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Goodland Life

There’s No Place Like Home


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom I recently traveled back home to visit my family and old friends. A quick five-day trip to celebrate a friend’s baby on the way, meet another friend’s new two-month old and spend quality time with my three siblings, dad and grandparents suddenly took a turn for the worse when, only two days in, I was knocked to the ground with an awful stomach virus. Unable to fly back to Goodland, I was at the mercy of my family, of which my dad, primarily helped take care of me. He let me borrow his Nissan Leaf – ... Read More »

Summer Time and the Living’s Easy


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom It’s easy to take it slow in Goodland. Most of us are busy, yet relaxed because our living environment makes us happy – literally. Everyone smiles; everyone waves; and everyone takes time to take a time out when needed. This includes our local businesses. As the summer comes into full swing, it’s time for many of our local haunts to take a break for themselves; a chance to really take it slow for a couple months. Leading the race to relaxation was The Old Marco Lodge. Known for its beautiful views, delicious salad bar, live ... Read More »

SPAM for Kids


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom This the fourth article I have written about Spammy Jammy – the Little Bar’s annual tradition of keeping hurricanes at bay. Every year, I manage to come up with a new spin on how to tell the story. This year, I will tell it to you as if you were a five-year old. Bear in mind, I don’t have any children, so I really don’t know how to talk to a five-year old, but here we go. Hi there boys and girls! Today we are going to talk about some “adult things.” Has anyone ever ... Read More »

Pickles on my Doorstep


GOODLAND LIFE Strange things happen in Goodland. But by “strange” I don’t mean bad – not by any means – just unusual, out of the ordinary, whacky, crazy, funny, “You can’t make this s#@! up,” kind of stuff. Here’s a good story that is completely true and completely odd. “The Pickling” Late one evening, I opened my front door for a reason of which I can’t recall. Whatever it is that I was doing, I stopped in my tracks when I noticed something strange on my front doorstep – two jars of brand new, unopened pickles. One a sweet; the ... Read More »

Street Scenes


GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller Goodland is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Well, what I really mean to say is more fun than a traveling polar bear, a mounted deer head, a celebrity parrot and artists perched on a canal bank. Now that’s a crazy combination, isn’t it? First, let’s talk about the artists since they would seem to be somewhat of a normal sighting in Goodland. I just happened to see three women doing their “plein air thing” at the end of one of our canals. It turns out that the famed artist Robert Gruppe likes to ... Read More »

Goodland Potpourri


Whenever I think of the term “potpourri” I think of dried up flowers that stink. Honestly, I was never into that stuff. But the word, itself, has an alternate meaning. Merriam-Webster’s second definition of potpourri is: a miscellaneous collection. And that, my friends, is what this edition of Goodland Life is all about. A potpourri of information that doesn’t stink. Past President Awarded Recently, the Board of the Goodland Civic Association elected its new officials for 2013. Newly appointed President Greg Bello informed members of the board that an anonymous donation was made toward a plaque for past President, Joanie ... Read More »

Wow! What A Spring Fling!


What could be more fun than eating hot dogs and hamburgers, listening to music and playing games with neighbors and friends on a beautiful day? The Goodland Civic Association Board of Directors decided absolutely nothing could be more fun for us Goodlanders than to have a “Spring Fling” – complete with all of the above. In other words, we wanted to have a FREE Islander Appreciation Day for residents of Goodland. We wanted everyone to come out, take it slow or shake things up, and just get to know their neighbors a little better. Why not? Consequently, with the help ... Read More »

An Artist’s Eye View of an Art Festival


So…. I was going to write all about the Goodland Art Alliance’s Inaugural Harbor Arts and Music Festival held on March 10th. But then I found out that the GAA’s President and Coastal Breeze Artful Life Columnist, Tara O’Neill had it in mind for her column. Fine, Tara, it’s all yours. Besides, my fingers are tired and blistered from typing and photos are much more fun anyway. A special thanks to photographer Celeste Navara. Her pictures tell the story of what was truly a beautiful day of art and music, to – literally – say the very least.   [email_link] Read More »

Facts and Artifacts


Goodland’s Community Center on Mango Avenue used to be home to our Volunteer Fire Department and before that, who knows? It sits on land once occupied by Calusa Indians who were known as shell collectors and fierce warriors. And that’s a fact! These Calusas were fishermen who lived on the waterways of Southwest Florida for years. They died out in the late 1700 hundreds due to disease brought by the Europeans and invading enemy tribes. Incidentally, the Spanish explorers found these Indians to be very unfriendly and I think we would have too! Just look at one of their ceremonial ... Read More »

GCA and GAA: All the Facts


There are two non-profit organizations in Goodland that have been working towards bettering our small but mighty village. The Goodland Civic Association and the Goodland Arts Alliance not only take on specific community-related projects individually, but also recently collaborated on a project to repaint the hand-carved sign that greets visitors as they pull onto the curvy road from SR-92. The Goodland Arts Alliance is in its fledgling year, developed over the summer by 12 Goodlanders who wanted to shed more light on the multitude of artists, musicians and historians who call the .6 square mile island home. The GAA mission ... Read More »

Drop Anchor – A Goodland Jewel

Denny Grill, Bud Abbott, Jack and Bobbie Swisher. PHOTO BY JOANIE FULLER

By Joanie Fuller Pioneers and adventurers always find the best kept secrets. And, lucky for us, one of those is smack dab in the middle of Goodland. Drop Anchor is a unique and sparkling waterfront community for those 55 and older, consisting of 62 manufactured homes with boat docks, a beautiful sunrise view to the East and a slew of interesting people. I have always wanted to learn more about the history of Drop Anchor and of the adventuresome types who reside there. Fortunately, I have become friends with a few of the seasonal residents and they offered to help ... Read More »

Boat Parade Celebrates Broadway


When I first moved to Florida, I met a woman named Louise. She lived in the condo I worked at on Marco Island; she was my first friend. Louise was 78 and lived alone. She complained about stomach pain and the next thing we knew, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Avow Hospice came to her condo and took care of her until she passed. They were a godsend. I miss Louise and think about her and smile every day. She was so much fun! I even took her to see the Chippendale Dancers at the Seminole Immokalee Casino – ... Read More »

Reasons to live here


GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller I am always getting questions about Goodland. Folks are curious about this place and about how I got here. I have even been asked by some, “Why would anyone want to live in Goodland?” I have thought about that question and when one of my readers recently told me she always looked forward to what I say, this time I thought I would say, “I love living in Goodland!” I came from a big city – Atlanta – and then Naples, and although I loved my life in both those places, I have found that a ... Read More »

Signs they are a changin’

Denise Santos of Goodland painted the post office window to help the village get into the holiday spirit. Photo by Joanie Fuller

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom The signs are all around us. Season is here and a change is in the air. Not only can we feel it, but we can see it too. Especially in Goodland. Take a trip down our long and winding road and see for yourself what I’m talking about. Many have noticed that the sign at the entrance of Goodland has gone missing. The hand-carved and hand-painted piece or art was taken down as a part of a restoration effort between the Goodland Civic Association and the newly formed Goodland Arts Alliance. The sign was in desperate ... Read More »

Holiday highlights


GOODLAND LIFE  Joanie Fuller Here we are right in the middle of another holiday season. They come so fast, don’t they? In Goodland we celebrate our season in many different ways. Let’s share a few highlights. • We held our 3rd annual Christmas Bazaar on December 7 and 8 at the Goodland Boat Park. Artisans, craftsmen, food and music created a holiday atmosphere and everyone had a great time. A big thank you goes to Connie Fullmer and Noreen Seegers for chairing this big event. If you missed it this year, we hope you will come next year! • Everyone ... Read More »

Save the date!


GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. No, Goodland isn’t getting hitched, but the fishing village does offer a little bit of everything as it kicks off yet another season of important dates. First up, the annual Goodland Christmas Bazaar. This year’s bazaar will take place on Friday, December 7 and Saturday, December 8 at the Goodland Boat Park. From 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM local artists and crafters, along with some out of the area vendors, will set up shop in a fun and family friendly environment. Find something new and unique for ... Read More »

Margood Museum is a must

GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller Open your eyes and your mind to the nostalgia of yesteryear by visiting the Margood Museum at Margood Harbor Park. You will be fascinated. I made my first visit to Margood several years ago before I knew anything about the area. We came to Goodland by boat, spent the night at Calusa Marina and walked over to Margood for breakfast the next morning. What an experience! We signed the guest book, made ourselves comfortable at a cozy table, ordered our eggs and special pancakes and waited. The atmosphere was almost like a movie. We had so ... Read More »

The Goodland Gazette

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Goodland is buzzing with activity as more and more residents travel back to our fishing village for the winter months. With so much going on and only a small section of the Coastal Breeze to utilize, this will be the first edition of what I like to call “The Goodland Gazette.” Utilized only when necessary, “The Goodland Gazette” is a newspaper inside a newspaper, created to give readers the scoop on all things good in Goodland. Enjoy! GCA Meeting a Success The first Goodland Civic Association Meeting was held on October 16 at the Community Center ... Read More »

Little things mean a lot

GOODLAND LIFE  Joanie Fuller It’s tiny, it’s old, it’s really used and it’s full of art. Everyone loves it even though there’s no parking. Most would say who needs parking when you can walk to it? Some would say it has become a destination – maybe it should even be on the Historic Register. There’s a well tended garden out front complete with orchids and there are two very nice people inside ready to help you. There’s also a big sign out front displaying the numbers 34140. Surely you know by now I am talking about something that means a ... Read More »

Back in Business

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom It’s that time of year again. The hurricane boards spray painted with “See you in October” have been removed and Goodland is back in business. The Little Bar’s answering machine no longer vaguely states, “we will be closed until we reopen” and the dance floors at Stan’s and The Old Marco Lodge are polished and ready. Not to mention that the Interpretive Center at MarGood Park is also now open to the public. A soft opening was held on October 2, at MarGood’s main building which now features historic artifacts relating to Goodland and a small ... Read More »