Sunday, October 20, 2019

Goodland is for the Birds… Literally!

A view of the brightly painted Goodland Post Office. Photos by Natalie Strom

A view of the brightly painted Goodland Post Office. Photos by Natalie Strom

By Natalie Strom

After living and working in Goodland for a certain amount of time, it becomes clear that visitors have many questions regarding our small fishing village. Below is a Q & A of some of the most popular questions visitors to Goodland often ask.

Q: I’m staying on Marco Island. How do I get to Goodland?

A: You’re not far away at all. Your first objective is to find San Marco Road. This main road runs east and west right through the center of Marco Island. You may find this road by taking any of the main roads in town such as Collier Boulevard, Bald Eagle Drive or Barfield. Wherever you happen to find it, you will always go east on San Marco. You will soon leave the beautiful buildings and luscious landscaping of Marco Island to travel through a dense amount of mangroves. When you begin to think you are heading nowhere you will see a bridge straight ahead. DO NOT GO OVER THE BRIDGE. There is a fork in the road just before the bridge which you will follow to the right. You will drive along a curvy road lined with mangroves for just under a mile and will soon find yourself in the heart of Goodland. One note of advice: don’t rely on your GPS or cell phone to help you find your way. Many people find that their cell phones get little to no reception as they approach Goodland.

Q: Why is Goodland so busy on Sundays?

A: For longer than anyone can remember, Sundays in Goodland have always been a day for celebration. People come from near and far to join in on the festivities on Sunday afternoons. All the restaurants in town take part providing boat docks, fine food, refreshing beverages, dancing and live music. It can easily be said that Stan Gober, owner of Stan’s Idle Hour is the host of the event. Stan spends his Sunday afternoons at his establishment greeting guests and signing copies of his book and CDs. Visitors to Goodland can enjoy a comedy routine and live singing performance by Stan as well. Stan will often get on stage to tell jokes and sing his original songs such as “The Buzzard Lope,” “Somebody Stole My Boat” and the song that spurs our next question…

Q: What Kind of Fish is That?

A: This question is heard in many forms. “What Kind of Fish is That” is the name of a popular song

Local artists display their talents around the many Post Office boxes.

Local artists display their talents around the many Post Office boxes.

by Stan Gober. The lyrics pay tribute to the fishing tradition in Goodland. He sings of local fishermen asking each other what they caught and where they caught it. The question is also echoed throughout the local restaurants in town. All four restaurants in town will gladly cook your freshly caught and filleted fish for a minimal price. As patrons carry their filleted fish into local eateries, diners, hosts, servers and chefs alike echo the question; “what kind of fish is that?”

Q: How many people live in Goodland?

A: According to the 2000 census, 320 people claim Goodland as their permanent residence. This number, however, varies depending on the time of the year. From the months of January through April, the population is at its peak, yet during the summer months the population decreases drastically. This is easily due to the extreme heat, heavy rains and mosquitoes that take over during this time of year. To answer the question that usually follows, Goodland is .4 square miles and has an elevation of seven feet above sea level.

Q: Where can I find the Goodland Post Office?

A: The Goodland Post Office is located on the corner of Harbor Place and Papaya Street. It seems hard to find for those who have never been as it does not look like your typical post office. Painted a bright peach and adorned with a mural of a mermaid in an underwater seascape, the Goodland Post Office has a warm and inviting feel. Residents from Marco often prefer to use the post office here as there is rarely a line and the service is extremely friendly. Visitors come here to view the paintings that adorn the interior walls; all of which were painted by local Goodland artists. Out front is the bulletin board where locals may post whatever they like and minutes to the meetings of the Goodland Civic Association can be viewed. A variety of newspapers and free magazines are offered out front.

The questions concerning Goodland go on and on. Have any questions of your own? Feel free to email them to nstrom81@yahoo.com. Be on the lookout for more Q & A articles where your most burning questions about Goodland will be answered.

Natalie Strom has lived in Goodland for over two years and has worked in Goodland on and off for more than five years. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is also a former Buzzard Queen of Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland.

 

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