Publisher's note

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

Forging his own path

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.

John and Laura

Living History

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.


Homes of the Treasure Coast

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.

peanut butter pie

Taste of the Treasure Coast

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.”

John Crocker

Treasure Coast Medical Report

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.

Treasure Coast Medical Report

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.

Treasure Coast Medical Report


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.”

Treasure Coast Medical Report


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.”

Treasure Coast Medical Report


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.

Fred Grimm

Nonprofit Spotlight

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.

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