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Goodland Life

My Newest Best Friend A Carolina Love Story

The Canton Chamber of Commerce chose this as one of the views used to attract businesses and new residents to Canton. Bill Gwinn’s first Canton house is the white bungalow
prominently featured at lower left.

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn My newest best friend lives in North Carolina. Her name is Cassandra. She is a strikingly beautiful blue-eyed blond. She lives in Canton, N.C. where she grew up and spent most of her life. Until September of last year, I had never heard of her. On May 28, 2016, Cassandra, 46, (affectionately known to me as Cassie) married my son Bill, 52. To accommodate all the guests, the wedding took place in the Canton National Guard Armory. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Canton is located about 13 miles west of ... Read More »

Goodland’s Guardian Angel Fiala steps up

Fiala with Commissioners

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn Goodland Road (as it is known here) has been mired in controversy since Collier County turned it over to the City of Marco Island (CMI) in 2002. It turns out that because of increased flooding, the road needs to be rebuilt and elevated at a cost which may exceed $5M, an amount which CMI says they cannot afford. The County wants CMI to proceed with the rebuilding and has threatened to withhold the remaining $2M in annual payments due to CMI under the 2002 Interlocal Agreement. A stalemate between the County and CMI has resulted. ... Read More »

EMS Vehicles Delayed

Photos by Barry Gwinn
Marco EMS vehicle, parked at Stan’s, after making it through. (6/5/16, 2:30 PM)

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn  This column has chronicled an almost monthly series of debilitating floodings on Goodland Road, the community’s only access road. In six out of the last 11 months, beginning in August, 2015, the flooding prevented many from driving on the hubcap deep Gulf waters covering large portions of the road. Engineering reports commissioned by the City of Marco Island (CMI) confirmed that the road was being undermined by the constant flooding, and that it needed to be rebuilt and raised 2 to 3 feet. CMI addressed the problem by patching potholes and delaying remedial action. Appeals ... Read More »

Marco Makes a Move Or is it just another stalling tactic?

Waterfront real estate advertised at what is becoming Goodland’s new waterfront. Tide can be seen flooding in from the Marco River (upper right), as a stream of water pours in from the Gulf (upper right, middle). Ironically it comes in through a drain installed to remove excess storm/rainwater. (1/17/16)

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn In 2002, the City of Marco Island (CMI) took over jurisdiction and responsibility for Goodland’s only access road. Since that time, due to heavy traffic, frequent flooding, and inadequate maintenance, the road is deteriorating at an alarming rate. I have written four articles in this newspaper about the situation in which the road was rightfully termed “Goodland’s Orphaned Access Road.” Orphaned, because CMI has neither the will nor the money to correct the mounting problems this road poses for Goodland residents. Orphaned, because Collier County (CC), although having the money and the will to fix ... Read More »

Why I Love Journalism The Amazing Hannah Matthews

Mrs. Matthews (second from left) with her Swarthmore H.S. English Department in 1956. She is beaming at Mary Armstrong, her student at Doylestown H.S., who followed her to Swarthmore. Swarthmore High School Yearbook, 1956

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn I have been writing for Coastal Breeze News since March of 2015. Writing stories about people, places and things is something I have always wanted to do. That I have had some measure of success is due mainly to one diminutive woman – my high school English teacher, Hannah Kirk Matthews (with a nod to my editor, Val Simon, who has taught me a lot). Everything I have written for the last 60 years has Mrs. Matthews’ fingerprints all over it. The tributes paid to Mrs. Matthews upon her retirement were so remarkable that they ... Read More »

Goodlanders Open Hearts and Wallets – Again

Photo By Judy Wittwer

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn On April 2nd, the Goodland Civic Association put on its 4th annual Spring Fling, the immensely popular town barbecue where guests need bring nothing but their appetites. “It is our way of wrapping up the season and thanking our members and friends for their support during the year,” said GCA President Greg Bello. Bello, who chaired the event, estimated more than 350 in attendance. Lou Van Meter, Lynn Albee and Richard Welsh cooked the food donated by Goodland’s excellent restaurants (plus Kirk Fish Company). “We cooked over 500 [total] hotdogs (from Little Bar), and hamburger ... Read More »

The Goodland Civic Association – Controversy and Accomplishment 1995 to the Present

Goodland Community Center today; A snazzy paint job and new roof jazzed up the old firehouse. Photos By Barry Gwinn

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn In 1992, having finally moved into a building it could call its own, the Goodland Civic Association (GCA) found itself embroiled in another situation. The results of this would later inure to the benefit of Goodland, but not without some bumps along the way. Since 1957, all of Marco Island had been governed by Collier County. (It had previously been incorporated as Collier City.) By 1990, the population had grown to such an extent, that a group was attempting to form their own government as the City of Marco Island. Goodland at this time was ... Read More »

The Goodland Civic Association – The Early Years

From 1978 to about 1990 the GCA met at first president George Pattison’s house.

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn The GCA was incorporated in 1978 as a “corporation, not for profit.” It is designated as a 501(c)(3) corporation in the IRS Code. The first two of its stated primary purposes were, “To preserve in perpetuity, the good life of Goodland,” and “To promote the general welfare of the residents and property owners of the community of Goodland…” Forty-two of our residents signed as subscribers. Of these, 12 were named as directors. It would be fair to say that these men and women were the founding fathers of our village, as we know it today. ... Read More »

Gwinn v. Delta Airlines (Gwinn Wins!)

PHOTO BY BARRY GWINN
Stock certificate, back from the FBI lab after being treated for fingerprints, dated and initialed in the upper right hand corner when received from an informant. Hundreds of thousands of worthless
shares, par value of one cent, were sold for two to five cents apiece.

Goodland Life  By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com I arrived in the Phoenix FBI field office from New York in 1969. One year later I was immersed in white collar crime and was running down a couple of con men from Tampa who were peddling worthless Control Metals Corporation stock. The stock was coming through Phoenix via a stock transfer agency, run by an informant of mine. The con men had taken over a dormant Idaho shell corporation, printed up stock, and then made a market for it on an obscure stock exchange. When the market price rose (from one cent a ... Read More »

Goodland Road Disintegration Accelerates

January 17th brought another day of flooding on Goodland Road.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn barry@coastalbreezenews.com “A policy of only repairing potholes and blocked drains is not a maintenance program.” – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers A discerning engineer would have foreseen coming trouble as Goodland Road was first being built. In November 18, 1992 a newspaper (Eagle) explained how it was done: In the early 20th century, Samuel Petit, his wife, five sons, and two daughters settled in what was then known as Goodland Point. He found the farming to be good in soil underneath a 40-acre Indian shell mound. At that time, the only way to get to ... Read More »

Drop Anchor – The Residents Take Over

B6-CBN-2-5-16-12

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net As earlier reported, the Drop Anchor Trailer Park today is a gathering of brightly painted and colorful trailers and mobile homes. Mostly empty in the summer, the park fairly explodes with activity in the winter. There is a constant to and fro of residents socializing and visiting with each other, catching up on the past year and enjoying the present one. They genuinely seem to like each other here. They will jump at any excuse to socialize, gathering for monthly potluck suppers (and occasional happy hours) in their sunny recreation center. This year there ... Read More »

Drop Anchor Trailer Park – The Early Years

Downtown Goodland, 1964. 
Ritschard apartment complex with main entrance underneath. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Drop Anchor is a collection of sixty-three gaily painted and well maintained 1950s, 60s and 70s travel trailers, and single wide manufactured homes crammed onto less than two acres of land in the heart of Goodland. Today it is a quiet, well-run, close-knit community, revered by its residents and neighbors. Goodland kind of grew up around it. The first residents were winter visitors, lured here by word of mouth, warm weather, fabulous fishing (always the fishing), and Woodall’s Campground Directory. Always known as Drop Anchor, the park was developed as a trailer park, and ... Read More »

Rookie Agents Corral Car Thieves. Save Careers.

New Agents Class #9, Dec. 1964 - Gwinn is front 4th from right.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net On November 30, 1964, at the age of 26, I reported to the Justice Department in Washington to be sworn in as an FBI Special Agent. After three months of training, we were all given our first office assignments. The protocol then was to serve for a year in your first office; then be sent to your second office for three or four years. Sometime after that, you would land permanently where the Bureau thought they needed you. Our class. New Agents Class 9, waited eagerly for our assignments. They varied in desirability from ... Read More »

The Noes Arrive in Goodland

Noe and Pettus houses, street side – 1965

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net After the war, Walker Noe used his G.I. Bill to get a B.A. in English Literature from Center College in Danville, Kentucky (1948). Walker claims he never bought a book while there, but paid close attention and took good notes in class. He and his wife were housed in prefab housing for vets and were paid $110 per month. “That was more than enough to get by on,” Walker said. After college Walker taught high school, managed large farm operations, and finally moved back to Stanford where he opened a real estate and insurance ... Read More »

SALUTE TO VETERANS Walker Noe Goes to War

A l05 mm howitzer, France (1944)

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Walker Noe has wintered in Goodland since 1985. He has lived in a cottage at 519 Goodland Dr. W., which he purchased from his father who had the place moved over from Caxambas in the 1960’s. Walker was born at Stanford, Kentucky on May 18, 1923, the first of five siblings. Walker’s father owned a hardware store and sold Nash automobiles as a sideline. In 1932, due to the Depression, Walker’s dad lost his businesses. The family was forced to move to a farm in nearby Hubbell. “We moved from a house with all ... Read More »

Goodland’s Orphaned Access Road – Part Two

Goodland Road at Angler Drive, ½ hour before high tide. Tide overtaking road from right.

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Rich Pappy, a long time resident and Goodland Civic Association (GCA) board member and officer, had previously told me that after the second Interlocal Agreement in 2002, the Village of Goodland was riven by strife and bad feelings. “Many residents felt betrayed by the GCA, for allowing City of Marco Island (CMI] to take over jurisdiction of Goodland Road,” Pappy said, “We didn’t like the GCA leadership and started a rival organization, the Goodland Preservation Coalition. We siphoned off a lot of GCA members.” “The animosity between the two groups became toxic,” Pappy said, ... Read More »

Goodland’s Orphaned Access Road – Part One

SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net There is only one way in and one way out of Goodland. It is aptly named Goodland Road and designated CR 92A by Collier County. On good days, one need only dodge potholes, and endure a washboard drive over the crumbling roadway. On bad days, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico on one side, and the Marco River on the other, cover substantial portions of the road creating shifting one-lane travel and traffic backups. A refrain that I hear over and over is “Why doesn’t the County do something about this?” The short ... Read More »

Little Bar’s Merrill Fest Raises $20K

Merrill’s friends use five different modes of transportation to the Little Bar.  PHOTOS BY BARRY GWINN

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Niki Bauer and her brother, Ray Bozicnik, have been the owners and operators of the Little Bar in Goodland for over 25 years. In general, Ray looks after the food end of the business, while Niki oversees the front of the house. Among Niki’s responsibilities is the booking of musicians, for the entertainment of the Little Bar patrons. Over the years she has developed a core of performers, which consistently delight her customers with some of the best blues music in Southwest Florida. I can personally attest to this. A 34-year-old blond haired, blue-eyed ... Read More »

Calusa Island Marina – Goodland’s Good Neighbor

At the Calusa Island Marina, a 25,000 pound forklift approaches launching area. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net I have lived across the street from the Calusa Island Marina (the “Marina”) for the past 10 years. Despite the rumbling of forklifts and the beeping of back-up signals, I am content to be hemmed in by a navigable waterway on one side, and a boatyard on the other. Boats and boating have always been high on my list since I had my own wooden rowboat at age 12. I began my seafaring days in 1950. In 1950, the Marina was just a part of a largely undeveloped area on the southeastern end of ... Read More »

A Goodland Favorite Son Succeeds at MIA – Part One

MarcoIslandAcademyLOGO

GOODLAND LIFE By Barry Gwinn bgwinn@comcast.net Tyler Gresham is going into his junior year at Marco Island Academy. It will be tough to top his sophomore year there. Last year, Tyler, as fullback, was the leading rusher on the MIA football team. He also played middle linebacker on defense. During the winter and spring, he starred on the basketball and track teams. In the classroom, Tyler finished the year with a weighted 3.65 GPA. Tyler doesn’t load up with creampuff courses, either. His schedule included a number of honors and AICE courses. AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) is written ... Read More »