On October 9, 2017, while Goodland was reeling from the effects of Irma, a painting appeared on the picture window of Goodland’s post office. It was conceived and posted there by artist Denise Santos, and it raised the morale of all who saw it at the time. Santos had depicted Goodland as a young man hanging gamely to a palm tree with the caption “Yikes! We’ve been Irmatized.” Goodland was a mess then, but the painting showed that we had stubbornly come through the worst and had the grit to face what would come next.
Then in January 2018, Denise replaced the “Yikes!” painting with a delightful metaphorical rendition of Goodland’s progress in rebuilding up to that point. A little blond haired girl, representing Goodland, is pictured painting a rainbow which is only half completed. Santos, at least, thought the community was rising to the challenge. It was an endearing painting, and to my mind, represented the love that most of us carry in our hearts for a community that was worth saving.
On September 17, 2018, I ran into Denise at the post office and asked her why her January painting was still up there. We have made considerable progress since then, I told her, did she plan to follow up on her January painting? She had already done that, Denise said, and quickly demonstrated how the painting had changed. Sure enough, the rainbow had been extended to cover about 90% of its projected length. Two “blue birds of happiness” were added to commemorate the first anniversary of Irma (September 10, 2018) on which date Denise had updated her inspirational painting. (For more on Denise’s window paintings, see “Denise Santos- Goodland’s Morale Officer” at coastalbreezenews.com.)
I have been writing the “Goodland Life” column for over four years. In that time, I have tried to portray with varying success, the aspects of our history and life which make this community so special. However, for various reasons, the time has finally come for me to lay down my pen. This will be my last column. I would like to thank all of your support and kind remarks which have served as an inspiration to me. In the meantime, I’ll see you around town.
Barry was a practicing attorney before he worked as a Special Agent of the FBI for 31 years. Barry worked for several government agencies another ten years before retiring to Goodland in 2006. Barry is a former Secretary of the Goodland Civic Association.