Whatsup Amelia Interview with Diane Patton of Southwest Airlines

diane-patton-soutwest-shrimpTJ of Whatsup Amelia Chanel 29 interviews Diane Patton, manager of Southwest Airlines at Jacksonville International Airport on Southwest’s Sponsor programs and in particular what to expect from the first sponsorship of the Kids Korner, one of the major attractions, besides lots of Pirates, great live music, art festival, boats and street parades and tons of shrimp, during this year’s Shrimp Festival in Downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island Florida. She also reveiled the chance for anyone to win one of Southwest’s free tickets. Just go to www.shrimpfestival.com and sign up.

SearchAmelia Develops New Services


The enthusiastic reception of the Amelia Island Search Engine and Portal website www.SearchAmelia.com has swept our team into a “frenzy” about developing two major service expansions. As you may have noticed in the center top of the home page we now feature a new website www.AmeliaIslandClassifieds.com which should be seen as a 24/7/365 product-, services and real estate classifieds website with unbeatable rates. Read more

SearchAmelia has a Gift For You!


Nick Deonas, the Grand Marshall of the Pirate Parade for the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, remembers what it was like to grow up in a family that built shrimp boats in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Enjoy his memories, photos and a few delectable shrimp recipes in this FREE download when you sign up for our daily newsfeed. Our gift to you from SearchAmelia.com.

Just enter your e-mail adress to receive daily updates to your right and we will send you this 35 page memory-lane book abosolutely free.

A Pioneer in the Shrimping Industry


By: Nick Deonas

The following is an excerpt from the FREE book we are offering when you sign up for the daily news feed from SearchAmelia.com.

The first shrimp boat built by Mike Tiliakos was twenty feet in length. In 1919, when he built this first boat the industry was basically only six years old and no one thought it would grow into a global trade. Mike Tiliakos was a large man with big hands accustom to hard work and making things happen. He came to Fernandina in 1912 from Kalymnos, Greece. Mike was a third generation boat builder and at the age of eighteen decided to make his way to America and set new roots, that is exactly what he did. Mike first went to Tarpon Springs, Florida and worked in the sponge business before coming to Amelia Island for a visit.

Mike had no idea that he would fall in love with Fernandina or a eighteen year old, blue eyed Irish girl. Mike moved from Tarpon Springs to Fernandina and started working for a boat builder named Lambros until he could establish himself and get financial backing for starting his own business. Mike had a bicycle and a box of simple tools when he took Clara Cynthia Franks as his bride in 1919. Mike was a well liked man within the business community in Fernandina and it didn’t take long for him to find backers, before the end of 1919 he was in business for himself. From that time until his death in 1953 he maintained his love affair with both the town and his Clara. Mike and Clara had three children, Nick, Johnny and Anna. Johnny worked with his father in the boat building business and Nick managed their fleet of shrimp boats, Anna married Jimmy Deonas.

When Mike and Clara married she had no idea that she lost her citizen ship by marring an alien. She learned of this twenty years later and was naturalized as an American citizen, not bad for a girl born in Georgia and raised in Florida. Mike bought land on the Amelia River, 550 feet on the river just south of Ash Street, where the south parking lot for the city marina is located today. Mike not only built boats for other people but built them for himself also; he also built a packing house for processing, packing and shipping. Just ten years after Mike started his own business the country fell into the great depression. Mike was affected just as everyone else in this nation. Through trading of land and labor and doing work for barter Mike and Clara made it through those hard times.

When Mike was building boats he was happiest. He loved his family and his business and enjoyed a special zest for life, but he was old country Greek. He was the head of the household, even selecting his only daughter’s husband. He was a generous and proud man who was always willing to lend a helping hand to a friend. Mike had many friends and knew there were always many favors he could call in if needed.

Mike and Jimmy built boats the same way, the old world way. Each boat had three natural crook knees of live oak placed in the stern for support. They used the old process of boiling 2 X 4s in clear water and bending them while they were steaming hot into the shape needed. Once the wood cooled the shape was set and placed in the boat, these were the oak ribs of the boat. Both Mike and Jimmy had a unique way of making building these massive boats look so easy, and for them it was because of their love of boats.

Mike and Clara lived on North Fletcher Avenue on the ocean. Mike always wanted to be near the sea at all times. He would leave at daybreak to go the boatyard and start his day. When other workers arrived Mike had already accomplished much and his day was just beginning. Clara stayed home and took care of the house and children. Mike was loyal to his workers; one worker who started with him at an early age was Emanuel “Manny” Drummond. Manny worked with Mike and Johnny for years and was an accomplished boat builder himself; he passed his knowledge on to his son Osborn.

Mike died on May 8th, 1953 of cancer. Even during his illness he was still at the boatyard every day. I can remember a tool room that had a wicker cot in it, he would lay down on it during the day. To say this man had a love of family and business would be an understatement. His son Johnny was only 23 years old when his father died at the age of 61, Johnny continued to carry on the business of boat building. His brother Nick, took charge of rigging and managing the shrimp boats they owned together. Mike never returned to Greece for a visit, he loved Fernandina and his work and just never found the time.

The first boat Johnny built after his father died was named the Mr. Mike and over the next twenty years he built over 84 boats. Johnny died at the young age of 43 and that closed the chapter on Tiliakos boat building.

Pirates Invade Opening of the Beaches


The Fernandina Pirates helped Jacksonville Beach celebrate their Opening of the Beaches on Sunday and invaded the Sanddollar Restaurant, where the rock trio Blistur was performing, on their way back to Amelia Island. This club of nearly 100 swashbuckling volunteers will be performing during the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival on Amelia Island from April 30 thru May 3, 2009.

Where to Park During Shrimp Festival


The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is one of Amelia Island’s largest and most popular events. The three day long festival brings shrimpers, swashbucklers, and pirates to Fernandina Beach for seafood, fun and festivities. Here are some tips for avoiding traffic during the festivities. Read more

Fried Shrimp Recipe


You may not be able to hear your arteries clog as you read this, but this recipe for fried shrimp is so tasty it should come with a warning label!

2 lbs large shrimp
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbl spoon salt
1 tbl spoon pepper
2 tbl spoons oregano Read more

What is a Shrimp?


By: Lawrence Mackie

Since this week is the start of The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival I thought I would do some investigative research into what really is a shrimp. Here are my hard earned findings.

What is a shrimp?
1. Not the little kid you picked on in High School.
2. One of three basic categories- cold water or Northern, warm water or Southern, and freshwater. Cold water shrimp come from the North Atlantic and Northern Pacific Oceans. Warm water shrimp are from the Read more

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