Serving St. Lucie, Martin, Brevard and Indian River counties.
Covering Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Viera and Eau Gallie.
First of all, thank you
Thank you to our readers for your support over the last six months as we adjusted to the new reality brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Our paid subscriptions are actually up over the previous year during the same time, demonstrating that the demand for our magazine is stronger than ever.
Thank you to our advertisers for continuing with us during these difficult times. While some advertising categories have been unable to advertise, others such as those related to home improvement have remained strong. While we suffered a decline in advertising last spring as the pandemic set in, we are heartened to report that our numbers for this fall are actually ahead of what they were the same time last year.
Timothy Moore isn’t your stereotypical college president who rose through the ranks of academia. Instead, Indian River State College’s new president spent the first seven years of his career on active duty in the Army. He later worked as a research scientist in the public and private sectors before joining institutions such as Auburn University, Kansas State and Florida A&M.
Along the way, Moore took an entrepreneurial approach to his academic jobs, leading the way for Auburn to patent an equine source plasma program to fight Bacillus anthracis in horses. He launched a program to train dogs to find explosives and firearms in airport security lines and other public gathering places. He also helped start a medical school, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine at Auburn University.
Defiant to the end
Anyone familiar with Treasure Coast history certainly knows the story of the notorious Ashley Gang. It was a group of despicable outlaws — murderers, rum-runners and bandits — during the 1910s-20s led by John Ashley, whose parents lived in Fruita, near Gomez and Hobe Sound, in what is now southern Martin County. John’s girlfriend and gun moll, Laura Beatrice Upthegrove, perhaps not as well-known, was nevertheless an important member of the gang.
Her life was mostly one of unhappiness and tragedy. Afraid of no one, she had the grit, determination and spunk of a frontier woman, probably better suited for a life in the Wild West of the 19th century.
Building for generations
Perhaps one of the most durable connections to heritage is a home and a neighborhood, one that is built up, lived in and occupied by succeeding generations.
This is what has happened with Kit Fields. Five generations of her family have come to Painted Bunting Lane, in the Riomar neighborhood of Vero Beach, and made it their home. The latest iteration is her parents’ beach cottage, which Fields and her husband, Lundy, reimagined and reconstructed. It’s just down the block from where her great-grandmother began spending the winters in the 1930s, where her grandparents also lived, and where Fields visited as a child.
Nuts about pie
Ask anyone who either grew up in or visited Fort Pierce in the 1950s through the late 1980s, and they will know of The Peanut Butter Pie. While there may be a couple of variations of it, the heart of this inimitable recipe remains the same. The delicious dessert has been circulating among local families for several decades, but many wonder where the recipe originated from.
“Rumor has it that Mrs. Simonsen’s Peanut Butter Pie recipe was come upon purely by accident,” says Nancy Bennett, a Fort Pierce native and director of the St. Lucie County Regional History Center. “She was trying to make her coconut custard pie but ran out of the coconut and replaced that with peanut butter instead.”
Gift of life
When James Crocker, founder and president of Hog Technologies, attended the WWETT Trade Show and the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February, the economy was strong and 2020 looked promising. Then the winds of optimism seemed to change direction.
He came home and attended a funeral for his nephew. By March 8, Crocker had developed symptoms that he thought indicated the flu — a bad headache, 102 degree fever, exhaustion, body aches, heavy nausea and issues with his lower tract. The possibility of having the coronavirus seemed out of the question.
Birth of a midwife
When Cynda Kelley was growing up, she clearly remembers taking part in the delivery of baby animals on the her family’s 36-acre farm in Cordova, Maryland.
“I was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland,” she said. “It’s a huge agricultural state and a lot of people don’t know that.”
Kelley’s mother had just an eighth-grade education, but managed to become a physician’s assistant. Both parents worked hard to care for a son and four daughters, Kelley being the youngest.
Whether she’s working as a nephrologist or as associate chief of staff for Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, Dr. Jean Vickers focuses on making patient care her No. 1 priority. Being a physician is a calling, she says, that she discovered later in life. It is a career where she wants to make an impact by improving the quality of patients’ lives.
“The difference is made with one physician and one patient,” she says. “You can make a lot of policy changes, big global decisions, but the difference is made in the exam room. There is a trust that develops when you have a relationship that I’m honored to be a part of. That’s why, regardless of what I do from an administrative perspective, at the end of the day, I have to go back into the exam room. My leading administrator refers to that as my happy place.”
The STUDENT MENTOR
A condescending gynecologist and a compassionate minister are two people who influenced Dr. Juliette Lomax-Homier’s decision to become an obstetrician and gynecologist.
“I had a gynecological experience when I was a teenager and the doctor was very condescending,” Lomax-Homier said. “Right then and there I thought I could do better than him. Later, when I mentioned I might be interested in medicine, another doctor suggested I become a dietician. But it was my minister that encouraged me to aim even higher when I told him I was thinking about becoming a nurse. He said ‘You can do better – you can be a physician.’All of these comments had a profound impact on my life.”
As a long-distance runner, psychologist Phil Cromer spends a lot of time thinking. He thinks about mental illness and the snowball effect it has in society. He thinks about the effects of recent isolation and quarantines. He thinks about ways to counsel those feeling the pressure and abnormality of the times.
And he even thinks about the tricks his own mind plays when he’s sleep deprived on a 100-mile trek. But, running gives him the balance and understanding to treat any number of mental illnesses he sees as the staff psychologist and chief clinical officer at the Mental Health Association in Indian River County.
Power of healing
Travel changes people by opening their eyes to new cultures and ways of life. But Fred Grimm, who was just a year out of high school in April 1969, did not choose to visit the distant and exotic country of Vietnam. Yet after being drafted to serve in the Army during the undeclared war there, he remembers being pleasantly surprised for the first day or two by the country’s lush greenery and friendly people. That first impression might be what changed his life — and the lives of many others — for the better.
In 1970, a University of Florida Ph.D. student found the location of The Nuestra Señora de Atocha and the sister ship Santa Margarita, The Spanish galleons carried over $400 million in gold, silver, and emeralds and had succumbed to a vicious hurricane in the Dry Tortugas. The Ph.D. student became the foremost international authority on Spanish Colonial history. Without Dr. Eugene Lyon’s contributions, there would be an empty spot in our history.
Lyon, an international expert on Spanish Colonial Florida and the Spanish maritime system, died May 3 at the age of 91 in Vero Beach.
I first spoke with Dr. Lyon in the summer of 1987. He was a professor at Indian River State College. A true gentleman, he was gracious and unassuming. I told him where we were in the hunt for the Spanish galleon, Urca de Lima, south of the Stuart Inlet. He assured me the State of Florida was wrong about the location of the Urca being at Pepper Park in Fort Pierce and that I was either very close to or on top of it. His words, ...
Treasure Coast Business Magazine, a publication of Indian River Magazine Inc., has been named the best new magazine in the state by the Florida Magazine Association.
The general excellence award was announced July 24 during the FMA’s annual awards ceremony. Treasure Coast Business Magazine, which launched in July 2019, is produced through a unique partnership between Indian River Magazine Inc. and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College. The magazine is published quarterly: in January, April, July and October.
In each issue, the professional writers ...
Female pilots performing flyover for esteemed woman aviator, 99, in assisted living
She’s among the most accomplished women in aviation but now 99 years old, in assisted living and far removed from her favored pastime of piloting planes. Sunday, her spirits are sure to soar as more than 20 female pilots perform a “flyover” in her honor.
Dr. Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu will watch from Water’s Edge Extended Care in Palm City as women pilots with the Treasure Coast Ninety-Nines do a flyover to recognize her service to the country, the military and aviation. Read more >>
Saluting a man and his cause
On the Fourth of July, an American flag will seemingly rise from the depths of the ocean just offshore from Vero Beach’s popular Sexton Plaza and fly proudly above the crest of the waves. Its origin and purpose are often questioned by oceanfront diners and hotel guests and locals who walk the beach daily. But few know that the history and legacy of the mysterious flag is just as spellbinding as what is resting on the ocean floor.
Beginning in the spring and lasting through autumn, Mother Nature puts on an awe-inspiring spectacle along our coastline. Under dark, starry skies mother sea turtles emerge from the ocean so they can carry on their species. During this ancient ritual, the marine reptile slowly lumbers her way onto the beach to find a safe location to lay her eggs.
It is a difficult and delicate venture, where nesting conditions must be just right. If the setting is favorable, she meticulously builds her nest, lays her eggs, buries and disguises them with utmost care. Then she disappears back into the deep, not knowing if her young will survive.
The Treasure Coast is one of the leading hot spots for sea turtle nesting in the United States. Last year, around 26,382 nests were recorded. Seven species of sea turtles swim in the oceans today and three of those beach along our shores to lay their eggs.
The TREASURE HUNTER
Born into a routine life, Jonah Martinez was 10 when his father sold his business in Illinois and commissioned a sailboat to be built in Taiwan. But after a typhoon hit the boatyard, his father had to improvise.
“Dad packed us up into a camper to go on tour,” he says.
While Martinez’s mother home-schooled him and his brother, their education was enhanced by traveling throughout Mexico and South America. After the sailboat arrived, it was rigged and set up in Fort Pierce and the family finally left for the islands.
The BIG WAVE RIDER
Between shaping custom surfboards and riding huge waves on six continents, Charles Williams has had a profound impact on the Treasure Coast surfing community.
Williams and his twin brother, George, have manufactured more than 40,000 Impact surfboards at their Fort Pierce shop during the past 40 years. Three generations of faithful surfers have grown up riding custom boards made by Impact.
At age 65, Williams goes daily for a dawn patrol session at the Fort Pierce Inlet. Except when he was injured, Williams has been surfing almost every day since the age of 12. After five years living on the ocean in Ormond Beach while in high school, Williams knew what he wanted to do with his life.
The VOCAL VETERINARIAN
Cristina Maldonado, a veterinarian at Monterey Animal Clinic in Stuart, lives her dream job by caring for dogs and cats and doing everything to keep them healthy. The daughter of Dr. Carlos Maldonado, a well-known general surgeon in Stuart, she remembers wanting to work in animal medicine since she was 4 years old.
“It was something that I got in my head as a little girl and there was never anything else that I wanted to do,” she recalls.
Becoming a veterinarian was a natural fit for Maldonado, with her passion for animals and seeing the powerful impact that they have on their owners.
St. Lucie pioneer family loses patriarch
Fisherman. Father. Friend. Herman Roy Summerlin Sr. was all of these and more.
Son of Richard R. “Dick” Summerlin Sr. and Claudia Ramsey Summerlin, he was born May 4, 1938, in St. Lucie Village and raised along the shores of the Indian River where his father worked as a fishing guide. A proud member of a pioneering family, he was a third-generation resident of St. Lucie County. He died March 20.
Summerlin, 81, spent most of his life fishing on the water or running one of his many businesses. He opened his first business, Summerlin’s Seafood, in 1963. Three years later, he bought a seafood market on the South Causeway, renaming it Summerlin’s Baywood Fisheries. His brother, Astor, joined him in the venture.
Vero Beach remembers its most vocal advocate
Alma Lee Loy, known as the First Lady of Vero Beach because of her standing as a community advocate, died peacefully on April 10. A native Floridian, she was born June 10, 1929, in Vero Beach.
Loy, who co-owned Alma Lee’s Children’s Clothing Center for 42 years, will be fondly remembered for her commitment to Vero Beach projects and love of people equally.
“Honesty was an asset she learned from her parents; they were very positive people,” lifelong friend Harry Hurst recalled. “Even when she was a teenager, she always made every person feel like the most important person. She did that her whole life.”
Built to last
No builder will tell you he can build a hurricane-proof house, but many are willing to go beyond building codes, hoping the home will survive a sustained super storm.
“A home can be a bunker and still be a palace,” builder Jim Harkins says. The co-owner of H3 Homes has built more than 30 monolithic, poured concrete houses in Brevard, Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties since 2007. The homes range from a 1,000-square-foot guest house to a 10,000-square-foot house in Broward County.
Sunrises on Adams Ranch west of Fort Pierce take on spectacular hues because of a lack of city lights. Soon, the sun will light treetops, birds will start their calls, wild hogs will head to the swamps, cows will pair up with their calves, horses in the pasture for the night will head to the barn for a day’s work. A great day is starting.
Snowbirds aren’t the only ones who love Florida. Migrating birds love it, too. The Treasure Coast can be a birding haven, especially as our migratory birds pass through and our year-round feathered friends congregate at feeders and their favorite natural settings. As spring migration happens, many birds are in their colorful breeding plumage. We’ve compiled a list here of some of our favorite locations at which to see them this spring on the Treasure Coast — along with some tips for creating a haven for birds in your own backyard.
Enriching our culture
Indian River State College serves as a vital community resource that offers enrichment opportunities of all kinds for all ages. With performances, programs, and events that range from theater, to lectures on timely topics, to summer camps and activities for children, IRSC campuses welcome thousands of residents each year who enjoy all that the college offers.
Taking the lead role in more than 30 performances annually, IRSC students who major in theatre, dance or music demonstrate their talents in the McAlpin OnStage series, which fosters a comprehensive foundation for future educational and professional pursuits. Facilities utilized by the performing and visual arts programs — such as the Fee Dance Studio, art studio space, classrooms and rehearsal rooms — all emphasize the college’s commitment to the development of a well-rounded student.
Kathleen Carbonara says she knew since kindergarten that she wanted to be an artist. One look at the “pink carnation” in the Crayola box and she was smitten.
“It looked so good to me, I ate it,” she recalls.
But it wasn’t until decades later that she began painting, making a successful career as a portrait artist with works in more than 40 private collections, including the University of Notre Dame, along with pursuing a number of other subjects and themes, such as still lifes, that interest her.
Legendary folksinger, songwriter and Sebastian resident Arlo Guthrie says he will continue to go on the road with his band and family until his voice won’t allow him to sing.
“Nobody retires in folk music,”Guthrie says in the dining room of his home overlooking the Indian River. “Pete Seeger died at 94 and we did a show together three months before he passed away.”
Guthrie, at 72, has slowed down somewhat but still spends eight to nine months a year touring with band members who’ve been with him since the 1970s. The days are long gone when Guthrie actually drove the tour bus to a different venue every night.
It has been nearly 50 years since a young black man was shot and later died on a hot August night in a modest little bar on Avenue D in Fort Pierce. He might have been forgotten, except that he left a curious legacy that was to live on long after his death.
Alfred Hair was an artist, and his paintings of turquoise seas, peach clouds and scarlet royal poinciana trees, along with the thousands more created by his friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances, became the signature works of the 26 African-American artists who were later called the Florida Highwaymen.
To Each His Own
Using advanced technology, the 2nd Street Bistro in downtown Fort Pierce is one of the busiest and most modern restaurants on the Treasure Coast — serving more than 20,000 people a month.
Servers save as many as 2,000 steps a day using hand-held computers to transmit orders and cut down on unneeded trips to and from the restaurant’s three kitchens. With more than 75 employees, the 300-seat restaurant is open every day except Christmas.
It Takes a Village
Even though mass demonstrations have shut down Haiti’s government and kept virtually all schools closed for months, it’s been business as usual for one small primary school in the Haitian countryside that has strong ties to the Treasure Coast.
The Children’s Academy and Learning Center, supported by Vero Beach-based Haiti Partners, has remained open in a village five miles from the capital, Port-Au-Prince, despite anti-government protests that have paralyzed the country. The demonstrators, angered by rising gas prices and severe food shortages, have blocked roads in major cities, set fires and even harassed children wearing school uniforms to frighten them into staying home.
Former Fort Pierce woman joins global voyage to fight plastic pollution
Growing up on Hutchinson Island with the Indian River as a playground, Rikki Grober Eriksen relished long sails with her father, the late and loved orthopeadic surgeon Ron Grober, and developed a love of all things marine.
Little wonder that she became a marine scientist, earning her phD and going on to hold her current position of marine ecologist at the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. And next week she will embark on a leg of a journey, leaving the Azores Oct. 27 and arriving in Antigua Nov. 18, that is taking women on a voyage around the world to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its effect women’s health.
It’s a remarkable journey for a woman who, as a Florida State University student at age 19,survived a kidnapping ordeal in Tallahassee in early 1984 at the hands of Chris Wilder, who was known as the Beauty Queen Killer and was successful at killing at least eight women.
For people who are homeless in the tri-county area, there are a variety of places to receive immediate care for their physical and mental well-being. Non-profit organizations with hundreds of volunteers support efforts to provide medical treatment, mental health counseling and services that include meals, clothing and rides to doctors’ appointments.
Cancer. The word alone sends chills up and down the spine. Images of sitting in a room for hours at a time, worrying about the outcome, run through the mind. It’s part of the treatment process, but it doesn’t have to be as miserable as some think. What if one could pass that time by creating a work of art or by listening to some cool jazz? It might just make the treatment a little more tolerable.
Indian River Magazine took home two top statewide awards during the annual Florida Magazine Association’s Charlie Awards banquet held Friday at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.
The magazine won a Charlie Award for general excellence in the best custom publication division for Vero at 100, a 128-page special edition on the history of Vero Beach from prehistoric times to today. The magazine was produced as part of the celebration of Vero Beach’s 100th anniversary as a city and in conjunction with the Vero Beach Centennial Committee.
Beacon of romance
In Martin County, there is a historic, scenic, coastal setting that has been a beacon to lovers for more than a hundred years. Situated on a bluff of strikingly picturesque rocks at the southerly end of Hutchinson Island, the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge looks out over a vast expanse of aquamarine water that melts into the horizon. A soothing rhythm of white-foamed waves splashing is heard on the rocky coast, while a cool sea breeze calms the senses.
When pirates scoured the Treasure Coast
One man. One crew. One ship can take on the entire British Empire without a hiccough or regret. However grandiose Bellamy’s assertion may sound today, it was not without sincerity.
Engaging as their legends are, the true story of the pirates of the Treasure Coast was even more captivating; it is a long-lost tale of tyranny and resistance, a maritime revolt on the seas. The foundation of the British Empire was shaken by these rogues.
'Our Soldier Boy’ of World War I'
The name Stephen N. Gladwin was a familiar one to me growing up in Fort Pierce. I first saw the name etched in the World War I memorial monument on the grounds of the St. Lucie County Courthouse, undoubtedly after seeing a movie at the Sunrise Theatre across the street.
Best of the Treasure Coast
Readers choose their favorites. From Best Brewery to Best Beach, Indian River Magazine and its readers reveal the best the Treasure Coast has to offer for 2020.
Treasure Coast History
We Hardly Knew Ye
As Vero Beach prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, no one figure stands taller in the city’s history than Waldo Sexton. He is Vero Beach’s most iconic figure celebrated and written about more than any other.