The Way We Were

The Way We Were: Joe and Joni Bifano

The Way We Were: Joe and Joni Bifano

When it comes to true love, the third time is the charm, the saying goes. And that’s how it was for Joseph James Bifano. As a young man working in his hometown of Sheboygan, Wis., on the second floor of J. C. Penney in the boys’ department, there were at least two occasions when his […]

The Way We Were: Sissy Barker

The Way We Were: Sissy Barker

It’s quite the paradox, but amid multiple moves across state lines, Sissy Barker has maintained throughout Jacksonville a consistency in friendships and family, which marks the theme of her life. Born to Sara and Paul Hattaway on Thanksgiving Day 1936 in Augusta, Georgia, Sissy Barker’s real name was Cynthann. She was named for her father’s […]

The Way We Were: Cyndy Ira Reynolds

The Way We Were: Cyndy Ira Reynolds

A value system instilled by her family and the loyalty of lifelong friends are what have shaped and molded Cyndy Ira Reynolds of Avondale. “I feel like a mixture of so many bright and intuitive and lovely people,” she said. Reynolds is the daughter of Dr. Gordon H. Ira, Jr., the Jacksonville native who had […]

The Way We Were: Carol Cochran Todd

The Way We Were: Carol Cochran Todd

Carol Cochran Todd has seen over seven decades of change across Jacksonville. But there’s been at least one constant thread woven into the fabric of her life here, and that is respect—the respect she witnessed as a little girl, the respect she was taught in school, the respect she holds today for all people.  Originally […]

The Way We Were: Ken Juro

The Way We Were: Ken Juro

Even though he was not born when his father fought the Japanese during World War II, Ken Juro learned plenty about resilience and conscientiousness from his father’s tales about his wartime experience. Juro, an Empire Point resident who has longtime ties to Ortega, grew up in Spring Park in the 1950s and often worked in […]

The Way We Were: Dr. William Cordell Mason III

The Way We Were: Dr. William Cordell Mason III

Reflecting on a 50-year career filled with medicine and ministry Reflecting on his 50 years as a hospital administrator for Baptist hospitals worldwide, Bill Mason realized his career was the perfect mix of medicine and ministry. The San Marco resident has held leadership positions at Baptist Health in Jacksonville for 40+ years, from 1978 until […]

The Way We Were: Arthur Chester Skinner, Jr.

The Way We Were: Arthur Chester Skinner, Jr.

As the sun’s rays penetrated through the pine trees, a young man galloped down the dirt roads of a primitive South Jacksonville in the 1930s on his horse, Vinny, long before commercial and residential areas and the city and state roads needed to provide transportation to them, were developed.  This was when the lands south […]

The Way We Were: Michael Swann

The Way We Were: Michael Swann

From playing baseball at Lakeside Park or fishing with the boys at Fishweir Creek as a youngster, to now, walking the streets as a human billboard advertising the Cathedral District Project during Art Walk, Michael Swann’s love for community runs deep.  Swann’s outlook and life priorities have been molded by the connections he’s made with […]