Monday, August 3, 2015

Getting My "Fix"

Every few months I have to get my antique fix by driving south a few miles to a little town named Micanopy, known to outsiders as the scene of Michael J. Fox's movie, Doc Hollywood. To locals it's a haven for antique browsers, not that you need be antique to browse but sometimes it helps. It's not far from my house, around 12 miles according to Google maps, but I like to travel the scenic route instead of I-75. I drive south down 441 through Payne's Prairie. I-75 crosses the Prairie but it somehow seems "removed". Timewise, it takes me around thirty minutes.

If you’re with company and hungry, there are some good eating places at the 441 intersection with the town, Pearl’s for barbecue and Blue Highway for pizza. Before I stopped eating meat, I can attest to the fact that Pearl’s has exceptional brisket. And you can’t beat the place for people watching.

If you’re looking for scenic, Micanopy is advertised as the town that time forgot. All the buildings have a long history. The town is named after a chief of the Seminole Indians whose name, and thus the name of the town, actually means “head chief.”. When I first came to Florida, I pronounced it "my can o' pee" and later discovered many newcomers do the same. Here is the real way to say it. The main street is Cholokka Boulevard...otherwise known as antique alley.

I normally hit the shops upon arrival, but this time I decided to walk out the kinks from the drive. The entire street is not very long and I managed to go from one end to the other crossing over to opposite sides for the journey to and fro. There is a very old Episcopal Church which I would have recognized by the red door without the prominent sign. I was raised Episcopalian and Jim and I were married in a small Episcopal Church, but now I'm not sure what I am???? A sign outside caught my eye and made me wonder exactly what it meant. It read "Paid Child Care". The church pays for childcare, you pay for childcare, don't expect to bring your child into the sanctuary...what?

A little farther on stands an old, old building, the Mosswood Farm Store. Inside are jars of honey, vials of essential oils, and homemade pastries...and lots of other homemade stuff. It seems like a family affair with a couple of generations present and the cutest little blond-haired girl was running around. She kept eyeing me like I was from outer space. Here is a pic. Yes, I said it was old, a 1910 cracker style house. They have an outdoor wood-fired brick oven where they make their artisan breads.  Smell that sourdough? And the coffee and espresso bar mixed with the smell of homemade brownies, well if you weren’t hungry when you came in, how could you resist those aromas?

On the way back down the boulevard I stopped in at the Micanopy Historical Society Museum, an old wooden barn-type building.  An older man and woman greeted me as I entered. Through conversation I found out they were volunteers and perhaps married. They were very friendly and encouraged me to sign the “guest book.” Originally owned by J. E. Thrasher, the museum was a warehouse for cotton, or maybe turpentine, and then for the shipment of wooden boxes before cardboard came into being. A railroad spur came close by. The thing that amazed me most....did you know a bobcat is smaller than a largemouth bass? Stuffed examples of each resided in a glass case. There were lots of old tools for men and women. Would you consider two tubs with a wringer in between them a tool? There were old typewriters and sewing machines and even a dress-up area for kids where they could try on raccoon caps and cowboy and Indian outfits. Lots of pictures of Seminoles, old Army uniforms, and lots of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings stuff since Cross Creek is nearby.

After traipsing through a few antique shops, I treated myself to a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream at the local ice cream parlor. I ate it outside on the old porch of the huge two-story. Really a three-story if you count the little A-frame on the very top with its own porch and white railing. I got friendly with the resident kitty (no ice cream for kitty, though, chocolate is poisonous to cats). I ate and she purred. A family passing through sat at a table near me. I know they were passing through because they were discussing how they had never heard of "My can o' pee."

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