Thursday, April 30, 2015

Valerie Again

I was back in the Village on Venetian Bay and walked past Valerie's store.  She waved at me.
So my camera and I stopped in to say hello.  Can you blame me?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Erin is the bartender at The Real Macaw, a funky bar/restaurant in east Naples.

Erin is from Alabama.  She got her master's degree in 16th century English poetry, which is not as lucrative a field as you might think.

For six years Erin lived in Sanremo, a beautiful town on the Mediterranean coast of Italy, just east of the border with France.  These days she works long hours six days a week behind the bar during Naples' high season so, when June comes, she can go back to her home in Sanremo.

Erin is a parachuting enthusiast.  On the day I met her, Erin had had taken some women on tandem jumps and then come to work.  (That is her and two women jumpers on her phone.)

See the things you learn when you ask a bartender to tell you about herself?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phil Fisher

Phil Fisher is a prominent artist of tropical scenes in southwest Florida.  He has a gallery in the
Crayton Cove neighborhood of Naples.  He is standing beside a recently completed painting
of the Smallwood Store on Chokoloskee Island.   The Smallwood Store was once a general
store but these days is operated as a nostalgic historical museum.

For comparison, here is my photograph of the Smallwood Store, taken in January.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Paul Arsenault

Paul Arsenault is an impressionist artist from New England who moved to Naples in 1974.  He paints brightly colored scenes, often in Naples and Southwest Florida, but he also
travels the world with paint brush and canvas in hand.

Paul painted the pictures that introduce each chapter in the new book, Naples Beach Homes.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Age is No Barrier (Continued): 12. Sandra

Sandra -- who goes by "Mom" -- is Edgard's wife and mother of three running daughters.  
She greets customers, takes orders and handles the cash register at the Neighborhood Cafe.  

Sandra is nearly 80 years old.  Back in the 1980s, Mom was one of the family runners who ran across the USA on two successive years.  She still runs distance races, though she says
she is slower these days.  See all the race numbers behind her?

Like everyone else in the family, Mom was originally a teacher.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Age is No Barrier (Continued): 11. Edgard

Edgard -- age 80 -- is the cook at the Neighborhood Cafe and father of Leigh, Lynda and their sister.  Edgard is a former physics, biology and physical education teacher and soccer coach who
has written a book about coaching soccer.  He still consults to soccer coaches.

In addition to the two runs across the USA described yesterday, Edgard was in the Guinness Book of World Records for running 101 marathons in one year.  (That is a Guinness belt over his shoulder.)
When he was 61, Edgard went back to Ashland College in Ohio and made the football team.
He became the oldest man ever to play college football.  That is his Ashland football helmet.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Neighborhood Cafe

Leigh makes sandwiches at the Neighborhood Cafe.  Her sister, Lynda, is the barista.  (A third sister wasn't there at the time.)  They are both Brazilian-born ex-teachers who work in the family cafe.

In the 1980s Leigh and Lynda were part of a five-person family group that ran south-to-north across the entire USA from Naples to the Canadian border, four at a time, with the fifth driving the van.

The following year Leigh and Lynda and the other family runners ran east-to-west across the entire United States from Ocean City, Maryland, to San Diego, California.  This time they ran relay style, four runners each day.  The family ran about 60 - 70 miles a day.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Winnie and Carmelita

Winnie and her mother Carmelita are from Mexico.  They make colorful jewelry that they sell
in flea markets and crafts shows.  Winnie is wearing a necklace she made.
Winnie also has a regular Saturday night gig singing in the lounge
of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Naples.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Rod is Kelli's husband.  He has run 38 marathons, but after Kelli had surgery on her knee,
they both stopped (for now).  Rod's expertise is in project management, operational
excellence and lean business processes.  Kelli and Rod are starting up a consulting firm
combining her leadership expertise and Rod's project management knowledge.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Kelli was a serious runner for three decades, running numerous marathons and half marathons.  
A couple of years back, she developed knee problems requiring surgery.  So, 
her running days are over, but she swims, bikes and works out instead.

Originally from northeast Ohio, Kelli moved to Naples a year ago.  She spent a career in
talent development, leadership and executive coaching at a variety of nonprofits and educational institutions.  Today Kelli and her husband are developing a small consulting firm.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Buffalo Chips

"Florida's favorite upscale dive."
(With the emphasis on "dive.")

Today's post is linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Tyler Joseph has a eponymous store with a range of hand-made artisanal goods.
Don't you just love the word eponymous?  I had to look it up last year.
It means the store has the same name as its owner.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Dani is the ticket seller at the Everglades Wonder Gardens, an old-fashioned Florida attraction.
She has modeled for the last ten years at tattoo conventions.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Valeria is from Brazil.  She sells tropical fashions and offers dance lessons.
Her dance embraces elements from Nia, samba, yoga and free style dance.

To see more reflection photographs, click here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Lodge is from Ohio.  In the early 1930s, Lodge's Ohio grandmother heard about a charming fishing village on Florida's gulf coast.  She drove across the state from Miami, experienced the most beautiful sunset she had ever seen, and that was that.  She built a cottage on the
Gulf of Mexico in Naples, and spent winters here until she died many decades later.

Throughout his youth, Lodge visited his grandmother in Naples whenever he could.  Soon after graduating from college,  Lodge immediately moved to Naples.  He never left.  Today Lodge serves on the boards of several historical organizations, the public housing community, the automobile museum, and numerous other civic groups.  Lodge is Naples' unofficial city historian. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Judy has a Ph.D. in biology.  As a Naples resident for the past dozen years she volunteers for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and other environmental organizations, educating and advocating on behalf of sensible environmental policies to preserve and protect the region's water supply, native plants and animals.  Judy is also involved with numerous arts organizations, community organizations and other nonprofits, to make Naples better.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Red Hat Ladies

These ladies were having so much fun.  Then they told me I am not eligible
to become a red hat lady.  I am crushed.

Fun – we celebrate life at every age
Friendship – we solidify and expand the bonds of sisterhood
Freedom – we discover and explore new interests
Fulfillment – we realize our personal potential
Fitness – we embrace healthy, life-lengthening lifestyles.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Two Sisters

These two girls are ten and nine.  They were in a Caribbean grocery store with their father.
They saw my camera and wanted me to take a picture.
Dad said it was OK.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Tim and his wife have a shop, Recycled Treasures, in Naples.  They specialize in cottage/Caribbean/Tommy Bahama-style furniture and accessories.
I caught up with him at the end of the day, resting
after delivering some heavy furniture.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Age is No Barrier (Continued): 10. Dolly

Dolly is 80.  For the last 20 years she has run an immensely popular produce stand and eatery.
It is the kind of neighborhood restaurant that serves meals (and pies!)
like your grandmother used to cook.  

And, in the evenings, Dolly is a champion ballroom dancer.  Four years ago -- at the age of 76 --
she won the Fred Astaire World Championship as the top
female dancer in the Silver Skill division.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Miniature Golf

Maybe he is using the wrong end of the putter head.
Maybe he is attacking the golf ball like a hockey puck.
But no one can fault his effort.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Last week I met a handsome young man who is an aspiring hiphop artist.
FLA-Amazin.  If you like hiphop (or are just curious),
check him out here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Robin is a realtor who sells residential real estate from an office on Olde Naples' main street.  
The whole time I was taking her photograph, she was moaning about how bad she looks.

Yeah.  Right.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Answer Man

Arthur is a good-natured guy.  He rolls his motorized wheelchair up and down the main streets of  Naples, with a flag sign reading:

 "Information 5 cents,
Correct Information $1."    

I asked Arthur how often people pay him for advice. He smiled and said, "Never."

Arthur is originally from Chicago.  These days he splits the year between 
Chicago and Naples.  

AND, Arthur wears a sharp Panama hat, much like the ones I wear, except better.  
We spent some time discussing where he orders his hats.  I am going to 
give his hat seller a try. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


For a change of pace, let's get back to meeting some Southwest Florida people.

Jennifer is an investment consultant at a large national money management firm.
She has worked in money management for more than fifteen years.
Jennifer moved to Naples from Denver one year ago to be closer
to her family on the east coast of Florida.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Golden Trumpet Trees!


Most winter flowers down here seem to be red, orange, pink, purple or white.
In other words, not yellow.  But, now is the time when golden trumpet trees bloom,
introducing bright yellow into the landscape.  A nice change.

Friday, April 3, 2015


This is a detail from a bas relief bronze sculpture with gold and silver highlights by Donatello, 
from around 1455 A.D.  It is in the Uffizi in Florence, the museum built around 
the art collections of the Medici family.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lily Pads

An artificial pond at the Naples Botanical Garden has lily pads so perfect they look fake.

These are shown straight from the camera.

I started to boost the saturation of this one and got carried away.  So, I did it some more.

And this one was in a group in which each lily pad was as big as a pizza pan.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Camera-Shy Self Portrait

Click here to see how other photographers from City Daily Photo interpret this month's theme.

(And, here is an alternate.  Some would say that a 50% discount is not big enough for me.)