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Last week, close to 15,000 public school teachers, support personnel and others sympathetic to their cause marched to the Florida Capitol and held a rally in the hopes of getting Florida lawmakers to spend more than the bare minimum on public education. It seemed that even after teachers too…

When you make the commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, eventually your thoughts will turn to exercise. Or rather what’s the best way to check exercise off your to do list. Your next thought might be should I join a gym?

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As the Live Oak Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is making plans for the recently-purchased acres south and east of the Museum (ACL Freight Depot), I am reminded of previous work done in and close to that area for the community over the years. We’ll look at some of them over the next cou…

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Here we are halfway through the first month of the new decade, which also happens to be a Leap Year and the headlines are piling up faster than we can read them.

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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Injustice anywhere is a thre…

This past week, the world saw Iran make a mistake. Then, the Iranian government lied and said they did not make a mistake, and asked anyone with proof that they were responsible for shooting down a passenger jet that crash landed in their country to come forward. Finally, three days after th…

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For years I obsessed over how much I weighed. Would watch those little numbers on the scale swing up faster than they ever ticked down. Luckily, I was able to let go of my focus on those numbers and rely on I felt overall as my health barometer.

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The prayer life of King David was very important to him. He prayed for all types of things and made various requests of God. Perhaps, to many of us, the prayer of David recorded in Psalm 25 may be a bit unusual but one that is very much needed in every generation. This acrostic poem emphasiz…

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“If you gave some people a deed to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, they wouldn’t be satisfied until they tore down a wall and put a side room on it.”— My Daddy, the late Wade Bullard

If you drive on the highways in Florida, you know what it is like to be stopped on said highway nowhere near an exit. It stinks. You are never sure how long you will be stopped, so you don’t know if it is appropriate to just change the radio station or to get out of the car and get your book…

Mystical number 40. Forty is an important number for many reasons and is mentioned 146 times in scripture and symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation. Moses lived 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in the desert before God selected him to lead his people out of slavery. Elijah went 40…

The early 1900s were interesting times for the United States. We were beginning to be accepted as a modern nation by older powers as we increased the size of our military and took over colonial lands, following the lead of countries like Great Britain, France, Spain, Russia and Germany. Tech…

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The least significant event of December? My birthday! Having a birthday, Dec. 30, which is wedged between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, taught me humility at a young age. Other kids, the ones born from February to November may have been persuaded that their birthday was the biggest deal of t…

As has become the holiday tradition, I went to see “The Rise of Skywalker” this past week. This movie is supposed to be the final battle between the Empire and the Resistance. At the end, we do find out if good triumphs over evil, and I will try not to spoil the outcome for anyone who has no…

As we reach the end of another year and often ponder the previous 12 months, I thought it fitting to note that the Suwannee Democrat would sometimes put a “Year in Review” article in the last newspaper of the year. One such review article I recently came across was from 1929, 90 years ago.

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Are you a “giver” or a “getter”? Being a “getter” is not all it’s cracked up to be! Just look around you. It’s the day after Christmas and, once again, we didn’t all get everything we wanted. The evidence is clear! There are not new cars in every driveway. Boats that could be out fishing sti…

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Don’t worry; we won’t have to pay tolls around here anytime soon. This past week, I went to a community open house in Day, Florida. I was hoping there would be a presentation stating where the toll road would be going, but the meeting felt more like a school science fair. After signing in at…

Every year right about now, you'll start seeing those weight loss ads: "New Year. New You." or "Lose weight fast in the New Year" or "New Year. New Body." And they go on and on and on. This year, however, leads us into a new decade and a new decade for our fitness as well. 

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Suwannee County has a long tradition of celebrating the Christmas holidays. Old newspaper articles and scattered records give us a glimpse of how our forefathers celebrated the holiday. Today, in honor of the upcoming holiday, we’ll look at some of those historical celebrations and incidents.

David, the great king of Israel, wanted God to “preserve him” in various areas of his life. One of the reasons why David wanted God to preserve him was because of the devotion David had to “my Lord” (Psalm 16:2). He gives several reasons why God is his Lord.

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A few Christmas memories I thought I would share with my readers this week. Christmases change, as we change. I am blessed to live in an area where the warm and loving hearts of many of our people remain a constant. This provides cheer not only at Christmas but all year round.

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My first memory of Christmas took place in Atlanta. I was only 3 years old but I remember it because of what Santa brought me. It was a bright red fire truck with an authentic fire bell mounted on the hood! My fire truck was the kind you sit in and pedal, and that morning I peddled it furiou…

Last week, I saw an AARP commercial about a retired cop who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease who has to pay three thousand dollars a month for the medication that helps decrease the severity of his tremors. This commercial touched me in a way that few commercials do. First, because I a…

Tis the season. Are you thinking the holiday season? I'm talking about the holiday stress season. The holidays are supposed to be about joy and fun memories, yet for many this time of year can create feelings of anxiety, depression and frustration.

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As we go through life, we sometimes come across interesting people who have been witness to various historical events. One such person that I had the pleasure to meet was Lew Walters, whom I first met several years ago when he stopped into the Clerk’s Office to get a marriage license; he was…

The Bible says, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalms 29:2, 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalms 96:9).

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How do you answer the question, “Who can be a member of our organization?” “Who can be a citizen of our country?” Most of the time the answer comes with broad statements, even though sometimes there may be certain specifics.

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For about a week and a half, several folks from Jasper related to me that a Mr. Dan Reynolds, son of one of the former owners of Jasper’s now long gone Big Top Tobacco Warehouse was trying to get in touch with me. I wondered why? My family never sold tobacco at the Big Top, not my immediate …

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I had to attend a conference in Orlando this past weekend, so I missed most of the Christmas on the Square activities. Luckily, I made it home in time to see the Christmas Parade. As I was driving in to town at 3:30, I noticed some people already had their chairs set up in some of the best s…

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We survived Thanksgiving! Yay, time to get back on track. Wait. Are those Christmas cookies? That’s right! We may have made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving but we still have Christmas and New Year’s on the calendar. How can we possibly stay on track and avoid gaining weight during the …

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Over the last two weeks, I have written about the obituary of Robert A. Ivey, prominent Suwannee County citizen, founder of Branford, and steamboat builder and operator. Today, we look at a letter from a long-time associate and friend, Dan McQueen.

Last week, I told you about my canoe trip on a beautiful stretch of the Suwannee River. This past weekend, I decided to drive back to some of those sandy beach areas with my metal detector to see what I could find. Let me caution you before you buy a metal detector, use it once or twice, the…

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After Halloween, we are wide open heading into the holidays. For me Halloween kicks things off, but it's Thanksgiving I really look forward to each year. There is something to be said about family and friends gathering around a table heavy with our favorite foods. Foods we often get only on …

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We continue today looking at the obituary of prominent Suwannee County and Branford pioneer Robert A. Ivey. Last week we left off with some examples of Ivey’s courage under fire and his quest against injustice and prejudice. I will remind the readers that the 1925 obituary has some outdated …

The Bible says, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).

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For most people, and many families, the last Thursday in November is a time when they really enjoy being together. After traveling “far and wide” for the festivities of this one day, there is great enjoyment in getting to see family and friends.

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“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, a…

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One of the ways, perhaps the best way, to show that you are really thankful for all that you have been given is to give some of it back! Don’t just give thanks, give back some of what you were given! Some of us are fortunate enough to receive more than just the “Give us this day our daily br…

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This past Saturday, a friend and I decided to do a four-mile paddle on the upper Suwannee River. We decided to let the Canoe Outpost handle the logistics, so we could just enjoy the journey. We were glad it was warm enough to wear shorts and T-shirts. It is less fun to be on the river when y…

This past Saturday, some friends and I loaded up and headed to Kings Landing in Apopka, Florida. I had never been so was truly looking forward to this kayaking trip. Only problem? It was a wee bit chilly.  

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I have mentioned Robert Absalom Ivey, nicknamed “Captain Bob”, in several articles and presentations over the years. He was born on April 12, 1847, and died on Nov. 21, 1925, at the age of 78. Ivey’s connection with Branford and his influence on steamboats on the Suwannee River cannot be und…

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Laveta Brim Davis, age 88, of Live Oak, FL, passed away January 22, 2020. Harris Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc., Live Oak, FL is in charge of all arrangements.

Peggy Ruth Howland, age 93, of Live Oak, Florida, passed away Saturday, January 18, 2020 at her daughter's home in Birmingham, Alabama. She was born in Frostproof, Florida living most of her life in Live Oak. She, alongside her late husband, owned and operated Howland's Feed Mill until their…

Mr. Lawrence Leroy Bruner, 94, of Live Oak, FL; passed away, December 15, 2019 at Shand's of Live Oak, following an extended illness. He was the son of the late James E. and Belva Reeves York Bruner. He made Live Oak his home in 1997 coming from Punta Gorda, FL. He served his country in the …