Sunday, October 17, 2021

Are you a “Marco Old Timer”?



By Craig Woodward

How many times have you been at a party to hear someone telling everyone they moved to Marco in 2003 (or so) and are a “know it all.” This test has been both professionally and scientifically developed to sort thru the “Wannabes” and find the “Authentic Old Timers.” Take the test at your own risk. WARNING: it may bring back old memories and a flood of nostalgia. If you are new to the Island, not to fear, you can take the Quiz to learn more so you can someday be anointed as an “Authentic Old Timer.”


Grade yourself 1 point for YES on an “Old Timer” question and an additional 1 point for a second YES if there is an added question for “a Really Old Timer.” You can either get a 1 point for half of a question or a maximum of 2 points for each question – if you answer the “really Old Timer” part of the question you always receive 2 points. Obviously a NO to both parts is 0 points. If a question has an “OR” then you get 1 total point if you can answer either part, if it says “AND” you need to answer both parts to get the 1 point.

This is not an “open book” test, nor will going to the library help you – you must either say YES or NO based upon your own experiences. Spouses and friends have to take the test separately – no joint help allowed. Self grading is allowed. Honesty is required.

There are 75 questions published in three parts – some are worth 1 point, others a possible 2 points. 25 questions will be published in this issue and also 25 in each of the next two issues so please wait until you have taken the full test before submitting your total score. The questions are randomly placed and some have to do with Naples; if you an “Old Timer” you are expected to remember something about the town north of



us too!

A deadline for submittal of all answers, along with the answer form will be provided after publication of Part Three. Grand, First Place, Second Place and Third Place Prizes will be given out to the top winners, with Authentic Old Timer Certificates to all of those who qualify.


Answer honestly – if you:

  1. Took your garbage to the dump and drove through the large hills of fill lining North Collier Blvd, where the Esplanade is now, to deposit your trash among even larger piles of smelly rubbish with Smokehouse Bay in the background. (One point possible)______
  2. Climbed the observation tower on Indian Hill; a really Old Timer if you remember the Hamlin’s house across the street and their water tower. (Two points possible)______
  3. Took the Rosie O’Shea for a dinner or lunch cruise; a really Old Timer if you remember the boats moored in the old mooring area east of Tampa Place in Factory Bay. (Two points possible).______
  4. Drove south on U.S. 41 and, before making the left turn at 5th Ave, looked up to see the Naples water tower high above everything and checked to see if any teenagers had painted new graffiti; and a really Old Timer if you remember seeing the Ad Miller billboard on 41 in East Naples that said “Naples sells itself, let Ad Miller help you buy wisely.” (Two points possible)______
  5. Drove through the 4 corners – where Bald Eagle Dr. once crossed SR 92 (now San Marco Road), stayed on the road thru the “Pines” and headed to Caxambas; a really Old Timer if you can drive around Caxambas now and personally knew some of the people the streets are named for. (Two points possible)______
  6. Remember the “Deltona Compound” with construction trailers located in the pines just south of the 4 corners. (One point possible)______
  7. Got your groceries at the 7-11, located where Kretch’s Restaurant is now; a really Old Timer if you purchased groceries at the Big Store – the G & G Mercantile Store. (Two points possible)______
  8. Know that Bear Point is the north side of the Marco Bridge – now known as the


    Jolley Bridge; and a really Old Timer if you remember the older man who sold bait every day at Bear Point until the authorities ran him off. (Two points possible)______
  9. Remember when the old, and very small, wood shake building, that was the former library sat at the Marco YMCA along with a trailer as their only buildings; a really Old Timer if you picked up a library book at that same building when it was near the current Police Dept (library located where the medical office building is now) (Two points possible)______
  10. Had a family member who was taught to swim by Mrs. Dottie; and you are a really Old Timer if the swim class was at the country club or hotel pool. (Two points possible)______
  11. Remember the huge lines of cars backed up on U.S. 41 waiting for gas at the little station by Gordon River Bridge during the 1970s gas shortage; and a really Old Timer if you remember that one station with gas after Hurricane Donna was at Royal Palm Hammock. (Two points possible)______
  12. Remember the Halloween night in the early 1980s when the old house on Addison Ct (now Otter Mound) burned down. (One point possible)______
  13. Remember when the igloo house on Cape Romano was livable and zoo type animals ran loose on Morgan Island. (One point possible)______
  14. Visited the bait house and T-dock at Riverside Condo when they were the docks for Kelly Gantt’s Marco Motel; a really Old Timer if you know that the original docks were built from the trestles of the old ACL railroad bridge that crossed the Marco River. (Two points possible)______
  15. Picked up your mail in the post office, now the left side of Su’s Garden Restaurant; a really Old Timer if you remember picking up mail at the post office on Lee Ave. in Old Marco. (Two points possible)______
  16. Know that Lee Avenue was once the name of the north end of Bald Eagle Drive; a really Old Timer if you drove to Old Marco using the ancient road that started at the cemetery and ran north along the east side of Smokehouse Bay. (Two points possible)______
  17. Remember the huge crowds and turnout


    for the Corps of Engineers hearings held at Lely HS Auditorium to see if Deltona would get their permit approvals for Collier Bay, Barfield Bay and the Big Key areas. (One point possible)______
  18. Remember when Deltona put in the fill section for the road to Marco Shores and the people at Port au Prince threatened a lawsuit as it would cut off their sole water access down the little borrow pit canal on the east side of SR 951. (One point possible)______
  19. Saw Gene Sarazen on the Island; a really Old Timer if you saw celebrities at one of the Tony Lema Golf Tournaments held at Island County Club. (Two points possible)______
  20. Attended or visited the old Tommie Barfield School with its outside covered walkways; a really Old Timer if you remember the Scripps School in Caxambas. (Two points possible)______
  21. Came across the old swing bridge in Goodland and had to stop to let a boat pass thru; a really Old Timer if you ever arrived on Marco by the ferry across the Marco River. (Two points possible)______
  22. Paid a 20 cent fee to cross the Marco Bridge; a really Old Timer if you paid 40 cents and remember when the fee was reduced as the bonds were paying off too quickly. (Two points possible)______
  23. Remember when Marco had no traffic lights and the only deputy on the Island was Les Binns who always traveled with his dog. (One point possible)______
  24. Ate at Jim & Edies on Isle of Capri; you are a really Old Timer if you ate at the Marco Lodge when the Tasetanos ran it. (Two points possible)______
  25. Remember when Bayshore Drive in Naples was called Kelly Road and wasn’t a very safe area. (One point possible)______

Total Score Part 1: ________

Remember hold on to your questions and answers and be sure to complete Part Two in our next issue of Coastal Breeze News. All Quiz sections will also be found on line at Good luck!

Craig Woodward moved to Marco Island in 1968 and has practiced law in Collier County since 1980. Craig is the President of the Collier County Historical and Archeological Preservation Board.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *