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Jul 29 - Aug 11, 2011


COMMENTS Donna Fiala



ome of you know that I have very close ties to the Ohio Amish community, so I’d like to tell you of a recent experience up there. I was visiting with my Amish friends and drove us all to the Ber-

lin Firemen’s Festival, a fund raising effort held every year. The Firemen (all volunteer firemen) raise money to buy equipment by hosting this Festival and earlier in the year a Firemen’s Fish Fry. They cook all the Barbeque Chickens, and serve them with cole slaw, salad, chips, rolls and homemade pie. There is no charge; it is a free-will donation. They also make delicious ice cream which they sell. A few food vendors are present, plus a climbing wall and bungee jumping for the kids. A water pressure contest is a lively part of the evening, and various musical groups (mostly gospel and country music) perform all evening. There is an

auction for a few items with the main item being a handmade quilt. This year that quilt drew almost $4,000. Approximately 2,000 people attended from the local community including Amish, Mennonite, English, school officials, elected officials, teachers, young people and retirees, all taking pleasure in each other’s company, sharing stories, enjoying the music, eating at the long tables together, meeting old friends and making new friends. As I sat there, I thought of Marco Island. That’s probably one of the biggest assets of living on Marco Island………..the Community Spirit. From the St. Paddy’s

Day Parade to the Christmas Tree Lighting, to all the many festivals and celebrations. These events bring us closer together and weave us into a strong community, working together for the benefit of our Island. Not many communities have this positive force that unites them. Even in the summer, when the numbers are down we still have fun events to enjoy together to keep that community spirit alive and well. As you read this column let’s count our blessings that we have this community spirit, this Island and these friends to share our lives. I know I count my blessings to be a part of Marco Island.

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Publisher Valerie Simon Features Editor Jeane Brennan Administrative Assistant Jane Marlowe Marketing Consultant Marilyn Honahan Circulation & Marketing John Patterson Production Karen Garcia Verla Winters A special thank you to the following contributors: Donna Fiala, Tarik Ayasun, Nancy Richie, Vickie Kelber, Craig Woodward, Lou Thibeault, Doug Browne, Monte Lazarus, Capt. Rapps, Richard Alan, Frances Diebler, Matt Walthour, Paula Camposano Robinson, Patricia Huff, Natalie Strom, Christina Giordano, Danielle Dodder, Charlette Roman, Michael Usher, Gina Sisbarro, Joan and Carl Kelly, Nancy Richie, Anne Feinman, Bob Aylwyn, Steve Reynolds, Victoria Wright, Pierre Guesnon, Crystal Manjarres, Tara O’Neill and Joan Fuller.

We appreciate sharing your special expertise with our readers!

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By Monte Lazarus It appears that there are two primary ways to be admitted to a hospital’s emergency room, whether for or against your own desires. The first, easiest, and probably most expensive, is by ambulance. This may be the result of a sudden, serious physical problem, an accident, or even an assault by someone’s angry spouse. The latter is documented each day in the police beat section of local newspapers. The second means is much slower. That is by being foolish enough to drive yourself, or by having a spouse, friend or enemy take you in. If you arrive by ambulance you can expect to be placed on a cot (bed?) in a cubicle in the E.R. There you will be poked and prodded, asked many questions, visited by many people in white jackets, including a few with stethoscopes. The real fun is when you just drop in

unannounced. That’s when registration is tougher than getting into an Ivy League School. You, if you’re able to respond coherently, or you and your accomplice go into the waiting room. There, in the presence of other sad cases, you sit or lie impatiently counting clicks of the inaccurate clock. It clearly shows the time moving much too rapidly. Finally, the moment arrives. A nice lady calls your name, and the interrogation begins. You (or your companion) are asked to answer about 14 pages of important questions. They need your name, address, date of birth, social security number, telephone number, e-mail address, mother’s maiden name, dog’s middle name (back to the end of the line if you do not have a dog or equivalent pet), emergency contact, medical history (including for men the date of your last pregnancy), name and address of doctor(s), favorite professional football team and a few less important questions. If you pass the exam you get a similar

cot (bed?) to the ambulance patient who has been lying in his, her or its similar bed (cot?) for about five hours. Sometimes, as happened to me in SanFrancisco and Collier County, you are in a cubicle next to a junkie and/or non-recovering alcoholic. There is no entertainment value in that…although in San Francisco I was the subject of much attention, sweet treatment and apparent adoration of every E.R. nurse. No, it wasn’t my personality and certainly not my good looks; it was because out of 15 E.R. patients I was the only one not on drugs. I have witnesses. In truth, Collier County hospitals dealt with me very well. The serious looking doctors seemed to know their stuff; the nurses were good at sticking all sorts of things into my arms; and the transporters moved my gurney as well as any NASCAR driver. In a reasonable amount of time they move you to a real room and the medical care intensifies. Then, there’s the food. That’s another complete story.

CBN_A6 7-29-11 ER  

By Monte Lazarus COMMUNITY SPIRIT A special thank you to the following contributors: We appreciate sharing your special...