Bill Barnett shares NAPLES POTPOURRI

Bill Barnett

Season is almost over and as you pick up this month’s Life in Naples you might still be here or possibly heading back to your summer residence. I know one thing for sure: this was probably the busiest season, I have ever seen in Naples. I used to be fortunate during the season to know all the shortcuts to be able to dodge the highly congested areas in the City but now they are all gone and the whole City is congested. Now whining about heavy traffic and bad drivers who don’t signal when turning, clog all the three lanes at the same time, go 15 miles an hour in a 45 miles per hour zone won’t do you any good, it’s not going to get any better. I can assure you the City of Naples and Collier County have and keep exploring any and all solutions for better technology to deal with traffic but the old story of putting ten pounds of potatoes in a five pound bag is exactly what we have in Naples. Now don’t misunderstand me, I figured out that once all of my shortcuts had been discovered I would just allow an extra 10 or 15 minutes to my overall trip and be thankful that it isn’t the Long Island Expressway or the freeway in California.

At the beginning of each season, I always write in my article to make sure if you’re visiting or just having company to make dinner reservations or you’ll get shut out. Well last week it was a Monday when seven of us decided to get together for dinner for that Friday night of that week and 6:30 p.m. was the consensus that would work for all of us. So, I turn on the computer and go to the site, hit make a reservation and they use Open Table which works fine for me as I use it as well. Imagine the look on my face when I see the only available times are 4:45 or 8:30 that evening. We took the 4:45 and realized that this season is a record setter and what normally would work isn’t going to. Yes, there was some grumbling, but it worked out fine. So, heed what I say make those reservations absolutely as early as you can or take what you can get!

Even though it’s been two years since I retired from politics, I’m constantly asked do I miss it and how do I like retirement? Yes of
course I miss it. I had 28 years invested in City politics, kind of grows on you. Now retirement, that’s another story. My nature has always been that I like to stay busy whether it was politics, volunteering for local charities, playing golf, tennis, or running. At one time or another I did them all. I don’t do any of the above sports anymore, but I love to brisk walk and I manage to get at least 12 miles a week in. I am still very much involved with local charities and all in all I stay busy. With that being said at the beginning of last summer I went to a bowling birthday party for my granddaughter. Now I hadn’t picked up a bowling ball in over 50 years. I used to be an avid bowler in high school but it kind of faded out of my life as the years went by and we moved to Naples. I really had
a good time that day, I couldn’t break 100, but I caught the bowling bug.

I went to the local lanes and talked with the pro about perhaps joining a senior league and maybe getting some lessons. Other than golf I have never seen a sport that has technologically changed as much as bowling has. It was like starting all over from choosing a bowling ball that’s suited for you from beginner to advanced. So, I bought a beginner ball, some shoes, and took some lessons. Here
I am seven months later bowling in two leagues, averaging about 150 and slowly improving, and have moved up to an advanced ball. I practice a lot, thoroughly enjoy it, and have met lots of nice people. I think retirement can be what you make it. In my case even
though I am retired I sure don’t feel like it! Safe travels for all that are heading back to your summer residences!

Former Mayor,
Bill Barnett

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