St. Marys Magazine Issue 32

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Page 8 There’s Something about Front Porches

The Mythical Okefenokee Land of the Trembling Earth Fallen Angel, Broken Heart Fort Caroline Roses Bluff Precipice of Mystery and Intrigue

Page 10

Page 14

Page 40

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Letter from the Mayor


mayor letter 23 q

1/7/17 9:42 AM Page 1 s travel across America continues to blossom, people are re-discovering small towns St.coastal Marys communities fared better than mosttraveling of our coastal neighbors Hurricane swept and whether by auto, RV or air.when We are certainlyMatthew experiencing through last fall. Our beautiful city and neighboring Cumberland Island were back in that in St. Marys, Georgia, one of the most beautiful of our state’s coastal cities. business almost following storm. If and yougateway are thinking of visiting Island in these Letter from Mayor Well known forimmediately ourthe waterways, naturethe trails, parks to Cumberland cooler winter months, our weather is still warm and inviting so we encourage you, your National Seashore, St. Marys retains its small-town ambiance while offering visitors the friends and relatives to come on down! amenities expected for a weekend or week-long visit. Lodging includes quaint bed & OrMarys up, as thebetter casethan maymost be of asour wecoastal have neighbors many visitors arrivingMatthew from Florida as well. The St. fared when Hurricane swept breakfasts, historic hotels, modern motels and great camping sites. Food and drink options Georgia Welcome Center city at Exit 1 just as you cross from into through last fall. Our beautiful and neighboring Cumberland IslandFlorida were back in Georgia has been are just almost as varied from upscale tothe ethnic specialties. business immediately following storm.toIf southern you of visiting these re-furbished and has re-opened to welcome allare tothinking our great state in and offering dozens of ideas forOur city is also known for its oriented festivals like Independence cooler winter months, our weather is family still warm and inviting so we encourage you, your Day in July, spending time in St. Marys. friends and Shrimp relatives to come on the Rock Festival indown! theand fall and Whiteto Lighting Festival during the winter holiday While entryway Cumberland our most popular attractions, we enjoy Or up, asour the waterfront, case may be asrivers we have many visitors arriving from FloridaIsland as well.remain The season.Welcome Regardless ofatthe season, are regular events celebrate history,presentations our year-round entertainment venues likecross steam rides and community theatre at Theatre by the Georgia Center Exit 1 just asthere you fromtrain Florida into that Georgia has beenour re-furbished has re-opened to allpopularity to our great state offering dozens of ideas fishingKayaking andand kayak opportunities, or in our nature wonders like thetouring famous bird havenOur Rookery. Whether or picnics in Trax. continues towelcome grow as doand bicycle and races. History Walk ismusic proving to be an for time in St. Marys. thespending Waterfront Park or tasting food the truck attractions and parades, there always something to entertain all ages. enjoyable historical stroll through long history of ourwatching waterfront village. Weisare known for our family friendly While our waterfront, rivers and entryway to Cumberland Island remain our most popular attractions, we enjoy parades and festivals February ourcommunity very owntheatre version of the Mardi Gras.byOur Just check our Visitorwith Center website at year-round entertainment venues like steam featuring train rides and presentations at Theatre the historic hotel, modern motels, and charming bed and breakfasts provide lodging for all tastes and budgets while restaurants inthe midtown, Trax. Kayaking continues to grow in popularity as do bicycle touring and races. Our History Walk is proving to bealike. an As Mayor, I enjoy strolling through our very walkable city to chat with residents and visitors With popularity of enjoyable historical stroll through the long history of our waterfront village. We are known for our family friendly downtown and the west side offer a variety of casual dining options. small communities increasing, I find more and more visitors interested in calling St. Marys home. Most are looking for an parades and festivals with February featuring ouradventure very own version of the Mardi Our historic modernquiet, laid back and Whether you are here for an outdoor or just want toGras. enjoy time in ahotel, peaceful, environmentally away fromfor the andbudgets noise of metropolitan and consider this an ideal motels, and charmingfriendly bed and community breakfasts provide lodging alltraffic tastes and while restaurants in areas midtown, friendly St.offer Marys is the tothe spend a feeling week, weekend fall intolove move here downtown and west aattraction variety of place casual options., It isthe easy toside see the as it isdining same that manyoroflonger. us had Many when will choosing liveand here. It is also toWhether call Marys home. here residents for an outdoor adventure or city. just want to enjoylifelong time in aresidents peaceful, quiet, laid back and why so manyare native never left the Whether or relative newcomers, our residents and friendly community, Maryshave is thetime, place please to spendstop a week, or longer. Many willor fall“hey” in lovedepending and move here Welcome! And St. if you byweekend City Hall and say “hi” on where you are from. business owners join together to welcome new neighbors as well as first time visitors and our many repeat visitors. to call St. Marys home. if you have please by City Hall on andthe say Georgia “hi” or “hey” depending whereto you are from. Welcome! We eachAnd recognize St.time, Marys as astop hidden jewel coast that weonstrive protect for all to enjoy. Sincerely,

John John Sincerely,

John Morrissey, Mayor John Morrissey, Mayor City of St. Marys City of St. Marys

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tep into yesteryear at the newly renovated Riverview Hotel. This boutique hotel is the closest mainland accommodations to Cumberland Island, just steps from the Cumberland Island Ferry. With a storied past that includes steel magnates, literary greats, and famed admirals, the Historic Riverview is a destination in itself. Beautiful riverfront views from Captain Seagle’s, the main dining room, where fresh seafood, succulent steaks and creative cuisine abound…



Fun Entertainment in Seagle’s Saloon “Where Good Friends Meet,” and Sophisticated Evenings in the Speakeasy Martini Bar—it’s an overnight experience like no other. Come for a day, a week, a month—at the Historic Riverview Hotel, you will discover, in full, what we mean when we say...

“You may leave St. Marys, but St. Marys will never leave you.”

PHOTO: Borrell Creek

FEATURES 8 10 14 22 28 40 44 48 52 56 60 64

There’s Something about Front Porches The Mythical Okefenokee: Land of the Trembling Earth Fallen Angel, Broken Heart: Fort Caroline Filmmaking in Coastal Georgia: A Whale of a Tale Community Theatre: An Idea Whose Time has Come Roses Bluff: Precipice of Mystery and Intrigue Coastal Georgia: An Aviary Kaleidoscope Retirement Becomes Them Circus Elephants at White Oak Fields of Dreams: Morning Belle Farms Fashion Fantasies: Wild Willow Boutique Heeding the Need for Speed Bird Blossoms: Old Weed & Ready Plantation Rookery

DEPARTMENTS 26 Media Darlings 71 Mailbag


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Publisher’s Note Publisher Barbara Jackson Ryan Creative Director & Designer Jerry Lockamy Contributing Artists Steve Saley Editor Robin Cross Director of Public Relations Kristen Lockamy Contributing Writers Matt Richardson Joe Guderian

Contributing Photographers Wayne Morgan Dave Webb Skip Harris

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 2021. All rights reserved.

Letters to the Editor or other Correspondence Email: St. Marys Magazine 208 Wheeler Street St. Marys, GA 31558 For general information, advertising, or subscription service, call 912-729-1103 or visit

Ever since I was a little girl, I took great pleasure in making people happy. It pleased me beyond measure to see my parents smile and I would go to great lengths to invoke laughter among my classmates. As I grew up, the desire to see others happy grew stronger; for in their joy, I found joy. Until this week, I never knew there was a word for how I felt: “Mudita.” It means literally “taking delight in the happiness of others.” The word comes from Sanskrit which is believed to have been the general language of the greater Indian Subcontinent in ancient times. There is no word in the English language that directly translates to “Mudita.” It was sheer coincidence that I discovered “Mudita.” A good friend’s daughter sent me a copy of a magazine she and her partners founded. The name of the magazine is “Mudita.” From the back cover sprang the epiphany that I was not alone in my quest to create joy for others. And with all that’s going on in this crazy world, the realization brought me great joy. So, in a way, I suppose you could look at Mudita as being a tad selfish since the person making someone happy derives more pleasure out of the act than the person being made happy. Deep thoughts. The Bible says “to whom much is given much is required.” Much has been given to me. I feel extraordinarily blessed—blessed with great friends, a caring community, a loving family, good health, financial security—I could go on. But the point of my message to you in this issue of St. Marys Magazine is this: We rise by lifting others. Sure, times have been a bit bleak in the past year. But a new day dawns—a chance for a new beginning. An opportunity to lift someone’s heart. Make someone smile. Inspire someone to greater heights. If we all practice “Mudita,” what a wonderful world this will be.” Happy reading!

Barbara Jackson Ryan Publisher Email me anytime with your thoughts or ideas for the magazine:

On the cover Okefenokee Swamp


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. And by air, the Jacksonville International Airport is just thirty minutes away.


Waterfront Dining in the Historic Riverview Hotel

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hanks to the pandemic, the front porch is enjoying a new golden age across America, but it has always been a mainstay in the beautiful homes that line the streets of St. Marys. The front porch is the place where you can feel like you are outside and inside at the same time; out with all of the neighbors or alone reading a book. From a front porch, a mother can watch over her children while maintaining a vigil on the entire neighborhood. From a front porch, one can soak up the energy that Mother Nature so generously brings forth to us in the form of trees and flowers and small creatures. From a front porch, one can trace the path of the mailman or follow the sound of church bells or a barking dog as he greets a passersby. A front porch can be one’s window on the world, enjoyed in a comfy cocoon we call home. And a front porch can be a royal chamber when graced with a well-worn rocking chair or the ultimate—a porch swing.

There is, indeed, something approachable about a porch and the people on it. Sitting on a porch, like walking a dog, serves as an ice breaker. You can exchange greetings with a passerby and discuss the weather, but it’s easy to move things along with a little “good seeing ya” salute or quick wristwatch glance. Front porches unite divisions: us and other, inside and outside, private and public. They encourage us to engage in trust-building and face-to-face conversations with our neighbors. They give us a sense of security, but they also increase our willingness to engage with others. So, next time you’re feeling a bit anxious, indulge in the nostalgia of a fine front porch—yours or your neighbor’s. Come sit a spell. Tune into the softening of the edges of the day. Smell the honeysuckle. Feel the river breeze. There’s a front porch out there calling your name. Answer the call and enjoy some very fine porch-sitting in St. Marys, Georgia. 10

Contributing Writers

Matt Richardson and Joe Guderian


magine black water the color of dark, cold tea gliding beneath your boat on a lazy summer or fall afternoon. Water lilies defy physics as they dance along the top of the water. Overhead, majestic herons gaze at you from their perch on a limb just a few feet away. The beady eyes of alligators rise out of the water in your path like scaly, prehistoric stepping stones. You’ve entered the mystical world of the trembling earth—the Okefenokee Swamp. Officially, it’s the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge you’re visiting, just a 45-minute drive from St. Marys and a million miles away from the ordinary. History prevails in this strange, other-worldly universe of black bear and bobcat, osprey and bald eagles, river otters and red foxes, wild boars, white-tailed deer and minks. History prevails continued ...


despite the efforts of human invaders that over the years include deserters from the Civil War, misguided lawmen chasing escaped slaves, logging companies, and perhaps well-meaning government men. First, it was the warring Indians who were cleared out. Then deserters from the Civil War and escaped slaves were hunted down. The logging companies damaged the swamp but couldn’t kill it. All kinds of projects were proposed that would have laid waste to the largest swamp in North America but none of them went ahead. And now there remain only remnants of the Crackers— people who made their life in the swamp for hundreds of years. They were people who learned to communicate by swamp hollerin’—a kind of yodel swampers use to send signals to neighbors across the swamp. The hollerin’ developed into an art form and hollerers could project their voices two or three miles ahead. The Okefenokee Swamp has been called by many names but one of the most apt is “Land of the Trembling Earth.” Native Americans knew this place to be special for many reasons. This wide, shallow swampland held a wealth of wildlife and unique plants that formed soggy islands that bobbed and sank with the footfall of an explorer, indeed seemed to tremble with life itself. Today, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge continued ...

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encompasses 430,000 acres of freshwater wetland that stretches for miles across the Georgia-Florida state line. For millennia, man has attempted to tame this landscape by dredging, logging and seeking to otherwise master its topography. Money runs out, technology is stymied and the Herculean task of bending this corner of creation to his will has been ever thwarted. Designated a national landmark in 1974, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge preserves the land and its unique ecosystem. State and regional parks allow access by boat where fishing, kayaking and even platform camping is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. A visit to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is an unforgettable experience. A vast, watery world of natural wonder, the Swamp beckons adventurers to come explore its dark depths and experience the pioneer life of those who came before them hundreds of years ago. Interpretative exhibits, lectures, wildlife shows, boat tours on original Indian waterways, wilderness walkways, Pioneer Island, and native animals in their own habitat, all combine to weave a mystical spell of wonder. If the visual feast of lake prairies embellished with acres and acres of white and yellow blooming lily pads is continued ...


not enough to inspire a verbal postcard, then surely the thousands of skulking, flying, slithering, swimming, and crawling creatures conjure up tales colorful enough to write home about. It is estimated that the swamp is between 6,000 and 8,000 years old and was once part of the ocean floor. Nearly 5,000 years after Native Americans settled in the Okefenokee, visitors come there to experience, first hand, the mystical magic of one of the world’s most amazing wetlands. There are three major entrances and two secondary entrances to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, each with its own facilities and special character. From the open, wet “prairies” of the east side to the forested cypress swamps on the west, Okefenokee is a mosaic of habitats, plants and wildlife, and it’s just a skip and a hop from downtown St. Marys. For more information, visit Information about guided tours can be found at

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fter six years and thousands of hours of research and ground study, a local author is about to unveil his findings regarding the real whereabouts of Fort Caroline. Here’s the scoop. Location, location, location! History is like a big puzzle, and until you know how the pieces fit together one can never see the big picture or properly place actual locations into the historical record. When you know where one piece is located everything else starts to fit together and the pages of history come alive. According to this local research historian continued ...


and author, the legendary French Fort Caroline settlement has been located along with the equally elusive location of the original Fort San Agustin de la Florida, the predecessor of St. Augustine. Over six years and 3,000+ hours of research have been dedicated to ensuring the historical evidence is sound before releasing the findings for further professional field research and documentation. The book, to be released in 2021, will describe an adventure that initially started in 2014. This announcement reveals that Fort Caroline, built by the French in 1564, is located miles away from where researchers thought it once stood. The location of Fort San Agustin is also very significant because it defines the location where Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés claimed La Florida for Spain. These are the oldest forts in the United States. These forts are older than St. Augustine. They are older than the Lost Colony of Virginia and Jamestown. They even predate the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. Location of these two forts will also lead to the future location and identification of at least 36 Timucuan Indian villages, including Seloy, Alimacani, Atore, Patica, and Caffi, to name a few. Original river names given by the early French and Spanish explorers for today’s coastal rivers have also been historically matched, including the River May and the River of Dolphins. This research defines the possible historical site for French Explorer Jean Ribault’s column, the original French land claim marker from 1562. The research also pinpoints maritime archaeology sites for exploring various shipwrecks of the early French exploration. The research historian has also found significant evidence that the conflict between the French and Spanish also includes a long standing conflict of power between Spain’s Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and two English privateers, the notorious slave trader John Hawkyns and his cousin Sir Francis Drake. Their interest in the area may one day lead to the discovery of captured Spanish treasure hidden in

73 Hawthorn Lane • St. Marys, Georgia


continued ...





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Rock Shrimp Festival

Oct.9• 2021

Family fun events include road races, parades, arts and crafts, all-day entertainment and great food in downtown St. Marys.

Independence Day Celebration


Kiwanis Club of St. Marys meets every Monday at noon. Please visit to find out how you can make a difference in our community by joining the Kiwanis Club of St. Marys.

Georgia from the English crown. Researchers have been diligently searching for Fort Caroline since the mid 1800s – the first French colony in the United States that was intended to provide refuge for the Protestant Huguenots. Spain saw the settlement as a significant threat to its Spanish Treasure Fleet in the New World. On September 20, 1565, Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his troops made a surprise attack on the settlement, killing 132 Frenchmen. The fort was believed to have been located east of downtown Jacksonville, Florida, on the south bank of the St. Johns River – close to where the national memorial is now located. The research historian has found the site is actually located miles from the Jacksonville site. The author used original material from the 1580s through the early 1600s as the core research source. Coastal charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey were also used to provide additional evidence. All of the source maps locate Fort Caroline along the southeastern coast of North America. One of the main reasons original researchers had thought the fort was built near Jacksonville was the use of the Timucuan language by the local Native American tribes. The Fort Caroline National Monument is built on the banks of the St. Johns River, but there has never been any conclusive evidence proving the fort was built anywhere near the monument or on the St. Johns River. The research historian says, “The location of both sites will be protected to preserve the historical artifacts from looters. It would be a crime to have people go in and take artifacts until a full understanding of these historical sites is documented.” The concern is an early announcement of their locations could attract people who would conduct unauthorized digs to search for artifacts. Approval has to come from the respective states to document the actual locations of these significant historical sites. continued ...


The author established three goals when writing this new book: • The historical sites will be protected through the proper authorities. • State archaeologists and historians will be contacted to correct the historical records associated with these sites. • Leading historians and cinematographers will be contacted to document the true story of the French and Spanish on the Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida coast. The author wants to insure that everyone around the world will have a complete understanding of what really happened in the late 1500s when Europeans first came to live on our shores and start this great experiment we call America. The true story of this epic adventure lies in the historic details and pages of the upcoming book “Fallen Angel, Broken Heart.” And why that title, you ask. You’ll just have to find out when you read the book. Stay tuned for more.

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Did You Know? Fort Caroline was named after the French King Charles IX.


stay at The Federal Quarters just steps away from St. Marys’ waterfront is an immersion in yesteryear. Though renovated and modernized, the oldest home in St. Marys still holds the enchantment of the past. Recipient of the “Excellence in Rehabilitation Award,” The Federal Quarters was built in 1801 and is registered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Lots of amenities including the use of a 1929 Model A replica. Find photos of this exclusive historic inn, reservations and rates on most Vacation Rental websites, or call 912-729-7501 direct.


An Avalanche of Ideas Adi Yadav


leven-year-old Adi Yadav has been writing since he was five. He’s made a formal presentation to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and has appeared in a video program featured at The Bolles School in Jacksonville where he is a rising 6th grade student. While being home-schooled (because of COVID), Adi’s mind began to conjure up ideas for a book. His two pet bunnies, Mud and Oreo, inspired the story of his first book “Cheddar Cheese: The Adventures of Mud & Friends.” It’s the first in a trilogy of stories Adi plans to turn into books. Book 2 “Sunnyside Down” has already been written and his third book— about a cube-shaped planet—is already in the works. continued on page 20

Writer and Artist Adi Yadav.



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Adi is very interested in planets and anything to do with space. He endeavors to be a space scientist and possibly an astronaut. Camden County residents, business owners, and local hoteliers C.B. and Sugar Yadav are Adi’s parents and they encourage Adi’s creativity which Adi says keeps him inspired. Adi is a bit of a “Renaissance” young man. In addition to his writing, he does his own illustrations. He plays piano and likes to cook. He likes to help his dad cook his favorite food which is Chicken 65.

L-R: Sugar Yadav, Mrs. Brian Kemp, Governor Kemp, Adi Yadav, Shiv Yadav, C.B. Yadav. In Adi’s “Cheddar Cheese: The Adventures of Mud & Friends,” it is clear that the young writer is gifted with the talent of painting pictures with words. His use of figurative language is far beyond his years, and his characters are just quirky enough to be charming, engaging the reader throughout the book. When asked what Adi based his characters on, he did say that one character is based on his best friend. And of course, there are those adorable pet bunnies. “Cheddar Cheese” is a fun book that takes you on a funny adventure about accidentally making something new and it turning out delicious. It all starts on a hot day as Bunny Mud sets out to deliver milk to the Milk Company, stops along the way to visit friends, and what happens when things get a bit mixed up. Adi has managed to weave into the continued ...

story other interests of his including NASCARS. This young budding author’s advice to other kids aspiring to write a book is simply to “keep working and focus on your writing.” There are great things in Adi Yadav’s future. You can see it in the way he conducts himself, his impeccable manners, and his eloquence when speaking. Clearly, his parents are raising a young man with promise. C.B. and Sugar Yadav are to be commended for their role in raising a child who gives all of us hope for the future of our world. As Adi would tell you, “Just treat everyone the way you want to be treated.” A fine philosophy to live by for us all. Congratulations Adi Yadav. We look forward to your next two books and those beyond and an opportunity to bask in the light of your successes that are sure to come. Editor’s Note: You can purchase “Cheddar Cheese: The Adventures of Mud & Friends” by Adi Yadav at


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ith shows like Dumbo, Doctor Sleep, The Walking Dead, The Leisure Seeker, Royal Pains and many other A-rated projects gracing Coastal Georgia’s film portfolio, word is out that this area of the country is ripe for filmmakers seeking maximum production value, ideal locations, and red-carpet treatment. Stars who have discovered the beauty and charm of St. Marys and the surrounding area while filming here include Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland, Melissa McCarthy, Campbell Scott, Jose Zuniga, and Melanie Lynskey, among others. With a dry spell of production in the last year, film lovers are now craving a good cry, a good laugh, or a good edge-of-your-seat experience in a movie theater, and Coastal Georgia is poised to deliver. Coastal Georgia Film Alliance Chair Doug Vaught recently took location scouts on a tour of the area, and the time invested paid off. Destined to be produced in St. Marys, Whale Watchers is a story of connection of family, of

continued ...


remembering what’s important before it’s too late. Producers for DIY Network’s hit show Mega Dens, Picture Window Productions, in association with Sand Dollar Films, plan to shoot a good amount of Whale Watchers’ footage in and around St. Marys. “St. Marys has tons of potential for filming this particular film,” said Suzan Satterfield of Picture Window Productions. “I see lots of locations that will help bring our story alive.” Vaught says that Whale Watchers will appeal to the same audience that loved Free Willy, a 1993 movie classic that brought in $153.6 million at the box office. “It’s about a high powered attorney whose career is derailed when her rebellious daughter runs away and launches a campaign to save a whale and her calf, forcing her family to confront their tangled history and values,” Vaught said. He went on to say that the message is particularly poignant because the endangered Right Whale’s calving grounds are just off Coastal Georgia. Whale Watchers is not the only movie project in the works locally. Dave Webb continues to film his full-length The Key all around St. Marys, using local actors as well. The State of Georgia still leads the way in filmmaking despite the COVID respite. continued ...

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In 2020, when multiple Georgialicensed productions received nearly 50 Emmy Award nominations, Governor Brian P. Kemp announced that Georgia had been ranked the No. 1 Film Production Leader by Business Facilities Magazine and prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic, was on pace for another record-setting year. Currently, the number of active film and TV productions in Georgia remains at around 45. Major big-budget sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods moved from Toronto for the original to shoot in Georgia now. A new Mel Gibson action movie, Bandit, is in production as well. HBO’s Rosario Dawson apocalyptic series DMZ is also shooting in Georgia. An Andy Garcia-led reboot of Father of the Bride is happening in Georgia, as is the 23rd season of Family Feud, and a 50th anniversary reboot film on the CW channel of The Waltons. “What’s good for Georgia’s economy is good for us here in Coastal Georgia,” Vaught said. “The Coastal Georgia Film Alliance will continue to roll out the red carpet for filmmakers, and we expect a prolific filmmaking year here in St. Marys.”

Did You Know? You can learn more about filming in and around St. Marys, GA by visiting

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“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

Giorgos Liapis and Lori Sandy-Goewey in Delphi, Greece.

St. Marys Magazine visiting Old Town Rhodes, Greece.

Don & Yolanda Frederick, Gordon Jackson at the Grand Canyon.

Victoria White-Krengel in Atlanta, GA.

Uschi Oulson in Panama.

Erica Frederick and Randy Meeds in Las Vegas, NV.

Sylvia Zielinski & Wayne Burton in Antigua.

Hollie Mae at the Goodbread House, St. Marys, GA. 26



By Barbara



nyone looking to escape the mundane need look no further than their local community theatre group. As Founder and Chair of St. Marys Little Theatre (SMLT), it gives me great pleasure to use this platform to tell you why you and/or your children should consider involvement in community theatre. First of all Community theatre enriches the lives of those who take an active part in it, as well as those in the community who benefit from live theatre productions. On either side of the footlights, those involved represent a diversity of age, culture, life experience, and a strong appreciation of the importance of the arts. Community theatre is the perfect opportunity for self-expression which allows us to explore the language and the emotions that make it effective. Community theatre provides locals with a platform in which they can express themselves without judgment—something we need more of in today’s world. Like self-knowledge, these performances can remind us how we can work together to better our society. continued ...


A moving theatre performance can motivate us to want to make changes in our world. Self-empowerment can be the result of community theatre, which might give someone the boost they need in order to make a difference. By looking inward and gaining knowledge, we are given a new perspective on our environment, which can spark creativity. With these new insights, we can create innovative solutions to societal issues and try to make the world a better place, one community at a time. It’s so exciting when an audience member says your community theatre production was as good as or better than anything they’ve ever seen on Broadway. St. Marys Little Theatre has been thrilled to hear this comment a few times over its 11-year history. Of course, it is absolutely commendable to strive for excellence and professionalism in community theatre, but I think the most important thing I’ve come to learn over the years is that community theatre is a completely different animal than its professional cousin – by design. In community theatre, achieving perfection must not ever be more important than making theatre accessible to and inclusive of the very people it exists for: the community. After all, what is community theatre without the community? continued ...


St. Marys Little Theatre is all about diversity and inclusivity. For the sake of fostering a large, welcoming, educational and inclusive theatre group, perhaps rather than striving for perfection by having the most experienced people do all the work, we can aim for perfection and know when – and why – to settle for less, and in the process let more people learn about theatre and share in the fun. Maybe the result will be a set that has a slightly crooked door or a dress on an actress with a thread hanging from it, or a light cue that happens a few seconds later than it should have. And maybe that’s okay. The mission of St. Marys Little Theatre is “Enriching Lives through Performance Arts.” We endeavor to enrich the lives of our performers, technicians, volunteers, and our audiences. Two recent productions by St. Marys Little Theatre are prime examples of fulfilling this mission. “Smokie’s Blues,” performed in early 2021, brought together several performing families. The show is an original musical which I wrote specifically for two of our St. Marys Little Theatre’s star actors—Fred and Starlette Myers. Original songs were written by Maureen McGrath and myself. continued ...




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Fred and Starlette are siblings who come from an incredibly musically-talented family. Starlette’s daughter, Cycasher, also performed in the show. Eighteen original songs were written with the soul and cadence of Fred and Starlette’s voices in mind. Their performance was enhanced by the talents of dozens of other actors—many veterans of SMLT and several newcomers. You see, in “Smokie’s Blues,” Smokie, a popular juke joint blues singer, “done kilt her man” over his shenanigans with that low down, hussy heifer, man stealin’ Ruby Razzmiller. The show opens with Smokie on death row. As dark as the subject seems, her fellow jailbirds and a few juke joint scenes make for a high-spirited and often hilarious ride—all with a satisfactory ending, of course. As writer of many of SMLT’s shows as well as director, I take great pride in moving audiences through a roller coaster of emotions. After all, community theatre should and does wake up the soul and stir the spirit when done well. My goal is always to make audiences really “feel” and ultimately to cry for crying is an indication of deep feelings whether crying for happy or crying for empathy of another’s angst. Everyone deserves and needs a good emotional outlet from time to time and community theatre is very effective in that way. In the spring of 2021, SMLT performed its third version of “Evening with the Stars” treating audiences to the awesome voices of 28 celebrity look and sound-alikes. From Nat King Cole to Aretha Franklin and the comedic talents of Miss Piggy and Laugh-in’s Edith Ann, performers dazzled groups from all walks of life, of all ages—there was something for everyone.


Getting involved offers you a rare and wonderful chance to get to know people in the community you might otherwise never get a chance to meet.

SMLT’s upcoming show lineup includes the hit Broadway play “Nunsense,” a Christmas musical, and another original musical about the Okefenokee Swamp plus two more “undetermined as of press time” performances. But whatever ends up on the massive stage at Theatre by the Trax where SMLT makes its home, you can be sure that all participants are maximizing the benefits of community theatre—an idea whose time has surely come. continued ...

Take a look at some reasons to get involved with your community theatre. It’s a good way to expand your social horizons: Theatre attracts people of all ages, from many walks of life. Getting involved offers you a rare and wonderful chance to get to know people in the community you might otherwise never get a chance to meet. It’s physically good for you: A recent study found people who joined a choir enjoyed many health benefits including “cardiovascular fitness, as well as improved mood and general alertness.” The same benefits can be attributed to acting, but to a potentially greater degree, since performing often involves a great deal of movement including dancing, fighting, interacting with fellow actors. It’s good exercise for your mind too: The most obvious mental challenge associated with theatre is script memorization, (and it can be a doozy) but memorization becomes easier over time as you continue to exercise your brain. Anything can happen in live theatre, so actors start to develop more focus and mental agility. But don’t worry… Nobody expects you to be amazing right out of the gate: It’s more important that you show a willingness to learn and have fun. Like any skill, acting on stage requires practice over time. Even veteran actors will admit that they are still learning the craft. If you’re still not totally confident, try looking into background, or ensemble roles. There’s less pressure, but you still get to have all the fun of being on stage. You don’t have to act: There are many other important (and much appreciated) ways to participate. You might be interested in things like: costume, makeup, set design, set building, stage crew, sound crew, lighting crew, and props, to name a few. If you are a creative type of person, but not too keen on stepping into the limelight, your local community theatre is looking for you to help make the magic happen behind the scenes. If you’re interested in getting to know more about St. Marys Little Theatre and possibly getting involved, visit and contact us. Who knows? Community theatre just might be the catalyst to take your life to a higher and more fulfilling level.

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f you stand on the St. Marys Waterfront at the pavilion or marshwalk or waterfront park and look WSW, you will spot the rising cliffs on the shores of Florida just a river width away. The most prominent one you see is actually in Yulee, Florida, and is called Roses Bluff. Roses Bluff sits above the Belle River, a small tributary of St. Marys River. The Bluff has somewhat of a scandalous past. The high bluff comes down to a point at the intersection of Belle and St. Marys River, making a perfect hideaway from the general traffic of the bigger River, thus making it the perfect spot for ships to smuggle in slaves hundreds of years ago. Later, moonshiners could make their product and launch it from the cover of the indented walls of the bluff. Even later, drug smuggling by boats coming from the Caribbean and South America made their way to Roses Bluff to offload their cargo unseen. Clyde Davis, an attorney on Amelia Island, recalls his days working in the state attorney’s office as a prosecutor and the bluffs that you can see from St. Marys playing a role in the transport of drugs. The Davis family has a long history with the Roses Bluff area. Clyde’s great grandfather and continued ...


his brothers had a saw mill at nearby Crandall just upstream from Roses Bluff. They also had turpentine operations which continued through Clyde’s grandfather’s day. The saw mill ceased operations around 1930. The Davis family bought the property (the Brown tract) shortly after the Civil War. “In history, you would have seen waterfalls from the bluffs,” Clyde said. “And still during heavy rains a small stream falls down the bluffs.” It was in that area that Clyde saw his first beaver. When he was a kid, he saw gun emplacements in the face of the bluffs. The Confederate Army took advantage of the bluffs as a lookout where they were able to see the St. Marys Harbor and the Union gunboats that came up the river. When the Yankees captured Fort Clinch in Fernandina Beach, that action was the largest amphibious landing conducted by the U. S. Army up until the Normandy Invasion. Most of the property that comprises Roses Bluff is now owned by Rayonier with its purpose to grow and harvest pine trees. That property passed into the hands of Rayonier in the 1930s. History aside, we are reminded of the most important thing about Rose’s Bluff and its sister bluffs—they make darn good fishing spots!


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By Barbara


King Fisher

Carolina Chickadee

White Ibis Snowy Egret


Little Blue Heron


y daddy always told me “it’s an ill wind that blows no man no good”—the wisdom being that “something that causes harm to some may benefit others.” This truism came to mind a few months ago as I sat on my front porch enjoying the tranquility of sheltering in place (due to COVID) and suddenly realized that I had never before been so attuned to nor heard so many birds at one time during my entire residency in St. Marys (18 years). I became, at once, obsessed with learning about the birds of St. Marys and Coastal Georgia and embracing the comfort that their songs continued on page 46

and warbles brought me while I was removed from my family and friends. What I discovered brings joy to me every day as I have learned to recognize the sweet music that comes from our feathered friends and often recognizing the message they herald.

Red Shouldered Hawk

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With more than 1100 species of birds found in North America, Georgia alone is home to more than 400 different kinds. Coastal Georgia boasts more than 300 species including painted buntings, bald eagles, and wood storks. Our coast’s open space is one reason we have such diversity, but there is also the diversity of habitat. The Atlantic Ocean, saltwater and fresh water marshes, rivers, bays, islands, and estuaries comprise more than 2000 miles of shoreline in Georgia (100 miles of ocean coastline). It all adds up to a birdwatcher’s paradise.

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Nearby Crooked River State Park is a favorite for bird watching and offers observation towers. But many private homes and local lodging venues enjoy their own bird sanctuaries. I’ve extracted a few of my favorites here represented in photos taken by nature specialist Wayne Morgan. continued ...

Barred Owl Morgan has captured photos of 85 different species in his own backyard— mostly local but also some migratory birds including the painted bunting, Orchard Oriole, Rose Breasted Grosbeak and more. You can create your own gallery of birdwatching memories with a little help from resources like where you can learn more about Coastal Georgia’s “aviary Kaleidoscope” and get the link to download a user-friendly mobile app.

Did You Know? There are more than 1100 species of birds found in North America, and Georgia alone is home to more than 400 different kinds.

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f the elephant in the photo looks like it’s smiling, most likely it is. After years of performing in the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, 12 female elephants arrived at nearby White Oak Conservation to live out their lives in a protected habitat built especially for them. The first herd of 12 Asian elephants are all female and range in age from 8 to 38 years. They are enjoying their new forest habitat at White Oak Conservation, a refuge for rare species funded by philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter, located about 25 minutes from downtown St. Marys. They will be joined by up to 20 more former circus elephants as soon as additional areas are completed. “We are thrilled to give these elephants a place to wander and explore,” said Mark and Kimbra Walter. “We are working to continued ...


PHOTOS: Stephanie Rutan/White Oak Conservation

protect wild animals in their native habitats. But for these elephants that can’t be released, we are pleased to give them a place where they can live comfortably for the rest of their lives.” To get to White Oak, the elephants were moved 200 miles in pairs in customized trucks. Throughout the journey, the elephants were accompanied by their veterinarians and animal care specialists. Upon arrival, they were released into two large paddocks to acclimate, adjacent to a specially designed, climate-controlled barn where veterinarians and specialists monitored their health and well-being. The elephants have now ventured out of the paddocks into pine forests with ponds, wetlands and open grasslands. The area the elephants now inhabit is large enough that the elephants have various habitats and food species available. They can choose to stay near the barn and their human caregivers, or wander in the woods, wallow in the mud, and swim in the pond. White Oak Conservation’s philosophy is to accommodate animals’ natural behavior and social bonds as closely as possible so family groups will be together. This elephant group has been socialized together for the past several months, and includes two sets of full sisters and numerous half-sisters. continued ...

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Nick Newby, who leads White Oak’s expert team recruited to care for the elephants, has been getting to know the individual elephants and their habits for the past few years. “Watching the elephants go out into the habitat was an incredible moment,” Newby said. “I was so happy to see them come out together and reassure and comfort each other, just like wild elephants do, and then head out to explore their new environment. Seeing the elephants swim for the first time was amazing.” “Elephants are such amazing creatures and we are pleased to give them a place where they will flourish,” said Michelle Gadd, who oversees the Walters’ conservation efforts. “It’s been fascinating to see the elephants take their first steps into this beautiful natural space. We are excited to watch them adapt to the great outdoors, tasting new plants, exploring new areas, experiencing new things.” Asian elephants are endangered in the wild. Only 30,000 to 50,000 elephants remain in the wild in less than 15% of their historic range. Where they do survive, they are threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, conflict with humans and poaching. “In the last few years, everything has changed for these elephants for the better — from their retirement to the way they interact with humans and the space they continued ...


have to roam,” said Steve Shurter, White Oak’s executive director. “For the first time in their lives, these elephants can choose where and how they want to spend their days.” Philanthropists Mark and Kimbra Walter and their family created Walter Conservation to conserve rare species and wild places. Efforts include improving the quality of life of individual animals, recovering rare species, restoring ecosystems and protecting wilderness areas. Thus far, their philanthropy supports important areas in North America and Africa. The Walter Conservation approach is to provide wildlife security and management, to collaborate with local residents and host-country governments, and to invest in sustainable enterprises. White Oak Conservation is Walter Conservation’s one-of-a-kind center in northeastern Florida, established in 1982 for the conservation and propagation of threatened and endangered species. With Mark and Kimbra Walter’s support, White Oak has expanded to 17,000 acres dedicated to the conservation and care of assurance populations for species including rhinoceros, okapi, bongos, Dama gazelles, cheetahs and now, elephants. In the United States, White Oak partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on species recovery and release efforts for Florida panthers, Florida grasshopper sparrows, Mississippi sandhill cranes and whooping cranes. White Oak has also returned American-born bongo, black rhino and roan to Africa, and is working toward restoring other rare species to their native countries. Through White Oak, Walter Conservation is eager to bring education and awareness to the next generation of conservationists using its world-class educational and training programs, in person and remotely. In 2019, more than 1,600 students visited White Oak and participated in education programming.



wonderland of compelling locations, Coastal Georgia serves up verdant marshlands, wilderness islands, the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, three rivers, the Great Okefenokee Swamp, quaint waterfront villages, and majestic maritime forests—captivating vistas at every turn. Add in the mystique of historic cemeteries, a world-class Navy Submarine base, the charm of antebellum mansions, the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, plus film-friendly city leadership, and you’ll discover the makings of a great film. We call it “Cinemagical”!

912-729-1103 Visit to hear what other producers have to say about filming in Coastal Georgia.



f you’ve dined at 401 West recently and indulged in any of their blueberry creations—Blueberry Chicken Thighs, Blueberry Cheesecake, Blueberry Relish accompanying a fresh local catch, Blueberry Compote on Bread Pudding or French Toast, or a Blueberry Old Fashioned, chances are pretty good that those juicy, delicious berries just hours or days before were hanging from the bushes in a field at Morning Belle farms about 20 minutes up the road from St. Marys. As it did for many people, COVID drove John and Jennifer Parham to contemplate the possibilities in their life. With four sons to raise, they envisioned something that would give their boys a chance to experience the great outdoors in a wholesome safe way. A fraternity brother from Auburn told John about a blueberry farm that a UGA professor was selling. Dr. Krewer planted the fields in 2009 and started harvesting blueberries in 2010. There is actually a variety named after him—the Krewer Plant. Dr. Krewer still helps out from time to time according to John. In addition to the “farm-to-table” experience that

PHOTOS: Skip Harris


continued on page 54


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the Parhams participate in with 401 West and other regional restaurants, Morning Belle Farms gives families a chance to enjoy the sunshine and immersion into nature through their “u-pick ‘em” product. The simple pleasure of blueberry picking has not escaped the attention of today’s hustle and bustle world where a country outing can be great therapy. Four and a half acres of 7,000 berry-laden bushes await the pickers from the end of April through July. “I was astonished by the amount of fruit we produced our first season,” said John. Morning Belle Farms is a family affair with John’s mom and his sons out in the fields often. John is an airline pilot and Jennifer is an emergency room nurse but still find the time to get their hands blue. Morning Belle Farms is strictly organic which is the essential attraction for restaurants like 401 West as they endeavor to deliver a quality organic experience to their diners. The organic growing methods employed by the Parhams include natural fertilizers such as fish emulsion and earthworm casings. They also utilize Bee Vectoring Technology whereby bees hived in the middle of their fields fly through a tray of natural pest control probiotics in the hive then disperse the powder to the plants as they cross pollinate. “This blocks disease from establishing in the plant,

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making for a higher quality product and greater yield,” said John. “The point is to make the plant so healthy that it’s naturally resistant to disease.” John and Jennifer are proud of their farm’s GCIAOCP Certification (Georgia Crop Improvement Association Organic Certification Program), a desirable merit when it comes to attracting high end restaurants like 401 West. Morning Belle Farms also offers Blueberry Lemonade and the syrup it’s made from at their on-premises stand where you can purchase blueberries and blackberries even if you’re not inclined to pick your own. You can also find the Parhams at farmers markets including the one in Fernandina Beach. Going forward, John and Jennifer plan to partner with 401 West proprietor Bill Shaffer to plant a large organic vegetable garden. Shaffer’s goal has always been to have 80% of his produce and livestock vendors be located within a two hour drive from St. Marys and with organic partners like Morning Belle Farms, his goal has become a reality. Morning Belle Farms is located at 762 Pine Drive, Woodbine, GA. Follow them on Facebook or call 912-510-6528 for more information.

Proprietor Jessica Spinks offers a signature collection of unique & affordable fashion finds! 130 Scrubby Bluff Rd. • Kingsland, GA 31548 • 912.510.WILD (9453)

Did You Know? That blueberries are considered the “King” of antioxidant foods?



he believed she could so she did.” So reads the ink on Jessica Spinks’ arm—a message that clearly defines the life of this entrepreneurial dynamo and proprietor of Wild Willow Boutique. When you enter the boutique at the curve on the countryside of Scrubby Bluff Road, you sense a shopping adventure about to take form. Where to head to first? The $10 sign above a display of fashion forward sunglasses catches your eye and proves to be a great beginning. Three pair? Why not? A girl can’t have too many shades continued ...


and at this price—gotta do it. Then the hanging novelty tees draw you over. Cool imprinted messages inspire you to throw a couple of them on the counter. Probably the one that says “There is power in kindness.” You gotta tell the world how you feel. Next: what I call “dating clothes.” These are cuted up little outfits that say “flirtation” without you saying a thing. Dresses, shorts sets, leggings, skirts. Then to the hat and belt section to complete the ensemble. But wait! Jewelry. Jewelry. Jewelry. Yes! (can’t believe the amazing prices.) Sassy sandals. Colorful scarves. Cool jeans. Shopping nirvana. As an active and prolific real estate agent, Jessica keeps her finger on the pulse of what it takes to make people happy and that innate sense for satisfying customers has served her well in the retail world. When she created the Wild Willow concept, her goal was to offer affordably priced fashions that were unique finds. “What I didn’t want was a ‘cookie cutter’ shop,” she said. “Wild Willow is all about giving shoppers boutique style clothing in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere.” Indeed, the sign at the door says “May all who enter as guests, leave as friends.” Jessica and her team (including her General Manager


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Mallory Wilson and Boutique Manager Katy Carper) stay ahead of all the fashion trends, attend markets, and get their message out through an enriched social media campaign. Offering women’s and kids’ fashions Wild Willow Boutique, by design, gives residents and visitors an excellent alternative to having to drive to the big city to have a fun and quality shopping experience. As a Camden County native, Jessica Spinks is a great proponent of “shopping local.” And she’s walking the walk by making her Wild Willow Boutique a place fashion fans will visit again and again. Wild Willow Boutique is located at 130 Scrubby Bluff Road in Kingsland. Find them on Facebook or call 912-510-9453 for more information.

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t. Marys resident Frank Shober knows a thing or two about speed. As a member of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), he has led the way in dozens of racing competitions. His lucky number “13” has graced the exteriors of numerous cars over the years in races across the U. S. including those at his favorite racetrack at Summit Point, West Virginia. Shober’s love of “wheels” began on his granny’s farm in Southern New Jersey when at the age of five he was allowed to steer the tractor. Then for his 12th birthday, his parents bought him a 1941 continued ...

Frank Shober leads the field at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia.


Ford. His adventures driving his first car included a near-hit with a chicken coop and the elimination of 20 feet of prime field corn. His first real car race was in his Alfa Romeo Julietta 1960 vintage which he purchased after attending Bill Scott’s Racing school in the mid-1970s. The“winning” bug bit him in that car, and over the years Shober’s enthusiasm for cars and racing has steadily increased. Today, his racing is done mostly through SVRA, the largest and one of the oldest vintage racing organizations in the United States. Founded in 1978, SVRA now boasts more than 2500 licensed competitors and conducts events at legendary race tracks throughout the country. Shober has crashed a half dozen of his racecars, but as Parnelli Jones once said, “If you’re in control, you’re not going fast enough.” Racecar drivers, in general, agree that once you’ve raced, you never forget it, and you never get over it. Shober’s certainly not over it, having raced just a few months ago at Road Atlanta. “Typically, I will race six to eight times a year,” Shober said. “I’m more inclined toward formula cars these days—cars that can go zero to a hundred, brake, then back to zero in 10 seconds.” Wow! Shober currently owns a VW GTI and an Anson SA4 Formula Super V. “It’s a weekend sport for me,” he said, and admits he’s driven some pretty exciting pieces of machinery through the years. As an instructor of the BMW Club of New Jersey, he had access to some impressive cars. Shober is most proud to have won the only Oval Track race he contested at Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania in the 1990s. “I came away with a deeper respect for Oval racers,” he said. “It’s like walking a tight rope. Road courses have run-off areas. Oval tracks have no margin for error.” Shober’s all-time hero is Gilles Villeneuve, a Canadian racing continued ...

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. 61

Beautiful St. Marys & Cumberland Island Snapshots

driver who spent six years in Grand Prix racing with Ferrari, winning six races and widespread acclaim for his performances. “I witnessed him murder his fellow drivers by 10 seconds in the rain at Watkins Glen,” Shober said. “Ten seconds is huge when you’re talking about racing.” Today, Shober’s entrepreneurial ventures limit the time he can spend on the race track. In addition to running his own company, he is associated with the innovative Wildlife Defense Systems, a high-technology manufacturing company headquartered in St. Marys, Georgia, that provides green, non-lethal sound energy platforms for bird and nuisance animal control. Henry Ford said “Auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built.” So it seems that man’s “need for speed” has shadowed adventurists in America for more than 125 years. With no letting up in sight, Frank Shober continues to rev his engine and enjoy the exhilaration that only comes from rounding the curve, getting into the groove, and most of all—Winning!

Did You Know? Camden County High School Chorus has been selected to represent Georgia at the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in December. All community support is appreciated to help fund their trip. If you would consider supporting them, please reach out to CCHS Fine Arts Director Dr. Dean Slusser at or Choral Director Mrs. Lashan Wolfe at 62

Our Doctors


New Patients For:


Pamela Hinson NP-C

Jose Reyes Oliva, MD

Colette Lee-Lewis

Zaiyara Adorno Rivera, MD

Ahmed ElSharkawi, MD, PhD



Ahmed ElSharkawi, MD, PhD • Pamela Hinson, NP-C Jose Reyes Oliva, MD • Colette Lee-Lewis, MD Vicky Alday, ANP-BC • Zaiyara Adorno Rivera, MD


40of Years Co


mbined Experience

ephrology of the Golden Isles providers have over 40 years combined experience treating patients with kidney disease and hypertension. We also provide care for dialysis patients and patients who have received a kidney transplant. We take pride in providing courteous and compassionate care, helping patients with kidney dialysis management and treatment of HTN, kidney failure and other renal issues. Lab and ultrasound services onsite. All insurances accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Vicky Alday ANP-BC

3025 Shrine Rd.• Suite 270 • Brunswick, GA 31520 2040 Dan Proctor Dr. • Suite 200 • St. Marys, GA 31558 823 South 1ST Street • Jesup, GA 31545

912.262.2723 • 912.262.2724 FAX 877.244.5666


magine standing on a small berm graced by wetlands on both sides, looking upward into a stand of tall trees, and siting what appears to be hundreds of giant white blossoms—three-foot high blossoms! Your imagination can take flight—literally— if you are fortunate enough to take a tour of the Old Weed & Plantation Rookery just 10 blocks from St. Marys’ waterfront. Locals identify the 700+ acres of land surrounding the rookery as the “old paper mill” property. History tags the geography as an old plantation. No matter the appellation, the blossoms are “Wood Storks” roosting in the 2nd largest rookery in Georgia. The Rookery in St. Marys is an important cog in the wheel of sustaining nature as Wood Storks are considered a “threatened” species as opposed to “endangered” which was their designation in 1964 when there were zero Wood Storks in Georgia. Today’s Wood Stork population in Georgia hovers around 2500 making up about 20% of the entire U.S. Wood Stork population. During spring and summer, the Wood continued on page 66


Jacksonville North / St Marys KOA Full Hook-up – Pull-thru RV Sites Deluxe Furnished Cabins • Tipi Village Clubhouse (Rentals Available)

• TENT SITES • HEATED POOL with 50’ wATErSLIDE CAMPGROUND • FrEE BrEAKFAST • 18-Hole Miniature Golf Course (Open to the Public)


There’s Camping. And there’s KOA.

2970 Scrubby Bluff road, Kingsland, GA 31548 (I-95, GA Exit 1) www.

Find out what the locals are raving about! Extensive Menu & Daily Specials

Shrimp Your Way! Fisherman’s Favorites. Steaks, chicken, pasta and more!

Catering Available!

1837 Osborne Road • St. Marys, GA • 912-467-4217

Jessica Spinks REALTOR®

C: 912-674-6964 O: 912-205-2140 REALTOR / ABR MRP GA L I C # 3 9 2 7 9 0

• Clubhouse w/ FULL Kitchen • 5 Mi. N. of FL Border • 2 Mi. from Folkston Funnel • 9 Mi. from Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge 252 Bowery Lane • Homeland, GA



PHOTOS: Photos by Crooked River State Park volunteers Steve and Gail Lathem. Aerial taken by Jim Goodman from a helicopter owned/piloted by Paul Harris Stork colony is monitored using aerial photos, banding, and nest data collection for Wood Stork productivity and overall number of chicks produced. There are approximately 350 nests in the local rookery each year. A sample of 70-75 nests are observed and tracked for data. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bands are placed on an average of fifty 3- to 4-week-old chicks annually. What makes the local site uniquely attractive to Wood Storks is that nature has reclaimed the site and the deep water that surrounds the large islands reduces the threat of predators. The first confirmed Roseate Spoonbill nest in Georgia was also found here in June 2011. March through August are the primary months that the rookery is an important nesting habitat for a wide variety of coastal birds including Wood Storks, Tricolored Herons, Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, Green Herons, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants and many more. So that is a good time to take one of the guided tours conducted by Crooked River State Park. Find out how to book a tour by calling 912-882-5256 or email



thinking of a new COLOR ?

CA L L F O R A P P O I N T M E N T :


912.227.2225 105 WEST STABLE ALLEY

Spouses Bakery & Deli

Old World Techniques with Lots of Love!

Artisan Breads • Cakes • Pies • Croissants • Soups • Sandwiches • Salads B r e a k fa s t • L u n c h • ta k e o u t


901 Dilworth Street • St. Marys, GA • 912.322.7357


Fun Facts About Wood Storks MONOGAMOUS

Wood Storks are monogamous. They pair during breeding season and raise offspring together. Both parents sit on the eggs for incubation. They build nests three to four feet across in trees and shrubs.

BABIES Stork babies weigh about 20 ounces at birth. They are fed more than 12 times a day. Parents may travel as far as 50 miles away to search for food. Chicks fledge, leaving the nest about seven to nine weeks after hatching.


Their diet consists mainly of fish and occasional crawfish.


Wood Storks are tactile feeders. They wade around in the water, beak open, waiting for fish or crayfish to bump into it and shut it at a ludicrous speed.


Storks nest above alligators to help control nest predators such as raccoons.


When a chronic wound disrupts your life, we can help.


Millions of Americans suffer from wounds that will not heal. If you suffer from a chronic wound, our Wound Care Centers in Brunswick and St. Marys provide highly specialized wound care with the latest technologies and treatments to help you heal. For more information, please call us at 855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447), or visit


Put a little drama in your life!

Shop Act II, a resale shop with ecelectic charm showcasing: Ladies Fashions • Men’s fashions • Hats • Collectibles • Lots of Out-of-the-Ordinary stuff In the St. Marys Antique Mall 921 Osborne Road St. Marys, GA OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 11 am to 6 pm 912-729-1103 69

• Annie nie Sloan Chalk Paint® • Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint ® • Classes • Vintage Finds • Local Art

912.510.0639 FIND US ON

Celebrating 25 years in 2021!!

St. Marys Submarine Museum

Where History Surfaces Every Day !

TUESDAY – SATURDAY: 10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM SUNDAYS: 12:00 PM TO 5:00 PM CLOSED MONDAYS AND MOST MAJOR HOLIDAYS 102 St. Marys Street West • St. Marys, GA 31558 912-882-ASUB (2782) •



Storied treasures around every corner including beautiful antique furniture, collectibles, rugs, artwork, and great gift items. Gallery Featuring 13 Local Artists! Downtown St. Marys at 102 West Church Street 912-882-5861


912-510-0160 visit us on



A Neighborhood TrAdiTioN Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Coffee and Smoothies FREE WiFi, outside porch and inside seating. 912.882.9555 304 Osborne Street • St. Marys, GA • Open 7 Days • 7:30am – 2:00 pm

The St. Marys Magazine just gets better and better. We always read it from cover to cover. The articles are so interesting and they make us want to visit St. Marys again. Joan Frazier Hendersonville, NC

I got your magazine at a funeral I was attending at Allison Chapel. I liked what I read and would very much like a subscription. I lived in St. Marys all my life until the paper mill where I worked closed. I left St. Marys but St. Marys didn’t leave me. (I got that from your magazine and it is true). David Marsh Jacksonville, FL

We wanted to let you know how much Roy and I are enjoying our newest edition of the St. Marys Magazine. We love reading it from cover to cover and remembering our wonderful time we had living there. St. Marys has never left us. The song, “Georgia on my Mind” sung by Ray Charles, chokes me up as it came out when we lived there from 1994-1997. The pictures in the section “Historic Milestones” reminded me of the picture postcard that I used to send to my out of town friends and relatives when we lived in St. Marys. You and your staff are putting together a beautiful magazine. Carolyn & Ray Mitchell Williamsburg, VA

Send letters to: St. Marys Magazine • 208 Wheeler Street • St. Marys, GA 31558

Powering your

People. Power. Progress.


St. Marys • Cumberland Island • Kingsland

Relax and unwind while visiting the sites of Historic St. Marys and surrounding attractions. Plenty of delicious restaurants nearby and St. Marys’ iconic waterfront just a few minutes away. • 78 guestrooms including 40 suites • Fitness Center • Complimentary Business Center • More than 3500 Square Feet of Meeting Space • Free Continental Breakfast

Attractions include:

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge,

Cumberland Island, Crooked River State Park,

Jekyll Island, Amelia Island in northeast Florida

and Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

spEcIAl rAtEs ArE OffErEd

tO Our ExtEndEd-stAy GuEsts, As wEll As fOr GrOups thAt bOOk Our lArGE cOnfErEncE ArEA.

800.768.6250 912.882.6250 I-95 GA ExIt 3 EAst • 2710 OsbOrnE rOAd • st. MArys, GA •


Custom Homes from $300k to Over $600k Nature Trails + Walking & Biking Paths

Neighborhood Events + Social Gatherings

24-Hour Fitness Center + Soccer Fields

Book Club - Wine Tastings - Holiday Parties -

Zero-Entry Swimming Pool + Playground

Movies by the Pool - Aqua Zumba...something

Community Clubhouse

for everyone!

Niccole Wildes, REALTOR® Winding River 102 Meandering Way St. Marys, Georgia 31558

Cell: (912) 552-4432 Office: (912) 882-9124

(912) 729-7900