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Happy 80th Birthday, Jim Guines

| February 28, 2012

Jim Guines. (© FlaglerLive)

Just before Christmas Jim Guines, the popular, mordant, long-time Flagler County School Board member, was hospitalized with a recurring leg ailment that may have contributed to a stroke while he was in surgery. He’s been in rehab since. On Sunday (Feb. 26), Guines celebrated his 80th birthday with his wife LaVerne, his daughter and son-in-law Kim and Ervin Blowe, and some three dozen people who braved the neon-lit halls of Grand Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center to bring a little more jovial light to Guines’s surroundings.

Guines’ left side has been somewhat incapacitated by the stroke, but improvement since December has been visible. It’s not known when he might leave rehab, but sometime in March is a good bet.

“I’m feeling good,” Guines said. “All things that I can control, my arm, my sense of humor, my brain. I’m ready to go to work again. I’m ready to get involved in the community, stirring up some news.” It isn’t in Guines’s nature to be awake without stirring up something.

Guines, who is a member of the FlaglerLive board of directors, retired from the school board in April 2007, just five months after winning his fourth consecutive election. He’d retired to Palm Coast in 1988 after 17 years as an assistant superintendent in the Washington, D.C., school system. On the local board he quickly burnished a reputation as an outspoken, at times brash board member who had no worries about occasionally antagonizing his colleagues or the public, only to rally opponents back to his side with his “Smokin’ Jim” barbecue enterprize, which he wheeled to ballgames and special events around town.

Guines was ailing in spring 2007 and needing a break. He took it, recovered, and got involved again, off the board, as a mentor and counselor–especially to a few politicians or would-be politicians in town. He ran attorney Raven Sword’s unsuccessful campaign for school board, against John Fischer, in 2010, and was among the more reasonable voices that prevailed, last fall, in getting the school board to reverse its decision to cancel the staging of “To Kill a Mockingbird” for fear that racial slurs might cause trouble.

More recently, from an iPad his family acquired for him, he’s been following the uniform controversy at the school board–and lending his support to the pro-uniform side of things. “A lot of things going down since I got sick,” he said–an understatement that, next to a birthday cake and ice cream, didn’t need elaboration.

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15 Responses for “Happy 80th Birthday, Jim Guines”

  1. Jennifer Kuiper says:

    Happy birthday Dr. Guines! I hope you’re feeling better and getting the best possible care at the rehabilitation center! We need your voice back out here in the community!

  2. S Robinson says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Guines. Hope your back on your feet soon.

  3. Evie Shellenberger via Facebook says:

    Happy Birthday Dr. Guines. I hope your health continues to improve.

  4. palmcoaster says:

    Happy Birthday Mr.Guines and we are all waiting to see you rolling again and soon!

  5. Bill B says:

    Best wishes to “Smokin’ Jim”. When I first moved here Dr. Guines had a BBQ column in the community newspaper. He was very helpful in his advice to us novices. He’s a good man and a great cook! Happy Birthday!

  6. w.ryan says:

    I have heard of Jim Guines from the moment I touched down in Palm Coast. On flaglerlive we shared opinions and it was nice that we related with many of our posts, It was an extreme honor to have met him within this last year. I wish I had met him sooner. Happy birthday Dr. Guines. I wish you a speedy recovery. See you soon.

  7. Liana G says:

    Happy Birthday Dr Guines! Pro-uniform supporter eh … nice…

    A poem for you. Get well soon…and stay good :-)

    On Good and Evil
    Kahlil Gibran

    Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
    For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
    Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

    You are good when you are one with yourself.
    Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
    For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.
    And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.

    You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
    Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
    For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
    Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”
    For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

    You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,
    Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.
    And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

    You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.
    Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.
    Even those who limp go not backward. But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

    You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,
    You are only loitering and sluggard.
    Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

    In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.
    But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.
    And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.
    But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”
    For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment?” nor the houseless, “What has befallen your house?”

    Take care and stay strong…. you too LaVerne

  8. Elana Lee says:

    Happy Birthday, Jim! I’ve been wondering were you were! I’d love to come visit when you’re up for company. But I just can’t believe you are 80!!! My goodness, you don’t look a day over 79 !!! LOL We love you Jim Guines!!!

  9. Colleen Walsh Conklin via Facebook says:

    Happy Birthday My Friend! Love you!!

  10. Sue Dickinson says:

    Sorry I missed your special day. Hope it was a great one. Keep up the hard work and soon you’ll be back in your beautiful home. Take care and my love to Laverne.

  11. roco says:

    Happy birthday Dr. Guines. You were the BEST school board member we’ve ever had on the board. You were there wih students best interest in mind and not like your fellow members who were only in it for the money.. Again Congrats..

  12. Jim Guines says:

    Thanks for the happy birthday notes and wishes.
    Jim guines

  13. David says:

    Happy Birthday Dr. Guines. Your Barbecue Chicken recipe is the best.

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