September 30, 2014

From the Editor: Ways to Feel Good This Summer

David SendlerRick compton and betsy bennett sure can get a laugh. What better compliment could this local comedy duo receive than this one from a fan of their Assisted Living: The Musical? After one performance, a woman approached them and said, “The show was so funny I had to go out at intermission and get my husband a second bottle of oxygen. He’d used up the first one.”

With their 12 shows over the last 16 years or so, Rick and Betsy have certainly tickled Southwest Florida audiences with their sly wit. And so, in the spirit of this issue, we asked them to project what we have to feel good about through the rest of our summer. On the eve of opening their latest show, FleaBitten, this is what they told us:

  • “With the snowbirds gone, you can drive 65 miles an hour on Airport-Pulling Road.”
  • “Straight From New York doesn’t run out of sesame bagels by 9 a.m.”
  • “It’s fun to watch the TV weather forecasters try to do something fresh when it’s sunny and 95 degrees every day.”
  • “Year-round residents get to see our shows first. And we kind of have center stage in the area with so many other productions on off-season hiatus. FleaBitten, our send-up of flea markets, has already cut the ticket price from $199 to $24.99.”

Other benefits of summer here? Check out these plans from my Gulfshore Life colleagues, whose job it is to know these things.

Michael Korb, associate editor: “Summer in Florida is like bright on the sun—too much of a good thing. Equal parts hot and wet, it tends to turn most people off. And therein lies the best part of summer in Florida—being able to take advantage of all things ‘off-season.’ To that end, I’ve planned a ridiculous amount of road trips without fighting the crowds or paying in-season rates. Key West? Doing it. South Beach? Why yes, I believe I will. Kayaking the Suwannee River? Eh, maybe. It seems like a bit of a hike. But one thing is certain: There’ll be plenty of parking from Pensacola to Papa Hemingway’s. And I plan to take advantage of each and every parking spot.”

Jonathan Foerster, executive editor: “When I first moved to Southwest Florida after college, it was at the start of season. There was enough hustle and bustle here, I told myself. But all I heard was ‘Wait until the summer.’ And for the first few years, I felt a longing for the cultural offerings the season offers. But now, I’ve learned to love the summer months, to go out for leisurely dinners a little more often, to enjoy the slow pace as a time to recuperate and relax before we all start off to the races again in the fall.”

Jennifer Freihofer, associate editor: “For nearly my entire life, horses have been my ultimate ‘feel good’ pastime—whether riding and competing or just being around them. Thanks to rain and heat, that becomes a little less enjoyable during the summers here, which is why I’ve taken to spending my time indoors whipping up homemade sorbets and popsicles—and sometimes ‘poptails,’ much to the delight of friends, which makes barbecues and days at the beach even better.”

Meredith Parsons, marketing director: “Summer here is always filled with beach days, good parties, barbecues and boat outings, and that equals a lot of vitamin D! Whether I am grabbing my chair and cooler or a fishing rod and bait, the sun on my skin and the waves in the distance are my ‘feel good’ for the summer.”

As for me, I’m loving the tennis court around the corner to get in the zone, the inspiration and insight of books like Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake and the prospect of cool independent films now that theater in Bonita Springs is up and running again.

Happy summer to you, too.

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