Friday, May 7, 2021

Season Getting In Full Swing




The East Naples Civic Association is excited to welcome Tim Aten, local “foodie” columnist, as the guest speaker at their monthly luncheon on November 16th at 11:30 AM, at Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club. Luncheons are $20 at the door, but you must have a reservation. Please call the message line (434-1967) to reserve your seat. You may call at any time of the day or night because the message machine really doesn’t care about the time.

• The Lakewood Country Club has opened to the public for lunch and light dinner, and a full bar. This is the same chef and restaurateur that was with Twisted Spoke, but has now moved over to the Lakewood Club House. They just moved in but they already host a full house every Thursday for their Karaoke Night. Each of us enjoyed our light dinner, but I understand they also offer a couple full dinner items. This is especially nice because during season, the streets are clogged and it would be nice to just stay in the neighborhood rather than mess with all the traffic, and it sure has come back quickly! The streets are already clogging and it isn’t even season yet!

• Santa Claus is coming to town! Yes, he will be arriving in his sleigh to greet the children of Naples Manor on Saturday morning, December 9th at 9 AM. I understand the Lely Key Club (high school young people who are part of the Kiwanis family) will be helping Santa pass out all the candy to the children in the neighborhood, along with teachers, principal, and students from Parkside Elementary School, the members of East Naples Civic Association, Sheriff’s deputies, the fire department, and anyone else who would like to follow along with Santa, the Jolly Old St. Nick. Each year (for the last 25 years) Santa comes to Naples Manor to enjoy the children and give them treats. Ted Beisler, working as Santa’s Elf, is always there planning and providing way in advance, along with the women of Naples Lakes Country Club who help bag all the candy, plus provide some treats for Santa’s Helpers, the East Naples Foundation who buys the candy, and club members who participate each and every year. Thanks to everyone who makes this so much fun for the children in this neighborhood. (Sometimes kids from other close-by neighborhoods come on their bikes to enjoy the goodies as well.)

• The other day I went to DiJulio’s Restaurant with a friend named Hildegard, and we saw friends from Marco Island! I tell you, I love seeing the Marco people pop up everywhere. They are really getting out there. Great people! Good friends! The food was wonderful as well. You know, we have some great little restaurants in this area, like Alice Sweetwater’s – always a favorite no matter where you live, and they have great fish dishes as well. Then there is Bill’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, with wonderful lobster and great steaks. It seems everyone loves to go to Bill’s, not only for the food, the fun, the full huge bar, but also the dancing and entertainment. And of course there’s Brunina’s Restaurant in the Shoppes at Hammock Cove by Publix near Thomasson Road, another great little neighborhood eating establishment that seems to be filled with adoring fans constantly.

• And speaking of Bill’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, our East Naples Kiwanis Club met there for their annual meeting and installation of officers. John Esquivel, retired Kiwanis Lt. Governor, was the installing officer and did a terrific job. His humor and friendliness is always greeted with a great response. What a terrific guy! I retired as their president, and Eileen Wesley was happily installed as the new president. John Taylor was surprised with the Kiwanian of the Year award (and well deserved it is!). It was a terrific meeting, with all the new officers installed for the coming year, plus the installation of two new members: Frank Crotty (who has been performing as our Sheriff for Happy Dollars and does a great job), and Carol Caeffer, an organized hard worker and the other half of the Pickleball King: Jim Ludwig. With these people in our club as well, you can tell we’ll have great times ahead of us. Another new person dropped in last week after seeing the Kiwanis sign in front of IHOP, and he looks like he’ll fit right in with this crazy bunch of wonderful people. Our new President, Eileen Wesley, said that this year her goal is to grow our membership, so this little column is an invitation to join us on Friday (and every Friday or any Friday) at 7:30 AM at the IHOP Restaurant on Davis Boulevard. You are always enthusiastically welcomed! You’ll be glad you stopped by.

• A little birdie told me that the old China Buffet in Freedom Square will become a Brook’s Burger Restaurant soon. Brook’s Burger is a sister to Brook’s Burgers (the old Lindburgers) in downtown Naples. They make really great hamburgers, fries and milkshakes and are now expanding to this location and another one in North Naples.

• On a personal note, I go to a physical therapist for my backache, and he told me about his wife, who sounds like the old fashioned wife of yesteryear, but she lives in our world today, and has neighbors who join her in the fun she creates for her young sons and husband. This sweet lady is a stay-at-home mom, with a two-yearold and a five-year-old. For Halloween, she and the boys made cute little treats for her husband’s dinner that looked like worms and scary things. Their family and other families on the same street also went to Sugden Park for a Halloween picnic dinner a couple days before Halloween. It must be fun for those sons to grow up in such a wholesome, fun, loving family. I was under the impression that most young families have two parents working, but I’m learning that there are other young couples who prefer to have the mom stay at home to raise their children and greet dad when he comes home from work, and then have family time after dinner. I think it would be nice to read about young families who have a great family life as they enjoy their life together. I’ve heard more and more nice stories. Hmmmm, maybe I should write a little lagniappe once in a while featuring a nice family. I could have people write me a note about a nice family; I could call them and get their personal story about one event, and print it. I might just think about it.

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