Talk for Boomers, Seniors and Retirees
do with the Rest of Your
Episode 119 Part 12: Sarasota
Apalachicola was our next unanticipated stop. The name alone
forced a stop. “Apalachicola” is so much fun
to say. This was the home of John Gorrie pre civil war. He was a doctor and
somehow connected malaria with heat. He thought about how to cool things down and
invented refrigeration and the ice making machine. Just try to imagine the
world without refrigeration and ice machines. Amazing, huh? I had never heard
of the guy. They have a nice monument to him including his grave set just
behind a historical old church: lots of big oak trees and hanging Spanish moss.
We read the interpretive signs and enjoyed the solitude. Then we had to leave
this quiet place and make time if we wanted to get to Sarasota before dark.
Beautiful white-sand beaches lined
our drive. We took turns driving and biking right along the beach. No wonder we
never get any where. We can’t seem to stay focused on going from A to B. We
never made Sarasota
by dark. We stopped in Chrystal
River just a couple of
hours short and spent the night. No need to rush life.
Our friend, Roy Ingham,
welcomed us with a great lunch and then a trip to the beach. There was white
sand as far as we could see. We walked on the beach around sunset. It is a
popular thing to do. If you would like to lie on a sandy white beach this would
be a good choice. That is one of my better memories of Sarasota; although, I’m not a beach kind of
guy. An even stronger memory is of traffic – lots of traffic. It was so busy;
and noisy, at least where we stayed. Or I should say, just to be honest, as
soon as we left our friends place. Roy lives
close to the busiest road in Sarasota
and it still haunts me in my dreams: ten lanes of fast traffic in places. It
made me nervous.
Roy moved to Bellingham,
Washington at age 65 when he
retired. He had been a professor at Florida
At age 75 he returned to Florida, Sarasota, to be near his
daughter who had cancer. She died a few years later and Roy
has now made Sarasota
home. He just celebrated his 84th birthday.
His retirement has run in
four different directions at the same time: creating clay pots, political
activism, the Unitarian
Church, and swimming. He
pretty much does these things on a daily basis and with vigor.
Roy took several classes after retirement in the art
department at Western
He continues to ‘throw pots’ on a weekly basis. His political activism has
centered around left, liberal causes. If there is a cause that needs assistance
Roy is quick to
send some money, lend a hand, or in many cases assume a leadership position.
The church work has been important to Roy’s
retirement life. It has provided a place of spiritual comfort and social
contact. He’s met a lot of people at Unitarian services and events. He seems to
always have a fund raiser or dinner to attend with this group. The swimming has
with good exercise and another community of friends. He swims in the masters
swim program and competes in a class now that don’t boast a lot of competitors.
He has lots of medals.
Roy likes Sarasota.
He likes the warm weather. However, he doesn’t like the hot weather and leaves
every summer for the Pacific Northwest where
he stays with friends.
Sarasota boasts a lot of coast line and sunshine; good fishing
and great golfing. If you like those features it may be the place for your
retirement. It is a car centered culture in many respects. You want to be
willing to drive a car to get anywhere. We did find some nice neighborhoods
close to downtown that seemed very amiable to walking and biking. It’s a
beautiful place, but – too many roads and cars to suit my taste. Sarasota has lots of
shopping centers, restaurants, and parking lots.
We did see alligators at Myakka River
State Park. They were big
and they were wild. That was exciting. We also saw deer, wild pigs, turkey
vultures and plain old wild turkeys. We walked high above the forest canopy on
cable suspended bridges and platforms. That was interesting – and fun.
We did enjoy a lunch with a
couple of Roy’s
friends in the Selby Gardens; a
beautiful place. His friends – she is a swimmer - are retired and love living
in Sarasota. He
returns to New Jersey each summer too escape
the heat and humidity of Florida.
She stays. She likes the heat. A lot of people like the heat. You have probably
noticed that older people like to keep their thermostats turned up. They like a
house temperature of 76 or 78. Perhaps I won’t mind the heat so much if I am
lucky enough to grow older. I know that on this trip; in January, at 8 o’clock
in the morning, I was dripping with sweet while doing Tai Chi. I didn’t like
it. We enjoyed Sarasota
but wouldn’t want to live there.
We buzzed through Tampa and Orlando on our
way to Savannah.
Of course, we didn’t make it. We had to stop and take in the famed beaches at
Daytona. We spent that night in Saint
Augustine. We loved this place. We walked the old city
and biked through much of the area. It has character.
Savannah is our next stop and we look forward to seeing this
historical city in all of its’ southern charm. The trip is proving exciting day
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