NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014
FORGING HISTORY / TREETOP RENDEZVOUS / HEALING HORSES GOLF / PASSPORT TO POLYNESIA / FROM FLOUR TO BOWL
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
54 NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014
DEPARTMENTS NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014
22 NOTE FROM THE EDITORS 24 EDITORIAL BIOS 134 OPENINGS 136 EVENTS 146 HISTORY
ON THE COVER
FORGING HISTORY / TREETOP RENDEZVOUS / HEALING HORSES GOLF / PASSPORT TO POLYNESIA / FROM FLOUR TO BOWL
We had some truly incredible photography from which to choose for this issue’s cover, but when it came down to it, there was no question. The hand-forged cutlery of Lakeland’s own DogHouse Forge is a perfect blend of beauty, grit, and local craftsmanship. The asymmetrical styling and moody lighting of this photo represent all things Lakelander. Penny & Finn Photography did all of the photography for DogHouse Forge’s website, and we wholeheartedly agreed that they were the perfect fit to artistically translate the intricate forgery process to all of you. Photo by Penny & Finn.
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• THE LAKELANDER
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PHILANTHROPY 28 HEALING HORSES TiAnViCa Equine Therapy helps people get strong and stay strong
STYLE 42 TREETOP RENDEZVOUS A tale of natural irony
CULTURE 54 FORGING HISTORY
Two Lakelanders continue the Florida legacy of forging and appreciating knives
Success born of caliber, commitment Success born Success born ofof and core values Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates caliber, commitment caliber, commitment and andcore corevalues values
In the asset management business, trust is a precious commodity. Matt Kilgroe, Senior Vice President– Wealth Management, and Pete Frantzis, Senior Vice President–Wealth Management, the team forKilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & of Associates mally known as Kilgroe, Frantzis & Associates, place a very high premium on trust–something their clients and industry peers truly appreciate. Two years ago, when Kilgroe and Frantzis left a large, well-known brokerage firm joinmanagement global leader UBS, they brought with them anMatt enviable following. First, more than In theto asset business, trust is a precious commodity. Kilgroe, Senior Vice President– the assetManagement, management business, trust is a precious commodity. Matt Kilgroe, Senior President– Wealth and Pete Frantzis, Senior Vice President–Wealth Management, of theVice team for95%Inof Kilgroe and Frantzis’ existing clients came with them to UBS; that client transfer figure is well Wealth Management, and Pete Frantzis, Senior Vice President–Wealth Management, of the team formally known as Kilgroe, Frantzis & Associates, place a very high premium on trust–something their clients above the industry average of 50%–60%. Second, within three months of Kilgroe and Frantzis’ departure, and industry peers truly appreciate. Two firm years ago, Kilgroe and Frantzis left large,Awell-known mallymore known as Kilgroe, Frantzis & original Associates, place awhen very high premium on their clients two advisory teams left the in St. Petersburg, Florida, totrust–something joinaUBS. third team, led brokerage firm to join global leader UBS, they brought with them an enviable following. First, more than and industry peers truly appreciate. Two years ago, when Kilgroe and Frantzis left a large, well-known by Dave 95% Quinty, a 40-year veteran of the original firm, trusted Kilgroe, Frantzis & Associates enough to of Kilgroe and Frantzis’ existing clients came with them to UBS; that client transfer figure ismore well than brokerage firm to join global leader UBS, they brought with them an enviable following. First, make a life-changing career move and combine forces to become Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates. above theKilgroe industryand average of 50%–60%. Second,came within three months of Kilgroe and Frantzis’ departure, 95% of Frantzis’ existing clients with them to UBS; that client transfer figure is well two more advisory teams left the original firm in St. Petersburg, Florida, to join UBS. A third team, led above the industry average of 50%–60%. Second, within three months of Kilgroe and Frantzis’ Trust: The true measure ofdeparture, success by Dave Quinty, a 40-year veteran of the original firm, trusted Kilgroe, Frantzis & Associates enough to two more advisory teams left the original firm in St. Petersburg, Florida, to join UBS. A third team, led make aFrantzis, life-changing career move and combine forces become Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates. Today, Kilgroe, Quinty & Associates is enjoying itstotenth year of 15% average annual growth and by Dave Quinty, a 40-year veteran of the original firm, trusted Kilgroe, Frantzis & Associates enough to boasts over $700 million in assets under management. Kilgroe, repeatedly named a Barron’s Top 1,000 make a life-changing career move and combine forces to become Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates. Trust: measure of success Financial Advisor since 2009, regards the team’s trustworthiness asThe thetrue principal driver of its success. Today, Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates is enjoying its tenth year of 15% average annual growth and “The way we become partners with our clients, and the way they tellTrust: us we’re part ofmeasure their family—this is true success boasts over $700 million in assets under management. Kilgroe, repeatedly The named a Barron’s Topof 1,000 the essence of our practice,” Kilgroe says. “It manifests in many ways, including the lengths to which we Financial AdvisorQuinty since 2009, regards the team’s trustworthiness asof the15% principal driver of its success. Today, Kilgroe, Frantzis, & Associates is enjoying its tenth year average annual growth and go toboasts communicate with clients and serve their We often work with three four generations “The way we$700 become partners withto our clients, andneeds. the way they tellrepeatedly us we’re part of their family—this over million in assets under management. Kilgroe, named aorBarron’s Topis 1,000 of the same client family, which we really enjoy. “There’s a lot of talk about relationship-building in our the essence of our practice,” Kilgroe says. “It manifests in many ways, including the lengths to which Financial Advisor since 2009, regards the team’s trustworthiness as the principal driver of itswe success. go to communicate with clients and to serve their needs. We often work with three or four generations industry,” Frantzis adds. “But for us, it’s a way of life that impacts our clients in measurable ways.” “The way we become partners with our clients, and the way they tell us we’re part of their family—this is the same client family, which we really enjoy. “There’s a lot of talk about relationship-building in our the of essence of our practice,” Kilgroe says. “It manifests in many ways, including the lengths to which we industry,” Frantzis adds. “But for us, it’s a way of life that impacts our clients in measurable ways.” consistency reassure go to communicate with clients and to serve their needs. Discipline, We often work with three serve or fourto generations Frantzis, Quintywhich & Associates focuses five well-defined servicerelationship-building areas—portfolio/financial ofKilgroe, the same client family, we really enjoy. on “There’s a lot of talk about Discipline, consistency serve to reassurein our management, legacy planning, estate coordination, retirement flowour strategies tax planning— industry,” Frantzis adds. “But for us, it’s a way of life that cash impacts clients inand measurable ways.” Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & Associates focuses on five well-defined service areas—portfolio/financial in creating and closely managing each client’s customized financial plan. “Clients appreciate management, legacy planning, estate coordination, retirement cash flow strategies and tax planning— our consistency,” Frantzis says. “We and our clients shared expectations going serve forward, and Discipline, consistency to reassure in creating and closely managing each client’shave customized financial plan. “Clients appreciate our they consistency,” Frantzis says. “We and our have going andlong-term they understand we’re balancing risk reward inclients theon context of a expectations plan designed to forward, meet their Kilgroe, Frantzis, Quinty & and Associates focuses fiveshared well-defined service areas—portfolio/financial understand we’re balancing risk andthrough reward inthe thenoise context of abombards plan designed to meet daily,” their management, legacy planning, estate coordination, retirement cash flow strategies andlong-term tax planning— goals.” “Our big focus is managing that our clients Kilgroe says. goals.” “Our and big is suddenly managing through the noise that bombards clients Kilgroe says. our innot creating closely managingin each client’s customized financial plan. “Clients appreciate “We’re going to focus swing a new direction and make aour huge betdaily,” that would endanger “We’re not going to swing suddenly in a new direction and make a huge bet that endanger consistency,” Frantzis says. “We and our clients have shared forward, andtime.” they our clients’ future. This is how we earn their trust and why expectations they elect togoing staywould with us over our clients’ future. This is how we earn their trust and why they elect to stay with us over understand we’re balancing risk and reward in the context of a plan designed to meet theirtime.” long-term goals.” “Our big focus is managing through the noise that bombards our clients daily,” Kilgroe says. Pete Frantzis UBS Financial Services Pete Financial Inc. Inc. “We’re not going to swing suddenly inFrantzis a new direction and make aUBS huge bet thatServices would endanger Senior Vice President–Wealth Management 150 Second Avenue North, Suite 1000 Senior Vice President–Wealth Management 150 Second Avenue North, Suite 1000 our clients’ future. This is how we earn their trust and why they elect to stay with us over time.” 863-255-4672 St. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 863-255-4672 Petersburg, FL 33701 Pete Frantzis Senior Vice President–Wealth Management 863-255-4672
UBS Financial Services Inc. 150 Second Avenue North, Suite 1000 St. Petersburg, FL 33701
ubs.com/team/kfq Barron’s Top 1,000 Financial Advisors list is based on asset under management, revenue, and quality of practices. As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investment advisory and brokerage services. These services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. For more information ubs.com/team/kfq on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at ubs.com/workingwithus. ©UBS 2014. All rights Barron’s Top reserved. 1,000 Financial Advisors listInc. is based on asset under revenue, and quality ofIS1401750 practices. 31.00_Ad_8.5x11_SP0925_FraP Exp 9/30/16As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both UBS Financial Services is a subsidiary of UBS AG.management, Member FINRA/SIPC.
investment advisory and brokerage services. These services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. For more information on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at ubs.com/workingwithus. ©UBS 2014. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. 31.00_Ad_8.5x11_SP0925_FraP IS1401750 Exp 9/30/16 Barron’s Top 1,000 Financial Advisors list is based on asset under management, revenue, and quality of practices. As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SPORT 66 GOLF
My favorite (team) sport
PEOPLE 80 THE GOOD LIFE An interview with Maurice Johnson
SHELTER 92 PASSPORT TO POLYNESIA
Celebrating the spirit of Aloha in South Lakeland
TASTE 106 FROM FLOUR TO BOWL Adventures in pasta-making
SPECIAL FEATURES 118 THE LAKELANDER’S GIFT GUIDE
Unique and interesting gifts found right here in Lakeland
129 BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE LAKELANDER Meet Josh Vasquez, stylist extraordinaire
EDUCATION 140 THE ROBERTS ACADEMY Triumphing over dyslexia
Juli Surface, Assistant Vice President & Branch Manager, is a Florida native. She grew up in Plant City but has roots in Lakeland where she and her fiancĂŠ are raising their family and are members at First United Methodist Church.
Your Table. Your Statement. PUBLISHER Curt Patterson ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Jason Jacobs, Brandon Patterson Advertising ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Curt Patterson; 863.409.2449 ADVERTISING SALES Jason Jacobs; 863.606.8785 ADVERTISING SALES Brandon Patterson; 863.409.2447 Editorial EDITOR, DIRECTOR OF CONTENT Alice V. Koehler EDITOR, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Tina Sargeant CULTURE GUEST EDITOR Abby Jarvis MEN’S STYLE EDITOR Abdiel Gonzalez PEOPLE EDITOR Adam Spafford PHILANTHROPY EDITOR Tara Campbell SHELTER GUEST EDITOR Jarman Peacock SPORT GUEST EDITOR Joel Helm TASTE EDITOR Logan Crumpton WOMEN’S STYLE EDITOR Courtney Philpot COPY EDITOR Laura Burke OFFICE MANAGER Deb Patterson ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Beatriz Salazar-Ruiz Design ART DIRECTOR Philip Pietri GRAPHIC DESIGNER Daniel Barcelo
Old St. Nick holiday collection now available.
Photography CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Sarah Brewington, Penny & Finn, Tiffani Jones, Michael Nielsen, Jessica Pietri, Philip Pietri, Tina Sargeant, Jason Stephens, Jordan Weiland Circulation CIRCULATION DIRECTOR
Ted W. Weeks IV
Published by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, LLC The Lakelander is published bimonthly by Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission of The Lakelander is prohibited. The Lakelander is not responsible for any unsolicited submissions. Contact Patterson Jacobs Publishing, P.O. Box 41, Lakeland, FL 33802 863.701.2707 www.thelakelander.com
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NOTE FROM THE EDITORS
Alice V. Koehler
Lakeland’s Premier COFFEE HOUSE & CASUAL EATERY
utumn is a season of decline. We relax. We rest. Nature subsides and takes a break from the business required to produce the lush, green beauty of spring and summer. And, within that decline, there is the promise and hope of life. In autumn, in the face of nature’s dying, we celebrate. We honor our veterans. We consider those who have risked and lost, fought and suffered so that we are free to celebrate. We express gratitude for what we have and create a festival with our families and friends. We usher in the holidays: Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, even Festivus. We bake and eat, sing and dance. We see kindness and gentleness in our neighbors and colleagues. We give more in these months than we do in the summation of the rest of the year. While we are surrounded by nature’s decline, we rise and come alive. In this issue of The Lakelander, we meet extraordinary, everyday people who work passionately and live fully. We meet our neighbors who celebrate small moments, who bring healing to those who are hurting, and who remember a life well lived. We climb trees and ride horses. We garden and forge knives. Above all, we meet Lakelanders who have experienced hurt and loss, the autumnal seasons of life, and yet they celebrate. Howard Thurman’s words inspire us this season: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” This holiday season, we hope you will embrace what makes you come alive and share that with us and this great city. Warmly, Alice and Tina
EAT BETTER, SMILE MORE, AND LIVE LONGER!
My mouth was in serious trouble. I had four teeth left in the top of my mouth and two of them were loose and about to fall out. Additionally, I had little to no bone left in the top because I had been without teeth for so long. My bottom teeth and gums were seriously deteriorating. I am a College Professor, Public Speaker, and a Leadership Development Expert. However, I was extremely self conscious because I teach my students the importance of the four first impression skills that people use to make decisions about you in less than 90 seconds. They are your handshake, your smile, your visual delivery, and what you say and how you say it when you open your mouth. My professional ambitions were being hindered by the condition of my mouth. Now for the first time in years, since I’ve had all my teeth removed and my dental implants placed I don’t have to be selective with what I eat now. I can make healthier choices. The ease and comfort to chew what I want, when I want, has really empowered me to take control of my health. When people see me now, they are utterly amazed at how I look! My new smile has changed my whole outlook and I am not afraid to smile now. I am truly blessed and want people that read this to know and understand how caring the people are that work for Dr. Nerestant at Midtown Dental. My experience with Dr.Nerestant and Midtown Dental has really been phenomenal. Like many, I often associate a degree of anxiety and fear with going to the dentist. However, from the moment I walked into Midtown Dental, there was an atmosphere of “We are family.” By the time I walked from the door to the receptionist desk, all anxiety was gone. I now feel like I’m a part of the Midtown Family. What was really amazing to me was that even the young woman brought in to handle my IV sedation had the same attitude of the rest of the staff. To me, that says that Dr.Nerestant goes out of his way to ensure that everything and everyone connected with Midtown Dental portrays this attitude of caring and family. My experience has been phenomenal. They can do it all. From the everyday cleaning, to full mouth dental implants while you sleep peacefully. I encourage people to not be like me. Be sure to take care of your oral health. It is so important to your overall health. I would recommend Midtown Dental hands down. I am extremely grateful to Dr.Nerestant and Midtown Dental.
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For a fee advertised ‘minimum fee only’ or for fee service: the patient and any other person responsible for payment has the right to refuse to pay, cancel payment or be reimbursed for payment for any service, examination or treatment which is performed as a result of an within 72 hours of responding to the advertisement for the free, discounted fee, or reduced fee service, examination or treatment.
EDITORIAL BIOS TARA CAMPBELL
PHILANTHROPY EDITOR Tara Campbell is a long-time Lakelander with a passion for serving others. A graduate of Florida Southern College, she is currently the team and outreach director for Access Church. In the past she has worked as the teen development director for the YMCA of Central Florida, the outreach teacher at the Polk Museum of Art, and a classroom leader at Parker Street Ministries. Believing firmly that only boring people get bored, Tara spends her free time mentoring middle-school girls in the Parker Street Neighborhood, teaching art lessons, and serving the community through several civic organizations, as well as enjoying all of the friends and culture that Lakeland has to offer.
LOGAN CRUMPTON TASTE EDITOR Logan Crumpton has been employed with the United States Postal Service for the last 14 years. Although he has lived nearly his entire life in the Lakeland area, he seeks out a world of food culture with the mindset of sharing it on a local level. Like many who have developed a love of food, he honed his skills in his grandmother’s kitchen, learning traditional Cuban and Italian classics. Pursuing more of a life in food has afforded him the opportunity of cocreating the food blog Eataduck, guest writing for online publications, as well as trying his hand as a caterer and private chef.
COURTNEY PHILPOT WOMEN’S STYLE EDITOR For as long as she can remember, Courtney Philpot has been doodling girls in dresses on any available paper, pad, or napkin. Born and raised in Lakeland, she attended FSU, where she received a degree in sociology and then earned a degree in fashion design and marketing from the Academy of Design in Tampa. She created Style by Courtney, where she works as a stylist for personal clients, groups, photo shoots, and runway shows. Eventually, she wants to design her own prints to be used in her own apparel line. Until then, she plans on spending time with her husband, Bryce, and daughter, Sydney, while sharing her fashion philosophy that “You don’t need a million bucks to look like a million bucks” with her clients and readers.
ABDIEL GONZALEZ MEN’S STYLE EDITOR
From a young age, Abdiel Gonzalez was inspired by design and art, and influenced by the colorful culture of his native Hawaii. After moving to Florida in his teens, Abdiel formed an award-winning dance company, No Confusion, for which he received national recognition. His love of fashion developed while earning a bachelor’s in business administration at Florida Southern College. He has managed multimillion-dollar retail establishments, designed stage costumes, and styled high-profile photo shoots. Currently, Abdiel runs Style Instinct by Abdiel, a styling and image consulting business. As a long-time Lakelander, Abdiel gives back by volunteering his talent to local production companies and teaches weekly dance classes at studios here in Lakeland.
ADAM SPAFFORD PEOPLE EDITOR
Adam Spafford came to Lakeland in 1999 to attend Florida Southern College and, except for a twenty-month graduate school stint in Massachusetts, has been here since. When he’s not writing page-turners for The Lakelander, he trades stock and index options.
JARMAN PEACOCK SHELTER GUEST EDITOR Jarman Peacock’s love for plants began in Lakeland, his hometown since the age of two. After graduating from the University of Florida in Gainesville, he lived and worked for many years as a landscape architect in Miami Beach. Shortly after returning to Lakeland in 2002, he opened the Green House Garden Store. When he’s not traveling to remote corners of Florida hunting plants for clients, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Sara; his two little girls, Celeste and Arielle; and his yellow lab, Darwin.
JOEL HELM SPORT GUEST EDITOR Joel Helm is a converted Lakelander. Once going so far as to promise he’d never live here, eight years later he cheerfully admits to his love of Lakeland. As a financial advisor with Lakeland-based Florida Fiduciary, Joel specializes in retirement planning and loves working with closely held business owners. A huge fan of storytelling, listening to clients’ business success stories has led him to amateur screenwriting as a hobby. A (very) proud dad, Joel has two kids and a very supportive, patient wife. Already having recruited his sister Laura to Lakeland, he is diligently (obnoxiously) working on the rest of his family. Because Indiana is only tolerable if you have a neck beard.
CULTURE GUEST EDITOR Abby Jarvis is a writing buff with a deep appreciation for the history behind modern cultures and habits. She attended Florida Southern College and, while enrolled there, fell in love with Lakeland’s ability to blend its history with its contemporary identity. Today, Abby works in marketing and outreach at Qgiv, a Lakeland tech company, and spends her spare time writing fairy tales and poetry, which can be found strewn haphazardly through her apartment.
PHOTOGRAPHER BIOS JORDAN WEILAND Jordan Weiland is a long-time Lakeland resident. She spends her time photographing weddings and dancing around the house (poorly) with her four-year-old daughter and husband. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in studio art and has photographed weddings for several years. She loves the visual art of storytelling, which is why she loves taking on The Lakelander photography assignments in between photographing couples in love. jordanweiland.com TIFFANI JONES Growing up, Tiffani Jones could never get lost in the wonder of a storybook. Then one day she realized she could let her mind imagine a wondrous story through imagery. Photography gives Tiffani a tangible voice with her audience. After a wonderful 15-year nursing career, she left the art of nursing for the art of creating. She’s a life-long Lakelander where she raises three energetic children with her husband. iamtiffanijones.com
PHILIP AND JESSICA PIETRI Pietri Photography is run by husband and wife duo Philip and Jessica Pietri. Both photographers are established creative professionals from the Tampa Bay area who inject a clean, modernist aesthetic into their work. pietriphotography.com
SARAH BREWINGTON Sarah Brewington is a fine art photographer and adjunct professor of art. She graduated from Florida Southern College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design and a minor in art history, and was hired shortly after to return to her alma mater to begin teaching in 2011. Currently, she works as a corporate photographer for Publix Super Markets (since 2007) while continuing to share her passion for art and photography with students at FSC. sarahbrewington.com
TINA SARGEANT Tina Sargeant has been professionally capturing the moments, events, and people of our region for the last seven years and photographing for The Lakelander since issue one. Tina’s photography is driven by the ability to suspend time and create emotion, and her work embodies a passion for anthropology – people, culture, and stories. sargeantstudios.com
MICHAEL NIELSEN Michael Nielsen has lived in Lakeland for the last 25 years, but he has traveled the world shooting photos and videos for clients like Visit Florida, Chris Craft, Bentley Motorcars, and a number of boutique hotels. He also leads a team of producers, editors, audio engineers, and creatives as they work together to produce television commercials and content videos. He loves spending time with his family, working on his motorcycle, and planning the next big adventure with his twin brother. michaeljnielsen.com JASON STEPHENS Jason Stephens is a native Florida boy who lives in Lakeland with his beautiful wife, Jess, and daughter Isla. Whether it’s from 500 feet up in a helicopter, on a boat cutting through the water, or locked down on a tripod, Jason loves to be behind the camera capturing the moments that pass in front of his lens. jasonstephensphotography.com
PENNY & FINN Penny & Finn photograph people and their lives. Our work is sharing what individuals are inspired by, how they inspire, what and who they love, what they strive for, and overall where their passions lie. We strive to share lovely people in the most beautiful way we can. pennyandfinn.com 26
From All of Us As the year end approaches, we would like to thank our clients, friends and family for your support.
THE CORE TEAM: Chuck Foss • Nathan Dunham • Andrew Foss Matte Diaz • Kristi Brooks • Angela Newell
CALL US AT 863-904-4745 OR VISIT COREWEALTHADVISORSINC.COM 231 N KENTUCKY AVE • STE 217 • LAKELAND
Investment advisory services offered through Calton & Associates, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Core Wealth Advisors, Inc. and Calton & Associates, Inc. are separate entities. All investment strategies have the potential for profit or loss. THE LAKELANDER 27
TiAnViCa Equine Therapy helps people get strong and stay strong
story by Tara Campbell photography by Jordan Weiland
rom the moment I walked in to TiAnViCa Riding Academy, I knew it was a special place. The welcoming culture, intentionally created by the owners, Sara and Roger Meadows, drew me in. I wanted to belong there. Both the people and the animals warmly greeted me. Sara, with her friendly demeanor, chatted openly with me as she prepped a horse for an upcoming lesson. I was introduced to the staff and volunteers, all of whom had been working there for years, most of whom spend sunup to sundown tending to the important work TiAnViCa provides to our community. Nine years ago, Sara and Roger founded TiAnViCa (which is named after their daughters) when they responded to a neighbor’s immediate need. This friend and neighbor had a child with a physical defect and needed help that wasn’t available to them in Lakeland at the time. Sara and Roger had horses at their home, so they researched how they might be able to help their friend with equine therapy. Through equine therapy at TiAnViCa, this child was able to learn his colors, speak in full sentences, and, even though he was in a wheelchair, his posture improved greatly. Sara and Roger were so moved by his progress that nine years later they are still using equine therapy to improve the lives of people in our community. Soon after my arrival, Sara had to leave and teach a lesson, so Linda, who works part-time for TiAnViCa, took over the tour. Linda began volunteering for TiAnViCa three years ago and was more than happy to start working for them. “Every day I pull in and say, ‘This is my job?’” She’s not alone in her sentiment. Everyone at TiAnViCa loves what they do: employees, volunteers, and horses alike.
What if going to the dentist was the most relaxing hour of your week?
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There are 16 horses that live and work at TiAnViCa, and most of them come to TiAnViCa through donations. Among others, TiAnViCa is home to retired Miami police horses, an eightfoot-tall Percheron, and two mini horses that are used for presentations. TiAnViCa’s first therapy horses — Shaker, a former Miami metro police horse, and Roxy — are now retired and spend their time together in the pasture. If a horse comes to TiAnViCa, it stays forever because it’s part of the TiAnViCa family. Before coming to TiAnViCa, another one of the horses, Little Bit, had been abused and was found near starvation. After being nursed back to health she was brought to TiAnViCa, and she now spends her days as a therapy horse nursing others back to health. She is a favorite among the 11 at-risk girls who visit TiAnViCa from the Florida Sheriff ’s Youth Villa. The girls at the Youth Villa come from tough situations and identify with the struggle that Little Bit has been through. They love Little Bit, and she loves them too. As a member of PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), TiAnViCa works with a variety of special needs, including people with learning differences and physical disabilities, wounded veterans, and at-risk youth. Weekly, TiAnViCa serves 60 people. Their oldest client is 70 years old and suffers from multiple sclerosis. During my visit, I witnessed four different lessons, after which everyone had huge smiles on their faces. Stevee is a 13-year-old girl who suffers from a brain disorder that she has had since birth. She was connected to TiAnViCa through her younger sister, Ashlee, who learned about equine therapy while attending summer camp at TiAnViCa. During therapy, Stevee and her horse, Chickweed, work on core strength. The motion of the horse naturally positions Stevee to open her muscles and build the strength she needs to sit up on her own. Ashlee and her grandmother, Marily, enjoy watching Stevee participate in the lesson. Ashlee loves her sister and says seeing her on a horse “[Makes me] happy, helps me feel better.” Cole, a seven-year old boy who as an infant was diagnosed with hypotonia, has benefitted from 32
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A “Floating” Christmas tree alight on Lake Morton in Lakeland, Florida Christmas 1967 Photo Courtesy of Special Collections, Lakeland Public Library
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“You name any therapy and we’ve done it. We stuck with this one.”
TiAnViCa’s therapeutic services for the past three years. Cole not only suffers from decreased muscle tone, but he falls on the autism spectrum as well. His mother, Kim Spurlock, learned about TiAnViCa through the Achievement Academy, a school designed to assist children with special needs to reach their maximum potential by providing quality education, therapy, and family support. Cole’s mom says, “You name any therapy and we’ve done it. We stuck with this one.” Through the games that Cole plays on the horses, he has improved his balance, hand-eye coordination, and has even developed a lot of patience. “It’s helped him learn to follow instructions better, and sometimes he gets on the horse and will say things to his teacher, Jamie, that I’ve never heard him say at home.” Equine therapy has also been essential to the Wounded Warrior project for almost 50 years. According to woundedwarriorproject.org, each year equine therapy helps more than 40,000 men, women, and children. Horses are known to be nonjudgmental, calming animals and can help riders develop physically by improving their motor skills, coordination, health, and muscle tone, as well as help them with focus, trust, and confidence. TiAnViCa is Polk County’s only PATH certified center.
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Everything at TiAnViCa is thought out, well cared for, and organized. But Sara, Roger, and Linda canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it all on their own. The people who volunteer their time at TiAnViCa love the program as much as the workers do and invest themselves in the lives of the horses and the people they serve. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a long list of things that need to be done every week, and TiAnViCa is always looking for more volunteers to help on an individual or group basis. Volunteers can be groups of friends, or individuals, and can be involved in everything from exercising horses and preparing them for lessons, to mowing and maintenance. For more information on equine therapy or how you can get involved at TiAnViCa, please visit their website, tianvica.org, or call 888.548.2972.
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Two Lakelanders continue the Florida legacy of forging and appreciating knives story by Abby Jarvis photography by Penny & Finn
nives have always been part of Florida’s culture. The first native people who settled in Florida nearly 12,000 years ago used knifelike tools. The storied Florida Crackers were fond of Bowie knives, and those blade designs are still widely used today. Today, two Lakeland men continue that tradition. One of those men, Patrick Gaskins, runs The Knife Place, a small knife shop on the outskirts of town. Gaskins grew up in Georgia, where using knives was as common as getting dressed. “I grew up in a small town, and we always used knives,” he says. “It was just one of those things where, as a man in a small town, you always carried a pocket knife. We hunted a lot; we fished a lot; so you always had one. Otherwise you weren’t prepared for the day.” Gaskins collected knives as a child and was first acquainted with The Knife Place when he traveled to Lakeland from his hometown in Nashville, Georgia, with his parents. It wasn’t until he began working in the produce industry in Plant City that he revisited the knife shop he had frequented when he was young. Gaskins said that once he rediscovered The Knife Place, he would go there and spend his paychecks on knives to add to his collection. He never suspected that he’d buy the store itself. The shop’s original owner, Dick Plank, opened the store in 1989 and ran it for 20 years. Gaskins bought the shop five years ago, even though he’d only intended to buy a knife. “I kept aggravating Dick about a certain knife,” Gaskins says. “I kept asking, ‘Dick, when are you gonna sell it to me? When are you gonna sell it to me?’ And one day I came in and asked, ‘Dick, when are you gonna sell me that knife?’ And he said, ‘If you’ll just hold up a minute, I’ll sell you the whole darn place.”
The Knife Place 3025 Knights Station Road Lakeland, FL 33810 863.858.2202
Since then, Gaskins has stocked The Knife Place with every kind of knife imaginable. Throwing knives and tactical knives sit next to cases full of bone-handled blades. In pride of place, a display of locally made custom knives is full of unique, handmade pieces. Axes in tooled leather sheaths and magnetic strips stacked with more pieces line the walls. Despite the variety in the shop, Gaskins has a preferred style. “You’ve got people who carry modern pocket knives,” he says, “but I’m more of a traditionalist.” The Knife Place’s regulars undoubtedly share his traditionalist mindset. One group of men gathers at the shop nearly every day to swap stories with strangers and friends alike. Gaskins notes, “They want to hear everybody’s stories, what’s going on. You’ve got several older custom makers that come in regularly on Wednesday mornings. They just want to talk to everybody.”
The regulars are full of stories and knowledge about knifemaking. Several of them are older custom makers, and they’re willing to share their insight: “They never meet a stranger,” Gaskins says. “Lots of times, [someone new] will come in and want to know about a custom knife, and I’ll just direct them to those guys. They’ve been doing it for 40 years.” Despite the wealth of knowledge and knife-making history in his shop, Gaskins is uncertain about the future of knife collecting. The Knife Place stays busy, but he says that many young people today have less disposable income. Student loans, rising housing costs, and other expenses leave little room for younger people to build valuable knife collections. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens with it,” he says. Regardless, Gaskins will continue offering knives, new and old, curating his own collection, and sharing stories at his shop. On the other side of town, another man connects with
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Knife-making may be an ancient art, but Jonathan Porter is keenly aware of the science that goes into each knife. Every stroke of the hammer has an effect on the finished product.
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Left to right: Douglas A. Lockwood III, Marie Straughn Prisco, Richard Straughn, Matthew Prisco, Mark Turner
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knives’ history in a different, more physically demanding, way. Like the old-timers at The Knife Place, Jonathan Porter of DogHouse Forge forges his own custom knives. Porter, an American Farrier’s Association certified farrier, shoes horses when he’s not working in his forge. His profession was his gateway into forging knives; his blacksmithing know-how and familiarity with the required tools made the transition relatively easy. “I started forging knives at horse shows,” he says. “I just got bored and decided to do it.” His hobby grew, and he eventually opened DogHouse Forge. Each of Porter’s knives is hand-forged from assorted pieces of high-quality carbon steel, from vintage sawblades to railroad spikes. His steel often comes in the form of farrier rasps, the tools of yet another historic trade. Farrier rasps are long, coarse, steel tools used to even a horse’s hoof before fitting it with a shoe. Porter says the rasps can be used for only a few jobs before they’re discarded. They’re readily available; between his own farrier work and his network of colleagues, used rasps are abundant. “I have friends with whole trash cans full of them,” he says. THE LAKELANDER
Porter spends days transforming a single rasp into a knife. They’re heated, hammered out, shaped, ground down, and hardened. It’s a very physical process, requiring extreme temperatures, heavy mallets, and all manner of hammers and hand-tools. Watching Porter swing a piece of red-hot metal from forge to anvil recalls the centuries-old old vocation of blacksmithing, though he is sometimes aided by more contemporary tools like an air hammer and mechanical grinder. Finished blades are outfitted with a unique handle made from a variety of woods from all over the globe. The process takes about three days from start to finish. Knife-making may be an ancient art, but Porter is keenly aware of the science that goes into each knife. Every stroke of the hammer has an effect on the finished product. Every beat of the hammer on one side of the knife is repeated on the other side — otherwise, Porter says, the finished knife will be unbalanced. “In order to recycle a rasp or file into a knife, you need to completely break down its structure so that you can move it around into the shape you’re after,”
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he explains. “By breaking that structure apart, you disrupt the uniformity of the atoms and, in turn, the molecular alignment in the steel. The goal in forging and rehardening a blade is to get this uniformity and density as evenly spaced as possible in order to guarantee the blade’s strength is equal throughout.” The knives made at DogHouse Forge are attracting interest around the country. As Porter gains more customers, his work gets more attention. He’s gained a substantial following on Instagram and Etsy, among others. His clients — from professional chefs to home cooks — all recognize the quality and workmanship of his knives. The knives are a perpetual work of art; the steel changes ever so slightly after each use. Porter says, “A very special thing for me about a forged knife is the patina it develops during its lifetime of use. Each food has its own enzymes and acids that react with the steel to give its patina life. This becomes your knife’s story or its fingerprint. Every time you use it, the meal you’ve prepared is added to the log book.” Porter’s beautifully forged knives continue to improve and change as they are used — a creative process that is never truly finished. Perhaps Porter’s knives will one day sit in The Knife Place’s case of locally made knives. He and Gaskin both share a similar appreciation for the storied skill of forging steel, although they pursue their interests differently. In Gaskins’ shop, the rows of knives gleaming quietly in glass cases are the result of a childhood appreciation for well-crafted blades that inspired a career. In Porter’s shop, the same appreciation for a well-made knife is expressed in hot steel and flying slag. Knife-collecting and blacksmithing are no longer common
hobbies or vocations, but Gaskins and Porter both have advice for those interested in exploring those topics. Gaskins’ advice to fledgling knife collectors is to start small. “They just need to figure out what direction they want to go in,” he says. “If they’re going into the older-style knives, I would tell them to pick a style and a brand that they like. Otherwise it’s too broad, and you can invest way too much money really quick.” He also suggests collecting knives by year and recommends that fans of contemporary, tactical-style knives focus on collecting a particular brand. Learning the art of hand-forging knives is not as simple. Porter cautions, “It’s not a process you can just jump into, and start-up is expensive. Forges, anvils, grinders, belts, hand tools, and a heat-treatment oven are not cheap or lighthearted investments. People should be prepared to ruin lots of attempts and for the process to be much more laborious than they probably imagine.” His advice is to explore the hobby before committing to getting started, ideally by watching other artisans work in their own forges. Porter warns, “For those that get bit by the forging bug, I will warn you, it’s very addictive and hard to stop once you find the freedom that being able to forge steel allows.” Knife-collecting and metal-forging may not be popular trends or hobbies right now. But the art of knife-making and deep appreciation for the beauty of the tools live on in small shops and out-of-the-way workshops. With artisans like Jonathan Porter and passionate collectors like Patrick Gaskins, knife-making and collecting are sure to remain a part of peoples’ lives for many, many years to come.
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MY FAVORITE (TEAM) SPORT story by Joel Helm • photography by Jason Stephens
have never played cricket. Maybe it’s because Indiana doesn’t have a thriving cricket scene, or maybe it’s because I played baseball and tried bowling. Combining the two seems like overkill. Cricket being the only exception, I have played virtually every sport currently known to man. My youth was spent entirely in two places: either on a sports field (a diamond, court, or course) or headed home from one, in one of those horrible ’90s minivans that looks like a cross between a mole cricket and a Dirt Devil. Eventually, school got in the way. But who could think about school when an epic soccer matchup between two powerful forces of nature, the U-10 Westfield Comets and the U-10 Pike Tornadoes, was set to take place that night? Not me. I played so many hours of competitive sports growing up that it has become increasingly difficult to remember specific contests, even specific teams on which I played. One thing
I can remember: constantly fielding the question, “Which sport do you like best?” I always thought it was an interesting question, as if I were going to eliminate all the other sports and focus on one — a ridiculous notion. For years, the answer was inevitably the same: whichever sport I was playing at the time. If you caught me in the winter, the answer was always basketball. If you asked me in the summer, it was probably baseball. And if you asked me in the fall, it could have been soccer, tennis, golf. Heck, if you caught me on certain days, it might have been badminton. Though I spent my youth playing team sports, ironically, in college I played tennis and golf. Of course, there is a “team” aspect to golf at the college level, but I never played a single tournament where I had a partner. Let me tell you: the golf course can be a lonely place when you blast two balls out of bounds and three putt for a nine on a par four. After college, I didn’t play much golf.
Instead, I preferred the tennis court, where I got some exercise and could play doubles. I quickly became engulfed in Lakeland’s thriving tennis scene. My golf clubs collected dust. Then, something funny happened. Someone invited me to play in the Four-Ball Golf Tournament. And it was fun. The Four-Ball is an institution in Lakeland. There’s a sign at Cleveland Heights Golf Course with all of the past winners of the event, and it reads like a who’s who of Lakeland golf history. Two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen is on the board, so is Andy Bean. It’s a two-man team event where both players play their own ball through the hole, and the team’s score is the lower of the two. I was excited to play a golf tournament and practiced as much as I could in the month leading up to it. I played terribly. Not badly, not poorly. Terribly. But, the team aspect was fun, and we had a great time over the three-day event. I caught the golf bug again.
Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult to replicate the excitement of blasting 300yard drives and sinking 25-foot putts for birdie.
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Warning: the golf bug is dangerous. It can be hazardous to your marriage, your career, and especially your wallet. Golf clubs, balls, greens fees, and clothing will add up in a hurry. That being said, it’s difficult to replicate the excitement of blasting 300-yard drives and sinking 25-foot putts for birdie. About a year after being bit by the golf bug, I got some news that promised to cure me. My wife was pregnant. Now, I have always enjoyed kids. I signed up to work in the toddler nursery at my church on my 10th birthday and was the 70
rare boy who chose babysitting over mowing lawns. But, this was different. This was my kid. I was so proud of this little boy that I tried to convince one of my friends that my son was “advanced” at 11 days old. Yep. I was that dad. Before he could walk, I started taking him to the First Tee of Lakeland. The First Tee is a national, youth-oriented golf organization that happens to have an awesome local chapter, complete with a driving range, a nine-hole par three golf course, and a practice putting green. It was here that I first introduced my son to
golf. At first I set him on the putting green, allowing his legs to straddle the hole. He would giggle endlessly at the distinct sound every golfer wants to hear — the sound of the ball finding the bottom of the cup. He would grab it from the hole and heave it with all his might, doing his best to throw it back to me. Neither of us had any idea which direction it was going. Sometimes he would throw it so hard he would tip over like a bowling pin. Only this bowling pin would laugh and laugh until I picked him up, anxiously awaiting the next frame.
A few days after my son learned to walk, my wife found him a tiny driver that came up to his chin. It was absurdly heavy, but he was determined to swing it like Daddy. Much of the time it swung him instead. When he hit it solid, he would get really excited, point to where the ball went, and yell “PING!” For Christmas last year we bought him a three club set from Golf Etc. Now he was three times as excited. We all still call his driver his “ping.” My son’s favorite spot soon became the First Tee. We frequented the place several times a week, but he wanted to go every day. Whenever I told him we couldn’t go, his face would drop, begging to hit balls in the front yard. It was like watching a live version of the VHS tapes my dad spent
countless hours on, home videos of me as a child, imploring my parents to let me play my current favorite sport just a few more minutes before dinner. Golf insiders are panicked about the dwindling number of “avid” golfers. The National Golf Federation considers an “avid golfer” to be someone who plays more than 25 times per year. The concern is this: in 2000, there were 10.2 million avid golfers. This number has dropped to 6.4 million as of their last poll in 2012. As an avid golfer myself, I have read a litany of articles on the various challenges to the growth of golf, as well as what can be done to fix it. Some of the suggestions are better than others. Courses have tried three-foot-wide holes; they’ve encouraged people to play the course
from a shorter distance (thus making play faster); and they’ve even tried encouraging people to play nine holes instead of 18. I find the last one to be quite comical. The golf industry wants to increase revenue by suggesting people play less? Brilliant. I have only one suggestion, and it’s a simple one: promote golf as a team sport. Two-man best-ball events are my favorite. Scrambles (where you take the team’s best shot and play from there) are okay. Ask virtually any golf purist — they would rather play their own ball. Polk County has five unofficial “major” amateur events. Not surprisingly, my favorites are the team events: the aforementioned Lakeland Four-Ball and the Paul McDonald Two Man event at the outstanding Club at Eaglebrooke.
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The golf industry wants to increase revenue by suggesting people play less? Brilliant. I have only one suggestion, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a simple one: promote golf as a team sport.
A few months ago however, I found my new favorite event … and it’s a scramble. On one of our regular trips to the First Tee, I noticed a sign promoting a tournament: a father-child two-man scramble on Father’s Day for only 10 bucks a team. Now, my son was only two at the time, and I sort of laughed about it when I called to ask if we could play. One of the many reasons I love this place is that they live for welcoming kids — even the infants who tip over like bowling pins, or two-
year-olds in diapers with three clubs who want to beat the pants off the field in a (mostly) competitive event. We had the good fortune of being paired with one of my best friends and his son, Jude. I laughed more in those two hours than I had the entire week. We were likely the only team fist-pumping after making four-inch putts, and we even took one of my son’s drives. Afterward, we were shocked to learn we won our division. My son got a medal and wouldn’t take it off for a week.
I like to say that my son taught me to putt. In a way, it’s true. I’ve always been a terrible putter, and given that the putter is used twice as much as any of other club, that’s pretty unfortunate. All the hours spent goofing around on the putting green must be helping though. I’m putting better now than I have ever putted in my life. Maybe it’s that I’m putting with a smile on my face, or maybe it’s that I’ve finally found my favorite (team) sport.
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GOOD LIFE An interview with Maurice Johnson
as told to Adam Spafford photography by Tina Sargeant
Through a lens ever darkening with the passage of time, the touchstones of our shared history speak to us.It’s on the written page, within the artifact, or embossed on the preserved image that we seek the fuller truth of who we are as a people. Yet, when the embodiment of that history still walks among us, the fog between our present and our past dissolves. World War II was perhaps the watershed of our nation’s history. Young men, many of whom had never before left home, boldly joined the armed forces to push back the tides of tyranny inherent in Nazism and Imperial Japanese expansion in Asia. Many would never return to tell their stories, and many who did come home would never disclose the full measure of the life-altering experiences they had. It’s a sacred obligation of those generations that come after to listen carefully, for there remain those who can clear the lens, remove the obscurity, and tell us what it was like to live through that time. That is why, as we observe Veterans Day this November, we are so fortunate to have Maurice Johnson, a Tampa-born Lakelander of nearly five decades, tell his story.
The Lakelander: You entered the Army at age 19. Tell us about your early life. Maurice Johnson: Yes, let’s go back a little. Had I been able to enlist, I probably would have enlisted in the Navy because I had been a Sea Scout in Tampa. But, because I was too young and had dental problems, I couldn’t enlist. The war came along near the end of the Depression, and my father didn’t make enough money to pay for the orthodontist and the dentist to correct the narrow arch I had in my gums. So when I graduated from high school, I went to work myself. I always say that I didn’t buy a car; I bought teeth. Just about everything I made went to the orthodontist. I had a real good dentist who told me, “Look, you gotta pay the orthodontist, and we’ll put what I do on the cuff.” I worked for the Victory Theater out of high school, then labor help became critical so I worked two jobs. I worked for the Atlantic Coastline Railroad at the Uceta Shop in east Tampa. I’d work there from 8:00 to 4:00 or 5:00 and then I’d go home, shower, and go to the theater and work until 10:30 or 11:00 at night. When they lowered the draft age from 21 to 18, I was 19 and just the right age and size, and I called up my dentist and orthodontist and they said that I was far enough along that “we’ll just wind you up and you can go [to war].” I was doing railroad-car repair at Uceta. I’m sure that it was my experience working on air brakes that got me into the combat engineers of the Army. A general asked me, “You say you’re working on air brakes — what’s a triple valve?” So I told
him what it was. And since each company of combat engineers has an air compressor mounted on the back of a 6x6 truck, that’s what I was in to start with, and I hated it. What I really wanted to do was become an air cadet. I filled out an application and sent it in, but I never got any further than battalion. When we left the States, we were headed for Burma. When we got to Oran, on the coast of Algeria, though, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin decided that the next summer would be the invasion of France, so they didn’t send us any further east. They put us on a boat and sent us to England with a whole bunch of other combat engineers. In fact, the vessel HMS Andes — in the box of photos I brought — there are pictures of the vessels I made ocean trips on. We had invasion maneuvers on the South Devon coast, and I had the honor and glory of being attached to the fourth infantry division that stormed ashore at Utah Beach. TL: When did you find out about Operation Overlord, what did you know about it beforehand, and how soon did you know before you had to go ashore? MJ: We knew that we were going because the training we received indicated that we were going soon, but we had no idea what soon was. It could have been six months. When we went to England we were stationed at the village of Hursley Park, which was near Winchester. So, after our maneuvers, we came back to Torquay, which was on the coast. We kept getting more detailed information about what we were going to be doing, but we didn’t know where it would take place. We did know it was going to be on a beach, and that the beach would carry certain loads of vehicles — even tanks. But it wasn’t until we were onboard the landing craft and we noticed that the combat engineer platoon had transportation corps trucks and drivers carrying the extra stuff we expected we might need (like road repair materials) that we knew exactly what we would be doing. Our first job in Normandy was to clear mines and make sure the roads were passable so that we had no trouble advancing with our vehicles — tanks, trucks, whatever. People ask, “What about the beach?” And I say, “Hey, I don’t know! I saw the beach for about 15 minutes and then never saw it again!” [Laughs]. [Side note: Maurice mentions that his daughter has visited the remains of an old castle at Hursley Park. The general public is not allowed there; she was granted access only because her father served there.] TL: But you did come ashore in one of those vessels we see in the dramatizations. MJ: I was in a LCT — a Landing Craft Tank — and this landing craft had room for our platoon, the platoon equipment, loaded dump trucks, cargo trucks… TL: …so this was a huge craft. MJ: Yes. These trucks were 6x6, two-and-a-half ton trucks. Our scheduled time to land on Normandy was H plus 40, or 40 minutes. There were not many Allied troops in France before I got there. Of course, the Airborne started first. Although the skies belonged to the Allies during the day, during the first few nights Bed-check Charlie would come around. TL: How did you actually come ashore — in one of the vehicles, or did you wade through the water onto the beach? MJ: The landing-craft captain could have gone a little closer to shore, but he was afraid he was going to get caught by the outgoing tide. The Landing Craft Tank was like a motored barge — it had a flat bow that opened up and became a ramp for the equipment to drive over. As I remember, the LCT got into about waist-high water, just shallow enough for the waterproofing of the vehicles to hold. The beach was somewhat similar to the beaches of Pinellas 82
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County’s Gulf Coast; it was marshy and there was a bit of an island. In our case, there was a waterway like the intercoastal waterway. In France, the Germans would open the locks of the dike when the tide was coming in and let this marshland fill up with water from the channel. At Normandy, there was an island and this marshy space — a couple of single-lane causeways — that we used.
TL: I don’t. MJ: General Collins bet somebody that we could not build a bridge across the Rhine River at Bonn in less than 10.5 hours. Well, he lost his bet, so he bought beer for everybody after the war was over. [We all get a good chuckle over this.]
well to attacking forces. We laid mines and constructed barbed-wire entanglements. But then we were ordered to cut off the Normandy Peninsula so that there would be a narrow land mass of roads right through the German lines. While we were constructing the barbed-wire fencing, the Germans started firing at us. The 101st Airborne saw the Germans coming at us and started firing, but the 101st came too close to us, and we were saying, “Don’t shoot us; shoot them!” [Laughs]. We did finally get them to fire just at the Germans so that we could finish the barbed-wire entanglements. But that was one of the times that it seemed like American bullets were coming faster than German bullets, so we were getting it from both sides! We built several more bridges that are in this book [points to a book he brought by Lieutenant Colonel John B. Wong — Battle Bridges. Flips through the book.] I swear some of these pictures are of me and my squad — sometimes it’s hard to remember because it’s been 70 years. There was one place where we built an assault bridge, then tore it down and built a wooden floating bridge. Then we tore that down and ended up building four or five bridges at that site. We finally built a semi-permanent bridge with steel I-beams from the area.
TL: You mentioned that you spent about 15 minutes on the beach and were among the first to come ashore, but did you come under heavy fire on the beach? MJ: There was minimal gunfire when I came ashore. There was more artillery than anything else. We landed, and we went immediately inland because we were just trying to take land; we were trying to get as far inland as we could. And we did. The first town of any size we came to was Carrington. The Douve River went through Carrington, and it didn’t lend itself
TL: Before I started the recording [of this interview], you told me about the items you brought with you, but please tell us again about this ammunition clip you brought. It — and the story around it — is remarkable. MJ: This is a clip that goes into an M1 Garand rifle. It holds eight rounds, and when the bolt is back and the chamber is empty, you take one of these clips and slide it into the gun, chamber the first round, and then you can shoot the rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger. I really like the M1. These happened to be the black-tipped
TL: Your unit built the first bridge in Normandy. A tank went over a mine in this culvert and blew it up [Maurice shows a picture of the bridge in a book he brought]. MJ: But they didn’t completely blow it up. Then we put a section of a floating bridge without the pontoons on it so that tanks could go across it. For the first week, every vehicle that landed had to go across that bridge. Of course, one bridge that I want to talk about is the Beer Bridge. Do you know about that?
rounds — they were all black-tipped at one time but the paint has worn off of them — and these black-tipped rounds were armor-piercing; they would go through a quarter inch of armor plate. This clip was in the bandolier and the bandolier was full of clips. One evening, we were standing behind a fivefoot hedgerow — I have no idea how many of us — when a German with a burp gun sprayed bullets from the other side of the hedgerow. When the bullet hit me, it felt like a hard-pitched baseball in the chest. I dropped to the ground and, as I gathered my thoughts, I realized that I didn’t really hurt. But I thought I might be in shock because when you’re in shock you sometimes don’t feel pain. So I felt under my shirt and — no blood. Anyhow, I jumped back up and started firing my M1, and I have no idea how many rounds I fired that night. But the German that fired that burp gun did not live but moments after he sprayed the back of the hedgerow. When Colonel Johnson saw the flash of the German’s gunfire, he pointed his cannon in that direction and fired, killing the shooter. This is my favorite souvenir because I was a quarter inch from being killed. If it had gone above the steel of the clip, it would have penetrated me instead of the crackers. [Sometime later, having opened his rations that were slung under the bandolier, Maurice found the projectile in the ration’s saltine crackers.] TL: But you didn’t receive the Purple Heart for this incident. Tell the story of your Purple Heart. MJ: I was shot, hit, and not hurt that night. I ask people how many others they know like me who have been shot, hit, and not hurt! But I got my Purple Heart crossing the Rhine River. The 9th Armored Division captured a railroad bridge that was damaged. They started sending people
WHEN THE BULLET HIT ME, IT FELT LIKE A HARD-PITCHED BASEBALL IN THE CHEST. I DROPPED TO THE GROUND AND, AS I GATHERED MY THOUGHTS, I REALIZED THAT I DIDN’T REALLY HURT.
across it; they were sending engineers and bridgebuilding materials. I was in the 238th Engineer Combat Battalion. We were in a house on the east side of the Rhine when the Germans started shelling us with 88mm cannons. My helmet got knocked off, and I got some scars in my head, and the Purple Heart. I also got a Bronze Star for building a Bailey bridge across the Rhine. [Maurice shows some pictures of bridges from the book. The first time he saw a jet plane, it had swastikas on them. He points to a boat in a picture and says, “I saw that sink!”] TL: What are some of your other favorite stories? MJ: There’s one story I like to tell about Normandy. If we weren’t doing engineering work, they allowed us to just wander around to pick up any stray Germans [laughs]. But we’d also go to the farms to get butter or eggs. One day, we went to see a farmer, but we couldn’t speak French and the farmer couldn’t speak English. So this young soldier was trying to tell the farmer what he wanted and was struggling to communicate; he finally squatted down and clucked like a chicken! And the farmer said, “des oeufs!” and the young fellow got his eggs. When we got into Germany, the first city to fall was Aachen. This is when the supply lines had been stretched to the breaking point and we ran out of cigarettes. We were being used as infantry at the time because we weren’t moving and there weren’t any traffic problems for the engineers to clear up, so on a patrol into no man’s land we noticed a house with a bunch of three-inch cigars — several boxes. Later, we made a raid of this house and brought all the cigars we could get back with us. Fortunately, we didn’t run into any Germans. Can you imagine how stupid we were to risk our lives for cigars? I quit smoking in 1949, before it was the thing to do. 88
On a couple of occasions, something like this happened — it happened to John B. Wong [author of Battle Bridges, which depicts many of the World War II bridges Maurice built] — where soldiers were about to go around the corner of a building, and someone said, “Wait, it’s my turn to go first,” and the man that went first was killed. You can just imagined how John Wong felt when the soldier was killed. Also, John Wong said that once he found the sleeve and rib area of the jacket he was wearing had been shredded by bullets, but he had no idea when it happened. When we broke out of France — broke out of Normandy — we went up south of Paris and then to Mons, Belgium. There we got mixed up in our convoys with German convoys at night. A military policeman noticed the silhouette of a German tank and he spread the word, but the Germans weren’t aware they were mixed up with us. We must have taken hundreds of prisoners as well as equipment that night. TL: How long were you in Europe? MJ: I was in the Army two years, 10 months, and 21 days. I was in combat from D-Day to VE Day, for the most part. There were times when we were behind the lines a little bit. Combat engineers were versatile; if there was engineering work that needed to be done, we did that. We built bridges; we laid mines; we maintained roads. [As Maurice described earlier, when there was no engineering work to be done, combat engineers would serve as infantrymen.] I was discharged on the 15th day of November, 1945, and I married that young lady [Bessie] there [points to a series of black-and-white photos] on the first day of December. I met her on Memorial Day on a blind date on Plattsburgh Beach on Lake Champlain. We decided we would get married on June 20th, but we weren’t in the same place at any time when we could get a marriage license.
TL: How many days after meeting Bessie did you have to leave? MJ: As I said, I met her on Memorial Day 1942. We decided we would get married on the 20th of June. On July 24th or so, I was shipped out for maneuvers to West Virginia. After maneuvers we went to Fort Dix, New Jersey, to re-equip and pack to go overseas. Bessie had a teaching job out of Teachers’ College on the tip of Long Island in a place called Sag Harbor. Sag Harbor was big enough that it had one school, K through 12. When school started, Bessie went there to teach. The principal of the school was named Raymond Schneible, and Bessie would write to me and tell me about him. Finally, in the third or fourth letter (she wrote to me every day, which I was not able to reciprocate completely), one of her letters said “Mr. Raymond Schneible,” so I got the pen going and asked her to see if Mr. Schneible’s mother taught third grade in a parochial school in Ybor City. It turned out his mother had been my teacher! TL: Tell us a little bit about your life after the war. You were still so young. MJ: After the war, I didn’t go back to the railroad. I became a policeman with the City of Tampa. But, my wife, being a teacher, kept twisting my arm to go to college. So, after almost four years, I turned in my resignation at the police department and went to Champlain College in Plattsburgh, New York, and majored in chemistry. Afterward, I went to New York City for interviews with a number of companies, one of them being the American Agricultural Chemical Company which made phosphorus chemicals including fertilizers. We used to make a food-grade phosphoric acid which went into every bottle of Coca-Cola and PepsiCola especially. (We used to do a lot of business wit h Pepsi.) After being transferred to Cleveland,
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then to Detroit, then to New Jersey, I was transferred to the South Pierce plant in Mulberry, and I was there until I retired. In 1961, I built a house here in Lakeland that I still live in. TL: And you and Bessie raised a family. MJ: When Bessie and I got married in 1945 what we wanted was a family. We were married on December 1, 1945, and our first daughter was born on November 20, 1946. Then, I went to college, and our daughter got to be about three years old, and Bessie thought that if we were going to have any more children we better do it so they weren’t too far apart. Anne was born on November 9, 1950. We decided we wanted even more family, but it just wasn’t to be. We tried again when we got back down here, but we never had more than the two girls. [Bessie passed in 2000.] TL: What is your perspective on what was accomplished in the war and your role as a soldier? MJ: After the war, I had people come to work with me who had been to Korea and Vietnam, and one thing I noticed in contrast was that in World War II, we knew what we were fighting for. They let us do what we had to do to get rid of the enemy, and we knew what the enemy looked like: they weren’t French or Belgian or Dutch. They were German. We knew who we were fighting. But these poor guys that fought in Korea and in Vietnam, they didn’t know what they were fighting for, for one thing, and they didn’t have the freedom to fight to win. They could only go up to the line with North Vietnam and they had to stop. With us, we didn’t stop. We kept going. We knew we were fighting to get rid of Hitler and the Nazis.
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Constructing a home from scratch was nothing new for Jim and Irma. They had both been part of the part-time student/parttime construction-worker classes at Florida Southern in the 1930s, a time during which they got to know and appreciate Frank Lloyd Wright quite well. Their specific project — the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel — allowed them to work on everything from laying the concrete foundations to sewing the pew cushions, all while learning from a master architect who brilliantly wove nature and modern design together. Irma is the genius behind the gardens at her Scott Lake home. From the first day in 1970 when their house was one of only a few along the south shore of the lake, her plan has always been to create a garden, not a landscape. There are no hedges here. Beds of red gloriosa lily and orange alstroemeria scramble to climb atop blue plumbago and white gardenia. Irma’s love of gardening stretches back to the early 1920s when, as a young girl living along the Polk-Hillsborough county line, she attended elementary schools whose calendar revolved around her family’s strawberry farms. Even though the home where Irma grew up has now been displaced by the construction of I-4, and her family’s strawberry fields have been replaced with a giant car dealership, Irma kept her love of the earth with her wherever she lived. Jim and Irma’s home is a reflection of their passion, a collection of their experiences and
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memories. The expansive, glass-walled main room, with giant wooden beams supporting the ceilings that soar high above, feels like one of the great ceremonial houses of Polynesia — just as Jim and Irma intended. Scott Lake, and its still relatively new white-sand beach, fills the view from every north-facing window. Amazing tropical plants surround the other three sides of the house. In fact, because of the glass windows, walls, doors, and even parts of the ceiling, plants are everywhere in the King residence: on tables, shelves, and window sills, in giant pots on the floor, hanging from hooks, and perched on counters. Ficus, aralia, guzmania, phalaenopsis. In some parts of the home, between the glass walls and the abundance of houseplants, the screened porches and the open decks, it can be a hard to differentiate the inside from the outside. At certain times of the day, because of the way the house is sited on a hill, and depending on the wind and waves in the lake below, the house can almost seem to move, to be sailing across the water to a far distant land. When this magic comes to life, one can envision the Kings and their South Pacific life as if it were here and now. Irma’s garden is both a testament to the Kings’ time spent abroad and literally living proof that gardening can and should be an intimate expression of one’s home and personal taste, pursued over a lifetime. Because of our broadly similar climates, many of the species found in Polynesia and the South Pacific can be cultivated with ease here in Polk County.
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FROM FLOUR TO BOWL
ADVENTURES IN PASTA MAKING
BY LOGAN CRUMPTON AND PHILIP PIETRI PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHILIP AND JESSICA PIETRI
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It’s an intriguing proposition: to master a skill that many consider an art form.
Pasta is one of the most universal foods there is; it’s extraordinary how reasonable and harmonious a perfectly executed bowl of pasta can be. Excited by the challenge and eager to rise to it, we — two home cooks — set out to teach ourselves, in tandem, how to make pasta from scratch. Our determination to get it right on the first attempt seemed on the surface to be a recipe for imminent disaster. We were, nonetheless, up for the task. Sadly, neither of us had even once attempted melding the meekest assortment of ingredients into an intertwined symphony of al dente goodness. Not to say eating the stuff was foreign to us, as we both grew up devouring mounds of pasta on a regular basis. Also, we both have sampled many restaurant offerings to give us clear insight into the matter. We have an innate need to try new things and experiment in the kitchen in order to become more well-rounded cooks. We look to fill our lives with knowledge and understanding of new cuisines and cultures. If we can’t gain this knowledge through some adventurous globetrotting, then we strive to bring those concepts and philosophies into our own kitchens here at home. Therefore, an agreement was swiftly made. We must make our own pasta and catalog the entire experience. Without question, handmade pasta will always be far better than the boxed, dried, store-bought variety. Yet, I can only think of a few friends that have even attempted the task. Even restaurants often reach for the boxed version and don’t dare embark on the pasta-making journey. If handmade is better, then why doesn’t anyone actually make it? It’s an obvious deduction that most have the custom of gravitating toward the simple stuff. Store bought is very cheap. Even the most expensive variant of dried pasta won’t set you back more than a couple of bucks. Secondly, dried pasta is nearly impossible to mess up. Throw a box in a big stockpot of boiling water with a pinch of salt. After about five minutes, pull out a noodle and throw it against the wall. If it sticks, it’s done (at least that’s how my mom showed me how to test for doneness). Making a store-bought pasta dish takes little time or effort. From box to table, the total interval spent composing a meal could equate to less than 15 minutes depending on your sauce — a very desirable turn-around time indeed. Our experiment included two different recipes on which we worked together. When deciding what kind of pasta Philip would attempt, he immediately knew his course of action: a traditional Italian approach of hand-cut ravioli stuffed with roasted mushrooms. This was a wise choice, as his dough would prove to be a very versatile canvas. I took a different approach. In considering our community’s strengths and weaknesses, and thinking about what our local menus lack, I landed on ramen. I’ve yet to find a decent bowl of ramen anywhere in Lakeland. From East to West, the pasta-making process begins the same way around the world: a mound of flour made into a well, a few eggs, and sometimes a touch of oil. Many well-versed chefs believe that hand-made pasta is the best barometer by which to gauge the difference between good and great cooks. The following is our pasta-making journey from flour to bowl, blunders and all.
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Sept_Lakelander_mustard_5.25x9.875 10/2/14 5:30 PM Page 1
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KATSUO DASHI RAMEN WITH PAN-ROASTED PORK LOIN
LOGAN I’d heard making ramen was tough. And, tough turned out to be accurate. In preparation, I researched the many different techniques that both professional and home cooks have used to mimic true ramen noodles. Some recipes call for eggs while others omit them completely. I learned that the ingredients necessary to make authentic ramen noodles are basic: flour, water, salt, and sodium carbonate (or kansui in Japanese). No matter where my searches led, I could not seem to find sodium carbonate locally. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right place, as I’ve since read it can be found in most pharmacies. I found an article online from the well-respected food scientist Harold McGee speaking to the point that baking soda can have its scientific properties reversed and turned into sodium carbonate by baking at 250 degrees for one hour. Oh boy. There’s a reason why ramen cooks spend a career’s worth of time honing their technique. Making the noodles is just as precise as the proficient art of sushimaking, and our experiment unequivocally proved it. Continuing on with the experiment, I asked a handful of chefs that run their own operation about the process. None had even attempted the feat once, which solidified the point that our undertaking was both brash and nonsensical. The curse of the home cook is that sometimes recipes simply don’t work according to plan. Whatever the case may be, whether it’s latitude, longitude, climate, the quirkiness of the oven, or the entirely possible occurrence of a mistyped measurement ending up in print, there are many variables that cause misadventure. Sometimes, though, you can do everything right and still the results are lackluster. It takes discipline, patience, and the ability to adapt in order to get things done. It also may require a backup plan. I messed up on the noodles. I followed the instructions implicitly, baking my baking soda at exactly 250 degrees for exactly one hour. I absorbed it with exactly a half cup of warm water and a half cup of room-temperature water before mixing with exactly three cups of all-purpose flour. The dough was as dry as a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland. Yet, I did not add additional water since the instructions told me I would be tempted, but do not add more water! I kneaded it exactly five minutes before letting it rest at room temperature in plastic wrap for exactly 20 minutes. At first I was ashamed, because my dough turned out to be as firm and as impermeable as Mt. Rushmore. Quickly, I went through the five stages of grief before remembering that I had a backup: two lovely packets of organic dried rice and bamboo ramen from my local health-food store. This savior allowed me to keep going against all odds in order than I might follow through in providing a luscious and complete bowl of ramen noodle soup. I wanted the star to be my hand-pulled noodles, however it proved to be the influence of a subtly nuanced dashi-based broth that took center stage. Even with all the failures, I still have no intention of giving up on my quest to make homemade ramen noodles. In, the meantime, enjoy all of the components of a great bowl of ramen using dry, store-bought noodles in this highly adaptable and interchangeable recipe.
Start by marinating the pork. You’ll need: 1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (remove any silver skin, if needed) 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce 1/3 cup sugar 2 Tbsp. of sake or dry white wine (plus extra 1/4 cup for cooking) 2 Tbsp. of rice wine vinegar In a large, resealable container combine the tamari, sugar, sake, and vinegar until incorporated. Add the pork and coat completely. Seal and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
DASHI BROTH 2 quarts chicken broth 2 strips of kombu (dried kelp) 1/3 oz. katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) 6 garlic cloves, smashed 2-inch piece of whole, raw ginger, sliced into thick slivers 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce 2 Tbsp. sake 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar In a large stock pot, add broth, kombu, bonito flakes, garlic, and ginger. Bring to medium simmer*. After 30 minutes, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the kombu and skim out the bonito flakes. It won’t take long to impart the entire flavor you will want out of them. Add the tamari, sake, and vinegar. Lower heat and simmer for at least an additional 30 minutes. *If you want to add smoky pork essence, place a ham hock into the broth at the onset, then remove before serving.
PAN-ROASTED PORK Remove the tenderloin from the marinade, and wipe off any excessive liquids. In a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil on medium-high until you see whiffs of smoke appear. Place tenderloin in pan and let sit for 1-1/2 minutes before turning. Make sure to wait the whole amount before each turn. All sides should be a deep-brown caramel color. Then, deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of sake and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and lower heat to medium. Cook an additional 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. The center should show a very faint hue of pink.
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COOKING THE NOODLES Since we are using prepacked noodles, this is the easiest step. You can use any kind you like. I prefer a brand that can be found in the local health-food store, made of dried riced and bamboo. However, even the 17-cents-a-pack variety will suffice. Just do not add the flavor pouch into the water. Follow the instructions on the back of the wrapper, which will probably tell you to drop noodles in a pot of boiling water for four minutes, stirring constantly. Strain and serve. Additional accoutrements for your bowl: Green onion – 4 stalks, chopped on a bias 1 bottle of togarashi – for a spicy jolt Butteryaki mushrooms – In a large pan, heat 3 Tbsp. of unsalted butter on medium-high. Sauté one pint each of sliced shitake and maitake mushrooms for 7-8 minutes. Lower heat, and then add 1 Tbsp. soy sauce. Blanched baby bok choy – Separate leaves from core of six small heads of bok choy and place in dashi broth for 5 minutes. Remove from broth and set aside. Soft egg – Fill a pot 2/3 full with water and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and then immediately add eggs that have been sitting at room temperature. Let sit for 4-1/2 to 5 minutes; then place in an ice-cold water bath. Remove shell once cool enough to handle.
HOW TO PLATE RAMEN Noodles first, broth last: that way you can place everything precisely how you want it without risking overflow. Once the noodles are in the bowl, arrange the accompaniments in their own corners, so you can disperse them as you see fit. If you care about aesthetics, try to keep similar colors separate; it will make for a prettier bowl. Serving the broth from a kettle makes for a more precise pour and keeps the broth hot and handy when sitting at the table. Most importantly, once the meal begins, don’t forget to slurp. It’s the best way of telling the cook you like the food. All of these ingredients can be found in town; most can be found at any large grocery store. Items such as katsuobushi, kombu, tamari, maitake, and togarashi can be procured in all the Asian markets within the city.
...DON’T FORGET TO SLURP. IT’S THE BEST WAY OF TELLING THE COOK YOU LIKE THE FOOD.
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WILD MUSHROOM RAVIOLI WITH ASPARAGUS VELOUTÉ
PHILIP My last name is Pietri. My wife’s maiden name is Piccarelli. You might assume that a household with two people who have carried an Italian last name their whole lives would see pasta peaceably finding its way into the weekly dinner cycle without any question or contention. Not so. She has always loved it. I had always bitterly contested it. I defined pasta as the crap you get in a box that you boil up when you don’t have time to prepare a REAL meal. But that all changed when I started eating at establishments that made their pasta in-house. I grew to appreciate it for what it was, which was a far departure from that boxed stuff. But even though I was coming around, I held this belief that I simply did not have the competence to make pasta on my own. I remember seeing a television show a few years ago that had a brief feature on the art of making pasta. There was this expressionless elderly woman hunched over a table in a cavernous, undecorated kitchen laboriously kneading pasta dough. It was dark, save for a dramatic beam of light spilling from a single window that lit the whirling cloud of flour dancing around her as she worked. It really romanticized the idea of making pasta for me. I told my wife, “One day I’m going to attempt fresh, home-made pasta.” Again, that was years ago. I never did it. Collaborating with Logan made the thought of trying my hand at home-made pasta less daunting. And even though I had to navigate some expected screw-ups, we made it happen. The fuss over pasta night between me and my wife might soon be a thing of the past...
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Start by making the dough. 2 cups flour (have some extra off to the side for dusting) 1/4 cup water 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 eggs Pour flour into a large bowl. Using your fingers, create a well in the middle of the flour large enough to hold the eggs. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and add olive oil. Pour the eggs and oil into the well. Using a fork, whisk the eggs in the well. When you see that the eggs are fairly well mixed, start working the flour into the egg mixture with your fork. It will combine into a messy dough. Using your hands, bring the dough together into a ball. If it’s too sticky, sprinkle some of the extra flour onto the dough. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead vigorously for 8 to 10 minutes. The final product should be somewhat elastic and smooth. Put in plastic wrap (or under a large bowl) and let rest for 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the mushroom filling.
MUSHROOM DUXELLE 2 pints sliced crimini mushrooms 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 tsp. salt 1 sprig each rosemary and sage (whole) 2 bay leaves (whole) 3 garlic cloves (minced) Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Place butter in the pan and let melt completely. Add mushrooms and season with salt. It’s very important not to move them around for the first few minutes so they can develop texture and color. After they’ve cooked 3-4 minutes, add rosemary, sage, bay leaves, and garlic. Sauté until mushrooms are completely cooked through and deep golden brown. Finish by adding a seasoning of salt to taste. Remove from heat, and discard the whole pieces of herbs. Allow to cool, then chop until the mushrooms are finely minced. Set aside. Once the dough has rested, cut in quarters and form into small rectangular shapes. To prevent sticking, coat each piece with a light dusting of flour. With a pasta maker or rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is 1/16 inch thick (the thickness of a coin). You will need two rectangular sheets of pasta of equal size to make one set of ravioli. Place about 1 Tbsp. of filling about 3 inches apart, along
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KNOW YOUR PASTAS VERMICELLI
one sheet of pasta. Cover the filling with the second sheet of pasta, and use the side of your hand to firmly press in between each mound of filling to form the raviolis. Also, firmly press around all the edges to seal the pasta. Make sure all the seams are sealed off. Cut the ravioli into your desired shape, using a pizza, pastry, or cookie cutter, and then allow to dry on a floured cookie sheet for about 30 minutes. During the interim, prepare the sauce.
ASPARAGUS VELOUTÉ 2 Tbsp. butter 2 shallots (minced) 3 cloves garlic (smashed) 1 sprig each rosemary and sage (whole) 2 bay leaves (whole) 1 quart vegetable stock Juice from half a lemon 1 bunch of asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces) 1 cup heavy cream 6 oz. parmesan cheese (whole, for grating) Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, rosemary, sage, and bay leaves. Sauté until the shallots are softened and translucent. Add the vegetable stock. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the lemon juice and asparagus, and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove whole herbs; then whisk in cream. Keep on as low a heat as possible until ready to plate. You should end up with a thin yet creamy sauce. Grate 6 ounces of parmesan cheese for the final garnish. In a large pot, drop raviolis into salted, boiling water, no more than eight at a time, for 4-5 minutes or until al dente (tender to the tooth). Remove and drain completely before placing into a shallow serving bowl. Spoon about a half cup of sauce per serving (four ravioli are enough for one person) over the pasta, and add a generous mound of parmesan on top.
TIPS If you don’t use all of your pasta right away, keep it from drying out by packaging it in plastic wrap and refrigerating it. We tested this particular pasta dough to see how it would fare when made into hand-cut noodles for our ramen broth, and it turned out quite nicely. Remember, you may need to adjust your cooking time for the pasta, based on the thickness of the noodle. Different sizes require different cook times. Definitely make it a point to have plenty of flour available if things get sticky.
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WITHOUT QUESTION, HAND-MADE PASTA WILL ALWAYS BE FAR BETTER THAN THE BOXED, DRIED, STORE-BOUGHT VARIETY.
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THE LAKELANDER’S GIFT GUIDE UNIQUE AND INTERESTING GIFTS FOUND RIGHT HERE IN LAKELAND Selections by The Lakelander’s Contributing Editors Photography by Michael Nielsen
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HANDMADE CUTLERY AND CULINARY KNIVES Crafted and sold in Lakeland DogHouse Forge $90 to $425 (depending on customizations) doghouseforge.com
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A Lot of Good Can Happen in 24 Hours (with enough caffeine! ) BrandAthon is an event Madden Brand Agency created four years ago as a way to give back to the Polk County community. Beginning at 8:00am on November 6, 2014, our entire team worked 24 hours straight, through the day and night, on creative and strategic marketing projects donated to selected non-profit organizations. Many organizations applied and 14 finalists were selected to receive valuable marketing tools such as new logos, collateral design, digital advertising, social media strategy, communications plans and more. After 24 hours and at least that many cups of coffee, we are proud to announce the value of our donated creative and strategic work to these amazing and deserving organizations totaled $44,300! Aerospace Discovery
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Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center
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AQUA LUNA NECKLACES $70 to $120 Hattie’s Branches 1224 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33803 863.937.9193 hattiesbranches.com
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SILVER EAGLE COINS From $20 Munchelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fine Jewelry & Coins 3227 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33803 863.619.6269 munchels.com
BLOOMING BOTANICALS $10 to $50 The Green House Garden Store 110 Easton Dr. Lakeland, FL 33803 863.683.9176 greenhousegardenstore.com
FRAMED PHOTOGRAPHY 8x12 printed on fine art paper: $56.25 printed & framed: $150.23 12x18 printed on fine art paper: $84.00 printed & framed: $224.81 24x36 printed on fine art paper: $194.70 printed & framed: $510.00 Jason Stephens Photography 863.991.5280 jasonstephensphotography.com 124 THE LAKELANDER
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GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK STATIONERY, JOURNALS, AND PENS Through education and outreach programs, exhibitions and events, the Polk Museum of Art is an anchor of this community, successfully meeting their mission — to enhance the lives of our varied communities by bringing people and art together — in innovative and inspiring ways. Purchases from the Museum Gift Shop support the efforts of the Polk Museum of Art. Unique Journals $8.99 to $15.99 Pierre Belvedere Pens $9.99 Stationery and Notecards $9.00 to $14.99 Polk Museum of Art Gift Shop 800 E. Palmetto St. Lakeland, FL 33801 863.688.7743
WHEELY AMAZING ART One-of-a-kind masterpieces in fun, bold, and abstract designs are made by Sunrise Community’s adults with developmental disabilities using wheelchairs and other adaptive art equipment. Wheely artists create gift boxes, bookmarks, all-occasion blank cards, envelopes, and framed masterpieces. Custom orders also available. Napkin rings and book marks $.50 Small gift boxes and cards $1 Framed canvas $25 to $150 Unframed canvas $20 to $200, depending on canvas size The Wheely Gallery at Sunrise Community 807 N. Lake Parker Ave. Lakeland, FL 33801 863.680.2817
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Still Standing Strong.
The recent economic news is disturbing. Many people don’t know which financial institutions to trust. But you can rest assured that Woodmen of the World takes our commitment to members very seriously. Since our founding in 1890, Woodmen of the World has always understood what is truly important – keeping our promises. We have a conservative investment policy; we don’t chase short-term profits at the expense of long-term financial stability. We answer to our nearly 750,000 members, and exist to help them reach their goals in every stage of life.
Holland Henderson Field Representatives
Sal Capra Bob Harley Derek Ingraham Johnny Johnson Dave Row Ashley Troutman Community Outreach Manager
Lakeland Area Office 1961 E. Edgewood Drive, Suite 101 Lakeland, FL 33803
Woodmen of the World will continue to honor our promises, and keep standing strong. CD1235WOW 10/14
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Draperies • Wood Blinds • Honeycomb Shades • Roller Shades • Vertical Blinds • Silhouettes • Woven Wood • Roman Shades AND MORE!
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BEHIND THE SCENES
Stylist Extraordinaire By Alice V. Koehler
photo by Sarah Brewington
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BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE LAKELANDER The Lakelander loves community. We strive to reflect our city and its diversity, to incite pride of place, and to reveal lesser known facets of our community. We connect people, resources, and ideas. We’re aspirational yet approachable, sophisticated but homegrown. We dig deeper. And we aren’t afraid of a little grit. We believe in the culture of our city. We believe that one of our best assets is the talented and inspiring individuals who call Lakeland home. We believe that this city is better because of the people who choose to live here. Making an issue of The Lakelander is a labor of love. It takes a community of contributors working hard because they believe in this city as much as we do. In the coming months, we will highlight one of our very special contributors in each issue so you, the reader, can get to know the true makers of the magic behind this publication and get to know some fellow Lakelanders a little better in the process. photo by Tina Sargeant
oshua Vasquez began his career in the arts at a young age. He grew up attending art schools, majoring in music performance for violin as well as the visual arts. He studied communications at Southeastern University for a bit and went on to study cosmetology before becoming a fully licensed cosmetologist in 2013. Since then, Josh has been seamlessly fusing these worlds together. He believes that hair can communicate a personality, set a mood, and tell a story. He thrives in getting it just right for his clients. In his free time, Josh can often be found styling photo shoots for The Lakelander, promoting his favorite products (including Lanza), or collaborating with other industry professionals. He is a master events host, and is the catalyst for bringing edgy and progressive shows to his small Florida community. Josh enjoys live music, time well spent with friends and family, a good glass of wine, and being as fun-loving as possible. When asked why he chooses to live, work, and play in Lakeland, Josh told us: “I find it funny that people always ask why I don’t leave Lakeland to go prosper in New York or L.A. or any other place that has a ‘stronger’ culture. But I absolutely love the direction this town is going in, which is one of the reasons I can’t leave. I enjoy being part of things that are progressive and barrier breaking — like me, an everyday creative. Being featured and appreciated in this magazine for my art and my contributions to this community... I don’t think that this magazine would have existed when I first moved here 15 years ago, and if it did I don’t think they’d have featured a guy with pink hair. This fact alone shows me that Lakeland can grow in culture and creativity. So, to answer the question, I’m staying in Lakeland because I want to be the change and help as much as I can to make this town into the next stop on the map for the world to see.” Josh currently coifs hair at Evolve Hair Studio, 126 E. Main Street, Lakeland, FL 33801; 863.510.5975; evolvelakeland.com. 130 THE LAKELANDER
benefiting the programs and services supported by
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OPEN NOW SMOKIN’ ACES BBQ
Date: Opened September 1 Location: 5675 New Tampa Highway Good news for Robert Jordan’s barbecue fans. The professional competitor, who boasts membership in the Kansas City Barbeque Society, has opened a restaurant in West Lakeland. The menu features traditional fare and other options such as cedar-plank smoked salmon and smoked gator sausage. It also features Plant City’s Two Henrys Brewing Company products on tap.
TOOJAY’S GOURMET DELI
Date: Opened October 24 Location: 1235 N. Parkway Frontage Road (Oakbridge Shopping Center) For some time now, the hype for TooJay’s Gourmet Deli coming to Lakeland has been a burning topic in many a Lakelander’s mind. After months of anticipation, the popular delicatessen is open for business.
OPENING SOON ARTEOLOGY
Date: Opening November 19 Location: 4419 S. Florida Avenue, Suite 4 A home is a masterpiece that represents one’s style, purpose, quirks, and beauty. Arteology is the paint for your canvas. Their motto is “design for the art of living” where personalities form the template to living a variety of lifestyles. A simple lamp can change a living room’s mood just like a candle can uplift one’s spirit. A set of pillows can update an old couch, and a beautiful vase can brighten a dark corner. Art is personal and relative. Come in to find a host of items to enhance your masterpiece.
HOT SPOT DINER
Date: Opening Soon Location: 1625 Shepherd Road Owned by Gail Trout and Beth Primmer, the Hot Spot Diner will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offer beer, wine, and weekend entertainment. The cuisine will be made-from-scratch.
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BREWLANDS BAR AND BILLIARDS Date: Opening soon Location: 5733 S. Florida Avenue Lakeland’s new premier pool and billiards hall
SPICE THAI AND SUSHI
Date: Opening Soon New Location: 3895 S. Florida Avenue A favorite Lakeland sushi spot, Spice Thai is moving in next to the new Popeye’s on South Florida Avenue. Spice will be taking over the previous Peso’s Mexican Restaurant location.
TEA LARGO BEVERAGE CO.
Date: December Location: Cleveland Heights Boulevard and Hallam Road (at new Haka Fitness location) Visit Central Florida’s favorite contemporary tea bar, for fun-in-the-sun refreshments like bubble teas, fruit smoothies, tea lattes, and healthy loose-leaf teas, in a relaxed environment. Stop in for an acai bowl and start your day on the right track.
ELIXIR GIFT CARDS NOW AVAILABLE!
- PICK UP AT ONE OF OUR RETAIL LOCATIONS Gold’s Gym South Lakeland - 3625 S. Florida Ave. Healthy Habits - 4760 S. Florida Ave.
Order a Feast, Á La Carte, or join our Cooler Club online at ElixirLiquidTherapy.com or by calling 863.648.1618
MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE TREATMENT CHANGES LIVES. WE HAVE BEEN IN THE BUSINESS OF CHANGING LIVES FOR
Y E A R S est. 1974
Tri-County Human Services endeavors to provide an array of high-quality human services consistent with the needs of the community. Services are provided in a cost-effective, professional, and ethical manner, and focus on improving quality of life.
PROUDLY SERVING THE CITIZENS OF
Polk • Hardee • Highlands Counties
Pictured left to right (back row) Robert Rihn, CEO; Heather Kaufmann, Adm. Director Special Programs; Robert Irving, Adm. Outpatient Director; Valeria Jorn, Marketing Executive (front row) Donn Van Stee, Adm. Director Operations/Compliance; Jacquelyn Henderson, Adm. Residential Program Director; Arlene Venezia, Adm. Services Director and CFO; Becky Razaire, Adm. Director Operational Programs (not pictured)
Tri-County Human Services Inc. 863.709.9392 • visit www.tchsonline.org
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NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 13 ART TO WEAR: ARTISANS MARKET Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org NOVEMBER 13 SOIREE Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org NOVEMBER 13 – 15 ART2 SALE Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org NOVEMBER 13 – 15 FALL FOR ART Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org LakelandNov:Layout 1
NOVEMBER 14 ART+MUSIC Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org
NOVEMBER 18 MAGNIFICAT Florida Southern College flsouthern.edu/festival-of-fine-arts
NOVEMBER 14 MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
NOVEMBER 23 CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
NOVEMBER 15 ART CRAWL Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.com
NOVEMBER 29 THE NATIONAL ACROBATS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
NOVEMBER 16 RINGING HIS PRAISES CONCERT First Presbyterian Church fpclakeland.org
NOVEMBER 29 – 30 ELVES SHELVES GIFT SHOP Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org
EXPERIENCE LAKELAND’S COOLEST FAMILY EXPERIENCE AND ENJOY A SPECIAL SNOWFALL AT EACH PUBLIC ICE SKATING SESSION! ADULTS: $1•CHILDREN (12 AND UNDER): $9 WITH YOUR OWN SKATES: $8 D AN R GROUPS (10 OR MORE): $1DISCOUNT DECEMBE S
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PARTY INFORMATION: 863-834-8137 BOX OFFICE: 863-834-8111 GROUPS: 863-834-8137
NOV. NOV. NOV. NOV. NOV. NOV. NOV.
21 6PM-8PM; 9PM-11PM 22 10AM-12PM; 2PM-4PM; 6PM-8PM; 9PM-11PM 23 2PM-4PM; 6PM-8PM; 9PM-11PM 24-26 10AM-12PM; 2PM-4PM; 6PM-8PM; 9PM-11PM 27 6PM-8PM; 9PM-11PM 28-29 10AM-12PM; 2PM-4PM; 6PM-8PM; 9PM-11PM 3O 2PM-4PM; 6PM-8PM
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EVENTS CALENDAR DECEMBER EVERY SATURDAY IN DECEMBER DOWNTOWN FARMERS CURB MARKET 8 a.m. – 2 p.m Downtown ldda.org DECEMBER 2 – 7 Downtown Farmers Curb Market ELVES SHELVES GIFT SHOP Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org
DECEMBER 10 A LITTLE CHRISTMAS STARRING RICH LITTLE The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
DECEMBER 24 RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, THE MUSICAL The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
DECEMBER 13 – MARCH 14 THE ETHEREAL SELF: PORTRAITS BY KATHY SOSA Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org
DECEMBER 29 GUYS AND DOLLS The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
DECEMBER 13 – MARCH 14 GABRIELLE WU LEE Polk Museum of Art polkmuseumofart.org
DECEMBER 6 HOLIDAY REFLECTIONS: THE CHRISTMAS GALA Florida Southern College flsouthern.edu/festival-of-fine-arts DECEMBER 8 THE GLORY OF CHRISTMAS CONCERT First Presbyterian Church fpclakeland.org
DECEMBER 30 MOSCOW BALLET GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER The Lakeland Center thelakelandcenter.com
DECEMBER 20 – 21 FLORIDA DANCE THEATRE PRESENTS TCHAIKOVSKY’S THE NUTCRACKER Florida Southern College flsouthern.edu/festival-of-fine-arts
Means Different Things To Different People. Does a healthy, social, maintenance-free lifestyle in a community full of like-minded, caring neighbors sound like home to you? Call today for lunch and a tour!
1001 Carpenter’s Way, Lakeland, FL ◆ 800.299.3847 www.EstatesAtCarpenters.com A not for profit continuing care retirement community, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, the Estates is intended for occupancy by residents 55 or older.
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863.682.4725 marshalljewelerslakeland.com THE LAKELANDER 139
T H E
R O B E R T S Triumphing over dyslexia
A C A D E M Y story by Alice V. Koehler photography by Jordan Weiland
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I. Itch. Ih. G. Goat. Guh.â&#x20AC;? In a fourth-grade classroom, the teacher holds up an illustrated card and the children instinctively recite what they see: a letter, an object, and a sound. On their desks, the students trace the letters they see in order to create the muscle memory that solidifies the concept. It seems simple: learning letter sounds. But, for children at The Roberts Academy, nothing about reading has ever been easy.
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A HOLISTIC APPROCH TO BEAUTY
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Dyslexia, a neurological disorder that causes the brain to process and interpret information differently than that of a nondyslexic brain, is the most common cause of reading difficulty. From PBS’s Misunderstood Minds, “Contrary to popular misconception, dyslexia is not characterized by letter or word reversal. In fact, dyslexia is a language-processing difficulty caused by the inability to break words into phonemes. Experts estimate that dyslexia affects as many as 15 percent of all Americans. Recent studies show a neurobiological basis for dyslexia, suggesting the potential for early diagnosis and new forms of treatment. This research describes a biological cause of the disorder; evidence that dyslexia does not reflect lack of intelligence, or attention, or effort.” In fact, children and adults with dyslexia are often highly gifted in other areas. However, when reading is a struggle, school is a struggle. When school is a struggle, a snowball of other difficulties accumulates: low self-esteem, frustration, withdrawn behavior, and more. Inspired by their grandchildren, Hal and Marjorie Roberts saw a need to provide resources to children with dyslexia in Central Florida. So, in 2006, the Roberts generously underwrote The Roberts Center for Learning and Literacy to provide “targeted professional development in reading instruction.” Shortly thereafter, the dream of a transitional school began to take shape and quickly became a reality. In the fall of 2010, The Roberts Academy opened its doors in the old Methodist Building on McDonald Place (now Frank Lloyd Wright Way) with three classrooms and a big vision to teach students how to triumph over the challenge of dyslexia. Led by the dynamic and inspiring Dr. Tracey Tedder, Dean of Education at Florida Southern College, The Roberts Academy is Florida’s first and only transitional school for children with dyslexia. It is an engaging, warm, friendly place where children are eager to learn. “Many parents recognize immediate progress in their child — often within the first week of school. Students regularly report an instant sense
Led by the dynamic and inspiring Dr. Tracey Tedder, Dean of Education at Florida Southern College, The Roberts Academy is Florida’s first and only transitional school for children with dyslexia. of belonging and of being ‘understood’ by classmates and teachers — a revelation that significantly reduces emotional stress, leaving students free to focus on learning” (flsouthern.edu/roberts-academy/our-story.aspx). Today, the school is thriving and has grown to 11 classrooms serving students in grades two through six. Many students are Lakelanders, but some come from as far away as Tampa, Clermont, Polk City, and Orlando. One family even moved to Central Florida from Arizona just so their child could attend The Roberts Academy. A strategic mix of low student-teacher ratios, inspiring student success stories, regular communications with parents, highly trained teachers, and a specific teaching methodology combine to make The Roberts Academy a school of choice for students with dyslexia. Through the Orton-Gillingham Approach to learning, students overcome their challenges. Orton-Gillingham is a multisensory, languagebased method that focuses on student success and specific learning styles and is a proven method in treating dyslexia. At The Roberts Academy, Orton-Gillingham is woven through the entire academic portfolio: science, reading, social studies, math, and more. In addition to core academics, students receive tennis or soccer lessons, regular opportunities to explore the treasures on the campus of Florida Southern College, and 20-minute brain breaks in the sunshine every day. With no more than 12 students in a classroom, teachers deliver individualized and focused instruction. Roberts Academy teachers are highly trained professionals who love their work and are passionate educators who hold master’s degrees or higher, are certified by the Department of Education, and are Orton-Gillingham certified instructors. These masterful teachers create a learning environment where success is both possible and celebrated; they are the reason Roberts Academy’s students are excited about learning. 142 THE LAKELANDER
They deserve the best, because they’re family too.
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Dr. Tracey Tedder, Dean of Education at Florida Southern College
Tuition at The Roberts Academy, a private, tuition-based school, is $7,000 per year. However, through generous donations and fundraising efforts, scholarship opportunities are available for qualified families. The school also accepts the McKay Scholarship, which allows parents of students with learning disabilities to select the school that best suits their child’s learning needs. (McKay Scholarships usually offset the cost of tuition but rarely fully fund it.) It takes about two years for Roberts to work their magic and see students thrive in their home schools (though, some students opt to stay at Roberts through sixth grade). Once a student completes The Roberts Academy program, the staff creates a tailored transition plan for that student. Roberts commits to working with the student’s new classroom teacher, providing ongoing professional development and other support services for the student. In addition to the full-day school program, The Roberts Academy offers after-school tutoring in reading and spelling for struggling students of all ages (kindergarten through 12th grade) as well as a summer reading camp. Students from any school, whether they’ve attended Roberts or not, can benefit from the successful Roberts program through these options. Scientists are discovering new things about the human brain every day, which is leading to the development of new and successful strategies for improving reading skills. The Roberts Academy is on the cutting edge of this latest research, implementing proven approaches and delivering hope to children who were previously hindered by their struggle. For today’s 102 students at The Roberts Academy, their futures are bright. The world is theirs to discover any way they choose, even in a book. 144 THE LAKELANDER
You are invited to attend The Roberts Academy Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Lunch featuring Jenna Bush Hager, author of Read All About It! Wednesday, May 6, 2015 Call 863.680.4754 for more information and to reserve tickets.
The Roberts Academy Florida Southern College 1140 Frank Lloyd Wright Way Lakeland, FL 33801 For more information, visit: flsouthern.edu/roberts-academy/ home.aspx or call 863.680.3741
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(shown left to right) Grange Alves, Tris Speaker, and Eddie Loos pose for a photo before a round of golf at Lakeland Country Club. Alves and Loos were professional golfers, in Lakeland to play in a tournament at Lakeland Country Club, and Speaker was the player manager of the Cleveland Indians baseball team which held spring training in Lakeland in the 1920s. Date: 1924 Source: Lakeland Public Library. Connibear Family Photographs.
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Centered Around You Many people suffer from incontinence or an enlarged prostate, only to learn they’re not alone. There are numerous treatment options for these and other common bladder and prostate-related issues. Watson Clinic’s board-certified urologists offer the latest solutions
for men and women, and even introduced groundbreaking robotic surgery procedures for prostate and bladder cancers. You’ll be in good hands with our forward-thinking and experienced urology team – dedicated to a healthcare experience centered around you.
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| 863.680.7300 | www.WatsonClinic.com | Follow us on 148 THE LAKELANDER