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Island advocates and small heroes

July 29, 2015
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

I was at first sending some respect and kindness to two of our Island's best advocates but, as I began to write, a little extra fell from my mind onto the page.

I'd like to say when it comes to shining a light it's real bright around these folks. So let's take you on a ride into our little island village. It's HOT, real HOT. Between that and traffic you get a real deep thirst to make you dream of water, tea or pop (I'll take the water).

Your Jeep pipes up, I'm thirsty too.

You try hard to get into the left lane when a wing finger from Grandpa flips out from the driver next to you (no grandpas were harmed in the writing of this letter) then goose bleeps from the "Me First, Me FIRST" behind you.

Suddenly Sunoco shines out like a beacon before you.

Before the bridge it's like water in the desert.

As Miss Jeep and you pull in aggravated, you step into the cool A/C, smells of country cooking fill the air. Frozen slushies for your crew and oil for Mizz J.

Then, there is a rocking chairs. How many times have I seen old and young in laps or a seat of their own together, cold cone dripping through fingers shaded from the hot sun. Lots of smiles enjoying cool moments together. What can we learn from Wanda besides ice cream makes you sweet?

And once again we return to the beginning of this circle. Our point guards, center halves, star quarterbacks or simply known as "Sweet" Melissa and "Ballpoint" Bob for there unbiased interpretation of the news. They make room for everyone to speak their mind and help in any way they can to get those words to your ears. They have a fair and kind realization of the world around them: sometimes funny, sometimes harsh but always fair. With time to lend an ear whether or not they like what they hear. Exploring what's going on and being helpful when able and really hearing what our island brothers and sisters are feeling and thinking.

Just wanted to let you know every minute of your time is greatly appreciated. They show you care and you have done much for many.

We benefit from your honest reporting, knowledge and your kindness.

"Sweet" Melissa, whose heart goes into everything, and "Ballpoint Bob, who keeps our favorite local rag rolling on and rocking each edition.

Then you turn to find ... another long line.

But this is where it's cool as ice cream (will get back to ice cream later).

The man behind the counter is Jose, as soft spoken and kind a man one can meet. Always helpful and gentle, a real humanitarian with a knack for being funny when the mood hits him.

I've seen him deal with drunken sailors, out-of-staters and "just can't" waiters, the down-trodden, up-trodden, x-rated and with each of these personalities can take a bad situation and turn it around. He's a take it all out that's what he's about kinda fellow.

Not bad for a welcoming post to the island. Thank you, Jose.

My second little Island hero is Wanda from Royal Scoop. Besides her kind and joyful demeanor (and well, she has ice cream!)

Since the first day I met her she has gone above and beyond whether it's donating to local charities and benefits, or working with our island's youth. Her sweetness envelopes all who enter. She is truly Royal.

Shine your light because ice cream, you scream, we all scream Thank You.

Who's your Island Advocate?

Love and Thanks

Anchor Cat

Fort Myers Beach



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