Please mark your calendar for our Marco Town Hall Gathering, which will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 6 PM in the Rose Hall Auditorium on the Museum property. Come early so you can see the newest attraction: “The Pioneer Cabin,” the newest exhibit to be added to this wonderful museum. Each exhibit seems to get better and better. They also found a unique way to display the “Windows & Doors” of the past by taking actual paintings from top artists in our area and having them imprinted on aluminum. The Town Hall gathering starts at 6 PM and will probably end by 7:30 PM. The Town Hall will begin with my introduction of the County Manager Leo Ochs. Then we will focus on ways the county and the city work together for the benefit of the residents and taxpayers of the area, which will feature staff members each talking about their area of expertise, such as the county beaches, the museum, the library, solid waste (garbage) pickup, Marco Island Airport expansion, and a general overview of the growth in the area leading up to Marco Island. Please join us.
• It is with great sadness we say goodbye to another star of Marco Island, Mac Chaudhry, the general manager of the Marco Hilton. This man never said an unkind word to anyone or about anyone, and his staff absolutely loved him. So did everyone who knew him on Marco Island. I think I was one of his greatest fans! He and his lovely wife, Chris, have been an integral part of life on Marco Island, and have always been generous to all the charitable organizations that needed help. His kids are marvelous kids who have gone through school here and are now in college in Orlando, so the parents want to follow them. They have such a close family unit and it is beautiful to be around them! Mac, you will always be thought of in the highest esteem. We will miss you, my friend.
• The Kiwanis Car Show is coming up quickly! This is one of the greatest car shows in the area! There will be over 200 cars displayed at their finest, while the owners look on proudly. All cars are welcome to display until they run out of room and there is no charge to bring your car in to display. People who want to see these marvelous cars will pay $5 at the “door” and can stay all day if they’d like because there will be hot dogs and hamburgers cooking on the huge grill, as only these Kiwanians can do, plus popcorn, chips, beer and wine. Our resident DJ Steve will be there to spin the tunes for us, and you’ll meet many of your friends from the island and around the corner. Usually the Italian/American Club has a booth of delectable bakeries you may purchase if you’d like (and we all like!). Remember, Sunday, February 19th from 10 AM to 3 PM at the parking lot of NCH Healthcare Facility on Heathwood Drive. There will be everything there from antique cars, to sports cars, race cars, premier luxury vehicles, exotic cars, and so much more. As yet though, I’ve never found a horse and buggy displayed. They’re transportation too, right?
• Speaking of horse and buggy, I hope some of you got to meet a few of my Amish friends last week while they were in town. I took them to Residents Beach for the life jacket presentation. They loved Marco Island!
• Doug Johnson is a resident of Marco Island and also an officer in the Marco Island Coast Guard Auxiliary. But on the side he has a little hobby working with wood, and a grandson who idealizes his grandpa and thinks he can do anything in the world, and Doug would never want to let him down. This 7-year-old grandson asked him to make him a chess set. Now grandpa gently explained he didn’t know how to make one, to which the grandson replied “but Grandpa, you can do anything!” That was it for Doug. He wasn’t going to let that little guy down, so now came the challenge of finding out he didn’t have the right tools, so he’d need to buy some new items, and he needed the instructions, so he’d have to get a CD to show him how to do it, and then he would need to communicate with this little guy every day because the boy wanted to see his progress daily. Doug’s wife, Marie, thought this needed to be recorded, so she started taking pictures and every day she would note what took place. It took Doug three months, working a little every day, to complete the set, but you should see it! Marie put all of her notes in beautiful form and had them made into a professional looking book with dates, pictures, etc. The love in those pages filled the room! It made me tear up to see what lovely grandparents Doug and Marie are.