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Goodland Life

Goodland Civic Association Ends Season on High Note

Greg Bello and Richard Welch grilling Olde Marco Lodge hamburgers. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net The GCA was incorporated on May 2, 1978. Its by-laws call for a meeting, open to the public, to be held every third Tuesday of each month, from October through April. It meets in the Goodland Community Center, at 417 Mango Ave. After April, we get to leave town or do some serious recreating. For as long as I have been on the board, we have faithfully adhered to this schedule. In addition, we have a potluck supper before each meeting, featuring specialties and delicacies of our members. These guys are good. Most of ... Read More »

Goodland Goes Automated; AED Volunteers Ready to Assist

Digitized map of Goodland with marked AED locations. PHOTOS BY BARRY GWINN

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com The Goodland Civic Association (GCA) really cares about the well-being of our residents. The GCA actually does something about it. The following is one such story. There are others, but none involve life and death like this one. Theresa Morgan is a personal friend of mine. She also sits on the board of the Goodland Civic Association and puts in countless hours of community service here. In her spare time she runs a thriving CPA business, which among other things, does my taxes. She has spearheaded the effort to coordinate with Collier County, and ... Read More »

Goodland Gets Its Own Flag

Sherri at her desk.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com On November 18, 2015, the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) Board of Directors authorized the design and manufacture of an “official” Goodland flag. The board was willing to make a substantial investment and was betting heavily that a large number of Goodlanders would buy a flag or two for display either here, or at their northern residence, or both. This is exactly what happened and the orders keep coming in. To date, 66 flags have been ordered and about 51 have been sold. I have one in front of my house, and the condos that ... Read More »

The Goodland Scholarship Fund Goodland’s Gift to High School Graduates

Front entrance - Little Bar parking lot, shortly before visitors arrive. SUBMITTED photos

Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com Most visitors to Goodland don’t exactly know what to make of us. Most would agree with the aphorism that Goodland is “a drinking village, with a fishing problem.” We have our share of that, I guess. It may be time for a new adage. Something like “Goodland takes care of its own.” Since the mid 1980’s, the Goodland Scholarship Fund has been raising money and dispensing scholarships to Goodland kids who want more than a high school education. It was founded by Betty Bruno as Village Productions. From all that I have heard, Bruno ... Read More »

Street with a Split Personality

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By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com Goodland sits on a horseshoe shaped peninsula -although some insist it is an island- which juts out eastward from the southeast corner of Marco Island. It seems to be separated and isolated from the City of Marco Island by a couple of miles of trackless mangrove forests. Consequently, Goodland streets generally lead to dead ends or to intersections with other streets which lead to dead ends. This holds down traffic volume and speed. We like it that way. You can’t get to somewhere else by going through Goodland. A notable exception to this serenity is Goodland ... Read More »

Goodlanders Gather for Fun, Food and Friends

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By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com It’s always exhilarating to wake up in Goodland with sunny Old Florida waterscapes punctuated by the cries of ospreys or the splashes of brown pelicans diving for their dinner. At the end of the day, it is relaxing and restful to turn out the lights at night, knowing that all will be quiet and peaceful, lit only by the moon and stars, undisturbed by the hum of traffic. For pure fun however, nothing beats the bash that the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) throws for members of the community each March. It is styled “Spring Fling” and ... Read More »

MIA Footballers Boost Boat Parade

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Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com For the past nineteen years, Elaine Ritchie, has raised a lot of money for AVOW Hospice through the Goodland Boat Parade. She stages it every February and somehow gets the whole town of Goodland to pitch in. The parade starts at the Stan Gober Bridge, winds its way through the bay behind our restaurants, and ends at the Goodland Boat Park at the southern end of Goodland. Crowds come from all over to revel in the festivities, and to support the parade. The water’s edge is lined with spectators. When the parade pulls in ... Read More »

No Snoozin’ in Goodland

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Goodland Life By Barry Gwinn Seasonal visitors driving through Goodland or visiting some of our excellent eateries, observe a sleepy village (except on Sundays) where, during the week anyhow, nothing much seems to happen. There are no stores, beaches, theaters, or malls. The village is surrounded by water and mangrove forests. There is only one way in and one way out. What do those guys do anyhow? Quite a bit actually. One of my favorites is the self-styled Pool Sharks and Red Hot Mamas. Formed in 2009, this eclectic bunch gets together every Thursday afternoon, at a member’s house to ... Read More »

Bracing Myself

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GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It was this time last year that I was first introduced to Goodland and the completely unfamiliar phenomenon of season. I flew back to Ohio with my head still spinning, but was ready to make the quick turnaround to relocate here. In the short month spent visiting my mother, I’d gotten caught up in the whirlwind of fun; so many things to do jam-packed into so little time. Over the last week, the air has once again become thick with an almost palpable anticipation for the sudden influx of tourism that’s just around the corner, and ... Read More »

Seashells by the Seashore

Her doggies.Photos By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Someone asked me recently what I love about the beach. It was then I realized why I’ve always gravitated to the nearest body of water. The Great Lakes stay cool, even in the dead of summer; the Atlantic Ocean’s waves make me feel like a little kid, no matter my age; the Gulf of Mexico is warm and clear, reminding me of the Caribbean Sea, the most beautiful body of water I’ve ever seen. Despite their differences, every shore I’ve walked along has made me feel like I’m at standing at the earth’s end. At night, ... Read More »

The Power of a Kind Heart

The impromptu event ended with a group photo for Margie. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com In my 35 years of being perpetually lost in the big city shuffle, I have never had the pleasure or privilege of witnessing unity and support within a neighborhood like I’ve experienced here. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the small island community of Goodland came together in a very big way with a tremendous show of love and support for one of their own. Nearly 400 familiar faces gathered in Margood Harbor Park to participate in a benefit to raise money for 30-year beloved Goodland resident, Margie Fortune. Two days before Thanksgiving, Margie was diagnosed with colon ... Read More »

An Island Christmas

At our house, even the pets are forced to be merry.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Christmas is just around the corner, and “island-style” holiday preparations are being made all around me. I’m also nearing the one-year anniversary of my big move here in February, and I’ve been reflecting back on this past year in sunny southwest Florida. I’ve never been happier, and my kids are doing really well. We are all making adjustments and thriving, but the holidays are proving an unfamiliar challenge to me and my newly relocated family. This time last year, my brothers and I were digging our cars out from under several feet of snow daily, ... Read More »

Homegrown Clams

Nick spent most of the day covered head-to-toe; the process of  getting into a wetsuit proved more complicated than I thought. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Does the average seafood lover ever wonder about what is involved in bringing their favorite oceanic edibles to the table? As a seafood lover myself, I’ve always gravitated to the surf items on any menu, but I’ve never really put much thought into how that delicious shellfish came to land on my plate. Where do the clams in my clam chowder come from? I’m a city girl from Ohio, which means they’ve always originated in a can, and until now, that was okay. But since moving to Florida, all of the seafood I’ve eaten has ... Read More »

Sunshine in Goodland

On the opening night of his exhibit, Donald Sunshine and his wife Joanna greeted every visitor. They are pictured here with Marco Island residents, Judy and Ron Hattendorf.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s no secret that upon my first visit to Goodland, I recognized it to be a very unique place, unmatched in its beauty and rich history. As I left the main road and first arrived on this little island, the feeling of being transported back in time was so overwhelming that it was elemental in my decision to leave Ohio and move here in search of a better life. It’s hard to describe the pride I feel when others get to see my beloved home as I do, but recently I had an opportunity to ... Read More »

Deck the Halls at GCA’s Annual Holiday Bazaar

Marker 8.5 owner Michael Duncan.PHOTOS By Melinda Gray

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s hard to believe that another holiday season is just around the corner. It’s almost time for big family gatherings, elaborate meals, decorations and presents; and while I didn’t have the pleasure of being in Florida this time last year, I’m very excited knowing where I will do all of my 2014 Christmas shopping: the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) Annual Holiday Bazaar. Marking its second season at Margood Harbor Park, the annual event will be held on November 15-16, 10 AM-4 PM. Last year, nearly 70 vendors — many from Goodland and Marco — were ... Read More »

Keep Calm and Boat On

Just a few of the 10,000 islands.

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com Since moving to Florida almost one year ago, I’ve felt like a stranger in a strange land, a tourist most times, learning the lay of my new homeland with each different excursion. Until now, the various trips I’ve taken have always been structured with a fairly strict itinerary of stops and attractions, but I can honestly say, I’ve never felt more in control of my recreational destiny as when I went exploring with fellow Goodlander and owner and sole operator of Island Boat Trips Captain Mike Hewitt. Born in England and known locally as “English ... Read More »

Together Again

In one final marathon road trip to Ohio, we brought the boys and their toys back home to Goodland. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com I have to admit that I wasn’t ready; it seemed like only a few weeks had passed since the original plan was laid. The last six months have flown by, though, and now my family is finally back together again. My two younger brothers, Chris and Tyler, and yet another dog, have joined our already busting-at-the-seams household here in Goodland until further notice. I love my brothers dearly, but this isn’t the first time we’ve lived together and heavily relied on one another. I would be lying if I claimed that it’s ever been easy. ... Read More »

Summer Fun, Island Style

A pelican perches on a post. PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com It’s September, statistically the slowest month before the inevitable up-swing into another season, and finding fun things to do locally is getting more challenging. Thus, despite last weeks of record-breaking heat, my best friend, Alicia Cameron, and I set out on our first Goodland kayak journey; no small feat for a couple of full-time moms with full-time jobs. A long-term shortage of recreation time has made me an unwilling indoor-girl — something I’ve always fought by taking last-minute adventures, often throwing caution to the wind. I once found myself clinging to the side of a ... Read More »

Goodland Gator

‘Ray the Trapper’ attempts to snag the Goodland gator, who made no appearance that day.  PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com There’s a new predator in town, and he’s causing quite a stir. An alligator rumored to be at least eight feet long has been trolling the canals and causing unease amongst Goodland residents. Buzz about frequent sightings has been swirling for a few weeks now, but following a recent uncomfortably close encounter, a call notifying the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was placed. On Aug. 4, Ray Simonsen Sr., one of Collier County’s four nuisance alligator trappers, came down to assess the situation. “With the influx of fresh water sheeting, and the end of ... Read More »

Sweet Victory

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GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com In my experience, especially as a writer, learning about any new place always begins with getting to know its people. I love listening to the local stories, and I’m always eager to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the people that make their town great. I’ve written once before about Goodland’s own, Nick Lemke, and his Shima Dojo at the Greater Marco Family YMCA. To this day, it ranks as one of my most favorite stories. So of course, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do an update on all of the exciting things ... Read More »