THE WAY WE WERE

The Way We Were: Barbara “Bobbi” Margol

The Way We Were: Barbara “Bobbi” Margol

Born to George and Shirley Hirshfield in Newark, New Jersey, Barbara “Bobbi” Margol lost her natural mother to polio when she was just four years old. When she was five, her father married a woman named Eva, who had a daughter named Elaine. “Elaine and I became lifelong sisters immediately,” recalled Bobbi, “and a few […]

The Way We Were: The Ulmer Girls

The Way We Were: The Ulmer Girls

As Dorothy Ulmer Marsh, Elizabeth Ulmer Jolley and Frances Ulmer Howey wend their way through Riverside, Avondale, Ortega and Venetia on their daily activities, the three women embark on a journey through time that goes back many generations. The Ulmer “girls” – three of four sisters – pass Stockton Street, Stockton School, Stockton Park, all […]

The Way We Were: Elizabeth “Lizann” Bradshaw

The Way We Were: Elizabeth “Lizann” Bradshaw

Her name is Elizabeth Bradshaw, but close friends call her “Lizann,” and by the time you’ve read this write-up about the interesting (and often surprising) life of this retired English teacher, you will yearn for the opportunity to address her as “Lizann.”  The oldest of four children born to William P. Ratchford, Ph.D., and his […]

The Way We Were: Roxie Horne Merrill

The Way We Were: Roxie Horne Merrill

Somewhere in Ortega there is an old tree that may still have the initials “R.H. + R. H.” carved into its trunk. “We were just 12 years old,” recalled Roxie Horne Merrill, “when Rogers “Tiger” Holmes and I had a crush on each other.” Today, both Roxie Merrill and Tiger Holmes are well-known, highly respected […]

Way We Were: Tom Howe

Way We Were: Tom Howe

There is a plaque on the wall in Tom Howe’s spacious Lakewood living room that says, “If You’re Lucky Enough to Live on the Water, You’re Lucky Enough.” That saying reveals a great deal about the man, who, today, enjoys a panoramic view of the St. Johns River and has spent a lifetime traveling the […]

Way We Were: John & Sheila Hamilton

Way We Were: John & Sheila Hamilton

Sheila and John Hamilton describe the Venetia neighborhood in which they lived for 57 years as a “compound.” Its residents live there a long time, so long, in fact, many have owned two homes there – a starter home and then a family home. “They don’t move out, and now their children are moving back […]

Way We Were: Lee Beger

Way We Were: Lee Beger

Lee Beger, Ph.D., is convinced she got her creative genes from her father. Directing is in her blood, history shows. When her mother, Pearl Lee Lowery from Georgia met her father, Arthur Stewart from Alabama, they had both recently moved to Jacksonville. Pearl worked for a linen company. Arthur had been moved to Jacksonville by […]

Way We Were: Blanche & Daniel Coffman, Jr.

Way We Were: Blanche & Daniel Coffman, Jr.

Whether traveling to an airshow, a college reunion or to see their children and grandchildren scattered all over the world, Dan and Blanche Coffman have been taking to the sky in their Cessna 172 since 1993. “You’re 60 – get yourself an airplane,” Blanche said to Dan.  A former naval aviator, Dan got his wings […]

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