Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Busy Start to Summer



Donna Fiala

Probably most of us have heard about the stem cell procedure, but really don’t know what it is or how it’s done. Although not being really immersed in the subject, I’ve spoken to the owner of Arthrex, the largest company in Collier County, in Florida, and actually one of the largest in the USA (!), who has diligently been working on streamlining the procedure and equipment for the orthopedic surgeons in our community. Here’s what I understand so far. The surgeon takes stem cells from the bone marrow in your hip, and platelets from your blood, which are combined in a machine that Arthrex has invented, and then is inserted with a needle in the knee, or hip, or ankle, or wherever your arthritis is bad. In about three days you are feeling pretty good, but in three weeks you can do most things you used to do. A friend of mine from Marco Island has a Dad who had the procedure done and in three weeks (at 90 years old) the man was riding a bike around the neighborhood! It sounds truly remarkable. There’s never a reaction or rejection because it is your own body supplying the stem cells and platelets. It’s amazing how brilliant our inventors and scientists are!

• Do you ever study the prices of fuel? When fuel prices were at their lowest, the Plus was 15 cents higher and the Premium brands were 30 cents higher than regular. Well, in our county many people drive cars that cannot use regular fuel so they must use the others, and the gas stations are fully aware of it. A couple months later they raised the prices for Plus and Premium to 20 cents and 40 cents higher than regular, and now in some stations its up 25 cents for Plus and 50 cents for Premium…and we’re held hostage while they laugh their way to the bank, and they know there’s nothing we can do about it!

• While driving around in Olde Naples I noticed that many of the homes they are now building or renovating are taking on the look of cozy old Florida style homes, and they look gorgeous! I was really getting tired of Tuscan and Mediterranean, and longed to get back to why we moved here in the first place – because we wanted to live in Florida! Some of the homes are as large as mansions but look warm and friendly like Florida should look. It’s really a nice change.

• Marco Island Foundation for the Arts held a Scholarship and Awards Ceremony recently. The talent filled the room! President Carolyn Burger was also chairing her last meeting before the new officers take over, and she did an outstanding job. Sandy Johnson, treasurer, and Allie Ellis, secretary, presented scholarship dollars and gifts/plaques to: Anastasia Baran, Joseph Byrne/soloist, Ted Schmick, Emily Orgass/cello, Tyler MacDonald, photographic genius (in my opinion), Ashley Johnson, pianist with a lovely voice and song, and Juliana Piscolli. Each of these very talented young people were excellent in their field and on their way to a great, new adventure! Congratulations to each and every one of you! AND THEN – for the first time in his life – JRobert received an award! He was awarded the Artist of the Year! He sang for us and was accompanied by his son, Martin. What a sweet and humble man with a great sense of humor and his own way of entertaining a crowd. It was a wonderful event enjoyed by all. Last year’s Artist of the Year was present wearing her tiara! Yup – it was Tara O’Neill in all her glory and with that wonderful sense of humor and yet humble beyond belief!

• Boy! That Carrabba’s and Outback Steakhouse just never stop gathering crowds! Every day their parking lots are still busy, even though many of our winter residents have left for the summer. It’s been a lucrative area for them, that’s for sure. It’s been great for us as well.

• And then we have the busy Eurasia – what great food they have. I’ve heard that soon they will close for a few weeks for a little summer time off, so you’d better get in there now because you don’t want to wait till the Fall to eat there. And then there is 21 Spices. Quite frankly, I thought they would starve during the summer months, but they just keep going and going, like the Energizer Bunny! And of course we have Sam Snead’s – a really fun place to go with great food. We’re pretty lucky down here – we might not have many local restaurants, but the ones we have are tremendous! Oh yes, I forgot – DiJulio’s on Rattlesnake Hammock Road – I hadn’t gone there for quite a long time, but finally tried it again and was very surprised to see the inside all upgraded and improved, but the food was the same old marvelous Italian food, thank heavens. Then we go right across the street to the fun place – Mike Ward’s Erin’s Isle! You feel like you’ve walked into a room filled with friends! It’s a very happy place to be, but then again, aren’t all Irish people fun to be around? And they can all sing too!

I hope you are having a relaxing, enjoyable summer!

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