Thursday, May 8, 2008

Growing in Venice Florida-Epilogue




Got our game in somehow at USV in McGuffey...a few sprinkles, but for the most part the rain held off until last night, when another dumping hit the area. Although the games have not been cancelled for today...yet..I can predict that Sam's at Fort Recovery is done...mine up at Hicksville is probably the same, but it doesn't appear that they have had as much liquid as us, so far...but more is coming. We've been pretty lucky the past few weeks, even though we have had rain, it has only affected a few ball games.


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Venice, the final days
1962
-------------------{Note:  Since I penned this blog some 5 years ago, my cousin Gary Houseworth and his mother, my Aunt Marvel have passed away, I still am in contact with Gary's oldest son GW, and we vist via e-mail frequently}

After 4 years of living on School Street, I entered 8th grade at Venice Jr High....I'm not sure when I became aware of dad's plans to sell his half of the ESSO Station in South Venice to his brother John, and move the family back to Ohio. It was right before the Cuban Missile Crisis, I do remember that.


So here we were, a family of 6 getting ready to pack up and head north to the homeland. Had to be rough on Mike, he was in 11th grade, could not have been fun to pick up and leave...less so for sister Marty(5th grade) and me in Junior High. We headed out in early October, dad had purchased another gas station in Celina, Ohio....A Marathon station. We had visited Celina in 1960, so we knew a little about the town, our friends from Scott, Ohio, Jon and Sharon Swoveland, had moved there a few years before, and we had visited them that summer.

So, off we went to Ohio....Celina was not Venice, and unlike Venice, in the 45 years since our move, not a lot has changed in Celina...Venice, meanwhile, is not the same small innocent town that I grew up in.....I would not be inclined to move back there....way too much has changed.

Dad, mom, and youngest sister Kelly, returned to Venice on several occasions in the later 60s and early 70s, , until dad passed away in late 1972....for vacations and to check on the house, which they still owned. As for me, I did not return until the summer of 1975, when me, along with buddies, Mike Schilling and Jim Olson, spent a couple of weeks in Florida, including a few days camping at the Oscar Shere State Park, drinking beer and fishing off the Venice Jetties. I even got to visit my old best friend Mike Graff...by that time Mike was married and had a young son....it was not the same, in my mind, and I gathered his, we both had changed in those 13 years since we had last visited....it was a short get together, and we never saw each other again...Mike passed away in 2003 at the age of 54, his wife died 2 years later.

Starting in 1997 when the boys were old enough to make long trips via car, Patricia, Anissa, Sam and Hal headed south...after a couple of way side stops, we ended up in Venice....a few days at the Inn at the Beach at the end of Venice Avenue, made the entire family begin to love "the new Venice"....we made annual trips there for the next 5 years, until the boys were out of high school and off the "Vacation with the Folks" routine.

After I retired from the Health Department and started driving RVs for delivery, I made it to Venice on many occasions....hooking up with my cousin Gary Houseworth, who still runs a paint and body shop there, and his mom, my Aunt Marvel, who passed away a couple of years ago....I like the new Venice, a couple of good restaurants, the Inn at the Beach, is a great place to stay, but it's not my Venice. Condos now line the once pristine beach, the population has swelled, and the once 20 mile drive up US 41 to Sarasota through rural land, is now just houses and development....prices have sky rocketed, the fishing now stinks, but it still has brutal hot, humid, summers, and nice winters....There is a great cigar shop on the Tamiami Trail called "The Cigar Room", where I stop and fill up with good quality smokes every chance I get.


But, it's a different place, the new Venice. Mom sold the house in the early 1980s....and all we have left are the memories of growing up in south Sarasota County, when it was still wild and young.....a great place to have been a kid.

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photos-Venice in more recent times....The South Jetties, the way it looks today, Condos line the once unspoiled sands of Venice Beach, a Venice sunset I shot a few years back while vacationing at the Inn at the Beach, The Inn at the Beach on the west end of Venice Avenue...100 feet and you are on the beach. And finally, my old hang out, Dick and Meadows Drug Store as it looked in 1988 on my first visit to the town in 13 years.....

5 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

This has been a very interesting story Pat, and good that you put the words together. This is one of the reasons I blog, I know nothing about my fathers younger years including WWII, I wish I did. My kids will always be able to read about me in my own words, yours also.

The Hermit said...

Too many people can ruin anything. Florida is good proof of that. I spent a lot of time in Brooksville as a kid. Now it's all tourist junk and Christmas shops.

Mushy said...

I'm loving all the old shots in the last couple of posts.

I'm a bit busy...it's summertime, so commenting will be slow...but I'll at least do some reading.

Thanks for sharing your memories!

pat houseworth said...

Thanks for the imput guys....and as Mushy said.."it's summertime"(well almost in Ohio, rain and 47 today)...blog posting and traffic slows down...which is good, we all need to get out more often, but I will keep dropping by in the mornings and commenting when I can.

Thanks Again!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That was a great wrap-up man. It's always sad to see the places of our youth, and think back to what was. At least it is for me. You really did a wonderful job with these. Great reading.