North Shore Park Regular – Al Nixon

Today I visited North Shore Park to count some blessings and attempt to wrap my head around the turmoil overseas.

When it became clear that Russia was invading Ukraine, I followed the coverage much of the night. I couldn’t stop. The gravity of the air raid sirens, explosions and tactical maneuvers were all very surreal. All while trying to somehow place myself in the shoes of those families in harms way.
What would I be doing at this moment with Amy and Colt? What could I offer for safety and protection? Even the reporters, with merely a flak jacket and helmet. That was no protection against a missile strike. I’ll leave it at that, but believe we need to keep everyone involved at the top of our minds. And for those who pray, certainly in our prayers.

St Pete Native and Everyday Visitor to North Shore Park

While at the park, I noticed Al Nixon. Anyone familiar? He’s the St Pete native who many pass every morning as he watches the sunrise. Mr. Nixon has watched the daily sunrise from the same spot (arrow) for nearly 8 years now. His morning ritual for “personal reflection and to help cope with the stress of life.”

ABC News Article on Al Nixon

Per the ABC news article below, his visits have turned into more. “His simple act of sitting on a bench and acknowledging strangers passing by has morphed into something more powerful than he could’ve ever imagined.” “I was reminded by a woman about a year in that this is not just about me,” Al said. “She said she knows everything is going to be okay when I show up and keep coming.”
“Humans are creatures of habit. And, something about Al’s consistency, stability, repetition, or whatever you want to call it has inspired others. […] The love is pure, and that’s what we get from each other,” Al said. “The power of a frown or smile is limitless. We get a smile; we give a smile. The smile you see of mine is the 50 smiles I see before you saw mine.”

Full ABC Action News article: St. Pete native watches the sunrise from Vinoy Park every day (

Info on North Shore Park Below:

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Address: 901 North Shore Dr. NE, St Pete

Phone: (727) 893-7298

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