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‘Best fish’ award for Glen taxidermist

Mr. Davis with his replica fish and award.Visitors to the 2013 Florida State Taxidermy Association’s convention last month voted local taxidermist Casey Davis’ replica fish the best in the state.

Mr. Davis, 31, though relatively new to the profession, also took second place for his white-tailed deer entry. He’s been honing his craft for just three years now, learning from other taxidermists in the region and on his own at his workshop on CR 125 N. in Glen St. Mary.

Winning the “McKenzie Taxidermy Supply Taxidermist’s Choice — Best Fish Award” at the Ocala convention was a bit awkward for the unassuming artist.

But garnering the most votes from his fellow taxidermists for an air-brushed and hand painted speckled perch, a freshwater fish commonly called crappie, was an honor nonetheless.

“I knew I had to bring something a little bit different to the table this year,” he said of the entry. “A lot of taxidermists will go to the competition with a large-mouth bass or a blue gill or a salmon. I wanted to take a fish like this speckled perch that’s hard to paint.

“It takes about six hours to paint one properly. Instead of three color patterns, I used ten and three different paints. Combined they gave me great depth. It worked out well. I got first place … I believe it was primarily because they could see my detail; it was not done with a stencil pattern. It was hand drawn.”

He took home four other awards from the convention and his apprentice, Scott Lightsey, earned a second-place ribbon in the amateur division plus three other awards.

Mr. Davis, a Macclenny native, graduated from Baker County High School in 2000 before spending two years on a mission trip in Nevada. Next he earned an associate degree from FCCJ and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

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‘Zumbathon’ raises $725 for Craig family

One of some 70 participants at the event.A two-hour Zumbathon held at Anytime Fitness on the windy and chilly morning of March 2 raised some $725 for the family of Corey Craig, who suffered a spinal injury in a vehicle accident last December that killed another teen, Jordan Sommise of Jacksonville.

Mr. Craig, who attended Baker High, is currently rehabilitating at an Atlanta hospital. The event featured non-stop dancing from the South 6th Street gym’s Zumba instructors.

Classes meet there six days a week. Zumba pairs thumping, fast-paced music with aerobic exercise and the Zumbathon drew some 70 participants, many of whom received gift cards raffled off from local businesses.

5th annual ‘geocache’ moonshine run in Taylor

Local “geocaching” enthusiast Keith Lane of Taylor has organized the 5th Annual Baker County Moonshine Run, an historical treasure hunt of sorts with prizes and an “animal on the grill” barbecue on Saturday, March 9 beginning at 9 am.

Geocaching is a recreational activity in which GPS devices and coordinates are used to hide and find caches with just about anything from coins to messages to other items inside. Mr. Lane estimates there are some 2000 caches in Baker County today.

The moonshine run begins and ends at Mr. Lane’s Taylor residence on CR 125 just north of O.C. Horne Rd. Anyone with a digital camera, GPS device and vehicle can participate, he said.

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Couples renew vows, marry on Valentine’s Day

Pastor Jack Pope marries Johnny Johnson and Sandra Steward on Valentine's Day.Five couples renewed their vows and another was married at New Life Church by Pastor Jack Pope on Valentine’s Day.

There was Ralph and Pamela McCormick, who attend services at the church on N. SR 121 and celebrated their 50th anniversary last month.

Together they have five children, seven grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and many, many memories.

How did they make their marriage last five decades?

“Mainly it’s been our trust in the Lord,” said Mr. McCormick before the vow renewal ceremony with four other couples. “We’ve had lots of serious ups and downs, but both of us hung onto the Lord, so it has been easy to forgive one another.”

“And never go to bed mad,” added Mrs. McCormick.

Pastor Pope and other congregates opened the 7 pm evening service with several praise and worship songs. That was followed by a message from the pastor about the roles of men and women in the household and some do’s and don’ts for marriage according to scripture.

“You can’t go into marriage with the idea that it’s a 50-50 partnership,” said Mr. Pope. “You have to go into marriage understanding that you’re going to give 100 percent and you’re not going to hold anything back.

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