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Coastal Comments

Boarding Orchids and More

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This will be a fun column to read (I hope) with some good news about Goodland as well! For years the Goodlanders have explained and shown the County/City of Marco, the problems of flooding, but without going into the blame game, let’s just say it was like pulling a tooth from a tiger! There were many players in the game, including the big player – The Conservancy. Their intentions were good but got a little out of hand. They had a legitimate concern – flooding or starving the mangroves, so nothing moved forward. Finally, a compromise was agreed upon and the green light went on. Of course there were permits, and lots and lots of dollars the County had to pay to those who stood in the way, waiting for their dollars. Finally, the deal was struck, the permits were gained, and the project is finally on its way. It was a difficult time for those living on Goodland because at times the flooding was so bad (no matter what the city manager at the time said) that people could not get home or get off Island, at times had to request the Marco Fire Dept rescue them to get out of Goodland so the residents could get to work, to the hospital, or to a doctor’s office, etc.…but they are well on their way now! In fact, I read the latest Goodland Civic Association newsletter and they are hoping the job will be finished by the time high season begins. That will be terrific for everyone, but especially for those who live there and those who own businesses on Goodland. So far, we’ve been very lucky with serious weather problems that have been kind to everyone in that area this year. By the time the holidays hit, you will probably be able to get to your favorite Island restaurants in Goodland as well as enjoying the entertainment that is so popular. I wonder if Ben Allen will be back to entertain at Stan’s, with him being in great demand now.

Dave and Judy White of Jade Orchids.

*Last week some friends of mine and I went to a marvelous orchid “farm” tucked away from the main thoroughfare, way out on Sabal Palm Road, off 951. If you are an orchid lover, you have probably ventured out there. It’s tucked way in the back of the street, but when you drive down Sabal Palm Rd for about nine-tenth of a mile from 951, you’ll come upon a sign that says Jade Orchids, 285 Morgan Road. When you drive down there, you’ll be amazed that a place like that even exists in the urban (well almost urban) area. Ride down Morgan Rd and you end up in their backyard. You’ll be so happy you took that excursion because you never see orchids like that…ever! Right now, the Vanda’s are in gorgeous bloom.  You can walk around the orchids with owners Dave & Judy White, who have lived in East Naples growing orchids for 45 years! If you want to meet people who have lived here that long and have seen where our roots came from and know how we developed, you’ll love to talk with Dave and Judy. Very down to earth, honest, knowledgeable, wonderful people, who have over 20,000 orchids (I’ve heard) on their property in four different “Orchid Farms – Compartments”. You can walk around the different orchid rooms, with Dave or Judy by your side, and it’s like opening a history book! It appeared that people never leave without buying at least one orchid. I’m always surprised that people even know they are back there, but orchid lovers always know where to go to find them, and now I’ve told YOU!  I’ve been on vacation, but as soon as I get my orchids back in shape (I should have boarded them with the Jade Orchid people) I’ll be going to buy a few more. And that’s another secret! Yes, you CAN board your orchids with them while you are on vacation for the summer if you’d like! While we drove in that back part of East Naples, we found a “sign farm”, with all sorts of signs from the past. My favorite, I guess because I remember when it was on the night club, was Flaming Fountain, which brought back earlier years when the city of Naples had a plethora of night clubs like you’ve seen in movies from the 50’s and 60’s. They were really gorgeous inside, with high end living and eating, and excellent live music playing and people dancing, and people dressed to the nines (for anyone who’s ever heard of that phrase), and the food was the best of the best! Flaming Fountain was located on U. S.41 in downtown Naples near NCH. There were numerous high-end nightclubs scattered across that area. It was fun just to watch! When I moved here in 1974, they were the most popular place to be for nightlife! Now I don’t even know if we have any nightclubs left???? Maybe Stoney’s on Goodland Road, if they haven’t closed. They (Stoney’s) even had a waterfall urinal! Yes, I got to see it after they got all the men out of there so we women could see what it was all about.

* And lastly, coming back from summer sabbatical was a nightmare! Our plane left Ohio and went to Charlotte, North Carolina, but toward the last part of the flight we ran into some pretty bad weather. Luckily our pilot choose to stay above the storm, but then we had to fly in that holding pattern for so long that we had to find another airport that was safe to land and fuel up after waiting out the rest of the storm. When we finally got back to CLT, we were very close to the next departure time, and our jetway wouldn’t work, so they had to deplane as many people as they could by walking down very wet steps with extremely slippery handrails. Some could not safely depart that way, so the airline had to find another safe way to deplane those people. The airport was another catastrophe!  Everyone was running around like a chicken who had lost his head, and the staff was very short staffed, and not at all familiar with what to do. Chaos everyplace was the matter of the evening. My luggage traveled back to RSW, but most passengers could not deplane safely, so we had to stay overnight in the worst motel I’ve ever stayed in! Plus, there was no food on the plane, and we spent extra hours in the air, and most people were hungry but the only place to eat was an extremely small bar with only the lowest of bar food and the girls “working the bar” kept us entertained. No luggage, no brush or toothbrush, although they gave us a makeshift one, but I would never put my feet on the ground, so I wore my shoes to bed and a sweater to cover me up a little more, after I checked for bugs like the big one I saw crawling up the wall behind the attendant checking us in.  Right now, with all the people who do not show up for work, I’d recommend not flying into CLT. It’s the second time I had that bad experience this year, and I won’t do it again unless there is no other place to go, but usually there are a couple airports that can pinch hit if need be. Now my luggage was in RSW (my son picked it up at midnight), but I was still in CLT. When I finally got into town the next day and he picked me up, (he had my luggage with him that he picked up at midnight the previous night) and brought me home. And what did I find at home?? No house phones! None. One was making a squealing noise, one was making a static noise, and one was just blank. And by the way…over one week later and they STILL are not functioning. I cannot reach Century Link, they do not answer their phones, you cannot speak to a real person, etc. It took three days to finally get a call back, and they made an appointment for two days later, sometime between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM but you must be home to answer the phone or they will drive by. I cancelled everything and stayed right there holding my cell phone (because of course the others didn’t work) and at 4:45 I got a text to say your new appointment is now scheduled for September 16 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Oh yes, did I tell you I drove to the store with my cell phone to get some cream for coffee, and later I had to move the car for the lawn people but OH WAIT, the car battery had died! Good old AAA came to the rescue. A little later I tried to get into my computer but my password wouldn’t work, and then I wanted to turn my TV on, but just like everything else, it would not turn on!!  What else could go wrong??? I’m still trying to get things back in order and deciding whether I want to change phone companies! So now you know of my adventures coming back home. But I have many prayers of thanks to give, so I use those other things as something to laugh at. And that’s all for now, folks.


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