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Goodland Life

Hurricane Party!

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Well, Tropical Storm party really. But we were prepared for whatever Isaac had in store for us. After all, when Jim Cantore takes the time to leave the gym and head down to our neck of the woods, we know we could be up against just about anything. So we prepped. Goodlanders were on Marco in mass numbers in the days leading up to the storm. A trip to the good old Dollar Store for candles and water brought us face to face with our next door neighbors doing the same. At Publix, a couple of ... Read More »

Pirating the backwaters

GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom That’s it. I’m turning in my press pass and heading out to sea. This pirate looks at 30 like she’s ready for a change, and after taking a trip with Goodland-based Backwater Adventure I’m declaring a mutiny on my humdrum life. It’s time for this scallywag to commandeer their vessels and start off on my own excursion. After all, life is too short to wait. Just ask owner and operator of Backwater Adventure, Lisa Seymour. Three years ago she nearly lost her leg in a motorcycle accident. Rather than outfit Lisa with an-all-too-perfect-for-this-article peg leg, doctors ... Read More »

The Goodland Olympics

GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom I have to admit, I have been obsessed with watching the 2012 Olympics in London. From the Opening Ceremony I was hooked. Not because I thought it was that great, but because of the parade of countries. Watching all those tiny island nations showing up with only a handful of Olympians has me thinking… What if Goodland were in the Olympics? Obviously this would only happen if we were our own island nation. So, for the sake of having something to write about, I say that for two weeks during the summer of 2016, we temporarily ... Read More »

Goodland’s Golf Carts

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Visitors to Goodland will immediately notice that many of us cruise around town on golf carts. This isn’t necessarily unheard of in Florida. Many golfing communities allow golf carts in their neighborhoods. But Goodland isn’t even close to a golf course, so why is everyone driving around on golf carts? The answer: Because we can. And the county says so too. In 2006, an official ordinance was passed making it legal for residents of Goodland to drive their golf carts on the street. It seems that after years of carefree carting, the question of safety and ... Read More »

Summer celebrations

GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom It’s been a summer of celebration for the quiet village of Goodland. Even as the temperatures rise, the tropical storms wail and the population plummets, we still find ways to have a good time. Whether we’re celebrating the life of a loved one, eating Spam in our pajamas or shooting off fireworks for the Fourth, one thing is for sure: Goodlanders throw a party like no one else can! On June 24, Goodlanders gathered with people from all over Southwest Florida and beyond to pay our respects to Stan Gober. Tropical Storm Debby couldn’t stop hundreds ... Read More »

The “Do-Goodlanders”

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom Exactly two years ago, I wrote my first article for the Coastal Breeze’s Goodland Life Column. It was entitled, “Goodland: Great People.” It was inspired by a recent move. I had lived in Goodland for over two years, in a friend’s art studio. I preferred to call it a shed as it gave me sympathy tips as a waitress. Regardless, I was moving out of the studio/shed and into a small apartment. The generous outpouring of housewarming gifts as well as help with moving surprised me, as I had never seen anything like it. Now, two ... Read More »

Seven years of SPAM

GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom Tired of the same old SPAM? Never! At least that’s what we say at The Little Bar. Mark your calendars for June 30th, as the annual Spammy Jammy event in downtown Goodland is fast approaching. Celebrating nearly twenty years of SPAM is no easy task. Yet, year after year, The Little Bar Restaurant in Goodland hosts the event at the start of each hurricane season. In order to pay homage to the Hurricane Gods and Goddesses of Southwest Florida, the party offers up attendees in their pajamas and food and architecture made out of SPAM. By ... Read More »

Boy Howdy – What a Season!

GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller Boy Howdy! We had a neat season here in Goodland this year. Actually to be current and not back in the 50’s, I should say we had an awesome or cool season, shouldn’t I? Well, we definitely had an “AWEsome” season. Let me summarize it for you. Our second Christmas Bazaar, held in our new Boat Park, was awesome and a jovial Ed Fullmer welcomed everyone in his golf cart. Big crowds, lots of neat kids and cool neighbors joined in the awesome festivities. Christmas also brought some cool carolers to town. Really awesome golf carts ... Read More »

Catch ‘em and Cook ‘em

GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom Goodland is affectionately known as a “Drinking Village with a Fishing Problem.” Most of us here in Goodland are happy to accept this title. After all, we drink all kinds of stuff; lots of water on those hot summer days, a glass of milk to accompany our cookies and occasionally… alcohol. As for the fishing problem, well, that’s true too. Historically, Goodland was built around commercial fishing. These days, commercial fishing in town is mostly stone crab and, occasionally, blue crab. Mullet fishermen swing through from time to time as well. But just because the commercial ... Read More »

Goodland Gardens Galore

GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller You’ve heard of many famous gardens, right? The Garden of Eden, Cypress Gardens, maybe Kensington Gardens, and the Rose Garden at the White House – I could go on and on. But do you realize there are gardens galore right here in Goodland? Now, of course, they aren’t famous, but they are colorful, sometimes edible and sweet smelling. One of the most unusual ones was created by Cleve and Jane Ann Smith. Cleve, who had never gardened much until this year, started all his plants from seed and he has had plants and vegetables galore on ... Read More »

Easter traditions

GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller Remember those days when we all wanted a new frock at Easter time? I do. As a teenager it was important to have a new dress, shoes to match, white gloves (absolutely!) and, of course, a bonnet with lots of frills upon it. That tradition has certainly waned, hasn’t it? Wonder what happened? I guess the fast lane and more casual living happened, but we still have the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs, don’t we? All that is really fun and both are definitely spring time traditions. In Goodland, the Easter Bunny makes an appearance at ... Read More »

MarGood Harbor Park ribbon cutting ceremony brings mixed emotions

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom The MarGood Harbor Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, held March 15th at 10:00 AM, was much different than I had expected. Mostly because I’ve never been to a ribbon cutting ceremony before. But also because I didn’t realize how emotional it would be, on so many levels, for me and many others in attendance. As I arrived, I couldn’t help but remember the first time I had been to MarGood. It was 2004, one of the last years the RV park was in operation. Fresh out of college, I came to Marco Island for a job interview, ... Read More »

Old Florida friendly Marker 8

GOODLAND LIFE  Joanie Fuller Are you the friendly type? Do you like to meet old timers and hear stories? If so, you definitely need to go to Marker 8 Restaurant and sit at their Friendly Table like I did the other morning. Of course, you feel at home the minute you enter the place. It is like going to someone’s home. How could it not be with its rustic Old Florida ambiance, a machine blowing bubbles over the docks and Dave Serber and Jimmy Ketchum running the place? But the Friendly Table is the best part. Here you sit with ... Read More »

Goodland turns 63

Natalie Strom Goodland’s found another reason to celebrate…. it’s our birthday! Join us on March 10th, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM at the Goodland Boat Park where we are putting on a fabulous party! Where EVERYTHING IS FREE! Just wait until you hear about all the events the Goodland Civic Association has planned for this year’s birthday bash. Trust me, this is the birthday party every “kid” wants to be invited to… and you are! The theme of this year’s party is “Celebrating Goodland as a Historical Fishing Community.” As co-chair, Noreen Seegers explains, “in 1995 the net ... Read More »

Old Marco Lodge: Past and Present

Goodland Life Joanie Fuller Wanna catch a little history this weekend along with some fun and hold a baby alligator, too?  Try the Old Marco Lodge right here in Goodland and you will see what I mean. First the history.  The Old Marco Lodge is by far the oldest up and running place in Goodland. The building was actually built in 1869 on Marco Island where it was a general store which belonged to W. D. Collier.  He was the enterprising guy who invented a motorized dredge for the Marco clamming industry which grew for years. But in the early ... Read More »

Goodland festivities

GOODLAND LIFE  Natalie Strom As a former Buzzard Queen at Stan’s annual Mullet Festival, I feel as though it is my duty to inform the uninformed about this one-of-a-kind event. Not to be outdone, the annual Goodland Boat Parade is approaching fast on the Mullet Festival’s heels. Don’t forget about the Goodland Civic Association’s Pancake Breakfasts and the Goodland Garage Sale that are also just around the corner. Let me start by explaining the Mullet Festival, now in its 28th year. No… it has nothing to do with the “business in the front/party in the back” haircut but it has ... Read More »

Stan’s from the inside out

GOODLAND LIFE Joanie Fuller My guess is that many of you’ve been to Stan’s on Sunday afternoon for at least part of the big party that begins with everyone standing for Sandi Patty’s spellbinding rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner”. Then it gets going with food, drinks, jokes and dancing to a great band and winds down at sunset with “God Bless America”. Maybe you’ve been there for all of the above, but my question is this. Have you ever been inside? Full disclosure, I had not until……..I spent forty-five minutes with Stan Gober – one on one – and ... Read More »

An artist’s life for Judy

GOODLAND LIFE Natalie Strom The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 brought national attention to the dangers of offshore drilling. Anyone living along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico felt the negative impact of the disaster. As much as the oil spill interrupted the livelihoods of those in the area, it will forever affect our area’s natural ecosystem. Goodland resident, Judy Wittwer, is more than aware of the harmful results of this man-made disaster. Yet, through the devastation she was able to find inspiration. When Judy moved to Marco Island in 1985 with her two young daughters, a ... Read More »

Nutcracker Magic

Joanie Fuller Three silly but fun questions for you. Have you ever thought much about nutcrackers at holiday time? Do you know the story of the Nutcracker Ballet? Have you ever seen hundreds of nutcrackers in a restaurant? I certainly never thought about seeing them in a restaurant. Actually, my main memory of nutcrackers as a kid, is the kind my parents used to have to actually crack nuts with. They always served nuts with the shells on and it was such a pain to use that hard to hold instrument to crack one. Why couldn’t they just serve ... Read More »


Joanie Fuller  Are you ready for Season? If not, you better get ready ‘cause Goodland ‘s gearin’ up. New flags are flying. Hurricane shutters are coming down. Golf cars are rolling. Stan’s, Little Bar, Old Marco Lodge and Marker 8 are all serving. Bands are playing and folks are dancing. The Post Office is busier and friends are greeting each other after being away for the summer. Marinas are humming. Fishing is good. The Goodland Civic Association is meeting and lots of events are planned. Of course we are going to have our Pancake Breakfasts, Boat Parade and the Spring ... Read More »