Old Times Continue Unity in the Community Tradition

by Lynn Jones – Author, coach and educator Nathanial Farley organized this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Old-timers Day.’  Held at northside’s Charles ‘Boobie’ Clark Park, the 26th annual event brings together Jaxsons of all sectors for celebration of unity, fun and fellowship.  Going on 77-years-old, Farley has been there since the inception and is cultivating the next generation to continue the legacy. Farleys’s commitment, just like that of creator Ronald Elps and even of Martin Luther King., Jr helps to demonstrates the power of one.

“This is a time of reflection for us as African Americans and for our ancestors and remembrance of our beloved old-timer founder James ‘Track’ Elps,’’ said founders brother Jerome Elps. Elps was a City of Jacksonville Recreation and Parks employee who created the Old-timers MLK day and was instrumental in bringing together the community with flag football games, bbq’s and boys to men in the park mentoring sessions.

Throughout the year,  day-long festival has been held deep in the city’s northside and there has never been an incidence of violence. Highlighting the event was a collage display of Duval’s African American black history mentors that paved the way during Jacksonville’s civil rights activism years and those that stood alongside MLK during his historic moments. “This was a great day.  Remembrance of any kind is a way to know we are connected as a community,” said attendee Sholanda Quarles.

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