NAPLES Potpourri

Bill Barnett

Today is July 5, 2020 and as I write my new column for Life in Naples titled “Naples Potpourri” I am excited to still be a member of this elite group of journalists. I am far from being a journalist in the professional way, I just have a good time writing about Naples where I have resided for the last forty-seven years.

Why did I choose Potpourri as a title? Well I will write about a whole bunch of different things touching on many different subjects and Potpourri seemed to fit so here we go.

I am going to be very brief talking about COVID-19 because that’s all we hear and talk about with more differing thoughts than on any subject I have ever heard. When this comes out in August everything could have changed again. I can and will only say that I agree 100% with wearing a face mask inside any business, period.

The best quote I read was from a doctor in California who said ”I wear my mask to protect you, why don’t you do the same for
me?” Makes sense to me but that’s just me. The rest of the craziness that’s going on out there is way too difficult to comprehend, much less try to explain.

Naples Florida is about as resilient as any community in the United States. I watched us recover from the last downturn when all
around us it was gloom and doom with stores boarded up on Fifth Avenue South and restaurants in dire straits. But there was a feeling of optimism from our community that we would come back with a vengeance, and we did. Where else would you find a city that in the middle of a depression invested approximately eight million dollars to build a new parking garage? We were criticized unmercifully but we didn’t waiver because we knew the price was so right and that many tradespeople were out of work and would jump at the chance to be employed during this tough time. Most of all we knew it would be a success and it was.

Realtors went from driving Mercedes to Fords and Chevrolets but that was only temporary as it didn’t take long for the real estate market to once again flourish and flourish it did! Throughout this Pandemic we all feel the tremendous pain that is being felt whenever we turn on the news and watch the suffering in our country and around the world. I have many friends that are
realtors, restaurateurs and developers in Naples. I hear from them on a daily basis optimism in their voices about how we are hanging in there and will be fine. Our realtors are busy and that’s a great indicator that people still love Naples and want to live here; the rest will follow suit.

Since I have retired, I am constantly being asked how my life is without politics playing the majority part in it. Am I bored? Heck no! Candidly speaking, I am enjoying myself. I am still on the Board of the Shelter for Abused Women & Children which is a phenomenal organization made up of wonderful people. I am honored to have been asked to join the Board of Youth Haven which I look forward to and I have a few more that are under consideration. Local politics will always be an integral part of my life and I still hear from a lot of my old constituents and City Staff.

I can’t physically run anymore but I can brisk walk which I do six days a week five miles a day. My wife Chris thinks I’m crazy walking in this heat, but I love it, and I feel great. I have always loved to cook, and I’ve dug out my old cookbooks and recipes and especially trying to lay low during this pandemic I’m enjoying the kitchen! So overall
retirement is good and getting better by the day.

In my next article more of the Potpourri and less about me but I had to get it out of the way! Still the best food bargain in Naples
is Mel’s Diner! Blue Zone healthy, friendly, and a great menu to choose from. No, I’m not being paid to solicit, I love restaurants
and will definitely write about a different one in each of my articles that follow. Potpourri, get it?

Be safe!

I will respond to e-mails at

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