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The Circuit- The Vintage Issue 2017
Magazines | Business / Culture / Community / Lifestyle / Magazines / News / Advertisement / Leisure industry / Hospitality & Entertainment / Hotel & Restaurants / Tourism & Travel 2017-09-07 13:47:12
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    2017 BOARD OF DIRECTORS RYAN DAVIS Chairman Community Bank JAYNA LEACH Past Chairman Visit Panama City Beach DAVE TREPANIER Incoming Chairman Firefly Restaurant KAREN SMITH Secretary Beachy Beach Real Estate MATT GRIFFITTS Treasurer Sugar Sands Insurance Jeremy Bennett Paul “Buster” Busuttil Shay Catrett Marvin Colley Catherine Collins Jeff DiBenedictis Brad Griffin Chris Tilley Rick Koehnemann Will Lark Lee Ann Leonard Joshua Rogers April Wilkes Ramon Duvall Dr. Randy Hanna Becca Hardin Dr. John Holdnak Parker McClellan Dan Rowe John Skaggs Mayor Mike Thomas MidSouth Bank Buster’s Beer & Bait BAYSOLUTIONS Beach TV Resort Collection Summit Bank Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center Pier Park/Simon Malls Koehnemann Construction Shipwreck Island Waterpark Royal American Beach Getaways Gulf Power Company St. Joe Company HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS CHAMBER TEAM Beachside Fellowship Florida State University Panama City Bay Economic Development Alliance Gulf Coast State College NWFL Beaches International Airport Tourist Development Council Naval Support Activity Panama City City of Panama City Beach A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: We wanted to honor the Vintage Issue of The Circuit as a special edition because it is precisely that—special. From cover to cover, these pages are filled with history from some of the earliest development in Bay County, from Harrison Avenue and Historical St. Andrew’s, to the earliest resort communities established before there was an incorporated Panama City Beach. You will find photos of landmarks such as the Wainwright Shipyard, Petticoat Junction, the Old Dutch Tavern, and everything in between. Countless days have been spent scrolling through digital public archives of old photos, reading historical books and articles about our area, and even going to an indoor pool that had been transformed into a storage archive for thousands of photos. But the most rewarding and important task of the entire process was connecting with the resources that helped me to understand everything I was collecting. Some of those resources were people who have lived in the Panama City Beach area for the majority of, or their entire, lives, and who have a true passion for the area. I want to personally thank John Dunaway for encouraging me along the way, Grant Wittstruck for helping me keep momentum with (and beyond) the Sharky’s article, and Kenny Redd for his willingness to share his stories on his “Old Panama City Beach” Facebook and YouTube pages, where you can find a plethora of stories and photos similar to those in this issue. I also want to give credit to the book Along the Bay-A Pictorial History of Bay County by Marlene Womack, loaned to me by my grandmother; the book Images of America-Panama City Beach by Jan Smith; and to the Bay County Public Library. I am so grateful for these resources, and this issue truly would not have been possible without them. The Vintage Issue is about nostalgia—from the moment you fix your eyes on the cover, we want to take you back in time. You will even notice the advertisers who embraced the theme as you flip through the pages and find special old-fashioned ads. Kristopher McLane Jena Liles Shannon Richmond Katelyn French Helen Adami Bertie Reynolds Charlie Collins President/CEO Chief Financial Officer Director of Membership Services Director of Communications Director of Events Information Specialist Information Specialist If you are reading this, please feel welcome to take this special edition as a keepsake for you to reminisce on for years to come. Relax, Slow your pace, And let this magazine walk you down memory lane, page by page. Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce 309 Richard Jackson Blvd., Ste. 101, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Phone: (850) 235-1159 Fax: (850) 235-2301 www.PCBeach.org - Katelyn French WWW.PCBEACH.ORG 11

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    A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN | RYAN DAVIS Growing up as a child in Panama City Beach (PCB) in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I remember our beach being dominated by “momand-pop” hotels and familyowned businesses. I, myself, grew up in a small business household where the world revolved around surviving the fall/winter “off season,” eagerly counting the days until the end of May when the tourists would begin migrating to our beaches once again—it was truly as if the sidewalks were rolled up on Labor Day and rolled back out on Memorial Day weekend. There was always a special bond that existed between the families that owned small businesses in PCB then, and we’d all pitch in to help each other in times of need, even if we were the fiercest competitors in the summer. Luckily, you can still find many family-owned establishments sprinkled in with the massive influx of condos and popular franchise stores. I can still drive by my friends’ businesses that are in the third and fourth generation of family ownership. To me, those business owners are the backbone of PCB—they have survived numerous hurricanes, an oil spill, and the great recession, just in my lifetime. Seeing them thrive in today’s economy makes me smile. Although I am beyond grateful for the progress of the development in PCB, I still have times when I find myself stuck in traffic on Back Beach Road in April or October, barely moving at a crawl, when I wish I could go “back in the day” when Back Beach was a two-lane road dominated by St. Joe pine trees, and Front Beach was a desolate stretch of sand-swept highway. But progress is necessary, and I am excited to see how our beach will continue to evolve over the next 30 years! I truly hope that we can find those same family-owned businesses being operated by the fourth or fifth generation to remind us all of where we came from. To a Thriving Panama City Beach, As the years have passed, we have been blessed with a diversity of both family-owned businesses and nationally known chain stores. I can clearly remember the excitement in my mother’s voice when she found out that the beach was getting a Winn-Dixie at the “Y” in the early ‘80s—I imagine, by today’s standards, it would equate to the excitement of getting a Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Ryan Davis, 2017 Chairman of the Board Senior Vice President, Community Bank JOB HUNTING? From management to accounting, from engineering to hospitality, CareerSource Gulf Coast is the go-to source in Bay, Gulf & Franklin Counties. Our free job seeker services are unmatched. Hundreds of new opportunities are posted every month at EmployFlorida.com. Visit our website today to get started! CareerSourceGC.com UNLOCK the possibilities! An equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this document may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. 12 THE CIRCUIT September/October 2017

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    Northwest Florida’s Furniture Store For Over 62 Years Come and shop our relaxed atmosphere where you will always find everyday low prices on quality name brand home furnishings and accessories. 850-785-5201 1001 Harrison Avenue • Panama City www.FowhandFurniture.com

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    14 THE CIRCUIT September/October 2017

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    WWW.PCBEACH.ORG 15

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    BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS KEEPING YOU CONNECTED TO WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE DOING TEXAS ROADHOUSE LEGENDARY FOOD & LEGENDARY SERVICE When Paul and Helen Schreiner decided to open up Texas Roadhouse in Panama City Beach, their vision was simply to be the friendliest place in town. With a combined 44 years in the restaurant business, the Schreiner’s saw a great opportunity to open a restaurant in a growing, dynamic city. When they came to Panama City Beach looking for a location for their new restaurant and found a vibrant community that supports local businesses, they knew instantly it was where they wanted to be. Texas Roadhouse is known for its Legendary Food and Legendary Service. Whether it’s their hand-cut steaks, award-winning ribs, made from scratch sides and dressings, or ice cold beer and margaritas, there is something for everyone. After interviewing over 850 applicants, they developed a family of employees that truly care about each other, about their guests, and about their town. Texas Roadhouse also focuses on being an active member of the community. From local fundraisers and community blood drives, to supporting schools and charities, the Schreiners believe, as Helen likes to say, “The more you give, the more you get.” To find out more about partnering with Texas Roadhouse or sponsorships, contact Helen Schreiner at 850-236-7448 or via email at store_panamacityfl@TexasRoadhouse.com. DiBacco Importing and Distributing was established in 2012 and is based in Panama City Beach, where they service from Pensacola to Tallahassee weekly. They sell wholesale wine to restaurants, liquor stores, wine stores, hotels, country clubs, and yacht clubs. Many of their wines are exclusive, meaning they are the only source to get them. A family owned business, they value personal attention and strong relationships. The DiBacco Family has always had a passion for great food and wine. The entire business is dedicated to Lou DiBacco (father of Tom DiBacco, from Pratola Peligna in the Abruzzo region of Italy) and his legacy, family history, and fatherly qualities. His passion truly was his family and they continue that tradition with DiBacco Wines, produced from vineyards with DiBacco “roots” in the Peligna Valley. DIBACCO IMPORTING AND DISTRIBUTING Using their ambition and knowledge to address the need for more unique and varied wines in the United States, the DiBacco family travels to Italy often to discover new wines to introduce to the States. They also receive samples of wines from around the world so they can continually grow their product lines and give their customers a variety of choices. For more information, visit www.dibaccoimports.com. 16 THE CIRCUIT September/October 2017

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    THE SHADOW BOX WHIMSICAL DÉCOR FOR ECCENTRIC LIFESTYLES GIRL SCOUTS INVESTING IN THE GIRLS OF OUR FUTURE Why is the Shadowbox so special? You could say that it has to do with the dynamic group of pickers, vendors, and artists who bring in unique treasures and creations on a daily basis, or it might be the plethora of different items and styles of décor to choose from for your very own home and garden. Whether you’re looking for coastal, shabby chic, traditional, industrial, garden, or farmhouse design, The Shadow Box has it all. Shopping for something more personal? The Shadow Box has a wide assortment of trendy jewelry, purses, and candles, and is even able to monogram many pieces to make someone feel like you went that extra mile. Customers say that The Shadow Box is so unique because of the individual experience that each customer is offered upon walking in the door. While shopping through the maze of curated old and new items, you are sure to find that special piece to make your home even more comfortable and unique. So, if you’re looking for a delightful walk down Memory Lane, go see The Shadow Box, located at 1711 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL. You can contact them at 850-249-1388, and also find them on Facebook and Instagram. At Girl Scouts, they’re all about practicing everyday leadership, preparing girls to empower themselves, and promoting G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) experiences so that they can reach their full potential. Girl Scouts show grit like a gogetter, problem solve like an innovator, embrace the new like a risk-taker, and display empathy like a leader. Pride is at the core of who they are. Every G.I.R.L. can be motivated to take the lead by evoking three emotional drivers: connection, mastery, and self-creation. Girl Scouts is a sisterhood that spans ages, stages, and lifestyles. They represent different interests, ethnicities, and industries. As much as they are different, they are also very much alike— living with intention and taking action in all aspects of our lives. They grow, they change, and they adapt and evolve to meet the changes and challenges faced by today’s young girls and women. The programs and services of the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc., teach girls to discover, connect and take action, while building courage, confidence, and character, to make the world a better place. A United Way agency, the Council currently serves 4,123 girls across 19 counties of the Florida Panhandle with the assistance of 2,025 dedicated volunteers. Won’t you join? For more information please call 1-888-271-8778, email info@gscfp.org, or visit www.gscfp.org. WWW.PCBEACH.ORG 17

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    AIR & SEA NEWS FROM TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE AND NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER PANAMA CITY DIVISION HISTORY CORNER — NSWC PANAMA CITY DIVISION’S HISTORY ROOTED IN MINE WARFARE By Dan Broadstreet, NSWC PCD Public Affairs Commander Thomas H. Frost can well be said to be the father of the Naval Research and Development Laboratory at Panama City, Florida. A former professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graduate School, Frost was recalled to naval service in 1942, primarily to design and build the original mine countermeasures activity that was established at Solomons, Maryland. That year, the Bureau of Ships (BUSHIPS) Code 620 established a field activity where experimental projects could be undertaken to test emerging minesweeping concepts and systems. The field activity was located on the north side of the Patuxent River, a few miles before the river emptied into Chesapeake Bay, adjacent to Solomons. The activity, designated as the U. S. Naval Mine Warfare Test Station, was officially established in 1943. Viewed as a test and evaluation activity, the station was staffed primarily with military personnel. Frost served as Countermeasures Officer at the Mine Warfare Test Station for two years before returning to BUSHIPS, where he relieved Capt. H.C. Sexton as Head of the Minesweeping Branch in January 1946. The site of the former U.S. Naval Amphibious Training Base on St. Andrew Bay was chosen because of its near-ideal climate and water conditions, and because it provided adequate housing, shipping and recreational facilities for both civilian and military personnel. Once established, the first official designated name of the Panama City facility was the Naval Mine Countermeasures Station (NMCS). Commander Walter E. Goering was the first Commanding Officer of NMCS from July to November in 1945. The command and the base have been modernized over the years, but overall remains on the same 625-acre tract of land. Established as an amphibious training station with a focus on mine countermeasures, today the command’s mission capitalizes on more than 70 years of mine warfare experience. The command celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2015 and, this year (2017), marks its 25th anniversary as a Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Center. Early in 1945, Frost had begun to plan for a countermeasures station located in a place where weather would permit year-round operations at sea. A team was established to survey available sites, which resulted in two sites being identified—Key West, Florida, and St. Andrew Bay near Panama City, Florida. A BUSHIPS evaluation team was then sent to inspect each prospective site. The team that visited the Panama City site consisted of Frost, Commander C.G. McElwraith, and Lieutenant Commander Jerome D. Freedman. CAPTION (Top Left): Cmdr. Thomas H. Frost was instrumental in establishing the Naval Mine Countermeasures Station in Panama City, FL, in 1945. CAPTION (Top Right): The Naval Mine Countermeasures Station’s “front gate” on Highway 98 in Panama City, FL, in 1945. The name of the previous tenant, the U.S. Naval Amphibious Training Base, had not yet been removed. 18 THE CIRCUIT September/October 2017

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    (Above) Aerial view of docks and ships. Circa 1950. Photo loaned by US Navy Mine Defense Laboratory. (Courtesy Bay County Public Library) (Above) Navy Mine Counter Measure Station dock area. Shows U.S. Navy Ship #37, mine sweeper. 1953. (Courtesy Bay County Public Library) (Above) Disaster Preparedness Team, NBC Team training Naval Ship Research and Development Lab. 1961. Photo loaned by Helen Smith. (Courtesy Bay County Public Library) WWW.PCBEACH.ORG 19

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    AIR & SEA NEWS FROM TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE AND NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER PANAMA CITY DIVISION TYNDALL HERITAGE Provided by Tyndall Air Force Base, Home of the Checkertails In December 1940, a site board determined that Flexible Gunnery School No. 9 would be located 12 miles southeast of Panama City, Florida, on East Peninsula. On May 6, 1941, Army and local dignitaries held an official ground breaking for the school. Panama City's mayor, Harry Fannin, dug the first spade full of sand, and Colonel Warren Maxwell, Tyndall's first commander, wielded the first ax on the stubborn palmetto plants so common on the East Peninsula. The site was covered with pine and palmetto trees, scrub brush, and swamps. Bulldozers worked around the clock to clear the brush and fill in swamps. Although construction was well underway, the base lacked a name. Congressman Bob Sikes suggested naming the school in memory of Lieutenant Francis B. Tyndall. A native of Sewall Point, Florida, Lieutenant Tyndall was a fighter pilot during World War I and was credited with shooting down four German planes well behind enemy lines in 1918. While inspecting Army fields near Mooresville, North Carolina, on July 15, 1930, Tyndall's plane crashed, killing him instantly. On June 13, 1941, the War Department officially named the new installation Tyndall Field. On December 7, 1941, the first of 2,000 troops arrived at Tyndall Field. Although construction was incomplete, instructors and students began preparing for the first class. The first class of 40 gunnery students began on February 23, 1942. Of the thousands of students passing through the Tyndall gates, the most famous was actor Clark Gable, a student here during 1943. When World War II ended, Tyndall went through the demobilization process, as did most Army Air units. Fortunes changed as the base fell under the control of the Tactical Air Command in 1946. This only lasted three months, then Tyndall became part of Air University. In September of 1950, Tyndall became an Air Training Command (ATC) base. Several schools were assigned, including Weapons Controllers, USAF Air Police, and USAF Instrument Instructor Pilot. Then, on January 4, 1951, ATC began aircrew (interceptor) training at Tyndall using F-86, F-89, and F-94 aircraft. This relationship lasted until July 1, 1957, when Tyndall became part of the Air Defense Command, an association that would continue for more than 22 years. CAPTION (Top Left): The old Tyndall sign. The original photo reads, "Sign and Constructors at West Gate at Tyndall Field, Fla." CAPTION (Top Right): Lieutenant Francis B. Tyndall, the fighter pilot who Tyndall Air Force Base was named after in 1941. 20 THE CIRCUIT September/October 2017

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