Joe Pilates said, "We retire too early and we die too young. Our prime of life should be in the 70's and old age should not come until we are almost 100." Joe would be pleased with the lifestyles in South Florida, some might even refer to the area as a "Blue Zone," or a region of the world where people live longer than average. Some factors that contribute to a blue zone include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, getting enough sleep, and having strong spiritual, family and social networks. Ironically, except for sleeping, you can find nearly all these positive variables at Stan's Sunday Funday!
https://www.stansidlehourgoodland.com/gallery If visiting the southwest coast of Florida, you may elect to attend Stan's Sunday Funday at the Idle Hour on Goodland, Florida. Goodland is a small community off Marco Island and part of Marco's rich history. Goodland is believed to have been founded by Johnny Roberts in the late 1800's. It featured a 40-acre shell mound left by the Calusa Indians that was ideal for growing fruits and vegetables. It was also a popular fishing destination. Today about 200 residents call the fishing community home. According to www.goodland.com the quiet village changes dramatically on Sundays when hundreds, and even thousands, of residents and visitors make the pilgrimage to Stan's for an afternoon of outdoor music, dancing, food and fun.
Next week, (always the week before Super Bowl Sunday), is the 39th annual Mullet Festival and Buzzard Lope dance contest. Stanley Gober, the original owner, passed away June 18th, 2012. Stan was well-known as people journeyed to his Goodland Idle Hour to hear Stan on a Sunday sing and perform. Born in Bessemer, AL, Stan was a child of the Great Depression. By the age of 12 he was working in restaurants to help support his family. Just days before his 18th birthday, Stan joined the Navy and in 1944 was sent to the South Pacific as World War II raged. In his book, Stan: An American Story he says, "I was the lucky one," as his time in the military was tame compared to most.
Stan married Faye Campbell and they had three sons in addition to a daughter. Migrating to Miami he worked more than twenty years with the telephone company and in his spare time traversed the Tamiami Trail fishing the backwaters of Goodland and Marco Island. In 1969 he made a permanent move to Goodland and purchased the Idle Hour Motel and the following year the restaurant. The stage became an outlet for his love of entertaining and he wrote the infamous "Buzzard Lope" and created the annual Mullet Festival, a party to honor the bait fish that gave Goodland its fishing village credibility. The restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment traditions continue through his children. According to his obituary, "Stan was a family man, a singer, a songwriter, a comedian, and a true entertainer. Stan was red, white and blue through and through. He loved his country and he loved Goodland. He was a philanthropist, constantly raising money for organizations within the community. He was also a friend to many."
Stan's Sunday Funday always begins with a special 1p.m. tribute to our nation with a traditional rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. It is a reverent, solemn moment and you can hear a pin-drop as both stanzas of our anthem are sung in its entirety. Following thunderous applause, the band takes the stage, and the dance floor becomes packed with revelers from 20 to about 8 decades older! And suffice it to say, it's the over-80 crowd that sets the pace for the rest of us! We were lucky to have dear Wisconsin friends with us at Stan's. They set the bar high and if I have any hope of enjoying life in similar fashion for the next 5 decades, then I must make stamina and endurance a priority!
Family, friends, faith, fun, food and music, these attributes and more tend to combine for an incredible day at Stan's. If you arrive early, you may get a table, but if you are after 11:30a.m., don't worry, the crowd always will squish together and welcome more to their tables! We had organized 7 of us to attend this past Sunday morning. We arrived by 10:30a.m. to ensure an ideal location. By noon we too slid together to make room for some late arrivals seeking shade and a table to relax. To my husband's good fortune, one of the women owns a fishing lodge, Birch Grove Resort, in International Falls, Minnesota! He got her card and might change his usual summer fishing destination from Canada to Minnesota. Basically, everyone makes friends very easily at Stan's, which was always Stan's ultimate objective. Create an environment where people celebrate life, our nation, and strangers become fast friends!