THE WAY WE WERE

The Way We Were: Carolyn Smith Gentry

The Way We Were: Carolyn Smith Gentry

Carolyn Gentry cares deeply about the memories she’s made with her family and friends.  She treasures the rich history of her ancestry in the Jacksonville neighborhood on the St. Johns River where she was born and raised. Inspired by diaries, journals and “jottings” of her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Carolyn has chronicled the large and […]

The Way We Were: Blair Jones Woolverton

The Way We Were: Blair Jones Woolverton

The sign still hangs over the door of the iconic shop in Avondale where “everybody who was anybody” shopped for over 30 years, but Blair Woolverton “has left the building.” It serves as a reminder to passers-by that Blair’s personal touch and attention to detail created a shopping experience that could not be separated from […]

The Way We Were: Karyl & Bert DeSousa

The Way We Were: Karyl & Bert DeSousa

Karyl Crowley DeSousa remembers when there was no Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville.  “We lived on Belden Street in St. Nicholas and we’d take the bus down Atlantic Boulevard to the old Pier at Jacksonville Beach,” said Karyl. “There was an arcade and there were rooms to rent at the Pier.  Mother, my cousin Yvonne, and […]

The Way We Were : Hank Bonar

The Way We Were : Hank Bonar

Henry Bascom (Hank) Bonar II grew up on a lake in Tampa and loved all that the water had to offer – boating, fishing, skiing and even duck hunting – so the opportunity to buy a house on the St. Johns River was one he couldn’t pass up. When his friend, Francis Langel, who worked […]

The Way We Were : Bob & Barbara Swindell

The Way We Were : Bob & Barbara Swindell

Bob Swindell says that his and Barbara’s love story is the “greatest one ever told.”  “We’ve been married 57 years, 5 months, 26 days and 2½ hours,” he announced, glancing at his watch during an interview at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2018.  With a steel-trap memory, tempered and honed by deep affection for his […]

The Way We Were : Sarah Towers Van Cleve & Dr. Robert Van Cleve

The Way We Were : Sarah Towers Van Cleve & Dr. Robert Van Cleve

“Growing up in Avondale was the most perfect childhood,” remarked Sarah Towers Van Cleve.  “I had cousins close by, a neighborhood full of kids; we walked to Fishweir Elementary School, waded in the creek and played everywhere. I had everything a child could want. I had loving parents, a nursemaid, Emma Gould, who was also […]

The Way We Were: Bill and Dottie McLear

The Way We Were: Bill and Dottie McLear

Retired now, and living quietly in the Lakewood high-rise where they have resided for 27 years, Bill and Dottie McLear have many memories of shared adventures over their 41 years of marriage.  “I was working as the office manager for Bill’s private practice of orthopedic surgery on the Southside when we fell in love,” recalled […]

The Way We Were: Dr. Maria Acosta-Rua

The Way We Were: Dr. Maria Acosta-Rua

Dr. Maria Acosta-Rua and her late husband, Dr. Gaston Acosta-Rua, have never forgotten their past even as they contributed so much to their Jacksonville community. Theirs is truly an international tale, in which they have intertwined their Spanish and American lives to the benefit of both. Gaston Acosta-Rua and Maria Victoria Pol Gimenez met in […]

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