Dr. Langer Goes to Florida

This article is part of the PPSA Online Magazine
by John Johnson
Volume 8 Number 2 - Fall 1995


The Mayo Clinic's main base is in Rochester, MN. But there are 2 regional offices, one in Scottsdale, AZ and one in Jacksonville, FL (aka Jax). It's the policy of the clinic to send residents or fellows at the main campus to one of the Mayo Souths every two years. Since my tenure at the clinic is only for two years, I was only sent to one of the locations... Jax.

The Apartment

All residents are put up in the Bermuda Cove Apartments and are given a four door white Pontiac Grand Am for their use while in Jax. Bermuda Cove has a nice set of amenities:

While the rumors of high crime in the area are mostly overblown.

Bermuda also allows dogs and cats on the premises, but since I had no pets the management kindly provided one - Stinky.

The Clinic

Mayo-Jacksonville properly consists of the Clinic which lies on San Pablo Blvd. and the Family Medicine center at the beach and a downtown hospital known as St. Luke's. The Clinic land was donated by the Davis family and includes about four square miles, of which the actual clinic is only a small part. The picture below shows the outpatient clinic and research building. Not shown is the Courtyard by Marriott and the retired folks community.

Of course, as often happens when I work somewhere, they begged me to stay, but I insisted on finishing up my Rochester commitment.

Savannah Georgia

On my first weekend, I decided to drive a couple of hours north to Savannah, Georgia and check out the finer aspects of plantation living. To my surprise, Savannah seems a pretty small city, and all the fine living to be had lies on a mile long strip of land that lies on the intra-coastal waterway. When I arrived it turned out that a jazz festival was going on, on some artist parked their party boat right by the stage.

A pretty decent restaurant, the River House, lied immediately behind:

So of course I had to drop in for the local fare. It turns out that this place has a particularly nasty drink called "Artillery Punch" whose recipe follows:

  • 1.5 gallons Catawba wine
  • 1/2 gallon rum
  • 1 qt gin
  • 1 qt brandy
  • 1/2 pint Benedictine
  • 2 qts Maraschino cherries
  • 1.5 qts rye whiskey
  • 1.5 gallons strong tea
  • 2.5 pounds brown sugar
  • 1.5 qts orange juice
  • 1.5 qts lemon juice
  • Mix two days before serving, then add one case of Champagne
On the way home, I stopped by a submarine base to take a picture of the Atlantic.

However, this was apparently a bad idea as I was then chased by black helicopters off the premises.

Disney EPCOT

Of course, no one can say they've "done" Florida, unless they have done Disney. Sheryl and I chose to visit EPCOT Center. The great ball - "Spaceship Earth" - heralded our arrival.

EPCOT's "floor plan" consists of two rings of different radii tangent at a point. The smaller ring contains science and technology demonstrations for things that are just about to become commercially available. Sort of like a tool show for the 21'st Century Tim Taylor. The larger ring contains a lake in the center with recreations of most Northern Hemisphere nations laying out on the shoreline. Most of these were little more than gift shops with attached restaurants, but some were more extravagant. Morocco, in particular, had a recreation of the Marraketch Bazaar, and some of the best food, to be seen anywhere in EPCOT.

The Lake Front and a Chinese "Temple"

St. Augustine

Forty five miles south of Jax on A1A (the Ocean Drive) lies the oldest city in north America - St. Augustine. Discovered by the Spaniards in the 1500's, Ponce de Leon swears the Fountain of Youth is here and its waters are still being sold today. The Spanish left a visible reminder of their tenure in the form of a castle guarding the bay.

There are also many Spanish Colonial era buildings such as these:

The old Ponce de Leon Hotel; Fagler College

An alligator ranch in town which features "Gomek", an 1800 pound saltwater crock, and other crocodileans.

Gomek: above and below the water line.

Smaller relatives


Sadly, I have no good gratuitous bikini shots to leave you with since it was in the 60's for much of my time here (which is practically parka and fireplace weather for natives). However, here are some of the volleyball courts in front of the Crab Pot Restaurant off of Beaches Blvd.

The Crab Pot caters to an interesting blend of surfers and the Harley crowd who gather together on the patio to listen to live bands.

Last Updated 11/04/95.© 1996 PPSA