Publix was opened by George Jenkins. His first store was opened in Winter Haven on Sept. 6, 1930, he opened his 2nd store in 1935 across town. He closed his first 2 stores to open his dream store Publix Super Market on Nov. 8, 1940. The name came from a chain of theaters which were operating throughout Florida at the time, Jenkins liked the name. Publix is an employee-owned, American supermarket chain headquartered in Lakeland, Florida. Publix is a private corporation that is wholly owned by present and past employees and members of the Jenkins family.  When Jenkins opened his first super market the store featured several features that were rare at that time to customers. Air conditioning, automatic doors, fluorescent lighting, terrazzo floors, and a scale at the front.

The scale has been a large part of the Publix history. At the time they opened very few people owned scales at home. Several stores offered to weigh you for a price. However Jenkins insisted his scales be free to guests. The company still has the original scale in the offices in Lakeland and it still works! You will not find scales in Publix locations outside of Florida, except a few just over the Georgia border. The scales were manufactured by Mettler Toledo and they stopped producing them in 2015. Publix bought up as many as it could and houses them in a warehouse in Lakeland. Technicians maintain a couple dozen backup scales in the warehouse. Whenever a scale breaks or needs repair at a Florida store, they replace it. The technicians use a Publix People Weigher Repair handbook when they need help repairing one. The scales will stay in the stores as long as the technicians can keep them operational.

The chicken is another thing Publix is famous for. It dates back to the 1950’s when it was cooked on a Rotiss-O-Mat. Fried chicken followed in the 70’s, with the final recipe being introduced in 1992. Chicken tenders are so loved they even have a twitter account for customers to see if the chicken tender sub is on sale.

Pub subs were introduced in 1992 as well. Custom-made sandwiches remain rare among grocery chains in the south. Both the subs and chicken were introduced first in the Atlanta market.

Kids love they get a free cookie in the bakery just for walking up and asking. Nobody seems to know for sure when this tradition started but it could date back to 1957 when the chain opened. By the way, those first bakeries were not located inside Publix stores but were in separate buildings.

Tipping associates is forbidden.

Publix has 1,147 (with over 30 in the Panhandle) stores and operates in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. They employee approximately 188.00 employees

Spanish Trail Farms~Grand Ridge

Spanish Trail Farms is located at 7202 Old Spanish Trail in Grand Ridge. The phone number is 850-209-8321. Be sure to follow them on FB for up to date availability. They do a weekly fill your freezer Friday contest on FB as well. They do recommend you bring an ice chest to transport your produce. They have frozen, fresh, and cold food from the farm for you to choose from. Prices are listed as you walk in the large open shopping area. This is a local farm that sells what they grow. Recently they have had creamed field corn, squash, peas, butter beans, watermelon, bell peppers, cantaloupe, sweet corn, okra, squash, and peaches. Looking forward to what they have next!

Alligator Point in Franklin County

Alligator Point is located in the eastern most corner of Franklin County. It is a sparsely populated rural beach community that the locals refer to as “The Point.” It boasts some of the most pristine beaches in Florida. Alligator Point got it’s name because from the air the land is shaped like an alligator’s tail. They are a hotspot for both on and off shore fishing. The community’s protected bay, the Alligator Harbor Aquatic Preserve, encompasses 14,366 acres. This community offers fishing, wildlife viewing, biking, hiking, swimming, star gazing, canoeing, and basically any outdoor activity that you enjoy. All of the 9.5 miles of beach is closed to dogs to protect the sea turtles and shore birds that nest there. However they do have vacation rentals that are pet friendly. If you are looking for uncrowded beaches, fabulous fishing, and incredible wildlife viewing Alligator Point is something you should check out.

New roadside picnic at entrance to Tate’s Hell State Forest

Local legend attributes the forest’s unusual name to Cebe Tate, a local homesteader who became lost in the woods in the mid 1870s. He had ventured into the woods with his hunting dog in order to shoot a panther that had attacked his livestock. The legend is often recounted with Tate becoming separated from his dogs and lost for seven days and seven nights before coming to a clearing near Carrabelle, where he lived only long enough to say to a passerby “My name is Cebe Tate, and I just came from Hell” before collapsing.
Check out the new Florida Forest Service Roadside picnic facility at the entrance to the Ralph G. Kendrick Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk in Tate’s Hell State Forest. The facility is located on Hwy 98 about 7 miles west of Carrabelle. After a hike on the Dwarf. Enjoy a relaxing picnic lunch while experiencing the open views of the St. George Sound, St. George Island, and Dog Island. Don’t forget your binoculars!


Blue Springs~June 20th till September 2nd

Hurricane Michael wrecked havoc on Jackson County. Blue Springs was no exception. The docks were totaled, debris scattered throughout the park, fallen trees, downed fences, and on and on. The diving boards were sent in for repair and there is no guarantee that they will be in place when they open but they are coming. They also had issues with lifeguards since they have to get certified every 2 years. But the county has worked hard to make this a beautiful place to relax and have fun again this summer!
Blue Springs is located about 5 miles east of Marianna. An average of 77 million gallons a day flows from the spring, which is the main source of water to the 202 acre reservoir known as Merritt’s Millpond. Before Hurricane Michael this park was a nationally known fishing area and locally popular boating area. Be sure to take your camera. This park has cypress wetlands and upland mixed forest. The spring emerges from an underwater cave complex that houses 2 rare species. The Georgia blind salamander and Dougherty Plain cave crayfish.

Blue Springs is projected to be open for business Thursday June 20th at 9:30am. The hours for this summer will be Thursday – Sunday from 9:30am to 6pm, weather permitting. It closes for the season on September 2nd. The water is open from 10am – 5:30pm.  Admission is $4.00 per person. Blue Springs will have concession stands open and have kayak rentals for those who would like to spread their wings in other parts of Mill Pond. It is located in Marianna in Jackson County at 5461 Blue Springs Road.

Nesting Sea Turtles June 18th from 2-3pm

Turtle Talk is a recurring event held at the Research Reserve Nature Center located at 108 Island Drive Eastpoint, Florida 32328. This Thursday June 18th is the next one. It begins at 2pm. This air conditioned event is a wonderful chance to learn more about sea turtles. This is your chance to learn all about nesting sea turtles and find out how you can help them. Members of the St. George Island Turtle Patrol team will be on hand to answer questions and give an update about sea turtle nests on the island. You will also get the chance to touch a sea turtle carapace or look close-up at loggerhead sea turtle eggs. For more dates and information click on the link.

Pineapple Willy’s Beach Clean-up Saturdays in June and July

Pineapple Willy’s is located at 9875 S. Thomas Sr. in Panama City Beach. It opened it’s doors in 1984. They are a seafood and barbeque restaurant that advertises they serve the best ribs on the beach and they have live music that gets better every year.

This summer they are hosting beach clean up days from 9am to 10am Saturday mornings. The exact dates and who they are donating to each week is on the flyer. The next one is this Saturday, June 15th. Each event they have picked a different non-profit to help. For every person that shows up they donate $10 to the charity of the week. This Saturday it is B.A.S.I.C. of Northwest Florida. They have giveaways and prizes each week. Last Saturday it rained however 109 people still showed up. Pineapple Willy’s donated $1,090 to The Lucky Puppy Rescue! What a great way to help clean up the beach, meet new people, and support non-profits in need. You may want to take sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses!

Marianna Cinemas Kid Movie Wednesdays 9am & 10am June 5th – July 31st

Marianna Cinemas is located at 4341 Lafayette St. Those who are originally from the area have probably noticed changes over the years. They have been upgrading and expanding. They have a food menu online in the about section of their FB page. They plan to have reclining seats and stadium seating in the coming years. Marianna Cinemas also offers birthday packages. You can call 850-526-4538 to get more details.

Beat the heat, or the rain, or both, depending on the Wednesday you choose to go this summer. They are offering $1 movies for all and a special at the concession stand, $4 drink & popcorn. They play 2 different kid movies each Wednesday during the summer.

75th Anniversary of D-Day Commemorative Event June 6th from 11am to 5pm

The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, is located across the street from Carrabelle Beach at 1873 Highway 98 West in Carrabelle, Florida. It was established to honor and preserve the heritage of the men and women who trained at the camp during WWII. Camp Gordon Johnston opened in 1942 for the sole purpose of training Infantry Divisions and their support units in amphibious operations by U. S. Army Engineer Special Brigades [ESB]. Learn about their dedication, fears and heroism at the museum. Normal museum hours are: Closed Sunday and Mondays. Tuesday-Saturday they are open from 11am-5pm.

The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum is hosting a special commemoration day in honor of the 75th Anniversary of 1944 D-Day landing on Thursday, June 6. Located at 1873 Hwy 98 West, Carrabelle Beach, FL, the Camp Gordon Johnston Museum which is directly across the street from the very ground where the practice beach assault landings occurred in preparation for the D-Day invasion. The schedule for this historic anniversary is listed below, there will also be a WWII military vehicle display. There is no charge for admission or parking but donations are gladly accepted.
~US Army Signal Corp Carrabelle Beach Training Short Video (10 minute loop)             ~1:00 PM Saving Private Ryan Screening                                                                        ~4:00 PM Presentation by Dr. Kurt Piehler, Director of FSU WWII Institute

Marianna Municpal Airport Open House and Fly-In

The Marianna Municipal Airport was started in 1946 and is currently owned by the City of Marianna and operated by Skywarrior Flight Support, Inc. National Airlines (NA) Lockheed Lodestars and Convair 340’s landed there till National pulled out in 1961. The airport has had no airline flights since. The airport has two 4,900 foot long by 100 foot wide intersecting hard surface runways with a pavement strength of 56,500 pounds single wheel load.

Plans are being finalized for an open house and fly-in at the Marianna Municipal Airport on June 8th. Gates open for the public at 8am on Saturday. This years open house/fly-in is an opportunity for the citizens of Marianna and Jackson County to learn more about general aviation, the military history of this airport, and the rich heritage that makes our community such a special place to live, work, and play. There will be military and civilian aircraft, exhibits, vendors with food, and free aircraft rides for children 8 to 17. Parents can copy and paste this link to register your children for a flight at Pilots will be flying in to the event from all over Florida and adjourning states, so there will be a large variety of aircraft on display. Admission is free to the public. Be sure to click on the link below for more information and any changes they may make closer to the event.