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Vol. 17 No. 40 - July 19, 2017

opinion

The dream is still alive

When World War II ended and our troops came home, they got married and started families. Many of them moved to favorable places where they had been stationed like Colorado, California and Florida.

Anna Maria Island’s fledgling tourist industry brought families in by boat to enjoy the beaches, fishing and the warm winters. That’s also when our part-time residents started buying land and building vacation homes that would serve as retirement nests where their children and grandchildren could come for a fun visit.

When these snowbirds became permanent residents, they celebrated their well-earned lives of leisure and built their own society. They constructed churches, a library and parks; some opened stores to serve the residents and the vacationers and the community center became a gathering place for young and old.

Despite the recent proliferation of vacation rentals, people continue to make retirement nests on our Island and the Fourth of July celebration in Anna Maria City Pier Park was a result of their efforts. It was fun to watch them sit under tents or shade trees and get to know their neighbors. Nobody got paid to put the celebration together. It was the result of volunteers working together for the betterment of their community. They served snacks and cold drinks to stave off the heat of the day for a while.

That’s what Old Florida is all about and you can’t buy or sell it. You just have to let it happen.

To those organizers of the event, we say thanks for keeping that spirit alive. It was an added treat to the Privateers’ parade and the fireworks at the Sandbar and it was all made in America.



AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper