Brings Italian Art to Northwest Florida By Wendy O. Dixon and Lilly Rockwell
taly is home to some of the world’s great artists, poets and sculptors. You’ve heard of its grandest art cities — Milan, Rome, Venice, Naples and Florence. But it was in the ancient capital of the Etruscan empire — the city of Arezzo — where Bill Weiller, a 72-year-old retired businessman and art collector from Seagrove Beach, came to work as an apprentice in an old art studio. Arezzo, situated in the southeastern part of the Tuscany region, still looks much as it did during the 13th century. Its ruins date back a couple of thousand years before Christ. The medieval village is now a small city with 100,000 people. The ancient studio in Arezzo where Weiller apprenticed contains works by some of Italy’s most illustrious artists, including Renaissance master Michelangelo and Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century painter and author of the first work on art history. Weiller, a millionaire, soon found himself sweeping floors and cleaning cobwebs out of corners. But in addition to the more menial tasks, he and his wife, Ada, were able to spend months working on an art restoration project that would produce lucrative results for the studio.
Photo by Scott Holstein
Bill Weiller, at his library in Seagrove Beach, says the Brera Museum exhibit in Tallahassee will benefit all of Northwest Florida.
A View of Italy
eanwhile, the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee — known to locals as the Brogan — was trying to come up with a way to diversify its revenue source during a very tight economy. Weiller, who had never heard of the Brogan, would soon become a valuable partner in the Tallahassee museum’s efforts to bring a world-class art exhibit to Northwest Florida. He saw potential in the restoration of Italian art that he hopes will lead to an enterprising result for the struggling Tallahassee museum. The Brogan is featuring “Baroque Painting in Lombardy from Pinacoteca di Brera,” a collection of paintings by artists who worked in the 16th through 18th centuries, including Daniele Crespi, Nuvolone, Sofonisba Anguissola and Vincenzo Campi. Nine of them will receive restoration work as part of the deal. The paintings came from the Brera Museum (Pinacoteca di Brera) in Milan, Italy. That’s thanks, in part, to Weiller. “It’s Milan’s most outstanding museum,” says Weiller, who lives in Seagrove Beach near Seaside when not working in the art studio in Italy. “The Brera is recognized as one of the major art collections in the world.” It is an especially noteworthy coup for the Brogan because the Brera has never shown an entire exhibit anywhere in the world. Weiller hopes the exhibit, which will go through July 24, is the beginning of many international exhibitions in Northwest Florida. Trish Hanson, chief operating officer for the Brogan, says Weiller’s involvement in the project has opened doors to the international art community. “He has been a wonderful resource for us,” Hanson says. “He has really stepped up with his involvement, from not knowing anything about the Brogan to really being a champion for this project.”
Business Ventures and Art Adventures A few years ago while in Italy, Weiller read an article in an Italian magazine about three women who lived in Arezzo, a small city he’d never heard of before, who restore paintings. He went to meet them. “I walk into the studio and see a figure of Christ — Byzantine art,” he says. “I’m
looking at paintings that predate Renaissance art and names that I remember studying in school. And they’re scattered all over. “Impulsively, I approach the women and say, ‘I would like to work here,’ and they say, ‘Well, you have to go to school and get a doctorate in fine arts, you have to go to restoration school.’ But I say again, ‘I’d like to work here.’” Weiller and the women worked out a simple agreement. They paid him nothing, he paid them nothing. Weiller restored major works of art by Giorgio Vasari, a painter, historian and writer who lived in the mid-1500s and is credited with inventing the study of art history. As he worked, Weiller learned that the restoration process is not for the impatient. It can’t be hurried. Paintings on wood are checked for termites and rotting, then covered with Japanese rice paper for protection. The extensive process of preparing and cleaning a canvas can take weeks. “You can see the holes in the canvas from burning candles,” Weiller explains. “So you take gesso (a fine chalk) and fill up any holes, but you have to do it so that it’s flat. Then you take a scalpel and carefully raise the edge so it’s perfectly level with the surface of the painting.” Most of the old paintings show evidence of hundreds of years of exposure to candles and humidity. Usually 50 percent of the painting has to be restored. “You don’t want it to look like the original,” he says. “You want to show the difference, because one day they may have new techniques (for restoration), in which case they know exactly where to go. The art history background is important, because you need to know what other paintings did this artist do, when, where. It’s like detective work.” Pointing to a portrait titled “Madonna and Child” (Madonna al Bambino), originally painted in the late 1500s, Weiller says, “This was a piece of crap when I started. I thought, why bother with this one? To my surprise, this is what came out.” The finished product shows a serpent at the bottom that wasn’t evident before. “I was very proud of that one, even though I was under their perpetual supervision.” It was Vasari’s “Pala Albergotti,” featuring the assumption and crowning of the
Virgin, along with smaller paintings surrounding it that got Weiller thinking about involving the Italian community in the restoration project. “Here’s (Saint Lucia, patron saint of the blind), her picture is always the same, she’s with a plate with two eyes on it, and the eyes are looking at you,” he says. “Another saint has a tooth hanging out, and so on.” Weiller suggested that the art gallery get the paintings of the saints adopted, using the theme in the painting to target various contributors — an optometrist for the Lucia, a dentist for the portrait of Saint Apollonia, the patroness of dentistry, and so on. “They said, ‘No, you don’t understand, we just don’t do that here,’” he says. “In Italy, people do not do that, it’s not part of the social fabric. Restoration, public things, are all done by the government because you pay high taxes. I said to them, ‘Let’s try it.’” Though the gallery was resistant at first, the idea of using money to restore works of art without the government’s help led to an unexpected success.
the art of restoration, and vice versa » Painted in 1567 by Giorgio Vasari, the Pala Albergotti, which will not be one of the pieces in the exhibit at the Brogan Museum, has undergone a cleaning process to restore it to its intended glory and was financed mainly by Bill and Ada Weiller. The painting consists of a large panel depicting the assumption and crowning of the Virgin. The painstaking restoration process begins with the identification of the original surface material — in the case of the Pala Albergotti, it is wood. With this project, the restorers used particle induced x-ray emission (PIXE) measurements on the outlined areas of the painting to characterize the materials and the layer structure of the painting. Another common technique in the restoration process is the use of gesso (a fine chalk) to fill any holes that have occurred from years of exposure to burning candles and humidity. After the meticulous cleaning process, the restorer may paint onto the gesso in colors that closely match the original.
Photo courtesy Church of Saints Flora and Lucilla â€“ Arezzo, Italy
A View of Italy
The Brera Museum in Milan (shown above) is considered one of the most prestigious art collections in the world. The Brera brought 56 paintings to The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee in March 2011, its first exhibit outside Italy.
“They ended up doing something incredible for Italy,” Weiller says. “They raised more than enough money to pay for this, and they did it at the level of higher than 10,000 euros” (currently about $12,800 in U.S. currency). Bill and Ada Weiller financed the major portion of the Vasari painting while convincing the gallery to adopt out the smaller panels and facial portraits.
The Brogan and Brera Connection Back in Tallahassee, the Brogan has always had difficulty meeting the demand of its operating budget, says museum director Chucha Barber. “We have struggled since our inception,” she says. “There was a belief that when we built it, people would come
and it would be all right. There wasn’t a plan for where it would get its operating funds year to year, and it’s difficult to do so.” Each year, the Brogan has to find a way to bring in between $1.2 million and $1.5 million in revenue to support its operations. And every year, Barber says, she isn’t sure where that money will come from. “The truth was, if the community did not want to support the Brogan Museum, we needed to know that,” Barber says. Convergent conducted a survey of Tallahassee residents. “We learned, first and foremost, the community does really want this Brogan Museum,” Barber says. But the community had suggestions for improvement. Tallahasseeans wanted to see the Brogan reach out to neighboring communities more, partner with other cultural organizations, and bring in more big, blockbuster exhibits such as “Bodies.” This exhibit features
actual human bodies preserved without skin so that viewers can learn about the human body, from the skeletal and muscular system to fetal development. “They want us to bring in awesome exhibits,” Barber says. “They don’t want mediocre quality.” The problem is, the better the exhibit, the more expensive the rental fee. The Brogan needed to figure out a way to find money in a community that was already financially strapped. “All of us in the community that are notfor-profits are knocking on the same doors for our savior,” Barber says. “The truth is that these are wonderful organizations that want to support all of us, but their resources are limited.” The Brogan needed to find a way to diversify its income source. The solution turned out to be in Italy. Trish Hanson, the museum’s chief operating officer, went on a trip to Italy with a
Image Courtesy Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science
The Italian art exhibit, which opened in March, is an especially noteworthy coup for the Brogan because the Brera has never shown an entire exhibit anywhere in the world.
Pediatric & General Surgery
Weiller restores a painting by a student of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in Arezzo, Italy.
local Rotary club. She spent her time learning about Italian museums, and an opportunity came up to host 56 Italian paintings from the 16th through 18th centuries. Nine of them needed restoration, and as part of the deal, the Brogan would pay the Italian government, which owns the paintings, for the work. The museum would pay no pricey rental fee — only the cost of shipping, restoration and insurance. Coincidently, at around the same time, Weiller had spoken with Sandrina Bandera, director of the Brera and superintendent of arts, while he was involved with another foundation that he had founded in Milan. “She asked me, ‘Do you know of a city called Tal-la-has-see?’” he says, enunciating slowly and clearly in an imitation of her Italian accent. Weiller responded, “Yes, it’s the capital of the state I live in.” While he had heard of most of the museums in the United States, Weiller didn’t know about the Brogan. So Bandera asked him to check it out, because the Brera had never held an entire exhibition outside of Italy. Weiller called Hanson and quickly became involved in the project. “Bill Weiller has given us such wonderful advice and support,” Hanson says. “He’s gotten us in touch with so many people so they can get involved with this project as well. He’s such a wealth of knowledge; to
be able to work with him and gain wisdom and knock around ideas with him has been beneficial.” Now the Brogan is hoping the exhibition will offer a way out of its recent financial woes. “This leads us to a replicable (business) model,” Barber says. “We think there may be an opportunity to reach outside the community with an exhibition like this, and perhaps others in our future, whereby we are now generating support from firms in Italy that want to do business in Florida. All of a sudden, there are new revenue streams that are uniquely associated with the Brogan Museum.” Weiller says all of Northwest Florida will benefit from an international exhibit from a major museum, and this project will give the Brogan much-needed exposure in the art world. “Here we are in a great place,” he says. “I love the natural part of this area, but it has some things lacking — a good bakery and some cultural things. This area is completely under-served.” If the exhibition is a success, it could open doors for many other international exhibits. “Why can’t they go to the Vatican and ask them to have a special show?” he asks. “It will be great for the entire North Florida region. If we were able to get the money in Arezzo, we can get it here.” n
HIGH Quality Care Close to HOME Michael Taylor
MD, FACS, FAAP
Board Certification General Surgery Medical School University of Florida Residency Memorial Health University General Surgery Fellowship Miami Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgery Special Interest Pediatric Surgery
Photos Courtesy Bill Weiller
adopt a painting The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science’s “Adopt a Painting Project” initiative includes landscapes, portraits and religious scenes from the Brera collection in Milan, Italy. Adoption levels range from $5,000 for an “Apprendista
Restauratore” to $10,000 for a “Maestro Restauratore.” To adopt one or more paintings from the collection, or to find out more about the project, call Trish Hanson at (850) 513-0700, Ext. 236, or visit thebrogan.org.
2202 State Avenue, Suite 311-B Panama City, FL 32405 gcpediatricngensurgery.com Bay Life
hanks to your nominations, the top salons have been selected to compete for the title of Bay Life Magazine’s Top Salon. The competition began weeks ago with the selection of the salon finalists, shown here with their models in their “before” shots. On April 9, the salons will have eight hours to primp
and pamper, clip and coiffe their models in preparation to shine in the spotlight as they reveal their new looks at the Top Salon runway show for charity. Join us at the Marina Civic Center in Downtown Panama City at 6 p.m. to see their transformations and vote on who you think should win Bay Life Magazine’s Top Salon.
Salon Hair Genesis | MODEL Tammy Dunaway charity Rotary Panama City Beach International
E R O F BE Salon
Hair Benders | MODEL Michaela Smith charity Sponsors of Hope
E R O F BE BAY LIFE
Salon Head Hunters | MODEL Melissa Williams charity Panama City Rescue Mission
E R O F BE Salon
Colours at Baytown | MODEL Rosie Hendrickson charity Girls Inc. of Bay County
E R O F BE 48
Indulgence Salon & Spa | MODEL Julie Hathaway charity Childrenâ€™s Home Society
E R O F BE Salon Vibrance Salon | MODEL Brittany Cook charity George A. Butchikas Foundation for Autism
E R O F E B BAY LIFE
Karizma Hair Café | MODEL Zelda Bannister charity American Red Cross
E R O F BE Salon Topix Salon | MODEL Gayne Kowalik charity St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
E R O F BE 50
Salon Bellissimo Hair Salon | MODEL Rebecca Strickland charity Give A Heart â€” First Assembly of God for Crystal Harper
E R O F BE Salon
Completely Pampered Salon & Spa | MODEL Kassi Fischer charity American Cancer Society
E R O F BE BAY LIFE
Celebrating 60 Years of Service
The Junior Service League of Panama City
past junior service league presidents Front row Linda
Harrison, June Harrison, Gay Sudduth, Carol Vickery, Linda Lawrence, Jan Fensom, Brandy Haiman, Barbara Abbott Back row Ann Percival, Suzanne Farrar, Cille Boyd, Susan Dantzler, Karen Bassett, Scotti Haney, Kara Davis, Kim Harders, Cheri Boyle
2010â€“2011 Board of Directors Executive Board President Cheri Boyle President-Elect Lacey Obos President-Elect-Elect Heather Foster Vice President of Finance Stacie Galbreath Vice President of Membership Kelly Forehand Board Positions Vice President of Community Service Michelle Kinard Vice President of Training a and Leadership Development Katie Patronis Vice President of Communications Kristina Williams Vice President of Fund Development Lisa Powell Ashley AJLI AWG Representative Brandy Haiman After School Assistance Program (ASAP) Mynta Harbison Child Service Center (CSC) Lacey Frank Girls on the Run (GOTR) Amy Dobbert Holly Fair Jenny Howell Holly Fair Melanie Manning Member at Large Charity Pongratz Nominating Jamie Hamm Past President Kara Davis
Provisionals Heather Foster Provisionals Sarah McKinney Spring Fundraiser Sandy Porter Sustainer Representative Claire Sherman Treasurer Heather Pike 2010-2011 Junior Service League Committee Chairs After School Assistance Program (ASAP) Mynta Harbison Azalea Trail Kara Davis Bay Publications Kristi Keller Chautauqua House Traci Powell Child Service Center (CSC) Lacey Frank Elderly Outreach Donna Willis and Tina Newsome Girls on the Run (GOTR) Amy Moody Kids on the Block Natalie Brock Holly Fair Jenny Howell and Melanie Manning Mystique Sandy Porter VOICES Amy Ross Admissions/Recruitment Michelle Lacewell Budget Stacie Galbreath Excellence in Education Grants Kara Davis Nominating Jamie Hamm Placement Michelle Kinard
C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
A Letter from Our President “Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This is the person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting.” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
PLEASe Join us in celebrating the 60th anniversary of Junior service league (JSL) of Panama city! Founded in 1951 by a small group of committed women interested in improving the community through volunteer service, the League now boasts nearly 365 active and sustaining members still committed to fulfilling our mission of promoting volunteerism, developing women as community leaders and improving the lives of children and families through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. It is this mission that empowers our members to work for positive change in our community. The League’s rich history of faithful volunteer service is significant and accomplished. Our members have earned a reputation for getting things done, as well as identifying and meeting great needs within our community. It is our tradition to create and support initiatives and programs that are sustainable and will continue to positively impact the community for years to come. Over the years, our selfless members have worked diligently to serve the Bay County area through our many programs, projects and partnerships that improve the physical, emotional and educational well-being of children and families. I hope you enjoy reading about many of our past and present programs in this special section. The impact our League makes in Bay County is only possible through our dedicated members and our generous supporters. League members are smart, hard-working and dynamic women who give countless volunteer hours to our mission and leadership training despite the many demands on their valuable time. During this, our diamond anniversary year, we will contribute more than 4,000 direct volunteer service hours to promote our mission and improve the lives of local children and families.
Cheri Boyle, JSL President 2010-2011
Thank you, Bay County, for partnering with the League for these first 60 years. As we look to the future, we renew our commitment to being relevant for another 60 years and look forward to the work ahead! With heartfelt gratitude,
Cheri Boyle President 2010-2011
The Junior Service League of Panama City
PHOTO BY GJERGJ NDOJA, VOLAJ PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC
Throughout the last 60 years, our membership has changed as women’s lives have changed. And our organization has changed to remain relevant to women and the community it serves. In an effort to further enhance and support our organization and membership, we are currently working toward affiliation with the Association of Junior Leagues International and plan to become a Junior League in the spring of 2012! Today’s League members vary greatly in backgrounds and interests. But the common thread that continually binds us together, and has since our inception, is our commitment to achieve great impact by serving our community. It is our hope to continue to transform, providing a significant way for us to continue to contribute to meaningful matters of lasting value.
A Letter from a Sustainer Time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t believe our Junior Service League is celebrating its 60th anniversary of serving Bay County.
TION MEND FOR A A THIS
It all started in 1951 with a mission to organize women to improve the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. I must attest that, during my 14 years of active membership in this organization, the League achieved its mission and has touched the lives of many in our community — in addition to enriching the lives of our members. I look back on my active years in the JSL with fond memories — memories of what we accomplished and how I personally grew. One of my favorite placements was with the Child Service Center program, in which Bay County children in need were brought on a special Claire Sherman, shopping outing. When I joined, the League partnered Sustaining member with Gayfers in the Panama City Mall for this program. 1992-2006 The children were busied to Gayfers and we took the children — one by one — shopping in a special section set up just for them. Each child received new clothes, underwear, shoes, socks and a jacket. For some children, these were the only new clothes they received. I remember how deeply touched I was when the children were so grateful and thankful. I’ll never forget one little girl who, while “shopping” with me, started to cry a little. I knelt down to see what was wrong and she told me “I don’t have any money to pay for these pretty clothes.” I told her that it was our treat and she was special and she didn’t have to worry about that today. She hugged me and said very quietly “Thank you.” Wow! I was humbled, and that evening I did much self reflection. This community service program has grown bigger every year and continues today. Calls from the Heart was another service program that touched me. We partnered with a local cellular company, and League members took cell phones to local nursing homes. The residents were given the opportunity to call loved ones long distance at no charge. What an incredible blessing this was to watch the smiles and tears roll down faces as these seniors were able to talk and reconnect with family.
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During the many years of service with the JSL, my life has been enriched with a sense of community duty and fellowship with other civic-minded women. Some of my closest friends today are the result of the JSL. I have always been proud to be a member of this organization and know that my efforts in the JSL directly impact the lives of so many in need. I am in awe of how the women in our league take precious time from their family and jobs to invest in the long-term benefit of our community. The Junior Service League is a proud part of Bay County’s culture and heritage.
(850) 233-4999 230 S. Highway 79 PCB, FL 32413
Claire Sherman Sustaining Member Active 1992 – 2006
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C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
Our History We are an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we reflect on how far we’ve come together. In October 1951, a group of 20 young Panama City housewives and mothers organized and sought to improve the community in which they were so proud to live. They responded to the needs of the town by volunteering their services and fostering interest in the social, economic, educational, cultural and civic aspects of the community. Other metropolitan cities in the South — Mobile, Atlanta and Birmingham — were forming Junior Leagues then. But Panama City’s population was not large enough to have a Junior League. So instead, and like many other smaller cities, they formed a Junior Service League (JSL) and kept bylaws that were in harmony with the Junior Leagues of bigger cities.
1950s A group of 20 women charter the Panama City Junior Service League, which is approved by Judge E. Clay Lewis in April 1952. The JSL conceives the Happy Hanger project, clothing children in Bay County. It also starts Camp Eleanor, a Girl Scout camp named for Eleanor Lewis, a Girl Scouts of America leader and one of the League’s original honorary members. To help raise funds, the League opens a thrift shop, which serves as a way for members and their friends to recycle gently used clothing, toys and household items. Later it is known as The Bargain Box. League members wear turquoise uniforms with white blouses.
1950s - (top) JSL officers in the late 1950s, clockwise from left: Lila Nelson, Barbara Morgan, Gay Sudduth and Cynthia Lang; (middle) Bargain Box thrift shop uniform worn by JSL workers; (top right) Bargain Box fashion show; (bottom right) JSL gavel given in memory of “Daddy Cook,” fatherin-law of Ann Cook Humphreys, the JSL’s first president.
The Junior Service League of Panama City
1960s As the first group of League members celebrates 10 years of service, the ladies are named sustaining members. The League extends invitations to women who work outside the home. Friends who are either employed or are above the 35-yearold age limit and have helped considerably in the League are invited to be honorary members. Louise Lewis, Mary Ola Miller, Eleanor Lewis and Helen Kruse are the first honorary members.
1970s The JSL’s first cookbook, “Bay Leaves,” a compilation of meticulously tested recipes by the League women, begins a tradition of fundraising through cookbook sales. Within the first year, the League reprints the book because of its overwhelming success. One year after that, the success of “Bay Leaves” allows the League to pay back its loan and become selfsustaining. June Harrison, the League president during that time, says the cookbook was
a way to get the community involved. “We collected recipes from everyone all over town, it was the most fun project,” she says. “We had multiple taste tests to see if there were any discrepancies. Even our children voted on the recipes.” During the late 1970s, the Bargain Box closes. The League gives its hearing test equipment to Bay District Schools and begins working with older citizens through the Council on Aging. The Child Service Center receives funding as a United Way agency and raises money for other placements. Whale of a Sale, a community yard sale, opens in the former Sears building on Harrison Avenue, which now houses Bay Bank, and raises $10,000. A Decorators Show Place, a League-sponsored fundraiser during which several designers decorated one room each in the home of Panama City’s first mayor, Robert McKenzie, welcomes hundreds of paid visitors who tour the rooms.
June Harrison, President 1973–1975
1980s The League hosts its final charity ball. During its heyday, it was the grand social event of the Christmas season and the League’s premier fundraising event. The JSL publishes its second cookbook, “Beyond the Bay,” and launches Bay Publications. The League sponsors the art education trailer Kaleidoscope and helps hundreds of children expand their minds through art activities. It also buys Kids on the Block puppets to outfit its puppet troupe, which performs in local elementary schools. Skit topics
C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
1960s–clockwise from top left: The first group of provisional members; Next two photos: First charity ball in 1961, which was the event of the season in Bay County during the ‘60s and raised $2,000 its first year. Members in 1961.
include disability awareness, social issues and medical and educational differences. As Bay County reaches a population of more than 125,000, the bylaws are revised and the League now can become a Junior League, giving birth to the informed candidate system of sponsoring provisionals. Prior to this time, the process of sponsoring candidates for membership was held in secret discussions, unbeknownst to the potential candidate, and completed by the admissions committee. The unknowing candidate was then asked to join the League as a provisional (first-year) member. In the informed candidate system, the candidate is informed she is being considered and can even initiate the process herself. She is sponsored by three current members of the League and invited into membership.
Kids on the Block chair Mary Catherine Dismukes with Kids on the Block puppets.
The first spring banquet, or corporate annual meeting, is held during the evening so professional members can attend. Board meetings are now held during evening hours also. In 1989, Linda Harrison and Darlene Fensom chair the first Holly Fair, a festive shopping extravaganza held each November hosting hundreds of retail vendors from all over the country who sell merchandise to eager Bay County Christmas shoppers.
After four decades of League members meeting in their homes and keeping records in their garages and attics, the organization now has an office located over the Sunshine Grocery Store in the Cove, a JSL logo and brochures.
1990s The League welcomes its largest provisional class, consisting of 29 ladies. Photos are added to the membership portion of the yearbook. The new president, Ann Percival, is the first president to also hold a profession outside the home. The JSL enacts the I Can program to help children believe in themselves and improve their self-worth. Mamie McCullough, the “I Can Lady,” speaks at the Marina Civic Center to 1,500 school personnel and interested citizens. “Bay Leaves,” the League’s first cookbook, is inducted into Southern Living’s Cookbook Hall of Fame, is featured on cable network TNN’s “Cookin’ USA” and becomes available in a hardcover edition.
The Junior Service League of Panama City
Ann Percival, President 1990
What began 60 years ago as a group of 20 women now serves Bay County with more than 365 active and sustaining members and dozens of community partners and supporters. We are continuing our tradition of creating initiatives and programs that improve the physical, emotional and educational wellbeing of children and families … The League assists the City of Panama City with grants and volunteer workers to purchase the McKenzie House and renovates and restores the historic home. It now welcomes tour groups, schoolchildren, weddings, private parties and history lovers to walk through the home.
the physical, emotional and educational wellbeing of children and families, positively impacting the community now and for years to come. In 2010, we contributed approximately 4,000 hours of volunteer service and raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to support our community programs.
Currently, the Junior Service League continues to clothe school-age children — about 1,200 each year — in Bay County through the Child Service Center. We tutor and mentor disadvantaged students through ASAP, the After School Assistance Program. We work with developmentally disabled adults
What began 60 years ago as a group of 20 women now serves Bay County with more than 365 active and sustaining members and dozens of community partners and supporters. We are continuing our tradition of creating initiatives and programs that improve
through Chautauqua House, visit retirement home residents through Elderly Outreach and teach valuable life skills to elementaryage children through our puppet troupe, Kids on the Block. In partnership with the national nonprofit Girls on the Run, we promote healthy lifestyles and self-esteem of elementary-age girls while they train for a 5K. Through our Excellence in Education program, and in partnership with Bay Education Foundation, we have awarded $50,000 in grants to public and private educators in Bay County for exceptional innovation in the classroom, and plan to continue to award grants yearly. And through our VOICES program (Volunteering for Others, Inspiring Change, Empowering Self) we are mentoring leadership and community service to high school girls. We support all of these amazing programs through our fundraisers, such as the sale of three wonderful cookbooks, the JSL 5K Rabbit Race and half-mile Bunny Hop, our new spring event, Mystique, and our holiday shopping extravaganza, Holly Fair. Amazingly, over the last 22 years of hosting Holly Fair alone, we have raised $2.9 million. As of today, “Bay Leaves” has sold more than 100,000 copies and been reprinted more than a dozen times.
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C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
How to Become a JSL Member The Junior Service League of Panama City is an organization of women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest in and a commitment to volunteerism. We welcome your interest in learning more about membership admission to our organization. Applications for new members are accepted once a year in the spring. Requirements for Admission nP roposal by an active, senior active or sustaining member. nA ge of the applicant should be 21 to 50. n a t the time of proposal, the applicant should live or work in Bay County. We invite you to attend our Provisional Reception and Open House on April 12 at our League office, located at 309 West 5th Street in Downtown Panama City. The evening will include additional information on the Provisional year schedule and the Leagueâ€™s mission. Visit our website at jslpanamacity.org to download the membership application.
The Junior Service League of Panama City
Mystique 2011 We are so excited to unveil a new Junior Service League event for 2011. The committee is proud to announce “Mystique,” an evening of mystery, excitement, food and stage entertainment, to be held on May 14 at the Martin Theatre. Whether you attend the event or support the Junior Service League’s commitment to our community as an event sponsor, you are helping us make a difference to those in need in Panama City. The event, sponsored by Bay Bank and Trust, will help support our many community service programs such as ASAP, Child Service Center and Elderly Outreach, just to name a few. It has been a privilege to serve as chair of the inaugural Mystique event. Thank you to Cheri Boyle for trusting in me. I am proud of the ladies who serve on this committee, who have spent countless hours away from family. Their vision created the event and their dedication and tireless hours of work will make it a success. We are proud to support our community by having this event in our historic Downtown Panama City. The event will be held at the Martin Theatre and will conclude for VIP ticket holders at the Visual Arts Center. I am thankful for our continuous corporate sponsors, our Junior Service League members and especially the Mystique 2011 committee members — co-chair Karla Hall, Ashley Ferrell, Julie Lang, Heather Howell, Lacey Obos, Cindy Reimers and Kristen Sholtis. In addition, thank you to my husband, Brian, and our two sons who have helped support this event by giving “creative feedback.”
Need We Say More? Come to the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger and see the greatest tennis stars right in your own back yard. ■ April 9–16, 2011 at Forestmeadows Tennis Complex in Tallahassee, FL. ■ For more information about tickets, sponsorships or volunteer opportunities, visit our web site at TallahasseeChallenger.com or call the TMH Foundation at (850) 431-5389.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Winner of the 2007 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger; 5 career singles titles; 2010 Semifinals Australian Open; plays Davis Cup for France; currently #13 in the world. Photo by Mike Olivella
John Isner Winner of the 2009 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger; Winner 2010 Heineken Open; Winner longest tennis match in tennis history, Wimbledon 2010; plays Davis Cup for USA; currently #19 in the world. Photo by Mike Olivella
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We wish all of you a prosperous spring and look forward to seeing you at our new 2011 event, “Mystique.”
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Sandy Porter, Mystique Chair
C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
Community Programs and Fundraisers The Junior Service League has raised millions of dollars that have been given directly back to the Bay County community. Our fundraising projects are vast and varied. Among them — the grandest of garage sales Whale of a Sale, thrift shops, charity balls, three cookbooks, a pictorial history book of Bay County and, our biggest fundraiser, Holly Fair. This money has allowed us to clothe thousands of deserving children through the years directly from our Happy Hanger
program and now Child Service Center. Additionally, we played pivotal roles in the start up of the Junior Museum of Bay County, Bay County Teen Court, the Art Dimensions program in Bay District Schools and the YMCA. We helped with the refurbishing of McKenzie Park and the restoration of the historic McKenzie House, the Salvation Army – Domestic Violence home, the After School Assistance Program (ASAP), the Bay County Public Library, the pediatric wing at Bay Memorial Hospital (now Bay Medical) and many more.
Our Programs After School Assistance Program (ASAP) tutoring and mentoring economically-disadvantaged students in Bay County Chautauqua House working with developmentally-disabled adults in a “learn and serve” environment Child Service Center clothing needy Bay District School children through school referrals Elderly Outreach visiting retirement home residents for uplifting fellowship Girls on the Run mentoring elementary-aged girls during an after-school program that focuses on life skills as they train for a 5K Kids on the Block teaching valuable life skills to elementary-aged children through traveling puppet shows Leadership Development training our members for leadership both inside and outside of the League Volunteering for Others, Inspiring Change, Empowering Self (VOICES) a new program that focuses on mentoring leadership and fostering a spirit of community service in high school-aged young ladies
Excellence in Education Grants In partnership with Bay Education Foundation, this JSL program is designed to help provide an innovative classroom experience for Bay County students through $500 grants for 50 classrooms and teachers. Funds are matched by Bay Education Foundation.
Azalea Trail In partnership with the Garden Club and Women’s Club to support and assist this long-standing Bay County tradition. 64
The Junior Service League of Panama City
Our Fundraisers Bay Publications Three successful cookbooks — “Bay Leaves (1974),” “Beyond the Bay (1985)” and “Bay Fêtes (2001).” The first book in the series, “Bay Leaves,” is still in demand and will be reprinted for the 14th time this year. “Along the Bay,” a pictorial history book of Bay County, was published in 1996.
THE JUNIOR SERVICE LEAGUE
YOUR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION, YOUR COMMUNITY LAW FIRM
HARRISON SALE MCCLOY P.O. Drawer 1579, Panama City, FL 32402
Phone: (850) 769-3434 • Fax: (850) 769-6121
C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
Holly Fair The communityâ€™s generous support of Holly Fair has blessed our League abundantly, enabling us to reach out and support children and adults in ways that would otherwise not be possible. Since its inception in 1989, Holly Fair has raised $2.9 million. These dollars are returned to Bay County through League placements and funding community needs.
The Junior Service League of Panama City
JSL 5K Rabbit Race and Half-Mile Bunny Hop A day of fun and fitness geared to the participants of the Girls on the Run program, whose training culminates in a 5K community run. The race, which winds through Downtown Panama City, is open to any interested athlete.
Elderly Outreach Our Elderly Outreach program is designed to enrich the lives of the older and wiser members of our community by interacting with the residents of Glen Cove Nursing Pavilion and St. Andrews Bay Skilled Nursing and Rehab Facility, especially those who have little to no contact with family and friends outside of the centers. League activities include ice cream socials, Valentineâ€™s Sweetheart parties, hosting local dancing and singing groups and helping with special annual events. Most importantly, we offer companionship and strive to truly enhance their daily lives.
Mystique Our inaugural event being held this year, Mystique is an evening of mystery, excitement, food and stage entertainment with an interactive play held at the Martin Theatre.
C e le br at i ng 6 0 Y e ar s of S e rvic e
Bay Publications Over the years, the Junior Service League of Panama City has produced three awardwinning cookbooks, “Bay Leaves,” “Beyond the Bay” and “Bay Fêtes,” as well as “Along the Bay,” a popular coffee table book on Bay area history.
“Bay Leaves” Within the leaves of this book, we capture the flavor of those early days with some traditional and contemporary recipes that we hope will enhance that reputation. “When picking out the name, we wanted it to reflect our area. And the bay leaf is a spice you use for cooking so it was perfect,” says June Harrison, president at the time the book was being written in 1975. “People say to me 35 years later that it is still their favorite cookbook, now isn’t that a compliment!”
“Beyond the Bay” The second installment in our cookbook series, “Beyond the Bay,” written in 1985, contains more than 600 recipes generously
shared by our residents, notable local restaurants and friends from around the Southeast. It includes eight color divider pages specially commissioned for “Beyond the Bay” by local artist Paul Brent, which showcase the themes of Bay County and the Gulf of Mexico, both old and new.
“Bay Fêtes” If you have ever wanted to prepare a gourmet meal, host an impeccable dinner party or brush up on local history, we have the perfect resource. Our most recent cookbook, “Bay Fêtes: A Tour of Celebrations Along the Gulf Coast,” includes more than 200 distinctive recipes and provides historical tidbits and tips on every entertainment topic from serving champagne to planning a luau. Cathie Hanson, JSL president during the production of the book, recalls that the
camaraderie among the League members, supplemented by the generous services community members contributed to the project, made the book a huge success. “We used local artist Jann Wyckoff Daughdrill, an accomplished and successful portraitist, who drew all the illustrations in the book,” she says. “The inside cover is particularly interesting because it shows all of our photo shoot locations in Bay County in a playful and artistic way. Local photographer Chip Lloyd contributed the brilliant photography. Area chefs offered wonderful ideas and many people lent us their china and serving pieces for the photo shoots.”
“Along the Bay” First published in 1994, “Along the Bay” is a pictorial history of Bay County written by local newspaper columnist, Marlene Womack, and developed through and funded by the Junior Service League. Although not currently in print, “Along the Bay” is both an educational and inspiring look back at the development and growth of this magnificent section of the Florida Panhandle.
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The Junior Service League of Panama City
Send a check to: Bay Life Magazine P.O. Box 1837 Tallahassee, FL 32302-1837 Questions? 850.878.0554
How Sweet it is Whether you prefer milk, dark or white, solid, fruit-dipped or caramel-filled, chocolate is the sweetest way to celebrate the day By Wendy O. Dixon
Photo by Scott Holstein
ew things have the universal appeal of chocolate. We eat it to celebrate big occasions (a birthday, an anniversary, an A on an exam). And we use it to comfort us in times of stress or sorrow (a break-up, a bad day, a D on an exam). According to the American Confectioners Association, Americans consistently name chocolate as their favorite flavor in desserts and snacks. During World War II, the U.S. government recognized chocolate’s role in the nourishment and spirit of the Allied Armed Forces, so much so that it allocated valuable shipping space for the importation of cocoa beans. Today, the U.S. Army’s Meals Ready to Eat contain chocolate bars and U.S. astronauts have taken it into space as part of their diet. On Valentine’s Day, a lover bestows an elegantly wrapped box of chocolates. Every March, the Emerald Coast Business Women hosts “Death by Chocolate,” a fundraising event showcasing decadent chocolate masterpieces from the best restaurants and chefs in Bay County. On Easter, children smear gooey little fingers from a milk chocolate bunny onto their Sunday best. And on an ordinary
Tuesday night, I eat my daily dose of dark chocolate for dessert. What long ago was a spicy chocolate drink has evolved into one of the most celebrated foods in the world. As far back as 2,000 years ago, in the tropical rain forests of Central America and Mexico, the Mayan Indians were the first to mix the native cocoa beans with various seasonings to make a spicy, frothy chocolate drink. Later, the Spanish conquistadors brought the seeds back home to Spain, and eventually the drink’s popularity spread throughout Europe, becoming a sought-after drink only the rich and elite could afford. The popularity of chocolate eventually made its way to America as Europeans capitalized on the California Gold Rush in the 1850s. “Many of the European chocolatiers moved west and set up businesses in San Francisco, which became one of the great chocolate manufacturing centers in America,” says Peter Ehrlich, owner of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Silver Sands Factory Stores in Destin. Ehrlich buys his chocolate from the Guittard Chocolate Company, which is
Chocolate heaven Kilwin’s in Panama City Beach’s Pier Park and Destin’s Grand Boulevard serves chocolate bark, chocolate truffles and nearly every imaginable flavor of fresh homemade fudge.
based in San Francisco. The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is another example of a European chocolate manufacturer that set up shop in San Francisco during that time. Chocolate was still a rare European luxury when Milton S. Hershey was born in Derry Church, Penn., in 1857 (it was renamed Hershey, Penn., in 1906). According to Hersheys.com, he worked for a confectioner as a youth, but always longed for his own candy company. When he was 18, he established his first candy business, which failed after six years. Not giving up, Hershey spent years experimenting with sweet ingredients, which led to Hershey making a delicious and popular caramel. With the success of the candy, Hershey became a rich man. And it was during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair that Hershey bought a German machine that could make chocolate. Because of his persistence and passion for chocolate, Hershey finally invented the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 70
Bar in 1900. And because of the Industrial Revolution and mass production methods, Hershey was able to reduce the cost of his chocolate bars and offer to everyone the sweet treats once reserved only for the rich. The bars were an instant success.
Good News About Chocolate The evolution of chocolate has led to endless varieties, textures and potencies of the candy. Many people include it as their daily dessert, even incorporating chocolate into a healthy diet. The use of chocolate for medicinal purposes has been gaining scientific validity in recent years. Chocolate has been linked to a longer life. In addition to making life sweeter, a few pieces of chocolate per month may extend life, says the Harvard School of Public Health. The school survey of healthy 65-year-old men revealed that those who ate sweets containing chocolate reportedly live longer. Those who consume chocolate in moderation
had a lower mortality than those who indulge three or more times a week. Those who abstained from chocolate had the highest mortality of all the groups. The Harvard School of Public Health also found that women who ate one to three servings of chocolate a month had 26 percent fewer cases of heart failure, and those who ate one to two servings a week had 32 percent fewer cases. The research team that conducted the survey speculated that chocolate might reduce heart failure by lowering blood pressure. But moderation is key, says Elizabeth Mostofsky, the author of the research report, who added that too much chocolate can lead to weight gain, offsetting its benefits. If you’re adhering to the “all good things in moderation” mantra, it’s important to choose the highest quality chocolate made from the freshest ingredients. At Kilwin’s in Pier Park, general manager Kat Meola and her staff make
chocolate-dipped treats, chocolate-pecan tuttles (another name for the trademarked Turtles) and chocolate-covered pretzels in addition to the chocolate made in the “Kilwin Kitchen” in Petoskey, Mich. “It’s all handmade and specially marked to identify the candy,” Meola says. “A chocolate cream has a ‘C’ on it, a vanilla cream has a ‘V,’ there’s an ‘O’ for an orange cream and an ‘R’ for raspberry cream.” Kilwin’s chocolate treats are made with Peter’s chocolate, one of the country’s premier chocolatiers. It was Daniel Peter, the founder of the company, who invented milk chocolate in 1875. “There’s a distinct difference between good and poor quality chocolate,” Meola says. “A premier chocolate is creamy and smooth while others are waxy and grainy.” Meola says if she were to ask 20 people what they love about chocolate she’d get 20 different answers, but basically what makes chocolate so special to her customers is the psychological comfort it brings. “It’s a pick me up,” she says. “Some people crave the caffeine, some people crave the cocoa. But basically it reminds us of our childhood. It’s really an emotional attachment.” For spring, chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs are obviously the hottest items in Kilwin’s, and the store offers customized Easter baskets. “We do everything from crosses to the traditional Easter bunny lollipops,” she adds. “As usual, we pull out all the stops for Easter.” n
chocolate myths Chocolate causes acne. Fact: Neither chocolate nor any other food causes acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is a skin condition caused by the over-activity of oil glands in the skin. Chocolate causes migraine headaches. Fact: Chocolate is not a significant cause of migraine headaches. While some foods may be associated with the onset of migraines, one recent study suggests chocolate is not one of them. The study, conducted at the Pittsburgh State University, placed 63 women prone to get migraines on diets that included chocolate or the chocolate substitute, carob. Chocolate proved to be no more likely than carob to trigger a headache. Chocolate causes obesity. Fact: Neither chocolate nor any other food causes obesity. When calorie intake exceeds calories burned through activity, a person gains weight. Studies conducted on the calorie contribution of foods found that chocolate contributes only .7 to 1.4 percent of calories to the average American diet. Source: National Confectioners Association (candyusa.com) BAY LIFE
Breakfast/Brunch......................................... Lunch........................................................... Dinner.......................................................... Takeout Available........................................ Outdoor Dining............................................ Live Music................................................... Bar/Lounge.................................................. Reservations................................................ Most Credit Cards Accepted........................ Inexpensive.................................................... $ Moderately Expensive.................................. $$ Expensive...................................................$$$
diningguide Panama city Black Angus Restaurant and Lounge $$ Steak & Seafood. Menu items such as coconut shrimp and roast prime rib. 4500 W. Hwy 98. Open Sun.–Mon. 4:30–9:30 p.m., Tues.–Thurs. 4:30– 10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 4:30–10:30 p.m. (850) 784-1788. Gandy’s Oyster Bar $$ Cajun Seafood. Enjoy the tastes of New Orleans with our jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, shrimp and all things Cajun. 3931 W. Hwy 390. Open Mon.Thurs. 5-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. -8 p.m. (850) 271-2805. MASON’S WAY WINE BAR $$ Wine Bar. Eclectic and intimate downtown setting. All varieties of wine served, as well as major domestic and import microbrewery beers. Nightly specials. Appetizers only. Thurs.–Sat. 5 p.m. until. 1450 Jenks Ave. (850) 784-0909.
Panama city beach Andy’s Flour Power Bakery Bakery and Sandwich Shop. Enjoy breakfast and lunch made with the freshest ingredients at this locally owned bakery/restaurant. 3123 Thomas Dr., (850) 230-0014. Angelo’s Steak Pit $$ Steak & Seafood. Angelo’s is one of the few places in Panama City to serve meats cooked over an open hickory pit. 9527 Front Beach Road. Open Mon–Sun. 4 p.m.–10 p.m. (850) 234-2531. Bishop’s Family Buffet $$ Seafood Buffet. Shrimp, crab legs and a 38-item salad bar. 12628 Front Beach Road. Open Mon.–Sun. Breakfast 8–10:30 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Dinner 3:30–9 p.m. (850) 234-6457. Boatyard $$ American. Try Conch Fritters with Hot Pepper Jelly and Wasabi Mayonnaise or their creamy Key Lime Pie on a Stick. 5323 North Lagoon Drive. Open 11 a.m. daily. (850) 249-YARD (9273). Breakers $$ American. Casual gulf-front dining with live entertainment Thurs.-Sat. Dine on the beach, stay for the show! 12627 Front Beach Rd. Open daily 5 p.m. (850) 234-6060. Calypso Beach Café and Sports Grill $$ Caribbean Creole. Appetizers, steaks, soups and salads, fresh from the Gulf seafood, and awardwinning desserts. Lunch and dinner: open 11 a.m. daily. 15812 Front Beach Road. (850) 234-6788. Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant & Waterfront Market $$$ Seafood. A Gulf Coast legend serving more fresh seafood than any other restaurant in Florida, this landmark award-winning restaurant has been dazzling seafood lovers for more than 44 years. Open 4:30 p.m. Mon–Fri. 4 p.m. Sat., closed Sun. 5551 N. Lagoon Dr. (850) 234-2225. Dirty Dick’s Crab House $$$ Seafood. The only serious thing here is the food, Dirty Dick’s makes all soups, sauces and salad dressings in-house daily. Although Dick’s offers a variety of seafood dishes, the star of its menu is the crab. 9800 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach. Open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily. (850) 230-DICK (3425). 72
firefLY $$ Steak & Seafood. Enjoy fresh seafood and top quality steaks under the full-scale indoor oak tree or sip cocktails in the library lounge. 535 Beckrich Road. Open Mon.–Sun. 5 p.m.(850) 249-3359. Hofbrau Beer Garden $$ German. This Munich-style beer hall serves an assortment of imported beers and German festival foods. 701 S. Pier Park Dr. Open Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat. 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. (850) 235-4632. Lady Anderson Dining Yacht Dinner/Dance $$$ Seafood & Steak. Indulge in the shrimp and prime rib buffet while dancing in the middle of St. Andrews Bay. 3400 Pasadena Ave. South. Open Wed., Fri., Sat., Board 6:30 p.m. Cruise 7–9:30 p.m. (850) 234-5940. Los Antojitos $$ Mexican. This family-owned restaurant has been serving Panama City diners delicious Mexican dishes for over 30 years. 4809 W Highway 98. Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. (850) 784-6633. Margaritaville $$ Caribbean. Here you can order jambalaya, coconut shrimp and other taste-tempting entrées, like the Cheeseburger in Paradise. 16230 Front Beach Road at Pier Park. Open 11 a.m.–2 a.m. (850) 235-7870 Montego Bay Seafood House $$ Seafood & Steak. Try the Captain’s Catch grilled, fried, seasoned with lemon and pepper, or jerked. 4920 Thomas Dr. Open Mon.–Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (850) 234-8686. Edgewater location: 473 Beckrich Road. Open Mon.–Sun. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. (850) 233-6033. THE Original j. Michael’s Dockside Bar and Grill $$ Seafood & Steak. “Often imitated, never duplicated.” Enjoy the freshest seafood and perfect steaks in a charming boatyard setting. Stop in on your way to the beach for Cajun-inspired dishes like Grouper Creole. 3210 Thomas Drive. (850) 233-2055. Pineapple Willy’s $$ Steak, Ribs & Seafood. Enjoy the beachfront view while sipping a drink from their outdoor bar. 9875 South Thomas Dr. Open Mon.–Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (850) 235-1225. Saltwater Grill $$ Seafood. A house favorite, the black and white tuna is accompanied by a piano player and a 25,000-gallon aquarium. 11040 Middle Beach Road. Open Mon.–Sun. 4–10 p.m. (850) 230-2739. Schooner’s $$ Seafood & Burgers. Known for fresh seafood. Enjoy local entertainment on Monday nights. 5121 Thomas Dr. Open Mon. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Tues.–Wed. 11 a.m.–11 p.m.,Thurs. 11 a.m.–11:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11–1 a.m. Sun. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. (850) 235-3555. Shan Kishi $ Japanese Fusion & Sushi Bar. Featuring Sushi Chef Yakoo, this new restaurant offers Japanese “fusion” cuisine in a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. 13800 Panama City Beach Pkwy. (850) 249-3663. Sharky’s Restaurant and Beach Club $$ Seafood. Dine on fresh seafood platters. Then dive into the “shark attack,” a specially made house drink. 15201 Front Beach Road. Open Mon.–Sun. 11 a.m.–midnight. (850) 235-2420. Shrimp Boat $$ Seafood and Steaks. Admire the ocean view as you enjoy a plate of coconut shrimp or St. Andrews Bay Crab Cake. 1201 Beck Ave. in St. Andrews. Open daily at 4:30 p.m. (850) 785-8706. Shuckums $ Seafood & Burgers. Featuring the best oysters, crab cakes, burgers and more. Shuckums is the place to be seen for family fun. 15614 Front Beach Rd. Open 7 days, 11 a.m. ’til we can’t shuck’em anymore! (850) 235-3214. Siesta Bar & Grill at Hombre Golf Club $$ Casual Fare/American. With its spectacular panoramic view, the Siesta Bar & Grill overlooks the natural beauty of the golf course. Come early to enjoy a hearty breakfast or later for a satisfying lunch. Relax outside on the terrace with your favorite beverage from their fully stocked bar. 120 Coyote Pass, Panama City Beach. (850) 234-3673. n Bay Life
The Last Word
In love, age is just a number By lilly rockwell
Photo by Scott Holstein
f I could climb aboard a time machine and tell my 20-year-old self Finally, one night in mid-March a late night poker party led us that I was going to marry a man 18 years my senior, I wouldn’t back to his apartment and we kissed. I’m a bit ashamed that my have believed it. first thought was: “Wow, he kisses just like a younger guy would.” To my younger self, it would have seemed as unlikely as aliens I had imagined that he might kiss differently, but was pleasantly invading our planet. surprised to discover some things only get better with age. In college, I didn’t have a “type.” There was the rocker with We fell into an all-consuming infatuation. I slept at his apartment shaggy hair and hipster jeans, the smart engineering major who frequently and he took me on actual dates at nice restaurants. This taught me how to play poker, and the funny guy from Spanish blew the mind of a 21-year-old who had been romanced before class who wrote much better fiction with video games and potato chips. than I did. When the gossipy press corps The only thing they had in common learned of our relationship, Mark was they were all about my age. got all the high-fives and fist-pumps, Like most young romances, none of while I got curious glances and probthem lasted longer than a few months, ing questions. and quite a few were undone by longFor the most part, our age differdistance romance. ence didn’t matter. The conversations By the time I was 21, I was eager flowed easily and we had our passion to start my career as a journalist. for journalism in common. I accepted an offer to write for The But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t quesFlorida Times-Union for its Tallation our relationship at times. I fretted hassee bureau during the spring legover the long-term consequences. I picislative session. I drove the 16 hours tured myself at 60, a working woman from Texas to live in a small, shabby with plenty of energy, and Mark as a apartment. crippled old man of 78 with one foot The Times-Union had an office in in the nursing home. the third floor of a beige three-story When my internship ended in May, building that housed most of the Mark helped me drive back to Texas. city’s capital press corps. I was on We vowed to try a long-distance reCAPITOL LOVE Mark and Lilly reminisce about their the third floor, right across the halllationship after exchanging “I love days in the Capitol press corps. way from The South Florida Sunyous.” Sentinel offices. I had been down this road before. My first week on the job a tall man One boyfriend sent love letters from with blue eyes stood in the doorway of my office and introduced Australia that got progressively shorter and less ardent before himself as a Sun-Sentinel reporter named Mark. breaking up over a long-distance phone call. I stood to shake his hand and was struck by how handsome he With Mark, it was different. We sent dozens of e-mails a day and was. I learned that Mark was 39, a soon-to-be divorcée with a nine- spent hours on the phone every night. We flew to visit one another year-old daughter and a boyish grin. every few months. I dismissed him as too old for me, with too much baggage. I fell deeper in love. Mark was a good man, the kind that cooked Yet every time he came into my office, I got that queasy feeling my favorite meals upon request, put up with my obsession with bad in my stomach, that said “you like this guy.” He was an expert at reality television and stayed up with me all night when I had a bad the wonky topic of Medicaid reform, and I found excuses to ask migraine, rubbing my head until the pain faded. for his “help” on the subject whenever I had to write about health He encouraged me to take a job in Austin, Texas, working for care reform. my hometown newspaper, even though it meant our long-distance He seemed awfully thirsty, going for frequent trips to a water relationship would likely drag on. fountain just outside my office door. And every time he joined me Even if I did have to care for Mark later in life, it would be worth for after-work drinks he asked lots of questions about myself, curi- 40 years of him taking care of me. When he proposed atop an Ausous about my life in Texas and my family. tin hill at sunset, my answer was “Yes.” n
Capturing the essence of Florida’s thriving Bay County area with exceptional writing, bold layouts and stunning photography, Bay Life Magazi...