Jiggedy Jig Part 3-The Door Handel and Fred Hill

I have some final things to share about our vacation to Fort Myers Beach. As usual, they are random, so I feel the list format will help with the jarring lane changes. Won’t you come along for the ride?

Fort Myers Beach is like a handle on the door of Florida. Attached to the door in two places, but open in the middle. I’ll give you a handy dandy visual aid in the fish. The fish represents Fort Myers Beach. You can only access the fish in two places. Head end or tail end, unless you have a boat, and I think you are all aware that we have no boat.

There is one main road with streets coming off it to the east, but the west is the Gulf of Mexico and what lies beyond. My issue with Fort Myers Beach is this, if you want to stay at the beach and eat and shop right there on that main thoroughfare, and leave the fish occasionally, then this is your place. If not, you are driving up the fish constantly to get off the fish and back to the door of Florida. Which is what we did all week. The fish is perfectly loverly, but I guess we are Door People at heart.

I don’t know how many miles it takes to get off the fish (Honey, your input would be appreciated here), but there is a bridge that opens occasionally, causing traffic backups, and we were closer to the head of the fish than the other, so it didn’t make sense to travel way the heck to the tail when where we were trying to be was up by the head.  I know, totally a first world problem. So for that reason alone, we most likely will not be returning to Fort Myers Beach. The condo was fine and the pool was warm, and that is pretty much all we require.

Actually that is a total LIE and I have a post in the works about Things I Require In A Vacation Residence. Please remind me if I forget to publish that gem.

A very poor map picture, as they all were. They don’t blow up well enough so anyone could recognize anything in them.


One of the main reasons we were continually driving off the fish is we were spending some time with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis. They usually spend a couple of months in Naples each winter. But because for the last 19 years we have been bound by the public school calendar, we took vacations later than they were usually there. We had never overlapped before. This year, there was overlappage! We had a lot of fun seeing them.

There was much eating and talking and introducing going on. The eating began immediately upon arrival, the talking was continual and the introducing was intermittent.

Since my Mother, Uncle Bob’s sister, passed away, I have required him to tell me two stories per visit about their lives growing up. Or just his wild tales, because he has some stories.  This visit we heard about how he and my Mom used to steal their Father’s cigarettes and smoke them under their front porch with their friends. He said one time he was lighting a box of matches when the whole box WHOOOOSHED into flames in his face and singed his eyebrows off. He was worried about those eyebrows, they were a dead giveaway to his activities. You couldn’t get much past his Mother, a sharp and observant gal. He spent some time trying to conceal his lack of brow-age, arranging his hair, and when he finally saw his Mom, she took one look at him and said “what happened to your eyebrows” Busted.

The other story was about him and his friend, Fred Hill. When they were about 19 or 20, they drove a car out west to deliver it. I am still not clear on this activity, but when I have mentioned it to those of an older persuasion, it seems to have been a common occurrence, back in the day. While out there, they puttered around and hitch hiked ALL OVER, which is horrifying to me, but he assured us was also a common thing. One man picked them up and they he asked them where they were from and what they were doing. They told him and mentioned they were looking for work. They ended up doing some construction work for him in The Dalles, Oregon. That petered out after a while and they hitched back to California, to my parents house.

Fred had decided to stay in California and Bob decided to HITCH HIKE home to Detroit. I can not even imagine. He said my father dropped him off at the freeway and he started hitching. By the time he got to Las Vegas, he realized it was taking WAY too long and he bought a bus ticket for $40 and came on home. When he finished the tale, I asked him what ever happened to Fred Hill? He said he had maybe seen him one time after that and then lost track of him. He thought he had gone down to Los Angeles and became a lawyer. I asked him if he had ever  looked him up on the internet and he said he had never thought to do that. So we picked up his iPad, goggled his name and THERE HE WAS!

It linked us to his work place and there was an e-mail. He said he e-mailed him later that night and had already heard back from him by the next day! Fred gave him his phone number. I am waiting to hear about their conversation, small world!

I have other things to tell, but this post is already too long, so we will have to do Jiggedy Jim Part Quatro. I was not expecting that.



  1. jodaley said,

    March 15, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    We stay in Marco Island. It is one of my favorite places on earth. We usually fly in and out of Ft. Meyers because flights are more convenient than Naples. We have rented condos and stayed in the Marriott both. We love Marco, it’s quiet, but there are good restaurants and we are more about the beach and don’t need lots of activity. We’ve rented condos in a building called Somerset and like that location.

  2. deb said,

    March 17, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Enjoyed your Uncle’s stories, and how wonderful that you inspired him to look up his old friend!

  3. March 22, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    We have been to Sannibel and Ft. Meyers. Remind me to tell you what I require in a condo. Great blog idea!

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