By DANA DITTMAR
CEO, SCC Chamber
I have three observations to discuss this week. We’ll start with the good.
Bill and Donna Markland of Kings Point hosted one of the best events I’ve ever attended in this town on Palm Sunday. It was an afternoon outdoor concert and potluck on their street, attended by more than 200 people from all over. They showed up in golf carts with their lawn chairs, coolers and Tupperware. Along with cold beer and Jell-o shots were pizzas, salads, fried chicken, cookies, pigs in blankets and pies. Billy “Elvis” Lindsay and his brother, Kevin Brooks performed for two hours in the sun.
The Marklands have been doing this twice a year for several years, but this is the first one I knew of and attended. I can’t thank them (and their neighbors) enough for hosting this great event that created some new friendships and gave us all such a wonderful intro to spring.
Now the bad. I have a good friend who is taking care of her husband with Alzheimer’s. I have another friend who is taking care of his wife with multiple sclerosis. In both cases, they have to take their spouses into the ladies’ room to assist them. This can’t be done in the men’s room as there are urinals on the wall rather than the privacy of a stall.
Both of my friends have been the brunt of tirades for bringing a man into the ladies’ room. I can understand their initial reaction. But please think through what these people are having to deal with, and give them support rather than scorn. They have no alternative other than to stay at home, and that is no life at all.
Both spouses need assistance and there are no single-toilet unisex bathrooms in most places. Here’s hoping you ladies will have some empathy and not give these courageous and loving caregivers any more grief.
And last, but not least, is the ugly. Wawa wasn’t open one day before someone (and a lot of someones since) took their golf carts illegally across U.S. 301 for a visit. I’ve said this many times, but it bears repeating: It only takes one idiot abusing the golf cart privileges here for the Florida Department of Transportation to pull that privilege for golf cart users permanently.
This is a real possibility and quite likely if the current trend continues. Once the privileges are gone, five businesses will be in trouble and you will have a very expensive paperweight sitting in your garage that you won’t be able to use any more.
If you just have to take your golf cart, park it at Aldi’s and cross the road on foot. We’re all thrilled that Wawa is finally here, and we all want to visit. Just do it legally until such time that FDOT is able to create a legal crossing.
Okay, that’s it. The good, the bad and the ugly. So, enjoy this beautiful weather, be nicer to the caregivers and keep your golf cart out of Wawa.