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Daily Archives: November 4, 2011

Washington Oaks State Park: Florida’s ‘rocky’ coast

The park's coquina rock coast.Washington Oaks State Park and botanical garden is one of those places you can drive by every day for years without ever knowing of the absolute treasure tucked away just out of sight from the busy road.

Do yourself a favor and visit. You’ll be surprised that such a unique marine environment is so accessible to northern Floridians.

Located just 2 miles south of Marineland below Crescent Beach, the state park is bisected by Highway A1A.

On one side, bordered by the Matanzas River,  visitors can stroll through a beautiful botanical garden.

On the other, beachcombers find themselves in a surprising landscape, more reminiscent of the rugged, rocky California coast than Florida.

Either locale is a treat for the senses and great for photo opportunities.

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The ever-shrinking ‘Wishbook”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

This is it? This paltry little thing? After months of waiting and anticipating, I get this in the mail.

A travesty!

I am talking about the new Sears Wishbook I just found hiding in my mailbox. Hiding in my mailbox. That about says it all.

When I was a kid checking the mailbox every day for the Sears Wishbook, there was no way it could hide. It was larger than the phone book and had hundreds of pages full of stuff I could only dream about.

After all, it was the Wishbook — the kids’ toy Bible. It had everything you could possibly want. This anorexic version doesn’t even deserve to be called the Wishbook. It’s only a little over a hundred pages long. Where are the toys? It’s all video games and tech stuff.

When I was 10 years old, late October meant two things – Halloween and the Wishbook. Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens – Halloween and the Wishbook were my two favorite things.

They were neck and neck in importance. Halloween meant making costumes and free candy. The Wishbook was all about dreaming.

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James Duval, 71, of Glen St. Mary, dies

James W. “Jim” Duval, 71, of Glen St. Mary died Monday, October 31, 2011 at Memorial Hospital, Jacksonville following a long illness. He was born in Baldwin and moved to Glen St. Mary in 1972. He owned and operated Jim’s Truck & Diesel & Wrecker Service in Macclenny for over 20 years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary and enjoyed hunting, fishing and being with his family. He was preceded in death by wife Martha L. Duval and by parents Phil and Mary E. Allen Duval.

Survivors include sons Marcus (Dora) Duval of Ft. Bliss, Texas and Phil (Jeana) Duval of Macclenny; sisters Faye Thornhill and Christine Jackson, both of Sanderson; brother Phil Allen (Linda) Duval of Tallahassee; grandchildren Stephanie (Jeff) Huddleson, Jessica Duval and Klate Duval: great-granddaughters Isabel and Kinsley; niece and caregiver Karen Finley of Glen St. Mary.

The funeral service will be conducted at 11 am Thursday, November 3, at his church with Pastor Randy Williams officiating, and a eulogy from Mr. Dan Kerr. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6-9 pm Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Guerry Funeral Home, Macclenny.

Thomas Johnson, 77, a JSO retiree

Thomas Warren “Tom” John­­­­son, 77, of Macclenny died Wednesday, October 26, in Sevierville, Tennessee. He was born in Jacksonville and resided in Macclenny since 1994.

He was a detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for 35 years and retired in 1990 as a lieutenant. He was a member of Taylor Church and was a caring friend to everyone. He never met a stranger.

Survivors include wife Faye Reynolds Johnson of Macclenny; daughters Ruth (Stan) Plumb of Hagerstown, MD., Debbie (Karl) Hidalgo of Orange Park, Julie (Howard) Mc­­­­­Lendon and Pam (Bobby) Carswell, both of Jacksonville; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren also survive.

The funeral service was held October 30, at his church with Rev. Mark Woods officiating, assisted by Rev. Jim Cox. Interment followed at  Taylor Cemetery. Guerry Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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