Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Test Yourself Here. Are You a Mature Beaches Person?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Test Yourself Here. Are You a Mature Beaches Person?

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Longenecker, Shorelines columnist

A few weeks ago, I heard a radio interview in which a famous architect told of his childhood fascination with the old buildings of Chicago. Some of our Beaches homes and two churches might qualify. None of our commercial buildings are architectural wonders, although their history might be of interest.

Certainly, my home is not unique, but the homes from architect Bill Morgan are unique designs. Our best examples of unique churches include the original Beaches United Methodist and the swirling St. Paul's By the Sea Episcopal. These two buildings are old merely by Beaches standards.

Many of our oldest buildings were once something far different than their present incarnation.

Recollections of some of our older buildings could qualify you as a Mature Beach Person. The subject of today's column is, You are a Mature Beach Person if . . . "

You are an MBP if you are sitting in Al's Pizza and suddenly remember that the clothes you are wearing were once washed in about the same spot in which you are sitting. (You are also a frugal MBP if you are actually wearing clothes from that era.)

Once in the early '70s, I went to do my laundry there. One of my father's favorite veteran pro golfers was standing against a machine with a forlorn look on his face. He was in town for the then Greater Jacksonville Open. At least now, he could eat a pizza.

You have really been here a long time if you once bought gasoline from a filling station. I was too young to need gasoline then. You are also a part of ancient history if you still call them "filling stations."

You are an MBP if . . .

you can remember that the American Bicycle Co. building was the Jacksonville Beach Electric Co. in 1933. Its previous incarnation before it became a bike shop was as a mattress store.

you now buy produce at Pete's from what was once our only pizza place, Nick's Pizza. Nick's was the only choice for pizza in the 1950s.

you once bought gasoline where now you buy your grandchildren's surfboards and skateboards at Sunrise Surf Shop.

you once searched through trash for treasures at the Swap Shop, where the hip now eat at Sun Dog Steaks & Seafood. …

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