No one man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” – John Donne
I have often (ok, more than often) referred to the village of Goodland as an island. I always knew it really wasn’t it’s own island, but using the terms village, town or community sometimes becomes redundant which you will notice as you continue to read. I resort to using the term island for the sake of diversity, but in all reality Goodland is connected to Marco Island.
An aerial map of the area shows the long and straight connection from Marco to the fork in the road that leads to Goodland. The famous curves of the Goodland road are surrounded by mangroves and lead one to believe they are entering into a whole new island. Yet, the mangroves actually connect us, and they always have. The curvy road was, in fact, carved through the mangroves to meet San Marco Road after its construction.
Even the municipality boundaries that many are easily confused by (and for good reason) show the clear connection between Marco Island and Goodland. Marco Island is responsible for maintaining the curvy road, and the two of the marinas located at either end of the road are considered to be Marco Island. The boundaries are so bizarre that the first road to turn right on, which leads to Calusa Marina (Marco Island), is divided directly in half between the county and the village. The other side of the road, which features a row of condominiums, is technically the beginning of Goodland, which then falls under the county’s jurisdiction.
Regardless of the official boundaries or the fact that Goodland is not an island unto itself, I would say the village acts and feels as such. We are all connected here — through work, family, friendships, community service and the fact that our neighbors are easily within shouting distance when we need a favor or have a question.
“No man is an island,” and Goodland isn’t either. Each and every character — because everyone is a character in their own right — makes our town feel like an island of its very own. Neighbors take care of one another, and businesses here treat each other with respect. People work together for the benefit of the village and others. The Goodland Civic Association and Goodland Arts Alliance are both great examples of camaraderie.
The upcoming Annual Mullet Festival at the end of January is another example of how the village comes together. Hosted at Stan’s, our .6 square mile dot on the map becomes a playground for thousands to enjoy. All the other restaurants in town participate, and an arts and crafts show will be held in the park. Visitors have the chance to feel the fun and the friendships that so many here share.
In February, the Annual Goodland Boat Parade, another extremely popular event, is put on to raise money for Avow Hospice. Again, the whole town participates — decorating boats, volunteering to sell raffle tickets or t-shirts or working at the local restaurants to feed people as they watch. The local restaurants offer raffle tickets and prizes as well. All of the funds raised are given to Avow.
The community clearly works together. Need I say more? I don’t think so.
I do want to make one other point: We do not segregate ourselves from Marco Island — or what we call “going into town.” After all, that’s where we grocery shop, fill up our gas tanks, bank, go out to dinner, buy our clothes and our booze. We need Marco; we are a part of Marco; we are a part of something bigger than ourselves or Goodland.
Then again, we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves regardless of where we live. It’s just nice to live in a place where people really seem to understand that. I’m lucky to live here; I’ve been lucky to call Goodland home for a long time.
I guess, in all reality, this entire article is basically a long retraction for all the mistakes I’ve made over the past three years referring to Goodland as an island. I’m sorry. I hope you all can forgive me for this blunder, but after all, I am only one woman…