February 22, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

Duffy Soto has once again donated his awesome artistic talents to create this year's magnificent Olustee Festival poster. He also recently helped our School Museum get a "composition photo" of the storied "Little Store".

The Little Store was a teen hangout across from the School Board Complex when it was CHS and LCJHS from the 1930's to the 1960's. It is permanently fixed in the memories of so many youngsters who attended CHS back then but somehow we were never able to get a picture of it.

Then we asked Duffy, who had never seen the Little Store, to come to our rescue and he agreed.

He was provided a variety of pictures, all showing only partial views of the store. In most of the pictures, cars, trees, or student groups obstructed the view of the Little Store.

Duffy scanned all these pictures into his computer and, by borrowing bits and pieces from each photo, created a striking likeness of the store for our School Museum. People who see Duffy's work think it is an actual photograph of the store.

And how much did Duffy charge our School Museum for his many weeks of work to do this? Nothing at all.

Furthermore, he has never charged anything for the untold months of time he has devoted to creating fantastic CHS and FWHS football program covers, the previous exquisite Olustee Festival posters, and the many patriotic posters he has created for the Pensacola Navy Air Museum, the Jacksonville mayor's office, and so much more. No charge at all.

Few communities, regardless of size, will ever be so blessed as to have a man like Duffy, gifted with enormous artistic talent and an even bigger heart, who always puts service to others before service to self.

Thank you, Duffy. Don't ever leave us!


*1942: The Lake City Reporter welcomed the Lake City Naval Air Station to Lake City by publishing a "Navy Edition" of the paper and printing the entire paper in Navy Blue ink.

*1944: 50' x 105' residential lots in the Melrose Park area were selling for $40 each.

*1963: A driver for the Yankee Cab Company drove his taxi smack dab into Lake DeSoto. After he was rescued from his submerged vehicle, he was charged with DWI.

1955: Guy G. Williams, 54, prominent farmer and highly respected member of the Bethel Community, died in a traffic accident while towing his truck with his tractor. He left his wife, Irma, and five sons: Bernard, Gerald, Coy, Wayne, and Al. Guy would have been very proud of the fine men his five sons grew up to be.

*1956: A group of white citizens from the Five Points area officially protested the proposed building of a "Negro subdivision" in Five Points near the all-white Five Points Elementary School, saying This subdivision should be built closer to the new colored school. (Referring to Niblack Elementary School.)

*1959: Two new schools, Eastside Elementary School and the CHS on Pennsylvania Avenue (Now RMS), opened for classes. Also, CHS 1959, the last senior class to attend CHS when it was on West Duval Street, (Now the School Board Complex) graduated and this year they will celebrate their 50th anniversary.

2009: Marilyn Bevan Hicks died January 26. Marilyn and Dot Mikell were two of the top female track stars in Florida in 1942. The two CHS students were so outstanding they were selected to travel to Cuba to participate in pre-Olympic trials. Although they both won their events in Havana, they could not go on to further competition because World War II limited all travel. Dot also died recently so both are now gone.


A man parked his car one summer day to run a short errand. He left his small dog inside the car but rolled the windows down so his dog would not over heat. As he backed away from his car, he kept speaking to his dog, "Stay, stay" so his dog wouldn't jump out the window and follow him. A teen saw all this but didn't see the dog and yelled, Hey, Mister, Why don't you just put it in park? square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.