Year 1982: I, a native Virginian, had been to and seen ocean resorts from Athens to Luzon. My son had just joined the faculty of the University of South Florida. My wife and I went to visit him there. Figuring it would be nice to have a beach condo in Florida for future visits, I got a real estate agent to show me the small, secluded ones. At this one, it was “laid back” in time. I saw that it’s most important occupants were a pair of herons which would visit any fellow citizen whenever a door was left open. They were treated as royalty because they ruled the place, where all occupants were “family.” If you were lucky at night time a mysteriously distant peacock would sing you to sleep.
Ah, 1953! It was a great year. Gen. Eisenhower was inaugurated as President, with Nixon as V.P. Postage stamps were 3 cents. No computers and e-mail. Some things, though, remain the same. The sign at G.B’s front hasn’t changed much since the hotel/motel was built in 1953, except for being “lit up.” The place is officially designated as “Historic” because it was one of the very few remaining properties built simply as a small beachfront hotel. Though of the past, G.B. is modern, with all the electronics, etc.
930 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota. A short walk down the street and you’re in government protected wildlife parkland reserved for native flora and fauna. Back to 930. There, the beautiful beach with its fine, white sand lights up at sunup. Sundown is glorious, directly across the water. The Lord made this place for you and me. God, may it last forever!
GULF BEACH CONDO HOTEL MATHEW J. BOWYER CREATIVE WRITING MEMBER: AUTHORS GUILD & AMERICAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY