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W. H. Gross Construction is the premier builder in some of Coastal Georgia’s and Northeast Florida’s most desirable communities. Come for a tour and see for yourself why the W. H. Gross name has stood for quality, integrity, and unparalleled value for more than a quarter of a century.

Homes from the mid $100s to over $1 Million

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Osprey Cove • Winding River • Cumberland Harbour • Waters Edge • Sanctuary Cove • Landings at Catfish • Laurel Island • Osprey Cove • Winding River • Cumberland Harbour

Osprey Cove • Winding River • Cumberland Harbour • Waters Edge • Sanctuary Cove • Landings at Catfish • Laurel Island • Osprey Cove • Winding River • Cumberland Harbour

Osprey Cove • Winding River • Cumberland Harbour • Waters Edge • Sanctuary Cove • L andings at Catfish • L aurel Island

Letter from the Mayor It looks like another glorious summer on the river in St. Marys for visitors and local residents! Whether it’s boating, fishing or kayaking, the natural waters are wonderful. And for the kids, the Aquatic Center is a cool option. For nature lovers, we invite you to enjoy the beautiful and unique Cumberland Island, only a ferry ride away. For bird lovers, the wood storks are here as are the bald eagles and dozens of other marsh-loving avians. History buffs can enjoy an easy-to-walk downtown to visit the Oak Grove Cemetery that dates back to the Revolutionary War, the Orange Hall Museum, and our new still-under-construction History Walk that highlights our role as one of the oldest cities in America. Our Waterfront Park is the hub of our small downtown where the fountain sparkles, children play, seniors enjoy the waterfront park benches, and breezes, and locals and visitors alike can enjoy activities like our Starry Nights music concerts throughout the summer. For family reunions, picnics, or to just sit and enjoy the quiet hospitality of small town America with a beautiful water view, this is the place to be. Affordable lodging is available at both our quaint bed and breakfasts and our modern motels. Our casual relaxed restaurants offer a full range of dining options, and our shops are fun to browse and buy. We invite visitors to stop by our Welcome Center and learn more about our history and our attractions. But you can also stop anyone on the street and ask about our little city. Those of us fortunate enough to live here are always eager and ready to talk about why we love it here. So, come and enjoy summer with us! (And autumn. And winter. And spring.)


John John Morrissey, Mayor City of St. Marys

Gentle Loving Care Made Fresh Daily With its child-friendly environment, Golden Isles Pediatric Dentistry’s mission is to make a child’s dental experience fun and stress-free.A good early dental experience for your children will result in the willingness and desire to continue good oral health care for the rest of their lives. Preventative Dentistry Traditional Restorative Dentistry Restorative Dentistry with Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) Intravenous Sedation Dentistry Located in Mariner’s Village 2475 Village Drive, Suite 114 Kingsland, GA 31548

Phone (912) 882-4040 Monday through Thursday 8:30 to 5:00

F E AT U R E S The Magic of the South


Camden Mission: America’s Gateway to Space


Making Waves. Making Peace. Making a Difference. The Peacemaker


Rush Hour on Cumberland Island


St. Marys DMA Welcomes New Businesses


Unbroken History. Enduring Spirit. St. Augustine


All Board! The St. Marys Express


Capturing the Moments


Head of the Class: Camden County Schools

Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay: An Economic Powerhouse for Coastal Georgia


St. Marys Star Shines Bright in Branson


Talent Unleashed


Filmmaking in Coastal Georgia The Long and the Short of It


You Dreamed You Could Fly


Compassionate Caring to the Rescue


Living History. Making History. St. Marys Little Theatre



Hooked on St. Marys


Antique Bottles Tell a Tale


The Color of Friendship


Think Like a River


St. Marys is a Star!


Corporate Citizen Renders Community Enrichment


For the Love of Animals


Inaugural Pageants Recognize Seniors


Where Art & Architecture meet History: Ashantilly Center


Seed of Life





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Mayor’s Letter Publisher’s Note Locator Map Real People Literarily Speaking Mailbag Media Darlings Around Town EarthKeeping Magazine Party 19 Low Country Events

Publisher’s Note “I love your smile,” he said. Publisher Barbara Jackson Ryan Creative Director & Designer Jerry Lockamy Contributing Artists Steve Saley Editors Linda Williford Justin Lee Jones Haley Pittman Director of Public Relations Kristen Lockamy Contributing Writers Alex Kearns Herb Rowland Holly Yurchison Annie Jones Wright Camay Q. Howell Contributing Photographers L. J.Williams Holly Yurchison Brenda Barber Taylor Glenda Barber Mike Lillis Doug Vaught Evelyn Hill Steve Royer Kelly Burger Matthew Normand Melissa Hodge Chris Barlow Charles Hollis Historic St. Marys Magazine is a LowCountry Publishing publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior consent of official representatives of LowCountry Publishing. All contents Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

This from a man who knows me only by my photo, but his remark gave me pause. So, I started being conscious of how often I smiled. This made me smile more, of course. And the result was so awesome that I began my study of smiles. Here’s what I discovered. Kids smile about 400 times a day. The average adult smiles about 20 times a day. Wow! I discovered that facial expressions determine your mental state. The simple act of smiling sends a message to your brain that you’re happy. And when you’re happy, your body pumps out all kinds of feel-good endorphins. One study suggested that one smile is worth the brain activity that 2,000 chocolate bars might elicit. And because human beings are wired to instinctively respond like for like, facial expressions are contagious, bringing home the point that “smile and the whole world smiles with you; cry and you cry alone.” Scientific studies suggest that smiles may actually strengthen the body on a cellular level. When we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells, and this physical relaxation can help combat the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of various cancers. Wow again! So here’s the deal: A smile can boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, give you a natural high, melt hearts, make you more memorable, make you look more competent, make you look younger and live longer, AND a smile costs nothing and has no calories. Mother Teresa said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” Happiness can make you smile. Smiling can make you happy. Try it.

Barbara Jackson Ryan Publisher

Email me anytime with your thoughts or ideas for the magazine:

Letters to the Editor or other Correspondence Email: 511 Osborne Street St. Marys, GA 31558 For general information, advertising, or subscription service, call 912-729-1103 or visit

On the cover Eco Statement St. Marys Magazine is committed to the highest environmental standards, printed in the USA by The Drummond Press, Inc., recycling 100% of excess paper and using non-petroleum vegetable oil-based inks.

The Peacemaker

t’s easy to get to St. Marys no matter what mode of transportation you use. By land, St. Marys is located just 8 miles east of I-95 off Georgia Exit 1 or 3. By sea, an easy sailing up the Intracoastal, and into the St. Marys River just north of Florida, gets you right into St. Marys’ Downtown Historic District. By air, visitors have two great choices: St. Marys’ own little airport situated just minutes from the waterfront. Or Jacksonville International Airport—a mere 30 minute car ride away.


Waterfront Dining in the Historic Riverview Hotel

Appetizers Soups & Salads Children’s Menu Baskets with fries Burgers & Sandwiches Seafood & Steak Entrees Chicken & Pasta Entrees Homemade Deserts & more

Proms Weddings Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties Airport Services Special Occasions

Office: (912) 882-

Tom Mitchell





t is a fascination as old as time. The Deep South: that intriguing place of mystery, romance, upheaval, serenity, dichotomies, music, and history. On they come—the dreamers and poets, artists and researchers, photographers, writers, and nomads. They attempt to capture its elusive magic in film, canvas, and letters. The words of Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, Eudora Welty, William Styron, Sidney Lanier, and the rest of the literary luminaries serve as an irresistible siren song even as cinematic masterpieces weave their spell. Is it the inimitable Southern “language,” so rich in humor and nuance? Is it the celebration of idiosyncrasies and heritage? The incomparable beauty of salt marshes that stretch their golden arms to the river and sea? The sight of Spanish moss floating over tabby walls and ancient cemetery markers? Could it be the unsurpassed hospitality that makes

Alex Kearns

instant friends of strangers or the never-to-be-resisted temptation to sit a spell and catch up on local gossip? It might be the twilight “magic hour” that settles upon the broad shoulders of a sun-dazzled day or the perfume of the sea that wends its way into our souls as the tide turns. It may be the ambling walk-about of a dog that stops at downtown shops for a chat and a drink of water or the spirit of a community that comes together in sorrow or celebration. Whatever it is, its magic is powerful stuff. Once you have been touched by the spell, you are forever changed. “For if you start dancing on tables, fanning yourself, feeling sleepy when you pick up a book, developing a sense of rhythm, making love whenever you feel like it—then you know. The south has got you.” Susan Sontag 9

View of space launch as seen from St. Marys Waterfront.



Barbara Jackson Ryan

he trail to making Camden County a major T player in the space arena reads like a “back to the

Closer view of space launch.

future” novella. Back when NASA was looking for a place to launch rockets (before Cape Canaveral), Camden County was on NASA’s short list because of its coastal location. In another historic link, Camden County is where the world’s most powerful rocket motor was test fired—also in the 60s. The test-firing was actually done on the same site that Camden leaders anticipate developing into “Spaceport Camden.” And a major step toward the achievement of that goal took place recently when county commissioners executed a land option agreement for a 4,011-acre site off Georgia Exit 7—the same site where the rocket motor was test fired a half-century ago. Camden County administrator Steve Howard and continued ...


others have been working on the project for nearly two years. Howard said that the launching site would also attract companies already expressing an interest in building manufacturing facilities to construct rockets and the payloads as well—the majority of which are billionaire-backed. Spaceport Camden will not only be a boon for Camden County, but for the state of Georgia as well, bringing prestige and jobs from a $304 billion industry. There are already 838 aerospace companies operating in Georgia, employing more than 85,000 workers. It’s all pretty heady stuff for a county that prides itself on its small-town America culture. But as they say, “location, location, location.” That’s what makes Camden County a viable force in the running of a new kind of space race—commercial space launches made by companies like SpaceX. SpaceX’s “Dragon” made history in 2012 when it became the first commercial spacecraft in history to deliver cargo to the International Space Station and safely return cargo to Earth, a feat previously achieved continued ...


only by governments. According to company documents, SpaceX was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. WOW! The proposed Spaceport Camden site has the potential through master planning to accommodate multiple companies to launch. And—back to location—the site offers an ideal launch trajectory that doesn’t require spacecraft to fly over densely populated areas. Howard shared an impressive list of advantages that Spaceport Camden has over other possible sites. • Provides nearly unrestricted launch range for the launch of spacecraft to a wide range of orbits • Capability to fly due east maximizes the velocity boost from the Earth’s rotation enabling more payload to reach orbit • The latitude of Camden County is similar to that at the Kennedy Space Center • Nearby rail, barge, I-95 and an international airport. • Access to highly-skilled military-trained personnel seeking high-tech jobs With an ideal site secured by the county, the next step toward space readiness will be an 18-month continued ...


process of Federal Aviation Administration environmental assessments, public hearings, and meetings. “This is an exciting project that will create an economic competitive advantage for Camden, the region, and the state of Georgia,” Howard said. “I envision the coast to be rebranded as Georgia’s Space Coast and I-95 as the High-Tech Corridor. Camden and the State of Georgia have an opportunity to make ‘History Again’ and become known as America’s Gateway to Space!” One small step for Camden County Commissioners. Potentially one giant step forward for Coastal Georgia’s economic development. Editor’s Note: For more information, visit

DID YOU KNOW? The St. Marys Kiwanis Club ranks in the top 20 of all Kiwanis Clubs in the entire nation.

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t. Marys resident Ed Robinson was always interested in history and geography. When he inherited family photos and a family genealogy account going back to the 14th century, his interest became a passion. Robinson’s ancestry reads like a Hollywood movie. It includes a family that built the first private railroad in Scotland, a chief justice of Scotland, a wealth matron accused of being a witch, and a soldier of fortune captured off the coast of Africa who was imprisoned then escaped with the help of the princess of Zanzibar. It would be inevitable that a man with such a rich familial tapestry bring pen to paper and document not only the landmarks that figured prominently in his family’s heritage, but also the history of places where he lived. Robinson wrote three books about locations in West Virginia and most recently released “Old Leuchars with

Guardbridge and Balmullo,” detailing a great deal of history and the beauty of his ancestral country, Scotland. “Old Leuchars” was dedicated to the memory of his aunt, Helen Pitts Watson, who encouraged him to visit Scotland and learn more about the country and their ancestors, the Hendersons of Fordell who owned Earlshall Castle for over 100 years. Robinson tried to serve as Helen’s eyes in her final years as she was blind. It was Margaret Henderson of 17th century Scotland who was accused of being a witch after her wealthy husband died. She was imprisoned in Edinburgh but bribed a prison guard to acquire poison which she used to commit suicide. Robinson wasn’t always a historian. He grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and ended up majoring in Transportation Economics at the University of Tennessee. His career as an Aviation Economist gave him the

continued ... 15

Edward Robinson opportunity to be the U. S. representative on the prestigious International Statistics Panel for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the aviation arm of the United Nations, for 13 years. Robinson retired from the U. S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, but he and his lovely wife Susan, had no intention of remaining in Washington for retirement. After enduring winters in Princeton, West Virginia, for 17 years (where he wrote three books), the Robinsons’ quest for a small town, warm climate retirement led them south. They profiled eight cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia for critical factors such as weather, literacy, quality of life, and cost of living, and St. Marys came up as the winner. Gaining Ed and Susan Robinson as citizens really has been a winner for St. Marys. They have immersed themselves in the community, becoming patrons of the arts for such organizations as St. Marys Little Theatre and the Ashantilly Center in Darien. Life has not always been easy for Ed Robinson. As an infant, he was developing into an active toddler—walking and talking—until he reached ten months of age. Then he started to regress to crawling. First, he was diagnosed as having polio, then cerebral palsy. He grew up with some hesitancy of speech and partial paralysis of his right arm and leg—no handicap to his successful economist and then journalist careers. It would take 72 years to get an accurate diagnosis of his lifelong condition, and that by sheer accident. Robinson was attending the last baseball game of the season between Princeton and Bluefield, West Virginia. The last batter of the game had three balls behind him when he hit a foul ball that ricocheted and hit Robinson’s ear, knocking him unconscious. A resulting MRI indicated that he had had a childhood stroke, uncovering a 72-year-old mystery. Now 77 years old, Robinson has been married for 50 years and counts three children and six grandchildren as his blessings. With five books already under his belt, his next venture will be a series on Scotland. Then he plans to research and write about the forts of Coastal Georgia. For a man who can read Mayan glyphs (some, he says), who made a career of transportation economics, who was a newspaper sports writer for three years, who descended from an intriguing Scottish dynasty, and who—today—sets a stellar example as a respected member of our community, we salute Edward Robinson as our “Real People” candidate for St. Marys Magazine’s 20th issue.



V isitors in St. Marys stand in awe at the foot of Ready


Street. Their eyes feast on the beautiful three-masted tall ship docked in the St. Marys River at the Intracoastal Gateway property. Their gaze first rests on the handsome hardwood deck, then travels upward 123 feet—that’s 13 stories high—to the top of the rigging set against a typically stark blue Georgia sky. Visons of stalwart navies, explorers and pirates, and titans of a different era come to mind. But unlike the vessels of old and fame that were inaccessible to the common man, the “Peacemaker” has opened her arms to the public for tours that inevitably leave the visitor enthralled. Peacemaker was built on a riverbank in southern Brazil using traditional methods and the finest tropical hardwoods. The ship was first launched in 1989 as the “Avany,” a name chosen by her designer and owner, Frank Walker,

a Brazilian industrialist. He planned to spend some time traveling aboard with his family, and then operate it as a charter vessel in the Caribbean. After an initial voyage in the southern Atlantic, he brought the ship up through the Caribbean to Savannah, Georgia, where he intended to rig her as a three-masted staysail schooner. Other demands captured the attention of the Walker family for many years, and during the summer of 2000 the tall ship still waited in a Savannah boatyard, her beautiful bright work bleached by the sun, and her bottom heavily encrusted with marine life, but otherwise sound. As serendipity goes, the Twelve Tribes, a faith-based organization, made contact with the Walkers about the time he was looking for a buyer and they were looking for a training vessel. Walker liked their vision for the ship, so he gave them a good price. And thus began continued ...

considerable effort to put the ship’s mechanical systems in order and to scrape and paint her bottom and topsides. The Twelve Tribes crew motored out of the boatyard in September, 2000, looking for a home port. Most of the following eight or nine months were spent at anchor in various harbors along the southeast Atlantic coast. They settled down in Brunswick, Georgia, in the spring of 2001 to upgrade the mechanical and electrical systems and to design a practical and aesthetically pleasing barquentine rig. (A barquentine is a ship that has three or more masts.) In the summer of 2006, they assembled a rigging and sail-making crew from amongst their own people, under the direction of an expert rigger of tall ships. They set sail for the first time in the spring of 2007, under the name “Peacemaker,” which expresses in a word their vocation as a people: bringing people into peace with their Creator and with one another. The vision for the ship was to be a seagoing representation of the life of peace and unity and to also provide apprenticeship opportunities for young people to learn many valuable and practical skills, not only in rigging, sail-making, sailing, navigation, marine mechanics and carpentry, but also in living and working together in tight quarters, as well as many cross-cultural experiences traveling from port to port. Today, “Peacemaker” boasts a crew of about 20, and crew members typically serve up to three months on the ship. There are no age limits—some people as old as 60 have been part of the crew, though mostly young people volunteer to serve. Those serving on the ship learn to be full-fledged sailors, and they participate continued ...


in hosting visitors when they tour the ship. “Peacemaker” has graced St. Marys with her presence for many months off and on since the beginning of the year. But her crew continues to seek a homeport. With city officials enthused about their presence, and the public showing their approval as indicated by the numerous tours taken each week, hopes are that “Peacemaker” will make her home right here in St. Marys. It is only fitting, after all. Back during the late 1700s and early 1800s, the port of St. Marys was occupied by hundreds of tall ships. A little history lesson:

In 1798, the beautiful new U.S. Galley “St. Marys” was launched from the shipyards of St. Marys as St. Marys took her respected place in the world of shipbuilding. Word spread of the area’s extraordinary live oaks so coveted by shipbuilders. In 1837, "The Savannah Georgian” stated that up to that time, “more vessels had been built in St. Marys than at any other port in Georgia.” Ships from around the world came to trade at this most souther n port of America because Florida was still owned by Spain. More than 300 vessels rested in the harbor at times. Rice, timber, indigo, and cotton were among the riches that were onloaded to the tall ships to take to the far corners of the world as Camden County was added to the world map of trade. She’s a 158-foot beauty with a 33-foot beam and 10,600 square feet of sails. S h e ’s r e g a l . S h e ’s m a j e s t i c . S h e ’s magnificent! She’s “Peacemaker.” Editor’s Note: Peacemaker tours are free and open to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. 20

he breathtaking sight of wild horses T galloping freely along the white sand beaches of Cumberland Island is an awesome experience for first-time visitors. The sound of beating hooves as these noble creatures race the wind is a thrill that gives pause to even those who work on the island. Few destinations can lay claim to the enchantment of such a striking vision, a vision that dates back to the 1500s when the Spaniards brought over the first horses to help establish their mission on the island. The first written account of free-ranging continued ... 22

horses on the island was in the late 1700s. General Nathanael Greene wrote that in 1785, at least 200 horses and mules roamed the island. Free-roaming horses were periodically corralled and sold by plantation owners for five dollars each. Then during the Civil War (1861-1865), most of the horses were removed. Some even say they were used for meat and subsistence by soldiers and free-men during this period. When the Carnegies acquired much of the island in 1881, they brought a half dozen new breeds to the island. In 1921, a train-car load of Arizona mustangs was released. In 1992, several Arabians were introduced to the herds by an island resident. Genetic studies show the Cumberland Island horses are related to several breeds of common domestic horses including the Tennessee walker, quarter horse, Arabian, and Paso fino—most of which were likely derived from post-1900 introductions. Although their ancestors were domesticated, the horses on Cumberland Island are considered feral. Feral animals are not technically wild, yet they are usually domestic

creatures which have been released into the wild and reverted to a wild state of being. The presence of the horses on the island presents an ongoing controversy. While visitors are enamored by their beauty, conservationists often argue that because they are not native to the island, they have potential to cause damage to island resources such as the sand dunes and the salt marshes. There is also a concern that they can damage archaeological and historic sites, impact the river and stream bank stability, and compete with native wildlife for food. After Cumberland Island was established as a national seashore in 1972, there was actually a plan drawn up to eliminate the free-ranging horses. It included options such as contraceptives, rounding up and removal, and fence-herding. The plan drew such outrage, Congress requested the National Park Service to suspend any planned activities at this time. The current approach of the National Park Service is one of allowing nature to take its course. The horses are treated like the native wildlife in that there is no continued ...

Results that Speak for Themselves 912-576-2677 • 2400 St. Marys Road, Suite A, St. Marys, GA 31558

Actual Patients

interference with veterinary care or food subsidizing. Today’s island horses can often be seen congregating on the lawn of Dungeness ruins, in open pastures where grass is abundant, and marching single file along the beach where they often go to get away from the bugs. The horses are grouped by “harems,” comprised of one stallion, several mares and their foals. When the male foals reach about one to two years old, they will break from the harem and hang out with a bachelor group of other male horses for a while until they feel strong enough to challenge a stallion in an attempt to take over his harem. Because a breeding horse is very strong, a bachelor stallion is sometimes six or seven years old before he can succeed in challenging the harem stallion. It is believed that there are now 150-200 feral horses roaming the island. One can envy the life of the island horses, thinking of their carefree days traversing the canopied paths of lush live oak forests and bathing in the soothing waters of the salt marsh ponds. One can imagine the freedom the horses enjoy as they gallop along sun-kissed beaches and are caressed by warm ocean breezes. One’s heartbeat can match the thundering hoof beats of a herd whose history reaches back more than five centuries—conjuring up images of conquistadors and Arabian sultans driving the ancestors of these island horses into adventure and conquest. Their bloodlines mixed and muted, these


mild-mannered creatures now roam Cumberland Island, adding an inviting touch of mystique to what has been deemed “America’s Most Beautiful Wilderness Beach.”

DID YOU KNOW? Last year, 61,402 visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore spent $2,471,500 in St. Marys and surrounding communities? That spending supported 37 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $3,013,400, according to a spending analysis conducted by U. S. Geological Survey and National Park Service economists.


The St. Marys Downtown Merchants Association invites residents and visitors to discover the excellent services, dining, entertainment, and shopping offered by these new businesses, as well as the many charming shops and restaurants that have served St. Marys for years and years.

Everyone Deserves a Gift Simply Save on Gifts Debra Downey, proprietor of Simply Save on Gifts, believes that everyone deserves a gift. “And that’s including yourself,” she said. That’s why she created the charming little shop on East Weed Street and filled it with surprisingly affordable items . You’re greeted with a whiff of serenity as you enter the cottage—a sure sign there are scented gifts afoot. And yes, incense, and oils and candles that burn palm wax and feature cotton wicks (no GMOs—genetic modified organisms) are displayed in the room to your left. There you will also find novelty sling purses and sports-themed ribbons. Downey donates proceeds from the ribbons to Habit for Humanity and Camden House. The main room houses the core of Downey’s business—clothing of beautiful designs made of GMO-free organic cotton continued on page 27

Putting the ‘Good’ in Your Day Buenos Dias You know it absolutely will be a good morning when you take breakfast at the recently opened Buenos Dias Restaurant. Proprietor Jose Franco and his family will make sure of that. They’ll begin with friendly greetings and then serve up a generous meal enhanced with the special touches that Jose first became known for during his culinary career in California. Buenos Dias serves both breakfast and lunch (and you can get breakfast for lunch if you’d like). Yes, it’s a Mexican themed restaurant, but Jose has brought in the influences of other cultures as well. You’ll find an Italian influence, for example, in his Mexican pastas. He’s created his own version of Mexican pizzas. And infused into every dish is the most important ingredient—freshness! continued on page 27

An Oasis of Coolness Tropical Chillers Leroy and Jenn Depew have melded atmosphere, flavor, and fun into a place where people of all ages can go to really “chill.” Shaved ice is the main feature of Tropical Chillers, but the lip-smacking concoction that has its origins in East Asia and was popularized by the people of Hawaii is not the only temptation that brings customers back again and again. When you first walk through the doors of Tropical Chillers, you feel like you’ve entered another world. Underwater Atlantis is depicted by Jacksonville artist Chris King through vibrant murals that are captivating and soothing at the same time. Sea turtles, divers - even a submarine, float on the walls, and colorful leis bedeck the counter. With an offering of 60 flavors of shaved ice, deciding on just one can be a bit of a continued on page 29


Everyone Deserves a Gift continued from page 26

with low-impact dyes and no hard chemicals. You’ll find fun t-shirts made from recycled plastic bottles. Downey is definitely doing her part to eliminate her carbon footprint and take good Earthkeeping to a new level. Dresses, pants sets, t-shirts, skirts, scarves, sarongs—they all tell a story of coolness and comfort. And that’s just what you love to see in the midst of a broiling summer. Downey makes it a point to stock lots of free-trade products. At the counter, girly-girls will love browsing the beautiful jewelry. There are Italian charms made of stainless steel, charm necklace cards (card and gift in one), and friendship bracelets (“One for me and one for you”). Travelers in history often took such bracelets to their hosts as gifts. Debra Downey has years of experience in retail and

has done the festival circuit. But now, she’s settled into the little cottage just two blocks from the waterfront. The cottage has a bit of history as well. It seems it once was parcel to the two-story historic home across Weed Street. Back then it served as the room where the men would gather to smoke cigars after dinner. Downey’s Simply Save on Gifts shop promotes the art of gift giving just by the nature of its varied and interesting merchandise collection, and Debra does her part of gift-giving as well. Everyone who makes a purchase gets a gift, and cold water is always on hand for shoppers. “Everyone deserves a gift.” And you’re sure to put a smile on someone’s face if you present them with a gift from Simply Save on Gifts. Editor’s Note: Simply Save on Gifts is located at 101B East Weed Street in the Historic District of St. Marys. Call 912-322-0320 Q

Buenos Dias continued from page 26

Jose insists on everything being made from scratch - nothing frozen. From his homemade chips to his tortillas, from his daily-made soups to the best salsa ever (according to customers), clearly the Buenos Dias trademark is quality in preparation. You’d expect to find this caliber of freshness in a cosmopolitan city, but it’s a delight to know we have it right here in St. Marys. Jose is constantly creating new dishes, and he says that “when I prepare a new dish and the people love it, that makes me very happy.” You can tell that he’s passionate about his craft and speaks of the great experience he has in places like Beverly Hills and Encino, California. Evidently, seasoned chefs took a cue from him, often commending him for his creativity and meticulous preparation. His winning dishes continued on page 28


Buenos Dias continued from page 27

have been documented as is evidenced by a plaque that hangs near the counter that reads, “Main Course International First Place,” his reward for making a great impression at last year’s Taste of Glynn event. Jose looks forward to entering competitions in Camden as well. It’s a family affair at Buenos Dias with Jose’s wife, Maria, and his children all taking part in the business. There’s something very reassuring to see a whole family involved. And the Francos play host to numerous families who come back again and again. Lots of regulars is a sure sign that something good is going on at Buenos Dias. Both breakfast and lunch menus feature a wide variety of dishes— something for everyone, but Maria said she’s noticed a few favorites that are requested over and over including the Chorizo

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Burrito for breakfast (“and all our omelets”) and for lunch, the Chicken Diablo and the Chimichangas are favorites. With wonderful, mouthwatering temptations like Butter Pecan French Toast and Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and Shrimp Tacos and Authentic Gorditas for lunch, making a selection is sometimes challenging. And to add to the challenge, Jose is constantly coming up with new creations. He’s now developing an amazing “Shrimp and Grits” dish that will have his own special touches in it. There is no doubt that the food served at Buenos Dias comes from the heart. When you see signs on the walls that say things like, “Believe...there are no limits to the sky,” and “Wake Up and Live!”— you’re assured each meal served will include not only the freshest of ingredients, but also a little bit of the passion for life that emanates from the Franco family.

“Wake Up and Live”—indeed! And start by dining real soon at Buenos Dias. Editor’s Note: Buenos Dias is located at 2796 Colerain Road near the Charlie Smith Sr. Highway intersection. Breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call 912-576-8485 for more information. Q



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Tropical Chillers continued from page 26

challenge. Do you get the popular Frozen

Elsa, the Ninja Turtle, Hawaiian Passion, Fuzzy Navel, Cotton Candy, or perhaps the Pina Colada? Every delectable concoction is made from scratch and presented in a fun flower pot arrangement that makes it easy to handle. The Depews infuse their cool creations with fresh fruit such as kiwi, or strawberries—as much as possible acquired from local farmers. They also have dye-free and sugar-free options. One can describe the atmosphere a lot easier than describing the actual experience of indulging in a tropical chiller. It’s soft, refreshing, exotic, and a feast for the taste buds. Jenn said she once saw a 70-year-old man turn into a six-year-old boy right before her eyes when he took his first taste of the tropical chiller. “That’s what’s so rewarding,”

Jenn said. “Our customers come back again and again. We have a college group that studies together here. And parents often use the shaved ice treats as rewards for doing well in school or for good behavior.” Tropical Chillers is a real family affair with Jenn and Leroy very much hands-on (while they run their barber shop next door), and son Brad, daughter Savannah, and daughter-in-law are all part of the Tropical Chillers team. “We wanted to give Camden something unique,” Leroy said. “We’re proud to be a safe, friendly place for the young people in our community, and we’re working on planning special events to give them even more entertainment and gathering options.” Tropical Chillers is a great place to explore, to discover, to indulge in a sensational taste treat, and to be a kid again no matter how old you are. Tropical Chillers is located at 644 Kingsbay Rd. 912.576.5003 Q

Come on in for some tender lovin’ trash talk, southern sassin’ and great cocktails!

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ailroad history in the United States is R nearly as old as the country itself, dating back to the mid-1820s. In St. Marys, the railroad legacy goes back to 1865 when Captain Lemuel Johnson founded the St. Marys & Kingsland Railroad. The first two locomotives purchased were brought to St Marys by barge. Rail service to St. Marys actually began in 1908. In the 1920s, the “Toonerville Trolley” rode the rails and was used to carry passengers and mail from St. Marys to Kingsland. There was a famous nationally syndicated comic strip written about the Toonerville Trolley also known as The Doodlebug. Fast forward to 2015. The steel-driving John Henry and railroad hero Casey Jones might be a bit surprised to find their domain overrun today by pirates, fairies, elves, zombies, revolutionary war characters, cowboys, Batman, Superman, Santa and other assorted characters. But that’s just what they’d find if they hung around St. Marys’ train station, Theatre by the Trax, any length of time. As if riding a train were not adventure enough, the creators of St. Marys Express continued ...


have infused more fun into its excursions by making each scheduled ride a themed event. “It’s like getting a twofer,” said Doug Vaught, St. Marys Express Stationmaster. “You get the experience of riding an authentic train, which fewer than 6% of our country’s population has done, plus you get entertainment all along the way and at the turnaround point.” Entertainment is provided by actors from St. Marys Little Theatre who create vignettes, mini-plays, and musical routines to fit the theme of the day. I n a r e c e n t “ A m e r i c a ’s Birthday” Express, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson re-enacted the signing of the Declaration of Independence which was followed by a heart-touching delivery of “I am the nation.” Everyone joined in singing “America the Beautiful,”—even Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty. There were tears and laughter, but most of all pride among the passengers, especially when the earliest serving veteran on the train was

presented with an American Flag by a young corpsman. “People love to dress to the theme when they ride,” Vaught said. “They especially liked taking on a pirate persona on the Pirate Express.” Upcoming excursions for 2015 include a Halloween theme, and a Christmas theme for the Santa Express. In 2016, the popular “Wild West Express” returns. Then in the spring, a new excursion, “Super Heroes Express,” is bound to be a winner with the little ones. “All excursions are planned with the family in mind,” Vaught said. “We’ve found that children are fascinated by the train itself and then to be able to immerse themselves into some kind of ‘other world’ for a little while really ignites their imagination.” Oftentimes, the St. Marys Express is pulled by a GP16 diesel locomotive (506 or 507) that weighs 258,000 pounds and runs on 1600 horsepower. But in the majority of excursions for the near future, the Lehigh Valley 126 steam locomotive will be fronting the five-car train. The Lehigh continued ...

Valley 126 is the only live steam locomotive running on a live track in the entire state of Georgia. For some, riding the St. Marys Express is all about nostalgia—yearning for a simple, gentler time from our past. For others, it’s about history. Some passengers equate the relaxation they enjoy on the train to a trip to a spa. But for many, it’s simply an opportunity to explore, to discover, to enjoy an adventure and have some great fun. Through woodlands and over marshlands, passengers on the St. Marys Express are transported to 75 moments in time that are filled with merriment and memorymaking. Climb aboard and make memories of your own! Editor’s Note: Tickets for St. Marys Express can be purchased at or by calling 912-200-5235. Groups of ten or more can get a discount code by calling 912-729-1103.

RAILROAD MUSEUM UNDER DEVELOPMENT The St. Marys Railroad Museum is scheduled to open this fall in the train station (Theatre by the Trax). For anyone who is interested in volunteering, donating an item, or being included on updates, email with your request.

Visitors to the St. Marys Express train station (Theatre by the Trax) enjoy capturing memories by posing in all the fun spots. Nina Meisner and Wayne Steinmeyer even chose the site for their engagement photo. Take a look!


he allure of living in Coastal Georgia comes T in many forms: our bounty of nature, friendly people, the southern lifestyle, and low cost of living. But to families looking for the ideal place to make a home, there is an additional enticement that bodes well for their children’s future—the public schools of Camden County. Out of 186 school districts in the state of Georgia, Camden County High School (CCHS) ranked 3rd for grades 9-12. That puts them among the top 1% according to the Georgia Department of Education’s College and Career Ready Performance Index.


With too many accolades to list in this article, here are just a few additional recent highlights that give the Camden County School System bragging rights:

The Camden Middle School Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl team won first place in the state competition. The Sugarmill Elementary team won second place in the elementary division. The CCHS NJROTC (for the third year in a row) is placed among the top 10% of NJROTC programs nationwide. Mr. David McGovern’s fifth grade class at Mamie Lou Gross Elementary beat out 4500 teams last fall to win the National SumDog Math Championship. Students answered over 1000 math questions during the competition. Dylan Todd tied for first place by answering 1000 out of 1000 questions correctly. The CCHS Wrestling Team won the 5AAAAA state wrestling championship to be named new state wrestling champions. This year, for the second year in a row, a parent from Camden County Schools was chosen by the Georgia Department of Education for the Georgia Parent Leadership Award. Fewer than 8 parents from across the state are given this award. In 2014, the award went to Karen Preble, a parent from St. Marys Elementary School. In 2015, the award was given to Towana Walker-Miller, a parent from Mamie Lou Gross Elementary. Champions, winners, victors—no matter what you want to call those who work hard to be at the head of their class, we salute the schools of Camden County— teachers, parents, and students. And for those families looking for the ideal place to call home, consider this one more reason to choose our little corner of the world.

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Herbert Rowland



t has been said that the history of a place can be described by what its people discard. Tangible proof can be seen in a collection of antique bottles dug from trash pits or found in the swamps and rivers of St. Marys and Camden County. Antique bottle collecting is an addictive hobby. I was bitten by the “bottle bug� in 1966 shortly after moving back to St. Marys with my family after a tour of duty in the U. S. Air Force. Flem Hall introduced me to bottle digging and collecting with my first dig on the property of the former Ross Inn. The structure had been in my family since 1907, but had been demolished in 1965 as a result of irreparable continued ...

damage from Hurricane Dora. This dig resulted in a cache of over 200 bottles forming the base of a path from house to marsh on East Bryant Street. It was the beginning of almost weekly excursions to abandoned home sites, old dumps, excavations, low-water riverbanks, the marsh, dry wells, and abandoned privies. Anytime a storm toppled a tree, we would check to see if the roots held hidden bottles or other artifacts. It did not take long to discover people in St. Marys did not often bury their trash; they dumped it in the river where what didn’t sink ended up in the marsh. Before many months had passed, I had a surprising number of “keepers.� This made it necessary to purchase reference books to help identify, value, and date my findings. An up-to date bottle guide is a must-have, especially when attending shows to buy, sell, or trade. It is virtually impossible to collect every bottle category from Avon to Whiskey decanters, so you have to specialize and trading is a means to this end. I decided to limit my collection to medicines, soda/beer, and liquor/wine. These best reflect what was consumed locally in the largest quantities! Food bottles were a rare find since these were recycled until broken and much of the food we buy today was not available. Also, many bottles were destroyed because they were a favorite target for those practicing their marksmanship. In the not-so distant past, almost everything bottled could be refilled including medicines and alcoholic beverages. However, pre-1900s sodas and mineral water were shipped in bottles that could not be refilled with either soda (no local producers) or local water which tended to have a strong sulphur smell and taste. Due to a lack of refrigeration in this area, beer was consumed on draft and few bottles have been found. Those bottles that survived provide insight into what people of our area purchased when St. Marys was not easily accessible except by water. Evidence of imports is the relative abundance of foreign made bottles. Much has been found, but what still lies under ground or in the river can shed additional light on yet untold stories of our colorful history.



Alex Kearns

he St. Marys River: born of a tiny stream T known as “River Styx” deep within the Okefenokee Swamp. From there, this rare and mystical blackwater river gains strength and runs south, then east, then north, then east-southeast until finally, after a journey of 125 river miles, she delivers her unique tea-dark potion into the Atlantic near St. Marys, Georgia—a mere 50 miles from her birthplace. Her river basin has offered sustenance from the time of the Timucuan Indians (at least 13,000 years prior to the European influx of missionaries and colonists). It was home to the early Spanish settlers and tales are told of pirate activities upon its shores and deep within the tangled undergrowth. In the early days of expansion and settlement, schooners and sloops traversed the river while steamers carried passengers and freight to the many lumber mills along its banks. Sea-going vessels would travel deep into the river, filling their water barrels with the tannic St. Marys brew, knowing that the water would remain continued ... 48

potable for months. And yet, still, much of the river’s story remains shrouded in mystery. Battles and commerce, dreamers and drifters, the roar of cannons, and the soft dip of paddles—this is the melody of time that is the voice of the St. Marys River. Her waters are copper-brown, the sand bluffs that tower up to 20 feet above the banks are dove-white, and her bends and curves beckon the traveler along the ancient water pathway. Photographers, scientists, and nature-lovers are drawn by the rich variety of life here, for the St. Marys River Basin is a critical habitat for numerous rare, threatened, or endangered species. Watch carefully and you may delight in the presence of porpoise, manatee, osprey, bald eagle, white-tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, tortoise, alligator, and indigo snakes. It is also host to a diverse variety of flora such as bald cypress, longleaf pine, black gum, southern magnolia, red maple, American holly, poplar, and a variety of oaks. The City of St. Marys is located at the mouth of the river, and her economy relies, in large part, upon the tourism created by fishing, kayaking, boating, and visitors to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Throughout St. Marys’ history, the community’s quality of life was—and is—predicated upon the environmental integrity of the river. Those are the “facts” of our river but, as with all magnificent works of natural art, the reality transcends mere words and data. There is an ephemeral beauty to the St. Marys River: something that cannot be defined and yet is powerful beyond compare. It cradles our town, draws us to watch the tide turn each evening as the sun transforms its waters into a masterpiece of light, and its banks graciously serve as our gathering place. It is both eternal and infinitely fragile. “We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations,” said respected environmentalist David Brower. Perhaps that is the key to it all: we must begin thinking like a river.

73 Hawthorn Lane • St. Marys, Georgia



Leaving Long Beach

Promise of Silver

By Mark A. Jicha

By Michael K. Brown

The evils of domestic violence and greed will haunt you

long after you’ve read the last page of “Leaving Long Beach” by Georgia Coast resident Mark Jicha. The bloody murder of Jicha’s sister, Lynn Schockner, took place just a few feet from where several Long Beach, California police officers stood, having answered a call about a prowler at Lynn’s home. That is the first shock of this real life crime story that takes you on an intense journey behind the scenes of the investigation of this horrible tragedy. I couldn’t say it better than former Superior Court Judge Amanda F. Williams did: “After reading the opening pages of ‘Leaving Long Beach’ I was unable to put it down,” she said. “Aside from chronicling a horrendous crime, the author gives you a true sense of a courtroom drama, and more. Mark Jicha has been able to assimilate the work of police detectives, prosecutors, and key witnesses to show the dedication it takes to bring a criminal trial to full conclusion.” Williams continued, “He does so while portraying the ravages of domestic abuse and the triumph of a family that comes together in the face of a terrible tragedy. It is


continued on page 51

Every so often a novel comes around that gives hope to

even the senior generation. So it is with Michael Brown’s “Promise of Silver.” Set on an island in Georgia (Jekyll Island thinly disguised), it’s a story of “love, loyalty, and commitment… between those who understand what forever really means.” As you drift through the 265 pages of “Promise of Silver,” you become more than just a casual observer of the entwinement between two connected souls of a certain age. You find yourself cheering for Dae Whitehead and Braxton Donovan. You see them as two islands that, by circumstance, form their own Pangea—the whole of which becomes more than the sum of their parts. Braxton lives in quiet solitude, having lost his wife six years ago to a long battle with cancer. Through flashbacks, you’re witness to the love that sustained Braxton and come to understand the tender and vulnerable heart that dwells beneath his steely curmudgeon exterior. Dae moves to the island after trials of her own, and upon meeting Braxton in their active lifestyle retirement community, is instantly drawn to what she considers to be quite a “pleasant gentleman.” continued on page 52

a wonderful, compelling work.” You don’t have to be a fan of true crime stories to appreciate the drama that, thankfully, led to the conviction of Lynn’s husband, Manfred Schockner. The murder-for-hire plot was featured in a recent “Dateline NBC” show, still carrying the power of Jicha and his family’s unrelenting struggle to bring his sister’s murderers to justice. Like most people, Jicha believed real crimes didn’t happen in his family. But Jicha’s brother-in-law was a bully of the highest order, and he wasn’t about to let his wife get a fair share of his fortune as a result of a long-overdue divorce filing. He simply hired a couple of two-bit thugs to arrange her demise. Stupidity and arrogance reigned supreme during the commission of the crime and beyond, and Jicha drives the story in a way that will keep readers at the edge of their seat. The events detailed in “Leaving Long Beach” were transformational for Jicha’s family, In the midst of the deepest darkness, there was light. Jicha and his wife, Susan, gained a son, delivering their nephew from the dark hole of Manfred Schockner’s abuse to a peaceful Georgia island home where he has thrived during the ten years since his mother’s tragic end. The reason St. Marys Magazine decided to review this book (aside from the impressive work created by a local author) was to bring attention to the plight of domestic abuse. Jicha hopes that this story will stand as a cautionary tale to anyone who finds themselves in an abusive relationship because his sister’s fate could be their own. “Partners who must control all aspects of a relationship follow a predictable pattern,” Jicha said. “Mild complaints escalate into towering tirades; gentle rebukes become physical displays of dominance, inevitably ending in violence.” Victims will tell you that often after each instance of abuse, the abuser apologizes profusely and promises no more, often showering their victim with gifts. But the episodes always continue, and sooner or later the victim finds herself in the hospital or the morgue. If you have a daughter, please tell her that the first incident of violence is only a prelude. If you suspect abuse in a

continued ...


St. Marys Office 1819 Osborne Road

Brunswick Office 2323 Parkwood Drive

Waycross Office 401 Lister Street





friend or relative, please buy this book and give it to them. It just may save a life. Those who need help can contact the Camden House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, at 912-882-7858. Editor’s Note: Mark Jicha lives with his wife, Susan, on a small barrier island off the Georgia coast. He was once the publisher of “The Southeast Georgian” which is now St. Marys’ local newspaper, “Tribune & Georgian.” You can get “Leaving Long Beach” at Once Upon a Bookseller” in St. Marys or at

Promise of Silver continued Philip L. Hooton, DMD

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206 Arnow Drive • Saint Marys, GA 31558 t. 912-882-2005 • f. 912-882-2342 •


Braxton’s in-between years are gone, and now he longs to be alive again. Perhaps he is past his prime, but he can still feel the music and he needs a new song. Dae is that new song. She’s something to believe in. Something to grab hold of. Something to make the days meaningful. Something to…love. He falls and he falls hard, giving in to the mutual attraction that makes both Dae and Braxton’s days brighter. But just when the “Promise of Silver” seems to be headed toward a “happily ever after,” Dae’s secret is revealed and the shocking revelation threatens to pull them apart. You’ll find yourself with a lump in your throat more than once as you devour this story of desire, deception, and honor. Their joy will be your joy. But their angst will also be your angst. With subplots familiar to all Coastal Georgia residents including unwelcome commercial development, political shenanigans, and the protection of the loggerhead sea turtle, “Promise of Silver” promises to engage and entertain. When the final chapter slips through your conscience, you’ll miss Dae. You’ll miss Braxton. But this poignant love story will have nestled in your mind, and moments from it will be recalled— perhaps when you get a whiff of the early salt air from an ocean breeze. Or perhaps when you hear the soulful trumpet strains of Braxton’s favorite artist, Louis Armstrong. “Promise of Silver” has been nominated for the 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Award for debut novels. With a sequel to be released summer 2015—“Promise of the Hills”—Michael Brown is an author to watch. Editor’s Note: Michael Brown lives in Loganville, Georgia, with his wife, Judy. His book can be purchased at or visit his website:

Sandwiched between J. P. Morgan Chase

and Bank of America on the Fortune 500 list, St. Marys employer Express Scripts has been making an impact in the Coastal Georgia community for more than a decade. As of press time (July 2015), they were about to make a significant increase in local employment by hiring 160 new patient advocates. As the third largest employer in Camden County (right behind the Navy base and Camden County School System), Express Scripts has made a


continued ...

substantial contribution to area economic development since establishing a call center in St. Marys in 2004. So, who exactly is Express Scripts, and what do they do? First of all, they are the largest pharmacy benefits management organization in the United States. Express Scripts manages more than a billion prescriptions each year for more than 80 million patients. They have approximately 3,500 clients including their largest—the Department of Defense. For DOD alone, Express Scripts manages benefits for nearly 10 million beneficiaries. According to David Whitrap, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, one of America’s largest challenges is rising healthcare costs, and Express Scripts is doing their part to drive down the cost of medicine for their members and employers. “Through our size, scale and focus, we are able to accomplish two important goals: control costs and improve patient care,” he said. “Our mission is to make medicine more affordable and accessible for everyone we serve.”

Insuring that medicine is safe and effective is also part of Express Scripts’ mission. “Our patients can call us 24/7 from the privacy of their home and talk to an expert pharmacist about their concerns,” Whitrap continued. “We are also able to uniquely coordinate patient care, especially when someone is seeing multiple doctors.” Express Scripts has woven itself into the fabric of our community, not only economically but also socially. The company is a good corporate citizen when it comes to being community-minded, contributing to such worthwhile causes as Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Methodist Boys Homes, and others. Company culture also encourages employees to get involved and make a difference. “We are happy to be expanding in the area,” Whitrap said. “We think we’re a good fit, and we’re proud of our work.” Editor’s Note: To lear n about hiring opportunities at Express Scripts, visit


I t’s been called a “hidden gem” and a

“beautiful old dame.” With a pretty name like “Ashantilly,”—named after Thomas Spalding’s ancestral home in Scotland, you would expect the historic home to be a visual feast as well as an historic treasure. You would be right on both accounts. Off the beaten path a little over an hour north of St. Marys, the Ashantilly Center stands awaiting exploration and discovery. Thomas Spalding, a member of the McIntosh County namesake family, inherited the property. A noted antebellum planter of Sapelo Island, he was one of the most influential agriculturists and political figures of continued ...


his day in Georgia. A legislator, attorney, and consummate “scientific farmer,” Spalding reformulated tabby for the construction of the main house in 1820. Ashantilly is sometimes called “The Old Tabby.” The Haynes family bought Ashantilly in 1918, and the founder of Ashantilly Center and the Ashantilly Press was William G Haynes, Jr. who was only 10 when his family came to Darien. He studied art in New York, served in New Guinea in WWII, and later completed study at Cooper Union. Haynes’ passions were art, architecture, local history, and the environment. Very much a part of the McIntosh Community, Haynes helped found the local historic society, the chamber, and was instrumental in getting the “Blessing of the Fleet” started as well as Ft. King George. In the early 70s, the corps of engineers wanted to dig a channel in the Altamaha River. Haynes took the fight to the shrimpers and crabbers and oystermen and with his influential contacts around the state helped defeat the ill-conceived plan, earning himself the DNR’s Rock Howard Award. Perhaps Bill Haynes’ biggest passion was the printing press. In 1955, he established the Ashantilly Press that occupies an outbuilding at the Center. The letterpress quickly became known and respected for its quality productions and received a number of awards.

According to Ashantilly Center president Harriet Langford, “Bill was one of the most frequently honored printers in the Southern Books competition (letterpress genre).” Later, he judged the competition. “Letterpress printing was long ago supplanted by the more efficient offset printing but has become popular as a way to create art,” Langford said. Haynes carved angels, shrimp, and natural scenery

into his woodblocks and used them to adorn books, pamphlets and greeting cards. Examples of his work are on display at the Center. After years of dormancy, the Ashantilly Center fired up Bill Haynes’ old letterpress in 2013. It is now a main attraction at Ashantilly Center drawing visiting artists, lecturers, and students from around the region. Several times a year, letterpress and card workshops are taught by Savannah State University art professor Nicholas Silberg. Ongoing programs throughout the year feature speakers who focus on coastal history, culture, ecology, and the book arts. A host of other events keeps the Ashantilly Center a vibrant attraction for the Coastal Georgia area. They include:

Annual Churn-off Held the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, the churn-off serves up homemade ice cream, live music, fierce competition, and great prizes. You can bring your churn and compete, or just enjoy the ice cream and be a judge. continued ...


Hard Cider Tasting October is a great month to indulge in the art of “drinking apples.” Brunswick: 912-262-9933 Kingsland: 912-729-7000 Folkston: 912-496-4463 Fernandina: 904-261-8660

Annual Darien Fall Fest “Tabby” demonstrations, baked goodies, press displays and more comprise this day of celebrating autumn.

Christmas Open House Get into the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas as you enjoy the hand-crafted decorations and beautiful holiday music against a backdrop of marsh views and live oaks.


On an historic site along the marsh of McIntosh County, there is that hidden gem called Ashantilly Center. Its mission is to conserve the Ashantilly property and legacy by continuing education, artistic and scientific advancement, and charitable endeavors that focus on natural and built environments integral to the Georgia Coast. The Center is open by appointment by calling 912-437-4473. Visit for more information.

Offering the latest technology in patient care Full service hospital Boarding & grooming services In house laboratory Digital radiography Digital dental radiography Complex dental procedures Dental cleanings Cryo surgery Ultrasound Class IV laser therapy

Specialty ear procedures with video otoscopy In house & online pharmacy Preventative wellness care Pediatric to geriatric care 3-year vaccine protocol Pain management Nutrition consulting Behavior consulting Training classes

912-576-9801 Julie Clark-Blount, DVM • Jamie R. Craig, DVM Laurel Oaks Animal Hospital Your pet’s home away from home

5775 Laurel Island Parkway • Kingsland, GA 31548

Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Alaska (SSBN 732) team presented with the 2014 Omaha Trophy.

A s East Coast Homeport for Ohio-Class Ballistic and Guided Missile Submarines, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (NSBKB) fuels the economy for St. Marys and the surrounding area in a big way–$706,900,000 to be exact. $600,000,000 of that comes through payroll alone. But that doesn’t include the economic impact of military retirees According to the Camden Partnership, military retirees contribute another $168,000,000 to the local economy.


Other interesting economic facts about NSBKB that the Camden Partnership shares with us include: • Economic impact through goods and services: $78.6 Million (installation only) • Impact of one Ohio-Class submarine: Two crews of 165 sailors create an estimated payroll of $15—$16 Million (Six fleet ballistic-missile and two guided-missile submarines are stationed at NSBKB) continued ...

• Coast Guard Maritime Force Protection Unit: A fully operational unit with 200 Coast Guardsmen, two 87-foot cutters, and 12 additional patrol boats create an economic impact of $19.7 Million • Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team: This team consists of 85 Coast Guardsmen and 6 patrol craft which creates an economic impact of $8.6 Million • Summary of Kings Bay Workforce Active duty 4,779 Appropriated fund employees 2,366 Contracted employees 1,672 Total Workforce: 8,817 • Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is home to Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Commands and encompasses 16,994 acres, of which 4,000 acres are protected wetlands. • Construction of NSBKB, the largest peacetime construction program ever undertaken by the U.S. Navy, took nine years to complete at a cost of $1.3 Billion. • Trident Training Facility is the largest building in Camden County, with more than 500,000 square feet of classrooms and office space. • Trident Refit Facility’s dry dock is the largest covered dry dock in the Western Hemisphere. • NSBKB is the recipient of numerous national awards. Most recently, the Ohio-Class ballistic missile submarine “USS Alaska” was named winner of the Batternberg Cup, an honor given annually to the best all-around ship or submarine in the Atlantic Fleet.

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Now Accepting Residential Contracts 912-552-5090 2004 HGTV Dream Home Builder Over 25 Years Experience



S t. Marys resident Maggie Moore misses


St. Marys. She misses the people here, her family, and the overall sweetness of her hometown. She reminisces about her childhood—ice cream cones, the pavilion, bicycling downtown. “It’s a huge part of who I am,” she said. But the little blond girl who sang in church as a child, who would get up on the fireplace at home and put on shows for her family, who didn’t really know she could sing until some teacher in middle school said so—that’s the little girl with the big voice dazzling audiences in Branson, Missouri, day after night after day. Maggie and her fellow performers are bringing magnificent glamour of yesteryear to the Branson stage with a glittering song and dance production performing some of the most beloved Broadway and movie music of all time. As if “Puttin on the Ritz” were not a fulltime job in itself, Maggie also performs in “Celtic Ladies” in Branson. Between the two productions, Maggie does ten shows a week. Ten! It takes a disciplined and powerful voice to fulfill such a schedule. To describe Maggie’s voice as powerful is an understatement. She possesses a crystal clear soprano voice cloaked in a silky vibrato. She has, on occasion, continued ...

Barbara Jackson Ryan

Maggie Moore

graced the rather boisterous c r o w d at Seagle’s Saloon in downtown St. Marys with her amazing voice. And she held them rapt—every single one of them. And I admit, she made me cry. You see, beauty in general makes me cry. But beauty combined with passion makes me weepy. You can hear the passion in Maggie’s voice as she warbles “Think of Me” from “Phantom of the Opera.” Andrew Lloyd Webber would be so proud. Maggie said the role of Christine in “Phantom” is one of her dream roles along with “Les Miserables’” Cosette. In her former St. Marys life, Maggie shared her talents not only in church but also in school and in community theater. In her freshmen year at Jacksonville University, she ventured into opera, and that completely changed the course of her music direction. “I really didn’t think I would make it in the auditions,” Maggie said, in her typical humble fashion. She still has memories of auditioning with her younger sister, Melissa, to sing the Oscar Mayer jingle. “Mom sent us to Jacksonville wearing red dresses with chickens on them to compete in this jingle contest,” Maggie said. “We didn’t get the job but we still have those dresses.” So how did this homegrown girl get to a town in a different time zone known for its glitz? She followed her boyfriend (another outstanding performance talent) on a whim. “It just happened they were looking for classical singers, and much to my surprise, they said ‘we want you,’” Maggie said. Maggie is very happy where she is

right now and for the foreseeable future, but ultimately she has other dreams like maybe opening a brewery someday and perhaps a children’s theater. But no matter how far Maggie travels into fame, her heart will always remain in St. Marys. “I have an overwhelming feeling of support from everyone in St. Marys,” she said. “It means so much to me that they all rally behind me back home.” M a g g i e ’s b a c k h o m e f a m i l y includes stars in their own right— three generations of them. Her grandfather, Carol Moore, has made numerous performances with St. Marys Little Theatre and often plays a character in the re-enactments on the St. Marys Express train excursions. Maggie’s father, Wade, most recently performed in the world debut of “Crippin” at Theatre by the Trax. And younger sister, Melissa, is also an outstanding talent with St. Marys Little Theatre. All three can often be heard during the rollicking Friday night karaoke sessions at Seagle’s as well. Maggie has a great fan club here in Camden County. Many of them have enjoyed her music ever since she was a little girl, including former Georgia House of Representative Charlie Smith, Jr., who said, “We have been fans of Maggie Moore since she was in elementary school. She is a real star.” You can go to Branson and catch this rising star. Or maybe you’ll get lucky and see her performing for friends and family at the local pub during one of her infrequent visits to St. Marys. When you do finally get graced with her presence, you're sure to agree that she’s beautiful, stunningly talented, and a little bit sassy. That’s our Maggie Moore of St. Marys—shining brighter than ever. Editor’s Note: For a sample of Maggie’s amazing voice, go to YouTube and search “Puttin on the Ritz Branson.”

45 Years of Compassion and Caring -Family owned and operated -Traditional funeral services -Cremation -Military services -Monuments -Shipping & Receiving -Pre-arrangements

10141 Colerain Road St. Marys, GA


5951 Golden Isles Parkway Brunswick, GA

912-264-2444 Established: January 1, 1970


Yes, St. Marys is a small town, but when it comes to talent, it’s BIG. Really BIG! Here are just two local groups that are helping put St. Marys on the Talent Map.


Lisa Allen Dance Works

Friese Studio of Music and Performing Arts

The Dance Works Dazzler Competition Team was formed in 1997 under the Direction of Lisa Allen, and since has brought home countless Overall Awards on the Regional and National level. The Dazzlers have also brought home numerous Judges Choice Awards for choreography and costuming. Allen is very proud to say that her team is always recognized for their professional behavior on and off the stage at every competition they attend. Her concept of competition is strictly on a very positive level. “They are not only learning the best of dance

The Friese Studio of Music & Performing Arts provides private music and performing arts lessons and group programs. Showcase events in the winter and the spring serve as an opportunity for developing stage presence and confidence. Outstanding recognitions in regional competitions are frequent occurrences for Megan Friese-Kaufman and her staff. Here is just one example: Friese students were First Place Award winners during an overall award winning weekend at The 2015 MUSIC USA FESTIVAL at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. For the second year in a row, Fanfare and Rhapsody

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Lisa Allen Dance Works

Talent Unleashed!

Friese Studio of Music and Performing Arts

technique, they are taught team work,” she said. “The joy of competition comes from the understanding that it takes commitment and respect not only for their craft but for their fellow dancers, teachers, judges, and the kids they compete with.”

Show Choirs each took home first place trophies and earned a mark of excellent in their respective categories of Youth and Adult Show Choir. Fanfare, the Intermediate Competition Show Choir and Rhapsody, the Adult Competition Show Choir, each performed

The Dazzlers can always be seen in all of the area festivals, Christmas shows, and of course at Lisa Allen’s Dance Works Annual Spring Showcase. In early 2015, The Dazzlers performed during halftime for The Harlem Globetrotters show in Jacksonville. Allen and her staff have taught countless students, of all ages, to dance, sing, and act. Her curriculum is designed to build self-confidence, self-expression, and inspiration. Lisa Allen Danceworks is located at 10880 Colerain Road in St. Marys. Call 912-673-9161, or visit for more information.

three choreographed, vocal selections for a prestigious judging panel that provided an on-site critique and clinic with each group after they performed. The Friese Studio of Music and Performing Arts provides private and group instruction in voice, guitar, piano, strings, woodwinds, brass & percussion, competition show choirs, musical theatre/acting, and early education music. The Studio is located at 204 Arnow Drive in St. Marys. For more information call 912-576-6801 or visit


Jennifer Elders’ film “The Locket” starring Brynn Elders.

Outtakes from “Daddy” directed by internationally-acclaimed Mahmoud Shoulizadeh.

Cameraman makes adjustments during filming of “The Love Bird Sings” in a local home in St. Marys.

Scene from “Perfect” by Brandon Herron. 66

merican playwright David Mamet said “A good film script A should be able to do completely without dialogue.” Local

filmmaker Brandon Herron embraced Mamet’s well-respected opinion in his current production “Perfect.” Herron’s film (with less than 100 words of dialogue) is being submitted to the “100 Words Film Festival” that takes place in November in Charlotte, NC. The 100 Words Film Festival is a celebration of the fastest-growing category of filmmaking in its purest form—the short. Brandon’s “short” is just one of several filmed recently in and around St. Marys. Award-winning director Mahmoud Shoulizadeh wrapped up his filming of a short called “Daddy” in St. Marys, not only using local landscapes and interiors but also local talent. This is Shoulizadeh’s third filming in St. Marys. His second film, “The Debt,” is a feature film in several noted film festivals. Another short filmed in Camden County recently is Jennifer Elders’ “The Locket.” Elders’ daughter, Brynn, stars continued ...


in the film and has spent time recently in Los Angeles pursuing a career in acting. “Not Me,” an anti-war dramedy about an American soldier and an Iraqi fighter who co-exist for survival despite their hatred of one another was filmed on the old paper mill site in St. Marys.

“Not Me” by Mahmoud Salimi, filmed at the old paper mill site. Producer Kim Murray has chosen St. Marys for several of her films in the last three years including her most recent short, “The Love Bird Sings,” filmed in a private home in St. Marys and also at the Palace Saloon in Fernandina Beach. In September, Murray will return to St. Marys to film her feature production, “Thunder.” “Thunder” is a rodeo drama about an aging female rodeo star who is dying and wants to set her life straight. Local videographer and Coastal Georgia Film Alliance quadcopter operator Steve Royer is currently in production for his short, “Decelerate.” His debut film is taking him outside his typical aerial photography and into the world of micro-cinematography.

Recent new build of The Henry House on Wheeler Street designed to look like the original historic home. Custom Homes • Commercial Construction Marine Construction • Additions • Remodels Licensed and Insured

A. Doyle Strickland, President Justin B. Strickland, Vice President


Nature shot from “Decelerate” by Steve Royer. As an advocate for filmmaking and a resource for established and aspiring filmmakers, Coastal Georgia Film Alliance (CGFA), encourages artists to step outside their comfort zone and to “grow” their craft. With a parcel of shorts in their portfolio, CGFA has also been continued ...

instrumental in bringing several feature films to Southeast Georgia. CGFA’s first feature project, “Eye of the Hurricane,” starring Campbell Scott and Melanie Lynskey, still plays often on the STARZ network and its affiliates, giving hundreds of local residents a chance to see themselves as extras (over and over again). One recent CGFA project is somewhat of a hybrid between a “short” and a “feature” film. The 58-minute “Requiem: The Man Who Wanted Too Much” made its industry debut at the recent Rendezvous Film Festival on Amelia Island. Dozens of St. Maryians showed up to lend their support and proudly joined the welcomed applause as the credits rolled. Camden County Film Commissioner Doug Vaught joined in the celebration.

Requiem premiere at Rendezvous Film Festival

(L-R) Writer/Director Barbara Ryan, Camden County Film Commissioner Doug Vaught, Director of Photography Brandon Herron

Dr. Richard L. Spencer takes great pride in giving your family more reasons to smile. (L-R) Requiem actors Mardja Gray, Deborah Maynard, Carol Moore. “It’s a pleasure to see the culmination of months of hard work by so many people,” Vaught said. “Requiem started out as a CGFA fundraising project and ended up being a film that will be competitive in numerous film festivals around the country.” “Requiem: The Man Who Wanted Too Much” was

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Relaxing Atmosphere State of the Art Equipment Cordial and Experienced Staff

Dr. Richard L. Spencer FAMILY DENTISTRY 2101 Osborne Road • St. Marys, Georgia

912-882-6072 Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 69

673-7688 Your Hometown Cleaning Expert


24/7 365 Water/Fire/Smoke/Sewer Emergency Services Air Duct Cleaning Dryer Vent Cleaning Tile & Grout Cleaning Carpet and Upholstery Automobile Locally owned and Upholstery and Floor cleaning Family operated 70

written and directed by Barbara Ryan who partnered with Brandon Herron as Director of Photography. “We learned a lot,” Herron said. “Like how difficult it is to film outdoor scenes on a main street with cars constantly driving by impacting the sound and stretching the filming time out by hours each day.” “Requiem” features local residents as actors including Bob Cannistraro, Carol Moore, Deborah Maynard, Mardja Gray, Stevie Conway, Al and Mary Chapman, Steve Boudreaux, Mayor John Morrissey, Jeanne Vaught, Dr. Carlene Taylor, and Colleen Porter, among others—and Cindy Deen playing herself (could anybody else?). Why does CGFA spend countless hours researching locations, hiring extras, coordinating resources, and adding value to any film production in Coastal Georgia? A quick look at the economics of filmmaking tells the story. In 2014, filmmaking made a $5.1 billion impact on the economy in Georgia. Producers, location scouts, directors, editors, and other industry professionals from around the world have discovered the many benefits of making a film or TV show in Georgia including the top of the industry incentive of up to 30% in tax credits. Every county in Georgia is now certified as “Camera-Ready,” though Camden County was among the first to achieve that certification. Founders of CGFA say their ultimate goal is to have enough significant movies under their belt to create a “Movie Trail,” giving tourists another reason to visit the area and see locations where popular movies and TV shows are filmed. As of press time, CGFA was working on two major projects: a search for a Do It Yourself (DIY) talent team to star in a reality series, and a location search for a reality show on the CW Network. Whatever the outlook for filmmaking in Georgia, the long and the short of it is that Coastal Georgia is a major player, and its “cinemagical” future shines brighter every day.

For over 10 years

St. Marys Magazine creative director

Jerry Lockamy reflects on boating life in St. Marys. “If I can just get to the inlet and breathe the ocean air, then my senses are refreshed, my mind is rejuvenated, and my body is relaxed and ready for whatever challenges lie ahead in the near future.�



Holly Yurchison

Boaters along the Intracoastal

Waterway off Cumberland Island find manatees, dolphins, and wild horses familiar sights. But something entirely new is also in the water—and above it. Flying twenty feet above the water surface, attached to a Jet Ski by a five-inch diameter hose, Mike Helton of ICW Hydrosports tows a Jet Ski along in the wake of twin water jets shooting down behind his shoulders. Boaters anchor along the beach to watch as he and Keith Paul, master trainer and head of Hydro-Sports Training Academy in Ft. Lauderdale, put on a flight show. For most of recorded history, humans have longed to fly. We marvel over movie super heroes and secret agents, longing for a way to get into the air ourselves, but individual flight remains a futuristic challenge. Locally, a new method of flight is now available. Mike Helton and Lee DuBose operate ICW Hydrosports out of St. Marys, taking student pilots out for a day of water-powered in-air adventure. Both trained with Paul after discovering the sport about a year ago. The first water-powered jet packs they found continued ...


were by JetLev, the pioneer company in water-jet flight. While searching for a place to fly, Helton discovered the more affordable X-Jet equipment, decided to take a chance and is glad he did. “This sport changed my life. I was becoming very sedentary,” Helton said. He lost weight, is now healthier, and feels better. Months of weekend flight practice in a private pond honed his skills to the point where Helton now tests prototypes for new equipment and flies exhibitions with the top water-powered jet fliers in the world. “It’s exhilarating, like controlled chaos, all in a gorgeous setting,” Bob Piljay, local realtor, said about his first experience shooting above the water on Jet Blades. Balancing on jets of water up to twenty feet in the air is the closest thing to free flight that most people will experience. The X-Jet Hydro Pack, another option in water-powered personal flight, is carried on the pilots back shooting jets of water down behind the shoulders. Each of the units is powered by a Jet Ski driven by an instructor, who operates the throttle to provide lift for the pilot. Each student pilot receives a short lesson on standing position and falling procedures before being strapped in and given the go-ahead. Helton and DuBose have a longtime interest in flight. Both are airplane pilots who have logged many in-air hours. When Helton found out about jet pack flight he urged DuBose to join him on a trip to a St. Petersburg Fly-In to explore it. They met Paul there and are now Master Flight Instructors who train other instructors, as well as provide safe water-powered adventures for St. Marys’ residents and visitors. Paul, and student Emil Nedelcu, traveled from south Florida to work with Helton for a day. Paul is one of the pioneers of jet pack flight, who Helton calls the “guru.” Paul authored the “Hydro-Sports Training Manual” and provides all master flight instructor level training. He works with a team of exhibition fliers and equipment developers who promote the sport around the world. “It’s not rocket science—but it is,” Paul said. Nedelcu, of Van Nuys, California, found out about jet pack flight at a wakeboard center while on vacation in Pompano Beach, Florida. He met Helton and DuBose there while they were training with Paul. “I was speechless by the beauty of the movements in the air,” Nedelcu said. After his return to California, Nedelcu set up his own training with Paul in Florida. “Water shooting from the bottom of my feet, hovering above the water, was a totally different experience; a rush that was indescribable,” Nedelcu said of his first Jet Blade flight. Nedelcu plans to open a hydro-sport business in Van Nuys this summer. DuBose says the best part of his business, besides the excitement of flying, is introducing others to the sport,

FREE Use of Truck with Move-in Wide choice of sizes Climate controlled & non-climate controlled 24-hour internet access Covered RV/Boat/Vehicle Storage On-site manager Packing supplies 10151 Colerain Road • St. Marys, GA 912-576-1776 Just one mile from the main gate of Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base

• Competitive Prices • Drive Thru Service All Major Insurance Plans Accepted • Fast, Convenient & Courteous Service • Professionally Trained Staff Fully Equipped and Licensed Compounding Lab Anthony Kicklighter, Pharmacist 214B Professional Circle Across from Hospital


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The 44th Annual

Okefenokee Festival October 10, 2015 Downtown Folkston, GA (22 miles west of I-95 on HWY 40)

The “Folkston Funnel” is a double track which serves as the main artery for railroad traffic into and out of Florida. From the viewing platform in Folkston, visitors can see trains passing on their way to and from Jacksonville, Florida in the south, and a split north of town where trains go west to Waycross, Georgia, and north to Savannah.

Robert West

The platform features lights, ceiling fans, and a scanner to listen in to radio traffic between trains.Adjacent to the platform are picnic tables, a grill, and a new restroom facility for our guests. Across the street is the restored Train Depot that houses the Train Museum (no admission charge), gift shop, etc.

For further information: or 912-496-2536


Guided Interpretive Tours Canoe Kayak Motorboat Bike Rentals Interpretive Center Swamper Homestead Boardwalk and Observation Tower Camp Cornelia Café Gift Shop

We cater to individuals as well as groups including Elderhostel’s, Tour Groups, Scouts, Schools, Churches.

Same Planet - Different World! Just 40 minutes from the heart of St. Marys!


seeing the look on the face of a student when you see he’s “got it.” ICW Hydrosports also provides exhibitions of the sport at local events. The partners recently bought light suits for nighttime demonstrations after seeing them in use in Destin, Florida. Helton sees this sport and his business as a great way to bring people to St. Marys. For now he’s “just riding the wave, not sure where it will go,” he said. Like the ocean waves he flies above, this one should keep rolling in, bringing new adventures to St. Marys. For more information visit

We have been a part time resident of St Marys now since 2008 and you always make us feel so good about being there––the romance, mystery, fun and well life is good through your eyes ! We are so lucky to have you as a resident, the magazine, the theater and your involvement so we just wanted to say thanks. Kris and Vi Roth - Sarasota/St. Marys My wife and I truly enjoy your magazine and always look forward to the next issue. I appreciated your article about retiring in the St Marys area. We moved here from the suburbs of Atlanta last February and your article covered most of the reasons we moved. Tom Conkright - Winding River, St. Marys I loved your Publisher's Note in the beginning of your wonderful magazine. I agree that I want to leave the world a better place and just like to make people have a better day. I was just overwhelmed by how wonderful St. Marys is and am happy to promote it with my travel column. Jemille Williams

Send letters to: St. Marys Magazine 511 Osborne Street St. Marys, GA 31558



Holly Yurchison

W’hen an emergency call about a house fire comes

Diane Stewart, far left, is an active volunteer in Camden County.

Volunteer Glenda Barber in New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy relief.

AMERICAN RED CROSS NEEDS YOU! To volunteer, or for more information visit

in at two in the morning, Glenda Barber and Diane Stewart jump into action. As volunteers with the American Red Cross in Camden County, Barber and Stewart provide immediate assistance at the scene. For Barber the best part of her work is the satisfaction of helping people in need. “It’s human nature that when you help someone else, it helps you,” she said. Barber has volunteered for the American Red Cross for 23 years. As a Client Caseworker Barber‘s job is to meet with individuals and families after an emergency in order to provide for their immediate needs of food, clothes, and shelter for the first three days. After three days most people have begun to recover from the initial shock and have connected with other family members, friends, and their insurance coverage to carry them forward. All disaster relief provided by the American Red Cross to victims is free, but Barber is quick to note that Red Cross relief is not charity. Instead, it is assistance from one neighbor to another, helping each other when needed. Red Cross volunteers are members of the community they serve, so when a home fire or major storm forces people out of their homes those volunteers are in the best position to provide immediate relief. Local Red Cross caseworkers are often on the scene of a house fire while firefighters are still on site. Although Camden County Red Cross does not have many emergency fire calls compared to large cities, Barber’s concern is that people are not prepared. “Fire escape routes and a planned meetup place are important preparations for every family. You can look it up on the internet and practice every 6 months or so,” she says. Red Cross also teaches preparedness classes by request for groups. Disaster relief is only one of five key service areas provided by the Red Cross. Health and safety education covers workplace and home safety education, as well as water safety. Blood collection and distribution, one of the best-known Red Cross services, was introduced after World War II. The Red Cross was the first organization to provide this service to the civilian population. The Red Cross continues to be the primary liaison for deployed continued ... 76

military personnel and their families in emergency situations. International relief efforts are geared toward disaster relief, building safe communities, and teaching humanitarian principles while working with the Red Cross and Red Crescent around the world. Diane Stewart’s first experience with the Red Cross was in high school when she worked the registration table for the Red Cross blood bank in Atlanta, while she was still too young to donate blood. The American Red Cross blood drive efforts result in more than 40 percent of the country’s blood supply each year. Giving blood saves lives and is a rewarding way of serving your community. Many people were first introduced to the Red Cross as children taking swimming lessons at their local pool. In 2015 the American Red Cross celebrated 100 years of water safety training. Stewart has taught Red Cross swimming and lifeguarding in Atlanta, North Carolina, and Camden County. Stewart began volunteering as a trained Disaster Action Team member in 2002. She has responded to many local house fire calls and also travelled with the Red Cross to national disaster sites. She served in New Orleans twice after Hurricane Katrina and in Florida after two of the three 2004 hurricanes. Barber travelled north to assist in relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy and met a woman who found an extremely valuable bronze Art Nouveau statue on her property when the storm uncovered it under plantings in her yard. “That was the best thing that ever happened in 23 years,” Barber said. Barber and Stewart both say their Red Cross work is satisfying and rewarding. Rapid response to emergencies is critical and the local chapter is in need of more volunteers to staff its disaster action teams. This position is an ideal opportunity for retired people to get involved in and serve their communities, but adults of all ages are welcome. “Every eight minutes we respond to an emergency,” reads the tag line of American Red Cross Disaster Services website. Thankfully emergencies are not that frequent in Camden County but when the need arises the Red Cross is there.

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Private Park Rentals Season Passes


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Camden County Leisure Services

Parks & Recreation • Leisure Services • Senior Programs

1050 Wildcat Drive • Kingsland, GA 31548 • 912-729-5600 To learn more, please visit 77

wo hundred years ago on January 13, T 1815, a long forgotten battle at Point Peter in St. Marys was fought—five days after Andrew Jackson defeated the British in New Orleans and three weeks after the end of the War of 1812. Sixty American troops fought valiantly against 1500 British troops, retreating only when it was clear there was no hope for victory. While the British occupied Cumberland Island and looted St. Marys, they also enlisted local slaves with a promise of $16, a uniform, and freedom. St. Marys Little Theatre’s (SMLT) tribute to Black History Month this year came in the form of an original play, “As the Tree Falls.” This third original play written by St. Marys resident Gaila Brandon portrayed continued on page 82


t is not often that a potential IBroadway hit makes its world debut in a small town like St. Marys. But that’s just what happened when Jacksonville resident David Pooler decided to bring his original production of Crippen to Theatre by the Trax this past spring and to have its story brought to life by the actors of St. Marys Little Theatre. The production closed out SMLT’S fourth season with resounding applause and high expectations for a sequel. Here’s why. The musical is based on a true story about Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, a 48-year-old purveyor of quack medicines who murdered his wife in London and proceeded to bury her parts all over town. Now, it’s hard to imagine beautiful continued on page 80


CRIPPEN continued music coming out of such a sordid story and to top that, humor as well. But, somehow Pooler melded drama, music, and comedy into a first class show that led audiences through an emotional roller coaster. Another element that made the play even richer was the historic events that Pooler so cleverly wove throughout the plot: the invention of the Marconi Device, Alfred Hitchcock’s beginnings, the Titanic, and Jack the Ripper. One’s confidence that “Crippen” is ultimately Broadway bound is based on not only the compelling plot (who doesn’t love a true story), but also on Pooler’s diverse collection of original songs, many Beatle-esque in nature. From the boisterous opening number, “Murder,” to the finale song, “Facts Stranger than Fiction,” Pooler interlaced high drama with infectious melodies that carried the story swiftly and poignantly. The collective breath of a spellbound audience released en masse when the suspense crescendoed in the closing scene. “Bringing Crippen to life onstage was my dream,” Pooler said. Clearly, a man who can make the darkness of murder highly entertaining in a light-hearted way has a bright future ahead of him. Oh, and about that sequel. Recent news reports are revealing evidence that Crippen did not actually murder his wife and was hanged continued ... 80

CRIPPEN continued unjustly. Pooler already has that story in his head—ready to write more beautiful songs and create new and fascinating characters that would take the “new” story to its natural conclusion. The actors and crew of St. Marys Little Theatre are “living history” and “making h i s t o r y ” a t T h e a t r e b y t h e Tr a x . September 2015 marks the beginning of SMLT’s fifth season that will open with “Into the Woods.” Most recently made famous by the movie version starring Meryl Streep, the musical brings some of Grimm’s most adored fairy tales to life in a new and decidedly different and dramatic way. If you’re interested in getting involved in St. Marys Little Theatre, visit and click on “contact.”

Want to get theatre updates and/or notices of auditions? Go to, click on “contact” and make the request.


As The Tree Falls continued from page 78 the plight of slaves on Cumberland Island during that time period—a story Brandon believes worth retelling. “The tragedy of the War of 1812 wasn’t just the lives lost on both sides,” she said. “The angst of freedom gained and lost by many slaves was also part of the war’s collateral.” Performed at Theatre by the Trax to sold-out audiences for five nights, Brandon’s “As the Tree Falls” followed the footsteps of history, accurately depicting characters and events with the spice of music and humor sprinkled throughout the production. With heart-rending songs like “Soul of a Slave” and “Just Can’t Give Up Now,” the bigger-than-life characters drew audiences into a world of conflict between loyalty to plantation owners and the demands of the notorious Admiral Cockburn, famous for burning The White House. “In honoring our African-American friends and neighbors, we aimed to shed light on their role in history and show respect for the grace of their forefathers,” Brandon said. “The last battles of the War of 1812 challenged America's freedom. It also afforded many slaves their chance to be free. “ “As the Tree Falls” was living—or re-living—history on the stage as a bittersweet tale of hope in the midst of war. “Perhaps for just a moment, our audiences were able to feel the intensity of one slave's dream to live free,” Brandon said. “And that is what theatre is all about— evoking emotions to help connect us as human beings.” Despite the seriousness of the play’s subject, as usual, SMLT actors managed to infuse humor in their roles, never forgetting that the stage is for entertaining as well as educating. The 2016 Black History Month tribute will take place at Theatre by the Trax in late February where, once again, Brandon will color the stage with tales that need to be told and chronicles that need to be remembered. 82

St. Marys Magazine makes a great travel companion. We’d like to know where you’re taking us. To become one of our media darlings, simply have your photo taken in a distinguishable location, holding a copy of the magazine, and email the photo with names and location to

Bob and Madeline Cannistraro in Sicily.

Suzi Plaine and Ralph Talbott on Statue of Liberty with New York City in background.

Dale and Karen Hoylman in Philadelphia.

Kathy and Bob Baird celebrating in Key West, Florida.

Sandy & Mike Lillis with Fay & Hugh Cafferty at Halifax Plantation Golf Club in Ormond Beach, FL.

Geraldine Ninn in Dubai.

Barbara Long, Mary Luckie, Jeanne Vaught, and Susan Bennett in Antigua, West Indies. 83





verywhere I went, I was catching fish,” “E said Keith Edwards, a winner in the first Historic St. Marys Fishing Classic held this spring. Edwards not only brought in a 14.1 pound black drum but also reeled in a winning whiting. Organizers of the event were pleased with the 150 plus anglers who vied for cash and other prizes. Jerre Brumbelow, the event director, said it was a great turnout for a first ever tournament. “We’re definitely planning on making this an annual event,” Brumbelow said. According to organizers, the classic accomplished several objectives. It brought people to St. Marys who had never been before (helping with the local economy). It gave participants an opportunity to learn more about fishing through several well-received seminars and demonstrations. The classic brought continued ...


locals downtown for all day entertainment. It provided children with a wholesome activity and a sense of accomplishment. And proceeds went to local organizations that are making a difference in the lives of children including C-Mo’s Kids, Justin’s Miracle League, Shriner’s Hospital, and Rotary Club of Camden Foundation. And it was all done with volunteers. “Our volunteers have been phenomenal,” said Cody Presny, assistant director of the classic. Both Brumbelow and Presny praised the role that the City of St. Marys and the St. Marys Downtown Development Authority played in launching the classic. “In days gone by, St. Marys was heralded as a ‘fishing village,’” Brumbelow said. “The Historic St. Marys Fishing Classic represents a significant step in reclaiming that title, and I can see hundreds of participants in coming years as the tournament grows.”

“As a local fisherman for over 30 years I’ve been fortunate to fish the coastal and offshore waters of southeast Georgia. We are blessed with some of the most fertile fishing grounds in the entire country. I’m proud and excited to introduce this resource to my 6-year-old son as well. Whether you’re looking for some sea trout, red bass and flounder in close, or Mahi, king mackerel or seabass offshore, Coastal Camden has it all. We also have a wide variety of other fish pass through our area including cobia, grouper, snapper, sharks, jacks, barracuda, and a host of other species. Y’all come get you some.” Keven Vanhorn, Fishing Enthusiast

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Annie Jones Wright & Camay Q. Howell

Annie Jones Wright Camay Q. Howell

F riendship is one of life’s sweetest treasures for it often allows one the opportunity to add

someone special to the family circle. Sometimes, a person might be in transit when that unforgettable friend crosses their path, or merely standing near railroad tracks in a small town. It seems like yesterday when I recall first meeting Camay Q. Howell. Back then, in 1957, she was Camay Quick, college student / school teacher from St. Marys, Georgia, and just a few months away from becoming, Mrs. Camay Q. Howell. She was spending summer in Hazlehurst, Georgia to attend an educational workshop as a requirement to complete her college degree. I, Annie Jones Wright, was then Annie M. Jones, seven years of age, living in Hazlehurst, Georgia and enjoying nothing more than going to school and spending time with grandmom. One sweltering, late summer evening I made my way to the railroad tracks, eager to see grandmom coming my way, but she was nowhere in sight. I waited. And waited. Just as I was about to step across the tracks, I felt a hand on my shoulder. The grip was firm yet gentle. I turned to look. Towering over me was a young, tall, attractive, well dressed, white lady. I had never seen her before and my first impulse was to shake free and run. So, that is exactly what I attempted to do, but that firm grip got tighter. “Where is your mother? Don’t you know a little girl shouldn’t be wondering around near these tracks? You could get killed,”she said, staring into my eyes without letting go of her hold on me. The sunlight shining upon her hair gave it a halo effect. Yes, she looked angelic. I told her that I was waiting for grandmom and she told me that she was going to wait right there with me until my grandmom came, or, we’d both go to meet her. While we waited, she let go of my shoulder and offered me a lollipop, I accepted. She asked questions and I answered. For a while she drilled me on school subjects. Which were my favorites, did I like school and if I had a favorite continued ...


teacher. She tested my reading skills with a card she had purchased to mail to her family. I read the card and she seemed pleased. “Keep that up and you will be just fine,” she complimented. It seemed forever but within minutes I saw grandmom coming and pointed her out to the young woman who stood with me l i k e a g u a r d i a n a n g e l . I w a v e d t o grandmom and she waved back. I turned, looked up, and told the young lady, “That’s my grandmom,” I said placing a foot on the rail. “Are those the only shoes you have? “ She was looking at my ‘play shoes’. I had out grown them just a bit and grandmom cut the toe ends out to allow for comfort. The shoes suited me just fine, but my new friend looked sad when she saw them. I told her I had more at home. And that was true…a pair of brogans for school and a black patent leather pair for church. About a week later when Grandmom was at work, I walked over to the convenience store after earning a dime for writing a letter for an elderly woman who could neither read nor write. That’s where I saw the young white lady for a second time.We stood at the checkout side by side. She spoke first and asked if I lived nearby. I explained where I lived and she cast a glance to my feet just as she had done while waiting with me at the tracks. “Why aren’t you wearing those other shoes you told me about?” “I can’t wear them to play in. I really do have two pairs at home, one is for school and the other is for church.” She asked if I still walked to meet my grandmom and I told her, yes. “She always fuss, but I like to meet her,” I recall saying. Before we parted that day, she reminded me to stay safe and we exchanged names. She asked my shoe size, I told her, and I asked hers. This made her laugh, but she told me anyway. I didn’t think I would see her again because summer was coming to a close and she said she would be returning to St. Marys, Georgia. However, she told me she would see me tomorrow, but I didn’t think she meant it. True to her word, the following evening at 5:00 pm, as I approached the tracks, she was there. She had a small continued ...

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package in her hands. When I was close enough she presented it to me. She said that I shouldn’t open the package until I was at home with grandmom. I promised I wouldn’t open it. As hard as it was to keep that promise, I managed. I must have broken a record for fast walking because I even left grandmom by at least a half block. When she reached the front porch where I stood anxious waiting, time seemingly slowed. She fumbled in her purse for the door key as I struggled with the temptation to open the box. As soon as grandmom unlocked the front door I dashed in ahead of her, sat down on the floor and opened the package. “Grandmom, look, there’s shoes for me, and a real flower! ” There was something else in the package. A small gift shop envelope with a note inside. It read: ‘Annie, I hope these shoes fit and that you like them. The rose is for your grandmom. Stay safe. Your friend, Ms. Camay” Grandmom was moved to tears. I couldn’t understand why she would be sad enough to shed tears. I asked why she cried when someone was kind enough to give us gifts, and she said they weren’t sad tears. “Someday, you’ll understand.” Well, those shoes fit just fin. I liked them so much I wore them to school, but continued using the play shoes after school. Now we move forward. After serving in the Army, children out of college and living on their own, my husband (also Army retiree) and I decided that St. Marys, Georgia was a perfect retirement town so we purchased a home and settled in. I had visited St. Marys with an aunt and uncle in 1957, and many times since then but never spent much time in the downtown area. With the thought of retirement and total ‘me time’ in mind, I became a home body. I completed several manuscripts, planted flowers and tried my hand at landscaping around our new home but the empty nest syndrome grabbed me hard and wouldn’t let go. My husband, who remained employed, had an ideal, “Why don’t you go join those women who wear the red and purple.” I told him those women were called Red Hatters. continued ...

I was referred to a Red Hat chapter queen who owned a shop downtown. Her chapter was called the “Red Hat Hussies.” That sounded like fun. I visited the chapter queen’s shop to ask about upcoming events. The owner seemed familiar but I couldn’t remember just why. She was standing behind the counter busy with paperwork, but stopped to greet me as soon as I entered the shop. “It’s all about friendship and fun, and I, Camay Q Howell, believe in friendship and fun,” the queeen said while looking at me as if to figure out something. “You seem so familiar but I can’t recall where we might have met.” “Maybe you saw me in Belk’s or Goody’s. Anyway, I, Annie J. Wright, totally agree. Wish my grandmom could be a part of this fun and friendship organization. She would have loved it. Of course, she wouldn’t allow anyone calling her a hussy,” I said. The queen replied, “Mine either. That’s why we are doing what we are doing now…because we can. I think we are old enough to be able to speak our minds.” We both laughed. “You are right about that,” I responded. Suddenly I had a flashback. “You know, as I drove down Osborne and crossed those railroad tracks, I thought about my grandmom. When I was a child I would wait for her at the railroad tracks many evenings in Hazlehurst, Georgia.” “What did you just say?” Camay asked as she moved gracefully from behind the counter. She showed a sincere interest for what I might have to share regarding my childhood in Hazlehurst. “Now, who did your grandmother work for there in Hazlehurst, and how long have you been in St. Marys?” I told her who Grandmom’s employers were, and then it happened. I really looked at her and she studied my face as well. I told her that I had been in town for a few years but stayed mostly at home enjoying retirement until boredom claimed my peaceful days. At precisely the same time, we rose from our seats, went toward each other pointing fingers and saying, “I know who you are.” We embraced laughing like school girls, took a seat and talked about those Hazlehurst days until a customer came in wanting continued ...


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to buy––you guessed it––a red hat. Camay and I exchanged numbers that day and remained in touch sharing many Red Hat events and shopping trips. And yes, I became a Red Hat Hussie. It wasn’t long afterwards that I decided I, should become a queen and have my own chapter. I told Camay my intentions and she said, “Why not. Every female is either a queen or a princess, don’t you agree?” Of course I agreed, and formed a chapter named “The Books of Life.” We have been friends ever since. We have laughed and cried together, shared joys and sadness, and proved to be a strong shoulder for each other in times of need. Ironically, we were out to dinner in Brunswick, Georgia, a couple of years later when Camay’s shoe heel broke. We went into the mall to shop for shoes and when she found the pair of her choice I told her to let me see them. She said I didn’t have to, but I bought those shoes and presented them to her while repeating a version of her note. “Camay, I hope you like these shoes and that they fit. Your friend, Annie.”

St. Marys is a Star!

A t least one major international St. Marys is the perfect storybook setting to begin your new life together. From breathtaking vistas and antebellum mansions for your ceremony to our charming bed and breakfasts and inns for a romantic honeymoon, your happily ever after is just a click away.

Visit for an informative resource guide on everything from caterers to photographers to ministers and more. 92

website thinks so. “The Culture Trip,” known for its explorations and designations of the “best art, food, culture, and travel” in the world, recently named St. Marys as one of the “10 Most Beautiful Towns in Georgia.” Here’s what they said about her: “First explored in the 16th century, St Marys is one of the earliest areas in the current-day United States which was set foot upon by Europeans during their voyages of discovery. Today there are still plenty of places in the town which celebrate its history, with museums, historic churches and even the Oak Grove Cemetery, which includes a tombstone dating back to 1801. The nearby birding trail, woodlands—which can be explored on a historic train ride—and nearby Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge provide plenty for outdoor lovers to while away their days. It also gets plenty of visitors as the gateway to Cumberland Island.”

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Not many entrepreneurs get rewarded

a root beer lollipop for opening a bank account. But then not many entrepreneurs are seven years old. Little Stella Moody of St. Marys has always loved animals. Last year, she found a way to make a difference for those awaiting their "forever homes" at the Camden County Humane Society. Inspired by her nana, Peggy Hollis, Stella decided to use her artistic talents to be a voice for the animals. Beginning with her self portrait as part of her marketing tools, she created a series of hand-drawn portraits of animals that tug at your heart strings. Guided by Peggy, she developed a business plan to market the notecard collections that would raise money for the Humane Society. Next stop––the bank, where she would apply for a business loan to fund the printing. After discussing the terms and learning about interest rates, Stella decided her best course of action would be to go with the "Bank of Nana," where terms were a bit more attractive. During the process of setting up her business, Stella learned about making deposits, endorsing checks, and other financial transactions that are foreign to most seven-year-olds. The root beer lollipop was her reward for opening her bank account, but the rewards of running a successful business continue to accumulate in the form of happy canines and felines that are helped by Stella's business venture. Stella's packs of 12 notecards (3 each of 4 original designs) have already earned $700, more than double her continued ...


original goal. In addition, she's repaid $700 to the Bank of Nana. Now on her third printing, Stella hopes to spread the word to other children that "you're never too young to make a difference." She was taught that "anything's possible," a mantra repeated often in her household. Hoping to someday be a doctor, Stella has already made her mark in the world of healing by helping those who don't have a voice for themselves. Stella was recently named “2015 Volunteer of the Year� by the Camden County Humane Society. Little Stella Moody should be an inspiration for us all. Imagine a world where every child and every adult endeavored to make a difference in some small way. Imagine! Editor's note: Stella's Cards can be purchased for $8 for a package of 12 at Southern Charmer, Animal Medical Clinic, at, or by emailing Type "Stella's Cards" in subject line.

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Inaugural Pageants Recognize Seniors T

he Southeast Georgia Health System Senior Care Centers in Brunswick and St. Marys recently crowned two residents of the center as winners of its inaugural nursing home resident pageant. To compete for the title, the contestants were interviewed in front of a panel of judges and answered a series of questions that included their most beautiful sight, most memorable event, most embarrassing moment, and favorite activity. Extra points were awarded for sharing a hobby or talent. The judges evaluated each contestant on personality and physical appearance in relation to their age, alertness and attitude toward life, participation in nursing home activities, and continuing contribution to others.

And the winners are … Brunswick Rosemary Greer

St. Marys Avonell Clark

Ms. Greer used to be an interior designer and spoke about the importance and effect of color. A former resident of New York, NY, she is 83 years young and has lived at the Senior Care Center since October 2014.

Ms. Clark, 89 years young, is a former resident of Worthville, PA, and has lived at the Senior Care Center for one year. Ms. Clark’s favorite activities include attending family gatherings, dancing, and working on crossword puzzles.

Seed of Life

J effrey Le Mieux, Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the College of Coastal Georgia, challenged his students to draw a temporary geometric design 120 feet in diameter on the beach. “Seed of Life” on the East Beach of St. Simons Island was the result. Photographed by area Quadcopter Videographer Steve Royer, the stunning visual was a treat to the eye— though ever so fleeting as the ocean reclaimed its beauty.


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Send your Around Town photos to

Alexandra’s Attic hosted an art class. Attendees proudly display their creations. Mayor John Morrissey, Jerre Brumbelow, Al Chapman, and City Manager John Holman at awards for the St. Marys Kayak Race.

Members of the Kings Bay Submarine Officers Spouses Club present St. Marys Little Theatre board member Joyce Bason with grant.

Ludmila Nieves paints old Catholic Church during the 2015 Plein Aire event sponsored by Southeast Georgia Health System and the Coastal Camden Art League. 98

Nester and Janet Grenier were named prom king and queen at the Real Senior Prom.

At Coastal Home Care’s open house for their new St. Marys location.

Charlie Smith, Jr. and adoring fans at Charlie’s retirement party.

This page is dedicated to those who believe we should leave this earth a better place than we found it.

Way to go St. Marys!

Saving our Water St. Marys EarthKeepers Special thanks to St. Marys City E-Scrap/Paper-Shredding Event Council for their unanimous approval of a Resolution Supporting Georgia State Bill 36 that prohibits the injection of ground water into the Floridan aquifer.

St. Marys citizens should be proud! Advanced Disposal’s study shows that 72.5% of our citizens participate in weekly curbside recycling. The national average compliance rate is 34%. “They have the highest participation rate in the region” said Myron Thomas of Advanced Disposal. “It’s phenomenal.” Plenty to Recycle in St. Marys Accepted Items Chip board (soda cartons, cereal boxes, etc.) #1 & #2 plastic bottles/jugs (rinse and remove all lids) Aluminum/metal cans (rinse and remove lids) Newspaper and inserts Brown paper bags All types of glass Phone books Cardboard that is flattened and cut into 2-foot by 3-foot pieces for placement under recycle bin.

The Suwannee River and St. Johns River water management districts are in the process of developing four conceptual regional recharge projects to replenish the Upper Floridan aquifer. Potential At this recent event, over 200 cars sources of recharge water include and trucks dropped off 14.5 tons of reclaimed water and surface water electronics and approximately 4 tons of within both districts. paper (which was shredded on-site.) Boxes and bags of old files and St. Marys Resolution Against magazines, a clothes-dryer, mammoth Atlantic Coast Seismic Airgun TVs, computers, household appliances, Testing huge office copiers, and more were After many months of deliberation, a saved from our landfills and much will Not Accepted work session, public comments and a be recycled. Pizza boxes lengthy discussion, St. Marys City Plastic bags Council passed the Resolution Against St. Marys Annual River Clean-up Butter tubs Seismic Airgun Testing along the A record-breaking 197 volunteers Juice and milk cartons Atlantic coast. gathered at Howard Gilman Memorial Egg cartons Council members were supplied with Park for the annual St. Marys River and Styrofoam a vast amount information, researched Clean-up this spring. The day before, 53 Magazines the matter on their own, took citizens’ Navy volunteers arrived to clean up the Catalogs comments into consideration and, after waterfront and collected 23 bags of Pool or other chemical containers much deliberation, voted to add their trash, 9 bags of recyclables, pieces of voice to those who seek to protect our rusty metal and other detritus from the To order your blue bins (or request a coast. marsh and along St. Marys Street. second one), contact the City Hall Water The final tally: Dept. at 912-510-4000. 197 volunteers, 33-gallon bags of trash, 92 53 33-gallon bags of recyclables. Together we can change our world.




September 5 ................................................ Catfish Festival/Kingsland


September 12 .............................................. Revolutionary War Soldier Recognition

September 18, 19 & 25-27 .......................... Into the Woods at Theater by the Trax

September 26 .................... National Public Lands Day/Okefenokee Wildlife Reserve October 3 .................................................... Rock Shrimp Festival

All Events in St. Marys unless otherwise noted.

October 24, 25 & 31 .....................................Halloween Express Train Rides

November 6-10 ............................................ Downtown Merchants Open House November 28 ............................................... Santa Express Train Rides

December 1 ................................................. White Lighting Parade & Ceremony December 5 ................................................. Christmas in the Park

October 3 .................................................... Railroad Days Train Rides

December 5 & 12 ......................................... Santa Express Train Rides

October 13 .................................................. Scarecrow Scroll

December 12 ............................................... St. Marys Christmas Tour of Homes

October 10 .................................................. Build a Scarecrow Day

December 11-13 ........................................... The Angel’s Gift at Theater by the Trax

October 16-18 & 23-25 ................................ Wizard of Oz at Theater by the Trax

December 15 ............................................... Live Nativity at Orange Hall

October 23 ................................................... Haunted History Tour


February 6 ................................ Mardi Gras Festival & Ball February 20 & 27 ..................... Wild West Express Train Rides March 19 & 26 .......................... Peter Cottontail Train Rides May 14 & 21 ............................. Super Heroes Express Train Rides Every Saturday ............................ St. Marys Community Market at Waterfront & Royal District Market in Kingsland Every Friday & Saturday Evening ... Woodbine Opry

For additional information about other area events, visit these websites (St. Marys) (Kingsland) (Woodbine) (Folkston) (Brunswick and The Golden Isles) (Darien) (Savannah) (Amelia Island) (Jacksonville & surrounding area) (St. Augustine & Ponte Vedra)

Train Ride information at 102

ION Detox Foot Spa Treatment Golf Cart Rentals

Retreats to change your life.


Miss Julie’s House In Downtown St. Marys Have you enrolled your little ones yet? M-F: 6:30 am - 6:00 pm 501 Osborne Street • St. Marys, GA


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Extensive Menu & Daily Specials Shrimp Your Way! Fisherman’s Favorites. Steaks, chicken, pasta and more! Catering Available!

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St Marys Magazine Issue 20