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A-Z of Northeast Florida: J is for Jacksonville Jackdaw

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A jackdaw is a collection of artifacts representing ideas, events, characters, and/or themes in a book. I’m going to tweak that idea. If I was going to make a Jacksonville Jackdaw, I would first think of the most important places, people, events, and ideas that represent MY Jacksonville.

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Places
1. I’d start with a jar of sand from the beach.
2. To represent the old Putt-Putt on Beach Boulevard I’d need a toy dinosaur.
3. A few peanuts and some popcorn to remember the Suns games.
4. Malted milk balls to remember Regency Square (it’s a long story).
5. A little toy boat to remind me of the Water Taxi and the St. Johns River
6. Anything gold and black for Englewood High School.

People
1. For Miss Wilkins, my fifth grade teacher at Love Grove Elementary, I would have a sock, colorful tissue paper, and some dried beans. Those are some of the things we used to create puppets and art in her class.
2. A football for the Gaffney brothers (and Tim Tebow); I didn’t know the Gaffneys, but I have heard my husband talk about the “Gaffney brothers” for years.
3. A baseball for Chipper Jones.
4. Not because he was mayor, but because the library of my childhood was named after him, I would remember Hayden Burns. I would have a book, preferably a Nancy Drew or one by Phyllis Whitney, as these are the ones I checked out the most.
5. I’d throw in a pair of drumsticks and a guitar pick to represent Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet.

Events (this would be all ticket stubs)
1. The Jacksonville Fair.
2. Numerous concerts – from Peter Frampton in the 70s to Brian Culbertson at the Jazz Festival in the 2000s.
3. The Florida Theatre – from the Nutcracker to Boz Scaggs.
4. The Home and Patio Show.
5. Movies at the Avenues and Tinseltown.

Ideas
1. Freedom – a wheel for all the places I rode my bike.
2. Love - little baby T-shirts for the hospitals where two of my kids were born: Baptist and Memorial.
3. Knowledge – a poem for all the kids I’ve taught.
4. Comfort – a picture of my mom and dad who moved us to Jacksonville when I was six.
5. Peace – I’ll end with a shell to represent that peaceful feeling I always get at the beach.

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