'A good life so far': Walton County resident, Destin condo builder looks back

Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 04:21 PM.

Gallegos remembers too the development of Walton County beaches.

"I remember when 30A wasn't even paved," he said. "Before Seaside was built, you could walk the beach, there weren't any houses or anything. I remember lots were $150 an acre in the 1960s. I thought about buying, but decided not to. I could've been a millionaire."

Even in it's infancy, Gallegos knew that Destin was going to change drastically over the years.

"I knew it was going to happen," he said. "People were buying the condos before they were even built.

Gallegos and his family moved to Florida in the late 1950s. They took up residence in Joan's grandparent's house, which was built in the 1800s. It was once a vacation spot for the family, now it was home. Gallegos still lives in the house today. He hasn't made any changes to the house since Joan died in 2007.

"When I was little, I was a daddy's girl," Charlene said. "I remember we used to go squirrel hunting, or fishing and look for seashells on the beach."

Celebrating his 80th birthday last weekend, Gallegos said the secret to a long, healthy life is to "work hard, quit drinking and stay away from wild women."

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