Submitted by Gerry Clare
June 11, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Friday evening’s Sounds on Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach was packed with a very appreciative audience. The Mike Hendrix Band was the headliner, the pirates roamed the street and the weather was hot. As the evening progressed, menacing clouds appeared over the city marina. Emcee Chuck Hall cut the evening short with about 30 minutes to go and just in time. Prizes were given out. Scholarships were awarded and the crowds ran for cover from the huge approaching storm. However, it was a wonderful evening for those attending.
Saturday morning brought the Friends of Fernandina Aviation training at the airport for USO volunteers. Did you know that FOFA volunteers have been manning the USO center at Jacksonville International Airport for over five years? They join the USO Jacksonville volunteers to welcome military and their families to Jacksonville and provide support as needed. This federally chartered private organization (USO) in the Jacksonville branch is supported primarily by United Way and private donations. It was established in 1941 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be handled by several private service organizations at that time.
At the airport everyone was talking about the storm the night before and the damage around that area. Although the planes fortunately were not affected, one of the hangars was damaged (see picture) and much tree damage hit the area as reported in Fernandina Observer. The soccer and softball fields at Bailey Road also took some heavy winds and damage.
Saturday’s heat drove me to Carmike Cinemas to check out what a $70 million movie (reported income from last weekend) was like. Yes, I attended “Maleficent” with 50 others, mostly young girls and families. Of course, this was the afternoon performance and assistant manager, Chris Wilson, said that the weekend evening performances are the best attended. However, he admitted that the attendance at the island cinema has been dwindling over the last few years. We discussed that it may be due to people watching more movies at home or the type of movies that run, which are more action-oriented. He did say that big name stars draw more crowds.
When I asked him how long the theater on the island would stay open once the off-island one opens, he said that this corporate-owned Carmike had not announced any date as yet. I told him that many of our readers hoped it would stay open for locals. As he noted, it has to be a profit-making venture and that probably was not happening at the present time. Mainly, the money is made on snacks…so eat more popcorn and drink more soda folks. Oh, the movie was definitely an interesting twist on Snow White. The big screen effects were dazzling. But, I found it to be a little disjointed and choppy. It is a fairy tale, though, so that is okayt. It was a great place to be entertained in the heat.
This was altogether a lucky weekend for our area, as other areas were hit hard with storm damage. I must admit that Sunday’s dinner for us did not disappoint at the new restaurant, “Palate,” which I previewed last week in this column. Make sure to enjoy this cozy cocktail bar, raw bar, and wonderful new offering, we look forward to more variety in the menu and to trying lunch soon.
Editor’s Note: Gerry began free lance writing for fun and is the author of a published book (available on Amazon and at Books Plus) about funny real estate experiences. Gerry is a longtime member of our local American Business Women’s Chapter, a volunteer cancer driver and church deacon who loves to read, travel and meet interesting people.