Around 1988, my family moved to a little town on the Gulf Coast of Florida called “Bonita Springs.” It was small. There was no movie theater or mall, but you could go to the K-Mart on a Saturday afternoon for entertainment. It’s difficult to describe this place because:

1. It looks very different now, developers moved in and built strip malls and housing and golf courses. And a movie theater.

2. It was wild to me, I had spent my early years in the more “urban” suburbs of Pittsburgh: a community established before George Washington was wondering around as a surveyor.

Anyway, there were wild animals everywhere: snakes, panthers, all kinds of birds, alligators, raccoon, rabbits, turtles, tortoises, wild hogs, bobcats, armadillos, lizards. These are just the ones I’ve witnessed with my own TWO EYEBALLS.

Bonita Springs was known for the annual “Tomato-Snook Festival.” Oh, what is that you ask? Just Southwest Florida’s premiere event featuring the fabulous sport fish: the tiger snook and local major crop: tomatoes. What goes on at the festival? Oh, let me tell you: a queen is crowned “Ms. Tomato-Snook,” food is served, food contests are contested, money is raised for local charities, dancing, art, concerts. It’s kinda a big deal. So yea, a Snook is a fish.


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