By Martie Thompson
During Stacey Goldring’s first visit to Mandarin about 30 years ago, she met her future husband. On her second visit, she found her new hometown. Goldring earned a journalism degree from Ohio State University and it was while on Spring Break that she visited her cousins in Mandarin and met Bruce, who attended the University of Florida and was her cousin’s roommate in Gainesville. After getting married, the couple spent time in South Florida, where Stacey wrote for several newspapers and Bruce, an airline pilot, had easy access to three airports.
But eventually they decided to move north, to Mandarin, to be close to family and raise their two young sons. They settled off Beauclerc Road at the time, but now live off Julington Creek Road. Their sons are now grown; one lives locally and one lives in Tampa. Stacy Goldring says she is a proud member of the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society — and has her Mandarin Frog in front of her house.
Q: How did you become a sidewalk advocate in Mandarin?
A: In the early days, my life was doing carpool up San Jose Boulevard from Scott Mill Road. A lot of my best ideas came to me while doing carpool. I noticed that you would take your life in your hands walking along my carpool route. With the help of many others, we formed the Scott Mill Road Coalition and were able to get money from the Better Jacksonville Plan to fund the pedestrian walkway that now runs from the Chevron station on San Jose, to Beauclerc to Scott Mill Road to where it dead ends at Mandarin Road and then to San Jose. We worked diligently with city hall and the sidewalks were dedicated in 2002.
Q: What are some of your other advocacies?
A: This is basically what I now do for a living. I was lucky to be able to make my passion my profession and it all revolves around the written word. I formed the Searching for Identity Foundation and work with second generation Holocaust survivors to offer writing workshops where they share their experiences. They write and we discuss.
Q: Has anything else come out of this project?
A: I’m also working on a documentary about these writings. These stories need to be captured, told, and passed down to future generations. I also teach a class at the University of Florida. I’m working on many fronts to ensure that this history — an American immigrant experience … parents survived a horrific event — is not forgotten.
Q: What can you tell us about your book clubs?
A: I also started professional book facilitations called Chapter Endnotes in Mandarin in 2007. We are now up to seven groups that meet monthly. These are book clubs where we seriously delve into literature. We leave politics and religion at the door and just discuss the book, because I believe literature offers a springboard to understanding each other.
Q: If you could eat just one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: I consider myself a “dessert-a-tarian.” If it’s bad for you, I’ll eat it.
[Editor’s Note: Visit www.searchingforidentity.org to learn more about Stacey Goldring’s work with second generation Holocaust survivors and www.chapterendnotes.com to learn more about her book clubs.]
Photo courtesy Stacey Goldring
Stacey Goldring at Tree Hill, while filming for her documentary work.