Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The End of the Rainbow Just Three Miles Away

Running into friends at the Goodland post office is a normal activity. (Photo by Jeane Brennan)

Running into friends at the Goodland post office is a normal activity. (Photo by Jeane Brennan)

How many Marco Islanders have made the short trip into Goodland and actually were able to drive by Island Woman, Stan’s Idle Hour and Little Bar without stopping?  Try it sometime, and if you do and if you follow these directions you will experience moments unlike any other.

This is a short trip that definitely is worth its weight in gold.  We aren’t talking about the Pony Express carrying untold treasure, letters from loved ones, or tales of woe to those adventurers exploring new land.  We are talking about the tale of the Fountain of Youth riding right alongside the Goodland Post Office.  It sounds a bit bizarre, even to me, but the story of the Fountain of Youth was told to me by Elhanon Combs, the recent private proprietor of MarGood RV Resort Park.

There is a stop sign at that corner of Little Bar. Turn right.  Park somewhere. 

Judy Pritchard, Goodland Postmaster (Photo by Jeane Brennan)

Judy Pritchard, Goodland Postmaster (Photo by Jeane Brennan)

You are on foot now.  Just take a moment to enjoy where you are.

You might want to go into the post office first. You can’t miss it.  It is on the east side of the road.  Talk about beauty being in the eye of the beholder: Judy Pritchard, Goodland postmaster, is living proof of beauty throughout.  Murals painted by Goodland artists grace the walls and in Judy’s haven, plants, chimes, and tranquility reign.  Practically speaking, there is very rarely a line waiting for service if you get there after 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m.

On the west side of the street, right across from the post office is an alley leading to the Mar Good Park.  Take that walk on the wild side. Use your imagination and picture park model trailers and fifth wheels packed tight during the winter months housing travelers from all points north re-discovering  friendship and

Steve Kaplan of Carter Dock and Pile, picking up his mail. (Photo by Jeane Brennan)

Steve Kaplan of Carter Dock and Pile, picking up his mail. (Photo by Jeane Brennan)

camaraderie.  Elhanon loved Mar Good and put together a museum like no other. Chuckles Chickee Bar overlooking the bay was home to Goodland friends and visitors lucky enough to find this out-of-the-way watering hole.

Elhanon told many stories.  After he told me to eat a berry from a near-by tree making my mouth pucker for about three hours, I was a little leery about some of the things he shared with me.  However, I believed him when he told me that Juan Ponce de Leon discovered a spring near the large tree midway down the alley.  In fact, if you are lucky, you might hear the trickle of the spring splashing into the bay.     The Fountain of Youth, so the story goes, actually stems from the earth from north Florida and travels underground. Every once in while it makes itself known one way or the another.

Safe travel to you and yours.  Embrace the day.

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