I am a lucky person – I never worked a day in my life!
Every professional opportunity to come my way quickly became a passion, and when you are passionate about what you do, “work” is never a four-letter word, and this was So True of my 4-1/2 years with “The Island Sand Paper.”
When preparing to retire from my 30-year Ohio government service career, people asked me what I wanted to do in Florida. I would reply, “one of two things. I have two history degrees and worked at two historic homes, so the Edison-Ford Winter Estates would be a natural. Or, there is this Funky Little Weekly Newspaper on Fort Myers Beach called ‘The Island Sand Paper’ and I would LOVE to write for them!” Dreams really do come true, and the funny part is that “The Island Sand Paper” was even more fun than I ever imagined!
Now I am like The Academy Award winner who must make an Acceptance Speech without forgetting anyone. The way to say what I want to say will occur to me after this goes to press, but there are several people I must thank. Alison Giesen, Jacki Liszak, Eve Haverfield, Kaye Molnar, and former Mayor Anita Cereceda not only helped with numerous articles on various subjects but always provided terrific quotes! Fort Myers Beach Fire Department Chief Matthew Love and Assistant Chief of Life Safety & Support Services Ron Martin, like great firefighters, were always there when I needed them! Water Quality advocates like Penny Jarrett, Rae Ann Wessel, Dr. Michael Parsons, John Cassani, and Nicole Weigold were indispensable. When I first covered Town Council, the Interim Town Manager was Jim Steele who was Pure Character and Integrity! For all the thousands of others in the Fort Myers Beach community who were so outstanding to me, I appreciate you all so much!
Finally, there is my work family. Mark List and Keri Hendry Weeg were fantastic, and Sandy Sandness a constant source of laughter and love. Like the end of “The Wizard of Oz,” however, when Dorothy immortally says to the Scarecrow, “I will miss you most of all,” I say that to Bob and Missy Layfield. I appreciate you taking the chance on me and I hope I did not let you down.
Fort Myers Beach – THANKS For The Memories!