Photo gallery: Colby Parrish and Dunedin’s Enchanted Earth represent the softer side of witchcraft

Going to Enchanted Earth and talking with Colby Parrish was unlike any experience I’ve ever had. Though I’m Christian, and this way of life has never fallen under my beliefs, I find it interesting in getting to know people and trying to understand their mindset on spiritual matters. Colby said his clients are wide-ranging, and many seek out his services if only for an opinion or advice. From a Mormon family, he said nothing has ever spiritually and emotionally connected with him as his current beliefs and practices do. Meeting the owner of the shop, a Stevie Nicks with red hair, as well as some of the other “witches”, I was surprised at how content they seemed. They say they believe there was a Jesus, which shocked me, but that he was just one of the many gods and goddesses that make up the universe. It was clear to me by the end of the conversation that all people, no matter beliefs and practices, simply want to find some kind of comfort in something and the people that share in the same ideologies. Believing is truth in the minds of us all.

 

Going to Enchanted Earth in Dunedin and talking to Colby Parrish was unlike any experience I have ever had.

Though I believe in Christianity — and this way of life has never fallen under my beliefs — I found it interesting getting to know these people and trying to understand their mindset on spiritual matters.

Parrish said his clients are wide-ranging, and that many seek out his services only for his opinion or advice.

Born into a Mormon family, Parrish said nothing has ever spiritually or emotionally connected with him like his current beliefs and practices.

Meeting the owner of the shop — a Stevie Nicks lookalike but with red hair — as well as others that identify themselves as, “witches,” I was surprised at how content they all seemed.

The witches said they believe there was once a Jesus, which shocked me. But they believe that he was just one of the many gods and goddesses that make up the universe.

It was clear to me by the end of our conversation, that all people — no matter beliefs and practices — simply just want to find some kind of comfort in something, and the people that share in the same ideologies.

To me, believing is truth in the minds of us all.

Simplicity and Quality Help a Small Clearwater Store Last

A 3-foot sculpture of a rooster greets customers from its perch on the corner of the roof. Inside, more roosters rest on a shelf cluttered with old photos and licenses. This is where Milto Tagaras,  son to the original owners of John’s Produce, works as a partial owner.

John’s Produce has been a fixture in Pinellas County for over 37 years, according to the Pinellas County Property Appraiser website.  The store is currently stationed on the corner of Belcher and Nursery Roads in Clearwater. Tagaras credits their current location to a man, Mr. Logan, who sold the space to his parents at a young age. Tagaras said Mr. Logan had recognized John and Eva Tagaras as hard-working immigrants from Greece and agreed to sell them the location.

“We started out on Walsingham. Then we moved to where that bank is now,” said Tagaras pointing across the street. “Then over where Café Charlie is. We own that building. Then where the Shell station is now. Then to here. There’s heavy traffic. It’s a great area.”

Milto Tagaras holds a picture of his parents, John and Eva Tagaras, in front of their third location. The background shows the unfinished building that now houses Café Charlie.

Tagaras credits the success of the business to the relationship his father has made with farmers markets over the past three decades. He also added they have a simple philosophy when it comes to stocking  their produce.

“It’s a triple win. We buy premium product. It looks good, people will pay a fair price for it, and we never have to throw anything away, “ he said.

Customer Richard Brunelle agrees. Carrying his basket while talking to Tagaras about their different locations, Brunelle discussed how he has been coming to John’s Produce since the store moved to its third location over 15 years ago.

“I come here for the tomatoes. They are the best and the cheapest,“ said Brunelle.

When asked about the dry goods section of the store, Tagaras offers a more complicated explanation.  According to Tagaras, the request for specific imported items came after the beginning of the Kosovo War brought an influx of immigrants to the United States.

rambutans

German and Croatian products on the shelves of John’s Produce. Rambutans on sale with the price handwritten on cardboard.

“At first, people would cosign the products they wanted from their home countries.” said Tagaras. As certain products became more popular, they would remain on the shelves.  Now products with German, Polish, Bosnian and Greek origin can be found throughout the store.

“People would be willing to pay $10 for the water they wanted. They wouldn’t drink Zephyrhills water, so they came here,” said Tagaras.

front entrance

The front entrance of John’s Produce.

The customers continue to return, including the owners from La Bella Eva Restaurant and King’s Food Mart, who come to buy fresh produce. Tagaras feels the business’ success comes from a simple place.

“The name Tagaras comes from ταγάρια. It’s the bags put on donkeys to take food to markets. It’s like how the name Miller comes from people who milled and Smiths worked with metal. We come from a line of people who do this.”

 

 

No shortage of style, innovation at Old 7th Ave. tattoo shop

Tattoo culture in North America has evolved significantly over the 20th and 21st centuries. With the introduction of traditional American style  in the 1940s, connotations of body art have surpassed stereotypes and have become one of the most significant and popular activities of our generation.

Piercer and tattoo artist Chuck Andre, particularly focuses on Japanese styled tattoos. With the evolution of the traditional american tattoo, styles such as Tribal, Religious, Asian and Graphic, to mention a few, have developed and taken over tattoo culture today.Piercer and tattoo artist Chuck Andre particularly focuses on Japanese style tattoos. With the evolution of the traditional American tattoo, styles such as tribal, religious, Asian and graphic, to mention a few, have also developed and taken over tattoo culture.

Studio Art major Jessica Reynolds, dedicated her first piece to her daughter's birthday. "I felt like I wanted to honor my daughter and have that constant visual reminder that keeps me pushing through  obstacles that I may over come every single day." Reyonlds said.
Studio art major Jessica Reynolds, dedicated her first piece to her daughter’s birthday. “I felt like I wanted to honor my daughter, and have that constant visual reminder that keeps me pushing through obstacles that I may come across every single day. It’s because of her that I can’t and won’t give up,” Reyonlds said.
For retail manager Stephen Brown, tattooing is a way of expressing himself and thoughts that he is not able to express in words. Tattoos for him are cathartic and allow him to feel like he is creating a 'prettier' and happier version of himself.
For retail manager Stephen Brown, tattooing is a way of expressing himself and the thoughts that he is not able to express in words. Tattoos are cathartic for him. Brown said they allow him to feel like he is creating a “prettier” and happier version of himself.
James Squier pays an homage to Traditional American tattooing with a black and white twist. His favorite works are specific to  portraits inspired by nurses and medical care in wartime particularly during Pearl Harbor.
James Squier pays homage to traditional American tattooing with his own black and grey twist. Some of his favorite pieces are portraits inspired by nurses and medical care during wartime, particularly from Pearl Harbor.
Old 7th Avenue Tattoo shop artist Jill Krznaric specializes in color and Traditional American pinup girls. "Using color brings a piece to life. I think it is essential to truly capture the beauty of tattooing. The girls that I draw for clients have spunk and attitude and I like to achieve that with my palette of inks." Krnaric said.
Old 7th Avenue Tattoo shop artist Jill Krznaric specializes in color and traditional American pinup girls. “Using color brings a piece to life. I think it is essential to truly capture the beauty of tattooing. The girls that I draw for clients have spunk and attitude and I like to achieve that with my palette of inks,” Krznaric said.
Artist and tattoo artist Adam Dunning prefers large scale pieces of body art. Spending days at a time creating a piece, Dunning sees tattooing as taking a piece of art and tediously placing it on human skin. The permanence and outcome of the sketch and tattoo process is one that Dunning would never trade for the world.
Tattoo artist Adam Dunning prefers large-scale pieces of body art. Spending days at a time creating a piece, Dunning sees tattooing as taking a piece of art and meticulously placing it on human skin. The permanence and outcome of the sketch and tattoo process is one that Dunning would never trade for the world.
"Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it turned into a butterfly." freshman Gia Coleman explains her favorite tattoo. "It brings me light in the darkest of times."
“Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it turned into a butterfly,” freshman Gia Coleman said. “It brings me light in the darkest of times.”