Saturday, January 16, 2010

West Gordon River Bridge & Naples Bay

Interesting in this photo (at least to me) is the Direct gas station & you ask why Homeboy is that interesting? Before it was built walking home at night was a truly dark, creepy experience. After it was built it was a little like a Disney World trip with a megaton of light, a snack & soda machine. In 60's Naples it really didn't take much for a "We have arrived" next stop, New York type head trip. But in retrospect look at where that has got this pretty little town now. If you ever walked home on the east trail you'll probably remember these HUGE (like maybe 6 inches long) cockroach looking, it came from outer space, bugs. They were attracted to the lights on the bridges. They would always be all over the sidewalk & street making this god awful, death screeching, wing flapping noise. Similar to local politicians these days when you say your sick of more new taxes...

PS: A little shout out to my friend Brent Collins he worked at that gas station wherever you are my friend here's to you!

Photo taken August 18th 1968
Courtesy of the Les Whitaker Jr. family.


  1. I worked a Bay Marina (at the end of Bay Pointe Dr. center left of picture) 72-73 For Max Keltner the owner back then scrapping barnacles and painting boat hulls. Not a fun job. I did get a great deal on a 67 Chevy II Nova SS from Bruce Boyd while working there though. I don't think he knew what he had. Let's just say it was "Crane Motors" built with every goodie on and in it from bumper to bumper. Nothing could touch it at Green Blvd drag strip on Saturday night. I could list all the goods on that car but it would bore most.

    One bad mo-fo of a car. I wish I still had it.
    Oops, got a rabbit trail for a minute. Anyway, thanks for the flashback Whitaker family and Brookside Homeboy.


  2. Interstingly enough a number of the buildings in this picture are still standing which is something on to it's own in modern day Naples.

    Kelly's Fish House, what would become Tin City and couple of the marinas are still there. You can see the Marina Manor condos being built in the upper right center. and of course the Cove Inn and City Dock. They are all still there.

  3. That's MY kind of picture . . .

    One of the things I find most interesting is the open space both on land & water. No high rises, no boat congestion.

    We used to water ski to just short of the marinas, and it was great to make a slalom turn and soak the windows all the way across the face of "The Marker 4 Restaurant" at the Cove (Formerly "Pate's; formerly "The Island Hut"}. The F&B manager, Charlie Williams, used to get mad as #### but it was all in good fun.

    I seem to remember a marina named "Skipper Smith's" out on the end of River Point/Bay Point, located to the right of "The Sailing Club" (maybe before Keltner's?).

    I can probably name most all the business shown in this picture but I thought I leave that opportunity to some of our other readers here.

    p.s. I seem to recall C3R driving a white Camaro and working for BCS at the "Wilderness Country Club" project.

    Seagate Homeboy
    NHS Class of '67

    8:58 a.m. PST

  4. SH,
    It was a white 71 SS el camino at first and then wound up with a bran new white 77 Z28 bought at Bob Taylor Chevy. You nailed it SH! Still have pics of that car. Actually SH, when going through your facebooks pics just now I do remember you from around town and at Wilderness CC. I could name almost all the Masons and Carpenters from there. And a few good stories.

    But anyway, I worked at wilderness CC from almost the begining until darn near the end. I got shipped down to Marco/Mark-up Island to work the Crows Nest, Caxambas Towers and then to Mariners Cove behind the old Central Mall.


  5. Man, you look at this picture and it seems like such a short stretch across that bridge... but let me tell you... when you were heading home to East Naples - after curfew - the bolt across that bridge (when there were no car lights visible in either direction) seemed like a mile dash!

    Definitely remember those amazingly nasty looking bugs with the big front pincher things... flyin' and floppin' and just generally being as creepy scary as anything I had seen before or since!

  6. Our nextdoor neighbors in Lake Park were Skipper and Peggy Smith. Their sons David (my age) and Dana were my school pals. After Hurricane Donna, Peggy borrowed a plastic rowboat from us to go down the street (13th Ave N.) to get a baby sitter, i think... anyway its in an old home movie.