Experts have said that walking could be the best exercise for seniors and walking is just what the doctor ordered for Janie Curtis of Marco Island. Each year for her annual visit to the Mayo Clinic, the first question her doctor would ask is, “Are you still walking?” At 75+, Janie said she feels good all due to her daily morning walks. When it is raining or windy, she walks around her Condo’s indoor garage.
Janie walks the beach every day wearing an authentic Kentucky Derby Hat. She has lived on Marco Island for the past 20 years, and since she moved to the beach, Janie added a daily walk to her routine. She currently lives at the Madeira and she loves its central location on the beach.
Janie has always worn her Kentucky Derby hats during her morning beach walks and for most walkers, they might feel a little out of depth. Janie and her late husband Stuart would walk the beach all dressed in white, and people would ask, “Are you newlyweds?”
Janie would reply “Yes, we are for 51 years ago.”
At the beach, Janie is very recognizable with her signature white trousers and long sleeves and wearing the Derby Hat of the Day. “White reflects the heat and the bugs don’t like white,” Janie added. Logging about 4+ miles daily, her walk would take her to the first lagoon at Sand Dollar Island where sometimes she would spot wildlife such as the Roseate Spoonbills.
Her love for anything related to the Kentucky Derby started when Janie was just 5 or 6-years old. Growing up, they did not have electricity, but they had a big battery-operated radio and every time the Kentucky Derby came on the radio on the first Saturday in May, Janie would put her ears against the radio and listen.
Many beach walkers wonder what the Hat Lady is going to be wearing that day and she usually does not disappoint. For Friday’s walk, Janie wore a Black Kentucky Derby Hat that is about 60 cm brim diameter (24” inches) with an arching white plume. She likes her hats to be over the top. If not, she would take them to Diane Shagott of Hats to Di For, a Marco couture milliner to make them Bigger and Better!
Her grandchildren, Jenny and John, are also into hats, thanks to Grandma. They wear their special Derby hats to the beach when they come for a visit. According to Janie, her Derby hats are as perfect for Marco’s sunny day at the beach as they are for a sunny day on the First Saturday in May in Kentucky.
Janie’s suggestions for the perfect beach hat!
- Shade – Extra wide-brim to protects your delicate skin from exposure to the harmful UV rays and of course and you’ll need the perfect sunglasses for the glare.
- Comfort – Outdoorsy perfect to wear all day with a chin cord to tie it down so hats don’t fly off with the slight gust of wind.
- Stand Out – The whole point is to stand out from the crowd. It is about taking chances and stepping out of your comfort zone in a functional and stylish hat.
The next time you see Janie on the beach, give her a thumbs up!