Monday, August 22, 2022

James David Pleasant, R.I.P.

When David Brian Wallace and I moved to St. Augustine in 1999, we watched in horror as City burghers proceeded to pass Nuremberg-style laws forbidding art, music or having fun on St. George Street.

We watched City Commission on tv.  The one speaker who really made an impression on us was James David Pleasant, dressed in a pinstripe suit and sounding like a West Virginia gentlemen, which he was (descended from former Virginia and West Virginia elected officials).  J.D., a longtime video correspondent for Fox News in Jacksonville, spoke eloquently, passionately and from the heart -- the City was wrong and the artists and musicians were right.  

We first met on June 11, 2005, when J.D. was videotaping anti-Gay antics of a crowd of urchins led by right-wing energumen DOUGLAS RUSSO (now a candidate for School Board).

My friend J.D. Pleasant died Friday, at age 81 of a heart condition. 

For years, J.D. was the heart and soul of the movement to preserve and protect the rights of the artists, musicxians and buskers of St. Augustine. 

J.D. educated me about the ways and means of WILLIAM BARRY HARRISS, evil St. Augustine City Manager, and his cronies, in suppressing art and music on St. George Street. 

J.D.'s  classic video, "St. George Street Saga" exposed the truth of our Nation's Oldest CIty's despotism, some remedied by a series of epic federal court cases filed by the late William Sheppard, including a $23,5000 jury verdict for Warren Celli, for four hours of First Amendment violations where his St. Aug Dog. newspaper was not allowed to be distriuted, on illegal orders of SAPD and CoSA satraps. 

Here's the St. Augustine Record obituary: 

Joseph (J.D./Jai) David Pleasant

St. Augustine Record Obituaries in Saint Augustine, FL | St. Augustine Record


Joseph (J.D./Jai) David Pleasant, age 81, passed away August 12, 2022 at his home in St. Augustine, FL surrounded by his family and his fur-baby. Jai is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Patricia Pleasant; their daughters Amanita Pleasant Bessette (Chris); and Sheia Pleasant-Doine (Adam); and granddaughter, August Pleasant-Doine. 

Jai was born in Pittsburg, PA to the late Joseph Pleasant and Dorothy (Tustin) Pleasant on March 3, 1941. He was a gentle soul who preached peace and love, and believed that fighting the good fight was always worth it. You could find him feeding the squirrels and birds in his backyard, or tending to his plants. He viewed life through the lens of his camera, and his career centered on his love of photography and videography, especially his television show, St. Augustine After Hours. Among Jai’s greatest joys in life were attending Woodstock, playing softball, gardening, and spending time with his family. 

Family will be receiving friends at Craig Funeral Home, 1475 Old Dixie Hwy, on Thursday, August 25, 2022 from 5:00-7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida. To honor his love of gardening, his family encourages you to grow a plant in Jai’s memory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From the street musicians and artists, to the bogus election of Donald Trump who lost the popular vote, to the horrible economic and political system here in America...the common theme with all of it is lack of democracy. Authoritarianism everywhere you turn. When large majorities of people can agree on something yet it never gets done... authoritarian forces are at play. Corruption and injustice are baked into the nation. When the people are divided, the forces of authoritarianism and evil profit.