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Goodland Life

My Life in Paradise Begins…


GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray The first time I visited Goodland was just a few short months ago. My mother moved here a year earlier, and insisted I visit soon. So I planned to fly down with my two children, stay with my mom for a month and then return to snow-covered Ohio. My plans went out the window from the moment I woke up on my first morning in Goodland. I knew I would move proverbial mountains to make this paradise my home. Over the last few years, my mother would visit Goodland, post beautiful pictures online, and swear ... Read More »

Farewell Goodland…

Remind me again why I’m leaving this place?

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom The first time I visited Goodland, I was about five years old. I don’t remember, but my mom does. She vividly recounts the story of the family going to dinner at The Little Bar and how my younger brother, still an infant, made a massive mess of himself. My mom was horrified. She spent a lot of time in the restroom with him that evening. When she tells the story even now, I can hear the embarrassment in her voice. I do, however, remember the second time I visited Goodland. It was February of 2005. I ... Read More »

Parties, Pancakes and Parades

Boat parade 2013. The theme: musicals. We chose “Hair,” and came in 2nd to last!

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Suddenly, it’s the end of January 2014. Where did the time go? When did the slow days of summer suddenly slip away? I guess I was too busy on my Fucillo HUGE KIA cruise to notice, but it is here: “Season.” Thus, the celebrations in Goodland — and all over South Florida — have begun. Ready to party? Because I am! (Big surprise.)   30th Annual Mullet Festival Stan’s and Son’s 30th Annual Goodland Mullet Festival kicks off on Friday, Jan. 24, and continues until the sun sets on Sunday, Jan. 26. The usual festivities of ... Read More »

Island or not? That is the question

Holly and Duffy helped out at last year’s Boat Parade, selling raffle tickets and handmade items by local residents - all to benefit Avow Hospice.

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom 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 ... Read More »

Arts Alliance Accepted


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom The date was September 30, 2012. Twelve Goodland residents met at a picnic table under the pavilion at MarGood Harbor Park. Their goal: to promote the arts, music and history that make Goodland what it is today. On that day, just over one year ago, the “darling dozen” formed the Goodland Arts Alliance, and now the non-profit has officially obtained its 501(c)3 status. Getting the ball rolling wasn’t easy, but with the help of many knowledgable and experienced philanthropists, lawyers, artists and accountants, the GAA became a licensed non-profit within the state of Florida. The first ... Read More »

What a Weekend!

It’s Stan’s! Go there at night and get a glow stick in your buzzard punch. I’m all for it.

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Yes! What a weekend! It’s always nice to take a time out from the hustle and bustle of working life and actually spend some regular time in Goodland. No work, no volunteering, just a bit of a good time with friends and local business owners. On Friday night we went down to Stan’s. I usually go on Sunday like everyone else, but we wanted to try something different, and it was worth it. Owner Steve Gober and his sons were there, working away as usual. But Steve made the time to sit and talk with us. ... Read More »

GCA Holiday Bazaar a Success

JRobert, Robert of the Bridge Trolls and Gator Nate joined up to jam together. All the musicians volunteered their time for the event.

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom It was an extraordinary affair. Two days of music, arts, crafts, food, ice sculptures and a park filled with holiday decorations. The above barely defines the joy had by all at the Goodland Civic Association’s Fourth Annual Holiday Bazaar. MarGood Harbor Park was the locale for the affair held on the weekend of November 16 and 17. Nearly 60 vendors shared their creations with hundreds who passed through the park. Delicious food was available as well as fresh fruits and vegetables and flowers. Ten musicians from the area volunteered to play music throughout both days, and ... Read More »

The Goodland Gazette

Save the historic cottages! Join the GAA (email me for details) and let's get this restoration under way!

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom This is issue three or four of what I like to call the “Goodland Gazette,” a newspaper inside a newspaper. When there are myriad topics to be covered pertaining to Goodland, I like to break it down, dissect it, examine it and share the you-know-what out of it with our readers. Holiday Bazaar not so Bizarre November 16 and 17 are/were (depending on when you read this) the dates for the annual Goodland Civic Association Holiday Bazaar. Over 60 vendors, 10 musicians and food of all varieties will be/were featured at the event which is/took place ... Read More »

Bazaars, Fairs and Festivals


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Tis the season! I’m not just talking about the holidays, either. It is officially November and traffic has officially increased throughout Southwest Florida. As snowbirds and vacationers stake their claim of paradise, paradise puts on shows to entertain them. Goodland, my little piece of paradise, is already getting into the season by way of the Goodland Civic Association Fourth Annual Holiday Bazaar. This annual event has seen some major changes this year. First, we moved the date… This year, the Bazaar will fall on the weekend of November 16 and 17. It’s the perfect chance to ... Read More »

The Band is Back Together


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom The foursome that took downtown Goodland by storm in the mid to late 2000’s is back! In 2005, I first saw Tripleshot grace the stage of The Little Bar (if I remember correctly, which isn’t often). For two to three years, they were regulars at many local establishments, entertaining and delighting audiences of all ages. And they’re ready to do it again – at The Old Marco Lodge – the place where it really all began. Tripleshot singer and guitarist Ryan Darling explains. “I had been doing my solo act for quite a while but had ... Read More »

Goodland Golf Cart Ordinance


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom My anonymous letter writing stalker is at it again! Last edition’s article entitled, “Goodland Remarks,” discussed both positive and negative comments I receive regarding my views of Goodland. It was really an effort to praise our community, especially the kids, but one reader clearly misinterpreted the heart of the article. I clearly made a huge mistake when I jokingly told the story of a “naysayer” who sent me an anonymous letter about an article I wrote about a year ago regarding Goodland’s golf carts. Well, it seems the golf carts are still a hot button topic ... Read More »

Goodland Remarks


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Writing about the village you live in can be very strange, but also quite amazing. Sometimes I have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin, and sometimes there is nothing to say so I don’t know how to begin. Sometimes I worry that what I’ve said is too much or that I share too much of myself. Sometimes I think what I wrote was total crap. And then there are the ones where I receive feedback. These are the best of all. It let’s me know what people in the village think ... Read More »

Goodland Hoodlums?


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom When I was in about sixth grade, I snuck out of the house in the middle of the night with three of my friends to spray paint the under side of a bridge. A small creek ran through a wooded area of our upper-middle class neighborhood and then underneath a major roadway. Other kids had spray painted there before us. It was hidden away from the public eye, only to be seen by the younger kids who played hide and sneak and make-believe in the area as we once did. The whole idea seemed so bad ... Read More »

Goodland is for the Dogs


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Dogs are never lost in Goodland. And it’s not just because our island is only .6 square miles with the only way of getting out being a long and winding road. It’s because they have great homes that they wouldn’t want to leave. Dogs in Goodland are never lost, but they are found. There are countless stories of Goodlanders who have found or rescued dogs in the most peculiar ways. These dogs become constant companions and are forever grateful for being saved of an unsure life. So, I thought I’d share a few of these stories. ... Read More »

Judging a House by its Cover


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom In Goodland, we like to paint, adorn and decorate our homes. We choose homes here for a reason – the “Old Florida Feel” of living in cottages that were built in the 1920’s and the sense of friendship, camaraderie and individuality. My dad calls it, “living on a commune.” But it’s nothing like that. We’re just an artsy community of individuals that have all found this special place that allows us to be who we are; and often, the outside of our homes reflects that. At first, I had second thoughts about putting photos of ... Read More »

The Dog Days of Summer


GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom No dog has ever had a better life than a dog that’s lived in Goodland. I have often talked about my dog, B.B. Wrinkles, in my column because she is very much a part of my life in our village. I hate to be sappy two columns in a row, but this article is dedicated to B.B. Wrinkles Peters-Strom-Erickson, who passed away on July 3, two days before her sixth birthday. I miss her incredibly, and I know I should celebrate her life. So this is my attempt – to share what an amazing life she ... Read More »

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 »