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Meet the Steward of Lily Spring, Naked Ed

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CONTENTS SUMMER 2013 • VOL. 04 ISSUE 02 >> HEAT WAVE

The

Coolest

42

Not Your Typical Camp

Summer Camps Interesting & Engaging Alternatives to Traditional Summer Camps

BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

M

ost everyone remembers summer camp as a kid

— weeks of swimming lessons, day hikes and bonfires with your bunkmates. But there are additional options. Around Gainesville, unique summer camps have popped up to offer specialized activities and, hopefully, more rewarding experiences during the time away from school.

Marine Biology Spend summer like a true Floridian — in the water. Summer can be more than camp counselors sitting around watching the kids play, said Maggie Martin, who helps run the summer

programs at Oak Hall School. Beginning June 17, the school will be hosting Marine Biology Summer

the Santa Fe River for a canoe trip. The Santa Fe River runs through Alachua County to the Suwannee

Exploration Camp for children entering fifth grade and up. They take all-day field trips

River. The slow-flowing river even runs for a few miles underground, re-appearing in High Springs.

every day of the week, Martin said. Because of the small enrollment (only 24 students last summer), campers are often able to get back-scene tours and talk to professionals. The focus is on having fun — but children are always learning. The program is separated into two weeklong sessions, which feature different trips. The camp begins in Gainesville with a trip to the University of Florida fisheries. Students will learn about marine life from the experts. Next, the group will head to

The third day will be out on the water for boating and fishing at Cedar Key, a cluster of small islands off Florida’s west coast. Heading south, campers will explore saltwater estuaries and kayak at Fort Desoto State Park outside of St. Petersburg. The park is famous for its beauty and history, dating back to the Native American Indians. Next, there will be an overnight stay at the landmark Florida Aquarium in Tampa. The aquarium has around 20,000 marine plants and animals, from sharks to otters.

42 | Summer 2013

by Courtney Lindwall

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2013 | 43

For those students wanting something a little different than the norm this summer, some local schools offer a wide variety of camp sessions, ranging from sports to art, from fashion to creating computer games. There is a lot to choose from, but we focus on four.

>> NATURE BUFF

NAKED ED

THE MAN. THE MYTH. THE LEGEND. ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY DESIREE FARNUM

“IF YOU ARE HERE TO MAKE FUN OF ME, LAUGH AT ME, OR ARGUE WITH ME, REMOVE YOUR CLOTHES FIRST SO WE WILL BE ON EQUAL TERMS.”

T

he cool clear water flows easily in one direction, with the exception of the mini whirlpools and bubbles that rise to fight the pull of the current. The springs, all connected and accessible by kayak or canoe, create a peaceful waterway, and tourists come to High Springs from all over the state, the country and even beyond. But those who travel to take the detour off an s-curve of the Santa Fe River to Lily Springs come for more than a peaceful trip by paddle. Turning into a little water alleyway off to the left of the Santa Fe River, the handmade signs become visible. “Man is the Most Dangerous Animal.” “Naked Ed Ahead.” The river curves back like a snake, and visitors see the water’s end — or rather beginning — washing on the sand. The face they have been expecting greets

54 | Summer 2013

Summer 2013 | 55

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by Desiree Farnum

Nature Buff Take a canoe ride down the Santa Fe River to Lily Spring for a trip you surely won’t forget, if not for the beautiful scenery, then definitely for the man sporting the birthday suit. Meet High Springs’ native, “Naked Ed,” keeper of the waterways, nature’s advocate.

>> TIME TO TRAVEL

Pura Vida

142

Travel to Costa Rica

A Spontaneous Trip to Costa Rica

BY KELSEY GRENTZER

C

osta Rica is a paradise for

had wanted to go to for years. Less than a week later, we had our spots reserved and our flights booked. The

nature lovers, beach bums and thrill seekers alike, and I was fortunate enough to explore this extraordinary country for a

package deal included adventure tours, hotel reservations, transportation within the country and even some of our meals.

week in March. With its mountainous terrain, lush green landscapes

After about a four-hour flight from Ft. Lauderdale to San José, our

and fascinating national parks, the Latin American nation offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Costa Rican experience began in a “turismo” van with a driver who spoke little English. (Luckily, I enjoy practicing my Spanish.) As the driv-

My roommate, Gloria, and I had talked about going somewhere new

er whizzed through the outskirts of the capital city, we passed countless

and exciting for spring break, and we certainly followed through. During February, I was immersed in exploring road trip options within the U.S.

homes constructed roughly with old corrugated metal — not much more than metal boxes set among the trees alongside the road. As we

when Gloria sent me information about trips to Costa Rica, a place I

got further from San José, the view became more rural and, as a nature

by Kelsey Grentzer

PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER and GLORIDA DECKER

We visited all four beaches in Manuel Antonio: Playita, Espadilla, Manuel Antonio and Escondido. We were fascinated by the iguanas that shared the beach with us as we sunbathed. Iguanas relax along the coastline throughout Manuel Antonio. There are two species, the green iguana and the black iguana, that inhabit Costa Rica, and these reptiles can grow to a length of four to six feet. Our guide led us and our two horses, Billy and Morena, on an hour-long trip through steep, grassy terrain in the mountains of the Arenal Conservation Area.

142 | Summer 2013

10 | Summer 2013

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2013 | 143

A place of wild beauty, Costa Rica gives tourists the chance to get up close and personal with all it has to offer. Sit back, relax, and take a trip through this astounding country by zip-line, horseback, boat and ATV, without ever leaving your seat.


66

PHOTO BY TOM MORRISSEY for LOTUS STUDIOS

ON THE COVER Wearing the appropriate headgear (thanks dad), Cameron Reno, 5 1/2, loves to shred the Possum Creek Skatepark for some quality summertime fun.

>> FEATURES

COLUMNISTS

20

38 Crystal Henry NAKED SALSA

Charity Contest Winners Lubee Bat Conservancy, Noah’s Endeavor & Dachshund Adoption Rescue and Education BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

26

Day at the Museum Explore Three Awesome Exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History BY SARAH BRAND

66

Summer Fun! North Central Florida is an Amazing Place and the Perfect Time to Experience It is Right Now

50 Albert Isaac DIFFERENT NOTE 92 Brian “Krash” Krueger GATE CRASHING 118 Terri Schlichenmeyer READING CORNER 154 Jennifer Riek ADVENTURES IN APPETITE

BY OUR TOWN STAFF

The articles printed in Our Town Magazine™ do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Tower Publications, Inc. or their editorial staff. Our Town Magazine endeavors to accept reliable advertising; however, we can not be held responsible by the public for advertising claims. Our Town Magazine reserves the right to refuse or discontinue any advertisement. All rights reserved. © 2013 Tower Publications, Inc.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2013 | 11

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Published quarterly by Tower Publications, Inc. www.towerpublications.com

PUBLISHER Charlie Delatorre charlie@towerpublications.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Albert Isaac editor@towerpublications.com fax: 1-800-967-7382 OFFICE MANAGER Bonita Delatorre bonita@towerpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Hank McAfee hank@towerpublications.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Neil McKinney neil@towerpublications.com

PHOTO BY TOM MORRISSEY

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Courtney Lindwall Jennifer Riek Kelsey Grentzer Sarah Brand Allison Wilson Desiree Farnum INTERNS Sarah Brand Taylor Clemons Kelsey Grentzer Courtney Lindwall Kyra Love

>> FEATURES 96

Interview: John Orth Artist, Musician, Dreamer BY ALBERT ISAAC

104 Public Access Local Business Owners Pitch in for a Priceless Gift to the Gainesville Community BY ALLISON WILSON

110 Artful Anniversary The GFAA Celebrates its 90th Year BY ALLISON WILSON

INFORMATION 14 Springs Eternal Project 122 Taste of the Town

12 | Summer 2013

128 Community Calendar 160 Advertiser Index

ADVERTISING SALES 352-215-2833 Nancy Short nancy@towerpublications.com Helen Stalnaker 352-416-0209 helen@towerpublications.com Jenni Bennett 352-416-0210 jenni@towerpublications.com Pam Sapp 352-416-0213 pam@towerpublications.com Annie Waite 352-416-0204 annie@towerpublications.com

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SPECIAL >> URBAN AQUIFER

The Urban Aquifer debut at the Florida Museum of Natural History on April 20. This bus is sponsored by Butler Enterprises.

Springs Eternal Project nspire. Inform. Motivate. These are the words Leslie Gamble and John Moran use to describe their latest project and their goal to motivate us all to enjoy, value, conserve and restore our imperiled springs and aquifer. To that end they have created “The Springs Eternal Project,” which includes exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History, a website of resources, and buses wrapped in full-scale photographs of the springs. This multifaceted effort is designed to educate and inspire all of us to become more aware of the water beneath our feet. Lesley Gamble’s “Urban Aquifer” is real-time performance artwork, highlighting our aquifer. For the next year, buses wrapped with art by noted Florida photographer John Moran can be seen here in Gainesville, reaching out to people who may never have visited a museum or a spring. Butler

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Enterprises sponsored the Gator bus and Ginnie Springs Outdoors sponsored the Ginnie Springs bus. Printed on each bus are QR matric barcodes that link directly to the Springs Eternal website. On the website, visitors can learn all about Ginnie Springs, Poe Springs, Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs, Manatee Springs, Silver Glen Springs and Juniper Springs; learn their history, culture, science, art and public policy. These springs were selected from Moran’s “Springs Eternal,” Gamble’s “Urban Aquifer” and Florida author Rick Kilby’s “Finding the Fountain of Youth,” now on display at the museum. The Springs Eternal website also offers information from the people who know and love the springs: biologists, hydrogeologists, environmental scientists, cave divers, artists, business owners and springs advocates. Discover why our springs are

worth protecting and find information on the actions people can take, individually and collectively, to restore our springs and aquifer to vibrant, clear and sustainable health. Visitors to the Florida Museum of Natural History are treated to photographs by Gamble and Moran, immense transparencies affixed to the high windows of the gallery. To the left, Gamble’s photos of a spring in peril; to the right Moran’s 20-foot-by-60-foot image of two manatees, as well as the exhibit of his photographs inspired by Kilby’s book, described as a 30-year retrospective of Moran’s love affair with the springs of Florida. “Mixing beauty and joy with heartbreak and shame, the exhibit is a visual celebration of the springs,” states the University of Florida News website. Learn more about the “Springs Eternal Project” at springseternalproject.org. s


MESSAGE >> FROM THE EDITOR

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum Summertime I may be dating myself, quoting that song by The Jamies from the late 1950s and early ‘60s, but that refrain comes to mind when I think about summer, as do lazy days with no responsibilities. When I was a kid, summer was second only to Christmas as my favorite time of the year. We were free at last to spend our days riding bikes, climbing trees, playing sports, making forts, and taking vacations. Typically, the months would fly by and before we knew it, it was time again to go back to school (although there was one particular summer that we went somewhere super boring and it was about the longest three months of my life). And now it’s that time of year again; time to hit the beaches or head to the mountains; time for the kids to be out of school and in the pool; time to enjoy everything that the Sunshine State has to offer. To that end, Our Town writers have pulled together a smorgasbord of summertime fun, illustrating some of the activities Floridians can experience. From the Space Coast to the Gulf Coast, there is something for nearly everyone. I have enjoyed many of these activities, but there are some that I don’t foresee myself doing any time soon – such as jumping out of an airplane. But I digress. In this edition we also visit with a High Springs resident who has spent 20+ years of his life at Lily Spring wearing little more than a pair of glasses. Meet Naked Ed and learn all about this local celebrity. Toward the beginning of the year, Tower Publications and SunState Federal Credit Union teamed up for the Charity of the Month Contest to recognize some local charities and nonprofits in our communities. The contest gives people on Facebook the opportunity to nominate and vote for their favorite charity. Each month the organization with the highest number of votes is selected for a $1,000 donation and a profile in our magazines. Additionally, the person who nominated the charity will receive $300, and one random voter will receive $100. In this edition you may read about the first three winners of this contest. Learn more about the contest by visiting www.facebook.com/ SunStateFCU. Have a great summer! s

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STAFF >> CONTRIBUTORS Courtney Lindwall

Jennifer Riek

is a Florida native, now studying journalism at UF. She loves telling and hearing good stories. In her little bit of free time, she enjoys hiking, camping and eating delicious food.

is a freelance writer and a student at UF’s College of Journalism. She was born and raised in Seattle, and delights in all things classy or humorous. Needless to say, she would die in the wild.

c.lindwall@ufl.edu

screaminnocence@gmail.com

Brian “Krash” Kruger

Allison Wilson

is writer, musician and a graduate of the UF College of Law. He has played in some 17 or so local bands, playing most every Gainesville venue friendly to original music (and some not so friendly).

is a communications coordinator for UF&Shands and a freelance writer and editor. She is way too busy to contribute any more facts to this biography. daw995@yahoo.com

bkrashpad@yahoo.com

Desiree Farnum

Kelsey Grentzer

is a recent graduate of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications as well as a freelance writer. Born in Trinidad and raised in Queens, NY, she enjoys spontaneous road trips and visits from outof-town friends.

is a journalism and sustainability student at UF. She is a freelance writer and photographer who loves animals, traveling and going to the beach. kagrent@gmail.com

desireefarnum@ufl.edu

Crystal Henry

Sarah Brand

is a freelance writer and columnist born and raised in West Texas. She received her B.S. in Journalism in 2006 from the University of Florida. She is in love with the Florida landscape.

is a junior studying journalism at UF. A lover of travel and adventure, she one day hopes to be a freelance journalist living in New York City. In her spare time she enjoys listening to classic rock, reading and sleeping.

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CHARITY OF THE MONTH

The Lubee Bat Conservancy FEBRUARY 2013 WINNER – 2,028 VOTES

While many consider this Gator Country, wildlife specialists may also recognize Gainesville as the international center for bat research, conservation and education. he Lubee Bat Conservancy, a nonprofit facility that houses and studies more than 200 bats at a time, has won the $1,000 prize for being the February charity of the month. With 2,028 “likes” on Facebook, Lubee rounded up social media support for its environmental mission. Anthony Mason, 26, has worked with the bats for a year and a half now and nominated the center for the award. The Lubee Bat Conservancy has set the international standard for bat husbandry, Mason said. It is a member of the international Association of Zoos and Aquariums and helped write its guidelines for proper bat care. Other zoos follow in Lubee’s footsteps. The conservancy houses fruit bats, Anthony Mason whose populations are hurting from habitat loss and hunting. The bats’ key roles, pollinating plants and dispersing seeds, are particularly important in areas of deforestation. During long flights, dropping seeds across open areas can help regenerate forests. The conservancy works to revive these crucial at-risk species by focusing heavily on educational programs — not only for other researchers studying bats, but for young students, the local community, and communities abroad. Last year, Lubee was able to reach out to 11,500 people in the area, said Brian Pope, the conservancy’s director. Lubee also works to maintain genetic diversity among captive-bred bat populations, carefully tracking and planning mating. Although it is unlikely the bats will ever be released into the wild, Mason said, it is still important to have viable populations. Although the conservancy is beginning to study Florida bats as well, the majority of Lubee’s fruit bats are from outside North America, such as the rainforests

T

20 | Summer 2013

of South America or Asia. Lubee gives grants to local researchers and conservationists who then study these bats in the wild. While the Conservancy is not a zoo, the center does allow pre-scheduled tours, usually on Thursdays. It also hosts the annual Florida Bat Festival the last Saturday of PHOTO BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON October, which last Tasha King, head bat keeper, year attracted around feeds mango Juicy Juice to Kuri, 3,600 visitors. a spectacled flying fox. Mason, the social media manager for the conservancy, won the $300 individual prize for his nomination but gave the money to Lubee instead. s Learn more at www.facebook.com/LubeeBatConservancy.

TO NOMINATE A CHARITY OF YOUR CHOICE OR TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE NOMINEES, VISIT:

www.facebook.com/SunStateFCU and click on “Charity of the Month”.

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CHARITY OF THE MONTH

Noah’s Endeavor MARCH 2013 WINNER – 1,730 VOTES

It began with a game of baseball. It was a way for Shelly Voelker’s son, Noah, to socialize with friends, despite the cerebral palsy that his doctor said would hold him back. ourteen years later, Noah’s game of baseball has transcended the field; it has become a community lesson on diversity, acceptance and the power of unconditional love. Noah’s Endeavor, a local charity that hosts recreational activities for all ability levels, has won March’s SunState Federal Credit Union’s $1,000 award. Following Voelker’s nomination, it won with 1,730 “likes” on the charity contest Facebook. After Noah’s passing four years ago, the organization now continues Prize winner’s check from SunState in his honor, hoping to keep his spirit of inclusion alive. It has expanded from the single season of baseball to now include year-round recreational activities, such as basketball, bowling, soccer and swimming. Many of the members who come out for the games have developmental or physical challenges. But the Voelkers stress that all activities are open to anyone. Volunteers often help at the games, alongside siblings and parents. Noah’s Endeavor offers a safe space to teach participants about the diversity among communities. “I love that they’re going to grow up believing that there is a wide range of abilities,” Voelker said. “And that it’s completely normal.” Charlotte Ravel’s son, Daniel, also has cerebral palsy and has been involved with Noah’s Endeavor since the first season of baseball. Now 17, Daniel still comes out to the games. He plays baseball in his wheelchair, and a volunteer helps him around the field. As he rounds second base,

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Daniel’s grin runs ear to ear. Voelker said that she sees positive effects like this in many of the participants. It is not about learning the rules of the game or becoming competitive, but about socializing with friends and practicing skills such as sharing or waiting your turn. Voelker said she hopes winning the contest will make more people in the community aware of the organization. Many families are looking for ways to involve their children in a program such as Noah’s Endeavor, but have lived in Gainesville for years without knowing it exists. With the prize money, Voelker hopes to offset expenses for the members’ favorite activity of the year – swimming, the only activity that costs money to participate. But Voelker is working toward making it free for everyone. Voelker said the swimming activities, called “Aquabilities,” are particularly important so that members can learn water safety. Long term, Voelker said she would love to open her own swimming facility that accommodates all types of families and needs. As the 2013 baseball season wraps up, Noah’s Endeavor will continue to honor Noah’s spirit of friendship and acceptance in the same place it all began — out on the field. s Learn more at www.facebook.com/groups/61859309302

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CHARITY OF THE MONTH

DARE Organization APRIL 2013 WINNER – 1,805 VOTES

More than 10 years and 1,000 rescued dachshunds later, DARE’s passion for saving those left behind is stronger than ever. hey are the dogs from puppy mills that have never walked in grass. They are the dogs that were abused, malnourished or infected. They are the gifts from Christmas that were too much work by Easter. DARE (Dachshund Adoption Rescue and Education) takes them in, loves them and finds them homes. DARE, nominated by longtime member Judy Delbene, has won the $1,000 prize for SunState Credit Union’s April charity contest. Delbene, who won $300 for her nomination, also donated the money back to DARE. The organization began in 2001 but became an official nonprofit in 2004. It is completely volunteer-based and works out of the homes of foster parents, of which there are now around 30. DARE saves dachshunds that may otherwise not have had a chance, such as seniors or those facing lifethreatening medical issues. “We don’t just pull the young, pretty dogs,” Delbene said. Because of this, the veterinary costs add up. Each dog, once fully vetted, will live with a DARE member, who fosters until a suitable owner can adopt. The organization has a rigorous adoption process, complete with references and home visits. DARE doesn’t want its dogs ending up in another shelter just months down the line. “We see what happens when there’s irresponsible pet ownership because we clean up the mess,” said Alicia Duval, DARE’s vice president. To help prevent this, a cornerstone of DARE’s mission is education. The organization shares breed expertise

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with potential or current owners, such as dachshunds’ common back problems or notorious stubbornness. They teach about the importance of spaying and neutering and generally about the commitment of owning a dog. They also share why their beloved wiener dogs make such wonderful pets. Overall, the driving force behind DARE is a love for the breed. At the organization’s big annual event, Dox-APalooza, hundreds of dachshund lovers come out from all around the state to celebrate their hotdog-shaped companions with “wiener races” and costume contests. Many of the dachshunds who come out are former DARE rescues and receive a special colored bandana to wear. “You can look out and see this sea of colors and the hundreds of dogs we’ve helped over the years,” Duval said. For Delbene, the best part of being a foster parent is matching individual dachshunds with the perfect family. After two weeks in her home, Delbene said a scared dog that was hiding under the table will begin to show its personality. “It’s exciting to be able to do that for another living being — giving them a new life.” s Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/DAREtoRescue

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>> ART FACTS

Day at the Museum Explore Three Awesome Exhibits at the Florida Museum of Natural History

BY SARAH BRAND ackdrops of a Colombian coal mine line the entrance. In the front of the room are models of the mines. Hard hats rest atop the display while holes and trenches dot its landscape. Near the entrance is the welcome sign: “Titanoboa: Monster Snake.” Titanoboa is a 48-foot-long snake that was found in Colombian coal mines, currently the largest in the world. Believed to be in the boa family, it was discovered

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by paleontologists from the Smithsonian Museum in collaboration with paleontologists from the Florida Museum of Natural History. The Titanoboa is a new exhibit at the museum, along with two others, “Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth” and “Finding the Fountain of Youth: Discovering Florida’s Magical Waters.” Springs Eternal and the Fountain of Youth can both be found in the central gallery of the museum, with Springs Eternal transparencies covering the high windows and

the Fountains of Youth distributed throughout the floor. All three will be at the museum throughout the summer, but all were installed for different reasons. A fossil-plant specialist from the Smithsonian had discovered Titanoboa while digging in a Colombian coal mine. Once he realized the mine was the site of the world’s first rainforest, he called a vertebrae specialist from the Florida Museum of Natural History. “He called our scientist, Jonathan Bloch, and said, ‘If it’s a rainforest there must be some animals, so

PHOTOS BY KRISTIN KOZELSKY and JOHN MORAN

“Springs Eternal” features photos of our springs. Next door, in the “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” exhibit, paleontology grad student, Michael D’Ottavio carefully works on a fossil.

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© PHOTO BY JOHN MORAN


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come on down.’ And Jonathan and his students then proceeded to spend a few years now excavating in Colombia and finding all manner of previously unknown fossil vertebrae and in particular reptiles,� said Darcie MacMahon, exhibits director at the Florida Museum of Natural History. MacMahon said Bloch and the team found fossils that are brand new to science including

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PHOTOS BY KRISTIN KOZELSKY

Titanoboa, the monster snake, stretched 48 feet in length and weighed 2,500 pounds. This massive predator could crush and devour a crocodile. Florida Museum of Natural History scientists recently discovered the 60-million-year-old remains of the Titanoboa cerrejonensis, in a Colombian coal mine. The vertebra from this behemoth dwarfs that of a modern-day 17-foot anaconda.

a large snake, crocodiles and large-scale turtles. “Also, it represented, for the first time, a period right after the extinction of the dinosaurs,” MacMahon said. “So here we have the extinction of the dinosaurs, and a climate that’s getting warmer [that] ends up supporting the evolution of large reptiles such as Titanoboa.” The exhibit costs $5 per person and guests can encounter a coal

mine exhibition. MacMahon said the purpose is to give visitors the same experience the scientist had while digging in Colombia. Posters about the dig site and discovery are placed around the exhibition. “You learn about the coal mine, and you see how the fossils actually look when they are in the mine and first being excavated by paleontologists,” MacMahon said. “And then you proceed to a paleo-prep lab.”

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To the right of the exhibit, professional paleontologists and students labor in the lab, behind glass, with bright lights shining onto their work as they clean the plaster jackets away from pieces of Titanoboa’s fossils. The fossils were shipped with permission from Colombia, on loan to the museum to prepare and study them. MacMahon said the fossils are encased in the plaster jackets during excavation to protect

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PHOTO BY KRISTIN KOZELSKY

The Cerrejón Coal Mine – The exhibit features a re-created scene of the vast mining operation in northern Colombia where Titanoboa, as well as many other fossil animals and plants were discovered.

them while traveling. “Each of them has completely different kinds of fossils. It could be the Titanoboa snake fossils. It could be crocodile fossils. It could be turtle fossils. It could be parts of spines or parts of turtle shells or any other kind of bones from any of those kinds of animals,” MacMahon said. “So it’s always kind of an interesting surprise to start the preparation process, and as you watch, the fossils unfold before your very eyes.” MacMahon said the reason visitors get to see the scientists at work is to inspire children and young adults to become paleontologists and to show them that all kinds of people are scientists. “Sometimes we have the misimpression that a scientist is some mysterious person in a white lab coat, and kids might never feel like they could become a scientist too,” she said. “But here you’ll see university students of all different ages and genders and colors working on the Titanoboa fossils and working to become scientists.” The Titanoboa can be found to the left of the exhibit, along with informational posters. Painted browns, greens and blacks with a rainforest background surround the model of the gigantic snake. It is the length of a school bus and is caught in the act of eating a crocodile to demonstrate the sheer immensity of Titanoboa. The model was made for the Titanoboa movie, produced by the Smithsonian Channel, which can be streamed online. MacMahon said the model demonstrates what scientists believe the snake looked like, including all of its details and characteristics from its nose to the tip of its tail. The fossils, however, must be

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“You can see this easily. Springs that were once crystal clear, turquoise, incredible, magical places are now very typically choked with algae that was never there, and some of them have died completely.”

PHOTOS BY KRISTIN KOZELSKY and JOHN MORAN

© PHOTO BY JOHN MORAN

On opposite ends of the museum gallery, large transparencies on the high windows greet visitors, one side illustrating a crystal clear spring, the other showing a spring in distress. Photos by John Moran and Leslie Gamble depict Florida’s precious and imperiled springs. “Blue Planet” (left) is a shot of Cypress Springs in 2011.

returned to Colombia; legislation specifies all items from its fossil history belong to the country, which is a common practice in most countries. MacMahon said the find has inspired people in Colombia to become paleontologists. “They hope to build a new museum,” she said. “ And [the finds] have also inspired a lot of new science in Colombia. So it’s really exciting for people from Colombia.”

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In the central gallery of the museum, visitors first encounter The Springs Eternal and Fountains of Youth exhibits as they walk past the front desk. “Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth” consists of transparent images installed on the high windows on either side of the museum’s main gallery. On

one side, images of two manatees swimming in clear spring water cover the windows. “And if you turn your head and look at the opposite side of the gallery on the windows there is a woman swimming through big towers of green algae,” MacMahon said. “And so the contrast between healthy springs and springs that

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are in trouble is what the exhibit is trying to communicate in hopes that people will recognize the problem and take action to correct it for the future.” The photographs were taken by Florida nature photographer John Moran and Leslie Gamble. “The exhibit is but one part of the larger Springs Eternal

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Project, which includes the Urban Aquifer bus wrap project and the SpringsEternalProject.org website, both creations of my project partner Lesley Gamble,” Moran said. Moran has been photographing Florida’s springs for many years. MacMahon said when Moran realized visiting the springs today is a very different experience that it once was, he decided to bring attention to their plight. “You can see this easily,”

MacMahon said. “Springs that were once crystal clear, turquoise, incredible, magical places are now very typically choked with algae that was never there, and some of them have died completely.” The prints on the windows are transparencies with an adhesive backing, similar to window tinting on cars, MacMahon said. “The Fountain of Youth: Discovering Florida’s Magical Waters” is a collaborative project

with Springs Eternal, and focuses on the cultural history of how Floridians think about their springs. Based on an upcoming book by Rick Kilby, “Finding the Fountain of Youth” examines how the legend of Ponce de Leon’s quest for restorative waters shaped the Sunshine State’s image as a land of fantasy, rejuvenation and magical spring-fed waters. MacMahon said that the Ponce de Leon Fountain of Youth is a myth that has been capitalized on

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IF YOU GO…

Kathryn Broecker works on a Titanoboa fossil in the “paleo-prep lab.” Students and professional paleontologists alike work in the lab. Exhibits Director Darcie MacMahon said they want to inspire children and young adults by allowing them to see the scientists in action.

FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY UF Cultural Plaza 3215 Hull Road 352-846-2000

for centuries, and the exhibit uses a variety of media to analyze how Floridians have used the myth to their advantage. “What it shows us is that springs have always been important to Floridians — not just for marketing, but for entertainment, tourism, enjoyment. The Springs Eternal exhibit also focuses on how important springs are to us today for our enjoyment,” she said. Both exhibits, Springs Eternal and the Fountain of Youth, explore the springs from different points of view, from human enjoyment and what they mean to Floridians’ recreational lives and drinking water, to the cultural mythology surrounding the springs. Both also have interpretive graphics and

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information panels on the walls of the central gallery and on moveable kiosks in the middle of the gallery. MacMahon said she feels it is important for guests to understand the importance of the springs and hopes the exhibit will show people that everyone needs to do a better job taking care of them. “I think all of us who live in Florida have a springs memory and a love for the springs,” she said. “They’re just such magical places and I’m really worried about the future of Florida’s water, so I think the exhibit is really timely. It’s personal for me and I think it’s personal for most of our visitors. I hope that we can do our part through sharing this exhibition with people to catalyze action.” s

Titanoboa: Monster Snake Jan. 26- August 11 Adults, $6 (FL residents $5) Ages 3-17, $4.50 Springs Eternal: Florida’s Fragile Fountains of Youth March 23 - Dec. 15 | Free Finding the Fountain of Youth: Discovering Florida’s Magical Waters March 23 - Dec. 15 | Free

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COLUMN >> CRYSTAL HENRY

Naked Salsa Trailer Park Treasure he good news was that Hubs got the job he’d been seeking since we were just a couple of young Gator grads. We’d be moving closer to family and raising our babies back in the South. Back to Texas. Back home. The bad news was that his start date was in six weeks and Christmas was in five days. With less than a week before we started our annual family holiday trek around the country, we had to de-clutter our house, get it on the market, pack our bags for our two-week holiday travels, oh yeah — and find a new place to live. I stayed up every night until at least 2 a.m. shoveling crap we never used into boxes I secretly hoped I’d never see again. And as we sat in our nearly bare living room we pondered over where to stash our family until we could sell our old house and find something new. We kicked around the idea of an apartment, but we didn’t like the thought of having to move all our crap into one place just to move it out again. And the rent for a decent apartment was more than our mortgage payment. Even if we happened to find a new house, we

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couldn’t close on it in only 6 weeks, especially since it might be a while before we sold our old one. Then Hubs had a little light bulb flicker. We would stay in our camper. Why not? We loved going camping, and it would only be temporary. Two adults, a 3-year-old and an infant shacked up in 150 square feet of fiberglass glory. What could possibly go wrong? The rent on the campsite was pennies compared to an apartment, plus you got 20 channels of free cable. Win. So on a dreary day in February we tearfully said goodbye to our dear 2,200-square-foot sanctuary and set off towing The Wilderness. When we ran this master plan by friends and family we heard things like, “Oh my God why,” and “You’ll end up divorced.” So we were extra excited to get set up with so many people confident we’d succeed. But we survived the first night. We all took turns bathing 20 minutes apart in the shoe box of a shower. You needed to wait at least 20 minutes so you’d have three minutes of hot water stored up. And as I lay in the luxurious queen-sized

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fold-a-bed with the baby, Hubs snuggled up on the couch bed with our toddler’s foot in his face and a super comfy metal bar in his back. We had arrived. With each passing day I expected to yearn for square footage. I thought I’d desperately miss all the comforts of home like a dishwasher or an in-house washer and dryer. But a week passed and I was hanging in there just fine. There wasn’t room in the camper for too many toys, so the girls just had a small box with about six things that they treasured more than life itself. I saw my toddler invent stories with a pink stuffed owl and a naked Barbie doll that could win a daytime Emmy. Dinner was easy because it had to be. I didn’t have a big prep area, so we survived off my Nana’s tried and true recipes like macaroni and tomatoes or sausage and potatoes. And I couldn’t stock the fridge, so on a lot of nights, dinner was takeout. I certainly didn’t miss a dishwasher on those nights. We started traditions of donuts on Saturday mornings and tamale Tuesdays. With only 20 cable stations, seven of which were in Spanish, the entertainment pickings were slim. So we found ourselves playing Yahtzee and going for family walks after dinner. The campsite office staff knew the girls by name and liked to treat my toddler to an ice cream bar when we came to get change for the laundromat. And the people watching I experienced while folding my skivvies in public was top notch. But eventually we stumbled upon our dream home. It had all the features we were looking for: a beautiful view of the rolling hill country, and almost double the square footage of our old house. But as I packed up those six little toys and did one last 5-minute clean of my entire residence, I was a little sad to end our trailer park saga. The months we spent in that little camper were some of the simplest and happiest memories our family has ever had. We didn’t have things to distract us from one another. And we didn’t have square footage to separate us. Being closer brought us closer, and I will forever be grateful that we had the privilege to live in our little trailer park home. s

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>> HEAT WAVE

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Summer Camps Interesting & Engaging Alternatives to Traditional Summer Camps

BY COURTNEY LINDWALL ost everyone remembers summer camp as a kid — weeks of swimming lessons, day hikes and bonfires with your bunkmates. But there are additional options. Around Gainesville, unique summer camps have popped up to offer specialized activities and, hopefully, more rewarding experiences during the time away from school.

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Marine Biology Spend summer like a true Floridian — in the water. Summer can be more than camp counselors sitting around watching the kids play, said Maggie Martin, who helps run the summer

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programs at Oak Hall School. Beginning June 17, the school will be hosting Marine Biology Summer Exploration Camp for children entering fifth grade and up. They take all-day field trips every day of the week, Martin said. Because of the small enrollment (only 24 students last summer), campers are often able to get back-scene tours and talk to professionals. The focus is on having fun — but children are always learning. The program is separated into two weeklong sessions, which feature different trips. The camp begins in Gainesville with a trip to the University of Florida fisheries. Students will learn about marine life from the experts. Next, the group will head to

the Santa Fe River for a canoe trip. The Santa Fe River runs through Alachua County to the Suwannee River. The slow-flowing river even runs for a few miles underground, re-appearing in High Springs. The third day will be out on the water for boating and fishing at Cedar Key, a cluster of small islands off Florida’s west coast. Heading south, campers will explore saltwater estuaries and kayak at Fort Desoto State Park outside of St. Petersburg. The park is famous for its beauty and history, dating back to the Native American Indians. Next, there will be an overnight stay at the landmark Florida Aquarium in Tampa. The aquarium has around 20,000 marine plants and animals, from sharks to otters.


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Theater Camp

The fifth and last day of the camp before heading back to Gainesville will be spent in Clearwater Marine Aquarium to visit the marine animal hospital and see Winter, the dolphin from the movie “Dolphin Tale.” Winter was rescued off the coast of Florida in 2005 after being found stuck in a crab trap. To save her life, her tail had to be amputated. Winter became famous

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after being fitted with a prosthetic tail that allowed her to swim again and return to normal life. The marine biology camps’ second session will include similar trips to places such as the Devil’s Den spring for snorkeling or the Withlacoochee River for an airboat tour. The second session’s big trip will be to Seaworld. Both trips will be supervised by lifeguards.

Each week at theater camp is a chance to be a star. Alongside the Gainesville Association for the Creative Arts, Oak Hall School is offering a drama and musical theater day camp where students will learn technique and have the chance to put on new performance at the end of each week. The students write the scripts themselves, Martin said. Each week’s production is their original creation. Different workshops will be hosted throughout the summer on topics such as acting theory, vocal performance and audition techniques. There are junior and senior divisions with only 14 campers allowed in each group, giving each camper time on stage. “They come up with different scenes, skits and lines,” Martin said. The program is taught by Oak Hall School’s performing arts


director, Dr. William Eyerly, who also plans to bring in other guests. The performances are open to the public and take place in Oak Hall School’s theater. The first session begins on June 10, and the last session ends on August 5. The “Young Actor’s Portfolio Workshop” takes place July 22 to 26 and offers a chance for real drama enthusiasts to build resumes and audition reels.

Camp Invention For Gainesville’s young tinkerers and gadgeteers, Camp Invention embraces children’s inner innovators. Camp Invention, a national program, gives students a chance to learn 21st-century skills through different science-, engineering-, and business-related activities. Children rotate through different modules during the day, solving problems

and conducting experiments. For example, students may rebuild their rocket ships while stuck on a strange planet, decide how to cross a river of lava while on a faraway island or figure out how to gather sea creatures without harming them while under the ocean. Invention Camp builds imagination and life-skills. The camp is for children entering first through sixth grade. In Gainesville, there are two locations: Hidden Oaks Elementary School and Lawton Chiles Elementary School. Camp locations will rotate through Camp Invention’s four different programs throughout the summer: Create, Innovate, GeoQuest, Spark and Explore, which all have different themes. In the Create Program, one module called “Saving Sludge City” teaches campers about environmental science and conservation.

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Children recreate the pollution in Sludge City and then brainstorm ways to clean it up. “Participants explore green city design, water filtration systems, safe water disposal, conservation techniques, and renewable energy as they completely reconstruct the town,” the website states. For those more inclined to chemistry experiments than canoe lessons, Camp Invention may be a perfect summer fit.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF OAK HALL SCHOOL

Campers at Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts test out their new culinary expertise, dressed in full chef attire. Taste of Summer: Cooking 101 has small groups like these to allow hands-on experience in the kitchen. The camp is open to children ages 10 and up.

Culinary Camp For an aspiring Julia Child or Gordon Ramsay, Cooking 101: Taste of Summer day camp teaches the kitchen basics. Run jointly by Oak Hall School and Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts, this program will teach campers culinary technique in a hands-on, interactive environment.

46 | Summer 2013

They will prepare main dishes, sides and desserts, all while working with Chef Billie DeNunzio of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts. Small groups of around 10 allow each camper to get personal attention. Oak Hall School states that the camp is meant for students to enjoy themselves while learning about

good food — from garden to plate. At the end of the day, campers are also able to sit down with peers and enjoy what they have created. “Each day, they’ll do something different,” Martin said. “One day they’ll do sushi. One day they’ll do Italian.” When the day is done, kids leave home with their leftover food boxed up. The camp will run from June 10 to 14 at Eastside High School. For students who may already have culinary experience, there is also a more advanced session that runs the same dates. “It’s pretty awesome to see what they’ve created,” Martin said. s


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COLUMN >> ALBERT ISAAC

Different Note As Father’s Day approaches, I can’t help but think about my dear Dad. nd even though it’s been many years since he passed away, there is still a void in my life that can never again be filled. Fortunately, time does have a way of making things easier, of healing all wounds. In the days following his passing, my memories of him seemed to center on his illness. He was only 62. He was building a house in Gainesville when the disease really began to take its toll. Overnight, it seemed, he turned into a very old man. It was a horrifying reminder of the impermanence of life, and of my own mortality. But, somehow, he finished that house. Mom was an absolute angel in those final days and nights as we stood vigil. I have a clear memory of her standing in the kitchen one very late night, strong despite her grief, beautiful beyond words. I wish I had just a smidgeon of her strength. During those trying times, my brother and I walked around the family farm. The farm is one of Dad’s dreams, and although Dad was gone, he was everywhere. The trees, the landscaping and the gardens, all

A

spoke of his spirit. My brother and I talked of the many things we had learned from him. We were both grateful to have had such a wonderful father. As time passed, my memories of Dad’s vitality, his youth and his love for us all, came forth. I quickly forgot his shortcomings as these memories of all the great things he did for us rushed in: family vacations, fishing in our boat, Christmas morning surprises and, of course, his famous barbecue chicken. I remember lamenting that Dad had bad luck; things never seemed to work out for him. But then Mom reminded me this was not the case. Dad got nearly everything he wanted. He built cabins in North Carolina and a house on Big Pine Key. When I came to Gainesville to attend UF, my parents bought 24 acres in the country and left Miami. Dad always wanted a farm and he got his wish. Soon he had pigs, chickens, goats and a bull named Ferdinand. By this time, I had started my own family and we had moved into a home in High Springs. Dad gave me

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his old lawnmower to cut the weeds and spurs that populated our yard. He gave me a dishwasher, too. It was 20 years old and had never been used. And he would correct me any time I mentioned its age. “It’s not old, it’s brand new!” he would exclaim with righteous indignation. Dad loved gardening and, to some degree, had passed this down to me. In my small backyard, I planted my first vegetable garden. I found great satisfaction in watching plants grow in that tiny, sandy, garden patch — until I saw Dad’s magnificent vegetable gardens. The corn stalks towered above my head and he had more varieties of squash than I’d ever seen. Everything flourished under his green thumb. I blamed the sandy soil for the miniature corn in my garden. Truth be told, he was just a much better gardener. Nevertheless, I know he was proud of me, even though he would laugh at my sandspur-strewn lawn. He would joke of ways to get rid of the spurs, suggesting I put my youngest son on a piece of carpet and have our dog drag him around the yard. Dad gave me plants for our barren landscape: grape vines, fruit trees, crepe myrtles and a camellia cutting. Some did well; others did not, obliterated by bugs or the neighbor’s dog. The muscadine grapes flourished. One year, I even made my first jars of grape jelly. But the camellia was perhaps the most memorable of his gifts. I planted it in the backyard but it never did very well. I moved it to the front, but that didn’t seem to help, either. It just wouldn’t grow. It remained a small twig with only a leaf or two, despite my care. But on the morning of Dad’s passing, when I returned home from making funeral arrangements, something drew me to that small plant. With a heavy heart, I walked across the yard to see the tiny camellia that Dad had given to me — and couldn’t believe what I saw. It was blooming; a gigantic red camellia flower sprouted from this small stick. This reminder of Dad’s love for us all, manifested in a colorful bloom, helped me through those hard days. It still does. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. s

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NAKED 54 | Summer 2013


>> NATURE BUFF

ED

THE MAN. THE MYTH. THE LEGEND. ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY DESIREE FARNUM

“IF IF YOU ARE HERE TO MAKE FUN OF ME, LAUGH AT ME, OR ARGUE WITH ME, REMOVE YOUR CLOTHES FIRST SO WE WILL BE ON EQUAL TERMS.” he cool clear water flows easily in one direction, with the exception of the mini whirlpools and bubbles that rise to fight the pull of the current. The springs, all connected and accessible by kayak or canoe, create a peaceful waterway, and tourists come to High Springs from all over the state, the country and even beyond. But those who travel to take the detour off an s-curve of the Santa Fe River to Lily Spring come for more than a peaceful trip by paddle. Turning into a little water alleyway off to the left of the Santa Fe River, the handmade signs become visible. “Man is the Most Dangerous Animal.” “Naked Ed Ahead.” The river curves back like a snake, and visitors see the water’s end — or rather beginning — washing on the sand. The face they have been expecting greets

T

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1

1. Over the course of Ed’s stay at the springs, he has had a total of three huts. He originally stayed in tents, until it became difficult for him to get in and out, and he realized that a hut would be more durable and would last longer.

them from over a fenced-off part of a dock. Each year, hundreds of visitors paddle their canoes and kayaks to see this curious part of Lily Spring. Meet Naked Ed: the man, the myth, the legend.

2. Ed sits atop his fenced-off chair as tourists visit Lily Spring. He has had many conversations with visitors from all over from his chair, and keeps an empty bottle of Naked Ed’s Pale Ale nearby on a shelf. Neighbors say Ed has cleaned up the springs, and confronted people who carelessly dump garbage on the property. He has even managed to cut down on the moccasins that once infested the waters.

THE MAN

3. For one of his birthdays, Ed’s sister got him this cap. He hangs it in his hut, next to his wall of publications featuring him.

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Ed Watts, a.k.a. Naked Ed, the High Springs local known for living life in the nude at Lily Spring, is familiar to tourists from Florida to Canada and has even appeared on a Swedish television show. At the Great Outdoors Restaurant there is a beer with his name and likeness. At his hut he has a photo album of around 100 women that come to pose with him — nude. Ed is 63. The top of his head is bald but on the sides, like his bushy beard, his hair goes from black to gray. He is wearing

nothing but his half-rimmed glasses and a beaded necklace as he walks nimbly barefoot around the land he knows so well. Long, old scars on hips and right arm, and fresh scratches and bruises around his elbows are the only markings on his otherwise sun-baked skin. His head bobs slightly as he speaks in a slow rusty voice telling long stories of past experiences. John Edward Watts was born and raised in North Central Florida. His parents, William Timothy Watts Jr. and Lela Mae Watts, had a total of six children and lived outside of metropolitan areas. “My dad always made sure we lived in the country,” Ed said. By the time his mom was 27 she had all six of her children, and she raised them as Southern Baptists. “Ed’s just a good ol’ boy from


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NAKED ED AHEAD 3

High Springs,” said local Tommy Collar. “That’s my best buddy.” But Ed was different from other children growing up — he has osteogenisis imperfecta, otherwise known as “brittle bone disease.” He was born with a broken leg. The disease is a genetic disorder where the bones are fragile and break easily, sometimes for no known reason. As a child, Ed spent a lot of time in “a crippled children’s hospital,” he said, with his legs tied to the wall, and nurses wiping up after him. There were people coming and going when he had no clothes on, but eventually he stopped feeling ashamed and got used to his situation. “That’s why I’m comfortable with my body,” he said. In school, he was never paddled for misbehavior, Ed recalled. Later he found that it was the doctor’s

orders for the teachers to never lay a hand on him. It was not until graduation that he learned this, and he admitted that he would have taken advantage of the situation had he known.

Ed also helped out at his friend Collar’s bars. “If there was a fight, Ed would back me up,” Collar said. The decision to go skinnydipping first occurred at the

“GOD GOD MADE MY SWIMSUIT. IF YOU CHECK THE LABEL ON YOURS IT WAS PROBABLY MADE IN SOME OTHER COUNTRY AND SOLD TO YOU BY WAL-MART.” Ed never let his physical ailments prevent him from making friends and keeping up those relationships through adulthood. “I’ve known him since we were kids,” said Harvey Campbell, who met Ed at Columbia High School. Ed later worked for Campbell in his convenience store and ice company.

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suggestion of people he met at a bar. Ed had been around skinny dippers before, but he had not taken the plunge himself until he was about 33 or 34. He would go to a few nude beaches but found them to be a bother because they were so far away. In 1985 he started skinny-dipping at Lily Spring.

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PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

A behind-the-scenes peak at Our Town writer Desiree Farnum as she interviews Naked Ed at Lily Spring.

“I would come here because I could skinny-dip here,” Ed said. When his sister suggested he work for her at a Badcock furniture store that she owned, he started May 10, the day before his birthday. But he knew that it was not the life for him, and he already missed his lifestyle back home. So he put in his notice at the start of the job. “When we close Christmas Eve, I’m going back to my springs,” Ed said to his sister. After he discovered that he qualified for disability checks — he was told he is 100 percent disabled and that it would be a risk for an employer to take him, even at an office job — he stopped working and became a self-appointed caretaker of the springs. The owner of the springs gave Ed permission to stay on the property, so he set up there and has been there since. More health problems followed in

58 | Summer 2013

years to come, including a stroke, hip replacements and lymph node cancer. But doctors called him “miracle man,” after he beat the odds. Now he lives a simple, but certainly not average life, and is most comfortable remaining in the nude. “I understand Average Joe’s not comfortable with my lifestyle,” Ed said, “but I’m not comfortable with Average Joe’s lifestyle.”

THE MYTH Ed, even when he started to live in the nude most of the time, was not always known as Naked Ed. The nickname came from a church group traveling down the river that knew about him. Some of the children would yell out hellos to “Naked Ed,” and the name stuck. After he became known for his lifestyle at the springs, several myths, or common assumptions, started to circulate. Here are a few of these myths:

Myth: He spends his days living in his hut, surviving against the elements.

Naked Truth: Although he is known for his wild lifestyle, Ed said he has always had another house. During the busy season, though, and all the tourists flock to the springs, he said he cannot leave. He spends the night to watch after campers and he provides firewood and a homemade bathroom. Even in the winter he will pose nude for photos with tourists, and then he will put on his clothes. He said he can last up to five minutes in the nude when it is cold. When there are no campers, Ed shares a house with his siblings. “All of us own it equally,” he said. Ed said staying at Lily Spring is equivalent to a full-time job, and he takes it seriously. He waits to greet the people that come down the river. He is the man of Lily Spring


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that they come to see and he does not want to disappoint anyone. “This, being as I’m disabled, gives me something to do with my life. It gives me a way to keep my mind occupied.” Ed said. “I think that’s when you really go down the hill, when you can’t occupy your mind.”

Myth: He is a wild man with dangerous tendencies. Naked Truth: “Some people might be scared because he comes off as a native living in the backwoods,” said neighbor Karen Parrish, “but I would trust my kids there with him,” rather than letting them go down to the springs by themselves. Russ Augspurg, who lives nearby, said that Ed is a good neighbor who “keeps an eye on things” and “watches out for the place.” And Ed holds a protective view of women, especially around strange men. He said he has told many girls who skinny dip to not swim alone, and if there are men trying to sneak pictures of the women swimming, he confronts them and makes them ask permission. Myth: He eats what he catches and cooks over an open fire. Naked Truth: His answer to what he eats was simple: “Whatever Winn Dixie sells.” He sometimes cooks at his house before coming out to the springs, or he will microwave the food in his hut. Myth: One of Ed’s messages on a sign says: “God made my swimsuit. If you check the label on yours it was probably made in some other country and sold to you by Wal-Mart.” He is probably against the store.

Naked Truth: While Ed’s original loincloth was made from leather from a leather store in Lake City, his current loin clothes are made with materials from Wal-Mart.

Myth: He is probably “in your face” with his nudity.

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Naked Truth: Ed is not so comfortable that he would not cover up for those who might be offended. “I have never seen him naked, which I am pleased with,” Parrish said. He was wearing a loincloth when they met. Whenever she goes down to the springs, she said she speaks loudly enough so that he hears her coming and can put something on. “He’s respectful,” she said. And when he goes to town, he wears clothes because he said he does not want to leave town “wearing nothing but handcuffs.” Myth: The baboon head that he had on his old hut was one he hunted himself. Naked Truth: The story that Ed would tell children was that he

Myth: Because he is comfortable with being naked in front of strangers, maybe he is brazen. Naked Truth: “He’s real neighborly,” Augspurg said, “but he’s kinda shy.” He said Ed has been invited to get-togethers at the house, but he has not come over. “We don’t go out socially,” Augspurg said. At the Great Outdoors Restaurant, he can often be seen sitting by himself, though he is friendly and will talk to everyone. At the springs he will tell all his stories. Myth: Naked Ed was once a professor. Naked Truth: Ed has never attended college. He even said he has never used a computer. But if

“IT IT’SS NICE TO BE IMPORTANT, BUT IT’SS MORE IMPORTANT TO BE NICE.” IT caught the baboon in the woods near his hut, and he cut off the head and hung it up. After Parrish’s son had nightmares, she asked Ed to tell him the true story. The baboon head was a gift from a bar owner.

Myth: His friends and family must disapprove or are unaware of lifestyle.

Naked Truth: His friend from high school was not surprised when Ed shed his clothes and spent his days at the springs. “He’s always cared about the area,” Ed’s friend, Harvey Campbell, said. “I think it was a natural transition.” Campbell found amusement in that after high school he became a tourism director and Ed became a tourist attraction. Ed said his mom was proud of him. She was happy to see the publications that ran articles featuring her son.

someone asks what he used to teach, he will play along and say “idiots.”

Myth: One of Ed’s previous hut burned down by accident. Naked Truth: This one is more controversial and unresolved. Ed believes it was arson. He said the river was flooded at the time and the electricity was cut off, so there was no way it could have been an accident. But while he feels he knows who it is, he cannot prove it in court. Ed has moved on now. “My attitude is I shouldn’t try to get revenge,” he said.

THE LEGEND Though Ed lives a very simple life, he is well known in High Springs and beyond. He even has a beer named in his honor at the Great Outdoors Restaurant. Karen Bentz, who owns the restaurant with her husband, came up with “Naked Ed’s Pale Ale.”


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NAKED UPDATE:

“THE THE TWO THINGS I’M AFRAID OF IS LIGHTNING AND MARRIAGE.”

W

hat would Ed do if his hut at Lily Spring was destroyed? He would start building a new one that floats, of course. Last year, Tropical Storm Debby caused flooding throughout North Central Florida, including the Santa Fe River and the local springs. Water swallowed up campsites and destroyed Naked Ed’s hut. Not to be discouraged, Ed used the planks from his old abode to create a simple conical 62 | Summer 2013

structure, topped with a large, umbrella-like piece that a man found while canoeing on the river. Inside, there is room only for a bed and a bookshelf — and a bird nest (home to at least two birds). For now, this new simple retreat sits across from an aluminum pontoon Ed purchased from a junkyard for $300. When materials and manpower combine, he hopes to have his new hut parked on the river beside his dock, ready to take on all types of weather.


She and her husband bought the original Great Outdoors Restaurant and renovated it “to be incredibly regional.” She said she tried to “pick out the unusual things of the town and spin it in a positive way,” and so of course Ed was to be part of this. Before developing the idea to name a beer after him, Bentz canoed out to Lily Spring and spent hours with Ed to tell him her plans. She took a picture of him that day, hired a graphic artist and used it as a label. It is not just the beer that he inspired at the restaurant, however. He has a plate with a caricature of his likeness on it, a dish called “Naked Ed’s Low Country Boil,” T-shirts, coasters (which Ed autographs) and his face is even on the men’s bathroom door. Ed was very happy to be invited to the opening party for the restaurant, Bentz said. He shook hands with everyone and acted as a mini ambassador.

He was a “persona that everyone heard of but didn’t know personally” until the opening of the restaurant, she said. “Even though I call myself a crazy old man,” Ed said, “if I didn’t have nothing to do in life, if I didn’t allow the people to get out and talk to me, et cetera, I probably wouldn’t be a crazy old man.” One of Ed’s many sayings is written across the top of his photo on the beer label: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” At his high school reunion, Ed said there was a table set aside for him. Though he could not make it to the event, his friends told him that there was a table for him because he was the only one of them who became famous. At the age of 63, not only has he become well known, but he has surpassed doctor’s expectations. “Most people with this disease don’t make it to 50,” Ed said. “I’m one of the lucky ones.”

Women, more than men, come to skinny dip with Ed. He has filled an entire album of photos of visitors, clothed and unclothed, who pose with him. And while he does not want to have children, for fear of passing on the health problems that he has, he said he has had female companions. But his primary interest is caring for the springs and the tourists that come to visit. “The springs is a lot better off with Ed there as a caretaker,” Parrish said. “He’s good for the place.” Living the simple life suits Ed best. “Everyone’s in such a damn hurry to get nowhere,” Ed said. And when it is suggested to him that he could spread his words of wisdom with others he declines notions of jobs that would allow him to do so. “I should have been a preacher or a politician, but I’m too honest,” he said. “I don’t want to try. I’m retired, damn it.” s

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>> THE STATE YOU’RE IN

Summertime

…and the Living is Easy

North Central Florida is an Amazing Place and the Perfect Time to Experience It is Right Now

es, it’s that time of the year once again — time to get out of the house, take a family vacation, enjoy a ‘staycation,’ hit the beach, visit a museum or maybe even all of the above. To that end, we have assembled just a few of the fun times to be found here in our area and elsewhere in the Sunshine State.

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I’D RATHER BE SURFING Hang ten at some of the best beaches the state has to offer. Not sure how? That’s where surfing lessons come in. With a multitude of places to choose from, near and far, there’s no reason to miss the summer swells. Young and old alike can try their hand at the art of surfing either in a group setting

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or with private lessons, depending on how much money you’re willing to spend. Professional surfers can even rent a board, and other supplies, at most shops that offer lessons. With the high-class g training of Florida’s fine e coaches you’ll be a pro in no time and will surely have the best vacation story in the office. P.S. If you prefer to ride out the waves on a boogie board, don’t worry: most shops have boards on-hand to rent. www.thesurfingsite. com/Surf-SchoolsNorthern-Florida.html

PLUCK ‘N’ SHUCK Your five-star, gourmet seafood dinner is just a splash away. From July to September, grab your fins, snorkeling mask and mesh bag to collect Florida bay y scallops p from the refreshing blue waters


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PHOTOS COURTESY ST. AUGUSTINE SURF SCHOOL

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of the state’s prime scallop hubs, including Homosassa, Crystal River and Steinhatchee. No matter which location you choose, there are plenty of tour companies with guided excursions or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can comb through the sea grasses on your own time and dime. If you plan on finding your own scallop oasis, you’ll need a diver’s flag and a Florida saltwater fishing license, plus a sense of direction to hit it big. With your catch of the day you can whip up scallop stuffing, fried scallops or scallops on the half shell, but if you’d rather leave the cooking to the seafood experts, take your scalloping adventure to

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Horseshoe Beach down in Dixie County. The cooks at the town’s café will blacken or fry your bounty and serve it up along with sides. No matter what, when collecting scallops don’t put them in your pockets or bathing trunks — they pinch! www.flseagrant.org www.southerncrosses.com

NO WAKE ZONE – VISIT CRYSTAL RIVER Come face to face with Florida’s own gentle giants. Guided manatee tours, which Crystal River is famous for, occur year-round from a variety of local tour companies in Crystal River and the surrounding

area. Though the best time to see these creatures is during the winter months, most tours have a track record for spotting manatees on almost every tour. To ensure the safety of the manatee — an endangered species — tour companies let guests know the safety rules before they set off on their tour, including how to properly interact with the manatee (you can only pet the manatees if they approach you first) and how to properly swim when near manatees (you should float at the surface and avoid causing any disturbances in the water). www.crystalriverflorida.com www.sunshinerivertours.com


KAYAK ATTACK

SADDLE UP Whether you’re trotting on a trail through the forest or galloping across the beach, the view from on top of a horse can’t be beat. As one of the best ways to see Florida’s natural beauty, you’ll wind through some of the area’s best trails on horseback. Along the way you’ll see a variety of forests, wild flowers, butterflies, birds and mammals like you’ve never seen them before. With all different types of trails and riding packages to choose from, no two rides will ever be the same, so prepare to come back for more. www.realadventures.com/g17316_ florida-horseback-riding.htm www.floridahorsebacktrailrides.com

From the Shell Mound to the Waccasassa River, Wild Florida Adventures has more than enough tours to fill your summer. These kayak tours travel through the Big Bend area of Florida’s Gulf Coast with a seasonally changing lineup of five, or more, four-hour tours. With an experienced owner who knows more than his fair share about wildlife, you’re sure to see the best of Florida. www.wild-florida.com/location.shtml

HOWL AT THE MOON Get up close and personal with Florida’s after-dark wildlife. This once-in-a-full-moon trip starts at the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost in High Springs and continues either upstream or downstream depending on the time of year. With an experienced guide, you’ll experience the ultimate nature trip where you’ll see a number of

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things you might otherwise miss. Ending with a bonfire and posttrip celebration, this three-hour trip provides the best outdoors adventure nature has to offer. www.santaferiver.com/trips_moon.html

FANBOATIN’ AT CEDAR KEY Have ear protection, will travel — on an airboat. These high-powered machines are the coolest way to travel Florida’s waterways or, if the water gets boring, cut a path through grasses and weeds. With the wind in your hair, you’ll see all sorts of wildlife in its natural habitat. In freshwater, you can see alligators and herons and in the saltwater you can often spot a school of dolphins. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to sit right next to the boat’s captain for an elevated view of the sites. www.cedarkeyairboat.com

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“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” — DOUG LARSON

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SPLISH SPLASH A wave pool, kid’s cove, flume and slides make Wild Waters Water Park the premier destination for summer fun during the park’s 35th season. Located next to Silver Springs in Ocala, Marion County’s No. 1 water park is the perfect place for families to keep cool during Florida’s blistering summer swelter. Whether you want to relax poolside, get a giant water wedgie from the slides or feel the motion of the ocean without all the salt and sand, the park has rides and activities for everybody so no one will be left out of this splashing good time. www.wildwaterspark.com

NATURE’S FINEST With river cruises, wildlife exhibits and botanical gardens, Silver Springs showcases the natural beauty of the springs at this unique theme park. Located in Ocala, this park sits on the most widely known springs in the area where you can get an enchanting view below the crystal clear water on a glassbottom boat tour. Continue your wildlife exploration with a multispecies wildlife show, including a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with the animals and entertainers. After you let the kids run around on the Kids Ahoy! Playland with cargo climb net bridges, slides and more, you can listen to the musical stylings of some of your favorite artists at one of the many concerts, including Night Ranger, Kansas, and KC and The Sunshine Band. www.silversprings.com

GO FISHIN’! Once a month, from now until November, kids of all ages are invited to Family Fishing Days, UF’s Fishing For Success Program. These morning (8 – noon) events provide families the chance to fish together at seven heavily stocked ponds on the grounds of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, in a safe and fun setting. Bring your own equipment

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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or use the loaner poles and bait (hotdogs, cut liver, and bacon), and catch some fish! Volunteers are on hand to help with baiting hooks and releasing fish, and anglers young and old can expect to reel in bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish up to 10 lbs. Enter the “Kids Casting Challenge” where all children win a prize. There’s little shade, so bring sunscreen, hats and maybe an umbrella. lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu

MEET A MERMAID They would drink Grapette. Eat bananas. And perform ballet – all while under water. Still swimming strong after 66 years, mermaids can be found entertaining visitors in the giant fishbowl at Weeki Wachee Springs. Located about an hour north of Tampa at the crossroads of U.S. 19 and State Road 50, Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring — the only one of its kind in the world — and one of Florida’s oldest and most unique roadside attractions.

Come see the “The Little Mermaid,” as the world-famous mermaids perform their version of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale. Or hit the sandy beach at Buccaneer Bay, Florida’s only spring-fed waterpark, and enjoy a lazy river ride, beach volleyball or a thrilling flume ride — and perhaps pose for a photo op with a real live mermaid. www.weekiwachee.com

BOOM! OOOH! AHH! Head on over to beautiful downtown Alachua this Fourth of July for the city’s “Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America.” Each year, up to 30,000 people are drawn to Alachua to see the show and enjoy all of the children activities, including a petting zoo, bounce houses and water slides, as well as a skateboard and spray park. For the adults there

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will be several unique vendors, bingo contests, dancing groups and live musical entertainment. There is something for everyone at this event, which typically runs from 3 p.m. through 10 p.m., with fireworks lighting the sky at 9:30. www.cityofalachua.com/index.php/ july-4th-celebration

TUBE THE ITCHETUCKNEE To escape the blistering heat of a Hogtown summer, few things are more refreshing than an inner tube float trip down the Itchetucknee River. This pristine, 72 - 73° F., springfed river attracts thousands of people each year, who come to hike, see wildlife, picnic, swim, canoe, snorkel, scuba dive and — of course — tube down the river. There are several tube renting companies just outside the Itchetucknee Springs State Park entrance. Visitors can rent large tubes and rafts for anywhere from $5 to $20 per flotation device.

GO GATORS! HIKE THE LACHUA TRAIL Want to see some alligators? Take a walk on the wild side. The LaChua Trail offers a 3-mile round trip from the North Rim of Paynes Prairie to the observation tower trail. Embark on the boardwalk and observe Alachua Sink, a natural drain that will, on occasion, clog and transform the prairie into a lake. Along the way you will likely see countless alligators basking on the banks or

swimming in the water. Bring your binoculars but leave your pets at home. Stretching for an eye-boggling 21,000 acres, the Paynes Prairie is home to bison, cracker horses and cattle, alligators, sandhill cranes and more than 270 bird species. The LaChua Trail is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. until one hour before sunset and can be accessed from 4801 Camp Ranch Road in Gainesville. www.floridahikes.com/paynesprairie-lachua. 352-466-3397

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THE FINAL FRONTIER Ignition sequence start. All engines running. Liftoff! We have liftoff! For 50 years, John F. Kennedy Space Center has been the gateway to the universe. Located on a wildlife refuge eight times the size of Manhattan, visitors can enjoy the unique chance to tour — up close and personal — NASA’s launch and landing facilities. Feast your eyes on the massive Saturn V, the most powerful rocket that had ever flown successfully — the rocket that put men on the moon. You can also enjoy interactive simulators, see live shows and experience encounters with other massive rockets. And now visitors will be able to see the retired space shuttle, as the Space Center completes its new $100 million Atlantis facility at the Visitor Complex. The six-story facility is located in the Shuttle Plaza next to the existing Shuttle Launch Experience. At the entrance to the Atlantis exhibit, guests walk underneath a full-size replica space shuttle external tank flanked by two solid rocket boosters. As we go to press, Atlantis is wrapped up during construction of the facility in order to preserve its natural state when it last returned to Earth. Shooting for a late June opening, the 90,000-square-foot home will provide a unique vantage point to explore the orbiter up close. Learn all about the 30-year Space Shuttle Program through simulators and hands-on, interactive experiences. Visit the space center and hear the story of how the United States built a space program that launched men to the Moon, orbited satellites that have improved our lives, and sent probes into distant space to solve the mysteries of the cosmos. Plus, you can even meet a veteran NASA astronaut. www.nasa.gov

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CLIMBING THE WALLS Do you dream of scaling the Grand Canyon? Is climbing a mountain on your bucket list? Florida may be flat — but you can still get in some practice. This summer, visit a local rock climbing gym, such as Gainesville Rock on South Main Street. Hooked up to a harness, climbers can navigate their way up cliffs 36 feet high. The more challenging a wall, the more spaced out the rocks will be and the harder to grip and stand on. But even if you’re a novice, instructors will teach you about safety, how to knot the ropes, and basic climbing techniques on your first trip. Gainesville Rock also offers a bouldering area, which is climbing close to the ground above a padded surface without using ropes or harnesses. Rock gyms are a great way to work up a sweat (and an adrenaline rush) away from the summer heat. www.gainesvillerock.com

If Florida summers had a fragrance, it would be of suntan lotion and chlorine — the smell of a crowded community pool in July. When the weather gets warm, the pools around town open for the season and fill up with splashing children. For those without a pool at home, these alternatives can be a great place to bring the kids for swimming lessons, have a family day out or work in some exercise by doing laps. Most community pools offer daily rates or seasonal passes for admittance. Some, such as the H. Spurgeon Cherry Pool at the Westside Recreation Center, also have water slides and diving boards. Others, for instance the Dwight H. Hunter Pool at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center, have designated time weekday mornings for swimming laps. If nothing else, community pools are a nice break from the summer heat. www.cityofgainesville.org

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PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY

GO SWIMMING COMMUNITY POOLS

ON TARGET Practice a little friendly fire with a bow and arrow, and some friends. Easton-Newberry Sports Complex is a world-class venue for archers of all skill levels, offering classes for kids and adults from beginner to intermediate. Archers can find both an indoor archery range, with 20 lanes shooting to 25 meters, and three outdoor ranges

with a 160-foot covered shooting line equipped with high-speed video cameras or multi-linked video cameras so you can record and re-watch your arrow take flight. Don’t fret if you don’t get the hang of it right away, even the best archers have to take more than one beginner class to get the hang of this spirited sport. www.eastonnewberrysportscomplex.com


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ZIP-LININ’! See Florida from a bird’s eye view, whizzing between treetops and swooping down to the water. Bring a sense of adventure (and leave behind your fear of heights) to experience ziplining through North Florida wilderness this summer. Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours, one of the few ziplining locations in Florida, offers tours through a remote Ocala wilderness. Strap on your safety harness and fly down the zip lines between occasional landing posts. Tours can last a few hours and speeds can reach 50 mph. A guide will teach you about the area’s history and wildlife along the way — or you might just experience it up close and personal in the trees. www.zipthecanyons.com www.gatorland.com

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“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” — JAMES DENT

HEY BOOBOO, I SMELL A PIC-A-NICK BASKET! Grab a basket, a blanket and some snacks, and head on down to the nearest shady spot – which shouldn’t be hard in Gainesville, named Florida Tree City of the Year in 1997. At UF’s Lake Alice, you can relax on a blanket in the grass or take up residence at a picnic table, with the lake and Baughman Center a scenic backdrop. Lake

Alice is one of the few areas in incorporated Gainesville where you can see live alligators. Walk off your meal by taking the boardwalk on the lake’s northern side, which leads you through the woods and over the swamp to a viewing platform. Stay till dusk and watch the flying mammals emerge from the bat houses across the street. A sidewalk and picnic tables surround the lake, making


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tube. Additionally, this is the only river in North Florida in which you can hydra slide and tube. Lastly, camping can be as close as your own property. On June 22, thousands of families across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities, and parks and enjoy a night under the stars while helping fundraise for a leading conservation organization. This event encourages people to get outside and connect with the natural world, which is especially important for kids because, for the first time in our country’s history, there is an entire generation growing up disconnected from nature. Spending time outdoors, like Campout, makes kids happier and healthier. www.backyardcampout.org

PHOTOS BY TJ MORRISSEY

VISIT DEVIL’S MILLHOPPER

it the perfect spot for a picnic on a summer afternoon. But remember: don’t feed the gators! virtualtour.ufl.edu/campus_sites/alice

CAMPING IS IN TENTS! S’mores, campfires, and latenight ghost stories. Day hikes, picnics, and swimming in the springs. Nothing says summer more than a camping trip. Luckily, it doesn’t take much driving before you’re in the wilderness. If you head south, you can camp in the deep woods of the Ocala National Forest. Reserve spots for RVs or traditional tenting, and then

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spend the days hiking, bike riding, fishing or swimming at spots such as Juniper Springs. There are also hundreds of miles of trails that wind through the forest, including specific-use tracks such as the Ocala 100 Mile Horse Trail for equestrians. Summertime in Ocala National Forest also means taking extra precautions for black bear safety; bears are more active in summer months. If you head north, you can experience Florida river life at places such as the Suwannee River State Park. Bring a canoe, snorkel or scuba gear if you want to get into the water, or just bring your inner

At 120 feet deep and 500 feet across, it takes 236 steps to wind your way to the bottom (and what feels like 500 to climb your way back out). It’s the “Millhopper Challenge” — a trek into an historic north Gainesville sinkhole that’ll make your legs ache but your eyes widen. This National Natural Landmark is part of Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. Since the 1800s, visitors have come to marvel at the deep bowl’s rich vegetation, which can look almost like a Florida rainforest during the summer. Water runs from the sinkhole’s ancient limestone, winds along the bottom of the sink, and disappears again underground. On Saturday mornings at 10, you can visit the park for a guided tour with a ranger who will share the park’s history and geological value. Devil’s Millhopper is also a great summer day trip. After getting a view from the bottom, visitors can also hike a half-mile nature trail around the sink’s edge or pack a lunch to eat in the park’s picnic area. www.floridastateparks.org/ devilsmillhopper


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UP, UP AND AWAY! Beachgoers: Why not enjoy the sunshine and the view from a new perspective? Put on your harness and take to the sky! Parasailing, which can be found in most of Florida’s major coastal cities, offers you a chance to sail peacefully through the air while hanging from a parachute as a powerboat pulls you along coastal waters. Parasail riders can ascend to 1,000 feet in the air and can fly solo or with up to two other riders. Start from shore or from the back of a boat. The safest and most popular method involves sitting on the back of the boat and being tethered to a winch as you float into the wide blue yonder. After the ride, you are reeled in to land safely back on the boat. Weather is an important safety consideration for parasailing. Make sure to avoid the sport when there are high winds or nearby storms.

ENCOUNTER SEA LIFE Immerse yourself in the underwater world without getting wet at the Florida Aquarium in downtown Tampa. You can explore the ocean depths from behind the thick glass and then get up close and personal with rays and starfish in the popular touch tanks. Stroll through a coral reef gallery where you’ll be surrounded by sharks, sea turtles, eels and more. Walk the “Florida Wetlands Trail” and see everything from Great Blue Herons and otters to Burmese pythons. The Florida Aquarium is a not-for-profit organization that has been ranked among the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com and the top five “Kid-Friendly Aquariums” by Parents Magazine. The aquarium even includes a two-acre outdoor water adventure zone for kids, complete with water slides, a sandbox and giant sea creature figures. www.flaquarium.org

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“Summertime is always the best of what might be.”

— CHARLES BOWDEN

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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ANTIQUING Sometimes summer thrills can be hidden in the little things — like finding an historic piece of furniture tucked away in a local antique shop. Antiquing can be a great weekend activity, whether looking for something specific or just waiting to see what turns up. In old towns such as Micanopy, the history of the people itself can be found on an antique

shop’s shelves. Some antiquehunters look for older pieces to restore, such as a worn armoire that could be repainted, but others are just looking for a story that might be found in an old locket with faded photographs. All over Alachua County, small antique stores or flea market vendors are selling bits of old Florida history, and summer can be a great time to go hunting for it.

INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION Visit “the little town that time forgot,” and join Micanopy on the Fourth of July for its annual parade and celebration. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and is free to the public. A fish fry sponsored by the Thrasher Warehouse — home of the Micanopy Historical Society Museum — begins immediately

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after, with all the proceeds going toward the upkeep of the museum, building and grounds. Games for children, including water balloons and bounce houses, begin around 5 p.m. at the Micanopy Ball Park, followed by a fireworks show at dusk. 352-466-3121.

for dive certification are offered all over the Sunshine State, with the “Open Water Diver” class being the most popular for beginners. The class typically requires five academic sessions, five confined water dives and four open water dives.

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DIVE IN! GET CERTIFIED About 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, so it makes sense that the dream of underwater breathing has been around since the days of Greek philosopher Aristotle. However, modern scuba (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving as we know it today did not become popular until Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan invented the modern scuba system, the “Aqua-lung,” in 1943. Florida, with its 1,200 miles of coastline and its famous springs, is an especially popular destination for diving. Courses

GO MUDDIN’ Hop into your four-wheel drive vehicle and bring it on down to the mud hole. Mud bogging, also known as mud racing or mudding, is a type of off-road motorsport where the goal is to drive your vehicle through a mud pit of a set length. The distance traveled through the pit determines the winners. Participants typically compete in four-wheel drive vehicles. Races can be found all over Florida. The muddy motor sport is overseen by sanctioning bodies, like the American Mud Racing Association and the National Mud Racing Organization. These organizations work to develop and maintain relationships with track owners to provide a racer- and fan-friendly facility, ensure the sponsors get a good return and help govern the sport. www.oceanpond.net www.mudup.com www.hogwallermudbog.com

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GEEK OUT Unleash your inner scientist this summer at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), where visitors can invent toys or create robots in the new do-it-yourself laboratory, Idea Zone. The laboratory includes a media studio, fabrication and science labs and a simulation center. Located in Tampa, MOSI is home to Florida’s only IMAX Dome Theatre

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that projects images onto a domeshaped screen providing 10,500 square feet of visual imagery. The physical length of an IMAX film, if spread out, can be over 10 miles long. Visit Disasterville, a small town of building simulations where you can experience hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and forest fires. Or harness yourself onto a bicycle suspended on the High Wire Bike, the longest in a U.S museum. Visitors can also climb the Sky Trail Ropes Course, a 12-to-36 foot high ropes course now with a zip line and much more. Children can play inside Kids In Charge, the largest children’s science center in the nation. For a limited time, MOSI offers Sea Monsters Revealed, an exhibition of the world’s largest plastinated sea creatures, including a 6-foot-wide manta ray, a 15-foot-long mako shark, a giant squid and an 18-foot-long, 3,000pound whale shark. www.mosi.org

SKYDIVE INDOORS Not ready to jump from a perfectly good airplane? You can still experience the rush of freefalling without donning a parachute or setting foot inside a plane. Indoor skydiving simulates the experience by using a wind tunnel with highpower fans to create a “cushion of air” for you to float on. No parachute and no plane required. IFLY in Orlando offers indoor skydiving for almost any age. www.orlando.iflyworld.com

FREE FALLIN’ Try the fastest non-motorized sport in the world – skydiving! An estimated 500,000 people a year try jumping out of a plane for the first time. This adrenaline-filled sport involves taking a leap in faith from 10,000 to 14,000 feet in the air, freefalling at about 120 miles per hour and then floating


to the ground with the help of a parachute. Among the methods of skydiving, tandem jumping is the most popular for first-time skydivers. Students make the jump while strapped to a trained instructor. First-time jumps typically include 30 to 60 minutes of instruction beforehand. There are about 20 “drop zones” throughout Florida. www.uspa.org

Not long ago skateboarders would have to take to the streets to hone their skills. But since April 2010, Gainesville has a skate park, providing enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their sport and learn new tricks. At the Possum Creek Skate Park, riders can skate safely at a park with a bowl, rails and a stairway, boxes, a step up and other obstacles. Located at 4009 NW 53rd Ave., Possum Creek Park is open daily from dusk to dawn. The park also features recreation fields, kite

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Meet Joe Akins

SUNSTATE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION’S NEW CEO TALKS ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF HIS JOB – PEOPLE

F

rom an early age, Joe Akins learned about building relationships. A native of Bell, Florida, he attended the same small school from kindergarten through 12th grade and knew pretty much everybody. “In a small school, you had to have that personality to be able to meet people and get along with just about everybody,” he said. “All through my years I’ve been making friends and building relationships. That has paid great dividends for me.” While the financial pun is not intended, it is an accurate reflection on his approach as the new President and CEO at SunState Federal Credit Union. Akins is not your typical financial executive – he is usually seen casually dressed in a button-down shirt (sans tie) and is known for his approachability and open-door policy for employees and members alike. His affable nature has served him well in a career that has included almost every aspect of SunState, from his start as a collections manager in 1993 to his recent appointment as President and CEO. In good times and in bad, he explained, it is kindness tempered with knowledge that customers remember. “In the collections world people think you’re hard core, but I got more satisfaction having people believe in me,” said Akins. “Everybody can be nice – that’s the easiest thing in the world. But

being nice under extreme hardship or circumstances is where the value comes in. That’s where you build that strong foundation with customers. We want to keep our service elevated because that’s what keeps them coming back. That’s where we identify ourselves as an organization built on strong relationships.” The son of a farmer who also worked for the Department of Transportation and public works, Akins originally planned a career in agriculture. But after seeing the financial uncertainty of the farming business, he earned a degree in forestry from Lake City Community College and went to work for Georgia Pacific. Hoping for a promotion that would allow him to stay in North Central Florida, he obtained another degree from Santa Fe Community College before ultimately graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor of science in business administration. The promotion he had hoped for, however, was no longer there. Hungry for work that would keep him in the region he loved, he approached his friend Mark Walker about a job at Barnett Bank. Four days later, Akins began his financial career and stayed with Barnett until he joined SunState in 1993. While his friendly nature has been his hallmark, it is his tireless work ethic that has moved him through the ranks of collections, credit, risk management and lending to where he is now.

“I don’t have the gene that says ‘Give up’” he said. “I don’t quit. I’m passionate about being the best I can be all the time. People have always looked at me [and said], ‘If he can’t solve it, it can’t be solved.’” In his new position, Akins wants to remind everyone in North Central Florida that SunState is full of people just like him – friendly, knowledgeable and ready to help. The staff is the heart of SunState’s small-town feel, and acknowledging their accomplishments and encouraging them to achieve more is a top priority for Akins. “I have an open relationship with all of my staff. I want them to have that comfort level with me that I’m not just their boss, but also a counselor and a friend, someone they want to work hard for,” he said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to put the credit union in the best possible position to maintain and improve our current level of success. It all comes down to my people, and making sure they themselves are in the best possible position to succeed, as they help our customers and members succeed. “When I see one of the big banks, I just see a building. When I look at SunState Federal Credit Union, I see the people that make us unique.”

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Get to know Joe… We know he’s the new President and CEO of SunState Federal Credit Union. But what about the Joe Akins that exists outside of work? FAMILY: Y Wife of 21 years, Betty Ramos; five children; one dog, Chester FAVORITE THING(S) TO DO IN GAINESVILLE: Art walks and other artistic events. “My wife’s father was a wellknown artist in Miami. Betty has taken this country boy nature of mine and really gotten me interested in art!” FAVORITE RESTAURANT(S): Mac’s Drive-Thru, Napolitano’s, Leonardo’s on NW 16th Boulevard. “Eating at restaurants is like entertainment for us.” MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck, MD. MOST RECENT MOVIE SEEN: “Seabiscuit” (on video) FAVORITE ACTOR: Morgan Freeman. “No matter what role he plays, he fills it up. He is a natural.”

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COLUMN >> BRIAN “KRASH” KRUGER

Gate Crashing On Deck: Teague, Yoshi Hamaya, The Jones Tones, Eli Collins DATE: SATURDAY, APRIL 13 VENUE: THE JAM reetings, live music aficionados! This issue finds us at the Jam, a newish venue I’d been meaning to get to for quite awhile. At 817 West University Avenue in Midtown Gainesville, it’s but a stone’s throw from 1982 Bar, Mother’s and the (recently tragically shuttered) Laboratory. The venue is unique in Gainesville (so far as I know, anyhow) and, as its name implies, during its more usual nightly sessions, is often centered around attracting musos for impromptu improvisational performances (“jams”). To that end, the east half of the bar’s interior features a stage with a drum kit set up, and a backline (amplifiers needed for playing electrified instruments), so that musicians can show up with their instruments and simply plug in rather than having to lug their amps to the venue to play. But The Jam goes one better; hanging on the west wall of the bar stage are a dozen or so guitars and basses available for musicians to grab and use, so that they need not even bring an instrument to join in. This afternoon, however, was a special daytime event and the weather was perfect, so everything was happening on the outside backyard stage instead. Under large oaks, there is a wooden stage platform along the western edge of the property, flanked by two tall cutouts meant to look like castle towers, outlined by twinkly white Christmas-type lights. The event was a benefit called Amandapalooza, the

G

brainchild of Jam proprietress Nicole Goff. Unlike so many benefits necessitated by calamitous accident or illness, this event was instead the result of the all too common situation of a mom working two jobs and at the mercy of a single bus line (out to her home near Boulware Springs), or relying on the good graces of her friends in order to get to town for work, etc. Nicole had met Amanda Emslie through their mutual connection to the Gainesville Homeschool Co-Op, and since Nicole knew a batch of local musicians through The Jam, she resolved to help her friend buy a “beater” vehicle via a benefit event. Despite Amanda putting off Nicole for months while Amanda tried to solve her problem alone, Nicole eventually simply told her that the event was going to go forward, and Amanda finally capitulated and gave the event her blessing. In addition to the performances, there was food, live art, a silent auction, and several items donated by Gainesville businesses being raffled off. The first act up was seated solo performer John Teague, who apparently is often just billed as “Teague” (that’s how he was announced at the event, anyhow). Playing acoustic blues/Americana that seemed inspired by 1920s-‘30stype music, the first performer that Teague called to mind was Leon Redbone, albeit without the idiosyncratic vocals (Teague is a better singer) and without the retro garb. Maybe throw in a little Arlo Guthrie and pre-Disney Randy Newman. So, there were songs about women (one was a nice ballad called “Jackie”) and trains (more than one of the latter), and even a song that was a virtual laundry list of all the things (up

While seated, he tapped out a rhythm with his foot, which may have been atop some sort of drum, which was also rigged to make a marionette called Josie dance.

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to and including the FBI!) one might conceivably be “bluesing” over. Teague’s acoustic technique was really nice, playing bass notes and letting them ring while playing more lead-type bits on the higher strings, to give a fuller sound than might otherwise be expected from a single instrument. Speaking of getting more from a single performer, the next act up was “Yoshi Hamaya, the Near Great.” Yoshi told an interesting if somewhat non-linear story of his own mythic origin, and how he came to be traveling the world with puppets and marionettes. While seated, he tapped out a rhythm with his foot, which may have been atop some sort of drum, which was also rigged to make a marionette called Josie dance. He then added a classical (nylon-string) acoustic-electric guitar, on Teague which he played an instrumental that sounded a bit like a raga (traditional Indian music, not to be confused with reggae). Then came a story about Punch and Judy and their latest, less-violent incarnations, followed by playing harmonica with more dancing by Josie, capped off by a finger-puppet rendition of the traditional fable “The Bremen Town Musicians.” The kids were absolutely entranced, and circled around him on the stage so as not to miss anything. Third (and last, for me, though others The Jones Tones came later) was a duo called the Jones Tones. A guy played acoustic guitar and sang (usually backing,) and a gal sang lead. They did covers of Joni Mitchell (which can be really vocally challenging), including “Free Man In Paris” and “California,” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Sweet Angel,” and had the audience singing along. Good times. Almost $800 was raised at the event and online for Amanda’s “beater.” Now, go see some bands. s

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>> INTERVIEW

John Orth

ARTIST. MUSICIAN. DREAMER.

Artist. Cofounder and singer/songwriter of Holopaw. Orth spends his days collaborating on art projects at Satchel’s Lightning Salvage, at The Top Restaurant, and cofounder of F.L.A. Gallery.

BY ALBERT ISAAC

AGE: 42 HOMETOWN: BORN & RAISED IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA TIME IN GAINESVILLE: LONG ENOUGH THAT HE’S LOSING TRACK — ABOUT 16 YEARS EDUCATION: BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS FROM FLORIDA STATE

lorida Native John Orth is an artist, songwriter and has — until recently — been splitting his time between New York and Gainesville, making art, making music and making a living in a variety of creative endeavors. I had the good fortune to meet up with this youthful artiste in downtown Gainesville, where we talked about his life, his music and his creative process.

F

I understand that you are involved in a lot of projects. Let’s start with your art. I do painting and drawing. I’m doing some prints. I’m also partnered in this

96 | Summer 2013

gallery downtown, F.L.A. Gallery, and so we have a print show that was here for a couple of months that we’re moving to New York and inviting some new artists to be a part of that. So I do printmaking and I also sing in this band, Holopaw. And for Holopaw, I end up doing some varied creative jobs, graphic design and video production and such.

I just saw a video online for Holopaw’s song, “The Lights from the Disco.” Did you do that? I did do the video. Also — small town, small world — we shot that video at Bill Bryson’s, who does Grow Radio and so many

other things. We shot that at his property.

Did you write the song, as well? I wrote the lyrics and, I guess came up with the melody. I work with five other wildly talented musicians that make it a song.

When did you become an artist? I don’t remember a time that I didn’t identify myself as an artist. I feel like that was something I got affirmation for as a young child and so it was always my focus and always how I identified myself and how I was identified. Music was something that surprised me.


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So the music came later? It did. For years, I did weekly comics for different publications around the United States, and my friend Jeff Hays — who is also a childhood friend who works here for the county — thought that they would make for good songs. So we spent a summer making these comics into songs. I always liked to sing but never thought I’d be in a band. I never thought I would play music before a crowd or that I would have anything recorded or released. So that’s something that is relatively new. I’ve been doing that for 10 years, but it still feels like I’m a bit of an outsider in that world.

I’m thinking those comics weren’t your traditional narrative. It was more poetic than narrative. He [Hays] and I became the founding members of the band, Holopaw. The group of guys that I’m working with now has been a stable lineup going on three years.

What happened after you wrote the songs from the comics? We recorded with tape, cassette tape (laughs) and we circulated that around to our friends and, inevitably, somebody asked us to play a party. We played various shows and the lead singer from Modest Mouse [Isaac Brock] — he used to live here — he saw one of our shows and asked me to be part of a solo

98 | Summer 2013

record he was working on. And that led to us being signed to a label, Sub Pop, in Seattle.

What was that like, being signed to a record label so quickly? It was exciting and also anxiety producing because, again, to this day, it sort of feels like I’m touristing in that world.

What were your roles in this project? I co-wrote the songs on that record. That album was called “Ugly Casanova.” Over several months I would go out [to Cottage Grove Oregon] for a week at a time or so and his [Brock’s] producer Brian Deck would come out there and he would have a rotating cast of collaborators coming in and out of town. We would write, and then Brian would show up and we would record. Typically, I’d record my parts and then, over the next week or so, Isaac would work on his parts.

How did the name Holopaw come about? We were looking for a word that was Florida specific. So I checked out from the Alachua County Library a book on the origin of Florida names, of towns and rivers and such, and came across the town of Holopaw. I found it intriguing. By this book’s telling, it could have been a made-up word; people were aping the sound of a Native American word.

I’ve read that you recorded your most-recent record at the beach. Yes. We asked our friend Jeremy, who recorded our third and fourth records, we asked him to come down from Brooklyn. He set up an onsite studio at Satchel’s [a childhood friend] beach house. We lived there for a little more than a week and swam in the ocean and ate meals together and stayed up all night recording music. It was idyllic, for sure.

Were you guys also composing the songs? With a stable lineup, it was mostly already written. It was the most prepared we’ve ever been, going into a studio. We recorded probably 80 percent of the record there, and a lot of backing tracks were added here, and then I went to New York to record the vocals.

Where did you record here in Gainesville? We recorded in Jeff McMullen and Matt


Holopaw is: John Orth, Jeffrey Hays, Ryan and Patrick Quinney, Jeff McMullen, Matt Radick.

“We lived there for a little more than a week and swam in the ocean and ate meals together and stayed up all night recording music.” Radick’s living room (laughing). It’s amazing. Our friend Jeremy packed up a studio in his station wagon and drove it down from New York. It’s remarkable. He uses vintage microphones and compressors, but everything is recorded digitally. I don’t understand the logistics so much, but some things they’ll record

digitally and then they’ll bounce it to tape to give it warmth. And then it’ll come back to digital.

I understand you were recently lecturing in Wisconsin. How did that come about? A gentleman I went to school with, Michael Velliquette, is a professor

at the University of Wisconsin. He teaches a class on the pragmatic issues of being an artist. He asked Kelie Bowman and myself to speak to his class about Cinders Gallery, which was her space that I showed at, and then F.L.A., and to also show our own personal work and do studio visits with his students.

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What was that like? Was it comfortable for you? It was great. I have done public speaking like that on a couple of occasions; definitely music has me in front of crowds, but normally it’s with my eyes closed. It’s good to be reminded that, at 42, I might have acquired some knowledge that

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is worth imparting on other people. I was just humbled that my friend would think that that was the case. It was great experience.

Tell me about the F.L.A. Gallery. We’re eight months in, and we’re partnered with Scott and Hal, who own The Top Restaurant.

Who are you referring to when you say “we”? My friend Kelie Bowman. She is a graduate from the University of Florida. She moved to Brooklyn 10 years ago or so and opened up a gallery space called Cinders — the space I showed at for years. They lost their lease twice over and she was ready for a change. And that was happening simultaneously with me trying to open this gallery space in partnership with The Top. Scott Shillington — who is one of the owners of The Top — is a dear friend of mine, and the possibility to

100 | Summer 2013

be in collaboration with him was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Scott always wanted to do an art space and so he asked me if I would open a gallery. Kelie agreed to help me. She quickly fell in love with Gainesville all over again and so we made a two-year commitment to this space and this project. We’re eight months in and it’s going strong. Because of their generosity [The Top], we are able to have dedicated hours, we are able to bring in artists from all over the United States and we don’t have to focus on the bottom line, which is liberating. I knew it would bring great things to Gainesville and great things to my life.

It sounds like a win-win. It is. It’s exhausting, and there’s been quite a learning curve, but there’s a real hunger for art and a fervent support for the arts in this community. I’ve always thought that

in Gainesville, if you are willing to expend the energy it will come back ten-fold. And that has been the case. We’ve had great support, out of the gates, from the community.

Why is the gallery named F.L.A.? We called it F.L.A. because we wanted to own it as a Florida space. We feel very prideful of Gainesville, and particularly prideful of this part of Florida. What we’re selling to artists that are coming from out of town, we’re trying to make it more of a residency program where artists come and develop their artwork. We want to offer people a Florida experience. So anybody that comes, of course, we take them to the prairie and we take then to the springs and, in the whole, people are mesmerized.

Will you be having other events at the gallery? We’re trying to program

the space with readings and music events as just another reason for people to come in and experience the artwork. We’re open four days a week, Thursday through Saturday 5 – 10, Sunday 12 – 5. That was one of our priorities, to have legitimate gallery hours. So we’ve been relying on interns, largely from the university. They are the reason we are able to open our doors.

You sound very happy to be part of all of this. By many measures, I’m not a “successful” artist, in that I’m not supporting myself with my art, but I have figured out how to get my work into the world. And I feel really lucky for that. Part of it has been me having to facilitate those outlets, but also it’s been on the good faith of other people that I’ve tricked (laughing) into investing in my work. s F.L.A. Gallery is located at 10 N. Main St. For more information visit rewildingfla.com


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>> VISUAL ARTS

Public Access Local Business Owners Pitch in for a Priceless Gift to the Gainesville Community

BY ALLISON WILSON trip to the Starbucks in Gainesville’s downtown Sun Center will wake you up in more ways than one, thanks to a certain scrap-metal rooster attracting the attention of passersby from his post against the popular coffee house’s brick façade. He is not alone either. Just a few doors down, a similar statue of a stag hangs near the entrance of Persona Vintage Clothing & Costumes. These sculptures, along with four others adorning Sun Center businesses, are part of a recent installation, unveiled in January and born out of a grassroots effort to bring more art to public places in Gainesville. And,

A

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like most public art installations, the story behind how they got there is as complex and inspiring as the pieces themselves. “It’s not so easy to put sculptures in the ground,” Nava Ottenberg said with a laugh, during a recent phone interview. Ottenberg is owner of Persona Vintage Clothing and Costumes and a major force in bringing the Sun Center installations to life. Ottenberg’s vision and drive for the project came while she was traveling in Portland, Oregon, a city that enjoys nearly 500 pieces of public art. “There were creative things everywhere and anywhere I looked,” Ottenberg said. “I was inspired. As an art teacher, small business owner and creative person, I thought it was important

to have more public art Gainesville.” The City of Gainesville Cultural Affairs Arts Agency was receptive to Ottenberg’s idea but could not provide the funding needed for insurance or installation. So she focused her efforts on private property, turning to her neighboring business owners to gauge interest in bringing art to their sidewalks. Many of them pledged money to the cause, so Ottenberg began looking for art. Through her local cultural contacts, she tracked down the widow of Alfred Browning Parker, a noted modernist architect, University of Florida professor and friend of Frank Lloyd Wright. “I asked her if she’d like to be involved in exhibiting [some pieces I’d heard about from her husband’s


PHOTOS BY ALBERT ISAAC

Martha Kohen (left), a professor at UF’s school of architecture, and Mary Rockwood Lane unveil a sculpture by Alfred Browning Parker during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 5. City commissioners and private citizens attended the event, which included a walking tour around the block to see the sculptures. Ottenberg credits the other business owners and Mary Rockwood Lane for helping her bring her plans to fruition. “Her enthusiasm and ability were a driving force,” Ottenerg said. “I think it was very successful.” RIGHT: Also on display is this “moving” sculpture by artist Jasper North, who had volunteered to install the artwork.

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PHOTOS BY ALBERT ISAAC

Euphrosyne Parker cuts the ribbon on a gigantic rooster sculpture, created by Peruvian artist Victor Delfín in 1960. Delfin also crafted the stag. Both are part of the private collection of Euphrosyne’s late husband. “It seems natural there, because it should have been there in the first place,” Ottenberg said.

“We now have incredible public art at our doorsteps.” art collection],” Ottenberg said. “Some people thought it was bold to ask for such a thing, but I said ‘so what?’” The pieces Ottenberg was after were the rooster and stag sculptures, created by Victor Delfín, an acclaimed Peruvian sculptor, whose work is exhibited in major museums throughout North and South America. “The sculptures were on exhibition in New York in 1960,” Ottenberg explained. “Alfred Parker saw them, befriended Delfín and bought them home to his collection.” Parker’s widow generously donated the pieces, and the project took off from there. Ottenberg took on the roles of curator, fundraiser and manager of logistics. Her entirely volunteer initiative became a daily effort, as she worked with installation companies and ironworkers, and secured additional art donations, along with the cranes and machinery needed to “put the sculptures in the ground,” as it were. In addition to the Delfín pieces, local sculptor David Bell provided two steel sculptures for the installation — one is in front of Dragonfly Sushi and the other is next to Mark’s Prime. Across the street is a piece by Jasper North, another Gainesville sculptor. The project took 14 months to come to fruition. Ottenberg credits

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local arts supporter Mary Rockwood Lane for offering guidance and keeping her spirits up throughout the process. Lane even helped organize a mid-January event to unveil the installation to the public. It made quite a splash. “We now have incredible public art at our doorsteps,” Ottenberg said. “And it’s there because people worked together and gave and helped generously. Never underestimate how incredibly successful the results can be when a grassroots effort like that happens.” Ottenberg hopes the installations will ignite city-funded efforts, or at least inspire more local art enthusiasts to get involved in bringing public art to Gainesville. Her advice? “Follow up on your vision, and be there from day one until it is in the ground,” she said. “And be rewarded by the art itself. I think it is so important for people to enjoy this art — to stop in their daily routine of work, work, work, and appreciate the beauty and significance of this work — these works of art.” s

How did that get there? An overview of UF public art

D

id you know that the widely recognized and beloved University of Florida landmark “Alachua,” better known as the “French Fries,” caused quite a controversy upon installation? This Gainesville symbol of public art once caused public outcry, when UF’s Art in State Buildings Program brought the paintedaluminum sculpture by John Henry to the outdoor terrace of the computer science building in 1988. Let’s just say it was before its time. So who put it there? The UF Art in State Buildings program is a component of the state of Florida’s Art in State Buildings initiative, which was established in 1979 and “continues to highlight nationally and internationally

recognized artists in its growing collection of diverse art,” according to information on the UF ASB website. Up to a half of one percent of state funds allocated for the construction of a new building is set aside for the acquisition of public art for that facility. UF’s ASB program boasts a growing collection of more than 155 works of art on university campuses, which are located across the state. Works of art, like our beloved French Fries and the more recent Blue Trees exhibition, are selected via committee. Projects with smaller budgets tend to procure pre-existing works of art for purchase, while project committees with larger budgets commission artists to make site-specific proposals. Artists from around the world are encouraged to submit proposals. Want to learn more? Visit www.arts.ufl.edu/asb or email pubart@arts.ufl.edu.

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>> PAINT THE TOWN

Fine Arts

Anniversary The GFAA Celebrates 90 Years

BY ALLISON WILSON ince the first baseball game was played in Yankee Stadium, since Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President of the United States and since women’s one-piece bathing suits were all the rage, the Gainesville Fine Arts Association has enriched our community with culture by celebrating the arts. “GFAA is an all-volunteer organization whose members have an interest in art — whether it’s creating pieces themselves, or showcasing or collecting them,” said Chuck Sapp, current GFAA president and owner of Paddiwhack Gallery in Gainesville. “It’s an opportunity for members to get together and network, discuss, promote and learn about art, and it’s important to our

S

community because art in itself is important to our daily lives, as we create and share with others.” This summer, GFAA celebrates its 90th anniversary with an event schedule that includes something for nearly every artist or art enthusiast. But first: a little history. The Gainesville Fine Arts Association was founded in 1923 through the shared vision of Nelly Trezerant, C. Addison Pound and artist-teacher F. W. (Emmeline) Buchholz, to “foster and encourage the study of visual arts in all its mediums.” During the World War II era and the growth of the 1950s, GFAA offered arts classes for all ages and skill levels, community sidewalk art shows, children’s exhibits and other art shows, jamborees and auctions.

PHOTOS BY ALLISON WILSON

OPPOSITE: GFAA offers ongoing community outreach initiatives for its members to display their work including quarterly art shows at the Central Park Medical Plaza on West Newberry Avenue. These pieces hung earlier this year during an exhibition that ended April 12.

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PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

Fun for everyone. Here a youngster creates gigantic bubbles at the Festival in 2010.

In 1968, the GFAA introduced its newsletter, which is now distributed in electronic form to further engage members. The association was re-chartered by the State of Florida in 1973 and granted 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt status in 1978. “Not only has the organization been around a long time, it’s always been very active and visible in the community,” Sapp said. “As a kid I can remember going to the mall, back when it was the Gainesville Mall, and they would have their annual show there, and that was one of my first exposures to abstract art. So our organization really does have a lasting impact on our community in terms of exposure to the arts.” In 1985, the organization introduced its beloved annual Art Festival at Thornebrook Village featuring about 45 artists. Today, this juried and judged festival takes place each October and showcases the works of more than 100 artists and fine craftsmen from around Florida. It is one of the largest art festivals in the area and one of two established and produced by GFAA. The second is the Tioga Art Festival, which debuted in 2006. It is well attended and supported by the public and features 90-plus artists from around North Central Florida and beyond. “Our festivals are cultural events that bring in

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tourism and impact the community economically,” Sapp said. “Our community is very engaged in the arts, and it’s helping Gainesville to grow.” GFAA offers ongoing community outreach initiatives for its members to display their work including quarterly art shows at the Central Park Medical Plaza on West Newberry Avenue, a winter show at Trinity Methodist Church and an annual show at The Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center (710 N. Main Street). GFAA artists can also showcase their work at various Gainesville businesses including cafes, restaurants and salons. Millhopper Library Branch on Northwest 43rd Street is also invited to show GFAA members’ work for one month each year. Today, GFAA is recognized as a diverse organization of emerging and accomplished visual artists, whose contributions benefit the cultural and economic vitality of the Gainesville community and beyond. Membership includes 150 artists from a variety of mediums — painting, photography, mixed-media, glass, fiber, ceramics, jewelry and wood work. Membership meetings are open to the public and take place on the second Thursday of the month at the Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center from September through May.


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PHOTO COURTESY OF GAINESVILLE FINE ARTS ASSOCIATION

GFAA member Karen LeMonnier works on her art during a recent plein air (outdoor painting) event.

“Creative people are great to have in your network to keep you connected and inspired,” said Roz Miller, GFAA public relations chair. “For me, I’m a painter, so when I paint, I strive that art should be a visual symphony to enrich one’s spirit and soul.” Member workshops allow GFAA artists enrich their souls and spirits by developing their techniques and skills. GFAA offers two workshops a year that feature noteworthy artists with strong instructional skills who give group demonstrations, individual feedback and group critique. GFAA also strives to develop future artist through Art for Kids, a continuing outreach project for young artists to develop their observational, imagination and creative skills through visual arts. GFAA recently donated $1,000 dollars — raised through donations and

member raffle ticket sales — to Friends of Elementary Arts, administered by the Gainesville Community Foundation. “With the current situation of budget cuts in education and community programs, we see arts organizations are often the first cut,” Sapp said. “GFAA has courted arts in public places and arts in our schools, and we donate annually to elementary art funds.” To celebrate GFAA’s community contributions, history and the talent of its members, the organization will host Art for All Seasons, its 90th celebration judged art exhibition, which begins with the Gala Reception on Tuesday, August 20. The artwork will hang through Sept. 5 at The Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center. All art is for sale. See the side bar for more details about this and other upcoming 90th Anniversary Celebration events, and visit www.gainesvillefinearts.com to learn about other ways to support GFAA and arts in the community. “Some may think of GFAA as promoting primarily the visual arts, but visual art is just one jewel in Gainesville’s cultural crown,” Miller said. “And there is so much that sparkles.” s

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Three painting venues: the Historic Duck Pond, the Matheson Museum on east University Avenue and the Pleasant Street History District details: A mini show of the day’s paintings will be displayed Saturday night from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center (716 North Main Street).

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ART FOR ALL SEASONS GALA RECEPTION date: time: place:

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details: Tickets $30/single and $50/couple. The judged show is open to visual artists, GFAA members and non-members. The Call-to-Artists invited artists in Florida and southern Georgia. The application deadline is July 1st. Artwork will hang through Sept. 5th. All art must be available for purchase at the Gala Reception and throughout the duration of the exhibition.

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> TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER BOOK REVIE REVIEW EW >>

Kid Pickers: How to Turn Junk into Treasure written by Mike Wolfe with Lily Sprengelmeyer c.2013, Feiwel and Friends $12.99 / $14.99 Canada; 114 pages t was just about the coolest thing you’d ever seen. Most people might’ve described the old bottle as garbage. True, it was dirty and half-sticking out of the ground. Yes, it was junk. But there was writing on the side and a date on the bottom. It was blue and when the sun hit it just right, despite the dirt, you could see something awesome. Yeah, most people would call that bottle “garbage,” but you call it a treasure. And in the new book “Kid Pickers” by Mike Wolfe (with Lily Sprengelmeyer), you’ll meet folks who would agree. When “American Picker” Mike Wolfe was your age, he loved nothing more than “picking through junk.” His

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room, he says, was filled with “rusty gold.” He especially loved bikes and old comic books. “I never thought of it as junk,” he says. “To me, this was treasure.” Picking is fun, you see, and becoming a Kid Picker is easy: having this book is a good start, and the tools you need are in your head. You shouldn’t even need a lot of money because some of the best finds are free or cheap. All you have to do is start looking for things that interest you. Neighborhood garage sales are great places to pick. They’re also great places to practice using your bargaining skills, so you’ll need to know how to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to bargain down because it never hurts to ask, right? You’ll find a lot of great stuff at auctions, but that takes practice, lots of caution, and an adult’s help. Keep your eyes open and know what you’re bidding on, or you could end up with something you’d never want in a million years! Thrift shops are picker’s paradise. Antique stores have tons of treasures. Flea markets don’t have real fleas, but they do have lots of goodies. You might also have good luck picking within your own family’s attic or barn. Then, no matter where you find your prize, try to find out more about it. Who owned it? Where did it come from? Is it worth lots of money, or is it just cool? And finally… what are you going to do with it? Remember thinking you might strike it rich with something you dug out of a barn, a box, or a bucket of dirt? Give your kids those dreaming possibilities, too, by giving them “Kid Pickers” to read. Author and History Channel star Mike Wolfe speaks to the hearts of junkyard pups with a bit of biography and even more useful hints. I liked the encouragement that kids get here — including advice on picking their family history — and I loved the pictures. I also think the profiles of other young pickers are just plain fun. Alas, the words “ask permission” are somewhat lacking here so, before you send your kids out with this book, be sure to repeat them a few times. With that reminder fresh in their heads, 7-to-12-year-olds will find “Kid Pickers” to be a goldmine. s Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives with her two dogs and 11,000 books.


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Taste of the Town

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Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood 201 SE 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL (Historic Downtown) Monday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm • Tues-Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm Happy Hour: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

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Flying Biscuit Café 4150 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605 Located in the Fresh Market Center Mon - Fri: 7am - 3pm • Sat - Sun: 7am - 4pm

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BREAKFAST — The Flying Biscuit is out to reinvent breakfast in Gainesville! Maybe you’ve tried their soon-to-be-famous creamy, dreamy grits or their “moon dusted” breakfast potatoes, but did you know you can have them at anytime? With a unique open menu, all the items that appear are available throughout the day. With a variety of healthy and hearty dishes, The Flying Biscuit caters to a variety of tastes. With options ranging from the Smoked Salmon Scramble, the Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich or the Tofu and Tater Salad, there’s something for everyone. Call us up to an hour before your expected arrival time to add your name to our call ahead seating list.

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352-373-8882NW 352-727-4005SW AdamsRibCo.com BARBECUE — Looking for the best BBQ in Gainesville? Then look no further than Adam’s Rib Company. Adam’s Rib is North Florida’s Premier Barbecue restaurant, serving North Florida’s finest beef brisket, pulled pork, bbq spare ribs and slow smoked chicken and turkey. Choose from over 20 sauces – from honey sweet to habanero hot – and everything in between. Don’t forget dessert, like their scrumptious “Banana Pudding” and their famous Peach Cobbler. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Adam’s can cater any event locally. Give Adam a call for your next tailgate party 352-514-8692!

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Dave’s New York Deli 12921 SW 1st Road • Tioga Town Center Open 7 Days

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AUTHENTIC NY DELI — The Reviews are in and here’s what customers are saying about Dave’s NY Deli Tioga Town Center! “Best Reuben, Best Pastrami, Best Philly, and Best Wings” Dave’s continues to be the place to go for authentic NY Deli food and Philly Cheesesteaks. Owner Dave Anders says “Nothing beats quality ingredients combined with a friendly staff. We bring in all of our Pastrami and Corned Beef and Cheesecake from New York’s Carnegie Deli. In addition we offer Nathan’s Hot Dogs, NY Kettle Boiled Bagels, Nova Salmon, Knish, Cannolies, Philly Cheesesteaks, Wings, Cubans, Subs, Kids Menu and more.” Come out and enjoy Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at Dave’s NY Deli. Now serving beer and wine.

Dos Mamas 2017 NE 27th Ave. Gainesville, Florida 32609 Monday - Thursday 6am – 4pm Friday 6am - 11pm • Saturday 8am -4pm

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HOME STYLE — New to the North East part of Gainesville, Dos Mama’s has fast become a great local establishment. No they are not a Mexican joint. Just a down-home restaurant serving up Mama’s finger licking home-style cookin’. Terra and Rosa, your new mama’s, have over 40 years of combined experience in the Food and Beverage industry to make sure you get what you expect. Customer Service is NUMBER ONE to these Mama’s. Live entertainment is also on the menu at Dos Mama’s, with local bands ranging from Blues to Jazz to Rock and Roll. With Little Jake Mitchell and the Soul Searchers, Anna Marie and Friends and Little Mike and the Tornados all sharing Friday nights and putting on a great show.

Gator Tales Sports Bar 5112 NW 34th Street (across from the YMCA) Sunday - Tuesday 10:30am - Midnight Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat 10:30am - 2am

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BAR & GRILL — GATOR TALES Sports Bar features 3 large separate entertainment areas! You can relax at our Tiki bar in a large covered outdoor patio with tropical tunes enjoying 3 large screen TV’s and a full outdoor liquor bar. If you prefer to be inside, visit the sports bar, where you can find large TV’s, a performance stage with nightly entertainment including karaoke, live bands and acoustical sets. We have a separate pool hall and offer two happy hours every day. Gator Tales has a variety of domestic and import beers including a local favorite Swamphead Stompknocker. Our menu has a lot to choose from, appetizers, black angus burgers, gator tail, and salads.

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Newberry’s Backyard BBQ 25405 W Newberry Rd, Newberry Monday-Wednesday 11am-9pm • Thursday 11am-9pm Friday and Saturday 11am-11pm • Sunday 10:30am-8pm

352.472.7260

newberrybbq.com

BBQ — Newberry’s Backyard BBQ is UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP, and to celebrate we are lowering our prices! Newberry’s Backyard Bar-B-Q is located in our historic building in beautiful downtown Newberry. Our pork, chicken, beef, and turkey is smoked to perfection daily. Our salads and sides are always fresh. If you are thirsty we have the best sweet tea in the South and a full bar as well. Make sure to bring your kids, we serve their meals on a frisbee that they take home. For your entertainment, we always have live music on Friday nights and Karaoke on Saturday evenings. Always remember big or small we cater all gatherings.

Saboré 13005 SW 1st Road, Tioga, FL 32669 (Tioga Town Center) Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 11am – 10pm Fri. & Sat.: 11am – 11pm • Open Mondays for special events only

352-332-2727

www.saborerestaurant.com

FUSION — Saboré [sa-bohr-ay] is a modern world-fusion restaurant featuring a variety of dishes inspired by dynamic cuisine from places like Europe, Asia, and South America. Their recipe is simple: authentic global flavors, quality ingredients, expert craftsmanship, and exceptional service. Saboré offers customers a unique dining experience, shareable plates, delicious dishes, signature cocktails and desserts that will keep you coming back for more. So let us surprise your palate with our global flair and exotic ingredients. Experiencing world cuisine this fresh usually requires a passport.

Roundabout 2725 SW 91st Street (Haile Publix Shopping Center) Tues-Thurs: 11:30-10:00pm • Fri & Sat: 11:30am-2:00am Sunday: 10:00am-9:00pm

352-331-6620

theroundaboutbarandgrill.com

Bar & Grill — Roundabout is the place to be for people in Haile and SW Gainesville! Our newly renovated space features a restaurant, bar with six flat screen TV’s and expanded patio. Specializing in casual American fare with a wide selection of salads, flat breads, burgers and specialty entrée’s such as Shrimp & Grits and Chicken Pot Pie makes us the perfect place for a family dinner or date night. Our food is made to order using the freshest ingredients ensuring the highest quality. Tuesday’s wine bottles are Half-off, Wednesday’s kids eat FREE & 8oz Filet’s are $14.90, Thursday’s Martini’s are $5, late-night Happy Hour Saturday 10pm-2am, Sunday Brunch 10am3pm. Live music weekly. Open lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday.

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The Red Onion 39th Ave & 24th Blvd, Gainesville (Uptown Village Apartments) Monday – Thursday: 11am-10pm Fri & Sat: 11am-11pm Sunday: 10am to 9pm Brunch: Sun: 11am-2pm

352-505-0088

www.TheRedOnionGainesville.com

NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL — Featuring Harris Ranch All Natural Prime Steaks, All Natural Chicken (no antibiotics, no steroids) and local produce. Join us for the love of Fine Spirits, Food and Music! Live Music Wednesday, Friday, Saturday! Come listen to the area’s best Jazz and Blues bands every Saturday for “Music & Martinis” with $5 Martinis all night! We muddle, pour, mix & Stir! So join us for Happy Hour at our bar, big enough to bring all your friends! Join us for a nooner! Our casual cuisine is perfect for lunch in a rush. Private Dining Room available for rental, perfect for your next rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, corporate luncheon, etc.

Pepper’s 7750 W. Newberry Rd, Gainesvillle (Across from Pep Boys) 11:00am - 10:30pm 7 Days A Week

352-727-4619

www.peppersmexican.com

MEXICAN — At Pepper’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, we offer a wide variety of great Mexican food with recipes straight from Jelisco. We really want you to have the best experience with us, and hope to make you feel at home. Pepper’s Mexican restaurant serves only the finest ingredients. Enjoy our dishes made fresh daily, and our home made sauces, which are made from scratch. Pepper’s has a full bar. Express Lunch Specials starting at $5.99. We offer childrens plates. Come relax with our house margaritas & 2-for-1 draft beer every day until 6:00pm. Enjoy free chips and salsa with every meal.

Northwest Grille 5115 Northwest 39th Ave., Gainesville 32606 Open 7 Days: 11am to 10pm (Friday open until 11pm) Saturday & Sunday: Serving brunch 10am to 3pm

352-376-0500

www.northwestgrillegainesville.com

SEAFOOD — Locally owned and operated, Northwest Grille has been providing the finest quality fish and seafood entrees in a friendly atmosphere since 1996. Whether it’s their fresh, local seafood and fish, or handcrafted sauces and specialty desserts, Northwest Grille has something to please your palate. Meat lovers will enjoy the hand-cut steaks and vegetarians will love the wide range of vegetarian options. Serving lunch and dinner daily, Northwest Grille, offers an extensive brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. Northwest Grille also features a full liquor bar with nightly drink specials. Happy hour is served daily from 3pm-7pm and all day on Wednesday – offering a wide assortment of craft beer, wine and $5 martinis.

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Mason’s Tavern 16135 NW U.S. Hwy. 441 • Alachua, FL Open every day 11:00am – 11:00pm Just North of the intersection of I-75 and HWY 441

386-418-8078

www.masons-tavern.com

SPORTS BAR & GRILL — Mason’s Tavern is a family operated sports bar with hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, hand-made burgers, pastas, wraps, salads and homemade wing sauces. With twenty TV’s there is always a place to watch your favorite team. The NFL Sunday Ticket and all of the Gator games makes us your football headquarters. Video games for the kids make Mason’s fun for the entire family. Live entertainment (call for schedule). Reservations and large parties welcome.

Napolatanos 606 NW 75th Street Gainesville, FL Monday - Thursday & Sunday 4:00pm-10:00pm Friday 4:00pm-2:00am • Saturday 4:00pm-11:00pm

352-332-6671

www.napolatanos.com

ITALIAN — Napolatanos is the longest original owner operated restaurant in Gainesville. Nappys, the name the locals have given Napolatanos has the most extensive menu. Whether you choose pizza, calzones, salad, burgers, sandwiches, pasta, seafood, steak dinners or the best chicken wings in town, Nappy’s uses only the freshest ingredients. Visit on Tuesday & Wednesday for half price appetizers. Save up to $4 on pizza on Thursday and $5 off bottles of wine on Saturday. Outside dining with live music on Sunday evenings. Family meals for pick-up starting at $21.95.

Southern Soul 15 NE 2nd Ave, High Springs, FL Mon 11:00am - 10:00pm •Wed - Thu 11:00am - 10:00pm Fri - Sat 11:00am - Midnight • Sun 11:00am - 6:00pm

386-454-0429 SOUL FOOD — If you are looking for a true taste of down-home, comfort food then you will love Southern Soul Restaurant & Lounge now open in High Springs and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of our recipes are homemade and made from scratch. Rise and shine and stop in for one of our breakfast platters including flapjacks, pork chops, biscuits and gravy, or French toast, to name a few. For lunch and dinner our headliners include oxtails and yellow rice, pork chops, fried chicken, fresh mullet, catfish, and shrimp. Our sidelines are collard greens, mac and cheese, grits, mashed potatoes and many more! To top it all off, try our homemade desserts! Join us for live Jazz Friday and Saturday nights and live Blue’s every Thursday.

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GAINESVILLES ONLY USDA PRIME CUT STEAKHOUSE

352.380.0901 • 3545 SW 34th St., Suite A www.EmbersOfFlorida.com

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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CALENDAR If you would like to have an event considered for publication in this calendar, please submit information directly. post 4400 NW 36th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32606 | e-mail editor@towerpublications.com | fax 352-373-9178

LADY GAMERS

LIVING HISTORY

First Friday of Every Month 1:30pm

Saturdays 9:00am - 4:30pm

HIGH SPRINGS - The High Springs Woman’s Club. 40 NW 1st Ave. The Lady Gamers meet for fun, friendship and food — and let’s not forget the cards, board games and any other activities you would like to bring to the group.

ARTWALK GAINESVILLE Last Friday of Every Month 7:00pm to 10:00pm BO DIDDLEY PLAZA Self-guided tour of downtown’s galleries, eateries and businesses. Pick up a map near Bo Diddley Plaza, visit more than a dozen spots, including local landmarks like the Hippodrome and The Sequential Artists Workshop. Watch live performances throughout the night, as well. artwalkgainesville.com.

BO DIDDLEY FREE CONCERTS Fridays 8:00pm BO DIDDLEY PLAZA - From April to November, Friday nights come alive as local and regional bands are showcased under the stars in downtown Gainesville. Hundreds come out to enjoy the free live music and shows in a familyfriendly environment.

gvluculturalaffairs.org.

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MORNINGSIDE NATURE CENTER - 3540 E. University Ave. History comes to life at the little Farm in the Piney Woods. At Living History Days park staff interpret day-to-day life on an 1870s rural Florida farm. Try a syrup-topped biscuit or cornbread baked in a wood cook stove. The Farm is open Tuesday through Saturday. Free. 352-334-3326 or 352-334-5067.

BARNYARD BUDDIES Wednesdays 3:00pm - 4:00pm MORNINGSIDE NATURE CENTER - 3540 E. University Ave. Meet and greet farm animals on Wednesday afternoons by helping staff with afternoon feeding. Free. Suggested donations: carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, apples and melons for the farm animals. 352-334-3326 or 352-334-5067.

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS Mondays Noon - 1:00pm ALACHUA - Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, 12085 Research Dr. Rm. 104. Is food a problem for you? If so, the 12 Steps may help you; an hour where other compulsive eaters share experience, strength and hope. Free for all ages. 386-4620880. oanfi.org.

TITANOBOA: MONSTER SNAKE Through August 11 10:00am - 5:00pm FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Museum scientists recently discovered the 60-million-yearold remains of the world’s largest snake, at 48 feet long and 2,500 lbs. Learn more about the discovery, reconstruction and archaeological implications of this titanic reptile, and see its full-scale model. Trained volunteers who are working with fossils found at the site will be available for questions. 352-846-2000.

BLUES PIONEERS AND THEIR PRODIGY Through Sept. 7 Times Vary THE THOMAS CENTER - 302 NE 6th Ave. This exhibition of colorful folk art-style illustrations will highlight the musical legacy of the great 20th-century blues artists, as well as the later artists who were influenced by them. 352-334-2787.

MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS May 17 - June 2 Times Vary VAM YORK THEATER - 4309 NW 16th Blvd. Moonlight and Magnolias is a comedic play about writing plays. It follows a

producer, director and script doctor as they try to write out the film screenplay “Gone with the Wind” — all while locked in the producer’s office. Set on a 1930s MGM studio lot, Moonlight and Magnolias is sure to make you laugh. 352-376-4949.

SPRING WINE SOCIAL Friday, May 17 5:30pm - 7:30pm HAILE VILLAGE CENTER - The Perfect Gift, 5202 SW 91st Terr. Fundraiser for the Florida Goal Liners, is a 501C3 charity organization that supports Gator athletes through scholarships and spirit events for over 30 years! Cost: $4 per glass of wine. Complimentary appetizers. Free music by String Kings. Email Leslie Florence:

lmf072358@gmail.com.

HIPPODROME’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION Saturday, May 18 7:00pm - 11:00pm HIPPODROME THEATER - 25 SE 2nd Place. In celebration of what has become a Gainesville landmark, the Hippodrome is hosting a 40th birthday party and inviting the community to join them. Live music, art, Hippodrome stars, prizes and catering. Tickets: $40. 352-375-4477.


FARMERS MARKET ECOTOUR AND COOKING CLASS Saturday, May 18 9:00am - 12:00pm GAINESVILLE - Alachua County Farmers Market. Gainesville Ecotours, Blue Oven Kitchens, and Hogtown HomeGrown present an urban ecotour for those new to local and sustainable eating. Beginning at the farmers market, learn how to shop for local produce, meet some of the farmers and learn about food sustainability. After, go to the Blue Oven Kitchens Tour and Demo to learn how to prepare veggies in advance for weekday meals. Last, go to a kitchen tour to prepare the fresh food bought at the market.

www.gainesvillecotour.com.

ORAL CANCER AWARENESS 5K Saturday, May 18 8:00am - 1:00pm BO DIDDLEY PLAZA - Join the UF College of Dentistry and the Oral Cancer Foundation in a fundraiser 5K to raise awareness. Every year, 40,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer. To help fund research and earlyscreening initiatives, the person who raises the most money on his or her personal fundraising page over $2,000 will win an iPad3. Check in is at 8 a.m., and the race begins at 9 a.m. The last day for early registration is May 17.

NEWBERRY’S ANNUAL

Watermelon Festival Saturday, May 18

NEWBERRY - Destiny Community Church. The 68th Annual Newberry Watermelon Festival is back for another year of seed spitting, pie baking, hog calling and, of course, watermelon-eating. The watermelons are provided by local growers and are free to visitors. www.newberrywatermelonfestival.com.

Walk is a magical experience with twinkle lights, lanterns, and approximately 1,500 luminaries along a 1.25 mile walkway. There will also be live entertainment, food and refreshments. The astronomy club will be out with telescopes to view the cosmos. No pets allowed. 352-3724981. www.kanapaha.org.

www.oralcancerfoundation.com.

MOONLIGHT WALK Saturday, May 18 7:00pm to 11:00pm KANAPAHA BOTANICAL GARDENS - 4700 SW 58th Dr. The Moonlight

Time TBA

MUSIC IN THE PARK Thursday, May 19 2:00pm - 4:00pm HIGH SPRINGS - James Paul Park and Community Garden, 200 N. Main Street.

Downtown High Springs comes alive with local music and talent the third Sunday of every month. Bring your own blanket and refreshments. 352-275-4190.

AUDITIONS: TOM SAWYER Sunday, May 19 7:00pm VAM YORK THEATER 4039 NW 16th Blvd. Mark Twain’s classic story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, comes to life in this Broadway adaptation of America’s favorite book. 352-376-4949.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

GIRLS ROCK CAMP FUNDRAISER Saturday, May 25 7:00pm SKATE STATION - 1311 NW 76th Blvd. Girls Rock Camp will be tabling at the Gainesville Roller Rebel’s derby bout. Donations from the half-time raffle will go to Girls Rock Camp.

www.girlsrockcampgainesville.com.

HORSE SHOW COMPETITION May 25 – May 26 8:30am - 4:00pm NEWBERRY - Canterbury Florida Equestrian Showplace, 23100 W.

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Newberry Rd. Hunter/ Jumper Horse Show Competition with three rings of action both indoors and outdoors on Saturday and Sunday. Beautiful horses and ponies with accomplished riders in all phases of competition over the jumps. Spectator admission is free. 352-472-6758.

horseshowsinthepark.com.

AVENUE Q May 29 - June 23 Times Vary

“Do It For Dale” 5K Run/Walk for Duchenne

Saturday, May 25

HIPPODROME THEATER - 25 SE 2nd Pl. For its 40th anniversary season, the Hipp presents a coming-of-age musical, Avenue Q. The play was a Broadway sensation, winning the famed Tony Award “triple crown,” for best musical, score and book. 352-375-4477.

MUSIKGARTEN Saturday, June 1 11:00am - 11:30am

9:00am ALACHUA - Hal Brady Recreation Complex, 14300 NW 146th Terr. Inaugural 5K family friendly run/walk to benefit the Cure Dale’s Duchenne Fund. Besides the 5k (on the new property purchased by the City of Alachua), there will be a 1-mile “Walk for Dale” around the football field, followed by a Family Fun Day on the football field. Registration on the day of event: 7:30am – 8:30am. Shotgun start at 9:00am. Family fun celebration 10:00am – 2:00pm. 386-462-1610. www. helpsavedale.com.

ALACHUA COUNTY HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Learn how to nurture your child’s music aptitude through active music making. This class will provide an opportunity for you to play musically with your child through bouncing and rocking songs, wiggle and peek-aboo games, dancing, moving and singing.

TASTE OF GAINESVILLE Sunday, June 2 5:00pm UF HILTON - 1714 SW 34th St. Sample the best flavors of Gainesville in the fourth annual Taste of Gainesville fundraising event. While there, sample signature dishes from North Central Florida’s best restaurants. $100 to attend, with all proceeds going to Children’s Home Society of Florida, the Child Advocacy Center and Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure.

tasteofgainesville.com.

SCENES FROM “THE PERFECT PARTY” Tuesday, June 4 6:30pm - 7:30pm ALACHUA COUNTY HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY - The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre will present some short scenes from “The Perfect Party” play by A.R. Gurney. This play satirizes the behavior of socially pretentious people, using the fantasy of a man obsessed with throwing a perfect party and of a newspaper reporter with writing a perfect review of it. The director will make comments and give the audience a chance to chat with the actors about their experiences with participation in the voluntary activities of the theatre. 352-334-3939.

AN OLD GAINESVILLE FAVORITE NOW OPEN IN ALACHUA! POPULAR MEXICAN FAVORITES AWARD-WINNING SALSA • SEAFOOD • WINGS • STEAK • FAMILY FRIENDLY • KIDS MENU ROLLING OAKS PLAZA • ALACHUA

15202 NW 147 Drive, Suite 1100

386-418-1039 www.ELTOROGAINESVILLE.com

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Any Purchase of $20.00 or more! Recieve $5 off the sub total of any meal ticket priced $20 or More. Limited to one coupon per ticket per visit. Can not be combined with other offers. Our Town - Expires 08-15-13.


www.VisitOurTowns.com

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CIVIL WAR ROUNDTABLE Thursday, June 6 6:30pm - 8:30pm MILLHOPPER BRANCH LIBRARY - A group of Civil War buffs share information about the Civil War. 352-334-1272.

NATALIE NICOLE GREEN WITH LITTLE BIT MORE Friday, June 7 8:00pm GATOR TALES SPORTS BAR 5112 NW 34th St. Live music, suitable for all ages. 352-376-9500.

A GAME DAY FOR SENIORS

VIVA FLORIDA’S

Historic Geocaching Event Saturday, June 8

9:00am

MICANOPY - Paynes Prairie State Park, 100 Savannah Blvd. It’s been 500 years since the European exploration of Florida, and Paynes Prairie wants to celebrate with some exploration of its own. The park will host a geocaching event, an increasingly popular game where participants use GPS to find hidden historic treasures. After all the caches have been found, Friends of Paynes Prairie will host a potluck lunch — bring a dish to share! 352-466-3397.

Nunsense June 14 - July 7 Time TBA HIGH SPRINGS - High Springs Community Theater, 130 NE 1st Ave. Winner of four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Off Broadway Musical in its original New York production, this hilarious show is a fundraiser put on by the Little Sisters of Hoboken to raise money to bury sisters accidentally poisoned by the convent cook, Sister Julia (Child of God). Updated with new jokes, additional lyrics, two new arrangements and a brand new song, this zany musical will delight. 386-454-3525. highspringscommunitytheater.com

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Friday, June 14 10:00am – Noon ALACHUA COUNTY HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY, DOWNTOWN - Seniors are invited for games at the library. Enjoy card games, scrabble, checkers, chess, and coffee and donuts and more. 352- 334-3939.

FATHER’S DAY SPECIAL Sunday, June 16 9:00am - 7:00pm KANAPAHA GARDENS 4700 SW 58th Dr. The Gardens is celebrating and giving back to hard-working fathers by giving them free admission all day. Children under 6 are free every day. 352-372-4981.

JAMES BOND 007 Saturday, June 22 1:00pm - 3:00pm ALACHUA COUNTY HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY Matt Sherman discusses the history of James Bond 007. Sherman is author of “Picture Yourself Shooting Pool” and is creator of the


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10% OFF

Up to 6 people admission, camping.

OTGV mag. Exp 8-15-13

PARK

COUPON NOT VALID ON MAJOR HOLIDAY WEEKENDS

• Covered pavilions • Concession stand • Large tiled bath house • Canoe & tube rentals • Nature trail • Volleyball courts • Horseshoe pits

• Playground • Picnic tables & grills • Campsites w/ electric and water • Primitive wooded campsites

Located in beautiful High Springs

386-454-1369

annual Bond Collectors’ Weekends, fan events drawing enthusiasts from around the world to meet James Bond celebrities and live 007. He has helped produce five James Bond CD and DVD projects and has written or edited millions of words about real and fictional spies, and pool and billiards. 352-334-3900.

MELON RUN Thursday, July 4 8:00am ALBERT “RAY” MASSEY WESTSIDE PARK - 1001 NW 34th St. Show your Fourth of July spirit with the Florida Track Club’s 35th-annual 3-mile run through Westside Park. The last day to register before the day of the race is June 30. floridatrackclub.com.

www.bluespringspark.com

INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION Thursday, July 4 11:00am MICANOPY - Fourth of July celebration with parade, children’s games and fireworks show at dusk. 352-466-3121.

FIREWORKS PEDESTRIANS:

Cross at Intersections and Corners Use Crosswalks and Sidewalks Look Before Crossing Wear Bright Colors, Lights & Reflectors When Dark Free Materials & Presentations!

MOTORISTS:

Yield to Pedestrians Stop and Look Before Turning Right on Red Stop Behind the Stop Bar/Crosswalk Campaign Funded by the Florida Department of Transportation Contact Gainesville Public Works for Information!

www.cityofgainesville.org/bikeped (352) 334-5070 / bikeped@cityofgainesville.org

Thursday, July 4 3:00pm ALACHUA - The City of Alachua has dubbed its celebration “The Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America.” The annual event draws over 30,000 people. There will be activities for kids, unique vendors, bingo contests, dancing groups and live musical entertainment to name a few. Without a doubt the event has something for everyone and of course — the hottest fireworks around.

cityofalachua.com.

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SUMMER CAMP June 17 - August 16 7:00am - 6:00pm PORTERS COMMUNITY CENTER - 512 SW 2nd Terr. Get Up, Get Out & Get Moving! For children in grades first through sixth. Four (two-week) sessions are available plus a bonus week. Sessions 1-4 (two-week sessions). Session 1: Get Out and Play! June 17 - June 28; Session 2: The Art of Nature: July 1- July 12; Session 3: Steppin’ to the Beat: July 15 - July 26; Session 4: CSI Cool Science: July 29 - August 9. Residents: $90.50 or $45 if qualifies for scholarship. NonResidents: $135.50 or $90 if qualifies for scholarship. Session 5 (one-week session) Residents: $45.25 or $22.50 if qualifies for scholarship. NonResidents: $67.75 or $45 if qualifies for scholarship. Limited scholarships are available at all locations for children that have been approved for free or reduced lunch through their school. 352-334-5067.

GAINESVEGAS Friday, July 5 5:00pm - 10:00pm DOWNTOWN GAINESVILLE - Enjoy a night on the strip as Downtown gets transformed into familyfriendly Vegas fun. There will be a casino with parlor games, a silent auction with prizes, an Elvis costume contest and loungestyle performances by local artists. You can also roll dice for a chance to win a twoperson cruise to the Bahamas. 352-325-3514.


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The event will have a dog show with various prizes, doggy spas and social stations, eateries featuring canine cuisine and pet-inspired art from local artists. When you arrive, pick up a “passport” at the Opera House to receive stamps at local venues and be entered to win raffle tickets and prizes. 352-325-3514.

Grape Stompin’ Saturday, August 24 1:00pm - 6:00pm BO DIDDLEY COMMUNITY PLAZA - Enjoy the Grape Stomping festival along with wine tastings and food pairing tours at all of your favorite downtown establishments.Live music, carriage rides, grape-stomping contests and even participate in the Lucille Ball look-alike contest. Come join us downtown and make this event the perfect blend of romance and fun!

GIRLS ROCK GAINESVILLE Saturday, August 10 Times TBA 1982 - 919 W. University Ave. This showcase is a culmination of the weeklong summer day camp that uses music and performance as a platform to promote self-esteem and creative expression for young women and girls. Sliding scale admission fee and funds raised will go to the camp. www.

girlsrockcampgainesville.com.

ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER

comedy and inspiration for the whole family! 352-376-4949.

July 12 - August 4 Times Vary

HAIRSPRAY

VAM YORK THEATER 4039 NW 16th Blvd. A Broadway adaptation of America’s favorite book. Filled with foot-stomping, toetapping songs, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a musical tale of thrilling escapes,

July 13 - August 5 Times Vary VAM YORK THEATER - 4039 NW 16th Blvd. This Baltimore musical tells the story of a plus-sized girl, Tracy Turnblad, who makes it big dancing on a local TV program. While

Rubberstamps, Scrapbooking Handmade Crafts, Gifts and so much more...

Cootie Coo C REATI O N S

280 NE 1st Ave. High Springs, FL • (386) 454-8008 HOME OF KANTORKARDS RUBBERSTAMPS

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searching for love and trying to end the TV program’s racial segregation, Turnblad struggles against its reigning princess and learns about who she is. 352-376-4949.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Friday, August 2 6:00pm - 10:00pm DOWNTOWN GAINESVILLE Bring out your pooches.

ART, CRAFT & LIFESTYLE SHOW August 15 - 18 10:00am - 9:00pm OAKS MALL - 6419 Newberry Rd. Browse unique creations during the art and craft show. Shop during regular mall hours while stopping by vendor exhibits. 330-493-4130. s

Are you ready for your next fire inspection?

Are You Up To Code? Restaurant Hood Exhaust Systems Cleaning

“BE FIRE SAFE” • Grease Filter sales • Fan Belt Service • Fan Motor Replacement Lic# 0488

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386-462-7050


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ADVERTISEMEN T

Retraining the Brain CARETENDERS PROVIDES UNIQUE THERAPY FOR PATIENTS WITH MOVEMENT AND MEMORY DISORDERS

or seniors who have suffered from stroke or Parkinson’s Disease, the most basic of daily tasks can become difficult due to the after-effects of these conditions. Loss of balance and lack of strength often lead to fears of falling and the inability to lift heavier items, which in turn affect a senior’s ability to live independently.

F

“We start with their hands,” said Gant. “The patients put on headphones and we set the cowbell sound for a specific speed. The patients have to anticipate the timing for the ding so that they can clap perfectly in rhythm with the cowbell. They’re learning to anticipate and be able to clap at exactly the same time.”

Mederi Caretenders of Gainesville realizes that a unique approach to therapy is needed for patients with these movement and memory issues.

Once that basic task is mastered, a therapist can incorporate other movements based upon the needs of the patient. For example, a patient might be asked to stand up from a sitting position and tap an overhead target, timing that tap with the cowbell sound. If a client has concerns about shifting weight from one foot to the other, the therapist can have him sway his hips from side to side, tapping a target with one hip with each ding of the bell.

“Neurological disorders call for a specialized therapy approach that not only addresses physical deficits, but cognitive deficits as well,” said Janie Gant, an occupational therapist assistant with Caretenders. “Rehabilitation involves retraining the brain.” While the Caretenders professionals employ many traditional therapies, they also have a unique therapy tool at their disposal — Interactive Metronome (IM). IM uses a patient’s internal clock to help re-develop the link between cognitive processes and movement. Specific exercises and movements are timed with an audible signal, such as a cowbell sound, with the ultimate goal of improving motor function, balance, cognitive processing and speech. 138 | Summer 2013

Such therapies not only increase physical strength and balance; they also reinforce cognitive processing and the role it plays in movement and balance. But as with any other therapy, IM is only as good as the professionals who administer it. “All of our therapists have extensive training in neurological re-education,” said Gant. “Combined, we have over 300 years of experience. Yet Caretenders still provides all of its therapists with IM certification courses to ensure the best care for our patients.”


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>> TIME TO TRAVEL

Pura Vida

A Spontaneous Trip to Costa Rica

BY KELSEY GRENTZER osta Rica is a paradise for nature lovers, beach bums and thrill seekers alike, and I was fortunate enough to explore this extraordinary country for a week in March. With its mountainous terrain, lush green landscapes and fascinating national parks, the Latin American nation offers endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. My roommate, Gloria, and I had talked about going somewhere new and exciting for spring break, and we certainly followed through. During February, I was immersed in exploring road trip options within the U.S. when Gloria sent me information about trips to Costa Rica, a place I

C

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had wanted to go to for years. Less than a week later, we had our spots reserved and our flights booked. The package deal included adventure tours, hotel reservations, transportation within the country and even some of our meals. After about a four-hour flight from Ft. Lauderdale to San José, our Costa Rican experience began in a “turismo” van with a driver who spoke little English. (Luckily, I enjoy practicing my Spanish.) As the driver whizzed through the outskirts of the capital city, we passed countless homes constructed roughly with old corrugated metal — not much more than metal boxes set among the trees alongside the road. As we got further from San José, the view became more rural and, as a nature

PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER and GLORIDA DECKER

We visited all four beaches in Manuel Antonio: Playita, Espadilla, Manuel Antonio and Escondido. We were fascinated by the iguanas that shared the beach with us as we sunbathed. Iguanas relax along the coastline throughout Manuel Antonio. There are two species, the green iguana and the black iguana, that inhabit Costa Rica, and these reptiles can grow to a length of four to six feet. Our guide led us and our two horses, Billy and Morena, on an hour-long trip through steep, grassy terrain in the mountains of the Arenal Conservation Area.


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lover, I was mesmerized by the lush green vegetation that surrounded us as we were driven along the winding mountain roads to our hotel in the rural city of La Fortuna. Our itinerary had said, “Standard room, Volcano view,” and our travel agent wasn’t kidding. The room itself was typical — and even had American-style electrical outlets — but when we set down our suitcases and opened the curtains, we saw in the distance an active volcano, complete with billows of

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smoke or steam. While it looked fairly close, a tour guide later told us that the Arenal Volcano was far enough away that an eruption would not likely affect La Fortuna. It is the most active volcano in Costa Rica, but its last major eruption was in 1968. My first moment of awe came when I woke up in La Fortuna the next morning. Groggily, I opened my eyes, and it slowly sunk in that I had just woken up in Costa Rica. It’s hard to explain the magic

of waking to the sounds of the rainforest, but when I turned and looked at Gloria, who was also waking up in her bed, I could see she understood my excitement. Our first adventure was planned out for us. All we had to do was wait downstairs at our hotel to be picked up by our driver — after our complimentary hotel breakfast of fresh fruit and scrambled eggs. The driver took us down more winding, mountainous roads, and we arrived at a small wooden building along the road


PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER

A man sells snow cones by the seashore (and coconut water) on a beach in Manuel Antonio as visitors take a horseback riding tour. We saw several white-faced capuchin monkeys climbing through the mangrove trees while we were on a boat tour near Manuel Antonio. We also spotted about 30 crocodiles in a river alongside the road on our way to the beach.

in the Arenal Conservation Area, with a gorgeous view of the Arenal Volcano. Before we knew it, one of the tour operators was handing us harnesses, gloves and helmets for zip lining. We climbed to the top of a 43-foot metal tower and, being afraid of heights, I was suddenly terrified. However, I had gone zip lining once before in North Carolina, so I agreed to go first. After brief instructions, my harness was clipped onto a stainless steel cable. I hung sideways, placed my leather glove on the

cable behind me and suddenly I was soaring through the treetops of the rainforest, hundreds of feet above the ground. I controlled my speed using the pressure of my glove on the cable. This continued for 13 more platforms, as we got further into the rainforest. The last zip line cable was almost half a mile long, and the view was breathtaking. By the end of our aerial adventure, we were far enough away that a driver had to take us all back to the tour office. When we returned our harnesses,

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we were taken to a stable just down the hill. Our next adventure would be on horseback. We had no idea where we were going. After a brief explanation of horseback riding basics, Marlon, our tour guide, trotted ahead and led us across the street and up a dirt road. We ascended the side of a mountain and eventually took a detour. Our three horses were suddenly climbing up and down steep, rocky hills. We were surrounded by vibrant green vegetation. Eventually, we reached a

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spot on top of the mountain where cows grazed peacefully among bright green grass, and we had a spectacular view of the volcano. Our guide even pointed out a toucan in one of the trees. Another popular activity near the volcano is to visit the hot springs. We enjoyed a night relaxing in pools of natural hot water and sipping fruity drinks from the bar, a great way to unwind after a day of adventure. The next day, our time in La

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Fortuna already came to an end, and our driver picked us up to take us to our next destination. The breathtaking mountains and the coastal views distracted us from the fact that it was about a fourhour drive to Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. When we stopped at a bridge along the way, we were shocked to see about 30 crocodiles in the river below. Shortly after, we arrived at our destination, which is home to the Manuel Antonio National Park. We

were astounded by our accommodations. The hotel consisted of several white buildings on top of a mountain, overlooking the tropical flora of the rainforest. The hotel even had its own private path through the forest, complete with rope bridges and paths created using recycled tires. Our room had a pool about 20 feet from the door. From the pool we watched hummingbirds and other tropical birds as they zipped around the trees. On our final day, we even saw about


PHOTO BY KELSEY GRENTZER PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ATHICA CANOPY

OPPOSITE: After climbing the 43-foot tower, we were ready for our first ride down the zip line at the Arenal Conservation Area. From the zip line, we had the opportunity to experience nature from a new perspective. Our canopy tour also included a “Tarzan swing” from one of the platforms. The tour guide clipped our harnesses to a hanging cable and pushed us from the platform, and suddenly we were swinging through the treetops hundreds of feet in the air. LEFT: Gloria (right) and I after gearing up for our zip lining adventure.

10 white-faced capuchin monkeys climb through the trees at our hotel. The national park was our main destination, where the rainforest meets the beach, and iguanas sunbathe in the sand. At about 1,680 acres, Manuel Antonio is one of the smallest national parks in Costa Rica, but that didn’t seem to take away from its popularity. Tour groups crowded the trails through the forest. (March is part of Costa Rica’s peak tourist season.) We went without a tour group, but

we stopped occasionally among groups of binocular-wielding tourists to examine wildlife the guides were pointing out. Along the trail we saw one sloth and three howler monkeys high up in the treetops. However, where the trail winded along the beach, we saw several white-faced capuchin monkeys, just five feet away from us. We were hardly able to contain our excitement. We later went on a boat tour and spotted at least 20 more monkeys climbing through

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the mangroves and leaping from tree to tree. Gloria and I truly got a feel for the terrain when we impulsively signed up for an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tour through the mountains. I can honestly say it’s the scariest thing I have ever tried, but I’d do it again if given the chance. We decided to share one ATV since it was the cheaper option, and I drove. After a two-minute test drive involving driving in circles around a cone, the tour guide deemed me ready

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Costa Rica Travel Tips CURRENCY

PHOTO PROVIDED BY GLORIA DECKER

When Gloria and I exchanged $50 at the airport in Costa Rica, we received more than 21,000 colones (Costa Rican currency) in return. Currently, one U.S. dollar is equal to about 500 colones. In tourist areas, it is common to see both colones and dollars listed on price tags and menus. However, when we visited a supermarket in the lesstouristy San José, prices were listed in colones only, and the cashier struggled to tell us how much it would cost in U.S. dollars.

LANGUAGE for the adventure ahead. Soon we were whizzing down dirt roads at speeds up to 50 miles per hour as I tried to keep up with our tour guide who was speeding ahead. We splashed through countless rivers and streams, over rocks and small craters in the ground and up and down mountains. I managed to get our ATV stuck three times, but I’ll never forget the moment when our ATV teetered on the edge of a stream and ultimately swerved into about three feet of water. It took a few minutes for our leader — at least a quarter mile ahead — to turn around and see the two of us sitting helplessly with our ATV submerged and stuck. Pulling the vehicle out of the river required a rope, the second ATV and the two of us pushing it from the middle of the stream. Eventually the ATV sputtered back to life, but I ended up paying an extra $40 to cover the costs of an extra oil change and filter. We left the tour soaked, dirt-coated and sore but with a story we’ll never forget. Visiting Costa Rica was an unforgettable experience, and it is a place I certainly plan to return to in my lifetime. The astounding beauty alone is enough to make it worthwhile for any nature lover, and the adventure tours provide endless opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. Costa Rica is home to close to 30 national parks, so what we saw was merely a start. I hope to someday see much more of all this country has to offer. s

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The primary language of Costa Rica is Spanish, but many people in popular tourist destinations speak English as well. Similar to the currency situation, we found that less people spoke English in San José. As intermediate-level Spanish speakers, we did not have a problem, but beginners may find it challenging to ask for directions or order food in cities where there is less tourism.

“PURA VIDA” When you walk around Costa Rica, you’ll read the phrase “Pura Vida” on items in tourist shops and you’ll even hear the locals (“ticos”) say it to each other as a greeting or farewell. The phrase literally translates to “pure life,” but to Costa Ricans it reflects happiness and enjoying life.

FOOD Costa Rican food comes from Spanish, American, Caribbean and South American influences. I loved the delicious simplicity of the “arroz con pollo” (chicken with rice), which was made up of small chunks of chicken mixed with rice filled with finely diced vegetables and spices. Other common ingredients in Costa Rican dishes include black beans, plantains and seafood. Our hotel breakfasts always included fresh tropical fruit.

HOSTELS Our pre-planned trip included lodging in typical hotels, but in each city we visited, we saw a number of hostels that looked like they would be worth a try. Hostels are inexpensive places to stay, often with several people staying in one room, and they are said to be a great way to meet other travelers. Gloria and I stayed in a hostel for our last night in San José before catching our flight back to the States. This hostel came in the form of a private home where the family rents rooms to travelers. We rented a room for two with bunk beds for $16 per night plus some extra fees. It wasn’t luxurious, but the family was very friendly and helpful, and we couldn’t beat the price. The place even had wireless Internet and a porch with hammocks where we lounged for hours. We both decided that if we were to go back to Costa Rica anytime soon, we would save money by staying in more hostels.

WILDLIFE Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, and it is not uncommon to see an iguana or a monkey casually crawling or climbing by. We tried to tally the unique animals we saw, and by the end of our seven-day trip, our wildlife count included about 30 crocodiles, 30 monkeys, 21 iguanas, eight bats, one sloth, one toucan, two hummingbirds and one agouti (a cat-sized rodent).


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REVIEW: SOUTHERN CHARM KITCHEN >> JENNIFER RIEK

Adventures in Appetite A Country Taste with a Cajun Kick y mother has always referred to them as my ‘trigger words’ — bright red buttons on my appetite which, once activated, open the floodgates on mouth-watering desire. Raspberry, cranberry, honey, goat cheese, peach — any insertion of these words into a meal’s title and I am almost guaranteed to make it my order. Walking into Southern Charm Kitchen was like entering a game of taste bud whack-amole. And when this restaurant plays, it plays to win. The restaurant is located on the far east side of Gainesville, tucked in the shadows of fried chicken joints and 24-hour convenience stores. A first-time customer could easily miss it. Those who have not tasted the menu might even turn around and drive elsewhere. Regardless of where you grew up, giving up on finding this kitchen is like giving up on going home. The interior exudes warmth from its deep burgundy walls and mason jar-style lighting. Servers flit like quick and cheerful birds through the small but comfortable dining area, filling sweet teas and chatting with guests. My four friends and I had little more than a minute to take it all in before we were led to a cozy back table beneath historic wall mounts. At 7 o’clock on a Friday, the other dozen or so tables were almost all filled with laughing couples, families and friends. We began with an appetizer of Fried Green Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart, which caught my eye

M

immediately amid other offers of Sweet Potato Hush Puppies and Pickled Shrimp. The tart’s fresh smell of spices drew itself up from a Venetian pastry bed. Salt and warm pimento goat cheese slid across our plates. The first bite was fantastic, pure herb-infused cheese, but those that followed tasted like little more than dough. I wondered how it would have compared to another trigger word, Black-Eyed Pea Fritters. Southern Charm stays true to the country life while also satiating the palates of vegetarians. Tofu takes on a down-home feel with Pickled Watermelon, Lemon Pepper and even Country Fried. The Pimento Cheese Veggie Burger could catch the eye of any patron, or Roasted Beets in Sherry Tomatoes, or BBQ Blackeyed Tempeh. Though the five of us stuck to mostly meat-based meals, we were assured by our personable server that anything on the menu was well worth a try. At her word, one of my companions took a chance on the Smoked Turkey and Sweet Corn Chowder. The first description to come to mind was creamy. Laced with just the right sprinkle of spices, I knew I’d found the next soup to crave during flu season. Barely 20 minutes passed before a pristine white plate slid in front of me, presenting a serving of BBQ Goat. Trigger words had fallen to the wayside upon reading its title, struck down by sheer curiosity. The smoked meat had simmered for hours before being basted in a homemade sauce. Needless to say, it was nothing like chicken, and blended beautifully with my choice of two side dishes, which come complimentary with any traditional entrée, vegetarian entrée or southern sea special. My sides I selected from the vegan options, pickled greens and seasonal okra and sherry tomatoes. The latter is something I’ve learned to appreciate in my nearly nine years as a Southerner. A born-and-raised

I was extremely grateful for free refills on my Lemon Squall, whose homemade lemonade with pineapple juices doused the okra’s burn.

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Seattleite, okra wasn’t even a real food to me until I relocated to the land of baby-back ribs and sweet iced tea. Southern Charm put their own spin on both of my sides, as well with fall-off-the-bone Sorghum Ribs and Raspberry Hibiscus Iced Tea. If I could only make one observation about southern taste buds, it’s that spicy to them is fire to me. I was extremely grateful for free refills on my Lemon Squall, whose homemade lemonade with pineapple juices doused the okra’s burn. Though my tongue was made mildly uncomfortable, the taste still overcame, and the pickled greens were appreciated all the more when a honeyed flavor followed up the flames. They were almost as sweet as the appropriately named Sweet n’ Cajun fries. My fork was set down on a satisfied note. On the whole, Southern Charm Kitchen hit every mark on my list of Places I Will Go Again. The prices were decently balanced at about $8 for lunches and $12 for dinners. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and overall lovely. My one regret is not trying the mysterious but much-loved Classic Chicken and Waffles. According to the restaurant’s Facebook, Southern Charm will soon be open seven days a week, granting more people more chances to try what seems to be the best southern food around. s

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Download “Mobile Connect” app FREE on your smartphone to schedule DVR recordings, view the Cox Advanced TV Guide and more – all while on the go.

Keep your family safe while online with McAfee® Family Protection – Free! Download it at cox.com/myconnection.

With TV Online, catch hit shows and movies anywhere, anytime! Included with your TV subscription – go to www.cox.com/tv.

Call 866.936.7195 or visit cox.com/learn today! McAfee® Family Protection: For best performance, use of Cox approved cable modem is recommended. McAfee Family Protection is included with Cox High Speed Internet and will automatically terminate upon termination of Cox High Speed Internet service. Cox cannot guarantee the intended results from the McAfee services or that the McAfee software will be error-free, free from interruptions or other failures. The McAfee services and features are subject to change. McAfee is a trademark of McAfee, Inc., and /or its affiliates. Uninterrupted or error-free Internet service, or the speed of service, is not guaranteed. Mobile Connect: Available for a free download via Android Market or Apple App Store for Android OS 1.5 or higher, iPhone and iPod Touch running iOS 3.X+. Full features of the Mobile Connect app require subscriptions to Cox Advanced TV with DVR service, Cox Telephone, and Cox High Speed Internet with cox.net email address. A data capable wireless device is required and a data plan from your wireless provider is recommended. Wireless charges may apply. TV Online: Available to residential Cox TV customers. Access limited to Cox TV subscription services. Not all content may be available. Additional limitations may apply. ©2012 Cox Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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ADVERTISER INDEX 4400 NW 36th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax AUTOMOTIVE Gainesville Harley Davidson .................... 35 Maaco Collision Repair ......................... 40 Park Place Car Wash & Detail .............84 Terry’s Automotive & Qwik Lube .........113

REAL ESTATE Miller Real Estate ........................................... 37 The Village ............................................... 120

FINANCIAL / LAW A+ Tax & Bookkeeping ............................... 47 Edward Jones - Ed Potts.........................109 Gateway Bank.................................................. 31 Morgan Stanley - Banks / Carroll ..........115 ProActive Tax & Accounting................... 101 Sunshine State Insurance .................... 113 SunState Federal Credit Union ............................. 25, 90, 164 White & Crouch, P.A. ...................................49

FITNESS and BEAUTY Charisma for Hair .....................................16 Emerge............................................................. 103 LAE Beauty ....................................................... 15 Sun Station Tanning .............................150 Zoetic Designs, LLC ................................13 34th Street Salon ..........................................117

PETS and VETS Bed & Biscuit Inn .................................... 117 Bob’s Compassionate Pet Sitting .......140 Dancin’ Dogs Boarding ............................140 Daytime Dogs & Friends ........................... 47 Dream Dogz .............................................. 75 Eager Pup ................................................140 Ears Endangered Animal Rescue.........158 Earth Pets Organic ...............................140 Gainesville Pet Sitter....................................38 Invisible Fence ..............................................140 Wild Birds Unlimited ...............................51

CHILDREN and SCHOOLS Alachua Learning Center .............................9 Gainesville Country Day School ........79 Kids on Wheels ..............................................119 Millhopper Montessori School ................119 Thumbs Up Riding School........................39 Unified Training Center ..............................119

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MEDICAL / HEALTH 1st Choice Immediate Care ..................88 1st Choice Weight Loss .........................88 Affordable Dentures ............................. 94 Altschuler Periodontic ......................... 117 Caretenders ............................................. 138 Clear Sound Audiology............................108 Cohen & Montini Orthodontics ............... 61 Douglas M. Adel, DDS........................... 113 Gainesville Dermatology .................114, 149 Gentle Dental Care ..........................................2 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery ............41 Samant Dental Group ............................48 Signature Health Care................................137

SERVICE Alachua Co. Waste Management ......59 Alpha Bytes Computers ............................93 Archer Electric Service...............................116 A&K Outdoor Services ...............................63 BBI Construction Management........ 158 Chimney Sweeps of America..................50 COX Business........................................... 40 COX Communications ......................... 159 Creekside Outdoor ......................... 89, 135 Gainesville Regional Airport ..............137 Goodson Electric Service..........................65 Grease Busters ............................................. 136 The Grounds Guys ........................................113 GRU...................................................................... 23 Jack’s Small Engine Repair .....................156 Lotus Studios Photography .................18 Mini Maid .................................................... 77 The Net Group................................................50 Ram Jack..............................................................6 Sarah Cain Design.........................................121

HOME IMPROVEMENT Air Ducks Heating & A/C .............................4 AHA Water ..........................................................3 Carson Cabinetry & Design....................... 17 Fences & Gates by IMI ......................... 158 Floor Store of Gainesville ..........................151 H2Oasis Custom Pool & Spa ................... 72 Overhead Door ...................................... 102 Pools & More ......................................................7 ReUser Building Products.......................... 81 Red Barn Home Center.............................156 United Rent-All....................................... 153 Whitfield Window & Door....................52 William Weseman Construction ............36

MISCELLANEOUS Cash for Cars ........................................... 94 Holy Trinity Episcopal Church ...........157

RETAIL / RECREATION Alachua Pawn & Jewelry ..................... 141 Alley Gatorz Bowling ..................................95 A-1 Sewing Machine & Vacuum ............ 150 Beacher’s Lodge......................................38 Bennett’s TrueValue .....................................64 Blue Springs ............................................ 134 City of Gainesville ....................................... 134 Coin & Jewelry Gallery .........................137 Colleen’s Kloset........................................39 Cootie Coo Creations .......................... 136 Crevasses Florist.......................................... 150 Dance Alive............................................... 131 Dirty Bar ................................................... 152 Easton Newberry Sports Complex.......85 Flip Flop Shops .............................................. 87 Gator Spirits & Fine Wines ......................162 Hippodrome ...................................................133 Jones Sales & Service ..........................75, 93 Klaus Fine Jewelry .............................8, 151 Lentz House of Time ...............................51 Liquor & Wine Shoppe ..............................162 Paddywhack..............................................34 Pawn Pro .................................................. 158 Sleep Center Superstores .......................... 21 Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Ctr. .......... 75 Sweetwater Picture Framing................. 149 Swim America ................................................119 Tina’s Bling Boutique ..................................89 Thornebrook Gallery ..................................152 Thornebrook Village .................................. 150 Valerie’s Loft Consignment ............... 149

RESTAURANT / CUISINE Adam’s Rib Co. .....................................122, 127 Chomps Sports Grill.....................................121 Dave’s NY Deli ...............................................123 Dos Mamas..............................................95, 123 El Toro........................................................130 Embers Wood Grill ......................................127 Flying Biscuit Cafe.......................................122 Gator Tails Sports Bar ................................123 Heavenly Ham................................................163 Hungry Howies Pizza ............................... 5 Mark’s Prime Steak & Seafood ......... 122 Mason’s Tavern ....................................103, 126 Napolatanos Italian .....................................126 Newberry Backyard BBQ.........................124 Northwest Grille ............................................125 Peppers .............................................................125 The Red Onion ..............................................125 Roundabout Bar & Grill .............................124 Saboré ....................................................... 124 Southern Soul ................................................126 TCBY.................................................................. 150


© PHOTO BY JOHN MORAN

page

66 >> TOTALLY FLIPPING OUT

Swimming. Skydiving. Camping. Rock climbing. Rocket watching. The list of fantastic things to do in the Sunshine State in the summer goes on and on. We’ve put together an extensive collection of the fun to be found in Florida — and barely scratched the surface.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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the

Gator Spirits & Fine Wines

Liquor & Wine Shoppe at Jonesville Mon-Thurs 9:00am - 9:00pm Fri & Sat 9:00am - 10:00pm Sunday: Noon - 6:00pm

CVS

The or Liqu WineSh&oppe

Y BE.R R N E WR D

o Kangaro

14451 Newberry Rd. Jonesville Turn at CVS in Jonesville and come straight to us.

352-332-3308

Like us on facebook for tastings and events!

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Mon-Thurs 10:00am - 9:00pm Fri & Sat 10:00am - 10:00pm Sunday: Noon - 6:00pm

5701 SW 75th St. Gainesville

I-7 5 ER WAD TORO

CR 241

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The only thing better than a summer breeze...

ine Gator F Spirits Wine &

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AD

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Conveniently located in the Tower Square shopping area.

352-335-3994

Like us on facebook for tastings and events!


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It’s time to get moving Trust SunState to he you do it. help Real estate esta prices are down and mortgage interest are at historic lows – rates ar never been a better there’s n time to get your family into a new home! Log on, call or visit u us today to talk to a home loan expert.

Serving residents in the Greater Gainesville area for more than 55 years

352-381-5200

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www.sunstatefcu.org


OTGV-Summer2013