Category Archives: Articles

The “Unique” Talking Walls of the Historic Haile Homestead

by Karen Kirkman

In 1854 Thomas Evans and Serena Chesnut Haile moved their family from Camden, South Carolina to Gainesville, Florida. Their 6,200 sq ft home was built by 56 enslaved laborers on 1,500 acres of land, some of which was purchased for only $1 per acre. The Hailes’ Sea Island Cotton plantation was called, Kanapaha, thought to be a Timucuan Indian word for house and palmetto leaf. Today most people know the Historic Haile Homestead at Kanapaha Plantation for its “Talking Walls.” For a reason lost to time, the Haile family wrote on the walls of their home, over 12,500 words in almost every room and closet! This makes the house unique in the Nation for the sheer volume of writing found when the walls were documented in 2001. Though quite a bit of the writing was done by party goers in the early 1900s, the family began writing on the walls in the 1850s. Serena Haile herself did the lion’s share of writing in the private rooms of the house; inventories of silverware and plates, business records, rat kills, a recipe for medicine, a menu, weather observations, etc. The children even got into the act! Visitors will see their math problems and artwork on some of the walls.

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

Are you ready for some football? We are in for another fun filled season of Gators, tailgating and great weather. Many of you sent in your wonderful photos in your orange and blue and we thought we would take this opportunity to feature..…YOU!

Keep posting your photos to our Facebook page, @GoodLifeCommunityMagazine as we want to make you Gator famous. Don’t forget to check out our Instagram page for even more of your favorite photos of you and your friends and family.

Go Gators!

Platforms are Back!

Did you or your Mom ever wear platforms? Maybe your Dad even wore them back in the day. Short guys loved this fashion as they could go from 5’.5 to 6’ in seconds. Back then tall girls towered above their dates. They were such a hot trend during the time of Freddie Mercury and his band, Queen. Even Mick Jagger, Davie Bowie, Elton John and many others wore them as it was the era of Disco, wild colors and glitter.

Mocktails: The New Trend in Drinking

Everyone is more health conscious than ever, and now is the era of the…Mocktail! Have you ever asked a friend to go out for a drink with you only to be told they don’t drink alcohol? What a party killer! Now your non-alcohol drinking friends have no excuse to say no to going out on the town for a drink. These new drinks are perfect for anyone on medications, pregnant or who just hates the taste of alcohol. Bars and restaurants have caught on to the trend and saw that they had an opportunity to increase revenue by selling more than just a glass of sparkling water, or another boring glass of Coke. They are now turning the non-alcoholic drink into something of a hot trend. In Miami and other cities there are many Mocktail bars that only serve nonalcoholic drinks! No longer do you have to whisper with embarrassment for a …..Virgin Pina Colada, but instead you can ask in a loud voice for the …..Mocktail drink menu. And let me tell you some of these drinks are delicious. A Mocktail in not a soda with a splash of juice, it’s just as complex as the most elaborate martini and often comes with the same martini price. Mocktails aren’t served in humiliating plain glasses that scream…hey this person is having a VIRGIN drink! Instead they are served in Martini or Champagne stemware and come with fruit and umbrellas. Now your dedicated driver for the evening or friend that does not care for alcohol can also enjoy themselves……cheers!

A Celebration of the Life of Alexander von Humboldt

It’s not often you get to celebrate a 250 year Birthday but that is what’s happening as The Florida Museum of Natural History hosts:

So who is Alexander von Humboldt? Standing in stark contrast to scientists who are remembered for their individual discoveries, Prussian-born Alexander von Humboldt’s legacy emphasizes a holistic view of Earth’s systems. The first of its style, his nature writing created networks of scientific facts to draw attention to ecosystem complexity while still inviting readers to understand nature as a sensory experience. Humboldt used these connections to explain subtle ecological relationships, such as how a forest controls soil erosion or the consequences if monoculture replaced that same forest.

Transforming Your Ugly Spaces

by Trish Utter

I have known Kevin Layne for many years, he has had many successful businesses, one of which is Screen Doctors. Layne has been screening pools in the Florida area for over fifteen years. Now he has ventured into the paving industry, with a futuristic ground cover called Rubber Stone that has him crazy busy, as the product is in such high demand.

Layne lives with his wife Samanthia out in the country on the edge of NW Gainesville. He’s a country boy at heart. Layne said, “I’ve been out here for thirty years and I love it! We always have lots of kids and grandkids out here visiting us. It’s a great place to relax after a hectic workday.”

I asked Layne what made him decide to start this new venture? As the owner of Screen Doctors, I’ve seen my share of damaged pool decks with lots of cracks and paint chipping off, and it’s always the same question, “Do you know of anyone or anything that can fix this?” So this got me thinking about solving the problem for my customers and after a long search I found a company in Canada that produced it. Although the company is called Rubber Stone we also offer Sierra Stone.

Lake Butler to Palatka by Bike

by Terry Martin-Back

The Good Life Community is a cycling community with many excellent trails available for your pleasure. The Rails-to-Trails projects have made many of us to get off the couch and onto the saddle of a bicycle. Lake Butler to Palatka is one of those trails that has limited elevation changes and offers the opportunity for the new rider to get out and enjoy the trail.

The Lake Butler trail head has ample parking, restroom facilities and a picnic area. The trail travels through the heart of Lake Butler and leads you down a tree canopied path for about five miles and abruptly ends on a local county road.

It was an early Sunday morning when a friend and I rode the trail and the two-mile ride north to get on SR 100. We didn’t have a single car pass us in either direction, so it was a smooth ride. As we crossed the New River bridge on SR 100, into Bradford County, the smooth shoulder in Union County transitioned into a well-worn chip seal shoulder, which made for a very rough twelve-mile ride into Starke. The next twelve miles on the shoulder, into Keystone Heights, was smooth, we were ready to get away from the traffic and find the trailhead.

A Once in a Lifetime Drive

by Trish Utter

My daughter, Brooke and I were staying in LA but thought we would have a quick road trip. We rented a car from Enterprise on Sunset Boulevard. The assistant, named Eva, was wonderful and quickly had us on the road. We drove up Route 5 to Mill Valley near San Francisco as this was the quickest way and we were in a hurry, but on the way back down we opted for the iconic coastal road trip of Route 1.

The day started off with us driving from the beautiful redwood village of Mill Valley and over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. The beautiful orange structure of the bridge gracefully appeared through the clouds. The traffic was light, the car windows were down so the cool air blew through our hair. Within a short time we were out of the busy city and heading through tall evergreens towards Carmel. Carmel is famous for its golf course, Pebble Beach. Not only do they host some famous golf tournaments but it is also home of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, one of the largest car shows in the US.