April 1 2020                                                                                                                               
KNOCK-KNOCK, NEIGHBOR! Appearing in Fullerwood neighborhood mailboxes, a plastic baggie with two pieces of chalk and a brief note: Everyone is out taking walks every day for exercise while socially distancing, so we thought we'd try brightening everyone's day by providing Fullerwood with a mission! Please use this sidewalk chalk to write a knock-knock joke on the street in front of your house. That way, when people take walks, they will be laughing all the way! If you want to participate but you are physically unable, we have a team of kids who can come write your joke for you. HAVE A GREAT DAY!
Published by former Mayor George Gardner The Report is an independent publication serving our community Contributions are appreciated
History’s Highlight Drake’s Raid Canceled due to the coronavirus threat, Drake’s Raid on the early settlement of St. Augustine is traditionally reenacted in the Spring. June 7, 1586. Historian Michael Gannon suggests the watchtower erected on the shore to guide Spanish supply ships was St. Augustine's first public works project - and a failure. For it was that watchtower that guided the enemy to its shore.      By some accounts there were 23 warships and nineteen smaller ships, with 2,300 men aboard, overkill for the tiny garrison at St. Augustine - 80 soldiers under Governor Pedro Menendez Marques, a nephew of St. Augustine founder Pedro Menendez who died twelve years earlier.      Sir Francis Drake, England's most celebrated seaman of the Elizabethan Age, was in command of that fleet, returning home after terrorizing the Caribbean to disrupt preparations for a Spanish Armada.      Marques ordered some 250 women and children in the humble village to gather what they could and hide in the forest, while his garrison turned their cannons on 1,000 English troops storming across Anastasia Island.      Marques held off the attackers most of the day until finally, under cover of night, he ordered his force to the woods with the garrison's weapons and flags.      While the Spanish defenders were occupied with the English attackers, neighboring Indians looted the abandoned village. Drake's troops finished the job, stomping down fruit trees and planted gardens, then setting fire to the entire settlement, including the fort - the seventh built in the 21 years since St. Augustine's founding.      As Sir Francis Drake's sails disappeared over the horizon, the settlers and soldiers trudged out of the forest to find nothing left. But rather than abandon the settlement, the Spanish command ordered Santa Elena to the north abandoned and its people moved to St. Augustine to strengthen this garrison.      And the Indians, who could now easily overpower these foreigners, instead returned many of the goods they had looted, and helped them rebuild their lives.      Fourteen years after Drake's raid, the Spanish government conducted an inquiry as to whether there was enough value in St. Augustine to continue efforts to keep it alive. Ironically, the inquiry favored abandoning the garrison, but a lack of funds and initiative kept it from happening.      And so an eighth fort was built, and later a ninth, before a soft but sturdy stone made of coquina was discovered on Anastasia Island, and another pirate raid, in 1668,  inspired the Spanish authorities to make use of that stone.      The result is today's Castillo de San Marcos, destined never to fall to an enemy in battle.    Photo: Wrath of the privateers: Sir Francis Drake’s Raid on St. Augustine, Jackson Walker
Drake’s Raid reenactment among listed cancellations The Drake’s Raid reenactment, originally scheduled for April 25, has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus Pandemic. Drake’s Raid is one of the annual reenactments presented by the Historic Florida Militia, whose ranks include Men of Menéndez – 16th Century Spanish presenting Drake’s Raid Drake’s Men – 16th Century English Searle’s Buccaneers – 17th Century British presenting Searle’s Sack of San Agustin St. Augustine Garrison – 18th Century Spanish presenting the holiday season Colonial Night Watch East Florida Rangers – 18th Century British
Extended restrictions listed The City of St. Augustine has extended current restrictions and guidelines through May 8 “which is consistent with the Governor’s Executive Orders,” officials say. Included: All permitted events, festivals, and large gatherings are cancelled All public meetings, including City Commission, Code Enforcement Adjustments and Appeals Board, Historic Architectural Review Board, and Planning and Zoning Board, except for emergency meetings as needed, are cancelled All non-essential meetings that do not address the immediate operations and function of municipal business are cancelled The Governor’s Emergency Order 20-71 prohibits all on-site consumption of food or alcohol by vendors and licensed establishments The Visitor Information Center is closed, and all City-managed on-street and off-street parking is suspended All parking meters, payment kiosks, and mobile parking app (ParkStAug) will not accept payments Termination of water service for non-payment will be suspended City Hall offices are closed to the public For the duration of time while City offices are closed to public access, convenience fees for payment will be waived “The City continues to evaluate and review all municipal operations and will provide further directives as information becomes available.”
A ‘wicked’ side of St. Augustine Today the building on the corner of Cathedral Place and Charlotte Street houses an art gallery. In 1902 it was Sam Wo’s Chinese Laundry - and opium den, used primarily by women who were forbidden to possess alcohol. Further along Charlotte Street is the Tradewinds Lounge, in 1920 one of a number of gambling clubs. And 262 West King Street, later the Chase Funeral Home, was in the first half of the 20th century Blanche Altavilla’s “Country Club” from which she operated a block and beyond of taverns, pool halls and gambling houses. “When Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine in 1565, his new world survival kit included gambling, liquor and ladies for hire,” writes Ann Colby in her thoroughly researched Wicked St. Augustine. “For the next 400 years, these three industries were vital in keeping the city financially afloat.” Poring over court and property records, oral histories and newspaper accounts, Colby has pulled together an account of St. Augustine history never highlighted in tourist guides but regardless a significant part of that history.  As Colby concludes, “Organized prostitution, bootlegging and gambling were nothing if not hallowed traditions in the Oldest City for close to four hundred years, contributing to the city’s economy and stability as well as its reputation as an entertainment venue.” Wicked St. Augustine, published 2020 by The History Press, Charleston SC.
Council on Aging centers closed by coronavirus threat Also suffering cancellation due to the coronavirus, All Council on Aging senior centers in St. Johns County (Coastal Community Center, River House, Hastings, Trout Creek and THE PLAYERS Community Senior Centers in Ponte Vedra), all Integrative Memory Enhancement Program (IMEP) classes, and the Sunshine Center adult day care facility will remain closed until April 30th. “While these services will be closed,” officials say “Meals on Wheels will continue to be delivered to our participants and our caseworkers and members of our staff will continue to be available by phone and email.”
In the mail The stupidity of closing Florida’s beaches and State Parks! Just as Gov. Cuomo announced, New York State is opening up all its parks and streets closed to traffic for kids to play. People are going to need exercise and fresh air too! All they need to do is make sure the Park attendants or additional police prevent people from congregating. No harm in walking 6-8 feet apart, as you see in San Francisco! Can we have some common sense please?