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Features

  • It’s a rare person who reaches the age of 60 without having experienced at least one life-altering misfortune. Even though he doesn’t say as much, 61- year-old Luigi Piccola seems to bear this reality in mind as he considers his own difficult circumstances.

    In a fall a year ago, Luigi broke his hip and damaged his knee.

    After leaving the hospital, he went first to Parklands Rehab & Nursing Center in Gainesville, then transferred here to Williston Rehab.

  • Meeting and first talking with Olivia Davis, a person might feel two different ways at the same time. On the one hand, you could feel a little shy because Mrs. Davis herself is reserved in a stately sort of way that brings to mind a personage like the Queen Mother. On the other hand, because she pays close attention to what is being asked of her and then makes every effort to be helpful, you also feel welcome and cared about, like you would with a friend.

  • Three miles from Williston off a bumpy hilly road, a passage through scrub and pasture leads the unsuspecting traveler to the utopian sanctuary that Dr. Raymond Webber calls home.

    More than 400 species of plants thrive on his 100-acre bit of paradise that has been more than 16 years in the making.

    “Not many people in Florida have their house built into the side of a cliff,” Webber, an endodonist by trade, explains as he begins his trek through the assorted gardens that he has designed.

    Indeed, the vista from this porch is breathtakingly beautiful.

  • Anyone who spends even a little time getting to know the people who are living at Williston Rehab can tell you this: you won’t find much in the way of self-pity in their talk.

    In fact, to a remarkable extent, what you will find are attitudes and ways of being like those of Marvin Martin.

    Marvin, who is 50 years old, has been living at the nursing center for four months, and this is the first thing he says in response to a sympathetic comment about how young he is: “Many folks here are in worse condition than me.”

  • How do you become the best barbecuers in the state of Florida?

    To hear John Markham tell it, you get the toughest piece of beef there is, throw it on a grill and wait.

    Of course that’s what he and his cooking partner John Pendray have to say.

    They’re the state’s best and they aren’t about to give up any of their award-winning secrets.

    Markham and Pendray walked away last month with the top prize in the Florida Cattleman Association’s Barbecue Contest, held in Kissimmee.

  • From the moment you ring the doorbell, there is no doubt about what drives Eden Langworthy: his family and his music.

    The affable Langworthy greets guests in his bare feet and torn jeans. A tattoo in large ornate script says “Windy”, his wife of some 25 years and the person responsible for most of the words that flow from his brain to his fingertips as he writes songs inspired by those he loves and the life he lives.

  • I f you have never visited a nursing home, you might be surprised to know that not all the people living there are “seniors.”

    Take Susan Phillips, for instance. Susan moved into Williston Rehab & Nursing Center six years ago, at the (some might say tender) age of 47.

    She brought with her a love of plants, fish, dogs, cats and bears, and had to leave behind a home where her love of bears was displayed everywhere.

  • Step in a world of lush tropical foliage. Bask in the fragrance of heady summer flowers. Delight in the verdant colors of Florida. Bask in the tranquility of all the best that nature can provide. Welcome to Linda Waddelow’s world.

    Just a stone’s throw off Hwy. 27A west of Williston lies one of the most developed and yet natural half acres in Levy County.

    Linda, an Indiana native who has lived here three years, has created a masterpiece in her front yard using plants, decor and imagination.

  • Coming to work for the women who oversee the Journeys program at Nature Coast Regional Hospital is almost like taking a child to a candy store.

    Broad smiles, gentle laughter and apparent delight fills the room as they set about to prepare for the senior adults who will soon spend half a day with them.

    Nancy Dessy, the director of Journeys, a counseling center for older people, says her staff gets as much benefit from the group sessions as they clients themselves.

    “The folks who come here really blossom,” Dessy said.

  • When Reba strayed into the animal shelter April 27, she was missing fur on over 50 percent of her body. Yet both staff and volunteers took to the sweet personality dog and decided she was a life worth saving.

    Dr. Darlene Esler at Chiefland Animal Hospital drew blood, ran tests and confirmed that while Reba had demadex mange, she did not suffer with heart worm.

    Dr. Esler prescribed medication and Arnette Garrison began a treatment plan to restore the loveable dog to health.

  • City Clerk Barbara Henson, who will retire at the end of the month after 24 years of service to the city, was completely taken aback on Tuesday evening when she walked casually into the community center.

  • School’s out so it’s time to party and Miracle Vision Tabernacle Outreach Center is sponsoring its second annual “Summer Break Kick-Off” with a wealth of local and out of town musical talent.

    “It’s for kids to start out with something positive for the summer,” Center Youth Adviser Shereka Jackson said. The entertainment is free.

    The day starts at noon with games, activities, food and drink. On the menu is barbecue chicken and ribs, hot dogs, and french fries.

  • It was a sweltering 89 degrees Monday afternoon and along the US 27 corridor east of Williston there were few people stirring in their yards or farms.

    Most residents, still at work or resting in their recliners, were planning on what the night’s dinner would be.

    István (Steven) and Ferenc (Frank) Ivanics were more concerned about where they would lay their heads for the night, as they waged a battle against the seemingly endless batallion of mosquitos.

  • Amy Dixon proved Tuesday that you’re never too old to shake your booty to the music you love. Dixon, a Jamaica native who has lived in the U.S. since 1945, turned 95 Tuesday and celebrated with family and friends at Williston Rehab. After the cake presentation, Dixon asked for the music to be turned to reggae and as soon as it started, she got up and busted some moves. Dixon has lived in Florida for 30 years, coming here from New York where she was a dietitian at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

  • There are now almost 40 women in the tri-county area, who not only understand the mechanics of gun safety, but know how apply the rules to proper usage.

    The women, ranging in age from their early 20s to Medicare-eligible took part in the Williston Shooters’ Club first NRA-sanctioned Women on Target shooting clinic May 9 at the club’s range off Hwy. 41.

    Women on Target creates opportunities for women in recreational shooting and hunting, and allows experienced shooters the chance to volunteer and mentor novices.

  • Lylia Jean Bracken is a happy woman indeed.

    She fell in love with the Highwayman-style picture on display at the library, frequently bought tickets for the raffle, and, at the last meeting of the Friends of the Williston Library, her name was chosen as the winner.

    The oil-based work was painted by Sylvester M. Wells, who executed it with an associate at a fall presentation at the library.

  • The Williston Regional Art Promotion will be held Saturday, May 2, at the Williston Woman’s Club on State Road 121 North.

    Inside the clubhouse there will be higher end art work but nothing costing more than $350.

    Some of the artwork will be photography, mixed media, calligraphy, oils, watercolors, collages, folk art, to name a few. Outside of the clubhouse will include all types of artwork and handwork from local vendors.

  • The Williston Regional Art Promotion will be held Saturday, May 2, at the Williston Woman’s Club on State Road 121 North.

    One of the entertainment features will be Donovan, the Magician. Donovan comes to us with a wealth of experience, having appeared not only locally at Highlands Country Club, The Villages, Inglis and Yankeetown but he also toured the country as Ronald McDonald in his early years.

  • The Winds of Change Pinwheel Gardens is in front of Levy County Courthouse this month. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Florida and across the nation. The Gardens represent the Winds of Change needed to safeguard all children by preventing abuse.

  • On Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the GFWC Woman’s Clubs of Williston will present the second ever Williston Regional Art Promotion (WRAP). Formerly known as the Williston Arts and Crafts Festival, the 29-year-old show has undergone major changes. The goal is to bring art to our community, ready to be displayed in homes and businesses and at affordable prices.