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Northwest Florida Daily News
WATERCOLOR, FLORIDA — Sitting here in the early morning dark of a rental house’s front porch — while my son and his three friends sleep the guilt-free, deep sleep of 16-year-old boys who have yet to worry about things like jobs and family responsibilities during Spring Break — it occurs to me that I have a long and storied history with this little postage stamp of the world they call the “Redneck Riviera.”
Until I was 30, my understanding of the Florida Panhandle was almost always experienced through someone else’s family. My single-mom schoolteacher rarely had the disposable income for a beach trip. We had a small fish camp on the Pascagoula River near Vancleave that offered experiences for a young boy and his older brother that I wouldn’t trade for the best beach story, today. But as a kid, Destin was where “it” was happening. I had several friends who went often, and I was lucky enough to tag along.
Sitting and reminiscing on this cold, dark morning (46-degrees isn’t ideal Spring Break weather), it occurs to me that I witnessed the growth of this area first hand. I even lived here on two occasions during that growth sprawl.
My first visits in the mid-60s were to Dauphin Island— the east-end, red-headed stepchild of the Redneck Riviera. It must have been July of 1967, because The Doors’ “Light My Fire” was all over the car radio and the tinny-sounding transistor I used at the beach. As a five-year old, I don’t remember much about the beach and Gulf of Mexico, just that song. It’s a shame, because my father would have still been alive then. I think he liked Dauphin Island, Alabama because it was closer to our home in Hattiesburg, and he liked the fishing.
A year later we returned to Dauphin Island, which must have been quite an experience for my mother. Months earlier her husband had passed away quickly, just weeks after a brain-tumor diagnosis. Those were rough times in my family, and rough times in the world. Martin Luther King was assassinated two weeks after my father died, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated two months after that, and my mother was trying to keep the world “normal” for a six-year old boy and his 10-year old brother in Dauphin Island during the Chicago riots at the democratic convention.
The only thing I remember about that second beach trip was that my mom’s brother and my cousin were there, and The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” was in heavy rotation on the radio station out of Mobile (WABB, I assume).
Widowed in her early 30s, with two young boys, and surviving on an art teacher’s salary, she made one of the wisest mom moves in the history of mom moves. She knew she wasn’t going to be able to play football in the backyard, she had little faith that she’d learn how to hunt, but she figured she could learn how to fish. In those days, on the outskirts of Vancleave, Mississippi, there was an area of the John’s Bayou Marina— and the lots leading away from the marina up to the main road— where a group of old Hattiesburg families had built fish camps in the 1930s. My mom bought a mobile home and stuck it on a lot in between two of those families. It was genius, and exactly what we needed— nothing so fancy that we’d stay inside all day, but clean and safe. We virtually lived in a boat on the water during the following 10 summers, swimming, fishing, skiing, crabbing, and jumping off of the rope swing at Pine Island. I wouldn’t trade those life experiences for anything.
Though while we were setting out trot lines on the Pascagoula River, eating at the Tiki Room at the Mary Walker Marina, and enjoying oysters on the occasional Baricev’s-run into Biloxi, the Florida Pandhandle was undergoing their second phase of growth which started with the creation of the condominium concept. Until the late 1960s and early 1970s, beach properties consisted of small hotels, motor courts with cottages, and A-frame beach houses on the shore— the Golden Age of the Florida Panhandle.
My family would travel with the Culpepper family— also from Hattiesburg, also with a fish camp on John’s Bayou— to Ft. Walton to stay at the Coronado Hotel on the beach. Dr. Culpepper had been one of my father’s best friends. His children were some of my best friends. The beach in those days was free of condos. No one had yet to figure out that one could build high-rise apartments on the water’s edge and sell them, turning land that, theretofore, was used to host a little more than four beach houses into a concrete structure that could house a few thousand people. The money must have been good because they started popping up everywhere along the beach. Small houses on the shoreline were out, Jetty East, Shoreline Towers, and the like were the new thing.
When I was invited on vacation with my friend Forrest’s family, they stayed at the Silver Beach Cottages on the beach in Destin. This place is probably my all-time favorite Panhandle property. It was patterned after the old motor courts with a main building— that served an excellent breakfast— overlooking the beach, a pool behind the main building, and small cottages with kitchenettes lined in a semicircle surrounding the pool. That is what I remember about “classic” Florida. I would love to own and operate a place like that today. I wouldn’t change a thing. The Silver Beach was the first place I heard Frank Zappa and David Bowie.
My high school years were spent visiting various condos with friend’s families. The condos proliferated, and the “The World’s Loveliest Fishing Village” and all its charm began to morph into a major vacation destination filled with high-rise condominiums. Pink Floyd, The Cars, Van Halen, and Boston were on the eight-track tape players in our cars, and TK-101 out of Pensacola was the radio station of choice while on the beach.
Between college stints, I moved down here and worked for a Hattiesburg man who had opened up a bbq shop and pizza joint that delivered. It was in the spring of 1983, and MTV was at its peak. Michael Jackson had just begun to break through the stratosphere with his “Thriller” album, but I was more into Prince and his album, “1999.” It’s also around the time I stopped drinking and started getting serious about the restaurant business.
During the early 1980s, the chef at Joey’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge— a classical French joint with a classically trained French chef who had cooked in New York at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center— was hired to man the stoves at Beachside Café, just behind Shoreline Towers in Destin. He brought along with him, several teenage boys, mostly my age, who were formally dishwashers in Baton Rouge, but hopped at the opportunity to live on the beach and become line cooks in Destin. Most of Destin’s food culture can be tracked from those young men at that restaurant. Many of those chefs still have restaurants that are up and running today, and the Panhandle is still benefitting, three chef-generations later.
During my 1983 stint, I used to drive east to a secluded, almost vacant area of the beach where a small planned community had just formed. Seaside held promise in my eyes. It seemed to harken back to the days of the beach cottage. The landscaping seemed natural, and the plants were indigenous, which gave the small cottages a sense of place.
A few years later, Watercolor was developed, and the idea that property “near” the beach (if it’s a nice house in a controlled setting), can be just as valuable as property on the beach if you develop walking trails and a bike culture.
I’m afraid this is as close as this area will ever get to the beach cottage concept of yesteryear. There are still A-frames that line the beach in certain stretches, and it seems the county on this end of the beach has stopped most high-rise development. Grayton Beach seems to have done the best job of preserving the original culture. Well done.
After Seaside, but before Watercolor I lived here for the last time before moving back to Hattiesburg and opening my first restaurant. The year was 1987, U2’s album “The Joshua Tree” ruled the radio, and I lived in a fully furnished two-bedroom cottage on the beach at Sandpiper Cove in Destin for $500.00 per month. I waited tables at Harbor Docks and has the stress level of a paper clip.
Even though the condos were fully built and crammed in as close as allowed, the Silver Beach still stood, and Junes Dune’s (a tiny surf shack on the beach) still served the best breakfast around.
My kids will never know that Destin. They stay in these houses off of the beach and hang out with the mobs of teenagers roaming through Seaside (to be honest 16-year-old Robert would have been in heaven in that environment). The houses are fancy, which tempts them to stay inside too much. They listen to hip-hop music, which to me has no “beach feel” at all. I find myself being the old man that fills them with “back-in-my-day” stories about the beach, the music, the food, and the good old days. They roll their eyes— and mostly endulge me— after hearing for the 467th story about when daddy used to come down here. “At least he’s not telling us about the fish camp this time,” they probably think to themselves.
The Silver Beach is long gone. A high-density concrete condominium sits where it used to stand. June’s Dunes was mothballed a few decades ago. That’s the way it is though. We create memories and we own them. Things are probably way better in our memories than they were in real life. My kids are creating new memories that they will bore their children with one day. These are their “good old days.” I’m just glad to be a part of it.
The playlist on this trip has been Beck, Bob Schneider, and Bill Evans. My son enjoys Beck, tolerates Schneider, and has no interest in Evans. I’m just grateful that he likes the Rolling Stones and the Doors. That will do, for now.
Note: Harvey Jackson III has written an excellent book on the history of this area “The Rise and Decline of The Redneck Riviera: An Insider’s History of the Florida-Alabama Coast” (University of Georgia Press) I have just started it, and it is very informative and entertaining so far.
RSJ’s Smoked Crab Dip Destin
One of the most intensely flavored and deeply satisfying dips you will ever try. Smoking the crab is easy and extremely important to the outcome of the dip. This is a great dip for a party. It also travels well. Pack a small container full of the crab dip in an ice chest, make a batch of herbed pita triangles, and take them to the beach. Add the other half pound of crabmeat for a more intense smoke and crab flavor.
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp horseradish
2 Tbl red onion, minced
2 Tbl celery, minced
2 Tbl parsley, chopped
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp garlic salt
1 1 /2 tsp creole seasoning
1 /4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 TBL hot sauce
1 /2 pound smoked lump crab meat (or picked, claw meat)*
Blend the softened cream cheese and sour cream with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer until there are no lumps.
Add in all other ingredients except for the smoked crab and blend well. Gently fold in the smoked crab by hand. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving.
*sometimes called special white (do not use jumbo lump for this recipe). I prefer claw meat. It’s darker and not as visually appealing to some, but it is way more flavorful.
1 pound Crabmeat, picked of all shell
1-2 cups wood chips, soaked for 1-2 hours in water.
Prepare a very small amount of charcoal as stated on manufacturer’s directions. Place one pound of crabmeat in a colander and place the colander on a small metal baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 /4 of the wood chips onto the glowing charcoal, and place the baking sheet with the colander on top onto the grill in your smoker or grill. Place the crabmeat as far from the heat as possible, (crabmeat is already cooked). Be careful not to dry out the crabmeat during the smoking process. Smoke 40 minutes, adding new wood chips every 10 minutes. Remove the crab from the smoker and chill completely before making the dip.
Yield: 2 cups
A Hattiesburg based bank continues to grow. The First just acquired First Community Bank and its nine Mobile branches. (Photo source: The First/Facebook)
HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) –
A Hattiesburg based bank continues to grow. If you have money in an account at The First, and you drive over to Mobile, you can now do your banking at an Alabama branch. The First just acquired First Community Bank and its nine Mobile branches.
If you’re a stockholder in First Community Bank’s parent company Southwest Banc, here’s what that means. Southwest’s shareholders are entitled to receive 15.8804 shares of First Bancshares’ common stock and $336.08 in cash for each share of Southwest common stock outstanding immediately before the merger.
M. Ray "Hoppy" Cole is President & Chief Executive Officer of The First.
"We are thrilled that today First Community and The First are now one company," Cole said. "We are proud to join forces with a franchise that has such a rich history of exceptional service for its clients. We look forward to growing our combined market share in South Alabama, as well as the Gulf South Region."
The merger gives The First more than 50 locations across Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida.
Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.
Franchise owners and community officials break ground on the first Walk-On’s location in Mississippi. (Photo Source: WDAM)
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) –
A taste of the bayou is coming to the Hub City. Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a Baton Rouge-based restaurant, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.
The Hattiesburg location is the first of its franchise to open in Mississippi.
“We are thrilled not just to bring this incredible restaurant to Hattiesburg, but to have the honor of opening the first Walk-On’s in Mississippi,” said Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar franchise co-owner Matt Gallagher. “We’ve found the perfect location with tons of space and visibility, and we will soon begin hiring a team of talented individuals to help us share our made-from-scratch Louisiana cuisine with the community.”
The 8,500-square-foot, family-friendly restaurant is located at 4400 Hardy Street in the Westwood Square Shopping Center.
The new business will bring 200 jobs to the area and will also feature a “unique outdoor beer garden and spacious parking lot,” according to a news release. Walk-On’s is set to open in early September.
“From what I’m hearing from the locals, this is the 50-yard line, the main and main, of Hattiesburg so we are very excited to be here,” said Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar Founder and CEO Brandon Landry. “As far as the jobs, we create something a little bit different. Our culture is second to none. When you look at our brand, we are a restaurant, so it’s not like we are reinventing the wheel.”
Hattiesburg adds to the list of locations, which include but are not limited to Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Lake Charles, Lubbock and San Antonio. New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, and his wife are co-owners of the franchise.
Copyright WDAM 2018. All rights reserved.
Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker shared a story of a challenge he faced and how he overcame it, encouraging Forrest County Juvenile Drug Court graduates to write their own stories of overcoming drugs. Lici Beveridge/Hattiesburg American
The federal government will conduct a review of one of the city of Hattiesburg’s Housing and Urban Development programs after Mayor Toby Barker requested the examination.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development notified the city Feb. 5 that it is initiating a survey review of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program after a referral from HUD’s Community Planning and Development Field Office in Jackson. That referral was made based on Barker’s request.
The HOME program helps provide decent, affordable housing, especially for low-income families.
In an October letter to the HUD Jackson field office, Barker asked for a “thorough analysis of all program areas,” for two areas — the HOME program and the Community Development Block Grants program.
“We would like to work collaboratively with HUD to identify any programmatic deficiencies — to locate and correct them promptly, yet comprehensively, in order to ensure the programs are effective as they can be within what regulations allow,” he wrote.
HUD had already looked at overall management of the HOME program during a monitoring review in late August. Monitoring is conducted periodically to ensure compliance with HUD policies.
At that same time, HUD also looked at the city’s financial management of Community Development Block Grants. It later issued a report, outlining nine findings and two concerns, most of which the city’s Urban Development Director Andrew Ellard said were “simple fixes.”
The one finding that was an issue was the city’s lack of an audit for 2015 and 2016. The city received the final 2015 audit in early December and was getting started on the 2016 audit.
In addition, in 2016, two men were indicted for misusing HUD funds. Artie Shaw of Picayune pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme. Prominent Hattiesburg pastor Kenneth Fairley recently had two counts of theft of government money overturned. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a conspiracy conviction to the U.S. District Court Mississippi Southern District to determine whether Fairley’s sentence should be changed in light of the vacated convictions.
In his letter, Barker said, given the recent history of the programs and several staffing changes, he believed the analysis would be beneficial.
“We understand a comprehensive review of all programs is not a small task, but it is important to the City of Hattiesburg to ensure that we are administering these programs as they are intended,” he wrote.
The review of the HOME program will begin Tuesday and is expected to take six to eight weeks.
The city has been asked to provide organizational charts and job descriptions of HOME program employees, HUD program audits and monitoring reports, internal reviews and program audits, annual city audited financial statements and other relevant documents and financial records.
Toronto Exchanges Stock Review, Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust, Artis REIT, NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment, and Dream Office REIT
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / January 22, 2018 / Active-Investors free stock reports for this morning include these Toronto Exchanges’ equities from the REITs industry: Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust, Artis REIT, NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment, and Dream Office REIT. Access our complimentary up-to-the-minute research reports by becoming an online member now:
The S&P/TSX Composite Index progressed 68.99 points, or 0.42%, to close Friday’s trading session at 16,353.46. The TSX Venture Exchange gained 3.65 points, or 0.42%, to finish at 880.44.
Today’s stocks of interest consist of: Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust (TSX: AAR-UN), Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: AX-UN), NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment (TSX: NWH-UN), and Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: D-UN). Click the link below to view a sample of the free research report that will be available to you as a member of Active-Investors:
Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust
Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust’s stock ended Friday’s trading session flat at $8.09 with a total volume of 1.87 million shares traded. Over the last month and the previous three months, the Company’s shares have gained 21.47% and 24.08%, respectively. Furthermore, the stock has surged 48.44% in the past year. The stock is trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Pure Industrial Real Estate’s 50-day moving average of $7.02 is above its 200-day moving average of $6.69. Shares of the Company, which operates a diversified portfolio of income-producing industrial properties in leading markets across Canada and key distribution and logistics markets in the US, are trading at a PE ratio of 7.35. View the research report on AAR-UN.TO at:
Artis Real Estate Investment Trust
On Friday, shares in Artis Real Estate Investment Trust recorded a trading volume of 159,756 shares. The stock ended the day 0.21% higher at $14.32. Artis REIT’s stock has advanced 2.07% in the last month and 2.51% in the previous three months. Furthermore, the stock has gained 14.10% in the past year. The Company’s shares are trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The stock’s 50-day moving average of $14.11 is above its 200-day moving average of $13.62. Shares of Artis REIT, which invest in office, retail and industrial properties, are trading at a PE ratio of 16.38. Get the free report on AX-UN.TO at:
NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment
On Friday, shares in NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment ended the session 0.35% higher at $11.39 with a total volume of 127,350 shares traded. The Company’s shares have advanced 0.71% in the last month and 0.18% in the previous three months. Furthermore, the stock has gained 10.15% in the past year. The stock is trading above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Furthermore, the stock’s 50-day moving average of $11.30 is greater than its 200-day moving average of $11.13. Shares of the Company, which provides investors with access to a portfolio of high quality international healthcare real estate infrastructure comprised of interests in a diversified portfolio of 144 income-producing properties and 9.7 million square feet of gross leasable area located throughout major markets in Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, are trading at a PE ratio of 7.02. Access the most recent report coverage on NWH-UN.TO at:
Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust
Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust’s stock closed the day 0.09% higher at $22.85. The stock recorded a trading volume of 192,189 shares. Dream Office REIT’s shares have gained 1.51% in the last month, 8.76% in the past three months, and 17.97% in the previous year. Shares of the Company, which focuses on owning, leasing and managing well-located, high-quality central business district and suburban office properties, are trading above their 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Moreover, the stock’s 50-day moving average of $22.22 is greater than its 200-day moving average of $21.17. Today’s complimentary report on D-UN.TO can be accessed at:
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Dewmar International BMC, Inc. (DEWM) Announces Substantial Investments in Healthcare Real Estate Projects
JACKSON, MS–(Marketwired – Jul 10, 2017) – Dewmar International BMC, Inc. ( OTC PINK : DEWM ), a diversified brand management and operating company that conducts business across a synergistic variety of business sectors announced today investments in multiple healthcare real estate ventures as part of its Profit Reinvestment Program (PREP).
Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t own pets. As long as the apartment that you choose is pet-friendly, you should be able to create a warm, loving home for your dog, cat, rabbit, or other pet. Of course, you will need to take extra precautions to make sure that your pets don’t cause any problems. The tips below can make living in Hattiesburg, MS Apartments with pets a lot easier:
There are many different sized apartments that have been made according to the different needs of the people on the family sizes. Smaller families looking for versatile one bedroom apartments in Hattiesburg MS are surely in for luck as these one bedroom apartments are amazing for the owners who have been looking for them for a long time. (more…)
For all those people who are looking for some really good, comfortable as well as compact solutions for one bedroom apartments in Hattiesburg MS, then we have great news for them because finding such solutions at great prices and great locations within one’s budget can be quite much of a tedious task at hand. (more…)