I often like to begin an article with what I consider to be an appropriate quote. This time however, for my final article, I have found an appropriate poem written by one of our literary snowbirds, Patricia Stott-Prince.
SAMMY AND ETHEL SNOWBIRD
Sammy was a northerner, but he didn’t like the cold.
Every day the south is warm, or so he had been told.
Empty nesters now they were, a condo was just fine,
But summers gone, the wind doth blow, and snows not far behind.
Sammy talked to Ethel, to see what they could do.
Snowbird friends were heading south, so maybe they could too.
Sammy packed his golf clubs, and Ethel packed their clothes.
Their flight plan led to Destin, white sand would tickle toes.
Oh what a time they had. Each day brought new delights.
The foods, the games, the shopping malls, and many southern sights.
Now this was the life these snowbirds loved, with a condo on the beach.
Everything they’d ever need was right here within reach.
So Sam and Ethel settled down and enjoyed the winter weather.
They thought the north could stay up north, would they go back? no .. never!
But seasons change and winter goes and March break rolls around.
Snowbird friends then flew the coop and college kids came down.
Sammy grabbed for Ethel as they weaved through big beach crowd
And music. Is that music? And why is it so loud?
The beach now is so littered with young bodies getting tanned.
They’re surfing waves, they’re throwing balls, and don’t care where they land.
Our snowbirds used their elbows, and made tracks on sand with toes,
Once more they grabbed their golf clubs and packed up all their clothes.
They headed north, from whence they came,
The summer there’s the same.
But wait for them, dear Destin, when northern winds do blow,
They shall return, to meet their friends, because they love you so.
Patricia Stott-Prince copyright 2020
On Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, the ribbon to The “Roost” was severed, initiating the start of the 2019-2020 snowbird season. Mayor Gary Jarvis, City Councilman Skip Overdier and Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Shane Moody graciously welcomed us to Destin, and the warmth we encountered on that day remained throughout the entire season.
The generous local businesses, organizations and institutions who broadened the realm of receptiveness are too numerous to list, but they are categorized on our website, www.destinsnowbirds.org, under the headings: Accommodations and Real Estate Agents, Beauty and Barber Shops, Community Groups, Entertainment and Activities, Golf Courses, Health and Wellness, Restaurants, Retail Stores and finally, Sports Bars, Pizzas and Fast Foods. Among them, 1,521 prizes were donated totaling over $27,000.
The awesome weekly entertainment was provided by local artists who, most likely weren’t accustomed to early morning gigs. So a massive measure of gratitude goes out to Kim Cannon, Rich McDuff, Jabbo - both with Krissa and with “the Boys” - David Seering, Bobby D, Todd Henrendeen, Tareva (Henderson) and Pat Boone, David Hall, the Emerald Coast Community Band and the Northwest Florida State College Jazz Band.
Of course, all the entertainment and door prizes wouldn’t have meant nearly as much if we hadn’t felt so comfortable and safe. Kudos to the Destin Community Center, and especially Teresa Howard and her staff, who set up our comfortable seats, provided coffee and yummy treats and insured that our vendors had the space they needed to share their wares. Thanks too, to the County Sheriff’s office that provided a security guard, usually Deputy Kyle Corbitt, to ensure that The Roost remained a safe refuge during our visits there.
I would personally like to thank my editors, Pam Griffin of the Destin Log, and Jack Krasky, webmaster of our snowbird website, for cleaning up my mistakes. I always noticed and appreciated it when my “theres” were corrected to “theirs” and my “wasn’ts” to “weren’ts.” My name, picture and text were in each week’s article, but their expertise played a huge part in every piece.
And, while I’m thanking the “behind-the-scenes” people, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to my snowbird photographer Duane Hall. Duane was everywhere! Golf outings, boat rides, activities galore and at every meeting. His photos added the thousands of words for which there was never enough room.
As you pack up, keep in mind that next Saturday, March 21, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., will be the last opportunity to drop off your storage items at the facility on Stahlman Avenue. See the webpage for more details.
Safe travels. Have a wonderful summer and we’ll look forward to reuniting next season because, as Sammy and Ethel Snowbird said so well, dear Destin, we love you so!
Mary Pierce, publicity director, is from Toledo, Ohio, and can be reached at 419-250-9377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be writing the weekly column for the papers, so if you have something to share, contact her.