Photos: Who was the Witch of Wellington? The answer with amazing photos

Suzan Strauss was known as the Lava Lady in Los Angeles in the 1990's, where she let photographer Osker Jimenez capture her in her DIY couture. (Osker Jimenez Exposure House)
Suzan Strauss on a street near her Los Angeles home in the 1990’s. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at local thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at Wellington thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)

In Florida’s suffocating heat, she wore head-to-toe black, as if in mourning a loss.

Consequently, locals dubbed her the Witch of Wellington.

Read the full story about this eccentric Wellington and Los Angeles icon

But in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and ’90’s, Suzan Strauss was a street style star for the colorful outfits she designed, always worn with platform boots as high as horses’ hooves and a towering hat covering her hair.

The effect, said photographer Osker Jimenez, was to make her look seven feet tall as she glided slowly along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, among the era’s pierced punks, dark goths and glam rock kids.

Fascinated with this self-assured, eccentrically-dressed woman, Jimenez photographed her for a decade, eventually publishing two books and staging a photo exhibition of his Strauss photos.

Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapers. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapes. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

 

Strauss' Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)
Strauss’ Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)

 

(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Strauss was born to an Orthodox Jewish family. In accordance with custom, she always wore hats or wigs to cover her hair. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding her home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding the lava rock-covered home that gave her the name “Lava Lady.” (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez' photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez’ photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

Can your scarecrow scare a crowd?

It’s your chance to be creative, scare some kids and win some cash! Once again, it’s time for the Annual Scarecrow Festival & Contest in downtown West Palm Beach which is Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. You’re welcome.

This spooky and interactive festival, presented by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, brings large crowds of local businesses, schools, families and community groups. So far, the Facebook event has 2.1k people interested in attending, and 200 confirmed for attending. And why wouldn’t you go? The cash prizes include the People’s Choice $300 prize, 1st place $200 prize, and 2nd place $100 prize.

Sawyer Smith, 2, of West Palm Beach, gets a high five from Curator of Education Tony Marconi during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Sawyer Smith, 2, of West Palm Beach, gets a high five from Curator of Education Tony Marconi during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

In addition to the scarecrow competition, this event will have plenty of family fall favorites like pumpkin decorating, a haystack hunt, museum tours, face painting, and plenty of music and food.

Related: Check out other Halloween events happening this fall

The 2014 winning Youth category scarecrow, featuring a “Frozen” theme, was made by students from Palm Beach Public Elementary. Representing the school are (from left) Layla Chong, Karina Chong, art teacher Jenn Petti and her daugher Kendall Petti, Juliana LaPapa and Angela Frankland.
The 2014 winning Youth category scarecrow, featuring a “Frozen” theme, was made by students from Palm Beach Public Elementary.

 If you attend events primarily for the food and drinks, this one is no exception. According to the event, this year’s agriculture booths will be better than ever, with a lot more organic foods to choose from. And, for those with a sweet tooth, bring some extra cash to buy all kinds of baked goodies. Did I mention there’s also a pie eating contest? 

Friends Parker Pressly, 7, left, and Georgina Keogh, 8, of Palm Beach, start the pie eating contest during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Friends Parker Pressly, 7, left, and Georgina Keogh, 8, of Palm Beach, start the pie eating contest during the Historical Society of Palm Beach County Scarecrow Festival and Contest in West Palm Beach on October 25, 2014. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Important: The deadline to enter the scarecrow contest is Thursday, Oct. 19, 2016. Entry forms are available online at hspbc.org or http://bit.ly/2auwgcJ.

The Details:

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.

Where: The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. 300 N. Dixie Highway. West Palm Beach, Fl. 33401. Free event parking on 4th street

Contact: For ticket and group tickets: 561-832-4164, ext. 103 or www.historicalsocietypbc.org.

Cost: $10 per person (kids under 3 free). All inclusive Available at the door and in advance at www.hspbc.org

 

Hurricane Matthew: Kravis Center in West Palm Beach cancels two upcoming shows

Hurricane Matthew Update: The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts announces the cancellation of “Goodnight Moon” and “The Runaway Bunny” originally scheduled for Oct. 6 through Oct. 8, and “Songs of Freedom” on Oct. 6.  Guests who purchased tickets will be receiving an automatic refund.

To get the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew, check out WeatherPlus blog. 

Original story: As part of their 25th anniversary, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts presents Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny Oct. 6 to 8 and Songs of Freedom on Oct. 6 in West Palm Beach.

The first two are animal puppet shows are based on classic Margaret Wise Brown children’s books with scenic effects and music that attract kids ages 2 to 7.

 

The Deets:

WhatGoodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny

When: Saturday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m.

Where: The Kravis Center is located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL.

Cost: $12 per person.

Contact: Call 561-832-7469 or visit the official website at http://www.kravis.org/

Halloween Horror Nights: killers, ghouls and one very scary little girl

the-exorcist
The face of ‘The Exorcist’s little possessed girl Regan (Linda Blair). who haunted my dreams for years as a kid. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.)

ORLANDO — When the leaves turn brown and begin to fall, when the weather starts getting a tad nippier at night, when the NFL season is in full swing, that only means one thing….it’s time to get the living heck scared out of you at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort.

Yes, the 26th annual frightfest returns Friday, running on select nights through Oct. 31 with nine haunted houses, including those featuring Leatherface, the chainsaw-loving homicidal maniac from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre;” Michael Myers, the knife-wielding, slow-walking killer from, oh, 68 “Halloween”  films; the bloodthirsty zombies from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and, the one I’m looking forward to most, the pea soup-spewing, head-spinning demonic little girl from “The Exorcist” – still the scariest movie ever made.

If that’s not enough, look for more chills and thrills inside “American Horror Story,” FX’s wildly popular anthology, but ridiculously violent, series and “Krampus,” a horned creature who punishes children at Christmastime. Gives new meaning to the “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” lyrics, “You better watch out/You better not cry/You better not pout/I’m telling you why,” doesn’t it?

Also look for five scare zones and two live shows.

Anyone who really knows me, knows Halloween Horror Nights is one of my favorite events of the year. I moved to Florida from New York in 1996 with my family and I’ve been to every HHN since.

What I looked like before venturing inside Michael Myers' house at Halloween Horror Nights two years ago.
What I looked like before venturing inside Michael Myers’ house at Halloween Horror Nights two years ago.

Two years ago was one of my favorites as I stood toe-to-toe with Michael Myers, wondering if I was going to make it out of his Haddonfield, Ill., house alive. OK, so I wasn’t really wondering that since this is all make-believe stuff, but, hey, work with me here.

This year, I’m psyched about “The Exorcist,” a movie that haunted my dreams for months after seeing it as an 11-year-old kid when the film premiered in 1973. I wasn’t alone. Moviegoers were reported fainting in theaters. I wasn’t that bad. I just covered my eyes a lot. If I had another set of hands, I would’ve covered my ears while little girl Regan (Linda Blair) was speaking in tongues. I still haven’t forgiven my mom for taking me.

Anyway, I’m 54 now. Way past the childhood trauma of watching a little girl’s head spin 360 degrees while she’s saying the kind of naughty things no little girl has any business saying.

At least, I hope I’m past that trauma. I’ve seen the film several times since 1973 and usually rent it around Halloween as part of my own personal “Horrorfest” movie marathon I host at home. But watching a film and seeing a possessed little girl whose voice is deeper than mine in person are two different things.

Look for an upcoming blog on my reaction to little girl Regan’s evil antics in the coming weeks.

For more ghoulish information on HHN, click here….if you dare! (Cue sinister laugh)

 

 

Wahlburgers (with special guest Mark Wahlberg) to open in Orlando

mark-wahlberg

 

Get ready for the Wahlberg brothers to take over Orlando.

The three brothers will be bringing their burger joint, Wahlburgers, to Orlando with a new location opening on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. on Orange Ave, according to Orlando Weekly. The grand opening will also include an appearance by all three brothers — including “Ted 2” and “Daddy’s Home” star Mark Wahlberg.

“We’re excited about the opening, we’ve got Mark and Paul confirmed to come into town, but we have a few more last details to lock up before we announce an opening date,” Kimberly Simeone Tessitore, spokeswoman for Wahlburgers, told the Orlando Business Journal.

The Orlando Business Journal reported that this store is the first of 20 planned Wahlburgers locations in Florida with the expansion expected to include between 100 and 150 new stores in the next five years across the country.

The restaurant is also the subject of an A&E TV series, which will premiere its fourth season on July 15. It is unclear at this time whether the new Orlando location will be featured in any episodes.