RICK SANDS' DAYTONA BEACH

See Daytona the way Rick sees it - check out these verbal snapshots, all taken from Daytona Sands:

SUN ACRES

​"A mile south of the high school, Sands had turned west off Atlantic into Sun Acres. The development, like many others on the peninsula, had been carved out of miles of dunes and scrub. Sands rarely drove through here, but the quiet streets fronted by ranch style homes remained familiar from his youth. Carol's house, a modest split level with a manicured lawn and trimmed shrubbery, was on Waverly Drive, which wound in a westerly direction toward Halifax Avenue and the Intracoastal Waterway - known locally as the Halifax River. In the driveway was a new white Lexus. A phalanx of patrol cars blocked access to the house, their red lights circling like lighthouses for the river Styx.  Parked near them was a station wagon with the Daytona News-Journal logo printed on the side. All too familiar trappings of a homicide scene. Except Sands had known this one would be different. Much different."

 

SEABREEZE BRIDGE

"Sands stopped at the Seabreeze Bridge as red signals flashed, bells sounded and the guard-post came down. King made it through. Sands shifted to neutral, put the brake on, and watched the sides of the bridge rise into the air while a sailboat with a bare silver mast moved down the calm river toward him. Far to the north a white cloud floated high in an otherwise empty azure sky. 

 

Behind him stretched the peninsula, an emerald isle dotted wit hotel and condo towers, their glimmering apexes shrouded in morning mist. Straight ahead was the mainland, mundane by comparison. Pools of dark shadow streaked with reflected sunlight stained the gray blue surface of the river. A pelican, its maladroit body suddenly transformed into a stealth bomber, plunged intot he water and emerged with a fish in its pouch. Gulls circled overhead, cawing. He remembered taking a college course in eastern religions. The professor, a man in his eighties, had focused on one theme: death was part of life, time did not exist, and the so called "real-world" was an illusion. Sands had resisted his ideas, clinging to his empirical view of reality. But as he had grown older the philosophy made more and more sense. You were born and whether you lived one hour of a hundred years, it was all one day."

BETHUNE COOKMAN COLLEGE

 

"The drove south until they reached Second Avenue. A block from Bethune Cookman College, they turned into the crowded parking lot of JC's. Aunt Mary may have been the best breakfast cook in town, but the breakfast at Jacqueline Carter's restaurant ran a very close second.

From the outside, the sand-colored freestanding building, low and flat-roofed with widows along one side, had no particular distinguishing features. A large neon sign - JC'S- cast a red glow across the parking lot. JC had bet her life savings on college students' love of home cooking, and won. The place was always packed. JC and Sands had struck up a friendship years ago after Sands had prosecuted two men who robbed one of JC's kitchen workers at gunpoint

He ate here at least three times a week but his presence never escaped scrutiny. Having King at his side only heightened the students' curiosity as JC, a tall woman Sands' age, greeted him with a hug and a kiss on the cheek."

OLD COURTHOUSE

"Sands loved trying cases in this old courthouse, a stately relic from the pre-civil war era that stood in a quiet stand of mossy oak trees in Deland, a small town just west of Daytona. Constructed from Jerusalem stone around a marble-floored rotunda, the courthouse was topped with a golden dome hand-painted on the inside with figures from the Old Testament. Four courtrooms with floors of polished Italian marble had ceilings with a different hand-painted tableaux, gilt-edged moldings, and crystal chandeliers that had been designed and crafted in Paris and shipped over through the port of New Orleans by the wealthy plantation owners who had once dominated Volusia County. The jury boxes and benches were carved from Lebanon cedar, the same cedar that lined the walls. Trying a case here gave Sands a sense of history and tradition lacking in its modern counterpart, although Sands often wondered what the men who had built this courthouse when blacks were slaves and women were not allowed to vote let alone sit as judges would think if they came back to life and saw it now."

Ormond Pier Surf

"It had been one of those fine mornings, the sun just above the horizon, slow warmth seeping across the dark mass of ocean as light hit the surface in a glitter trail. The waves were perfectly shaped and breaking in long, slow curls."

© 2013 by GARY FIDEL