Hollywood Beach lost one of its true champions with the passing of Audrey Joynt in March. A native of Philadelphia, she is survived by her husband, Joe. Also surviving are children, Joanne Kowaluk, Jacqui Rowley and Marty and Brian Joynt as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Audrey and Joe met on a moonlight cruise on the Potomac River, a meeting they sailed to 67-years of marriage. Audrey and Joe came to Hollywood in 1975 to help move Audrey’s mother. “We were looking to buy a duplex we could share with Audrey’s mother,” Joe recalled. “We saw an ad, ‘Beach Hotel For Sale’ with a phone number in the old Sun Tattler newspaper. We called and after the owner found we weren’t real estate agents, we met and he agreed to carry the mortgage and suddenly we were in the motel business.”
Audrey and Joe lived in their beach bungalow home on Carolina Street, across from the old Howard Johnson Hotel (now the Marriott) just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. Their living room window was always open for view. “You knew when we were home,” Joe laughed. The home was remodeled from the old Aquarius Motel they bought long ago.
“She was the best Mom,” said daughter, Jacqui. “Just kind and good. We always had stray kids hanging around the house. Hollywood Beach meant everything to her, it was her world. It was hard when my folks had to move west into assisted living. They missed the beach so much.”
In 1999, Hollywood began the redevelopment of the beach Broadwalk and Audrey wanted to be sure local residents and business owners had a voice in the changes coming to her beloved home. Remember, this was the time when the popular Broadwalk was black asphalt and most of the beachside businesses were in need of a facelift. With the help of Jimmy Fanning and Tony Provenzano, the Hollywood Beach Business Association (HBBA) was born with Audrey becoming the first President of an organization still going strong today. Many of Audrey’s and HBBA suggestions are part of the Hollywood Beach you see today. The HBBA is active in making for a safer, more attractive Hollywood Beach for businesses, residents and visitors.
Debra Case, former owner of Ocean Alley and Hollywood City Commissioner, learned the ins and outs of Hollywood Beach from Audrey. “I was a mountain girl from Vermont,” Case said. “Audrey taught me how to be a beach girl. She was my mentor and a great friend.” Case followed in Audrey’s footsteps as HBBA President.
The Cahoots cover that garnished the most attention was a 2010 story claiming that Audrey and Joe were the original models for Ken and Barbie and had escaped the entertainment hustle and bustle of the other Hollywood for a quite life on Florida’s Hollywood Beach. Audrey and Joe were great sports. I can still hear Audrey saying, “We’re In!” when I pitched them the silly idea.
Audrey, you are missed! Thanks for what you’ve done for the Beach you loved and loved you back. A life well lived.