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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 I will remind the readers that the 1925 obituary has some outdated …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…

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Our world and the world of the New Testament are no different. Paul encountered people who were teaching something different from what was the doctrine of Jesus. Timothy needed to be ”urged” to teach other people they should not be teaching “strange doctrines” (1 Timothy 1:3).

The Bible says, “Two things have I required (to inquire, to request) of thee, deny me them not before I die: remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor…

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The white open-air tents were clustered together underneath a steel grey sky that threatened to dump gallows of water or possibly the once-in-a-while snow as the occupants of those tents shivered in their heavy coats and woolen scarves and questioned what could have lead them to brave the el…

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s about me. I may not be who you think I am. As a matter of fact, I’m not always who I think I am, who I want to be, or who I should be. You see, here’s the secret about me, I have a split personality. And, I’m not just split into two parts! My …

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This past week was a good reminder of how much I have to be thankful for. On Tuesday, I was able to attend another great Taste of Suwannee. On Saturday, the Florida State Seminoles football team won, making them bowl eligible. All week, I got to enjoy oranges and lemons from my own citrus tr…

The Bible says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass” (James 1:22-23).

That was the first question on every Seminole fan’s mind this past week. The second question was would this team win at Boston College under the direction of interim head coach Haggins. Thankfully, the answer to the second question was yes. This leaves open the possibility of the Seminoles e…

Not sure about you but I've been loving the cooler temps especially in the morning. It has been cool enough that I have had to pull on my ratty old Cleveland Indians sweatshirt that my mother keeps trying to throw away. It has to be at least 30 years old and feels like an old friend when I p…

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Suwannee County has a long history of commerce, from the earliest American settlers to today. In 1824, Ruben (Reuben) Charles established a ferry, inn and trading post at what is now Charles Springs, the first known American commercial presence in Suwannee County. The first 80 years of Ameri…

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Forgiving other people, for most, is very hard. However, it is necessary in order for a society to function with civility. Forgiving requires not only the proper attitude and motivation, but also the proper action by the forgiving party.

The Bible says, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent” (Revelations 2:5).

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it felt appropriate to spotlight the main course, turkey! Overall, the U.S. produced 242.5 million turkeys in 2017, with a yearly average consumption of 5.38 billion pounds. Minnesota is the top contender when it comes to turkey production, producing an…

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I sat with a group of friends at a recent social meeting. We visited, had a delicious lunch and talked about a variety of topics. It was a very relaxed, laid-back meeting until I mentioned the aggravation of unwanted calls and messages invading my phones and email.

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“You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.“Of course, one is born with good taste. It’s very hard to acquire. You can acquire the patina of taste?”— the lat…

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When asked about his poverty stricken life in Appalachia in the 1930s, a dirt-poor mountain man was heard to say “I ain’t never had to feel bad about no missed opportunities. None ever come my way.” There may be some truth to that in some places, but in reality if you look hard for it, oppor…

President Donald Trump announced this week that he is no longer a resident of New York. He has declared himself a resident of Florida. He joins thousands of other New Yorkers who flee that state and end up in Florida. In fact, Florida gains the most new residents of any state, and the majori…

If you live in non-metro or rural America, you’ve been left behind by the economic boom cycle that came after the Great Recession. You also endured a more severe recession than people who live in bigger cities.

At a May 2016 campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Donald Trump, the presumed GOP nominee for president, told the faithful: “If I win, we’re going to bring those miners back. You’re going to be so proud of your president. For those miners, get ready, because you’re going to be working your asses off.”

I want to take better care of myself, but…love to take a fitness class if only I could...planned to go to the gym today, but...

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There’s magick in the air! The word magick is used to differentiate between the occult and the magic tricks performed by entertainers like David Copperfield, who was not involved in the occult.

We live in a world with so many choices. From the various eating places to the many different types of sleeping accommodations when we travel. The choices in colors of outer garments are unlimited. The choices in religion are unlimited as well.

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Some treasures are hidden, but some treasures are in plain sight, just waiting for you and me to discover them! Let’s discover some treasures in the White Springs area.

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“Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper …

This past weekend at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park was a sight to behold. There was music and dancing, lights and colors, and the rain that had been predicted for the weekend passed by quickly and helped keep the air fresh. Other than the Wednesday night pre-party, where all of the m…

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As I mentioned this time last year, my family and I do not personally celebrate Halloween. However, just about everybody likes a good ghost story or two. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at a few historical ghost stories related to Suwannee County that I have heard over the years, a…

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The longer Christianity was preached, the more Christians had to contend for the faith. There were people who were wanting to change the message of Christianity, but some writers of books in the New Testament urged their readers to challenge those who were in opposition to Jesus Christ. One …

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The Bible says, “The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem” (Ecclesiastes 1:1).

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The word “investment” immediately conjures up an image of considerable sums of money, and money, wisely invested, is always welcome, but there are also other ways to invest in White Springs.

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“There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all.”— The Beatles

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Some of you might remember my column from the end of May pointing out the colossal failure of the legislature to get a new deal completed with the Seminole Tribe before payments of approximately 25 million dollars a month stopped flowing into state coffers. Here we are nearly 6 months later,…

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Do you think you need to be a certain size to be fit? To "look" a certain way? If you look at me, I'm quite deceiving yet I can run circles around kids less than half my age (58). Fitness isn't a certain size or a certain look.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

Robert Allen Hughes, 77, passed away on December 8, 2019 in Gainesville, FL following a brief illness. Robert was born June 12, 1942 in Greenville, Florida to Mark Jefford Hughes and Cecila Day Hughes. He attended and was a graduate of Madison County High School before being drafted into the…

Mrs. Evangeline Louise Bell (O'Toole), 86, passed away at North Florida Regional Medical Center after a long illness on Saturday, December 7, 2019. She was a lifelong resident of Day, Florida and Lafayette County, Florida. She was a devout Christian, loved, admired and respected by everyone …