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Daily Archives: June 15, 2012

BCHS standout starting in Canadian football league

Je suis Bear Woods avec Les Alouettes.

That’s probably how former Wildcat football player Bear Woods has taken to introducing himself lately. Woods, who starred at Troy University in Alabama, is a starting linebacker for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Woods signed with Montreal in September, just in time to suit up for the Grey Cup playoffs. Although the Alouettes lost to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the semi-finals, the Als, as they are called in Canada, were bullish enough on Woods to release starting middle linebacker Ramon Guzman.

Woods entered this month’s CFL training camp penciled in as the starter in the all-important middle linebacker position. The middle linebacker is the quarterback of the defense and Woods’ intelligence, drive and intensity has been a selling point for Montreal.

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‘Charmer’ Mabel Brazil at 90

Mabel Grazil on the porch of her historic College Street home.Mabel Brazil loves to chat.

At 89 years old, and about to mark her 90th birthday on June 20, the Macclenny resident for the last 42 years has many stories to tell.

There’s how she met her husband of 65 years, the late Dallas Brazil, at 16 years old in the Springfield neighborhood of Jacksonville while roller skating around big rose garden.

“Him and his brother-in-law were sitting on a park bench just doing nothing,” she remembers. “We struck up a conversation and went from there. From there all the way to here.”

Then there’s the 10 years Ms. Brazil spent in a dance troupe, “The Charmers,” performing 1920s-era-flapper shows for woman’s clubs and other groups both here and in Georgia during the 1990s.

“One time we had back-to-back shows for five days,” she recalled.

Or how she and her husband moved to Baker County in 1970 following his retirement from the railroad. They later bought the College Street house where Ms. Brazil still resides, an historic structure built in 1901 and restored by her husband.

“He was a good husband, a good provider, a good moral person,” she said of Mr. Brazil. “He had a good reputation. He never did things like drinking and gambling that a lot of people do now. He was a good man.”

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Summer energy levels diminish with age

Ah, the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Or however the sixties song lyric goes.

Today is the first day of my summer vacation – or “vacay” in teenager terminology.

When I was a kid this would have meant that I barreled out the front door with a sword I’d made from a ruler and a Popsicle stick, ready to do battle against the forces of evil and the cat next door.

I climbed trees and played in the dirt and ran around and picked wildflowers and got so dirty that I left a bathtub ring. I picked wild onions and ate them, hid behind trees and jumped out at passing cars making my best pirate face. I practiced my Tarzan yells and baked brown. In short, I wrung every bit of pleasure out of summer.

It was just as hot then as it is now, but I never noticed it. Days were just as long but seemed shorter. I stayed outside until my mother called me in for the night. Then I watched TV and planned what I would do the next day.

Somewhere along the line that has changed and I probably should do something to change it back.

For example.

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River cleanup set for Saturday, lunch at new location

Beer can on the beach at Steel Bridge Road boat ramp.The St. Mary’s River cleanup will take place the morning of March 17 at the Steel Bridge Road boat ramp as usual, but the celebration and lunch following the cleanup has been moved from its former location at White Oak Plantation.

Baker County cleanup leader Greg Sheppard said the after-cleanup festivities will be at Trader’s Hill Campground near Folkston this year because the Yulee plantation is no longer sponsoring the event.

“Financially, they can’t do it,” he said.

The four-hour cleanup will start at 8 am at 27 sites along the St. Mary’s River in Florida and Georgia, including the Steel Bridge Road site commonly called the boy scout camp. It’s one of the few public access points to the river in Baker County.

The annual cleanup is organized and sponsored by the St. Mary’s River Water Management Committee and its member counties. The committee consists of representatives from Baker and Nassau counties in Florida and Charlton and Camden counties in Georgia.

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