When I think back about Mrs. Sherwin, tears come to my eyes, but they are warm tears.
In the old days around Cutlass Cove, at the very south end of Port Royal, in Naples, Florida, she was a loving friend to all of us. She was also a mentor and a role model.
She would often leave her home by boat and head down the inland waterway to her island house on the environmental jewel of Keewaydin Island. Then, she would set up shop and paint … have a spot of tea, pack it all up at dusk, and head back to her home on Cutlass Cove, pausing here and there, to watch the magic unfold over Rookery Bay … alone.
She did not need Gloria Steinem to tell her she was liberated. Her home is now gone, but her spirit still remains in the eastern garden of what is now the magnificent Bindley property overlooking Gordon Pass.
If you were ever depressed, or out of sorts, you just needed to walk to her door step and she would welcome you, “Hi stranger!” She would waltz you through her rose garden (never figured out how she grew those specimens in the salt air), show you her enormous staghorns weighing down the limbs of the bromeliad covered live oaks, or explain how she was crafting her latest beautiful, stained glass production.
Without knowing, she had engaged you, brought you into her never complaining world, always smiling and giving you assurance the world is still a pretty good place.
She was dignified and gentle, she was a lady. But, if there was a cause worth fighting for, she would give every ounce of her energy to make things right. She was smart, self-reliant, fully engaged in the life force, and her energy and love made the world a much better place.