Three Veterans

Faces of CHWB: Julio Fernandez, Ed Taylor, Floyd Mishoe, Veteran Friends

by admin
November 11, 2019

In the dark early morning, Ed Taylor, Floyd Mishoe and Julio Fernandez sit at the gray rectangular tables outside of Nourish Coffee Bar + Kitchen and patiently wait for the doors to open at the Center for Health & Wellbeing.

It’s 3:30 a.m. The men bring their water and hot tea to stay hydrated and solve the world’s problems outside of Nourish. Between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., they come in, workout, shower and return home. They’re the first ones to arrive at the Center and the first ones to leave.

“If I don’t come early [to the Center for Health & Wellbeing], I ain’t coming,” Fernandez says.

And the two veterans of the trio—Taylor and Mishoe—agree. They’ve been early to everything in their lives they say, including their time together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fernandez and Mishoe come to the Center every day, except Sundays when they rest.

“I had to be at work for 35 years at 4 o’clock in the morning so it’s not like early morning is new for me,” Mishoe says.

As veterans, this is early-to-rise and the discipline that accompanies the military mindset is a way of life for Taylor and Mishoe. Mishoe, 75, is a former Army soldier who volunteered to serve in the Vietnam War in 1965. He was wounded in his first operation by friendly fire. After two injuries, he returned home. Mishoe was a jogger for many years until he hurt his knee, and he says giving up jogging was like giving up cocaine.

Born and raised in Orlando, Taylor, 87, quit Orlando High School in the middle of his junior year in 1945 to serve in the U.S. Navy, where he taught electronics to other sailors.

These early morning hangouts are as routine as their military schedules. They sit outside of Nourish in the early morning conversing about the daily politics of the country, what they call the “current political situation.”

“We live, breathe and move politics,” Mishoe says. “Not many people of the Left can stand to be around us for very long.”

A Life at the Center

The friends have very few disagreements about our current state of affairs. They not only share similar political viewpoints; they share an identical upbringing, living in Central Florida when there were orange groves left and right. Taylor and Mishoe both joke they’re “Florida Crackers” who, when young, were raised to eat everything they harvested or helped raise, including livestock. Although Fernandez was born in Cuba, he, too, enjoyed a diet of livestock and harvested greens after moving to Central Florida in 1967.

“We all represent the old values,” Mishoe says. “We’re not part of the modern hierarchy. We all knew what it was like to pump the old water to wash clothes.”

After each suffered a heart attack, these three musketeers started their own personal fitness journey, subscribing to a regimen.

“I don’t have any heart problems now. I lost about forty pounds recently and I am completely off insulin now,” Taylor says. “I used to be on two kinds of insulin.”

Fernandez pipes in.

“I tell him, don’t worry about how much you lost, I gain it for him,” he says. The men laugh in unison because what are friends for if not for carrying the weight of their loved ones?

It’s been 14 years ago since they met in the “old” Crosby Wellness Center. They mingled with others over coffee.

Coffee is a fuel for them. On the first day Nourish opened, Mishoe was the very first customer. His order? A coffee.  “They have my coffee ready for me before I’m even here,” he says.

But, Fernandez quips it’s not the coffee he cares for. It’s about the socializing with his friends that gets him coming back to the Center. The group also still meets once a month at Steak N’ Shake for breakfast with five other friends.

Yet, nothing seems to beat the camaraderie and routine they like to carry on at the Center.

“This is my social life, “ Taylor says. “My social life is the wellness center and my social life boils down to the three of us.”

Ed Taylor (left), Julio Fernandez (middle) and Floyd Mishoe (right) are the first ones to arrive at the Center and the first to leave, patiently waiting for the doors to open at 5 a.m.

Ed Taylor (left), Julio Fernandez (middle) and Floyd Mishoe (right) are the first ones to arrive at the Center and the first to leave, patiently waiting for the doors to open at 5 a.m.

Related Articles

Stress Tips for Returning to A New “Normal” in COVID Times

Stress Tips for Returning to A New “Normal” in COVID Times

A year ago today, the world was on full lockdown. Businesses were closing, families were staying home, students and teachers began remote schooling. We entered a global pandemic, with set expectations that it would only last a few months, if not weeks.  A year and change later, many of us are returning to in-person work…

Read Article

Food Moods – 5 Ways to Improve Your Mood with Food

Food is fuel. Food is medicine. Food is memories. It’s so easy to get caught up in this year’s trendy diet that we forget our nourishment can mean much more than what’s on our plate or what calories we’re consuming. Whether it’s feeling inspired, hoping for the best or cherishing the moments that take our…

Read Article
Hindsight is 2020: Finding Purpose in the New Year

Hindsight is 2020: Finding Your Purpose in the New Year

Many of us are probably too scared or hesitant to tell ourselves that 2021 will be our year. The dumpster fire of 2020 really proved that anything is possible in this world and anything can ultimately muck up our plans. We’re here to tell you that it’s okay to be skeptical and nervous for the…

Read Article

Get the Whole Story - Sign Up for Our Newsletter