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Inside Section D Key Real Estate At the net Classified

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Ralph Hunter holds up the Longboat Living section of The Longboat Observer that featured Dora Walters.

Photos by Emily Walsh and Lusya Sullivan

At last! Dora Walters is awarded Citizen of the Year.

CITIZEN DORA The Kiwanis Club honors four of Longboat Key’s finest: Dora Walters, Cee Edmundson, Matt Buehler and Karl Bennett. BY LUSYA SULLIVAN Staff Writer

“Dora, I am shocked, totally shocked,” said Matt Walsh of Dora Walters at the Kiwanis Citizen of the Year dinner held in her honor Jan. 21 at the Harbourside Dining Room of the Longboat Key Club. Walsh, Walters’ boss at The Longboat Observer, donned a sombrero and informed the Kiwanians and their guests that at the end of each season Dora leaves for the summer. He went on to say that many of those summers postcards came in from Mexico, informing staffers at The Longboat Observer of Dora’s escapades throughout Mexico, but what intrigued him was that she was always alone. “What in good Lord’s name is this little lady doing in the Mexico mountains all by herself?” he wondered. But thanks to a recent Longboat Observer exposé on Walters, the truth came out. When Walters was asked if it was love at first sight when she met her husband, Otto, she said, “No, I had a Mexican boyfriend in between.” “Well, now we know!” exclaimed Walsh. “Now we know why she goes to Mexico every time.”

Cee Edmundson gets flustered in between the Longboat Key Police Officer of the Year Matt Buehler and Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle. Edmundson also was recognized by the club, receiving an award for leadership. But when the season returns, The Longboat Observer staffers find Georgia pecans, jams “and roasted, unsalted, stale peanuts” on

their desks. That’s a sign that Walters is back, Walsh said. “And the clutter around her desk — the clutter gets deeper and deep-

er.” He also said that when he bought the paper from Ralph and Claire Hunter, he inherited all that and those who came with it. “They told me that Dora was a part-time employee,” Walsh said. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday came and went. Thursday came, followed by Friday; Walters was still there. “She’s there everyday. She loves to be there because it’s news. That’s what she loves, the news,” he said. When Walters’ turn came to defend herself, the news junkie said, “Yes, I’m gonna make a speech. Well, I’m almost speechless but not quite. Most of what Matt said is true. “I waited a long time for this moment. I want you to know, I am prepared — I have my notes,” she said and whipped out a roll of paper more than two yards long. “I am one of the lucky ones,” Walters said. “I always knew what I wanted to be,” she said and explained that she wanted to be a reporter, not a writer. She spoke of the friendships she has formed on the Key and shared that the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2D

January 30 2003  
January 30 2003