Saturday, February 28, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 6. Luc

Luc is 90.  He came to the USA from Quebec when he was a 22-year old carpenter.
In the following decades he grew a homebuilding company that built many houses and condominiums in Michigan and the east coast of Florida.

Today Luc plays golf three days a week and until recently could "shoot his age," i.e., when he was 89 he could score 89.  (Wow!)  Two days a week, Luc volunteers his time in East Naples
with Habitat for Humanity.  He hangs the kitchen cabinets.

Habitat for Humanity in Collier County has built more than 1700 homes for working poor residents since it was founded in 1978.  Homeowners must invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” building homes. They make a $1,000 down payment and a $500 insurance deposit. Homes are sold at cost with a no-interest loan. Mortgage payments are used to purchase land and materials for more homes.

The Collier County chapter is one of the biggest and most successful Habitat chapters in the country.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 5. Mark

Mark is a World War II veteran who served on a Navy battleship in the Pacific from 1946 to 1950.
He moved to Naples a few years ago to take care of his sister after she had a minor stroke.

Mark likes to walk from his sister's house to the end of the Naples Pier and back.
He does it three times a day, a total of six miles,  talking with people he meets along the way.
At 85, Mark is physically fit, mentally sharp, sociable and happy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 4. John and Lanie

John and Lanie were professors of astronomy at the University of Illinois.  After retiring, they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they are adjunct professors at the University of New Mexico.

Lanie (77) is a competitive ice dancer and competes three times a year.  John (76) is chairman of the energy committee of the Isaak Walton League, a national environmental group that held a meeting
in Naples.  While here, they went birding in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

They are standing in front of the new 7' by 14' mural in the visitors center.
The artist is Tom Heflin, from Illinois.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 3. 5th Avenue

5th Avenue is a barbershop quartet that has entertained audiences in southwest Florida
for more than ten years.  They are affiliated with The Paradise Coastmen Chorus,
a men's a capella chorus happily singing their hearts out since 1974.

Each member of 5th Avenue is a retired man in his 70s, including
a former manufacturer and two insurance agents.
Dave Eastlake, Tenor; Gray Poehler, Lead; Bill Countie, Bass and Richard Klym, Baritone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 2. Ellie and Ben

So, if you have had successful careers as an estate planning lawyer and as an orthopedic surgeon,
what is your encore when you retire to southwest Florida?


Ben (74) and Ellie (73) give tours of Naples' best places for chocolate on Fifth Avenue South.
Naples Chocolate Stroll offers popular walking tours three days a week in season.
A two-hour option includes visits to eight food boutiques with good chocolate offerings
. . .  fudge, chocolate gelato, chocolate mint tea, truffles, toll house cookies, etc.  A slightly
longer stroll includes stops at five art galleries, where wine and chocolate are served.

Can you think of a better way to spend your retirement years?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 1. Carl

Back in Ohio, Carl (72) ran the five mile Thanksgiving "turkey trot" for the last 26 consecutive years.
He sold his automotive parts company a few years ago and now lives year-round in Fort Myers.

On Saturday, Carl ran his fourth Festival of Light 5K.  He planned to take it easy and just focus on finishing.  This weekend Carl flies to Utah for a week of skiing.  He also likes barefoot waterskiing.

Admittedly, this is not the best photo, but this is 72-year old Richard Schmidt, a retired doctor and active pilot, who was the fastest finisher in the 70 - 74 category, with the impressive time
of 26:47, or eight-and-a-half minutes per mile.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Edison Festival of Light 5K

The annual Edison Festival of Light 5K race was run yesterday along the riverfront in Fort Myers.

Number 1 led from the start.
Update:  Thanks to John (below) and the local newspaper, the winner was 
Eliud Ngetich from Kenya, whose time was a fraction of a second under 14 minutes.)

Don't ever try to outsprint a kid approaching the finish line.

You've gotta admire determination.

Many runners wear costumes.  No, I don't know why.

And the people in the crowd can be interesting.  And cute.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Is this dad teaching his daughter not to fear alligators?  Bad idea, Dad.
Focused Attention by David Price.

This is the head of an eagle, Air Force One, by Stefan Savides.

Winter's Paws by Daniel Glanz.

All Creatures Great and Small, animal sculptures at the Naples Botanical Garden, through March 5.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Valerie has a beautiful shop in the Village on Venetian Bay in Naples.  It features European home furnishings, jewelry, sculptures, Murano glass, Florida artists and assorted decorative items.

When I visited, Valerie showed me some of her favorite pieces:  a bronze sculpture of a mermaid riding a tortoise, two very large bronze tortoise sculptures, a pair of glass birds, and
several elaborate mirrors assembled from shells.

For more photographs featuring reflections, please visit Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Last week I went to the Naples Botanical Garden, where there is a butterfly house.

This handsome lad is a common buckeye butterfly.

And she is an Orange Julia butterfly.

The zebra butterflies were all over the place.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Calvin Murphy

Members of the Basketball Hall of Fame are in Naples for a charity golf event.  Several Hall of Fame players went to local high schools to conduct clinics.  I went to Immokalee High School to see
 Calvin Murphy, only 5'9", the shortest member of the Hall of Fame.

Calvin grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut.  His mother was a professional basketball player and a professional baton twirler.  In the eighth grade, Calvin won a national baton twirling championship.  In high school, he set all state basketball records, scoring 66 points in the championship game.

Calvin went to college at Niagara, averaged 33 points a game and was a three-time All American.  But, because of his height, he was not drafted into the NBA until the second round.  Still he became the Rookie of the Year, played 13 seasons for the Houston Rockets, averaged 18 points a game, 
set a record with 78 consecutive free throws, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993.

After retiring, Calvin Murphy joined the Houston Rockets' television broadcast team.  His talk this week was about P.R.I.D.E. — positivity, respect, intelligent decisions, dedication and
effort in education.  He stressed avoiding peer pressure and drugs.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Guardians of the Everglades

Husband and wife artists, Connie Brainsilver and Nicholas Petrucci, have adjoining studios and galleries.  They are both working on an ambitious artistic project, Guardians of the Everglades,
 about preserving and restoring the huge Florida watershed.  

Connie is a conservation photographer who has photographed vulnerable environments 
around the globe.  For the Everglades project, she photographs threatened plants, 
animals and scenes, presenting her works as large format prints and silk banners.

Nicholas is working on a series of eleven oil portraits of individuals who have made important contributions to saving the Everglades, from a U.S. Senator to a Native American chief to a
wildlife photographer and philanthropists.  Seven completed 4' by 6' portraits are shown in his gallery.  An eighth is nearly finished and will be unveiled within a few weeks.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day.  I hate that.  In the past there were separate holidays for the two giants of the American Presidency.  Lincoln's birthday is February 12 and Washington's birthday is
February 22.  But, I suppose I must get with the times . . .

When in Manhattan last June for the wedding of the son of a good friend, I stayed near Wall Street.  
I came across a group of history students, joyful to be posing at the feet of 
one of their country's great heroes, George Washington.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Last week I went back to Casanova Glass Gallery and Casanova Boutique in Venetian Village.  
While there, I met Marina's daughter, Danielle, who posed for me.
Like her mother, Danielle is a model.

Everywhere I go in Naples, I seem to run into models.  Lucky me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Egret at the Golden Hour

A lone great egret hunted in a small pond in Naples' Freedom Park in the late afternoon.

Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Angelo is originally from New York.  He came to southwest Florida recently after 20 years
in North Carolina.  Angelo owns an Antica Murrina store in the Promenade in Bonita Springs.

Antica Murrina makes colorful glass jewelry in Murano, the glass-making center near Venice, Italy.

Men, Valentine's Day is on Saturday.  Get yourself over there.  Fast.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brigid and Aiden

Brigid is an eye doctor.  I spotted her taking a walk with Aiden on Brigid's lunch break.
Brigid was not offended when I told her that her hair and Aiden's
are similar but Brigid is prettier.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gator's Cross Roads

Gator's Cross Roads is a redneck bar southeast of Naples.

On the day I visited, a good three-man band was set up in the parking lot,
performing classic rock like 
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, Cream and Queen.

A large group of bikers was there, including Tommy.

And Lon and Paul, from Maine.  Spanish moss decorates the walls.  Unusual.

Michael had some of his wood carvings nearby.  Michael uses a chain saw
 to craft birds, bears, gators and other animals from tree trunks.

Tough Guy Charlie wanted to wreck the group photo.
Nope.  I am not that easily discouraged.

Charming, Charlie.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Vanishing Faces

A tank near the bridge leading to Marco Island and Goodland is covered by a
mural, "Vanishing Faces," calling attention to threatened animals like
manatees, tortoises, bears, panthers and the like.

Today's post is linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


 Isack Kousnsky is an Israeli-born artist whose medium is digitized photography.  He has a Naples
gallery showing his large-scale photographs as well as other artists' sculptures and paintings.

Isaac works from a photograph, often taken at the ocean, in nature or in a city, and manipulates the colors, or adds contrasting photographic images, or both.  Take a look.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sunset on Rookery Bay

Recently I took a sunset cruise on Rookery Bay with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida,
an environmental organization.  The sky was relatively cloudless that night, so the
sunset was fairly so-so.  But, the boat's wake added some interest.

Friday, February 6, 2015

John Costin: Florida Birds

The Naples Art Association is exhibiting images of Florida birds by Tampa artist John Costin
at the NAA's von Liebig Art Center.  It is part of a bigger exhibition
about Wild Florida.