The Voice of the Gem City

News March 17, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Palatka and St. Augustine high school football teams will be playing each other during the 2022 season. Apparently public pressure made the difference after the season schedule was released Monday and the second oldest football rivalry in the state wasn’t listed. The Palatka coach said it was a mutual agreement. Not so said St. Augustine High’s athletic director and football coach, adding they’d been told after the 2021 game that Palatka didn’t want to continue. Resulting protests, phone calls and social media posts ended up with Putnam Superintendent Rick Surrency and St. Johns Superintendent Tim Forson talking. Bottom line they’re proud of the tradition and the game is back on. The first game was played in 1922.

Palm Coast City Council will have eight candidates to choose from when they meet March 22 to appoint a replacement for Victor Barbosa who resigned March 1. Barbosa had been accused of shoplifting because of failing to scan an item at Walmart. That accusation was withdrawn but Barbosa resigned anyway. Now eight men have filed to take his place. Whoever is appointed will only serve until November when the seat will be filled during the regular election.

Jim Goolsby, the pilot who was forced to make an emergency landing Monday in Palatka, says it was due to a mechanical problem. Now 81, Goolsby was in a crash in Putnam in 2019 when his newly purchased float plane tipped over while landing in the water near Georgetown. Goolsby is a retired pilot with United Airlines. As with all crashes, the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Looking for dinner? San Mateo Presbyterian Church in Putnam County is holding their Third Thursday Dinner this time featuring chicken. Eat I or take out starts at 4:300 p.m. with dinners $10 each. 

Everyone’s Irish today as St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. A St. Patrick’s Day Bike Parade is scheduled for today in Palatka. Participants will decorate bikes and helmets on the patio of Azalea City Brewery before heading out at 5:30 p.m. east on Oak Street to the riverfront park and then back to the brewery on South Seventh Street.

About St. Patrick’s Day. It began as a religious holiday in Ireland more than 1,000 years ago, to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century. Through the centuries his fame and Irish roots have spread with this year seeing a return to celebrations following COVID-19 restrictions. While the fountains are running green in Savannah and the Irish are marching once again in New York, St. Augustine actually has bragging rights for the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world. Several years ago a Florida historian searching through records found evidence Artur Ricardo, an Irish soldier turned priest, held the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1600 and the first parade on March 17, 1601, the anniversary of Patrick’s death. 

And while it’s Patrick this and Patrick that, don’t forget this also is the feast day of St. Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint of cats. She’s also the patron of travelers and gardeners and protects against rats and mice.

%d bloggers like this: